Buying perfectly fitting slippers and shoes is a bit of an art form, but one that’s well worth learning. Our feet are a much-used asset, and if you look after them properly you can save yourself a lifetime of pain and discomfort.
To help you find the perfect fit, we’ve come up with this buyers guide to shoe fitting.
1. The size of your feet changes as you get older, so always make sure you get measured before buying shoes. The best time to measure is at the end of the day, as your feet are largest then.
2. Don’t go by the size marked on the shoe – only use it as a guide. Always make sure that you try shoes on properly before wearing them out of the house, so that you can exchange them if they don’t fit.
3. As most people have one foot larger than the other, make sure you fit you shoes to your largest foot.
4. Select shoes that suit your foot shape. For example, a narrower foot may better suit a narrow heel or pointed toe. Wider larger feet my better suit a square or rounded toe.
5. Make sure there is enough space between your big toe and the end of the shoe. When you put pressure on you foot, or when you walk, your toe should not touch the end of your shoe.
6. Don’t buy shoes expecting them to stretch – always get a good fit from the start.
7. Where possible use breathable materials that don’t make your feet sweat as much. When your feet get hot they can start to sweat, which may mean that your shoes become uncomfortable.
Smoking a pipe is an enjoyable, relaxing pastime for many men and women. Here we’ve rounded up a blogging community of pipe smokers and enthusiasts to provide you with hints, tips, advice, anecdotes and inspiration.
Consisting of the ‘Random musings from the smoke filled mind of G L Pearse’, Rising from the Ashes is a collection of thoughts, ramblings and humorous anecdotes. Whilst Pearse meditates on his love of pipe smoking and reviews his favourite tobaccos, he also gives his insight into life in general. Witty and a pleasure to read.
Smoking Pipe Tobacco
Smoking Pipe Tobacco features news and reviews for everything to do with pipe smoking, combined with tips and anecdotes to help you along your way. There are some useful points to be learnt, even for the most experienced pipe smokers.
The Pipe Smoker
The Pipe Smoker – ‘Smoking his pipe… and pondering on everything’. This blog was started by a true lover of pipe smoking. Consists of tips on pipe care and tobacco, as well as his musings on life in general and a collection of favourite pipe smoking quotes. One for the true pipe enthusiast.
Pipes Magazine is the ultimate source for pipe lovers. Ask questions or share advice in the forum. Watch videos from pipe enthusiasts such as Mad Men actor Michael Gladis. For those who really love pipe smoking there’s even a ‘Pipe Babes’ section…
The Briar Files
A blog based purely on pipes and pipe smoking, The Briar Files features pipe and tobacco reviews, bios on ‘featured pipe smokers’ (both real and fictional) and humorous cartoons and advertisements all about pipe smoking. It’s a fun, interesting read.
The Smokers Blog is an eclectic mix of interesting pipes (check out the Native American Peace Pipe), and pipe and smoking knife reviews. This is a great visual blog, packed full of interesting photos and unusual pipes.
A Passion for Pipes – Neil’s blog
This is a blog by a real pipe afficiando. Neil Roan features and reviews beautiful vintage pipes, tobacco blends and modern pipe carvers. His authoritative and relaxed writing style displays years of experience and a great fondness for the beauty of pipes.
The Talbert Pipe Blog
Written by a professional pipe carver, this blog is imbued with the artistry of craft as well as the technical aspects of pipe design and production. Be sure to check out his stunning creations of Goblin pipes, Briars and Ligne Bretagnes.
The Sweetest Smoke
Each Sunday Bob Harrison posts updates from his Saturday excursions to the Tobacco Hut where he and a community of pipe smokers hang out and talk about all things pipe. As much a social commentary as an exploration of new pipes and tobacco blends, it is an addictive tobacco soap-opera.
To many, there is simply no greater winter pleasure that a warm, comfortable seat, a steaming hot cup of tea and a good book.
