Shopping for Car Insurance....

Although we live in recessionary times there are certain life expenses that we should not cut back on and Car Insurance is one of them.

There are moral and social obligations surrounding taking a car out on the road. Therefore we should all take responsibility to drive with due care and attention, to not drink and drive and to purchase car insurance to cover us, our families and other road users (plus their families) should an accident occur. Although it's illegal in this country to drive without insurance, that fact unfortunately does not deter some people from doing so.

Car insurance is an extra expense, on top of many other expenses for families these days, that we may well feel we could do without. While we can't cut this expense entirely we can certainly reduce the amount that we pay. It's a competitive market out there and there are savings to be made by shopping around. We saved approximately €100 by ringing around the various Insurance companies this year. This is relevant advice at any time whether or not we're sheltering from a celtic tiger's roar or a recession's gloomy cloud!

When purchasing car insurance the onus is on the purchaser to ensure that they obtain the level of cover appropriate to their needs. Consider things like windscreen cover and step back protection to protect your 'no claims bonus' . Personally that is something that I consider of importance. Piece of mind to know you won't lose all the bonus you've earned over the years.

These days I find it absolutely essential if a tad mind-boggling to examine all aspects of every Insurance policy we purchase to see where we can make some savings. Again, this is something we should always do and can be really worth the effort.

One area that may provide some savings is the value you insure your car for. Cars depreciate in value so every year I check to see whether or not a reduction in value will put us into a lower bracket that may reduce the overall cost of the policy. This is worth considering and you can check the current value of your car by phoning a garage or dealership..

Having a car alarm/immobiliser fitted to your car can also reduce your insurance costs.

Although it's not something that comes up when purchasing Insurance I do think that regularly servicing your car and monitoring the condition of tyres (especially when going on a long jorney with a fully laden car) is of utmost importance.

I must admit that I abhor the moral and social irresponsibility of people who drive without Insurance. However, I also abhor the dishonesty of some victims of accidents who exaggerate (or even fake) their injuries in order to make a claim. When they do so they do precisely what that infamous ad says... they put their hand in your pocket, thereby increasing insurance costs for everyone.

My advice? Drive carefully, play fair, shop around ..... and get car insurance.

How about you? Do you have any car insurance tips?


Note: This is a sponsored post, thank you for reading.

The Misfortunes of Jazzy....

Would you like to see a photo of me wearing my glamorous new footwear? You would?

They are very comfortable and could easily fit into the category of  'occasional wear' ...... in that they suit or will have to suit any occasion imaginable for some time to come.

I've been wearing them in public places since yesterday and I may very well be a trend-setter in the making. I may even influence this season's 'in' colours.

So, without further ado let me introduce you to this seaon's brand  new and very last minute, nothing like making a last minute dramatic entrance absolutely-must-have fashion accessory....

What? You look appalled....... don't you like them? Don't you like the fabulous new neon-green look? What.... it'll never catch on, I hear you say??? Absolutely must not have?

Sigh.... well, it was worth a try!

Okay,  I'll come clean and tell you the real story. Let me begin by telling you I am a dizzy character sometimes, I have a head like a sieve, I forget and lose stuff like concert tickets all the time and do the silliest things imaginable and always have done. I'm a flibbertygibbet, a will o'the wisp, a clown... and I doubt at this stage that anybody could quite solve the Problem like Jazzy!

I stumble through my days forgetting where I'm going, missing appointments, leaving things switched on like irons and even convincing myself that I have when I haven't and ruining a lovely breakfast meet-up as a result. I spend countless hours looking for keys , house, car, shed, whatever, on a daily basis. Just follow my facebook updates and you'll know what I mean! I share my misfortunes in order to bring laughter to others! I'm a sharing kinda gal!

I'm a walking disater area... except I'm not quite walking at the moment!

See, I'm also known to cause myself injuries. For example only last year I fractured my coccyx.

Last week, the week that my cough from hell was finally (and thankfully) diagnosed as Asthma, I managed to badly hurt my little toe by whacking it off a chair on Friday.... contrary to the rumour that I was table-top dancing after inbibing a bottle of wine. Oh, how I wish the latter were true, how more intersting a tale would that have been?!

Today, 3 days later it is still very sore, badly bruised and even more swollen. This picture doesn't even do it justice as half my foot under the little toe is like a rainbow!

