Month: May 2010


Sorry there hasn’t been an update of in a while. I’ve been run off my feet at work.

Mickel Trafford Village Club (this picture does'nt do it credit).

An unusual evening on Saturday. I have started to try and broaden my horizons, hence visiting Chester cinema club, and stuff like that.

The other evening, Glenn invited me for an evening out, at the village hall in Michel Trafford. Amazingly, its run by the Parish Council, and the bar staff, are actually volunteers.

I was wondering whether it would be like the vicar of Dibley, but in reality, it was quite smart. A a practical point, the bar star were very polite and the service very personal (but it would be, its a village hall). I was also impressed with the price, at £1.80 for a pint of Carlsberg (took me back to 2003 !)

One downside, was that the website advertises free wireless broadband. Glenn, had brought one of his 2 (2 !) IPads to try out (I wanted to try them out and write a review, I cant help feeling that Glenn wanted to show off to the locals). Unfortunately, the service doesn’t seem to be popular there, and had been disconnected for non payment.

Overall, a pretty interesting evening. I hope to go again in a couple of weeks, and try out the free pool table.

Sex and the City 2

I know some people reading this, will be surprised that I’m a fan of sex and the city.

I remember hearing a story about a prisoner of war, who was beaten every day at 10am. When he was released, it was found that his body had compensated for the ordeal, by pumping adrenaline into his system at 10am each day. The irony was, that he was actually uncomfortable not being beaten.

I can’t claim the exact same thing, but in a relationship some years ago, I was “made” to watch Sex and the City, and a similar effect took place (and to be honest, I think my love of travel destinations, and the scenes of New York helped to numb the pain).

Anyway, Sex and the City 2 came out, and I went to see it on Saturday afternoon (to avoid loads of couples and people on first dates, and other rubbish like that).

Enough intro, so what did I think:

The film opens with a brief history of New York, and a few visuals of Carrie and her friends, when they arrived in NY, around 1986.

It then moves on to a garish gay wedding. Its hard to describe exactly, but it was an affront to the ears and eyes.

We are given an update, on what’s happened since the first film (I mean that, from the point of the characters. From the point of the producers and actresses, its obvious that they needed some more money).

I do like Big as a character. It would be easy to fall into the perfect guy, who just isn’t in touch with his feelings cliché, but it never happens.

On the subject of cliché, they are many, including watching black and white “classics” together. Vom.

The plot then moves to Abu Dhabi (except that I immediately recognised Marrakesh airport in Morocco, so knew that’s where it had been filmed). At this point it got a bit out of hand, with the kind of clash of cultures between the girls and Abu Dhabi society, ending in a free for all in the market.

I know the film is exaggerated, but from experience, New Yorkers are probably the most street wise westerners in existence. Brash surely, but they know every inside track, every trick, the lot, wherever they go. Unwittingly getting arrested in the way implied in the film, would just never happen.

Overall, I enjoyed it, but like the 1st, it was 2 and a half hours, which felt a bit long.

I did love the music, Empire state of mind, by Jay Z, featuring Alicia Keys. Since watching the film I cant stop singing it.

One line from the film “eventually the baby will get tired” took me back to the original series, and all the things I liked about it.

I was sorry to hear about the death of Gary Coleman from the series different strokes. It reminded me of this hilarious sketch of Tony Bobbins (a spoof on the real life peak performance specialist, Tony Robbins) which he appeared in.

Other things happening on the TV front. Well, loads of series have finished this week. Before anyone asks, I went off lost after 4 episodes, so I didn’t watch the final episode, and don’t really care what happened.

Ashes to Ashes finished after 3 series, and ended a 5 series arc, incorporating Life on Mars, one of the best TV programs of the decade.

People have been critical, but I thought it wrapped things up pretty well, and I enjoyed it immensely, just like the rest of the series.

I caught up on about 8 episodes of 24. I only started watching them again, after season 2, last year at season 7. This season really is dazing, and I cant wait to see what happens in the season finale.

Two series I am getting into are Human Target and White Collar. Human Target is based on a comic book, and basically action from beginning to end, with enough plot to tie it together, and nothing else.

Blue Collar is interesting. It about an FBI agent, and a former Con man/Forger who he enlists from prison. I was  talking to Glenn the other evening and he mentioned it.

I commented that when I saw the program, the first person, Neal Caffrey reminded me off, was him.

