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London Marathon

London marathon, which is one of the largest mass-participation events in the world, is a long distance race festival held in London. The race is generally considered as a very competitive and unpredictable event, and conducive to fast times. This festival was first introduced in 29 March 1981. It has been held on Sunday 13 April, with more than 40,000 people taking part every year. The popularity of London marathon is increasing day by day over the world.

This race is known as Virgin Money London Marathon because it has been sponsored by Virgin Money since 2010. The Olympic champion Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley are the founder of this event and It is controlled by Hugh Brasher, son of Chris, as a Race director. A number of runners known as Ever Presents have completed each of the London Marathons since 1981.

London is considered as one of the top six marathons that form the World Marathon Majors competition with a $1 million prize. The opening marathon had 7,741 entrants, 6,255 of whom finished the race. The first Elite Race was tied between American Dick Beardsley and Norwegian Inge Simonsen in 1981. The first Women’s Elite Race was also introduced in 1981.

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My Top Five Favourite Sports

London is of the busiest cities in the world today. Having been a resident of the English capital for a considerable number of years now; I have learnt that one of the best ways of preventing yourself from being swallowed up by the activities of the city is by keeping fit.

In order to achieve this, I make a point of getting involved in sports activities which I find very enjoyable. In this piece, I have mentioned some of these. Read on and learn more.

Football

Football has been my favorite sport for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was a young child, I have enjoyed not only playing but also the game. London, being the home of some of the biggest football clubs in the world such as Arsenal and Chelsea, is awash with several locations in which one can play or watch the beautiful game.

In addition, playing the game requires no special skills or equipment. This makes it easy to participate in without breaking the bank or going beyond your way to learn all the skills.

Swimming

Swimming is no doubt one of the best sports and one of my favorites. This is because the sport provides a full body workout as it engages all the limbs. This makes it a very effective way of exercising all your body parts all at once.

Swimming is also a sport I can participate in at any time of the day thus making it very flexible and can accommodate my changing schedules. Another thing that attracts me to the sport is the fact that it is a very effective way of relaxing; I can just swim with little effort and let my mind wander off.

Kick Boxing

kick boxingThis is one of the most physically challenging sports that I engage in – and I sure love it for that. I go to the gym at least once a week to practice, due to the great amazing benefits I derive from it. My gym also has a lot of grappling dummies like the ones you can find at http://www.grapplingdummyinsider.com/, which are an enormous help when practicing.

The fact that the sport incorporates moves from martial arts, boxing and aerobics, means that it works out my body evenly with excellent results. This has enabled me to maintained a well-toned body and improve my cardiovascular endurance.

Tennis

Being a very physically active person, I like games that engage me in all ways and enable me to do so his. Tennis is one of those games, making it one of my favorites. Apart from the obvious health benefits, there are other gains that I derive from engaging in the sport.

One of these is the fact that the sudden movements and directional changes help me to improve my flexibility as well as hand-eye coordination.

Karate

This is one of my favorites due to the fact that it greatly instills a discipline in the participants that is not present in most other sports. I love going to the gym and practicing on a freestyle throwing dummy.

In addition to this, it is a great way of keeping fit while at the same time gaining some self-defense skills that can enable me protect myself if I’m ever attacked.

The Day I Removed An Interesting Grow Room

So it was a nice afternoon in London and my buddies at Man and Van accompanied me on my next mission, which was to remove a quite interesting grow room for a client who obviously had a passion for all things herbal, which in this case was marijuana. When we arrived we were impressed by the man’s extensive knowledge of how to build and maintain an indoor grow room for marijuana. The enthusiastic client used happy hand gestures during the explanation and he mentioned that if we wanted to grow a similar grow room for medical marijuana, we had to build it in a closed off room in the house such as the closet or basement. We were then told that we needed to get rid of all carpeting to prevent water leakage and that we needed to seal off the windows with black plastic. One of my coworkers wrote down these instructions as if he planned to build a grow room one day. So the client kept talking as we removed items and he said that we had to install the LED grow lights, include some small fans for proper ventilation and other good tips.

