Lessons in the "Lifestyle" Category

Women facing quarter-life crisis

Today, let’s talk about women who face a quarter-life crisis. They are bright, educated and in their mid 20s and they appear to be the rising stars of the workplace. Yet one in three women is actually suffering from a ‘quarter-life crisis’. They are secretly crying in the office toilets or are so crippled with fear they dread their daily commute.

A report by investment firm Skandia claims that one in three women in their 20s with a university degree is suffering from an anxiety crisis and have even delayed entering romantic relationships as a result. Other symptoms suffered by women included loss of appetite and nightmares. Those in their late 20s were more anxious than younger people – probably because they were worried about saving for a home or providing for their families.

Category: Women / Quarter-Life Crisis / Anxiety

Fat and disruptive passengers on aeroplanes

Today, let’s talk about fat and disruptive people on aeroplanes. It’s a good topic to talk about, as most of us have to suffer sitting next to one of these or similar when travelling on an aeroplane.

I will just add I do not wish to be discriminatory to anyone in particular whilst writing this article. However, in the last few weeks various news stories continue to be written that cover these two categories, so it makes a good talking point today!

Category: Aeroplanes / Fat Passengers / Disruptive Passengers

The Workliday

I have invented the word Workliday. The word is made up using the words work and holiday. The thing is these days how many of us actually switch off from the office when we go on holiday?

The answer is probably very few people completely switch off. With the arrival of laptops, Blackberrys and now tablets, and the easy access most people have to the internet, makes it irresistible not to turn off completely. It’s like a drug, a compulsion. We must access our emails or we might miss something.

When we do check our emails we find probably not much has changed. However, there could be that important decision we are waiting on that could change our lives forever. Nevertheless, there are many professional workers who simply can’t switch off when they take a break. They must take their mobile phone or tablet with them.

Category: English / Holidays / Working

Go to work – on an ostrich egg!

News from the UK advises that Waitrose the supermarket chain has just started selling ostrich eggs. The eggs that can be 24 times bigger than a hen’s can weigh in at almost 2kg (4.4lb). For those hoping to “go to work on an ostrich egg” might think twice and save that particular treat for the weekend, as they can take an hour or two to boil.

You’ll also need a huge appetite to eat a whole one. Described as having a distinctive, light flavour and texture the ostrich eggs are ideal for cooking. They can be fried; hardboiled or scrambled. They also make very good omelettes - using a very large frying pan – just like chicken or duck eggs.

A spokesperson said: “They are very good for meringues because the white is much lighter than chickens’ eggs.” In fact one egg makes 100 meringues or 32 soufflés. Diners are advised that a simple tap of a spoon is unlikely to break the shell. A roasting spike or a domestic drill is more suitable! The reason is that the egg must withstand a 300lb (136kg) bird sitting on it.

Category: Lifestyle / Eggs / Ostrich Eggs

Modern women today

Modern women today see balancing their work and home lives as their biggest challenge in today’s world. They also see Nelson Mandela and Margaret Thatcher as their greatest role models. Almost two out of five women now see themselves as feminists. Nearly three out of four women would rather have a man, than a woman, as their boss.

Nearly half of women (46%) think a couple should live together before they marry. This figure rises to more than three quarters (77%) among women aged 18-24, but falls to nearly one in four (27%) among women aged 55 and over.

These figures come from research compiled for Stella magazine by YouGov, a research agency, which interviewed more than 1,000 women of all ages and backgrounds on everything from family values to their eating habits, and from their views on plastic surgery to those on sex and shopping.

Health and weight are clearly major issues for the modern woman. Four in five (80%) say losing their health is their greatest concern, followed by putting on weight (52%) and losing their job (24%).

Category: Lifestyle / Survey / Women

Coffee and chocolate are the key to a long life

Coffee and chocolate are among the key foods and drinks needed to live a long and healthy life. Tea is another. These form part of a list of 20 “lifespan essential” foodstuffs that has been drawn up by Professor Gary Williamson from the department of food science at Leeds University in England.

Fruits and vegetables dominate the list. All are rich in naturally occurring chemicals, known as polyphenols, which have been linked to a variety of health benefits including protection against heart disease.

The 20 suggested lifespan essential foodstuffs on the list: apples, blackberries, black tea, blueberries, broccoli, cereal bran, cherries, cherry tomatoes, coffee, cranberries, dark chocolate, green tea, oranges, peaches, plums, raspberries, red grapes, red onions, spinach and last but not least strawberries.

Category: Lifestyle / Food / Science

The bacteria time bomb in your home

Most of us never give a second thought to how long we’ve had that chopping board, or that hairbrush or those pillows. But while they may all look clean and serviceable enough, these seemingly innocent household items can actually harbour potentially harmful bacteria if used too long, regardless of how often they’re cleaned. So with that in mind let’s look at how often you should consider spring cleaning those everyday household items – and when it’s time to throw them in the bin.

Wooden spoons should be replaced every five years. They are more porous than plastic or metal ones making them more susceptible to germs and bacteria. A nasty kitchen bacteria is E. coli that’s usually picked up from raw meat or children with poor cleaning habits!

Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months otherwise this could lead to heart disease, a stroke or arthritis. An average toothbrush contains 10m germs! Bath towels can be used indefinitely if washed at high temperatures without damage otherwise bacteria from your skin can be transferred to your towel and if you have a wound could lead to infection.

Category: Living / Bacteria / Household Bugs

‘Tis the season of Christmas markets!

‘Tis the season of the year to be jolly. Christmas is on its way. So why not get into the swing of Christmas and visit a traditional Christmas market? The magic of them will soon put you under their spell.

All over continental Europe you’ll find them. In recent years they have become more and more popular, probably because of the festive seasonal atmosphere they evoke. Their traditional wooden chalets are full of everything you’ll need to prepare for the perfect Christmas.

Christmas markets originate from what is Germany today. Here they are unique. They offer visitors the chance to buy many different forms of merchandise including wooden carvings, toys, candles, decorated mugs and Christmas decorations.

Visitors can enjoy roast chestnuts and grilled bratwurst sausages or munch some gingerbread biscuits (Lebkuchen), marzipan figures and other such sweets. One can even try some German hot mulled wine (Glühwein).

Category: Lifestyle / Christmas / Christmas Markets

A traditional Christmas in England

Pre-Christmas - The English like to celebrate Christmas well ahead of the actual day. Before the kids break up from school toddlers might visit Santa’s grotto in a local department store. Children at primary and secondary schools might hold Christmas bazaars. Kids at secondary schools normally have to go to church for the annual carol service. Adults meanwhile celebrate with the Christmas office party! That’s always good festive fun!

There are Christmas lights in the main parts of most towns and these days some people like to decorate the front of their houses with Christmas lights. Meanwhile many retailers in England have been flogging Christmas goodies since October! The advent calendar is also a must for kids to open daily in December. Christmas markets are now very popular.

Category: England / Traditional Christmas / Christmas

Social networking in today’s world

Hands up those of you who like to chat online? How many of you use Facebook? Probably quite a few of you, as in today’s world we can’t seem to live without it. So what is a social network? It is a way of communicating with other people.

Why do we use them? Because we like to communicate with other people, especially our family and our friends. It is a good way to keep in touch. There are many different forms of social networking. Probably the most popular today are Facebook, Skype, MySpace, Twitter, Google chat and ICQ. All are different...

Category: Lifestyle / Social Networking / Chat