BITS ‘N’ PIECES 24th April 2021

BITS ‘N’ PIECES Saturday 24th April 2021 BLOG Saturday 24th April 2021



There are many things that took off during lockdown that we might happily leave there, but one stay-at-home gardening fad looks like it’s here to stay: seed planting. During the first lockdown in March/April 2020, many seed sellers reported record-breaking sales as people turned to their gardens for something to do. But this year, even as restrictions are easing and the novelty of lockdown life at home has well worn off, seed sellers are reporting another boom in spring sales. People must be busy getting their gardens ready for a summer of alfresco hosting.


What do you wake up to? An alarm on your phone or the radio? A new study by researchers at the RMIT University in Australia has found that setting your favourite song as your alarm could be one of the best ways to make you feel more get-up-and-go. They found that a melodic alarm (one that you can sing along to), as opposed to simple beep, can boost alertness throughout the day. So, what’s your favourite song?


Brighton and Hove has been crowned the most environmentally-friendly city in the UK, thanks to its switched-on recycling schemes, vegan restaurants and green habits of residents. Research conducted Garden of Life has ranked 30 of the UK’s biggest towns and cities on a variety of green factors to determine the country’s most eco-friendly places. Brighton and Hove outperformed all other cities, with high numbers of charity shops, allotments and fewer people eating meat.


With increased working from home blurring the boundaries between professional life and home life, the Prospect union is calling on the UK government to use the upcoming Employment Bill to give UK workers the ‘right to disconnect’. The campaign has proved successful in France and Ireland and means that employers have a legal obligation to negotiate with staff over when they can and can’t be contacted. The aim is for a healthier work/life balance.


Dear Diary, Today I. If you’ve ever thought about starting a journal, there’s no time like the present. Just 10 minutes a day can be game-changing and beneficial to our physical and mental health. If you’re struggling with what to put down on paper, one expert says to be the “hero” of your own story. Writing about the life you want to have can help you manifest that life. Also, try out the HAPPE method: H: Handwriting; A: As if (what you’re writing about is happening now); P: Person, as in the third person; P: Positive; and E: Emotions.

25 of the best picnic blankets for outdoor dining in style

As all the meetings with friends have to be outside what you can’t do without is a good Picnic Blanket. Here are 25 suggestions. To buy either go to the Country Living Magazine Link or search the name of the blanket on the internet.


  1. Heating & Plumbing Pure New Wool Waterproof Picnic Blanket £125.00

We adore this luxury pink picnic blanket that’s chic and one worth investing in for a summer of alfresco feasts. It’s handmade from pure new wool, with water resistant backing and leather straps. If you’re after a picnic rug to wow your picnic guests, this one is sure to impress, whether you’re planning a day at the beach or in the park.


  1. Eurohike Picnic Blanket £8.00


Want a cheap picnic blanket? This one is simple in design but is ideal for something affordable that does the job. It has waterproof backing, it feels comfortable to sit on and there’s a handy strap for rolling it up and carrying from home to the park.


  1. Catherine Lansfield Silly Sausage Dogs Picnic Blanket £15.00

Dog lovers, this picnic blanket printed with elegant sausage dogs is for you! Whether you’ve got a pooch in tow or not, this picnic rug’s sure to attract the attention of fellow animal lovers. When you’ve used it, the blanket folds up and has a carry handle for easy transporting.


  1. Fortnum’s Picnic Rug £70.00

Experts in tea time treats and alfresco dining, Fortnum & Mason knows how to make a quality picnic blanket. This one, in the luxury department store’s signature eau de nil colour paired with navy blue, comes in wool mix material and is a stylish picnic rug for the garden, park or beach. There also leather handles for easy carrying.


  1. Emma Bridgewater Picnic Rug £33.95

We’re dotty for this spotted picnic blanket from Emma Bridgewater. It’s smart, rolls up easily and looks beautiful laid out. If there are any spills, it’s also easy to wipe clean.


  1. Lemon Picnic Blanket £9.50

An affordable picnic blanket with a fun print, this one will transport you to the Mediterranean with its citrusy style. Priced under £10, this picnic rug is a real bargain and comes with a durable waterproof backing, while folding up neatly with its carry handle. It’s one to easily wipe clean after your trip to the beach or park.


  1. Lindos Outdoor Blanket £3.00

This large picnic blanket made from Turkish cotton is a luxurious option for families or a group enjoying a day in the garden, at the beach or on an alfresco adventure. It features a stylish nautical-inspired stripe design and the picnic rug is finished with a tassel edge.


  1. Sophie Allport Lobster Knitted Picnic Blanket £43.00

Heading to the beach? This beautiful lobster-printed picnic blanket in grey is perfect for trips to the seaside. It has water-resistant backing and faux leather straps for carrying it around. The unique print and purse-friendly materials makes it one worth packing for days out.


  1. Kate Spade New York Rainbow Plaid Picnic Rug £40.50


This lovely picnic blanket by Kate Spade has a beautiful multicoloured check design and is made of 100% cotton. The picnic rug is the perfect thing to pack for days out in the summer, bringing a vibrant touch to your picnic.


