Thursday, June 30, 2011

Teachers' Strike

Today, thousands of teachers across the UK will be striking against threats to their pensions. Teaching is a job known well for its long hours for a fairly low salary compared to other careers. The long holidays and generous pensions are a perk of the job and attract people into teaching who perhaps would otherwise pursue a career elsewhere.

Now the government wants to increase teacher’s pension contributions and reduce the overall amount a retiring teacher would receive, Gove is surprised that teachers are taking industrial action? I am still a member of the NUT so would be striking today if I was still working as a teacher. Good friends of mine will be striking today, and good on them, I say. Industrial action is the last bastion of the ‘little people’ against the government, and we must use it, whether we are teachers, nurses or bin men.

Parents all over the UK are dismaying at having an unexpected extra day to find childcare for their children. I understand this is inconvenient, but the alternative is scary. If the teaching profession is no longer an attractive proposition to bright, eager graduates, then what is next for education? We’ll have a severe shortage of good teachers and then, who knows what's next? Parents, enjoy this extra day with your children, or if you’re working and unable to, appreciate the reasons why these strikes are happening and how ultimately, it will protect the future of a quality education for your child.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Move over Zumba

If you thought the Zumba was the newest fitness craze to hit the UK you'd be wrong. A brand new workout which looks to the past for inspiration is set to sweep the UK.  

The Pin Up Body Workout is a vintage fitness workout, designed for women to sculpt and accentuate their curves. It has been developed by personal trainer Teree Necole Rae and offers a workout with a difference.

Following a 1940's makeover, Teree leads each person through traditional exercises such as squats, ab curls and other specially chosen curve enhancing exercises whilst rockabilly songs play in the background.  Each session is followed by a glamorous vintage style tea party. 

The Pin Up Body Workout tours the country in 2012. We think it would make the perfect girlie day out. Visit for more info.

Image by S Finch

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tesco Real Food - Cooking With Kids

One of the best ways to get kids involved and taking responsibility for their own healthy eating, is by encouraging them to learn how to cook. The new Tesco Real Food site has a whole section devoted to 'Cooking with Kids' and there are dozens of recipes on the site, as well as other healthy eating resources, such as tips on how to ensure kids get their five-a-day. The thing that really has us BDT-ers impressed is that it's not just the usual homogenised rubbish that other companies aim at kids, it's real food, and it's diverse too. Tesco Real Food want your kid to eat vegetable curry, home-made burgers and cheese and ham muffins.
It's nice to see a major retailer taking their responsibilities seriously when it comes to eating well, and the fact that you can shop from ingredients right from the recipe page is a real bonus. There are even recommendations and FSA guidelines to make sure your child is getting the right kind of milk.

We commend Tesco for their Cooking With Kids page, and look forward to seeing even more recipes, hints and tips from them.

Designer Dress Sale for Brides

Brides-to-be can save up to 70% this week on gorgeous gowns by Caroline Castigliano as well as other international wedding dress designers!

You could save up to 70% on dresses by designers Caroline Castigliano, Atelier Aime, Jenny Packham, Sharon Hoey & more.

To attend the sale, go to, choose a date and one of their consultants will call you to book an appointment at the London W1 Caroline Castigliano boutique.

Appointments are available on a first come first served basis so make sure you don’t miss out and book online today!

Monday, June 27, 2011

High Street's Latest Financial Victim

High Street staple Jane Norman have closed their UK stores this weekend after financial problems have left them the latest victim of the so-called "credit crunch."

It seems that the late teens and twenty somethings have been more cash strapped than it may have first appeared and have cut back on their usual spending, though they may be convinced to splash out in the closing down sale!

Rumours abound of who may take over, Edinburgh Woolen Mill and Debenhams have both been linked to the store so it may be saved at the last moment, but with the rising price of raw materials and low sales figures it might not be a wise move for them to jump onto this sinking ship.

As it stands, the administrators are in and stock is being sold off at rock bottom prices in an effort to pay the outstanding bills, and the store that has been on the Great British High Street since 1952 is set to leave another gaping hole in this BDTers heart!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

First images of mini Pink

On June 2 this year Pink gave birth to little Willow Sage and at just one week old she was with mummy and daddy posing for her first family photo shoot on June 9.