It's been examined by a nurse and I've spoken to the Doctor.The concensus of opinion from all is that there's no point in going to a hospital  as there's nothing that can be done, even if it is fractured. Just like my coccyx.

I'm applying ice, arnica, elevation and taking nurefen and it's now been strapped up. I feel much happier now that it's being supported as that will help keep the bone in place.

I need not to have a broken toe though so.......  Dear Toe, if you can self-heal in time for big family event this weekend I'd be very grateful.

Meanwhile I found it strangely liberating to hobble through a very posh restaurant yesterday for Father's Day wearing WiiBoy's old neon-green crocs! Mind you, I did include some extra hobbles just in case people thought  that I was wearing them by choice!

Still not convinced that this fabulous look will catch on???



Best go try and find more suitable footwear so...


My Secret Date....

While Mr Jazzy enjoys some time away with his golfing friends I decided that I needed some fun time too and that perhaps an evening out might be a welcome distraction to make the time pass by more quickly.

An evening out in the warm ambience of a nice restaurant with lovely food, scintillating conversation and very pleasurable company would definitely be the order of the day. A date as it were. Well, while the cat's away and all that...

We made plans for this evening out, my date and I, before Mr Jazzy had even departed and spent yesterday in excited anticipation of our forthcoming local liason.

We left the house together, my date and I.... he having helped me chose what outfit to wear with his honest and forthright appraisal... to leisurely stroll hand-in-hand to our local Chinese restaurant discussing in detail what we would order from the menu.

We arrived at the restaurant and saw from the menu that this year they celebrate 11 years of being in business in our village and I pondered on that.

I recalled the first time my date and I had come here all those years ago and on some occasions since...

I looked over at the table where we usually dined and saw the corner he usually sat in...

Then I looked over at the lamp that my date was usually so enamoured of that he would leave my company everytime just to go and examine it ...

Of course the corner he usually sat in was because he was usually asleep in his buggy and the lamp he was so fascinated by has an intricate water feature attached!

Yes, my date for the evening was my fabulous 11 year old son, WiiBoy and what a lovely evening we both had!

We very capably and politely gave our rather detailed order to the waitress and were even open to some compromise when our request was not able to be fully met.

We shared  well, mostly shared the complimentary prawn crackers and tasted each other's starters.

We  devoured enjoyed our main courses accompanied by a coke and one glass of wine. The latter being for me, of course!

He enjoyed his  ice-cream and a cup of my Jasmine Tea to finish.

Some scintiallating conversations were threaded through all these courses as we discussed all manner of things...

For example we discussed negative equity, enzymes, how saliva 'that's spit, mum' breaks down your food, cheating on school tests (he didn't) apologising for a little transgression 'sorry mum, I really needed to do that fart ' and his hopes for his working future....

Apparently the latter ambition is to be a 'CEO of an Incorpration'.... a 'Games Incorparation', of course. You didn't really have to ask that question, did you? However, we also want to make our own games so we wondered if CEO's get to do that. I explained that he would probably start by inventing the games himself and would then eventually become CEO of his own company and hire others to do it for him.

We talked about how he might achieve these lofty game-invention aims. Although he sees lots of improvements he could make to Halo games he would much prefer to invent his own ones. I suggested that he might like to start by planning his game on paper, like he would say, an essay and that maybe that could be a project for summer holidays? He quite liked that idea as did I ;-)

After a very pleasant meal we began  our stroll home. As we strolled I pondered on the long and sometimes very arduous journey we have travelled in order to arrive at this point in time. It is becoming obvious to me from my recent posts that my WiiBoy is growing up to be a fine young man. As he approaches his teenage years I am pausing to acknowledge this journey he has taken, the fabulous company he is to be with and to publicly declare how proud of him I am.

As we walk I am serenaded by his lovely voice as he sings a line or two from one of his favourite songs  ..... 'I'm your Venus...I'm your fire'

Except the word he sings isn't Venus... it just rhymes with it.

Which serves as a timely reminder of the 11 year old hilarious young boy that my WiiBoy still is!


Tutankhamun Expo..... and an Award.

 Today we finally managed to get one activity ticked off my Dublin Summer Bucket List.... This is a list I make every year and never complete... This year will be different, I am determined! Today we went to the Tutankhamun Exhibition in the RDS and were very impressed with what we saw and heard, with the assistance of cool Audio/Visuals.

