Sunday, 16 September 2012

Sunday Supplement

It's back-to-school today with the first Sunday Supplement of the new season, an eclectic round-up of stuff that we've been sent to try starting with a handy little gadget designed to save some of the £s lost each year when school uniform and equipment goes missing.

The Brother P-Touch Labelling machine is as easy as can be to use and has about as wide a variety of cassettes as you could possibly wish for. You can label just about everything, from clothes to video cassettes. I used the fabric cartridge to make super little labels for all Charlie's uniform. Even better, I didn't need to sew them on! The only drawback seems to be that some of them have already started peeling off. Maybe the iron wasn't hot enough. I'll have another go and report back.
What is (distinctly) hot enough is this new Philips Avance infuser grill... 240 degrees C hot enough, to be precise. That'll sizzle your steak nicely, and if you want that smokey barbecue flavour you can add wood chips to the little egg-cup sized receptacle and barbecue in the warmth and comfort of your kitchen. (It's electric, in case you're wondering... plugs into the mains although it does create a bit of smoke - you might want to keep your cooker hood open with the fan going!) I know it's not strictly 'back to school' but this indoor grill has all the advantages of keeping the barbecue season going long after the sun has slipped below the horizon before you're home from work. And I'll be saying a bit more about this little device in a later post.

Should the Indian summer linger you might, of course, fancy another go at the real thing - in which case a compact, light and biodegradable EcoGrill  might be the answer. Ignited within twenty minutes and giving over two hours cooking time, this outdoors accessory made from an alder wood surround and filled with alder charcoal burns down once you've finished cooking to become your camp fire for the evening. Just remember your matches. Ging, gang gooly!

 Of course, you've got this far (if you're reading at all) and started to wonder about trade-descriptions, misrepresentation, deception and false information. But let me tell you, back-to-school means making the most of the last of the summer weather, pretending  - at weekends - that the holidays aren't over as much as polishing school shoes and pulling up socks.

But to get back of track for a moment, and to get personal, I can't leave the school-run theme without mentioning the new Britax B-Agile stroller. Given that my school-run now involves negotiating narrow pavements and avoiding aforementioned obstacles (see past post) whilst both propelling and steering a buggy with one had and keeping tight hold of the newly-promoted schoolboy Charlie with the other, I was only too keen when Britax suggested I try this new lightweight pushchair.

Even before use I was impressed: impressed with how quick and easy it was to set up out of the box. Next I was impressed with how simple is was to fold: the easy one-handed pull-fold mechanism is certainly handy (pun intended) when you're holding a baby in the other; finally (and most importantly for me) it's a dream-ride (or push) on the school run, the lightweight aluminium chassis so manoeuvrable that the only thing you've got to worry about is putting the brake on when you want to stop moving!

It comes with CLICK & GO® detachable adaptors so that Britax's baby-safe infant carrier, sleeper or carry-cot can be attached to the chassis, making it a travel system suitable from birth. And folding down to a neat 600mm by 800mm it's a travel system you can travel with.

That's all for now, folks. They'll be more in a fortnight, including steam mops and a sodastream.

Have a great Sunday!

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