LED Grow Light Spectacular

While we were breaking down the client’s old grow room, we noticed that he had numerous bold colored LED grow lights in the room. These lights were in shapes such as squares, triangles and circles and the colors of the lights included neon green, blue, pink, yellow and red. The client told us that LED lights were more eco friendly and that he loved the bold colors because they took the boredrom out of the grow room’s décor. He even gave us a few boxes of unused LED grow lights as souvenirs and recommended to visit Plantozoid.com for detailed information on indoor growing and LED grow lights reviews. It’s better than buttons and stickers! I also noticed that the order of his marijuana plants was arranged like the letter T. The client said this was a tribute to his late wife Tammi, who first gave him the idea of starting the grow room.

Even The Client Pitched In

We assume that most of our clients will stand back and monitor our removals but not this client. He must have a communal mindset because he put on his brown garden gloves and did what he could to assist us. He provided us with hot ganoderma coffee, which he said is therapeutic and helpful in reducing high blood pressure. We also ate a few overbaked cookies periodically. The client threw items inside our dumpster along with us and he mopped and swept at times. We thanked him for his help.

Conclusion

This was one of the best clients we have worked with and to this day I’m good friends with him. I have a grow room for culinary herbs instead of marijuana but to this day I still use the handwritten list he gave me some years ago on how to have a successful herb grow room. I recently sent him some of my fresh basil and thyme and he then invited me over for an Italian meal with him and his two rambunctious boys. Overall, I really enjoyed my time with Man and Van.

 

Traffic Jams in London

Traffic jam is a common affair in the busiest cities of the world. London is one of the busiest cities, where traffic jams are getting worse despite the congestion charge. From my own observation, I can say there are huge amount of drivers who waste time daily while driving in London city. Though congestion charge was introduced some years ago, traffic jams in London are the same as before. This congestion charge is a fee charged on most vehicles operating within the congestion charge zone in London from 07:00 to 18:00, Monday to Friday.

Transport for London statistics revealed that many cars daily coming into the original charging zone and into the western extension has dipped.On the other hand, traffic information supplier Inrix revealed that London was second only to the Brussels in terms of Europe’s most congested cities.

Inrix also recorded the worst roads in the London based on annual hours of delay in the peak period. The worst roads in London were at their most congested in the afternoons. The Inrix figures also showed traffic congestion in 2013 was worse than in 2012 based on 18 cities analyzed.The most congested areas are Merseyside, Greater Manchester, South Nottinghamshire and Greater Birmingham. All of these areas are getting worse and making people risky with wasting valuable time.

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Why I Love London and You Should Too

Over the last a few years I have lived in London city as a van driver in removal Services Company. Though London has some problems, there are a lot of reasons behind why people love London. Like other people I will love London forever and want to stay here for the last time.

Now, London is in the center of world attention, as the royal couple would like to take their wedding vows in Westminster abbey. It is worth saying that London has its own originality, energy, culture, commerce, tradition, entertainment, and iconic buildings, and I think it will always be one of the world’s greatest cities to live, visit and work in; this city is the center of world’s events.

For this reason London is called one of the most diverse cities on the planet. Here, people from different countries live together and they have more than 300 different languages. That’s why about 40 percent people are born outside the UK. But here still have a community; people come together when it matters.

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Some of the Best Fishing Spots in London

Some of the Best Fishing Spots in LondonOne thing I love about being a van driver is that I get to meet a lot of people. Just recently, I drove for a bunch of outdoorsy foreign students, mostly in their mid-20. They were fun-loving and had a lot of stories to tell. For that day, they were looking for some good spots to try angling. I know London has a number of ponds, reservoirs and rivers where they can catch some trout, carp, pike and many other fish species.

I took them to a personal favorite, the Tooting Common Pond were you’d likely find a lot of people around the banks trying the experience fishing. Located at Wandsworth, London, the lake is very popular for both angling enthusiasts and professionals. This fishing venue can be very generous if you put in effort, and probably some luck. Of course, you have to bring with you a reliable spinning reel (you can check out this site for some reviews http://spinningreelpro.com/.) Some fish species you might catch include roach, gudgeon, carp, bream, and perch.