I never knew Tutankhamun was only 8 years old when he came to the throne and that he died when he was only 18. Nor did I know that he married his 16 year old sister or half sister in a desperate attempt to keep the empire going ....they were the last remaining family members. King Tut was quite the man, for a child, it seems. It was strangely disquieting to hear the commentators describe the artwork of the time depicting the scenes being portrayed as endearing domestic scenes. They also found two mummified bodies of small girls who they assume to be his daughters. Who knows how Egyptian history may have unfolded had they survived?

              ( Notice the colour top a certain boy is wearing? Shopping Trip Success!)

Enough of the serious stuff, now to more important discoveries.... did you know that before mummification they extract the entrails from the body via a cut from navel to the left thigh? That they scoop out the brain and fill the brain with resin? And that they they store the organs removed in small mummy caskets? See the four Doll-like caskets below which were found with the tomb! We were really impressed by these discoveries! It's a boy thing!

However, we were suitably unimpressed that having spent €25 of his hard earned cash on a treasured trove (3 items!) of goodies, that he broke his most precious one on his immediate return home! What? You heard the screams of anguish from your country? That does not surprise me in the least! We are however, very grateful that Mr Jazzy works nearby and can call in to buy a replacement... phew! Unfortunately this upset led to a much disputed and  extended xbox play.... and more subsequent upset. I really have to nip these xboxwars in the bud else this forthcoming summer break AND Dublin Summer Bucket List will be very long ones indeed!

And now for something completely different... a blogging award. The Pay it Forward Award to be precise, which has been bestowed upon me by the fabulous Mum in Meltdown . Thank you so much, this is very much appreciated :-)

 The rules of this award are simple:

1. Put the award at the top of your post. (Ok... I kind of cheated there!)

2. Refer to the lovely blogger who awarded it.

3. Pass it on to 5 others.

I enjoy blogging and do it primarily for personal reasons: it's an outlet, an opportunity to meet many different people across the world with varied interests, it's therapeutic and will be a record to look back upon for years to come. It can be a very fickle world though. There are those who are voyeurs and read regularly without commenting and those who neither return visits or comments you made over on their blogs. That can be very discouraging for us bloggers but I try to remember why it is that I blog and harmony is restored.

Recently I have discovered a few new readers of my blog who come back and comment every time I post. Mum in Meltdown is one such blogger and that's why I particularly appreciate this award. I really enjoy reading her blog with her very entertaining take on go check her  out!

To show my appreciation to my new readers...and to some regular ones who pop back from time to time... I now bestow this award on the following:

1) Mum OF All Trades: A busy mum who shares her  fabulous crafts and entertaining tales.

2) Four Star Seas: Another busy mum with her entertaining and informative posts... a really enjoyable read.

3) Midlife Singlemum: An interesting blogger-mum  from her intersting corner of the world... Jerusalem!

4 Floortime Lite Mama: She who works so hard for her child and shares it with us all.

5) Both Sides of the Coin: Another lovely and intersting  blogger.

Thank you ladies, your taking the time to visit and comment is very much appreciated :-) Now, off you go and Pay Forward some Good Blogger happiness of your own!

To my regular, loyal  readers... you know who you are... many thanks to you all too for your continued support ;-)


Our Northern Expedition

Mr Jazzy was playing golf  two days ago, near the border with Northern Ireland and had a fantastic idea. He suggested that we come with him and take a 30 minute trip to go shopping in Newry whilst he played golf . I procrastinated said YES.... are we there yet?.... are we there yet? And off we went.

Well, actually we started the day with me making an early morning detour to the Doctor, with an action plan for finally getting this cough from hell sorted out. Doctor agreed and gave me necessary letters but I subsequently bypassed A & E, didn't collect (or pay) €200 and then... off we went. Well, there was shopping to be done. Priorities, you see.

I got some excellent advice from some twitter pals and had a vague plan in mind. Mr Jazzy printed off directions to Newry and passed over the car keys..... and  the credit card! Mwhahahahaha! So excited was I that I didn't take much notice of what my husband was wearing. (Note: This is important.)

I took off on a beautiful journey, with WiiBoy as my excellent navigator, constantly carefully calling out directions as we went!  It was such a beautiful drive and we took some photos  as we passed through Carlingford.