  1. Ordnance Survey Waterproof Picnic Rug – Brecon Beacons & Cardiff £33.99

Even if travel is off the table, this picnic blanket will transport you to other places without the need to leave home. Created by the Ordnance Survey, the picnic blanket with a map of the Brecon Beacons is waterproof, large enough for four adults (or two plus plenty of grub), lightweight and easy to pack away in its own little sack. It even has ‘button holes’ for you to peg it down in the garden.


  1. Hand Embroidered Picnic Blanket US$54.00


A round picnic blanket with a ‘walking on sunshine’ message, this one is ideal for folding up and taking wherever you go when the sun is shining. The hand-embroidered picnic rug is made from cotton and features white fringe all the way round.


  1. Livehitop Fleece Extra Large Picnic Blanket £24.99

This extra large picnic blankets is roomy enough for up to eight people to enjoy. There’s waterproof and sandproof backing, a comfy fleece surface and the 200cm x 200cm picnic rug folds up compact and is easy to transport to any beach or park.


  1. Roebury Large Oversized Water-Resistant Picnic Blanket

Whether you’re heading to the coast or country, this floral-print. large picnic blanket is the cute and casual essential you need. It’s compact and folds away into a tote bag when you’re not using it, plus the waterproof back makes it fab for placing on damp grass. We love the padding, too!


  1. Sol 72 Outdoor Round Picnic Blanket £87.99

Prefer a round picnic rug? We like this one that’s waterproof and anti-fungal, while reversible too. It’s made of high quality and lightweight polypropylene, plus the picnic blanket has an extended lifespan due to the UV treatment.


  1. Joules Fleece Picnic Blanket £32.00

One you can choose as a small, medium or large picnic blanket, this roll-up picnic blanket is both practical and cosy. Made in Cornwall, it’s one side washable fleece for you to relax in comfort. The Joules picnic blanket is washable and made from high quality materials, making it one that will withstand spills for years.


  1. Tweedmill Eventer Pure New Wool Picnic Blanket £70.00

Made from luxurious pure new wool, this tartan picnic blanket by Tweedmill comes in classic blue and olive tones for a timeless style you’ll love year after year. It has a waterproof backing and carry handles for a great investment rug.


  1. Kissing Hedgehogs Picnic Blanket £60.00

With enough space for six people, this large picnic blanket is fun, lightweight and portable too. The striking design is perfect for nature-lovers and it’s made in Britain for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint. We love the yellow hedgehog print on the bold blue background.


  1. Cath Kidston Picnic Blanket £39.00

Cath Kidston’s Seaside Shells picnic blanket has the beach written all over it. It’s made from cotton canvas with a practical splash-proof coating on the reverse. The picnic rug has a handy strap, making it easy to roll up, transport and store between picnics.


  1. VonShef Blue Herringbone Picnic Blanket £26.99

Roll it up, carry it and lay it down easily – we love this beautiful herringbone picnic blanket that’s affordable too. It’s made from hardwearing fleece polyester for something that lasts, plus the picnic rug has waterproof backing to keep you dry while you tuck into your strawberries and cream.


  1. Scion Mr Fox Picnic Rug £49.00

With its fun print making it ideal for the garden, park or beach, this picnic blanket comes with a waterproof backing and handy carrying straps. It features Scion’s popular Mr.Fox design and is easy to roll up once you’re done.


  1. Rubbastuff Chess Board Waterproof Picnic Blanket US$39.99

We like this playful picnic blanket by Rubbastuff that fans of Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit will appreciate. The waterproof mat with a giant chess board pattern is a light and compact design you can take anywhere. The large picnic rug is great for families and when you’re not enjoying an alfresco feast on it, you can learn how to play chess (pieces not included).


  1. John Lewis & Partners Geo Picnic Rug £25.00

This lightweight fabric picnic blanket features a stylish geometric design and comes complete with a waterproof backing so you can lay it out on damp ground. When you’re not using the picnic rug, it rolls up neatly and is easily carried with its durable webbing handle.


  1. Regatta Matio Picnic Rug Strawberry Print £13.50

With its soft foam mid layer for extra comfort, this picnic blanket really is cheap and cheerful! It features a strawberry print and works brilliantly at home in the garden, for lunch in the park or for lounging on the beach.


  1. Atlantic Blankets You, Me & the Sea Picnic Blanket £80.00

This picnic blanket for beach lovers is great for a romantic alfresco date and made in England using recycled cotton. It reads ‘You, Me & the Sea’ and is versatile for you to also use over your shoulders at the seaside or as something you can snuggle with on the sofa at night.


  1. Atlantic Blankets Coral Wool Herringbone Blanket £60.00

This beautiful coral picnic blanket made from 100% British new wool shows off a classic herringbone design, with a cream edge and fringe. It’s easy to wash in the machine and looks gorgeous for a colourful spread. We’d opt for cutlery and plates that are just as bright too.





The trick in life is learning how to deal with it. – Helen Mirren.


Happiness is…a picnic sitting on a good picnic blanket.


Did the man who invented knock-knock jokes get a no bell prize?


Love is…a picnic shared on a super duper picnic blanket.



A time for a McDonalds take away on a park bench…A time for a picnic in the countryside using Tuppaware containers and a luxurious picnic blanket.


24th April

1888 Eastman Kodak founded by George Eastman.

1953 Winston Churchill knighted by Queen Elizabeth II

1969 Paul McCartney says there is no truth to rumors he is dead








©2021 Phil M Robinson