The Final episode, series 2 of Fringe. A recommendation from my brother last year, its excellent.

I’ve also been watching a series called Broken Bad. It was recommended by an old friend Jason MacDonald. He wasn’t wrong, its simply made, but quite dazzling.

Peter Kay. The Immersions On !.

Things have turned around, and the mortgage is getting paid, so the house is safe, but money is very tight.

It will take a while to turn things around, but in the meantime, I am trying to live as I did when I was unemployed, an dleverage every money saving and/or value enhancing tool available.

For example, earlier in the blog, I mentioned going to see Sex and the City 2. I get my gas and electric from Powergen. They give me Tesco points for paying my bill, by direct debit. I convert the points into cinema tickets, and get to see 2 films a month or “free” (the reasoning is that I would have bought food etc. from tTsco and electric/gas from Powergen anyway).

One thing I’ve just tried, is putting a 2 litre bottle of water in the lavatory systern. The idea, is that less water will be used when the systern fills up. Its a project I’m keen to see the results of (modern myth, or money saver).

One final inspiration, was actually from Peter Kay.

I used to always have the hot water come on with a timer, twice a day. Obviously, If I didn’t have a bath or anything, that hot water was wasted.

Shows how times have changed. The Peter Kay joke, where he is invited out for a drink or something at the Phoenix club, and explains that he cant, saying “the immersion is on”, took me back 30 years.

In my youth, the immersion heater would be put on, to heat hot water. It would take an hour to heat 2 baths full of water. Using the water was sacrosanct. If I was going out or to the shops, I would be strictly ordered home, so the water wouldn’t be wasted.

Made me wonder. Wasn’t Gas and Electric, relatively cheaper then, than it his now, but many homes today have heating/water switching on for several hours, when they aren’t even there.

I’ve learned my lesson. I put the water on, when I need a bath or a shower, and turn it off again, 20 minutes or an hour later. The savings have been significant.

Near and far, best wishes, the search for adventure continues…

Wirral Coastal Path.

The international docks near Hamilton Square.

I try to go walking every weekend now (mostly on a Sunday if I can). Although I’m working again now, I learned how to organise an adventure for £5 while I was unemployed, and I continue to “invent” new ones.

The Wirral Coastal path, runs from Hamilton Square to West Kirby and is about 12 miles. It ends where the Wirral Way begins, so the 2 can be combined to make a smart 25 mile walk.

A return ticket from Chester to West Kirby, costs £4.40. You get off the train at Hamilton Square, do the walk, and get back on the train at one of several stations, upto and including West Kirby. Bottle of water, flask of coffee, home made packed lunch, all in for less than a fiver.

I met up with my companions, Amelia and Tony. We arrived (well some of us did !) at the last possible minute before the train left. A misunderstanding about who was bringing what, made a re-distribution of gear a necessity (subsequently, on a windy day, I was cold for most of the route, as I had to lend out my Hagloff jacket).

Setting of from Hamilton Square, we walk along the water front, with spectacular views of Liverpool. After about a mile, you have to head inland, as one of the docks, is an international port (or as international as Ireland gets) and as such, is a secure facility. Its just a shame that you cant walk the whole way along the waterfront.

A section of the Wirral coastal path.

Once we leave Seacombe ferry port, the route changes, and landscapes like the one above form much of the rest of the route, with Sand-dunes to the left, a path down the middle, and a beach to the right.

It being a coastal path, it’s pretty flat. Unlike the Wirral Way though, there was virtually no cover, so although it was dry all day, when the wind came howling, you had to take it on the chin.

As you can see from this picture, we could either walk along the concrete path, or along the sandy beach. Luckily, I had my old trainers on (walking boots on concrete is about the best way to get impossibly blistered feet I know off).

Fort Perch Rock.

As we get close to New Brighton, we see Fort Perch Rock (a Naval fort, built during the Napolionic wars). I wanted to go inside, but it was about £4, which I thought was just too expensive.

We tried to find somewhere to sit and eat our sandwiches, but it was really windy.

We reached New Brighton, which to say the least, was a surprise. There must be about 20 chippy’s in close proximity. Some sort of “poncy” theatre, which looks completely out of place. A strip club, which didn’t look out of place at all, and a fairground (which reminded me of all the reasons I don’t go to fairgrounds).