As we approached Newry I decided to throw caution to the wind and head for an unplanned destination.... The Outlet at Banbridge. There would have to be really good deals there, right? Sure I'd practically be saving money, right? So, I tossed aside the directions and bravely found my own way there. I guess ten years on the road finding directions is a skill you never lose. I did go wrong a couple of times but instincts kicked in and I realised immediately each time.

Banbridge was great (so long as you get used to the  bizarre smell of manure?)! Lots of deals and 'savings' to be made here. If I keep saying that I might eventually believe my own rhetoric.

Before I go any further, take a look at this photo of WiiBoy in Banbridge.....

See the clothes he's wearing? Stupid Santa not only brought stupid xboxlive into our house last Christmas.... he also included a stupid and very comfty Call of Duty (game not included) T shirt. Which I subsequently and stupidly teemed up with equally comfty matching trackkie bottoms. As a result this outfit  is never off the child's back. Well, almost never, I do get to wash them once a week. Twice if I'm lucky and really quick.

He has also grown out of a lot of his clothes and summer holidays are beckoning. I hoped that by bringing him shopping with me, although the thoughts of that were not pleasant ones, and allowing him to be involved in choosing his own clothes might ultimately make it more likely that he would vary somewhat in his choice of attire......  on some days at least!

WiiBoy does not 'do' shopping. However he's old and mature enough now that I can let him go into certain shops on his own armed with his mobile phone and a myriad of instructions.... do NOT leave the shop alone OR with anyone else..... No matter what a stranger may tell you I will NOT have told him/her to bring you to me.....  the stranger does NOT have sweets/toys/animals/xbox paraphernalia outside and......  if the stranger says he/she needs your help with his/her injured mother/child/Animal/Halo Reach Character then shout out loudly/run screaming to the nearest shop assistant! Plus I continually pop in and out to him. Phew!

Anyways, it works. I quickly scanned the Nike shop then went back to the toy shop where he was sitting patiently on the floor admiring the toy he wanted! I bought the bribe toy and we headed back to Nike shop! He very patiently tried on lots of different long/short shorts and T Shirts... all in comfty material and colours other than stupid black! He also got new trainers ( only £20!) which he needed!

Now, I know I was only there to shop for him really but, you see, there kinda was an M & S outlet store there  with some little things that I kinda needed too. I had quickly scanned there too, in between pop backs to the toy shop, and knew exactly what I wanted to try on so WiiBoy came with me. There is NOTHING like having an ASD/Aspie kid for telling you what looks good...or not... on you! Honestly, he's brilliant and.... well.... honest! Funny too... 'so glad you weren't trying on any bras, mum', he told me as we exited the dressing room!!

Oh, and there was kinda a shoe shop there too....and I kinda needed shoes. So I kinda bought some (more about the shoe style in a later post.) Whilst buying said shoes (and two Christmas presents.... never one to miss an opportunity, me!) I had a  kinda full-on-out-of-the-blue MEGA coughing fit. I quickly dumped everything, including child and bags and sat outside coughing, spewing and snotting in  an eye-watering, gasping episode. Oh, how typical and embarrassing. The very understanding and exceptionally nice sales assistant patiently waited for me to return to semi-normality. The sales staff are so lovely in Newry/Banbridge in general, I must say.

We finished up shortly after and headed back on the motorway for a quick stop off in Newry on the way back to collect Mr Jazzy. I will always be eternally grateful that I had that humongous coughing fit in the shopping mall and not whilst driving. Scary thought.....

We got to the golf club and relaxed looking out at the  beautiful scenery. We were, as it were, sitting in the 19th looking out at the 18th hole.

 Wouldn't it be great to get a photo of daddy hitting the last ball in, I thought? Yes, it was agreed that would be a very good idea indeed, so I did.....

..... except, I didn't really. It wasn't Mr Jazzy at all! As WiiBoy so succinctly puts it..... 'you took a picture of a randomer, mum.'

Oops! Knew I should have taken more notice of what he was wearing!!

A very tired yet happy threesome made the journey home again after a lovely day out. I know we had a lovely time because WiiBoy said so.... thank you mum, I had a lovely day. That was so good to hear and I thanked him for his help and told him that I enjoyed his great company for the day too:-)

And now all we have to do is face the credit card bill!!