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Ready Brek – central heating for kids

IT’S wet, cold and dark when you send your kids off to school. Your kids beg for a lift in the car but you refuse and watch them trudge out the door into darkness. Your poor kids arrive at school shivering and sneezing. It takes them all morning to defrost and once the school day is over, they dash home to jump in a spot by the radiator. You look at your kids warming themselves by the radiator. A look of sadness, disappointment and despair on their faces. You keep looking at them and they stare back at you. You can see it in their eyes  – ‘It’s your fault we’ve been trying to get warm all day … It’s your fault we’re sneezing! You sent us out unprotected into arctic conditions without protection!’ You sheepishly walk away and hide in another room.

The verdict is conclusive …  you’re guilty of sending your kids out into the cold without adequate protection. Guilty of selfishness and neglect. Guilty, Guilty, Guilty!


Ready Brek


Well this does not need to be the case. Avoid getting yourself into a position where your kids slam down the imaginary hammer and declare you guilty. Make sure they head out with adequate protection – protection that will put a glow on em – protection that will glow in the morning darkness. Get your kids fuelled up with bowl of Ready Brek!


Ready Brek 2



Once the hot oat cereal is gobbled up, your kids will head out the door with a spring in their step. They will display a visual glow of warmth and have no chilly bones, sneezing or shivering.  They will arrive at school warm and ready to go! Whilst the non-Ready Brekkers are defrosting whilst sat at their desks, the Ready Brekkers are in full flow absorbing every detail being taught as their pens go into overdrive. These kids are on fire and are still displaying the visual glow as they crack on through the morning session. The teachers know the pupils who’ve had a hot bowl of Ready Brek – apart from the visual glow, they notice that these pupils are alert, have blood flowing to their cheeks and  their facial expressions are free moving (not locked in one position).


Ready brek 3



At the end of your working day you return home to happy, content, frost-free kids. Home has a happy vibe to it with no hostility. There’s no one hogging the spot by the radiator as you stroll around free from guilt. You’ll be chuffed that you fed your kids Ready Brek in the morning and you feel like a responsible parent once again. You watch your kids laughing, enjoying themselves, dashing around the house as if it’s the start of the Summer holidays. Ready  Brek really is Central Heating for Kids. You’ve discovered the secret to guilt free parenthood and never again will you be dragged through the imaginary courtroom.

Need some more Ready Brek to keep the glow in tack? More on Ready Brek in The Great British Blog Book for Nostalgic Geeks available from here: Nostalgic Geek Shop


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Nostalgic greeting cards – spreading happiness through the letterbox

THE way we communicate with each other has changed. The days of  pigeon post has gone. Sitting down and writing a letter is slowly disappearing. FaceTime, text messages and Skype have encouraged us to ditch the pen and paper.


We now prefer to bash out an email instead of writing a letter – it’s quicker and no dashing to the post office for a stamp! Our email accounts get packed with stuff we ignore (with a bit of spam sneaking in). The types of post we get shoved through our letterboxes are takeaway leaflets, leaflets from estate agents and the dreaded bills that land of the hallway floor with a thud – not much fun coming through our letterboxes.

How about sending some fun and happiness through someones letterbox? Ditch the emails and text messages and show that you’ve been thinking of them. Show them that they’re worth much more than a 30 second text message riddled with predictive text errors. Pick up your pen and send the gift of nostalgia to someone today with one of our ‘Living in the Past’ themed cards.

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Design 1 straplineJust a suggestion … there’s ample cash under the mattress for a modern television.

Yes some people did keep their hard earned cash under the mattress! Keeping cash under the mattress ensured instant, easy access. With saving interest rates scraping the barrel, the mattress maybe a good alternative (just make sure the home security is top-notch).

The four-buttoned TV that weighed a ton! BBC1, BBC2 and ITV were the only available channels back in the day.

Luckily banks are a pretty safe bet for our money these days (even if the interest rates are dire) and we have the luxury of sleek flat screen TV’s – no need for Fort Knox style home security or manually tuning in TV stations!

Greeting suggestion: ‘Do you remember the one we had? Thanks for the gift’.

Design 2 strapline: Is taping top 40 songs off the radio even legal these days?