“Willow is a pro!” Pink told PEOPLE. Apparently she slept the whole time, but that didn’t stop her parents enjoying their new roles as parents and went on to say “You hear people say it all the time, how life changes so dramatically. But you can’t possibly grasp how beautiful that is until you have your child”. Couldn’t agree more, Pink!

Sadly people have criticized Pink when she was seen with daddy and daughter in tow less than a week after having a caesarean. But should we really be looking down at her for this or is this cause for concern?

©People Magazine

Zara Sale Starts Today!

If you're an avid reader of Brew Drinking Thinkings you will know that we are massive fans of high street retailer Zara.

We've dished the secret before, and we're about to do it again; Zara items can now be ordered online. And what better time to get spending than in the Zara Sale

Zara's Summer Sale starts today, so grab yourself a bargain. Let us know what bargains you've bagged and your favourite sale times. 

Does anyone else need this dress for their summer hols? Teamed with some gorgeous tan items and maybe a splash of red accessories you'd have natural nautical chic down to a tee. Go on, guess how much. 

£12.99, click on the image below to grab it while you still can.

We can't wait to leave the office.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Is The Wimbledon sandwich cream of the crop?

Summer is upon us the tennis is in full swing what could be nicer than strawberries and cream?


Well, Tesco's appears to have taken this one step further and is serving up The Wimbledon - a strawberry and clotted cream sandwich.

Chopped strawberries are mixed with strawberry jam and a smear of clotted cream all served up between two slices of poppy seed bread.

Tesco sandwich developer Kathryn Bettles said: "We wanted to create an iconic feel-good sandwich treat that evoked a classic feeling of summertime.

"And no food is as evocative of British summer or puts a smile on people's faces more than strawberries and cream.

"Our challenge was to make the whole sandwich hold together but, by using clotted cream together with a small dollop of strawberry jam, it works very well."

The Wimbledon  is priced at £1.  However I saw scores of them reduced down to just 40p at my local store.  It was no use I couldn't resist a gimmick and and in the name of research I decided I just had to try one  The verdict was it wasn't quite as bad as I feared, but it the end it was just a creamier fruitier jam sandwich. Nothing special really.

What was shocking was that it contained a whopping 435 calories, nearly a quarter of a woman's recommended daily calorie intake.

Whilst this is probably similar to the calories that would be in a bowl of the fresh fruit and cream, I know which I would prefer game set and match!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Nokia N9 to Use Meego

Following the news of Nokia's victory over Apple regarding various patent infringements, we were expecting some announcements from the Finnish mobile manufacturer's HQ, and we were right to expect. Only, this announcement is better than we could have hoped for. Someone at Nokia has finally listened and has decided that their latest device, the N9, will not run on Symbian OS, but MeeGo! Collective sigh of relief, anyone?!

The N9 has just been unveiled at Nokia Connection 2011 in Singapore and has been slated as Nokia's 'first ever pure touchscreen device'. The phone itself will have a curved 3.9-inch AMOLED touchscreen for easy viewing from any angle and will have no buttons on the front of the device. Nokia have chosen to steer away from the 12-megapixel N8, and have given the N9 an 8-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, dual LED flash and super wide 28mm lens and HD video capture.

Judging by what we've seen of MeeGo, Nokia are hoping to appeal to the Apple fanboys, with a UI which looks decidedly iOS, but that's by no means a bad thing, as the iPhone's UI is famed for its simplicity and intuitiveness, a far cry from the terminally flawed Sybian.

We wish Nokia the best of luck with this and cannot wait to get our hands on an N9 when they're released!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Green Carpet was Out!

The green carpet came out at Somerset House on Tuesday night to celebrate the official opening night of Shrek: The Musical starring Nigel Lindsay and Amanda Holden. The show has been in preview at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane since 6th May and reviews have been positive on the whole.

© Shrek the Musical
In case you've been buried under a rock and don't know the story of Mike Myers' green alter-ego, Shrek is an ogre whose swamp is taken over by other fairytale characters when they are banished from the Kingdom of Duloc by evil (and short) Lord Farquaad. When he goes to confront Farquaad, Shrek finds himself going on a quest to rescue a Princess. There is also a donkey.

