Springwatch, reviews, and free - yes FREE - money...

>> Thursday, 12 May 2011

It's Thursday. I know, I know; Potski Front Flowerbed Spring Watch time. All those millions of devotees out there will no doubt be delighted to know that finally - finally - we have some real action out there. I have to say, when I shouted so loudly about the swiftness of the Russian spring back at the end of March, I was rather hoping that it might be a little quicker than it has so far, but there you go. Lesson, learned.

Here we are then.

Today's photo; with sunshine (hurrah!) but without Lego figurines. Why is that, I hear you ask? Where's GT? Where's Mexican Marracca Man? What have the unidentified men in uniforms at the side of the road been up to lately? Well, I'm not sure, but I suspect it involves the bottom of Boys #1 and #2's pockets because no matter how hard I search, I can't find them.

Let me bring you instead some reviews. No! NO! Don't click away - I promise to make it worth your while to stick around - well, worth one of you's while, anyway - courtesy of a £15 gift card those nice people at Next sent me after I took part in one of their campaigns but which, due to various inconveniences like the British postal system and my not having been able to collect it before last weekend meant that I only got my sticky paws on a couple of days back...

First up; Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, Part 1. I know I'm behind the curve on this, what with everyone else having received their review copy and written about it ages ago, but I was only able to watch it (on Blu-Ray) last night since - like the Next card - I only collected it last weekend. What did I think? I should warn you that I loved all the Harry Potter books, and the last one in particular, so much that I re-read it almost as soon as I had finished it the first time. Essentially, I wasn't going to be a cheap date on the movie. However... I loved it. I remember when it came out in cinemas, there was talk of it being gloomy, ominous and menacing. Well, newsflash: so is the book. It had to be, as the climax of the series, and as I said to Husband last night whilst we watched it, the movie reaffirmed my belief that JK Rowling is a genius. A GENIUS, I tell you. I can't wait to see Part 2 when it comes out this summer.

That said, I'm afraid I won't be showing either to the Boys just yet. They can handle a fair amount of excitement on-film, but I don't fancy trying to get them upstairs to bed if they have heads full of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and Dementors. Over-protective? Perhaps, but I'm the mummy, after all...

Second, Umi shoes. Umi very kindly sent me 2 pairs of these, one for each of the Boys. I've been looking for hard-wearing elastic-fronted sneakers for them for ages; and these seem perfect for the boys to use when they need to get out of the house in a hurry and run around doing all the stuff outside that boys do. Of course they are also useful for kicking around in when all they want to do is just play on their DS's... (not that mine do that. Ever. No, sirree...)

Third, Feather and Black. Not content with selling beds and bedding, they've recently launched into nightwear for kids - specifically in this case, boy's pjyama's - and they saved my bacon when we arrived in the UK last weekend only to discover - horror - the set I had packed for Boy #2 were too big and didn't meet his exacting sartorial standards. Enter these boys Jaws short pyjamas from Feather and Black (we were lucky enough to receive a set for each Boy), which are great quality, are a big hit and now firm favourites.

Fourth (and this one is WAY overdue), just before Christmas we received a trial pack of Multi-Vitamin Gummy Bears from FitVits (at time of receipt, a monthly supply cost £6.99). There's a handy pack of four per day, and Boy #1 particularly loved them. Living here, where leafy greens etc are a little harder to get hold of than I might like, these were great. The only problem is that they don't stock them in our local supermarket in Moscow...

And fifth, and finally, also just before Christmas I was fortunate enough to be sent a Nokia N8, with the specific aim of trialling their 'Own Voice' app. This is a handy sat-nav app on your swanky touch-screen mobile phone which allows you to record the voices of your loved ones giving you directions, rather than some faceless person you've never met. The facility to record the voices worked very well, however, there is a reason I haven't reviewed this phone up until now. It's not because I'm dis-organised (although, I am). It's not because I don't like the phone, I do, very much indeed and I use far more of the options on it than I ever did with my previous Nokia.

I put all my appointments on there, I sync all my contacts and diary automatically with my online account every week, there is an amazing camera on it, and it's so easy to text that I could almost be using a laptop. However, what I can't do, and which is ironic since it's the reason I was sent the phone in the first place, is use the Own Voice app in Moscow, for two reasons. One, it only shows half of Moscow on the map (the Western half, if you're wondering...). And two, it won't let me input addresses using the cyrillic alphabet, which makes life difficult since that's usually what I've been sent an address in.

Other than that, though? Great phone. Love it. And if anyone from Nokia is reading this, a little help with the OV app would be much appreciated...

Now, as a reward for reading all the way through that (you did read it all, didn't you? You didn't just skip to the end or anything like that?) I promised you the chance to get your paws on the £15 Next gift card I picked up last week. Here's how. Leave a comment on this post, and I will put your name into a hat. The winner will be drawn by a 5 or 7 year old independent adjudicator some time next week and the name will be published on this blog. If you want to be notified by email as well, drop me a line at pottymummy at gmail dot com when you enter with the words 'Next Gift Card Draw' in the header. (Capitals are not a necessity...). The card will be sent out from within the UK, to a UK address only.

That's it! Thanks for reading. Now go and have a cup of tea - I don't know about you, but I'm parched after all that talking...

This was a sponsored post. In case you hadn't worked that out for yourself...


Expat mum 12 May 2011 at 19:34  

Ooooh..I usually forego any competition with a pound sign attached, but since I'm going to be over there very soon, I shall just have to take my chances here this time!

Potty Mummy 12 May 2011 at 19:41  

EPM, consider yourself in the draw...

BNM 12 May 2011 at 20:55  

What , no figurines, I am sorely disappointed :)

Love the fact that I'm not the only one who has reviews to do from before Christmas !!

Please can I enter!!


Paradise Lost In Translation 12 May 2011 at 21:02  

ooh, yes plse, pick me, pick me (as Donkey said) I'd love to go into the Sorting Hat. We arrive back in the UK late June, just in time for the sales & of course I'll need some light shopping relief from unpacking all those boxes.......
re: Harry P. my (just)11 yr old fares worse than my tough (just) 7 yr old daughter. We have about a 5pm watershed or it's too close to bedtime for safety!

Domestic Goddesque 12 May 2011 at 21:11  

I just wanted to post excitedly about the ACTUAL greenery in your flower bed, but the idea that I stand a chance of winning some hard cash that has been to Russia and back? Sounds even better!!

MsCaroline 14 May 2011 at 00:01  

I'm not in the running for the gift card, which shows you that I have no ulterior motives, but wanted to say that: 1) the Potski flowerbed is looking lush and verdant (comparatively speaking) and that 2) Son #2 (now 14) didn't get to watch the later, scarier HP movies until he was a good bit older. He was so deeply troubled by the child-catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang-Bang that I just didn't see him handling Voldemort and Basilisks too well for at least a few more years.

Dot 17 May 2011 at 17:38  

Well, I AM in the running for the giftcard, and so far I like the odds:-)

The vitamin gum thingies sound like a clever idea. There are plenty of green leafy vegetables here in Ireland, but the proportion that finds its way into my boys is rather low. As in none of them.

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