Friday, 16 October 2015

Review: The School Run

     You’d think, having been blogging for two and a half years, that I’d sort of know how this all works by now. No. I really don’t. Ranting and swearing and banging on and on and on and on about graffiti, writing about bratty kids, and depression, and Ed Balls and all that. But no. I have missed a trick, my loves. Apparently, lifestyle blogging’s a thing. People talking about what they wear, where they eat, places they visit. And fucking get this – they get freebies! I know! They get invited to eat for FREE at local pubs, restaurants, and cafes, and in exchange, they write 300 words about how lovely everything is, and that’s it. There is such a thing as a free lunch.

     With this in mind, I’ve decided to change my approach. No more bastarding arsehole swearing and ALMIGHTY CAPS LOCK RANTING SWEARIFUCKINGNESS. I’m giving lifestyle blogging a go. So here’s my lifestyle blog review of yesterday’s walk to school.

     Disclosure: I was invited to collect my children from school on Thursday afternoon in exchange for sod all. All thoughts are my own.

     I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I left the house at three o’clock, but it seemed like a good idea to make the journey to school! I have to confess I was somewhat surprised by the number of various routes that were presented to me – Mile End Road was a shorter option, with heavier traffic, but in the end I plumped for Christchurch Road, and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed! At first I thought there might be rather too much pavement for one person to handle, but shamefully, I managed to cover it all! I went for the signature ‘1 mile walk each way’ option, but having perused the map, there are definitely plenty of others to choose from, and all tastes are definitely catered for! It also seemed as though you could opt to cycle or drive, if you’re in a bit of a rush.

     There were lots of houses along the way, which gave it a lovely ‘homely’ feel, as well as numerous green wheely bins, a very thoughtful touch which I appreciated, and something that a lot of roads overlook. The concrete was broken up by the addition of fallen leaves, adding a very pretty seasonal flourish to my route. When I reached Unthank Road, I did have to stop, and whilst the pedestrian crossing looked very pleasant, in the end I opted for the rather more traditional dash across the road at the traffic lights.

     Forgive my terrible photography skills – this really doesn’t do the walk justice at all! Once I reached Colman Road, there were lots of cars and lorries around, which gave it a rather buzzy and lively atmosphere – clearly this is a popular spot and I felt reassured I’d come to the right place! There were lots of other walkers there too, of all ages, and it was definitely family and dog friendly, although I didn’t feel out of place being there on my own. I definitely appreciated the grass verges too, which certainly added to the greenness of the experience.

     I started with The Girl, in the lower school playground, sharing it with other parents as I was concerned it might have been a bit too much for me otherwise! I needn’t have worried though; she arrived promptly, considering she’d been freshly educated. Then it was time for the main event – The Boy! This truly was very special, as I had anticipated. First, we stood for eleven minutes in the rain – a very acceptable length of time! Upon greeting me, The Boy realised he’d forgotten his lunchbox, and although I insisted it wasn’t a big deal, he made sure to go back and collect it – a sure sign of quality! The slouching ambling walk he used to achieve this really was very pleasant indeed, and I’d recommend it to everyone.

     I’d enjoyed my experience so much that I was doing my best to extend it as long as possible, and even though it was a school day, I decided to be a bit naughty and go to Greggs! As they do every time, The Blondies were totally overwhelmed by the vast array of delicious mass produced cakes on offer, and spent several (seven in fact!) minutes staring. Needless to say they changed their minds several times too; keen to wring as much enjoyment from it as possible!

     It goes without saying that I didn’t come home empty handed either! In the end I opted for a milk chocolate cookie, which was wonderfully chewy and moist, whilst The Girl had a triple chocolate muffin, which mostly decorated her face, coat and hands. The Boy, who doesn’t have such a sweet tooth, had a steak and cheese bake which caused him to go in raptures!

     There were one or two minor quibbles – a couple of teething problems with cyclists racing along pavements, but I’m sure these will be taken care of by the walkers who seemed very attentive, but unobtrusive, and mostly faded into the background. Unfortunately too, it was raining, but needless to say, I can’t fault the walk to school for that, and needless to say I’m sure it’s very pleasant on sunny days, and needless to say I shall be doing the walk to school again as soon as possible!

     What do you think? Have you done a school run recently? Leave me a comment in the box below – I’d love to hear your thoughts!


Julie Kirk said...

This is a great parody - or maybe I should I say 'reading this really makes me want to do a school run. I think I'll put it in my 40 things to do before I'm 40 list!!'.

As someone who's been visiting lots [up to now, 99, in fact] of new blogs this last month I can so relate.

I initially began blogging with a craft-related theme to many posts and was well aware that brands gave bloggers freebies in return for posts. I was even on several design teams where I was sent craft products and made and then shared a project using them. Not wishing [too much] to plead it as a special case but ... while it was certainly a promotion - it was also useful to my readers as the project I made could give them inspiration to make their own. But when I see certain posts about cocktails a blogger's had, or a face cream, or frock I'm just not sure I get how their readers benefit? [Or maybe that's not the point?] It's just like 'yes, dear, how nice that you got something free, now what do you want me to say to that?

During my blog travels I actually made a note saying I would never blog about 'my daily beauty regime' because - who cares? But then I blogged a [tongue in cheek] recipe this week and suddenly found myself thinking maybe I'd found a style in which I *could* write that skincare post after all ...

Marina Sofia said...

Ah, yes, clearly you have my kind of lifestyle rather than the holiday-filled, restaurant-laden, posh frocks and children's clothes bespangled lifestyle of others. (Some of them are really nice and honest, but yes, can never imagine myself in that company.)
I have to add horse manure on my school run, rotting apples and mud, as I have to cross a field (shortcut, because I'm always late). Mind you, sometimes I get to feed the ponys, so it's not all bad.

Unknown said...

Much better read sans the effin' 'n blindin'

Put Up With Rain said...

:-D I don't think I've ever laughed so hard to myself when writing a blogpost as I did this one - not to mention the live review I was texting to a friend as I did the school run that afternoon. Perhaps that's the secret of lifestyle bloggers - they're having so much fun, needless to say, that they really don't care what the rest of us think of their review of the new Peach Lipstick Melba cashmere cocktail salsa dip they've been given.

I think there's a distinction to be drawn between actually sharing advice, tips, how to guides, etc, and just saying 'Look how utterly FAB my life is... and I'm getting this for FREE, it goes without saying!' It doesn't help that most reviews are utterly blandly vanilla, and the blogger seems to live in fear of upsetting any PRs. I'd rather read an honest review of something someone paid for - at least you know they're not on the look out for more freebies! Needless to say...