So we’ve put together a list of our favourite Book Lover blogs to inspire future reads, make you laugh, make you think and generally enlighten your day.
We hope you like them and happy reading!
Keeper of the snails
Award winning novelist Clare Dudman keeps us updated on her life and literary adventures in this chatty blog. Some interesting interviews with other authors (there’s a great interview with Sue Guiney, author of A Clash of Innocents) and some thought-provoking reviews. Clare is fun, endearing and, obviously, an excellent writer. An altogether good read.
Stuck in a Book Simon Thomas is always stuck in a book, and this colourful blog lets us know which one he’s reading now and exactly what he thought of it. There are some brilliant reviews and recommendations for future reads, combined with the odd ‘Song for Sunday’ and literary outings (including a book bloggers lunch at the British Museum). Good fun!
The Midnight Bell
Sean lends a dry, witty style to his review blog The Midnight Bell. The successor to the London News Review Books Diary (which was admired in both The Guardian and the New York Times), this blog is a keen, critical eye on the world of literature.
Dovegreyreader is ‘a Devonshire based bookaholic, sock-knitting quilter who is a community nurse in her spare time’. Carry on to find some great interviews, including an insightful chat with Erica Wagner, Literary Critic at The Times. There are also some inspiring reviews and adventures, including a beautiful walk through Daphne du Maurier’s Cornwall, linked with her various excellent novels. Well worth a look!
I can guarantee that even the biggest Brontë fans will be completely overawed by this blog. Find out who is playing Heathcliff in the latest adaptation. Check out the Brontë ‘quote of the week’. There’s even a list of Brontë themed Christmas events! Needless to say, this is a blog for the serious lover of classic fiction.
Baroque in Hackney
Published poet, writer and journalist Katy Evans-Bush, otherwise known as Ms Baroque, hosts this inspirational blog. Beautiful poetry, witty observational posts on life generally and some stunning photography (my favourite being a fantastically Gothic photograph of London under a full moon). Perfect for an educational lunchtime read.
Book Maven is a blog by writer Mary Hoffman, and gives an insightful view into the world of literature. Read interesting blog posts from writers such as Michelle Lovric. Catch up with the latest book news and reviews. This is a great blog, well written, cheerful and full of future reading inspiration.
John Baker’s Blog
John Baker is a published novelist and his blog is a mixture of his own writing, reviews of other works and the occasional snippet focusing on music, art and politics, as well as general ramblings on life in general. A good read.
The Beat acts as a showcase for new and exciting writers, whether they’re poets, novelists or short story tellers. There’s always something new and interesting to keep you entertained – if you’re the sort of book lover that just loves to read anything then this is definitely the blog for you.
Lizzy’s Literary Life
Full of reviews for some interesting and unusual reads, Lizzy works her way through the world of fiction and gives them a personal rating out of five. This really is a homage to literature in its many and varied forms, and should provide you with no end of inspiration. Definately one to take a look at.
Book World describes itself as ‘One woman’s attempt to read what’s worth reading and say something about it along the way’. Sometimes it’s a general rant about trying, and failing, to write a children’s book.Sometimes its just a short post giving a quote from a famous author. In one post, 36 books are reviewed in nine words or fewer. Whatever the contribution, it’s always something worth a read.
The Baker Street Blog
If Sherlock Holmes had been interested in blogging, then this would have been the site for him. Dedicated to all things Holmes-based, from the latest television series to hit our screens to poems dedicated to the famous literary detective. This should be more that enough to fulfill even the biggest Sherlock Holmes fan.
A small Stone
‘A small stone… picked up on a long walk and carried home in your pocket’. In this beautiful blog Fiona Robyn gives us small snippets of poetry to carry around with us – one a day. A lovely, calming addition to your day and a real pick-me-up when you’re feeling downhearted.
Wouldn’t it be lovely to stay at home, wrapped up in your dressing gown and men’s slippers, whilst your computer earns you some extra money?