After the surprise casting of Amanda Holden as Princess Fiona, critics have praised her for her energetic performance, Nigel Lindsay is, as ever, dependable as Shrek and Nigel Harman (Dennis off Eastenders) puts in a funny turn as Lord Farquaad - even while spending the whole show kneeling down!

The humour in the show is firmly aimed at a Simpsons-loving audience, but there is plenty to amuse the kids. Shrek is a definite addition to my must-see list!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Portman's a Parent!

Congratulations to Natalie Portman who has just become a mummy to a baby boy! The 30 year old, Oscar winning actress has not released an official statement, and details of the birth seem to be under wraps, but we hope that her and the newborn are doing well.

Portman and her fiance Benjamin Millepied, father of the new baby, starred together in Black Swan which she accepted an Academy Award for in February. The star has showcased her acting talent in all manner of films; from Star Wars to V for Vendetta, in which she shaved her head, but Black Swan has been, arguably, her most stunning role to date.

We wish the family, and their new addition, all the luck in the world and can't wait to see the photos of what is bound to be an absolutely adorable baby!

Photo: John Steven Fernandez/Creative Commons

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Apple Coughs Up

Here at BDT, we've been following the story of the ongoing case between Apple and Nokia over patents which Nokia say that Apple used without authorisation. Well, today we have a conclusion and it seems the mighty Apple can be beaten! Apple have been ordered to pay an undisclosed one-off payment to Nokia, as well as ongoing royalties to cover the use of wireless data, speech coding, security and encryption technologies, which Apple is said to have unlawfully 'borrowed'.

This could mean HUGE things for Nokia. It's no secret that the Finnish manufacturer has suffered a downturn in profits lately, due in no small part to its reluctance to move away from its' outdated and largely maligned Symbian OS. The disappointing sales of the N8 handset, which with its 12-megapixel camera should have been a market leader, were largely accredited to operating system problems, but with the potential injection of cash from patents, Nokia's stock could now be on the up and up.

If they could release a handset in the vein of the N8's advanced hardware, but with a new and improved OS partly funded by Apple's royalties, they could produce a handset which would rival and exceed the popularity of the iPhone 4.

Now, wouldn't that be ironic?!

Nolan's Dark Knight Rises: A New Cast Member...

I'm not sure about our readers, but several of our BDT team are mega-excited about the upcoming Batman film, the Dark Knight Rises. Set for release next year, the movie is well into production, but it's director, Christopher Nolan, is still adding names to it's already huge cast list. His latest addition is Josh Stewart who you may remember from The Collector and Curious Case of Benjamin Button. 

Source: IMDB
Easy on the eye an all isn't he? 

He'll be joining the likes of Christian Bale (Batman), Michael Caine (Alfred), Tom Hardy (Bane) and Anne Hathaway (Catwoman) and my fave British actor, Gary Oldman, in what promises to be a spectacular threequel to an already astounding interpretation of the DC Comic Book Hero. 

Roll on 2012! 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Can you really buy true love?

The latest in sex toys seems to be Roxxxy and Rocky, the True Companions or sex robots. To some this may be seen as a huge step towards a futuristic lifestyle with robots in every home to do menial tasks and provide a social life for those who struggle, but to me it is a very worrying development.

Roxxxy is being marketed, not as a sex doll, but as a companion, something you can experience a relationship with. In fact, the website even states that you can get frisky with her or have her provide you with "companionship and unconditional love." I wonder if this will lead to a generation who would rather find "love" with a robot than put the effort in to a relationship with another human being, whether it will lead to the fear of being knocked back or hurt becoming avoidable. The idea of a safe "relationship" where the other party is programmed not to argue or leave you is somewhat appealing to those of us who have experienced heartbreak, but surely a robot can never provide the true love that we get from that person who really and truly "gets" us?

What do you think? Will you be spending over 6 grand for a lover that can never leave or would you rather risk the pain for true love?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Perfect BDT Brew Break Treat

BDT HQ is full of the female kind, give or take a couple of beautiful blokes including our Horticultural Writer and resident Chef. In between the dieters and the health nuts there are those who just lurve food and revel in it's marvellousness. However, there is one thing we all agree is necessary for consumption when it hits our office desks. Oh yes, we do love a bit of the Krispy Kreme. 

