Tag: advice

Camping? If you must, read our camping tips first.

Camping tips

Camping Tips

Looking for camping tips?  We can think of a million reasons why not to go camping, and most of them bite.   There’s midges.  And cold nights.  And having to walk half a mile for a pee.  And everything takes twice as much effort in a tent as it does in a house.  That’s why we live in houses.   And it will rain.  And midges.

And yet thousands of you will be planning a trip right now.  So we consulted our resident expert for some top camping tips to make the most of it.  Just don’t forget the custard.

Top Tips from our Camping Expert

  1. Red wine should be drunk at room temperature. A cold damp British field is not room temperature.  Cold red wine = miserable campers.  Take white wine, or beer, or spirits.
  2. Those cheap tents they call “festival tents”?  Just don’t.  There’s a reason they’re cheap.  You need a proper tent.  For proper British camping weather.   Check the reviews.
  3. Want creepy men come over to “help you pitch your tent” ?  Don’t bother to even look at the tent’s instructions.  Otherwise practice pitching your tent before the trip.
  4. Arrive at your site during daylight so you can pitch your tent properly. That way it won’t leak or blow away.   Also, you don’t want to wake up and find you have pitched across the main thoroughfare to the bogs.
  5. Take a emergency tent repair kit: solvent glue for emergency waterproofing of tent seams; gaffa/duct tape for mending everything; spare guy lines and pegs; a needle and thread.
  6. A tidy tent is a happy tent! Look, if the weather gets bad, and your tent leaks or blows down, you’re gonna thank me for this.  If your belongings are strewn across your tent, they’re gonna get wet.  If they’re packed in your rucksack, they’re not.
  7. Never have a lit flame in your tent.  Yeah yeah, everyone does it … I’m being a kill-joy.  But if you’ve ever seen the burn scars on someone who’s been in a tent fire … just don’t.  (It takes seconds for a tent to completely burn down, you won’t have time to put out a fire)
  8. Don’t skimp on your sleeping bag.  Even summer nights get really cold in the UK.  If you’ve only got a thin one, one of those cheap fleece throws inside your sleeping bag works well.  Also, an aluminium water bottle makes a half decent hot-water-bottle if needs must.  But make sure the lid is watertight.
  9. You need something between you and the ground. If you’re tough/young a thin insulating mat will do the trick.  But an airbed will be more comfortable.  And put an insulating mat on top of it.  That way, you’ll be comfortable and warm
  10. Lots of thin layers are warmer than one thick.  Leggings or woolly tights under trousers are super-warm for evenings.  And waterproof footwear.  You’re not gonna care about sexy or trendy when you’ve got trenchfoot.
  11. Wet-wipes. Take loads.  The cheap kind you get in discount stores.  Use them for mopping up spills, wiping your hands, cleaning muddy groundsheets, etc.  And plastic bags – sandwich bags, bin bags, carrier bags.  Don’t ask why – you’ll see.
  12. That rustling you hear in the night? It’s a hedgehog going for your sliced brown.  Pack as much of your food as you can in airtight plastic boxes.
  13. Freeze some of your food and pack it frozen (milk, a premade chilli or curry, butter, cheese, meat etc). It keeps your cool box cold for longer.
  14. Put your matches in an airtight plastic box. You can’t light a stove with damp matches. A cig lighter is crap for lighting stoves btw.
  15. Have enough fuel for your stove. Whatever your stove needs, that’ll be the one kind of fuel the campsite shop doesn’t have.
  16. Put your phone sim in your prehistoric Nokia from like 2010. The battery will last all week.  And jeez, everyone can wait till you get back to hear about your trip.  No, really, they can.
  17. Remember your torch. Take spare batteries.  (See  no 15)
  18. Insect repellent. Lots of it.  All the time, but especially in the late afternoon, early evening.
  19. Earwigs do NOT get in your ears and bore into your brain. Get a grip.
  20. A wet camper is a miserable camper. Custard is cheering.  Take custard.

    Camping Tips
    Keep your matches in an airtight box

 

 

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Positive Thinking? DYP says Chin Up Love!

Positive thinking? Pah! How many times do you see those memes in your timeline?  The ones telling you to everything will fall into place through positive thinking?  Are you like us and thinking, yeah right… that’ll work?

Are you going, ah yes, I’ll think positive and I’ll be a great success?  My bills will get paid; my roof will mend itself … are you?  Or like us, are you thinking fuck that shit, and scrolling down the page.  We’ve been wondering where all this Positive Thinking comes from, so we’ve done some digging.

Our favourite Positive thinking memes

We’ve crawled through our timelines and found some you’ll just love!

Positive Thinking

Where positive thinking all started

We were wondering where all this positive thinking malarkey began.    It turns out it has its origins over a 100 years ago.  It started out as a bit of a rebellion against Calvinist work ethic.  It has influenced lots of New Age thinking.  But it also influenced the Christian Science movement: the power of the mind.