There are still a lot of other angling spots that enthusiasts can visit in London. Here are some fishing spots you can try:

Currently fishing rights in this 180 acre nature reserve is on hold. But there are 9 lakes that anglers can choose from in the country park. The lakes offer a good mix of native fish species that include tench, roach, perch, bream and carp.

  • Walthamstow Reservoirs

If you are near Tottenham and want to go fishing, you can head to Walthamstow and choose from among the five reservoirs. Numbers 1 to 3 have coarse species while numbers 4 and 5 have trout and also for fly fishing. If you’re lucky enough, you can haul in some fantastic catches from the coarse lakes. You’ll definitely find the fishing session a day to remember. Bream and carp lurk the depths of the lake. The peaceful surrounding also makes it a great place to rest and relax away from your busy life.

  • Clapham Common Ponds

If you are after a nice chat with other fellow fishing aficionados, the Clapham Common offers three ponds for you to choose from. I actually learned how to find a good saltwater fishing reel when I once did fishing here. Some of the fish species I’ve seen here include roach, crucian, carp, bream, and perch.

  • Shadwells Pool

Located in Barnes, South West London, the lake offers 55 fishing pegs with adequate shade from woodland and trees. Shawells Pool is among the well established fishing spots and is also a preferred spot for beginners. This expansive lake covers 1.5 acres and is home to a diverse coarse species. Eel, rudd, tench, roach and carp are just some of the species the pool yields.

These are just a few of the frequently visited fishing spots here in London. Before I forget: make sure to secure a fishing rod licence if you plan to take enjoy fishing on any UK waters.

Music in London!

London is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. And if you are in this place, you will soak in all the cultures and rich heritage. It is a happening city and you will get attracted to it right from the first day! Coming to music, London has always kept music as an integral part. Be it musical concerts, musical workshops or even music classes, London has it all!

In this article, we are going to look into some of the most popular music venues in the city. If you are a music lover, you will absolutely have to visit these places!

Madame JoJo’s

This used to be one of the usual nightclubs in the city until Paul Magnate gave it a makeover. Now, it is a popular music destination with lights, glitz and glamour! The insides feel like the retro 1970s days with the typical colors of red and golden floating around. This Brewer Street nightclub is indeed quite the hit!

Café Oto

Café Oto is one of the great places where musicians from different spheres can express themselves and showcase their talent. This place opened up only in 2008 and ever since it has established itself as one of the primary venues for music. Regular gigs and performances make this place a great attraction among the tourists!

Union chapel

This is a beautiful looking gothic chapel with impeccable interiors. This is a venue for some of the annual music concerts and workshops. The chapel is famous for its pin drop silence. It has hosted the famous Coldplay in performance here! The décor adds to the feel of the musical ambiance. If you are a violin fan in this part of the world, then these beautiful violins might come in handy. Also, if you are looking for electric violins for your kid, you might want to check Violinio.com.

The Vortex

The Vortex is gradually bringing back the Jazz days with the beautiful performances here. There are evening shows every day of the week and this is something that brings the jazz lovers together. Some of the biggest in the world of jazz have performed here and stole many a hearts! The interiors and décor are pretty decent with a block of flats and minimalistic designs. But it has kept alive the concept of jazz music and how!

The Lexington

The Lexington is one of those ideal pubs with a mixture of both USA and British styles and cultures. The ambiance is relaxed and calming. You come here to enjoy the music and you will be pleased to your heart’s content! It brings in the perfect connection between music and its lovers. London blossoms in the glory of the Lexington. The sophisticated décor adds to the beauty and attraction quotient of this pub!

London has a wide range of music options to offer to you! This city will never fail to please you. Travel the beautiful city of London and enjoy the music!