Well, it’s completely possible – there are numerous cunning ways to earn a bit of extra cash in the run up to Christmas, without ever having to leave the comfort of your own home.
Tempted? Here are 5 tips to get you started.
1. Get eBaying… If you’ve got clutter lurking around your home that you no longer use, then eBay is the website for you.
If you’re not already signed up then set up an account – it only takes about 20 minutes and it’s dead simple to do.
Then photograph all of your unwanted items (to get the best results take good quality photographs from different aspects), write a short description and decide on your starting price.
If you are sure that you don’t want something to sell for below a certain price then you can add a reserve, or start the bidding at a higher cost.
However, if you really want to get results and you’re willing a risk then start the bidding at 99p – the lower the starting bid the more buyers seem to be interested.
2. Answer a few questions… Yes, you can get some great returns from filling in questionnaires online.
Some companies, such as www.surveys.com, provide you with vouchers to spend on all sorts of items for answering their surveys.
Some websites even pay you genuine, hard cash – for example www.yougov.com/uk/panel pay you 50p to £1 for every survey, and they send you a cheque for the money once you reach £50. Not bad, huh?
3. Reclaim your own money… Did you know that nearly £1 billion is lying in a dormant bank account from accounts that people have simply forgotten about?
Whether from an old National Savings account or a building society, many people simply lose their money in accounts they’ve forgotten they still have. To see if you’ve got money just waiting to be claimed visit www.mylostaccount.org.uk.
4. Share your knowledge… If you’ve got a a specialist skill or knowledge of a certain area (whether that’s economics or cooking) then you could become an online guide at http://beaguide.about.com/.
About.com can pay hundreds of pounds a month to their ‘guides’, in exchange for regular articles on your specialist subject.
5. Work whenever and wherever you want… If you’ve had experience as a PA, secretary, graphic designer, architect or any other profession that is computer based, then you could continue to use your talents from home.
Clever website Elance (www.elance.com) enables businesses to submit projects for home-workers to apply for, and home-workers can also pitch their skills to employers.
Both employers and workers are rated, so you know exactly what it is you’re getting, and you can accept or apply for work as and when you like.
The pay isn’t bad either (some dedicated workers have earned hundreds of thousands of pounds) and it’s a great way of using your years of experience to make you money, whenever it’s convenient to you.
Having published our favourite blogs for Grandmas yesterday, we felt we simply couldn’t leave out our gentlemen readers. So we’ve put together a selection of the best Rambler blogs on the internet for you to enjoy.
If you’ve got a blog you would like us to add, please feel free to let us know!
The author of this blog is John – aka Scriptor Senex. Days of the week are themed. On Happy Mondays, he tells jokes, whilst he features natural history on Wildlife Wednesdays. Funny observations are made concerning the Stinkhorn, disappearing pickled onions and sock thieves. John’s ‘rambles’ are also a pictorial journey through his surroundings. Highlights include stunning photographs of Liverpool’s Biennial Contemporary Art Exhibition.
Tony Hatfield is a retired solicitor and his ramblings are comments on current affairs, the state of the nation and everyday life battling with Plot 12 of the local allotment. Drawing on his legal background, this blog gives a humorous but informed interpretation of what’s going on right now, from Boris Johnson’s latest gaffe and Alistair Campbell’s indiscretions on Twitter, to hooligans on the allotment.
Gordon McInlay is a teacher of computing in Scotland and his ramblings are a mixture of useful technological information and interesting reflections on life. The blog includes an honest and in-depth review of the iPad. Gordon is also a keen and generous photographer, and offers his followers free monthly images to download as desktop calendars.
David Evans is a retired RAF engineer, and his blog comprises ‘everyday ramblings of no fixed format’. David muses on the agonies of DIY, life as a ‘quilter’s widower’ and feeling old. There are some stunning images tracking progress of his model railway.
