A third of the UK would rather go without Christmas dinner than broadband

First Utility Broadband launches a guide to a virtual Christmas.


36%[2] of UK population would miss out on Christmas dinner in favour of broadband

37%[1] of people rely on broadband to stay connected with loved ones this holiday

42%[1] of people also admit to relying on broadband to stream their favourite Christmas films.


Whilst the majority (62%[1]) of those video calling their family and friends simply call to wish them a merry Christmas, we’re also likely to share other pleasures via a video call:

●13%[1] said they would share a glass of wine

●13%[1] said they will open presents together

●10%[1] will eat their Christmas dinner with their loved ones

●10%[1] will show off their festive clothing ranging from a Christmas jumper to a cracker hat.
70% of video calls this year will be down to distance with people keen to connect with family and friends living abroad (37%) and in distant parts of the UK (33%). First Utility has launched a competition to pay for one lucky family to come together in person over the festive season.

Best times to speak to loved ones in other countries
This easy-to-use guide allows you to find the country you’d like to connect with, classified both by continent and by the top 20 most popular ex pat destinations.

Once you’ve found your country, you can match the time there with UK time, and decide whether you’d like to call them in the morning, afternoon or evening. Here’s a snippet:




Top movies to stream this holiday

First Utility Broadband research also revealed that broadband is also relied on for keeping the UK entertained over the holidays with almost half (42%[1]) of people planning to stream their favourite Christmas films. Based on the 2,000 people surveyed, First Utility has put together a guide for the top Christmas films to stream this holiday.

The top 5 are:

  • Home Alone
  • Elf
  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • Love Actually







[2] Figures from research carried out by Opinion Matters between 01/12/17 and 06/12/17 with a sample of 2003 respondents


Spanish baked eggs make a great Christmas breakfast idea. Relatively quick to make and a tempting treat before you hit the festive sherry!

Christmas Breakfast Idea

Spanish baked eggs

•Preparation time: 15 minutes
•Cooking time: 25 minutes
•Total time: 40 minutes

Serves: 2


2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
120g pack Cooks’ Ingredients Diced Chorizo
1 yellow pepper, finely sliced
1 orange pepper, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
400g can chopped tomatoes
4 Burford Browns Free Range Eggs
½ x 25g pack parsley, chopped
2 slices country-style bread


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. In a frying pan, with an ovenproof handle, heat the olive oil, add the onion and chorizo, and cook for 4-5 minutes until soft. Then add the peppers and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until softened. Stir in the garlic and sweet smoked paprika, cook for 1 minute. Then add the tomatoes. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until the tomatoes are reduced slightly and softened.

2. Make four wells in the peppery sauce and crack an egg into each.

3. Place in the preheated oven to cook for 10 minutes until the eggs are set but the yolks are still runny. Scatter with parsley and serve with the sliced bread, toasted and drizzled with a little olive oil.

There are so many brilliant breakfast ideas from Waitrose.

Do you have an interesting Christmas breakfast idea to share?

Christmas Breakfast Idea

My Random Musings

The benefits of blogging vary from blogger to blogger. Some travel, some make money and some write for therapy. I was delighted when Simone from Midlands Trade agreed to share her blogging journey with me.

Benefits Of Blogging

Why did you start to blog?

I started blogging a long time ago when I was finishing my journalism course and I became obsessed with the blogosphere. So, I ended up writing about pop culture until I decided to create Midlands Trade in 2014 and take it more seriously.

How did you feel when you started blogging?

I love writing. But I confess that I felt a bit lost at the beginning of my blogging days. There were so much to talk about but no social media to spread the word about it. So, it was like a personal diary, really.

How do you feel about blogging today?

I am still lost but now I know exactly what I want to talk about and I feel really relaxed when I sit down and start writing. It is more like a therapy than anything nowadays.

What is your proudest achievement related to blogging?

It is definitely the fact I can be in touch with people from all over the world. I have met so many interesting people through blogging. There is always something different to learn with all of them.

What is the most exciting event you have attended as a blogger?

It was definitely my press trip to Croatia in 2016. It was an unforgettable experience as a journalist and a traveller. It was great to spend days immersed in the country’s culture in the company of other great bloggers.

Do you monetize your blog and, if so, how?