It’s almost time to leave the city behind

It’s almost time to leave the city behindMuch as I love my city, I’ll be glad to see the back of it, like the back of a red double-decker London bus. But, I’m a hardworking bloke and I need to pay the rent. So, I won’t be taking my annual holidays until well after the Christmas and New Year’s festivities have come and gone. This time of the year is one of the busiest for me, so it also makes good financial sense to stick it out for a few more days. I can hardly wait.

My healthy, wandering mind

But, I’m humble enough to acknowledge that taking an annual breather is still a privilege. After all, there are many folks out there who just can’t afford to stop working. I’m used to packing so many different parcels into the back of my old van, but I still don’t have a clue what to pack for my holidays. I’m leaving London for a few days, that much has been decided. Which country town I’ll be kipping in has yet to be decided.

But we’ll get there. I do have a busy mind to help me decide and help me on my way. It’s what keeps me going while I’m on the road during the day. Sometimes my mind wonders off to faraway places like Sherwood Forest. Back in the day when I was still a wee lad, one of my heroes was Robin Hood, the knight in green who stole from the rich and gave to the poor.

My country life fantasy

In his day, Mr. Hood was probably one of the best archers around. During my adult daytime dreams, I’ve continued to fantasize about playing this character out in the woods. But reality always bites, doesn’t it. Even if I got that far, I’d probably still need a small archery-compatible rangefinder to see my way clearly through the forest. I’d also need lessons on how to shoot arrows in a straight line. Then I still need a merry band of men to join my crusade to help the poor and irritate the living daylights out of all those rich folks whose doors I’ve been knocking on all year round.

Having snapped out of my fantasy world, I’m quite happy to settle into a country guest house or backpacker’s lodge for a few days. I’ve saved up enough during the year so the fees will be manageable this time around. With dozens of such holiday venues dotted around the English countryside, making a booking has never been easier. All you need to do nowadays is pull out your smart-phone and there you go.

Travel safely

I don’t yet know whether there’s going to be snow or sleet on the roads by the time I leave, but I’m sure I’ll be alright. I’m an experienced driver, after all. And if you’re going to be travelling by car during your holidays this season, please be careful. And have a happy holiday.

We may as well get ready for new migrants

My job takes me everywhere, just about every corner of greater London and into neighboring towns. Meeting so many different people from all walks of life, it helps to have an amenable personality, being a people’s person and basically just getting on with everyone. That part of my job is relatively easy for me in spite of coming across some blatantly selfish and unruly characters from time to time. Like any job in the world, it’s an occupational hazard. At the worst of times (and this is rare) I handle the stress quite well (read some of my earlier posts to see how I do this).

We may as well get ready for new migrants

There are good neighbors and there are bad ones too

London is a pretty big town, in fact one of the largest cities in the world, and there’s more than enough room for everyone to eat, work, live and play in. Across the channel, Europe is engulfed in an ongoing crisis of large migrations of people from impoverished backgrounds and war-torn areas. Feeling threatened that their own living space will be taken away from them, some of the smaller Eastern European nations want their borders shut tight, going against the grain of everything that the European Union stands for.

Back at home, it has barely been months since our Scottish neighbors narrowly lost a referendum to decide whether the British Empire should finally grant them independence and complete control over how they should run their cities’ economies and cultural hives. British Prime Minister, David Cameron, was one of those who declared that Scotland should remain part of Her Majesty’s Empire. And just days ago, he reminded us that another referendum is months away.

Welcome to London

This one will decide whether or not Great Britain will remain part of the European Union in the future. This smacks of double-standards, but never mind that, Mr. Cameron is, after all, just a politician. But one of the underlying concerns is how far Great Britain (and London, for that matter) will go in opening their arms to the waves of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Africa and the Middle East. London has for years been a city of migrants, and while there have certainly been sporadic but barely noticeable cultural clashes in the past, Londoners, no matter where they hail from, pretty much get on with their lives and with one another.

Cameron knows that it is no longer a question of if, but when our new guests (and future compatriots) arrive, no matter how hard he tries to halt this inevitability. And like most of us are already doing, these folks need to be earning their keep once they’ve been cleared. Like many of us these men and women have many skills, some of them are pretty well-educated.