Sunday evenings was a time when we’d listen to the top 40 and simultaneously hit the play and record button on the cassette player. We’d then have our favourite tunes recorded on a C60 or C90. You’d be labeled a thief if you did this today. Recording off the radio is considered ‘fair use’ so grab those tapes and get taping!

Greeting suggestion: ‘Happy birthday mate. I know you still have a few tapes knocking around that you still listen to.’

Design 3 strapline: I’m not fibbing – on my car I can adjust the wing mirror without winding down the window!

Years ago, wing mirrors had to adjusted manually – we’d wind down the window, twist and pull until we achieved the optimum angle. It was a tad annoying having to this whilst the rain pelted down and soaked your arm! Luckily, with modern cars, wing mirrors can be adjusted from the inside – yippee!

Greeting suggestion: ‘Happy Fathers Day – I think this will jog your memory’.

Design 4 strapline: Yes indeed … a front-loading machine also spins clothes!

The good old twin-tub washing machine. The washer occupied one side of the machine whilst the spinner occupied the other. Manually lift the clothes out of the washer into the spinner (using wooden tongs). The whole process of using one of these twin-tubs would sometimes have us sweating like a marathon runner. Luckily the modern front-loading washing machines washes and spins in one drum. The result … sweat-free washdays!

Greeting suggestion: ‘I’m glad we don’t have to use these anymore! We enjoyed our stay and being free from the usual household chores’.

Design 5 strapline:  Just saying … an electric kettle also boils water to 100 degrees centigrade!

The whistling kettle still has a place in some kitchens around the country. Hearing the whilstling kettle, dashing into the steam engulfed kitchen and turning off the gas burner was usual practice many years ago – we knew the water was well and truly boiled! Today the electric kettle is more likely to be seen in our kitchens – it boils water without whistling … and no sprinting needed to rescue it from the hob!

Buy your Living in the Past cards  using the links below (the links will not take you to any dodgy sites … you’ll stay on the current retrohen site so don’t panic) 

Nostalgic box of 5 cards in nostalgic green here: Living in the Past greeting cards – Box of 5

Nostalgic box of 12 cards in nostalgic turquoise here: Living in the Past Greeting cards – 12 boxed cards

A bit more info

5 x A6 sized boxed cards (one of each design) in nostalgic green.

12 x A6 sized boxed cards (3 x design 2,3,4 and 5) in nostalgic turquoise

The cards are blank inside for your own nostalgic/retro greeting or message.

There’s even an option to buy stamps with the ‘Living in the Past’ cards – you can post straight away without delay (only legwork needed is a stroll to the postbox!)

Final small detail: Currently we can only dispatch to customers in the UK. We are working hard to rectify and shift out of the yester-years into 2018!

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Grange Hill: Here come the girls


As Grange Hill celebrates 40 years since first being broadcast, memories of our favourite characters come flooding back. Many hardcore GH fans loved the recent Pointless celebrities special that featured some of the cast members (Todd Carty, Alison Bettles, Paula Ann Bland, Lee MacDonald, Erkan Mustafa, Michelle Gayle, Francesca Martinez and Stuart Organ). Even though the gates of GH have been closed since 2008, the characters, a memorable theme tune and that sausage on a fork is still deeply rooted in our memory bank.



There were so many memorable females that appeared in GH – here are a few whom are fondly remembered:

1. Trish Yates. Let’s face it, you won’t see Trish with a smile on her face – chances are that you’ll hear her rebuking Tucker. Trish will stand up for herself and she’ll stand up for you when you’re on her side. Troops and allies are what you need to survive at Grange Hill. With her rapid fire verbal defence, you’ll have an ally in Trish Yates.




2. Imelda Davis. I say avoid but it really depends on the career path you want to take. If survival to you means getting good O Level grades, being the teachers pet whilst being a goodie goodie, then avoid Imelda! If you plan to leave Grange Hill with a reputation of dishing out slaps, punches and kicks and pursue a career in the underworld, then Imelda is your girl. Remember … if you make your bed, you must lie in it!




3. Mrs McClusky. She may come across as the soft headteacher but tread with caution. If you get dragged to her office and think you’ll be able to explain the reasons for your wrongdoings, think again! Mrs McClusky will give you that look  – ‘Really? … Yeah right … You’re a liar!’ If you don’t want to spend the majority of the term in detention, then best avoid being marched to McClusky’s office.




