Getting ready for term time


I hope all’s well, as always …

The building works are progressing well at home and you’d think our builders had decided to build a swimming pool instead!! A quick look at the photo and you’ll see what I mean.

Yes, it’s British summertime folks!

Last week I rolled out of bed and stumbled into a large pile of bedding and boxes – it was the recently constructed ‘back to uni’ mountain for Ali and Jack.

Having twins at Universities 200 miles apart means that ‘we’ have to be even more organised (that’s a royal ‘we’ – more accurately put – my wife Tracey) you see she is without doubt the most organised in the family and I’m in awe of her ability to tackle the ‘back to school/uni’ task with military precision.

In our family the list of the most organised is Tracey, Ali, Toby, Ellie, Myself and Jack! 😉 And for those readers new to my blog, Toby and Ellie are Bearded Collies!

Whatever the weather, new terms or semesters await and be it a new Kipling Jaque Kids Backpack for school or a Samsung 32″ HD LED TV replacing the one used as a drinks bar in university digs – starting the process now is usually a lot less stressful than leaving it to the last moment.

At the Q our buyers and planners have been busy putting together items that they feel may help families and individuals return to studies this September. The full collection can be viewed here.

I’ve picked out a few items from over 150 or so featured online, particularly with a ‘back to uni’ mindset.

Of course we all know that food is essential for nourishment and that includes feeding ‘the little grey cells’, but often, time is of the essence for the busy or disorganised student – so for a fast and tasty solution, how about our Breville Deep fill Sandwich Toaster currently on offer at a special price? Students can quickly make a scrumptious toastie and with a special Dura-Ceramic non stick coating, might even clean up after themselves! Whatever filling they choose be it healthy, naughty or nice, it’s reassuring for any parent to know there’s a potential quick solution, from a brand synonymous with toasting.

One thing most parents want is contact with their little cherubs as they set up home in a new town or city, often for the first time.

Parents will try to resist the urge to check up on them every day with differing results I’m sure – but for Tracey and I sending Ali and Jack off to Uni without a reliable means of communication was not an option. Where it goes from there is another matter, but we felt so much better knowing they had a means to book a late night cab, send in a piece of work when their Wi-Fi was down, access city centre maps etc etc – of course they appreciated them more for access to their various social network apps and listening to music! Smartphones are ideal – being small powerful handheld computers that for more and more of us are an essential piece of kit.

As with anything there is always a vast choice and price range. Let me introduce you to the Archos Cobalt Lite 55b 5.5″ Screen 4G 16GB Smartphone. It’s powerful and benefits from a 13 megapixel camera! At the time of writing it’s on offer at an amazing price of under £100 and in 2 Easy Pay instalments!

It’s got many features associated with much higher-priced phones, such as a touch sensitive HD screen, fingerprint reader and quad core processing. Front and rear cameras, 16gb of built-in storage, plus the ability to increase storage via a microSD card (not supplied). It runs on the popular Google Android 6.0 Marshmallow Operating System. I’ve not presented this model on-air but I’ve always been impressed with Archos designs and their great value for money.

I’m sure everyone has an opinion on the most suitable age that a young person should own their first smart phone – so I’ll leave that one in your capable hands!  But remember if you order now your ‘students’ can try the Archos out with our 30-day money back guarantee – before they go ‘back to school/uni’.

Lastly, I realise this is a bit of a treat! You may be looking for a celebration present, such as a ‘well done’ for getting into Uni, something that not only has a ‘wow’ factor but might actually help them with their studies?

How about the Bose QuietComfort 35 Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Wireless Headphones? Now, I appreciate that these are a ‘celebration’ treat or reward for our student due to their price point, but they might just help them to concentrate on their studies in noisy environments such as on campus or back in the halls. The reason I say this is the Bose renowned, state of the art, noise cancelling technology incorporated into these stylish and ultra comfortable headphones.

Of course they’re superb for listening to music and are Bluetooth-enabled – meaning they can wirelessly connect to other Bluetooth devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops etc and even some modern TV’s. The ‘noise cancelling’ can be altered via the Bose connect app, available on Android and iOS. The multi-function button allows you to alter the volume, pause, skip tracks and you can also answer phone calls from your connected smartphone as well. Of course you can also connect via the included cable to non-bluetooth devices with a headphone socket. They have rechargeable batteries with superb usage times and also come in a lightweight protective case.

Bose describe them as their best-ever headphones! At Christmas I thought long and hard about buying mine as a joint birthday/Christmas gift for myself and I haven’t ever regretted it, I love ’em – you can give them a try virtually risk-free as there is no P&P and they’re on 2 Easy Pays.

That’s all from me for now … so until next time stay calm and dry !


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