Moving on, we left New Brighton behind, and the beaches opened up before us (there were loads of people wind surfing and stuff like that).

The Beach.

We decided not to walk all the way to West Kirby, and instead, catch the train back from Moreton.

For eight years, I worked at a company,  with one of its offices in Moreton. I frequently got the train back, which was a ten minute walk along a straight road. Just near the the station, the road climbed to a steep hill, and I always wondered for all of those year’s what was on the other side.

As a walked along a familiar looking road, inland (the opposite direction) and climbed to the top of the hill. I realised that the road to the Train Station, continues on to the beach.

The logo of this website, is someone (me actually) sat on a sofa, with a mountain behind him. The idea is that someone is relaxing, and adventures becons close buy, but he doesn’t see it and doesnt realise just how close it is.

I must have had several hundred lunch hours when I worked in Moreton, and never realised an interesting beach walk was 10 minutes away.

Well, anther cracking day out, and it was great to see that Travel “War Dog” again, Tony.

Fairwell to James.

Jame's leaves to return to Paris.

Well, I’ve been at my new job now, for a whole month and it doesn’t feel like a week.

Everyone has been really nice to me. I was saddened to hear, that one chap who I work with (James) was on work experience, and would be returning to Paris.

We all chipped in, to buy him this shirt (which has some significance, unknown to me).

On Thursday evening, we went out for the evening, to say good bye. It was in an area of Warrington, called Stockton Heath. I had never been there before, but it reminded me of Didsbury in Manchester.

I don’t normally eat Spanish food, but on this occasion it was really nice.

I had a brilliant time, and someone even gave me a lift back to the Station.

I got dropped of at Warrington Bank key, and I was 40 minutes early for my train. I have always wondered what the Patten Arms (a sort of pub/hotel across the road from the station, which to be honest, looks pretty dire) was like.

I popped in for a quick pint. The main thing that struck me, was the shock on the face of the barmaid, when I said Please and Thank You !.

Anyway, Chris from work told me something really interesting about it the next day. Apparently, Jon Prescott (of New Labour fame) used to be the head Chef there).

The return of Mac and Caz.

The return of Mac and Caz.

Two old friends came down to Chester last weekend. I last saw Caz, a couple of years ago, at my brothers wedding, but I hadn’t seen Mac, in nearly 20 years.

I put on a bit of a Barbecue in my garden, then we popped out for a couple of pints.

Unfortunately, it was Race day, so we stayed local at the Frog and Nightingale, and saw of a few there.

It was great staying up late, catching up and talking about old times.

The next day, I cooked breakfast for everyone, and then we had a tour of the town (I have been on all 4 of the official Chester tours, so I’m pretty good at it now).

Back home for Coffee, then Mac had to get off home (he has 2 daughters now).

Caz and I went on a walk around the Meadows (its about 9 or 10 miles, and one of my favourite walks in Chester). I was delighted, when he took me out for a Curry (I’m working again now, but I’ve only just started, and a year of unemployment, has taken its financial toll).

What really suprised me (and probably shouldn’t) was they both call themselves Jason and Paul, and I’m probably the only person that still call them Mac and Caz.

The 2 other members of our “Gang” David and Lee, weren’t able to make it, but we are planning another meet, and hopefully everyone can attend this time.

Glenn gets an Ipad.

Glenn browsing on his new Ipad.

That technology and gadget “whore” Glenn, has done it again, and somehow managed to get hold of an Apple Ipad, even though they aren’t officially on sale in this country yet.

He previously ordered one, through a mail forwarding company. I was enlightened to hear, that there are addresses in America, where you can order things, and then the owner of the “house” simply charges you a small fee, and forwards it onto you.

Glenn had tried this before, but those marketing Nazi’s at Apple, emailed him shortly after to cancel the order, as they recognised the forwarding address.

I have been asked what I think of the Ipad. Put simply, I think it’s a superb tool for researching things on the web, but beyond that, I cant see what it would be used for. I do agree with Steve Jobs, that it sits more comfortably, between a laptop and a smartphone, than a netbook (but then a Netbook costs about £200, which from a travel perspective, along with its size, is its main advantage).

Well, I’ll be seeing Glenn, in a couple of days, I look forward to seeing what its like.

Sandstone Trail (well, the first 3 miles of it !).

I’ve started going walking each weekend. Frodsham is only about 12 miles from Chester. The Sandstone trail starts there, and since Tony and I are looking to do the full route in a couple of weeks, a short “recky” walk seemed sensible.

