England vs. Ukraine Euro 2012

June 19, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Excitement is building ahead of tonight’s Euro 2012 match which will see England play against the tournaments host’s Ukraine. The match kicks off at 7.45pm and is estimated to be watch by millions as Wayne Rooney is predicted to return to the pitch, and play his first Euro 2012 game, after serving a two match ban.

Good Luck England euro 2012

Although I’m not a huge follower of football I do appreciate the excitement for this evening’s game as the stakes are high. If England win or draw they will progress to the quarter finals and be one step closer to success. The Bath-Knight team and I wish the England squad all the very best- fingers crossed for a win!


Healthy weight loss tip for the elderly people waiting for surgery

June 19, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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As summertime finally approaches losing a little bit of weight will be on lots of people’s minds. However, in recent months I’ve become more aware of people having to lose weight for more serious purposes than looking good in a summery outfit.

In January I read an article about one hospital not adding overweight patients to their surgical waiting lists until they shed the pounds and since I’ve spoken to friends, colleagues and customers who are looking to lose weight to make a pending surgical procedure more effective, and in some cases, safer.

With this in mind I thought I’d share some healthy weight loss tips that are targeted specifically at men and women over the age of 60.  It’s no surprise that our bodies change as we get older and so does the way we lose weight.

old lady cooking

Healthy weight loss tips-

  • If you’re over 60 and want to lose weight speak with your GP first especially if you losing weight ahead of surgery or because you want to improve your mobility. He/she will be able to offer practical advice and consult you on implications that dieting could have on any medical conditions you have.
  • Ask your GP to weigh and measure you then calculate your BMI (click here for the NHS’s online BMI calculator). Your BMI (Body Mass Index) indicates if you’re at a healthy weight, overweight or obese and will give you some indication of how much weight you should ideally lose.
  • Set yourself a target by coming up with a realistic weight goal that will ideally place you at a healthy BMI status. This goal will help you stay motivated and should ultimately encourage you to keep on track.
  • Join a slimming group if you need extra support. Groups such as Slimming World and WeightWatchers hold weekly meetings where you can be weighted and talked through the diet plan. Rosemary Conley offers a dieting and fitness plan with the addition of fitness classes. And the Jenny Craig plan is a good option for people who struggle to cook to diet restrictions as it delivers set meals according to your dietary needs and aims. Slimming groups are also a great place to meet new friends who have a common goal of losing weight.
  • Stock up on ‘superfoods’ such as blueberries, sweet potatoes, kiwis, salmon, broccoli, beans and nuts. These specific foods are packed with goodness, low in calories and include disease fighting nutrients that can be beneficial to your wellbeing especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Most are also part of your ‘5 a day’.
  • Read about other people’s dieting experiences to see how specific diets made them feel and how effective the dieting programs are in reality. Jenny Craig, WeightWatchers and LighterLife all have community forums or online blogs written by a variety of dieters (men and women) who are currently trying to lose weight. These first hand tales can be really helpful and give you a nudge in the right direction as to which one is right for you.

The Queen’s Birthday Parade, Trooping the Colour

June 18, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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This weekend saw another royal occasion as the Queen and Royal Family enjoyed the annual Trooping the Colour Parade to celebrate the Queen’s official birthday in London.

I watched the ceremony on the television at home on Saturday morning and was thoroughly impressed. How lovely to see Prince William join his father, the Prince of Wales, and the Duke of Kent in the Parade. And Prince Phillip back at the Queen’s side and in good health after a spell in hospital during the Diamond Jubilee weekend.

Here are my favourite pictures from the Trooping the Colour Parade 2012- enjoy!

Trooping the Colour Parade

Trooping the Colour Parade 2012

The Queen and Prince Phillip tropping the colour

The Queen and Prince Phillip at Tropping the Colour Parade

The Queen in carriage Trooping the colours

The Queen in carriage Trooping the colours

Duke of Cambridge and Prince Charles

Duke of Cambridge and Prince of Wales in Trooping the Colour Parade

Guardsmen assemble at Trooping the colour parade

Guardsmen assemble at Trooping the Colour Parade

Prince Harry, Camilla and Kate

Prince Harry, the Duchess of Cornwall and Duchess of Cambridge

Princes William, Charles and Duke of Kent

Princes William, Charles and Duke of Kent in the Parade

Royal Family Balcony 2012

The Royal Family on Buckingham Palace Balcony

Red Arrows Trooping the colour fly

Red Arrows Trooping the Colour flypast

Carers Week 2012

June 18, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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With over six million carers in the UK it is paramount that their tireless work is appreciated and that they are recognised as individuals, which is why I support Carers Week. An annual awareness campaign brought together by a coalition of charities including Age UK, Carers UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and Carers Trust.

This year’s campaign centres around the theme ‘In sickness and in health’ and hopes to educate carers on looking after their own wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of the loved one who they care for.

Carers Week 2012

Carers Week 18th – 24th June 2012

In a recent study it’s been reported that nearly 40% of carers put their own health in jeopardy because of their caring commitments. Some carers don’t feel that they have the time or support to seek medical attention for themselves, whilst others are so tightly wrapped up in the welfare of their loved one that their personal needs get overlooked.

