Clarks Shoes Review| Stop Selling To Kids!

Clarks Shoes Review.

We popped into Worthing town centre on Saturday, we had a few bits of shopping to get then off to the seafront for some proper fun.

Duke was in need of some new shoes. To me, as a traditionalist you say kids shoes you think Clarks Shoes, but now after my latest experience that won’t be happening again without it leaving a nasty taste in my mouth.

The trip to their shop started normally enough. A top floor full of parents and kids (who were being wooed by helpful looking young ladies and ipads to keep them entertained) while they got measured up.

Passing the time until we got served, we found a couple of pairs that looked nice, fitted the budget and Duke’s wishes, i.e., they have to flash!. The crowd finally thinned, Pulp’s “Common People” came on the store stereo and I thought to myself, “Nice work Clarks you have got yourself a very happy customer, you know how to make a Daddy like me smile“. How wrong I was.

We got welcomed by an assistant called Lauren and measured up (7 and a half F, if you’re asking) we asked to see if we could have the sizes in the shoes. She came back a couple of minutes later with a few boxes of shoes.

This is where it goes wrong. First up, she takes out possibly the most disgusting shoes I have ever seen and proceeded to “Hard Sell” them directly to my 3-year-old. These were not the shoes we had we had chosen; these were the choice of Mr. Fricking Tumble spaced on out on some weird psychedelic Acid trip”.- And you know how much I hate Mr. Tumble. I explained my displeasure but felt almost ignored as she looked to get my son hyped up about them.

So now we have a three year old utterly convinced that he needs these shoes, or he will self-combust. I must admit rather than facing the prospect of a full-on potential toddler tantrum, I bottled it. I gave in; I brought them and the shoes we had originally wanted (without having tried them on) just to get out of the shop in one piece. That way we could keep what had been a happy day a continued happy day. It didn’t, but it did leave a really nasty taste in my mouth, I expected better from Clarks.

Clarks Shoes Review

Clarks Shoes Make Me Feel Like This

When we did get home and managed to try finally the shoes we originally wanted on, we found out one of them didn’t actually flash, so we now need to go back to the store and get a refund. Normally it would have been an exchange, but considering how p”ssed off I feel, I just want the money back and will be taking out long term custom elsewhere. It’s a shame, I have a lot of fond memories about Clarks over the years, we got Duke’s very first ever pair of shoes from the Clarks in Hove and still have the photo they gave us (Nice marketing touch btw!)

It got me thinking, was I the only one that this has happened to? (Quick check on Netmums throws up reams of complaints about a multitude of issues) was I weak-minded because I didn’t as I really wanted to face a tantrum and spoil a nice day out ( Yes possibly, but I doubt I am the only one hat has ever done this ) or was this common practice and a cheap sales technique picked up by some second rate footwear candidate from “The Apprentice” practiced on busy parents? ( I reckon so)

As a parent, I expect to be consulted not feel like I have been suckered into a corner, have my views completely ignored and have my child sold to.

Clarks Shoes Review | Shame On You!

Clarks Shoes Review | Shame On You!

What do you think? Have you ever felt suckered into making a purchase by someone selling directly to your child rather than you?

Happy Birthday Duke

This week we have been celebrating number one son a.k.a the Duke hitting the big 3.

What a whirlwind of up’s and downs it has been. I have so many memories and have probably taken more photos than a 1,000 coachloads Japanese tourist on a tour of “Buck House” in order to try capture the moments that, so fleetingly pass by.

No matter what I do, it is almost impossible to put into words or capture how one small boy can bring so much happiness, laughter,  mischief and love from just being himself.

I swear policeman get younger everyday.

I swear policemen get younger everyday.

I remember as a kid, people saying to my Dad “Oh hasn’t he grown” after not seeing me for a while and thinking “Err nope“. But of course I had, I just didn’t realise it. It the same with my son, he is growing up so fast but I don’t really ever sit back and register it if that makes sense? It is only when I go through photo’s it actually hits me.