Adrian Ward’s blog is home to his photography and ramblings about cooking, travel and natural history. Images include a Shaggy Scale Head and a rusty suspension bridge. This blog is a great resource for those interested in exploring the countryside of the North of England.
Gerald England’s mission is to offer us a photo a day of Hyde in Greater Manchester. Gerald’s photography is an insider’s view a Northern town through the years. Pictures include a three-legged cat, Broadbottom scarecrows and ‘Golden Balls’. Gerald’s blog celebrates the North’s industrial past and captures the strange beauty of this urban environment today.
John Midmarsh’s blog focuses on the wildlife of Lincolnshire. John presents not just stills, but also video footage of native birds, insects and mammals. His ‘Friday at the Flicks’ posts feature films taken with his Nestbox and Birdfeeder-cams. A great resource for those interested in wildlife photography.
Bob Tame’s blog contains humorous musings on retired life by the sea. Bob’s ramblings are of a varied nature. He talks about the pros and cons of the National Lottery, the agony of finding a parking space and the hunting exploits of Morgan the Cat.
‘Petrus’ is a self-confessed rambler: ‘an old gent far too busy to go out to work’. Petrus’s weird and wonderful ramblings take us through England, Spain and Bulgaria. He blogs about giant mousetraps, getting to grips with his new iPhone and asking for the toilet in Norwegian.
A funny and eccentric blog about retirement. Diary entries from this Rambling Old Englishman talk about the joys of shopping in Swedish furniture chainstores and overdosing on mince. Also featured are entries from the Catalogue of Failures including ‘Brides who married the wrong grooms’ and ‘The MP who lost a motion despite everyone agreeing with him’.
Here ‘Beck’, an ex river quality manager from Yorkshire, gives his views and opinions about everything that’s frustrating about life. From irritating announcements on the trains to stupid road markings, nothing ridiculous escapes the attention of Beck’s Blog. This is a fantastic place to vent news, views and frustration, with a good dose of dry wit added to the mix.
Mike takes you through the ups and downs of life on a traditional narrowboat. Interesting, funny and beautifully written, Mike’s blog is a real insight into a very different style of retirement. On top of this it’s a real chance to brush up on your practical skills – and a chance to find all sort of inventive things to do with garden wire!
Dedicated blogger Den Barnden gives regular updates on just about anything. Described as ‘an elderly fella’s occasional blog’, Den covers everything from in-depth reviews of the Harry Potter series to interesting pictures of trout fishing (not quite as you might imagine – check out his blog to see what I mean). Everything here is funny, lighthearted and entertaining – a fantastic lunchtime read.
Keith Alexander shares his ramblings with the world in this opinionated, often highly political blog. Gives detailed opinions on everything, from the BA strikes to American politics and antisemitism. This is a blog for those who like to keep up with current affairs and who appreciate a good ol’ debate.
Keith Winfield Diggle has something to say… and this blog is the place to say it. Keith, an ex-mathematics teacher from Bristol, gives updates, news and opinions about a broad range o interesting topics. Check out Keith’s touching post on ‘poems recited by my father’, or get politically inspired by his enthusiastic letters to David Cameron.
Dick Pizey shares his retirement adventures from the good ship Daislebee – a Cornish shrimper – as he makes his way around the south coast of England. Funny and packed full of action, this blog is a must for the sailors and adventurous out there.
John keeps us regularly updated on life, the universe and everything in this witty blog. This is a great blog to while away the odd ten minutes, as there is always something thoughtful, informative or entertaining to keep you amused, like his quirky animal photos or his amazing You Tube finds.
As a self-confessed ‘grumpy old man’, retired soldier ‘Victor Meldrews Brother’ gives a typically grumpy opinion on everything – from student protests in London to the latest political issues. This blog is not for the feint-hearted – there is no shorted of blunt opinion here, in true Victor Meldrew style!
