Under pressure (washing, which is fun!)

When I had a holiday job in a bacon packing factory, at the end of my shift I had to pressure wash down the slicing machine. It wasn’t a great job but it paid well and by the end of it, I had hand muscles like Arnie- weilding a pressure washer for 30 minutes a day was hard work. But I never actually considered the domestic use of one for decades afterwards.

I think that generally the whole concept of a pressure washer is one that’s a bit misunderstood. The fact that the water comes out under high enough pressure to score the moss and grim off of a patio, or take the welded on bird mess off of car or house windows, sort of leads to the almost unconscious rationalisation that they use MUCH more water than a normal hose would. Our mains pressure is good but the hose we have for watering the garden and filling up the paddling pool on the one warm day we have every summer, only really manages a firm dribble. Our pressure washer though can hit a small child from over 30ft (no children were harmed in the testing of this claim- honest). It’s not that it uses more water, it doesn’t and can’t because it can only take the water that’s supplied at mains pressure, but what it can do is pump that water through a much much narrower nozzle so the water comes out a lot faster. Same amount of water, much smaller hole. Matron.

nozzleWe have a fairly compact Karcher K4 pressure washer, but there are a bewilderingly different array to choose from. To this end Tesco have kindly written a Buyers Guide to Pressure Washers, which goes in to all the technical details of what is suitable for which situation. As the name suggests, pressure washers wash under pressure but the pressure can vary from machine to machine and some tasks are more suited to one than another, so it’s worth a read if you’re considering getting one.

Ours has got just about enough oomph that it does a pretty good job with the jet foam nozzle contraption that attaches to it for car cleaning, so I can personally vouch for the benefit of doing a bit of research first. Having said that, without the nozzle on, it can shift any of that bird mess that might have dried on without even really trying.

The negotiation of a “shit”

We are not a hotbed of profanity in our house. Outside of it I like a creative swear, I blame my work colleague Gary and a certain Kip Hakes for fuelling my love of creative swearing but I’m careful to completely moderate my language in front of the kids.

Such is my restraint that we sometimes get the odd conversation like the one that followed an “Oh shit!” from wifey a couple of years back when she dropped a ceramic dish on the kitchen floor and it broke:

Boy: She said “shit!” That’s naughty!

Fifi: I know, she said “shit”, she did say “shit”, that’s really rude!

Boy: Daddy, Mummy said “shit”, can you believe she said “shit”?

It’s difficult keeping a straight face during such exchanges but I managed it and told them both off for swearing. I’m good at the do as I say not as I do thing.

ETAs they get older, it’s harder to keep the swears away from the kids. The boy has been watching PG films for a while, and it’s surprising how many “shits” there are in all the 80’s classics. The Goonies? Riddled with shit. Raiders of the Lost Ark has a shit, while ET (yes, ET!!) has two shits during the movie. And I’m not talking about on the toilet.

The boy though, with his black and white view of right and wrong, has taken the no swearing edict to heart and doesn’t utter a profanity in front of us (I’m assuming he’s not been caught doing it at school either, otherwise we’d have been hauled up there). Even when he’s in a proper full on rage he sticks to calling us Mr PooPooHead and saying that we “drink out of the toilet”.

I was watching a Bond film* with him the other night when there was a particularly funny (due to the timing), heavily accented shit. I laughed and did an impression of the chap who did the swear. The boy was immediately scandalised; on his feet and about to run upstairs and do the supergrass bit. I placated him:

Boy: You said a naughty word though!

Me: I was just quoting the man in the film, that’s okay.

Boy: Can I quote the man in the film?

Me: No…

And thus ended the negotiation.

For now.

Still, as I mentioned yesterday, it’s better to watch a film with a couple of shits in it with your kids than to buy them Grand Theft Auto 5 for Christmas…

*Live & Let Die was the first Bond film to use swear words. Bitch was the most popular but there were a couple of shits. Even the Daniel Craig films favour ultra violence over swearing though. Personally I’d love to see Bond tap someone on the shoulder and say “Oi, wanker” before punching their lights out.

Stupid parents act stupidly, don’t get blamed by media because “video games”

Parental responsibility is a great thing but oddly it seems to entirely be put to the side when stupid parents buy 18 certificate games for their underage kids. What sort of moron thinks it’s acceptable to play something like a Grand Theft Auto game in front of primary school aged kids, let alone buy them it for Christmas:

stupid morons

Spot the 18 on the box?

Spot the 18 on the box?

As reported in the Mirror, full moral outrage available on the Daily Mail site but I’m blowed if I’m linking to that. Suffice to say the Mail has lots of lurid details of how you can have sex with prostitutes and then kill them.

If you think 18 certificate games are suitable for kids, have a read of my thoughts on the matter:


As a parent ignorance isn’t an excuse. If you don’t know or understand something your kid wants to do, educate yourself before you let them do it. It’s hardly rocket science is it?

New year fog


As the old year wound down and the new year begun, I felt re-energised in a way that I hadn’t for a long time. December was a hard slog, I woke up feeling tired, got tired throughout the day and went to bed feeling knackered. No amount of sleep or rest seemed to help and I just felt burnt out.

Something changed late December though and I noticed a real change in the gym sessions I try to do three to four times a week. I had a lot more energy and it was suddenly easy again to punch past the targets I set rather than struggle up to them. I felt good.

When I went back to work on 4th January, little did I know that I had a month of feeling worse than I did the preceding month, all pretensions to a fully recharged me chucked out the window. Goodness knows what I came down with but it took two courses of antibiotics to more or less shift it and a lot of sleep. Last night a ran around on the football pitch for the first time this year and it felt good. Once I can move properly (tomorrow maybe), I’ll be back off down the gym.

It’s difficult when you have a long running non specific illness (I definitely had a chest infection, I don’t know about anything else) and it can get you down. January was a fog of trying to get my work done and not shout at people and I’m glad that’s passed.

The sun is shining through the clouds here and I’m feeling it too.