Here it is, folks. Can you smell it? It's the weekend!

For some, it's a day out and a day off work. For others it's the shift that we will gladly take to get a day off during the week. For me, Saturday is work day (and beer night) and Sunday is family day.

Any who, last week I promised a vamped up new look to Fri-Dad. I don't do fancy fonts or design, heck it's not even my damn blog. I decided to switch it up to give me plenty to think about to make for a little more bite sized reading. Consider it a bathroom break read (if you poo or piss kinda quick) or a cheeky read whilst on long drives (DISCLAIMER: DO NOT DO THIS! YOU MAY DIE!)

So here it is, feed back Laura for all thoughts and suggestions.

Topic - Ashya King

For anyone following the papers, some will have read abut the boy from Portsmouth (my hometown) suffering from a tumour who was taken from hospital by his parents who were desperate to provide the best treatment for his condition.

The parents left an assuring video discussing their situation, the treatment they received from the hospital and staff and a plea for police to call off their search so they can help their son.

I took the time to re watch the video and consider the situation. It's certainly something out of a TV drama series or film. What I was left with was..."you know what? Go get 'em".

Understanding that the father was ready to sell the house and pay for the desired treatment abroad is fine. If you feel that strongly about your own child and know that you would go through hell and high water to help your child (that's pretty much what you signed up for) then go for it,

Of course be aware you are subject to abduction, because the child has just had surgery and selling your house would not make it easy for you to provide for all your family after the treatment was paid for. You are taking a grave risk, but, sometimes you have to take it, you want to take it.

Parents do put themselves through stress and struggle, just to give their children every opportunity possible to know that one day, it'll all be worth it.

After their recent release from prison, I hope their wish I answered. Ashya receives the treatment, they remain a family after the treat of having Ashya taken from them and they can proceed as the loving family they've shown they are.

Off-topic - Smart TV

Some of you lucky ones, who are as fortunate or more than me have the pleasure of Smart TV. Some have it built into your TV, use a smart box (e.g. Now TV, Roku, Chromecast etc.) or simply plug the laptop into the TV. Those who don't, I'm going to let you in on what you can enjoy.

With access to things such as catch up TV, Netflix and YouTube to keep on top of all the viewing I demand. Up to date series, events,'s something I'm glad I could do at little cost.

Being a dad and wanting to be a writer, I find it pretty hard to make time, so it's been a saviour staying on top of things and even having research material at my fingertips.
It offers a vast range of things to watch as a family and saves things I might have missed while busy.

The biggest downside I've found with it is it's lack of use. Netflix is a saviour, it's what I reach for for entertainment, but with it used so infrequently, the same as the television and the Xbox it's worth considering how much you will use it.

If you're thinking of doing this, please let me suggest a few things:

Pick the right smart tv - if you do choose to have a smart tv, be sure it offers all the functions you desire (same with smart boxes). They can be more expensive than regular tv's so do plenty of research.

Pick the right box - Now TV offers catch up tv, but only sky services which can be monthly payments. Roku offer pretty much the whole lot, just make sure they work best with whatever tv you're plugging it into (some work best for smaller tvs).

Chromecast - A great cheap alternative to a box. Only catch is you cast from a phone. Tablet or laptop. Also it works for a few apps. BBC, Netflix and YouTube mainly. If you think you'll use them a lot, I surely recommend this.

Can't afford a box? Try your laptop - A laptop is always another great option for those feeling the pinch and want to enjoy things on a bigger screen. The world can be your oyster...depending on the connection. Laptops require either HDMI (preferred) or a VGA and an audio lead. Macs require specific leads which can be hard to source (depending on if you can make it to an Apple shop or not). Doing this can offer so much, the only pain being navigating it all from your laptop.

Top Tip - Zip lock bags

Laura showed me something I found quite impressive to avoid a certain struggle we have as parents,

Max loves puzzles and can lose parts or get them mixed up quite easily. Rather than keep struggling to find the right pieces for the right boxes, she developed a scheme to keep things convenient and avoid marking the pieces,

By putting the pieces in a zip lock bag (you know the ones people used to wrap their sandwiches because they were too cool for cling film) we could keep on top of pieces.

It made for less mess, stress and avoided losing pieces. Max can access each bag with ease, put them away comfortably and give us time to do chores while he works on puzzles one by one.


Quote from Max

"When we was little dad, we used to like Fireman Sam as well". I didn't see you there kid, but if you must know, I watched Thomas the Tank Engine, Thunderbirds and Noddy before Pokemon came along, I thought you knew me kid!

Well that was it, leave your comments and thoughts with Laura or you can hit me up on Twitter: @SJCastle_. I'll shake it up a little for next week, maybe even add a few more. I've got plenty to play with now with my new plan.

Have a great weekend!

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