Drool away!

© 2011 Brew Drinking Thinkings

The infamous Krispy Kreme was originally sold in North Carolina in 1937 after Vernon Rudolph bought the recipe off a chef from New Orleans. The scrumptious snacks were an instant hit, people wanted them fresh, warm and baked on the day; their demand was met and the warm glazed Krispy Kreme was born. Today the doughnuts are sold all over the world and are arguably the epitome of doughnutage. 

Our box above contained the gorgeous Coconut Ice, the sensationally sparkly Creme Brulee, Chocolate-Iced with Sprinkles (for the mini BDTers), Lemon Meringue Pie and well, eight more. Because we had to buy a dozen, that's the only way to do Krispy Kreme, right?

If you live in London, you can get your treats delivered to your door using the online ordering service, but sadly, if you live outside the big smoke you'll have to take a trip to your nearest stockist to pick up your Kremes. 

Which is your favourite Krispy Kreme?

Harry Potter: Film Season Tickets On Sale Now!

Unless you've been living under a particularly massive film-impermeable rock, you'll know that the Harry Potter film franchise is coming to a close. Next month, on the 15th July, we will see the final instalment of the spellbinding septology hit our big screens and I, for one, am excited.

In preparation for the big day, select cinemas nationwide are showing back to back screenings of the franchise, one film per day, in it's entirety, starting with Harry Potter & the Philosphers Stone being shown on Friday 8th July, culminating in the final showdown on the 15th July. Watch as Harry, Ron and Hermione grow in front of your very eyes and look on as they fight against Voldemort reaches the end.

Unfortunately, I don't think childcare and work will allow me to actually attend this, depsite how tempting it is. If you don't have anything to stop you, tickets for the event are on sale now! Check out your local cinemas over the coming days, to see if they are one of the participating ones!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Trendy Monkeys - Harmless Fun or Bordering on Child Abuse?

Here at BDT, there's not much that shocks us, but news of 'Trendy Monkeys Kids Salon and Fun Parlour' in Brentwood, Essex has got us all reeling. The salon, owned by single mum-of-two Michelle Devine, offers spray tans, make-overs, facials and fake tattoos to children from the age of ONE.

Is it just us, or is this massively inappropriate? We're well aware of the fact that kids love to play dress up or copy their parents, with many little girls owning make-up and high heels, but surely encouraging spray tans and manicures is beyond ridiculous?

Given the fact that the over-sexualisation of children has been in sharp focus this week, after the Government backed plans to ensure appropriateness of children's clothing, we're shocked that there are parents out there who will willingly expose children to beauty procedures which should be strictly restricted to over-18's. Child Welfare officer, Shy Keenan, is quoted in the Daily Mail as saying 'This is outrageous - it is giving children a complex about the way they look from the age of one.'

The thing that really blows our minds is how parents can look at their beautiful, natural children, and wonder if they'll look better with an orange San Tropez glow? One thing is for sure, we won't be taking any of our mini-BDTers for a make-over any time soon.

We'd love to hear what you think about all of this. Is this a step too far, or do you think it's just natural self expression?

Ryan Giggs, Sex Addict?

It's out. Not only has the bloke been putting it about with Imogen Thomas but his eight year affair with his brother's wife was outed last week too. Ryan Giggs has been one hell of a naughty boy and with more women crawling out of the woodwork it seems that the once-family-man is battling for the top of the infidelity heights with those sleezy greats including Tiger Woods, Wayne Rooney and Ashley Cole. 

But a Sex Addict? Really? We think not.

Are we becoming, as a society, a little too accepting (complaisant even) of conditions such as this as a celebrity culture? He's cheated and now the world knows and he needs an excuse. Is he really Rock 'n' Roll enough to be playing the Sex Addict card? Surely shying away from the media to the point of ball retraction suggests that really, Giggsie needs to man up. 

Crying to the wife and opting for some PR stunt therapy really isn't winning us over in the BDT office. 

Quit kicking balls until you've grown a pair.