Yes. I started it this year and I think it is a big challenge for me. I usually accept guest posts and links from people that have interesting content to share. My blog is about business and I want to show my audience only content that can be interesting to them. At the same time, I am still learning how to make it professionally.

What do you find most challenging about blogging?

In my case, it is writing and thinking in another language. As my first language is Portuguese, it is difficult sometimes to express myself naturally in English. So, I get stuck for days until finishing a post sometimes. It is annoying, I know. I am not very good at proofreading my writing to make things more complicated. But I am getting there!

What surprised you most about blogging?

How amazingly supportive the blogging community can be. It is so touching! I feel grateful to be involved in such a great project that you have started Kate. It is overwhelming!

How do you balance blogging and family life?

I don`t have kids, so it is not that difficult to find time for blogging. The fact I am working remotely now makes the things a bit easier sometimes. I just must find the balance between blogging, teaching and tidying up the house.

What would lead to you giving up blogging?

To be honest, I can’t really imagine myself out of the blogosphere.

What is your top tip for a new or inexperienced blogger?

Find what you are passionate about and don`t be afraid of expressing yourself about it. And of course, find amazing blogger communities online. You can`t even measure how much you will learn from them.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I would like to say that blogging is a wonderful way of meeting interesting people. I have made great friends because of it. I also feel more confident professionally. So, if you have never blogged before, just do it. There will be always someone outside to read your words. Don`t be afraid.

I also would love to say thank you for giving me this opportunity of being involved in such a great blogging community. That is one of the highlights of my 2017, for sure! I am learning so much from this experience. Thanks!

Huge thanks to Simone for sharing what she gets out of blogging. What are the benefits of blogging for you? If you would like to share your story, please do get in touch.

The Pramshed

Ramos gin fizz cocktail

Serves one.

Gin Fizz Cocktail

Put 60ml gin, 15ml freshly squeezed lemon juice, 15ml freshly squeezed lime juice, 250ml sugar syrup, 3 drops of vanilla extract, 1 egg white and 25ml double cream in a cocktail shaker and shake hard. Add ice and shake again. Strain into a chilled glass and top with sparkling water. Garnish with a few cranberries, a sprig of rosemary and serve.

Gin Fizz Cocktail Recipe

Check out more festive drink recipes with the Waitrose Cellar.


Welcome to m birthday reasons to be cheerful. You find me sitting in front of the telly watching “This Morning” and snuggling up with the puppy. I have a cold so am sniffling too but I am cheerful.



It was my birthday a couple of days ago and it was a really lovely day. It started with my 17 year old coming downstairs just after midnight to sing me “Happy Birthday”. You can’t really get better than that, can you? My daughter designed me a lovely card. I woke up in the morning and the first thing I saw was a bunch of beautiful pink roses from Himself. Gifts included warm slippers and the George Michael CD. We had a little trip out to buy cake of the chocolate variety. Rumours that it was a scrumptious Christmas log may be exaggerated or possibly not. My husband made me a lovely lamb dinner followed by a really special cheeseboard and a little wine. Perfect.

I had got myself all in a fret in the run up to the birthday as I often will around special dates. Huge thanks to some very special women who got me through this wobble. It is amazing how some people will be there for real and imaginary crisis.

I had a lunch at the weekend meeting new people despite my social anxiety. Again, my 17 year old was an amazing support. Two of the ladies have asked me to meet for coffee in the New Year so that is encouraging in terms of making some new friends.

This week I told 3 people that I have suffered depression and all of them had either suffered themselves or knew someone close who does. I felt so good for being honest because it enabled them to share their stories too.

Work opportunities are coming for the New Year one of which slipped into my spam folder again leading me to think there was a crisis where there was not one at al.

I have won a couple of competitions so that’s a bit of fun. I have also received a really interesting book through the post about self-development.

I have a new admin to help out with Bloggers on Thin Ice.

I am also bringing back a new and improved Groovy Mums with  the amazing Chloe and we have such exciting plans to help women move forward positively in 2018.

I am not stressing Christmas at all. I plan to honour our Michael and have put his pictures in plain sight this week in the lounge. It was too painful to do that before but grief takes its own path. I have decided we will play the music Michael had at his Humanist ceremony on Christmas Day. It will be wonderful to have him home for Christmas.

There will be other things I have forgotten because it really has been a positive week so I went wild and included that pic of me in my birthday suit!