Let’s give them the tools, pens, paper, laptops, hammers and tongs, small wood turners, even pots and pans, to make their way into London town life. Our cultural universe will always be richer when new guests arrive.

Home improvement tips

Recently I had a carried a huge load of tools and materials for a client who had some renovation work done for his newly bought home. The client was a friendly fellow and soon we were talking about the rising prices of building materials and the exorbitant rates home improvement contractors were charging.

He admitted that he himself did most of the renovation work and hired professionals only for the work he couldn’t handle. He said that as it was the third house, he had done renovation work on, he had actually become an expert in all the DIY work that one does in a home renovation such as painting, fencing, wallpaper etc.

Home renovation, whether done in minor scale or largescale helps to increase the value of the property, which is one of the main reasons for starting the work. Here are some tips he gave on home improvement.

Planning ahead

With winter setting in, you have to consider fast tracking all the home improvement work, as it will help protect your home and save you from any big damage that winter can bring on. In fact, some improvements take only a few minutes time, but help a great deal in making your home secure and protected. Even a nice Wireless Doorbell can be easily fitted on your own, providing an efficient and secure calling system for your home, if you learn the basics.

Making the decision

While you may have sufficient DIY skills and a fully equipped workshop, you cannot handle all the home improvement projects by yourself. You need to know the extent of your skills in the work you are contemplating and decide at the outset on whether you want a professional to do it. And even if you are confident of handling the work, make sure you start on the small tasks first, if you are a beginner.

Polish your skills

Learning to do the minor repairs that occur in your home comes in handy at times of need, when you cannot get a professional to do it due to time, money or other constraints. You can learn doing the odd jobs in your home and that of your friends or neighbors, so you can improve your skills. To know better about the DIY jobs you can read resources and try out the starter projects. Now you even get apps that guide you on your home improvement work.

Get inspired

You can find numerous sites online that show various home improvement projects, tips, cost estimated, contractors, and other related information.  Looking at the project photos you will get new ideas and inspiration for your home improvement project.

Since tools are very important for any home improvement job, you should ensure you have the necessary tools for all the minor and major repair works you are considering on doing. With the various new apps on home improvement your smartphone too could be the best every DIY tool you could have and don’t forget the duct tape, which comes in handy anytime and in any DIY project you are doing.

Home improvement tips

Most Common Mistakes That May Endanger The Child’s Safety in The Car

During my driving, I saw a variety of traffic situations, and many times I pass by accidents whose scenes are gruesome. That’s why I always drive cautiously and take care of traffic safety. Sometimes, while I wait for traffic lights, I peek into other people’s cars. I am appalled when I see that people underestimate the importance of the rules relating to driving children in a car. It’s probably some kind of my professional deformation. Here is what I see most often.

A child in the front seat. Regardless of whether they are secured with a safety belt or not, children simply should not be in the front seat. First, the belt is not intended for their age. It needs to go over the shoulder and across the chest. In the front seat, the seat belt goes across the child’s neck. If the car suddenly brakes, such attachment will have no purpose, and it will bring more harm than good. A child’s place is in the back seat, in a special car seat for children.

The child in the lap. Even when it sits in the back seat, the child should be in an appropriate car seat for children. Adequate child seat means that it suits its age. If the belt height is below the shoulder, the child has outgrown the seat, and it needs a new one. The conscientious driver will, during the upbringing of his child, change even 3 seats – for 3 different ages. Lightweight convertible seats like these are the best choice. The child in the lap is exposed to great danger, even if the parent uses a seat belt and thinks that it firmly holds the child in arms. During a sudden stop, the child can fall out from the arms. Another problem is the fact that, in a collision, the body weight increases by 25 times. This means that, at the time of the accident, you can press a child to the front seat with an enormous weight, and this can be fatal.

