Monday, 15 September 2014

The Average Family

I was doing research for a book I am writing and came across the poll (below) commissioned by an energy company in 2011. 2000 families took part. It's shocking how I can relate, and how strangely precise the timings are: such as rising at 6.57am. Our alarm goes off at 6.50am, (my husband's idea) but I probably get up at 7.20ish. It infuriates me that the alarm goes off at 650 but he then goes back to sleep and lets it ring out three more times at five minute intervals) We have one car rather than 1.5, live in an attached 3 storey house, holiday about two or three times a year, with at least one holiday abroad. We've just started eating together about  3x a week, (which is average) but probably on average, an hour later. The weekly food shop is more than twice the poll average, but it is three years later. The night out as a couple seems very low, although having said that, we do go out more than that but are usually with other people. That makes me think. We very rarely have a date night.  1.6 arguments a week? With who? Kids or amongst adults, or the whole family?  We probably have three or even four, arguments, but that includes arguing with children - call it five a week. Best Family entertainment - TV that's quite depressing. I would say my favourite family activity, is eating out, or having friends over with their kids or messing about on beaches or being on holiday. I probably have a night out with friends about once a week too, so consider myself lucky. I exercise the same as the average on the poll, about two and half times a week. Interesting that 80% class themselves as happy. That's uplifting.

Would love to know how other families live too...and would welcome comments.

The poll below shows how an average family live, (this poll was taken in 2011)

AVERAGE UK FAMILY - UNOFFICIAL CENSUS

Get up: 6.57am
Car: Silver Ford Focus
Number of cars: 1.5
House: Semi-detached on a main street
Holiday: 2 x 10 days in the UK
Evening meals together: 3 per week at 5.50pm
Weekly shop: £76.02
Weekly alcohol bill: £12
Entertainment i.e. DVD's: £15
Best entertainment: Watching TV
Favourite TV show: Dr Who
Time spent watching TV: 9 hours per day
Nights out with friends: 2 per month
Nights out as a couple: 'Every few months'
Big family outing: Once a month
Get home from work: 5.15pm
Go to bed: 10.39pm
Arguments: 1.6 per week
Savings: £3,280
Mortgage: 53% have a mortgage and have paid off 32 per cent
Cash in wallet/purse: £10.31
Neighbours: Two that we speak to
Exercise: Two and half times a week
Home improvements: £559 in the last year
Wider family: Once a week gathering
Quality time together: Two hours per week
Breakfast : Eats breakfast twice a week as a family
Laundry: 5.3 loads per week
Chores: 4 hours and 24 minutes every week - mum does the majority
Happiness: 80 per cent class themselves as 'happy'
Wellbeing: 70 per cent claim they are 'normal'

Monday, 1 September 2014

Rainbow Braid

video


My daughter (like almost every other girl in the western world) has succumbed to the loom bracelet craze, so we were delighted to be sent The Rainbow Refill Pack a superior version of the ones on the current market. The Rainbow Loom, a plastic device for turning small rubber bands into jewellery, has sold more than three million units worldwide and the majority of the best-selling toys on Amazon UK are either looms or loom-related.  Rainbow Loom was invented in 2011 by Cheong Choon Ng, a Malaysian-born former seatbelt technology developer from Michigan, who noticed his daughters weaving elastic bands over their fingers to make bracelets. Ng tried it but his own fingers were too big, so he built himself a "loom" - a technology known to the clothing trade since at least the 15th Century - using pins and a wooden slab. 

Ng developed a plastic version and set up a business manufacturing them, investing $10,000. He got a toyshop to stock his product and, after it sold out within a few hours, other stores took an interest. It spread from there and looms and bands can now be seen in schools and homes around the UK and US. I wonder if he patented the idea? We saw them for sale this summer in the rural Adeche in France at every market we went to. 1 Euro for each packet and they were everywhere. My ten year old daughter has made  at least fifty bracelets since the craze begun and has made several for me.  The difference with these bands (invented by a mother) is they are smoother, tougher and don't smell toxic. I found that all the previous bracelets she made for me broke within 24 hours. The rainbow refill pack above comes with 5400 bands in 18 different colours including neon, glitter, solid and glow in the dark variations. Compatible with all loom kits and you can buy it on Amazon.