Government cuts and tightly squeezed local authorities unfortunately mean that many unpaid carers are receiving little help from the state. Sadly more and more carers are being forced to give up work to care full time, subsequently meaning that their lives revolve solely around caring. It comes as little surprise that a majority of health issues affecting carers are due to the heavy strain of being a primary carer.

carers week young carer

Support carers of all ages this Carers Week

As well as encouraging carers to seek the necessary help and advice in all areas of their caring life- health, well-being and financial support- Carers Week also encourages carers to find time for themselves with a host of events been held up and down the country this week.

Events range from workshops in arts and crafts to tai chi and yoga which aim to help carers de-stress. For people who’d prefer a simple chat over a cup of tea and biscuits, social gatherings and coffee mornings are also on the agenda; perfect if you’re looking to make friends with other carers, which can be extremely beneficial if you care full time.

Carers make life so much more fulfilling for elderly, poorly and disabled people, which is why I think Carers Week is a campaign that is worth supporting; visit www.carersweek.org for more information.

Happy Father’s Day from Annette

June 17, 2012 at 9:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Happy Fathers Day

As its Father’s Day today I would like to thank my father for not only being a wonderful father to my brother, sister and I but for his invention that has changed the lives of thousands of people, the first original bath lift, Bath-Knight.

Father’s Day is the perfect chance to celebrate what a fantastic father you have and how he has changed your life. If it wasn’t for my father, Bill Steadman, I wouldn’t be where I am today helping thousands of people get in and out of the bath. As my father lives in Florida I won’t be able to spend the day with him, however, I can look forward to seeing him and my mother in the summertime.

I hope you and your father have a wonderful Father’s Day however you may be celebrating.

Annette’s Websites of the Week – Father’s Day Special.

June 15, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Annette's websites of the week

As its Father’s Day on Sunday I thought I’d share some websites that will give you a helping hand in making this year’s Father’s Day extra special- for every type of dad!

Moonpig Cards – Personalised greeting cards are a lovely way to say Happy Father’s Day. If you visit an online customising site such as www.moonpig.com there is lots of variety, everything from comical cards, sentimental cards, sports themed cards and even photo cards. Each greeting card can be edited specifically for your dad to add that extra special touch.

Moonpig fathers day

Moonpig customised cards

I’ve used Moonpig in the past and was really happy with the whole experience. Picking a card is really simple- search the Father’s Day card selection (or whatever occasion you’re looking for) and edit accordingly. I like to pick cards which allow me to use lots of photographs but chose a design that suits you and your dad best.

My top tip when using Moonpig is to ensure that you spell check any text which you edit as once the card is printed it can’t be changed. Additionally save postage costs by delivering the card directly to your dad’s address- simply select this option in the delivery process.

Final delivery for Father’s Day cards from Moonpig is 2pm today!

Red Letter DaysIf you want to treat your dad to an extra special day out then head to www.redletterdays.co.uk. Here you can purchase all sorts of days out, which will be a brilliant surprise for Father’s Day.

Red Letter Days have something for everyone so if your dad’s a fan of sports why not buy a tour of Wembley Stadium or a master class golf lesson. If like my husband, Alan, your dad is a car fanatic, then check out the driving experiences where dads can drive at Silverstone in a Ferrari or Lamborghini, and if your dad has a head for heights how about a Hot Air Balloon ride? The options are endless so it’s sure to be a Father’s Day gift that he won’t forget.

Red Letter Day

Red Letter Day

The best thing about a Red Letter Day gifts is that you don’t have to decide on a date when you purchase the experience. So you can give your dad his Red Letter Gift on Sunday and then organise a date to go motor facing, hot air balloon riding etc… whenever is convenient for both of you- most experiences let spectators go along and watch so you get a day out too.

Audible.co.uk –  Earlier in the week I blogged about audiobooks and how they have been revived thanks to modern technology. Now you can download audiobook onto smartphones and iPods which makes listening to stories easier than ever before.


Audiobooks with http://www.audible.co.uk

If your dad loves to read but can’t because he’s too busy or finds reading text in a book too much of a strain then why not load your iPod or smartphone will a selection of audiobooks for Father’s Day. The website www.audible.co.uk has a huge selection of books (classics, new books and best sellers) which are affordable (around £3.99 each) and can be uploaded onto a device in seconds!

Using audiobooks as a gift is a great way of encourage dads to get back into literature, especially if he’s had to stop reading because of old age or poor eye sight. And it’s a fantastic way to get older dads to use gadgets such as iPods. I’d love to know if you like this idea so please do leave a comment below!

Father’s Day Gift Ideas – Sunday 17th June 2012

June 14, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Father’s Day is right around the corner so I thought I’d share some of my favourite gift ideas. I always think that Father’s Day can be a little tricky so I think it’s best to find something that your father specifically wants or go with a classic piece. Here I’ve chosen a variety of practical purchases, all from the high street or online, that will go down a treat whatever your budget.   