Brian’s blog is ‘an occasional record of the doings of a bus pass holder’. Brain gives his views on the latest films (check out his review of Inception), theatrical plays and pretty much anything else that takes his fancy, including updates on his Spanish lessons! Brian has a great sense of humour and this blog makes for fun reading.
Kenneth Stevens is an ex-schoolteacher, who now spends his time thoroughly enjoying retirement. His wit, coupled with an ability to see the ridiculous in life, makes for some really funny blog posts! Take a look to find out what M&S have hidden down their pants, or why the Mayor of Belfast was leaping over a giant tomato…! Definitely a blog for those with a good sense of humour!
John Clement gives his witty perspective on growing old gracefully. Suffering from the little know ‘Age Aggravated Attention Deficit Disorder’ (a hilariously funny post – take a look at the blog to see what I mean) John’s hilariously written blog is a laugh a minute.
Justin describes himself as the ‘merry nerd of Nottingham’, but his blogs are far from nerdy! Here Justin blogs about his life in Nottingham, from images of some of his fantastic photographs to some great winter recipe ideas.
Quaker and ex-biological scientist Cawstein gives his opinion on everything from tuition fees to the daylight savings debate as well as interesting insights into classical music compositions. Well written, informative and highly intelligent, Ianto Occidentis makes for some interesting reading.
Welcome to the all new Clifford James blog! We look forward to giving you regular posts on all sorts of interesting topics. Of course, if there’s anything in particular that you’d like us to feature please feel free to get in touch.
To start off with, we thought we’d introduce you to some other great blogs out there. Today we’re focussing on Grandmas, as blogs are fast becoming a wealth of information to modern grandmas everywhere. Use them to get hints, tips and inspiration from other grandparents, or simply enjoy a rare insight into the lives of others.
We’ve found some great blogs to share with you. Do let us know if you’ve got a blog we can add!
What’s not to love about Grandma Frogs’ Garden? Here Grandma Frogs (named by her grandchildren; their other grandma is Granny Cat) shows you around her garden. Tips on wildflowers, plants and the wildlife you can expect to see in a nature-friendly garden.
This great, practical blog is a must-read for the fashion-conscious. It gives some really sound advice on the most basic of fashion principles – how to buy the right underwear for your outfit, the latest cozy knitwear to keep you warm and stylish, how to buy comfortable, practical yet fashionable shoes and many more useful tips and pointers. Can’t recommend this blog highly enough, and it’s relevance extends to any age group – not just the over 50’s!
Maureen Davies shares her thoughts and adventures whilst touring in her Performance 700 motor-home. Follow Maureen on her exploration of Great Britain – from trips to the Cotzwolds to tours of the Peak District. Maureen always gives a cheerful, friendly update of her travels, along with some great (and sometimes hilariously funny) photographs.
Ginger Grandma lovingly blogs about all things grandma-ish. Pick up tips on some great recipes (Grasshopper pie is a firm favourite). Get great advice for gardening whilst simultaneously keeping the grandchildren amused. There are also some hilarious accounts of spending far too much time in a caravan, which is always worth a read.
Granny Green’s big night out is the latest social group to hit Edinburgh, and here you can keep up with their shenanigans wherever you are in the country.
Get tips from the collaborative knitting workshops, check out some great new recipes and keep up with the latest literary recommendation from the Granny Green bookclub. You can even keep up with their film club (with some not too grown up films on recommendation!).
Mavis writes about being a wife, mother, grandmother and about ‘growing older on the outside but still very young on the inside’. Here Mavis blogs about her life, covering trips to Ely Cathedral at half term and trips to knitting and craft shows. A great, chatty blog about everyday life.
Lady Banana blogs about pretty much anything. Find out about the best new reads. Watch some of the great videos that Lady Banana has picked out for you (most of which involve cats doing hilarious things). And, of course, catch up with Lady Banana’s very own cat, Mable.
Lady Banana is also queen of the gadget reviews, and if you’re an iPhone fan this is definitely the blog for you.