4. Janet. She has a caring heart. Janet is persistent – she’s always trying to help outcast Roland. ‘Ro Land … Ro Land … Ro Land …’. Even though Roland has told her to get lost and leave him alone on many occasions, Janet just won’t give up. She’s a good egg who won’t crack after multiple rejections.




5. So many good lookers! A sure way to get  noticed was to spend time with one of the good lookers. Fay Lucas, Clare Scott, Rachel Burns, Fiona Wilson, Cally Donnington, Annette Firman … the list could go on and on.



Read how to survive a term at Grange Hill in the Great British Blog Book for Nostalgic Geeks:  Nostalgic Geek Shop





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Nostalgic lagers and personality

THE adverts may have stuck in our minds. The memory of gulping down one of these nostalgic lagers may fill us with delight or displeasure. Let’s look at five nostalgic lagers and analyse the personalities of the drinkers.


Long Life. The ‘Steady Eddie’ of lagers that’s ‘specially brewed for the can’. The consumer Long Life will have a manageable mortgage, a well kept lawn and prudent with money.

Personality type: Marriage material, sound judgement and a chunky pension!






Skol. ‘Horribly good lager’. Lighthearted, fun and down the earth. This middle of the road lager is one you’ll enjoy with a bunch of mates. Curry, banter and Skol are the perfect hat-trick for an enjoyable night out.

Personality type: marriage material with lots of fun but be willing to lend them some cash as tend to be out of pocket. Chilled out, funny and stand up comedian!





Harp. ‘Stay sharp to the bottom of the glass’. This is the ‘need to get away and relax’ lager. The drinker hates being hassled and makes a quick dash to the local when feeling overwhelmed.

Personality type: hates long term commitment, takes each day as it comes, introvert tendencies!





Tuborg. The lager of royalty – a true Danish taste that’s fit for a king. The consumer is attentive to detail and classy. Posh guests, posh nosh and intellectual conversation – Tuborg.

Personality type: Professional in business, smooth when it comes to pleasure. Reads and digests the small print before signing.





Special Brew. The strong stuff strictly for the hardcore! The consumer of the brew appreciates originality and patience. They also enjoy being unrushed in their day to day activities.

Personality type: Confident, bold and straight to the point. Non trash talking and blunt!




Fancy a burger with your lager? Check out the iconic Big Mac here: 50 years of the Big Mac and the battle of the burgers

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Izal toilet tissue and the cubicle of pain



I WOULD dread it! The thought of heading into the grey chilly cubicle would make me tremble. I’d hold my breath and clench my buttocks hoping to hold out until home-time. It’s 2pm  – only an hour and a half to go but I’m bursting! Can I make it? No … yes … maybe …

Keep clenching, take slow deep breaths, don’t think about it – instead think about making it home and finding relief in the smallest room in the house.


It’s no good, I give into the sensation and my hand shoots up requesting permission to head to the Cubicle of Pain.

I enter the cubicle of pain like a boy heading into the headmasters office for six of the best. I enter and my enemy is there innocently hanging from the dispenser roll. I hesitantly lock the door behind me and drop my trousers before carefully placing my bum on the chilly black toilet seat.

Business completed and poo flushed away. I shiver as I know this is when the innocent looking enemy bursts into life and inflicts punishment that will torment me for hours. I reel-off a strip and my hand shakes like I’m receiving an electric shock. I wipe and cringe as the feeling of sandpaper runs on my bum. One strip is not enough and I reel off another strip … coarse grade sandpaper inflicting more pain on my innocent bum!




I exit the cubicle of pain walking like I’ve been shot in the bum. I get back to my desk and sit down gingerly. I can hear my torturer on the roll giggling away in the distance.

Where was the Andrex dog to save my bum?

Dr Izal you are wicked! You showed no remorse – the pain from your torture session lasted for hours! You should be banned from all school toilets and your toilet surgery shut down! Dr Izal – I’m glad I’ll never ever step foot in your cubicle of pain again!




Want some more school memories? Take a trip back to Grange Hill here: Re-opening of Grange Hill?