1. Men’s Fragrance –Boots
2. ‘Best Dad’ Mug – Emma Bridgewater
3. I Love Dad chocolates – Thorntons
4. No.1 Dad cufflinks – Notonthehighstreet
5. Stripy socks – John Lewis
6. Beer & Ale – Marks & Spencer
7. Wallet – Aspinal of London
8. Hip Flask – Aspinal of London
9. Subbutteo – Waterstones

Give Blood- National Blood Week 11th- 17th June 2012

June 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Today is World Blood Donor Day and countries across the world are encouraging more people to become blood donors and thanking current donors for their generous blood donations which help save hundreds of lives every day.

Here in the UK ‘give blood’ are hosting National Blood Week from 11th-17th June. During this time a team of donor experts are touring the country in a bid to inspire more people to become donors and advise them on how, when and why becoming a donor is so important.


Give Blood for National Blood Week

 Blood stocks have to be replenished to ensure that blood banks are supplied with enough blood to help poorly people. The levels and availability of blood types ranges which is why it’s so important to get as many people from all ethnic backgrounds to become donors.

Unfortunately some people won’t be able to donate blood, some medical conditions and prior experience can affect eligibility- check here for more info. And I know that many older donators are upset that they have to stop donating after their 66th birthday; if you’ve given blood for a long time it does become an important part of your life but for a donor’s own health this upper age limit is strictly followed.

This is why it’s important to ensure that younger people become donors. Healthy youngsters are perfect donors as they can regularly give blood and help make a difference. Giving blood can be daunting, especially if you’ve not done it before, but speaking from experience I can assure you that it’s nothing to worry about. 

Rachel Riley giving blood

Countdown’s, Rachel Riley giving blood

Simple ensure you follow the standard guidelines of drinking lots of water, a good night sleep and regular meals prior to giving blood and make sure you rest afterward. Once you’ve perked up you’ll have that feel-good feeling of doing something so positive that you’ll no doubt want to continue donating which is fantastic.

So during National Blood Week visit the give blood website to learn more about how important it is to roll your sleeves up and give blood. Online you can register as a donor and find a local blood donor centre, plus make an appointment to meet an advisor who will explore you eligibility and explain how your blood could help save a life.

Enjoy reading with audiobooks

June 13, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Like millions of others I get great pleasure out of reading and although there is nothing better than picking up a book and flicking through the pages I often don’t have the time to sit down and read. In fact the only time I do get to devour a great book is whilst on holiday or on a rare quite weekend.

With so many books that I’d love to read but know I won’t get around to for months I’ve been looking into audiobooks. Once seen as a method of reading for blind people or those who finding reading a difficult task in general, storytelling via audiobooks is fast becoming a fashionable way of enjoying books.


Tonnes of book but not enough time to read

Gone are the days of cassette tapped audiobooks as audible books have been brought up to date by modern technology. Amazon approved company Audible.co.uk allows users to download audiobooks onto their iPhones, smartphones, iPods, Kindles and computers so that readers or listeners should I say, can enjoy books on the go.

You simply download your chosen book- chose from classics, new releases and best sellers– plug in your headphones and listen away. Perfect if you commute to work, have lots of housework to do or your sight is finding long spells of reading too difficult. Some people might not be convinced by audiobooks but I think they are a practical and convenient way to fill your time with great literature. The only difference is you’re listening rather than reading.

woman with headphones

Audiobooks are becoming a popular choice

To add a special touch modern audiobooks are narrated by actors or in special cases the books authors, which is brilliant if you’re reading an autobiography or memoirs because the subject could be telling you their story. This is the cases for The Fry Chronicles by Stephen Fry, How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran and Life on Air by David Attenborough, which I think would be fantastic to listen to as David Attenborough is so eloquent.

Audiobooks no longer have a negative stigma so why not take on this modern approach to storytelling and enjoy even more books. If you’ve not got a smartphone or iPod ask your children or grandchildren to download a book and burn it to disk- this way you can listen on a CD player at home.

Race for Life Cancer Research UK at Trentham Gardens

June 12, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Each year Race for Life events sweep across the country encouraging women and girls to run, jog or walk 5km to raise awareness of cancer and tonight Race for Life arrives in Stoke-on-Trent.

Here in Stoke-on-Trent Trentham Gardens are hosting the annual event where runners, joggers and walkers get to enjoy the gardens and run around the lake as part of the Race for Life 5km route. Hundreds of local ladies are expected to join in the fun and relish the chance to remember loved ones who have suffered from cancer, celebrate those who have recovered and support possible cures and preventions of the disease.

race for life

Race for Life is a fantastic chance to support Cancer Research and always proves to be great fun. I know that lots of ladies chose to do their Race for Life with a group of friends for extra support and to ensure they have a wonderful time.

The Bath-Knight team and I would like to wish fellow colleague, Beth Ackley, all the very best as she’s taking part in tonight’s Race for Life and the Race for Life in Stafford next month- a fantastic effort. And of course, our very best wishes go out to all the local ladies joining the Race for Life this evening. Enjoy yourself and raise lots of money for a brilliant cause!

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