Ruth Bond, Chair of the Women’s Institute, blogs about life in the modern WI. Ruth travels all over the country – and a fair way around the world – on WI business. We hear about the issues the WI have been dealing with and the various fun things the ladies get up to over the course of the year. Ruth has a fun, witty writing style and is always doing heaps of interesting things, so this blog is a good read.
Quilting Trish (aka Trisha Thornhill) blogs about quilting, gardening, cardmaking and grandchildren. Some really creative designs for all manner of quilts and cards, as well as a few blogs that are slightly off the beaten track (like updating the boiler in the kitchen). A good blog to get your creative juices going.
Virtual Granny (and Grandpa) blog about everything important – from how identify the finest single malt scotch, the best ways to cook with the grandkids or fashion tips for getting old in style. This blog really is a mine of useful (as well as useless but funny) information on just about everything. And when you get bored of reading there are some great video debates to get your teeth into. Well worth a look!
Granny Rant is exactly that – a good old rant about everything ridiculous about modern day society. The content is usefully filed into sections – grumbling, just saying, rants, madness – and the content is always sure to get a nod of agreement and a small chuckle.
For her 70th birthday Mavis Paterson (aka Granny Mave) decided to cycle the 5,500 miles from Vancouver, on the west coast, to New Foundland, on the east. She did this for the adventure, and to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Care.
As a mother of three, and now grandmother to three grandchildren, Mavis’ update are funny, interesting and truly inspirational.
Lorna co-founded Grannynet with her daughter, Vertity, and here she blogs about being a modern woman, a mother and a grandmother. Grannynet is a social support network for grandparents and here Lorna continues that theme, giving useful advice and insights into her relationship with her grandchildren. Touching and thoughtfully written.
An Irish grandma blogs about her favourite recipes (there’s a good recipe for apple and raisin spice bars), great places to visit in Ireland and anything useful. There’s even an entire archive of handy tips, like how to iron a shirt (with step-by-step pictures) and the best way to remove grass stains. There is so much information that even the most informed of grannies will learn something useful.
Seventy-something Connie blogs about all things creative, from autumn-themed needlework to fairy cakes. All this is accompanied by Connie’s cheery commentary, recalling fond memories of events new and old.
Mum of two and nan of four Gwyneth makes all sorts of great cards for all occasions. There is some great inspiration for Christmas here, with lots of great card ideas for you to make at home. Team this with Gwyneth’s quirky updates and you’ve got a great blog for anyone with a creative streak!
Viv Sellers blogs about what she knows best – gardening, family and (of course) tea! There are also some fascinating storys from Viv’s dad’s war diaries, an extract of which was published in The Times this September. This is a touching blog about getting enjoyment out of everyday life.
Around and about is a great blog for anyone that appreciates beautiful photography. There are some lovely photos of seal spotting in St Ives, as well as photographs of all manner of wildlife, taken from locations across the country. This is a beautiful, image-led blog that can help you while away the odd couple of hours.
Dosie Rosie blogs about ‘crafting, gardening and everyday life now the kids have left’. Rosie is currently on her travels, and gives some insightful updates from Hong Kong and New Zealand. Rosie has a great, infectious personality and a quick read of this fun blog is sure to put you in a good mood.
Linked to the popular ‘Fabafterfifty’ ezine, this fun blog covers everything from the serious to the hilarious, with some great posts on having children over 50, 10 reasons why women over 50 make great employees and a special post on 80’s models (no, by that I mean models over 80, not models from the 1980’s). A good blog for some lunch-time reading.
Hazel blogs about life by the coast in Cornwall, as she explores every inch of the beautiful countryside. Find out about her walking boot test from Liskard to Looe, and her adventures on the Tamar Valley train ride! This blog will revive the old nostalgia’s for Autumnal country walks and beachside adventures. And, of course, after reading a couple of posts you’ll want to be in Cornwall!