The start of the Sandstone Trail in Frodsham, Cheshire.

16 minutes from Chester by train, Frodsham really is a traditional pub and tea house village. We set off straight away, and walked up the hill. The trail is very varied and winding, and runs through a forest. The weather was superb throughout the whole afternoon. As we ambled along the trail, we passed several of the dells and caves.

The Dells alongside the path.

I wore my normal attire of walking trousers, t shirt, jumper and waterproof jacket (which between the 4 of them, can accomodate almost any UK weather) I also had my packed lunch, flask and last but not least, my old trainers.

Me in the Sunshine. It was nice to be back on the trail again.

After walking around for a couple of hours, we headed for the Sandstone Obelisk, the overlooks the whole of the valley bellow.

The War-dead memorial.

I ate my sandwiches, looking at the view out accross the valley. Spectacular.

The view accross the valley.

Frank and I originally walked the Sandstone Trail, about 5 years ago (it was 38 miles, done over 2 days). A brill day out. I’m really enjoying getting back into walking.

New Job and Affirmations.

An affirmation card I found on the internet. Mine aren't as poncy as this.

I have a list of affirmations, which I read every morning and evening, for 10 minutes (I found the picture above, on the internet, mine aren’t as spiritual as that, if you know what I mean).

There are 10 statements, and they say things like when I’m focussed, I can solve almost any problem and I never waste time or money.

Some people don’t believe this kind of personal programming works, but something interesting, has happened to me lately, that really shows the power of conditioning.

I’m using a program on my IPhone called Sleep Cycle (my new job is great, and I’m home each day before 5, but I have to manage my sleep, energy and hydration levels carefully, to perform at my best). The basic idea of Sleep Cycle, is it monitors your movements while sleeping, and works out if your dreaming, in deep sleep etc.

In the morning, it plots a graph of your sleep pattern throughout the night. One things that surprised me, is for the last 2 weeks during workdays, I have inexplicably woken each night, between 1am and 2am.

I couldn’t work out why, until yesterday. When I was unemployed, I had a job alert from CW Jobs, that delivered an email with new vacancy’s each day. As you can imagine, at that time, it was one of the most important events in my existence.

In the months that I wasn’t working, I have physiologically conditioned myself to wake at that time, and even though, there is now now email, no noise to wake me and actually no reason at all to wake then, it still happens.

It will be interesting to see how long it takes to stop !.

My welcome lunch from work (the flash on my camera didnt seem to  be working).

Well, its the end of my 2nd week at work, and along with my 2 close colleagues (and friends) Robert and Lee, I was taken for my welcome lunch. I would have gone last Friday, but as some of you know, I stupidly cut my finger, with my leatherman pliers, and spent Friday lunchtime, in Warrington hospital casualty department.

You might think, since our company operates in more than 100 countries, we would look a bit more “corporate”.

The truth is, it’s a very focussed, but laid back environment, and there isn’t any need for the ostentatious ball breaking that I witnessed at places like Arthur Andersen.


Celebrating my birthday.

Well, its that time of year again, and I’m another year older.

I’ve just started a new job, so it wasn’t possible to take my actual birthday off on the 7th of May (I usual spend the day relaxing, and use it as a sort of half year review of my plan for the year).

The day following, was a Saturday, so I rustled up all my friends from Chester and throughout the UK. I had already worked out an itinerary. As suspected, it all went a bit to cock, with people phoning from venue’s where we should have been and weren’t, and at one point my phone went dead so some guests couldn’t contact me (apologies to those affected).

The picture above, was taken by my reliable friend Steve. There were lots of other people around, throughout the day, and many of them, I don’t normally see that often, so that was excellent.

Me sitting on the "birthay throne".

A particular favourite venue, was the recently opened Commercial hotel (I go there on Tuesdays, to attend their comedy night).

Although I had a good time, I was in pain most of the day (a trip to the casualty department on Sunday morning, and a helpful consultant, has resolved the problem).

My guests, awarded me, the privilege of sitting in the really comfortable chair, in the front room of the Commercial. A chair that was temporarily dubbed the Birthday Throne.

What can I say. I have had a lot of bad luck, but things are really starting to turn around now. It was great to be able to relax, and not have to put on a happy face, when in reality, I was quite worried. This time, I looked contented, because I really was (apart from the trapped nerve in my back !).

