Archives for : children

Exploding Hand Boiler

In good time for Christmas we bought our son a Hand Boiler from Hawkin’s Bazaar.  It’s the sort of geeky thing a seven year old finds fascinating.  For £4 it seemed like a bargain, and until today it was.

Thankfully nobody was near it when it exploded, showering glass shards all over the room.  We don’t really want to think of what could have happened.  Naturally, all the pieces were swept up.  The room was vacuumed and the shards put in the bin, but not before we took photos.  We know that Hawkin’s isn’t the only source for these curiosities, they’re available at Amazon and no doubt numerous other places, but we’ll be writing to Hawkin’s Bazaar asking them to stop selling them.

If you have a hand boiler please be careful.  We certainly wouldn’t let our son near another one.

Children's Hand Boiler bought from

Children’s Hand Boiler bought from


Brian Cant turns 80 today. 

If you don’t know who Brian Cant is, he worked on children’s tv when I was young.  He had an immediately calming voice, wasn’t afraid to make himself (in hindsight) look silly and was immediately recognisable.  He’s a tall gentleman, and by that I *mean* gentleman.  Even on a 20″ screen he came across as a giant.  While I’ve never met him, he’s always felt like a member of the family.  When I was little he always felt like my dad, while my dad was at work at least.  Even to this day, the mere mention of his name invokes a warm feeling, the bringer of happiness and smiles of nostalgia.  At worst, he’s the wacky favourite uncle who lives hundreds of miles away and you never see.

Brian Cant belongs to the same crowd as Johnny Morris, Johnny Ball, Derek Griffiths and Tony Hart.  The select group who taught morals, compassion and self-confidence. 

I don’t know anyone around my age who doesn’t know of Brian Cant.  Everyone who talks about him does so with fondness.  A whole generation owes him a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid.  The least we can do is write a tweet in the vain hope that Mr Cant sees them.  I tweeted in the small hours of today with the hashtag #BrianCant80 and although I may never know if it’s seen that’s not what’s important here.  What’s important is that Brian Cant is the kind of man who has positively influenced myself and thousands of others.  He is held in the highest regard and it’s his birthday.

Many happy returns Mr Cant.