So to mark this historic occasion in the DBTH home, I thought I’d post up a few of my favorites just one for each year he has been rocking my world. This in itself, is a monstrously hard task. So I came up with the idea of having a theme. See if you can put your “thinking caps” on and guess what it is..

Me, the Duke and Er Indoors on the first time we all met.

Me, the Duke and Er Indoors on the first time we all met.


Me and the Duke aged One.

Me and the Duke Aged One.


Me and the Duke aged 2

Me and the Duke Aged 2


Me and the Duke aged 2

Me and the Duke Aged 3

So ok, not so much a theme just photo’s of me in different hats. (If you know me personally you know how much I like my hats..) However, looking back at these photos now there is only one thing to say; in the words so often spoken “Blimey, hasn’t he grown”.

Happy birthday Son.xx 


Funk The Family Festival – “There’s Nothing Like This”

Probably if you’re like me, your Facebook feed gets swamped with people pointlessly tagging you to rubbish events and gigs in the other part of the country that essentially you have no chance or intent of ever attending.

Then every now and then something will pop up and you think YES OH YES that really is a bit of me.  That’s what happened to me a couple of weeks ago, when a friend posted a link to a festival called “Funk the Family”.

Funk The Family Festival 2015

Funk The Family Festival 2015

It ticks so many boxes and then some. Not only do they have some great acts lined up but it caters for people like me that spent their wild BC (before child) days, dancing their asses off in fields up and down the country.

Its just now we want those fields not to be muddy, relatively local so we can get back home at a sensible hour, not have to put up with loo’s that have a public health warning, be pushchair friendly and have enough child entertainment to keep an active 3 year old boy engrossed.  Just as important, not have to put up with hordes of idiots chewing their jaws off around us (the only people I want to see dribbling are the ones still teething) while we dad dance to a stellar line up of old school tunes like this.

I digress. Later that day I emailed the team behind the event to find out some more details and was immediately struck by just how friendly and helpful they were. After a couple of emails, I arranged to meet up with Lucy “Elle J” Small, the force of nature behind FTF to find out more.  We grabbed a cuppa while she took the time to walk me round the site, explaining about the background of the event and the mountain of red tape they have had to cut through in order to make the day happen.

It was if I am honest, a little bit scary. When we met, it soon became apparent that Lucy (as she later mentioned) was almost a female version of me – (not in a physical sense of course) but with a genuine passion for good music, as her radio show and music journalist CV will verify, but with a dodgy sense of humour and being knackered from having a young family yet just slightly nuts enough to make something really quite spectacular happen.

What Lucy and the FTF team have done is identified a huge gap in the market. Just because we are parents it doesn’t mean we should hang up our raving shoes. (Just our dungarees and smiley face head scarves, no one wants to see a fat 40-something bloke in those) we just need it to coincide nicely with the needs of having a family. That is exactly what this caters for.

Tickets are already selling like the proverbial; so I strongly recommend you get yours quickly here. Just think amazing music, masses of cool people, circus acts, live graffiti, great food, storytelling and yoga sessions, even a silent disco so your kids can listen to “ Let it Go” or the “Postman Pat theme tune” while you boogie down in the sunshine to tracks like this.

Really what more can you want for a day out?. The kids have a chance to be kids and you get the chance to embarrass them in the company of like-minded folk whilst you remember who you are before the world of school runs put pay to doing the “Running Man”.

After a successful test event in Hove Lagoon last year, the team be have upgraded to expect 3-5,000 people in a central Hove park on the last Bank Holiday Monday in May. At just £49.50 for a family of four ticket for 9 hours of unadulterated pleasure it is well worth it.

To paraphrase Soul legend and headline act “Omar’s” most famous tune – “There’s’ nothing like kids”…. I’m still not sure how this actually fits in but I think it’s too much of a good pun not to..

See you there!!!