As mentioned in another article, I have started to recycle and give to the charity shop with a vengeance. Before I go to the charity shop, I just thought I would offer out the present charity “portfolio” in case anyone is interested. I have an old golf ball, 10 blank mini disks and a meditation cassette, if anyone wants them.

Thanks to everyone that came, I really appreciated your company, and had a great time.


Well, all systems go for my birthday next Saturday the 8th. Full details here.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes, listed in the Guiness book of records as the worlds greatest living adventurer.

On my first Inter-railing trip, I took a book called Living Dangerously, it was the autobiography of Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

Ran is one of my life hero’s, and I was delighted to read recently, that he will be visiting Chester on the 24th of June. Full details here.

I’ve added 2 things to 17 things I like, so its now called 19 things I like.

Hanging Tents.

Speaking of Mountaineering, a chap I did my mountaineering training with is on expedition for 21 days on Baffin Island.  Mike “Twid” Turner and 2 of his fellow climbers will be mountaineering in the daytime, and sleeping in hanging tents at night (oh, and in between, they will have to avoid wild bears).

The cool thing is, they they have a sat phone with them, and will be answering questions each evening. You can find out about it and possibly ask them a question (I will be) here.

I only have about 25% of my hearing (In my youth, I went on lots of longs walks, with a cassette walkman screaming in my ears. It provided me with all kinds of inspiration and ideas, but at a price.) if you want to get an idea of what the world sounds like to me, click on this.

You may remember, that I did some work with Antique Pine Imports, with the intention of learning about joinery. Whilst working with Matty, we listened (in my case under duress) to Radio 1. The outcome, is that I can’t stop humming “she said” by Plan B. Torture !.

People voting.

I said recently, there wasn’t much that was funny about British politics. I’ve change my mind, after watching this and this , done with state of the art animation for foreign audiences.

Seriously, its important to vote. I’ve stood in Nelson Mandela’s cell where he worked for 27 years to restore democracy to his country. I’ve stood in Wenceslas Square in Prague, where  Jan Palach set himself on fire  as there was simply no other way to protest for democracy and be heard.

Warren Buffet once said “If you’ve been at a card game for 30 minutes, and you cant work out who the patsy is, you are the patsy !”. British Politics is a bit like that. The parties all seem the same, the expenses row has shown many politicians to be corrupt and the economic problem looms so large, that you wonder if anyone can fix it. But if you don’t vote, then you literally are the problem, not a symptom, whatever you tell yourself.

I remember being on a train once, and it was very late. I was annoyed, and talking to a passenger next to me. I explained that the ticket had cost £90 and the train still didn’t run on time. The passenger replied that he hadn’t bought a ticket, he had sneaked onto the train without paying, but he was still annoyed. The passenger sat across from me, turned to him, and said if you don’t pay, you don’t get complain !.

If you don’t vote, you cant really complain afterwards.

The "I want to believe poster" from the X Files.

I’ve been watching a series by another of my life heroes, Stephen Hawking. Into the Universe, explores all sorts of things that you normally see in science fiction, in a grown up but interesting way. I’ve said many times that we cant possibly be alone in the Universe, and that I hope we make contact with Aliens in my lifetime.

I’ve always believed that once Aliens are discovered, the fundamental reality that we aren’t alone will bind the human race, more closely together. Startlingly (but subtly put) Hawking reckons that we should be cautious of meeting up with Aliens of superior technology and almost avoid letting them know of our existence.

He points to the example of the native North Americans as an example of what could happen to us !. I certainly hope not.

I went to see Iron Man 2 the other evening. Money is tight, but I use my Tesco vouchers to buy Cinema tickets, which works out quite well.

One thing that really annoyed me, was how they now have a sign saying you cant take your own food and drink into the Cinema. I can get 2 bottles of Coke from Wilkinsons, for 99p. They charge £2.40 for one. Things bought from the Cinema shops, have a special sticker on them. Everything else isn’t allowed !.  I think that its a liberty, and I’ll be surprised if its legal.

Anyway, on to the film. Firstly, the scene in the trailer, with Pepper Pots (which interestingly, is my mum’s name (I mean the surname, is her family name. Her first name, is Vera, and she is really nice. I’d be embarrassed if she was called Pepper !)) throwing the helmet out of the plane, never actually happens in the film.

