Remote Working – definitely going to mum’s tomorrow

Serious or not, it makes sense to remote work at the moment if you can, for our employers anyway – they don’t want 90% of their workforce off with the flu.

I dont have a spare room, so worked from my bedroom with the laptop on a tray.

So, my first day wasn’t without it’s issues and interruptions:

“I’ll get up at half 5 to start before anyone wakes up”




“Just watch yer son for a minute”

1.30pm gym workout, low-tech:

3pm: “Hide the monsters are coming”

4pm, one down

5.30pm “Can we help”

6.30pm “Here, draw some pictures”

My tips for working at home:

  • Use a Pomodoro timer
  • Dont have kids

The Importance of a House-T0-Do List

One very effective and easy way to reduce stress and constant thoughts of ‘am I forgetting something’, is to set up a “To Do” board in the house. We have ours in the kitchen.

It’s handy for organising yourself, but the real benefit is when you sit down for dinner after work and your spouse reels off a load of jobs for you to do – “can you remember to…and..did you do…?”

Tell him or her to put it on the To Do list, and you’ll get it done.  If you can both agree on this, it makes life so much easier and you’re not constantly trying to remember stuff that you were told when you were hardly listening over dinner.

Here’s our, kind-of legible version:


Here’s a video, that is kind-of about the same thing.  Put ‘things-to-do’ into some kind of system or organisational-protocol that you have, so that you can forget about them until you need to do them.
Frees up your ‘psychic bandwidth’ apparently


Underfloor Heating?

Underfloor heating, always makes me think of Arsenal football club for some reason – I think, they were one of the first clubs to have under-soil heating; avoiding postponed matches during the winter.

Under-soil heating, may be a bit expensive and not massively practical in terms of the domestic market, however, under-floor heating is becoming quite trendy.

But is it worth it?

Some of the advantages of under-floor heating include:

1. The floor is actually warm, not the radiator on one side of the room.
2. The heat is more evenly dispersed throughout a given room, rather than heating an isolated area
3. It adds more space to a room, assuming radiators are ‘the other’ heating option being considered.
4. Underfloor heating can work at a lower temperature than radiators
5. It might; might enhance the home’s selling price
6. You don’t get dust mites gathering around and on the radiator, because you probably won’t have a radiator

1. Difficult to ‘retro-fit’
2. It can take longer to warm up (but you can just use a timer to get it going by the time it’s cold)
3. A cheaper system might not provide enough warmth, so you might end up fitting radiators anyway!
Underfloor Heating Options
Two main types of underfloor heating systems exist – electric and water ones. Water based systems are more expensive to fit, but are cheaper to run than electric ones.


I think I’ll stick to my wood-burner for now…but here’s an interesting infographic if you are a bit of a heating-engineer-geek or general nerd that enjoys sciencey images:

Home Birth ‘Review’

For your first child, I seriously would not bother.

We hired our birthing pool for 5 weeks for £90 which isn’t bad to be fair. Although it is basically a paddling pool (in fact my mate’s wife gave birth in a paddling pool rather than a ‘birthing’ one)


Everything was going great, until it came to the final stages – the bit where you have to do all that pushing…

Nothing was happening, so the midwives phoned an ambulance, which took well over an hour to arrive.

All the neighbours came out (even though most of them have never spoken to us) to see what was going on, and my wife was taken out on a chair in the middle of the road, which couldn’t have been the best experience ever.

She was exhausted, and in lots of pain by the time we got to hospital. What the home-birth groups and Daisy Foundation didn’t, apparently mention was the fact that once you are at a certain stage in labour, you can’t have any extra pain relief. Considering that 45% of home-births, for the first child, end up in hospital, it’s an important thing to consider.

So without any pain-relief (wasn’t allowed gas and air even, perhaps because of her shallow breathing) my wife was ‘cut’, and the baby was taken out with forceps.  She was in so much pain, it’s borderline traumatised me, so I’ve no idea how bad she must feel.

Anyway, all is well, that ends well. We did have to go back into hospital because baby lost a bit too much weight, and Jo had to feed her every 3 hours, but all okay now.  Thank God.