But it’s not all great.  People have pointed out the danger of positive thinking. Barbara Ehrenreich(1) says that it hasn’t helped the American economy one bit. She argues the cult of positive thinking means no-one makes contingency plans.

Psychologist Gabriele Oettingen(2) devised experiments to see if positive thinking works.  What she found out was startling.  Those who were thinking positive thoughts about their work achieved less!  It was like they’d relaxed too soon.

The Power of Negative Thinking

Pessimism, when you get used to it, is just as agreeable as optimism.”

Arnold Bennett

Positive Thinking

Negative thinking all started with the Greek Stoics in the 3rd Century BC. They believed that negative things are only negative because you think they are, and that by facing up to the worst, you can then realise that it isn’t the worst at all.  There’s a whole lot more shit can happen, and so you may as well be content with what you’ve got.

More recently, research suggests that the route to happiness is not positivity at all.  In fact, it can make things worse. Squaring up to the worst case scenario gives you the heads up.  It gives you chance to take evasive action.  Pretending you’re not scared doesn’t mean you’re not scared.  Best to look it in the face, check the danger signs.

So … we don’t want you going round being negative all the time.  And a bit of positivity is good for us.   But keep it real guys, keep it real!

 

  1. Smile or Die: How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World; Barbara Ehrenreich; 2010
  2. As cited in The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking; Oliver Burkeman; 2012
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What stops you from buying at an online shop?

Father's Day greetings card

What stops you from buying at an online shop? Well it is a question I’ve asked myself quite a lot recently, since I’ve wanted to understand shopping habits of my customers. I have access to the information of customer click-through from my own sites, to understand how customers experience and use my shop. Which is very useful information and helps me try to improve my shop and make it easier for you to use.

The part I can’t work out is how it makes you feel – I want you to have an amazing experience and of course purchase outrageously naughty cards. (I know my work makes many of of you chuckle!)

I’ve read an awful lot about buying online and of ways to entice your customers, improve traffic and sales but it all feels wrong. I don’t want to bombard you with lots of messages, promotions, sales and gimmicks because I don’t want to experience that myself when I’m shopping online.

I get frustrated when I come to a new site and I’m met with pop-ups every twenty seconds, where sites seem to offer perpetual discounts. It devalues your product and makes me feel like you don’t value me as a customer. The biggest culprit for this is Gap, I love their clothes but I now refuse to buy anything at full price because there is likely to be a sale on in a couple of weeks time. My argument is that if they made their products lower in price in the first place, would they need to keep offering discounts to gain more customers?

As a small business it’s quite difficult to offer sales as every penny counts but I also understand we love to feel that we’re getting our moneys worth too. It’s very tempting to offer sales and discounts but really are we just kidding ourselves?

It seems a lot of the online business advice wants shops to push towards these gimmicks and yet I bet they’re equally frustrated when they visit sites that do this back. Frustration is not an emotion I want you to experience when shopping with me, I want to make the process as smooth and easy as possible, so I’ve stripped it back and made it as simple as I could. (Though website building is not my forte! Remember I’m just a printer!) Yes I offer an incentive to sign up to the newsletter, where you can get 5% off of your order and I also have a pop up to share DYP via social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

I would love you to share my work with your friends and family, I wouldn’t be able to do this job without so many of you supporting me. But I also understand that it’s a massive ask on the part of your visitor and impedes your online shopping experience. I’ve tried to use plugins to let customers sign in from social media, or to integrate my shop within Facebook for example. Though if I’m honest I felt they were gimmicky and causes further dilution of the excitement of using the shop – another barrier to enjoying being online.

Do I have the answer? No not yet, I’m still relatively new to this and so I’m just blogging about my findings and musings about online shopping. I use a lot of my own gut instinct but I won’t lie that there are times it feels like I’m shouting into a void of noise known as the internet! The hardest part is trying to get awareness and raise my brand so that people find me. I don’t have a massive marketing budget, in fact it’s incredibly tiny and so that is why I find myself spending hours scheduling posts, or reading up on marketing so that I can find my audience.

So what does stop me purchasing online? Hidden postage charges, added taxes, page after page of checkout processes and pop ups. All of these things I’ve tried to address as best as I could with what I have available to me through my Shopify theme. Postage for example, is determined on the price of your shopping cart and country, as opposed to weight. I don’t add extra charges in and I limited the number of check out pages. Hopefully these things help make the experience smoother.

Ultimately though, you have to like what you’re buying and I need to be fulfilling a need you as the customer have, otherwise you wouldn’t have found me in the first place! So that feeds back into brand awareness and people being able to see you…I think I’m going to be some time at this game yet or win the lottery to have a larger marketing budget to gain a wider audience!

So on that note I shall go and mull some more!

Bec

 

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