The action and effects were everything I expected. They had opted for a few big action scenes, which left a lot of the film free for character development and plot twists (its just a shame, that they didn’t actually use it for this purpose, as far as I could see 🙂

My main disappointment, was with the continuity. In the first film, as he escapes from the cave, he turns to his dying friend, and says come on, well get out of here, and you can be with your family. He replies, my family are dead. Ill be with them soon, and you realise that he had never intended to leave the cave. With his dying words, you hear him say, don’t wast your life Stark. A billionaire arms dealer, he returns home and vows to change.

He does change for the duration of that film, but in the 2nd one, he’s back to his old ways.

Other silliness is the love interest with PP, the fallout with his best friend, and dealing with his illness. All handled with enough Ham and Cheese to provide Britain’s workforce with lunchtime nutrition for a year.

The ending is pretty cool and the audacious scene, where he builds a particle accelerator from heating pipes and creates a new element, almost makes up for the pointless congressional hearing scene at the beginning.

I’ve always been a real fan of the Iron Man franchise. Its not like a normal superhero series. He hasn’t been bitten by a spider, or escaped from a doomed planet, he’s just an engineer, however gifted, who builds a machine that can protect the innocent and fight tyranny (or that’s what the original comic book was about).

One scene in the first film, really connects with me. A fictional group of villagers are being held at gunpoint in Afghanistan. How many times in real life, have you switched on the tv, and seen something terrible happening on the other side of the world. If your like me, you felt stricken, hoped that things turned out okay, but inside you knew that you were powerless and that probably things would end badly.

What if you could get into your suit, fly there and make things right. There wasn’t a single scene in the second film like that.

Chester Film Society

It was my 2nd trip to the Cinema that week. On Tuesday, I finally got around to watching Be Kind Rewind at the Little Theatre, with the Chester Film Society. I have been on their mailing list or nearly 4 years, but finally got around to going.

I was really impressed. Like everything that the traditionalist’s do here in Chester (including the sponsored walk), it was done properly, and organised with military precision. They even had a small bar, so Glenn and I had a drink, then went upstairs to watch the film.

They had a really smart setup, with a large screen, good audio and the film on DVD. One thing I did like, was a short film, shown before the main film. It used to always be this way when I was growing up, and encouraged many young directors. We realised at this point, that it was the last film of the season, and they actually conducted an AGM before the main film.

Glenn and I (who aren’t members, it must be said) had a quick look at the budget, and listened intently to the plan for next year, the fact that the Olympics has wreaked havoc on grants from the arts council, and other important matters. The main point I wanted to raise, was that Carling, in their bar, was only £1.40 a pint, and that I would like the price to be held into next season. I couldn’t find the confidence to actually say that, so I’ll just have to hope.

It wasn’t the best film, I have ever seen, but it was enjoyable. The main thing I remember of the experience , was how enlightening it was to sit and watch a film, with about 80 other people who had all come out that evening just to watch the film. There was no talking, mobiles popcorn or any of that rubbish.

I’ll be going back, I really enjoyed it.

Recycling – I’ve changed my mind.

Recycling - actualy, the chap in this picture, looks like Franceso, who I used to work for.

I’ve had a bit of a change of hear lately about recycling.

Its not about why its important, or all the other stuff, I just felt that for the money I pay the council, they should get someone to sort through the rubbish for me (they already do actually, when I put out my rubbish too early (!) they were good enough to rummage through my bags, find my address, then threaten me with a fine and a week in prison, if I did it again).

You see, I think, if you want to get someone to do something, you have to sell the idea, on the potential benefits to them, not you (or is that just obvious).

Anyhow, I had an epiphany recently. I hate clutter. Hate having black bags in my yard, getting wet, until rubbish day, and most of all, I hate wast of any kind (well, after a year of being unemployed I do !).

I have now worked out:

A, 94% of the rubbish in my house can be re-cycled.

B, The 4 different re-cycling banks I need to get rid of this, are all within 100m of my house.

All I do now, is put all the recyclable stuff, in a box under my sink, and every day or 2, go out for a walk, and put it in the relevant bin. I only have to put out my rubbish bag, once every 6 weeks, and I never have old copies of newspapers and other irritating things knocking about in my living room.

Put simply, I sold the idea, to myself and stupid as it sounds, I am actually a lot more relaxed in my house now.