The child is not tied. I really do not know what is the purpose of placing the child in the seat in this case. Probably parents just want to respect regulations. But regulations are irrelevant compared to the life of a child. The child in this way is equally unsafe as a child who is not in the seat, which sits untied in the back seat. In fact, there is an additional risk that the seat additionally crushed it during a collision.

The seat in the wrong place. Very often I see badly positioned child seats. When there is only one child in the back seat, the safest option is to be in the middle. This reduces the likelihood that a child hit in the front seat. However, many parents think it is enough just to put the child seat, no matter  where. Many do not even fasten it to the car seat.

People often forget that they are not alone in the traffic. It takes one careless moment to lose a life or get a dangerous injury, and it takes only a few minutes to put your child in the car seat and make driving safer.

Lend a Hand When You Can

Some weeks ago, I wrote a short piece about useful tools and other items which every driver should take with them when hitting the road. I talked about things like tire irons, and spare tires on top of that, as well as other useful tools like a vehicle jack. Thanks to a recent experience of mine, I’ve realized I forgot to mention one more very useful tool back when I wrote that post. Of course, there’s nothing stopping me from talking about it now, which is what I’m going to do in a minute here. But it’s nice to know that there are some things in this life which we can make up later if we fail to address them, isn’t it?

I’m sure the lady with a flat tire who I stopped to help recently would probably agree with my sentiment there. I was doing one of my usual van runs when I saw this woman and a car with an obvious flat set aside on the road, in a spot where people would normally park but where nobody was parked. That meant there was no help around, and since I didn’t see anyone else stopping, I figured it had to be me.

Well fortunately for her, I had everything we needed to get that tire patched up and get her driving again. See, while I didn’t have a spare tire for her car sitting in the back of my van, I did have a patching kit for flat tires, along with a mobile air compressor, like some of the ones you can find at http://www.aircompressorjudge.com/. It took some time, but once the patch was applied and melted onto the tire, it took the fill readily and inflated again, no leaks or anything. Before she left, I told her the tire wouldn’t last long and she would still need to replace it soon. But the point is, she got to leave.

What I really want to say here is to lend a hand when you can. You don’t know what’s happened to someone who gets stranded on the side of the road. Maybe they have somewhere to be – that’s a safe assumption since they were traveling by car and all. If you see somebody in distress like that, take a minute to consider what you would want someone else to do if they were the one looking at you being stuck.

Wouldn’t you want a hand with your troubles? I know it doesn’t guarantee anything at all, but wouldn’t you also want to be the one to give help when needed, hoping that later on, when and if you need it, someone will be there to give it to you? I like the think of the world as the kind of place where you get out what you put in; bad begets bad and good begets good, that sort of thing. Some people call that karma, or cosmic justice. I just call it living like a decent human being.

Defensive Driving Basics

Defensive-driving techniques might keep a driver safe on the road. Insurance companies are reducing policyholders’ premiums only if drivers maintain records of accident-free driving or if they take a course based on defensive-driving techniques. In order to drive defensively, you as a driver should follow the following steps:

  1. Stay focused and always keep your hands on the wheel, and avoid moving heavy things around. Defensive drivers should concentrate on the road and never perform other tasks while driving. They should not do other things such as eating, applying makeup, texting, tending to a child, using a cell-phone or holding a dog.
  2. Keep your eyes moving. You should look continuously in your mirrors and be attentive at the road in order to anticipate problems before they arise in the traffic.
  3. Stay alert. You should not drive if you are tired or upset.
  4. Go with the flow. As a driver, you should know that speed is the major cause of accidents. However, driving too slow can be a danger as well. You should drive at the same speed as the other vehicles are going.
  5. Maintain adequate spacing with the other cars in front of you. You should have a fixed object on the road ahead of you. This reduce the chance of a collision even when cars in front are making sudden stops.
  6. Make yourself visible. You should make your presence known on the road by turning signals, by turning on your headlights at dusk or by avoiding blind spots. Driver tools should also be considered.
  7. Resist road rage. There are aggressive drivers who may infuriate you, but responding to them in the same way is by all means dangerous. You should take a passive approach when coping with the road rage.
  8. Adapt to road conditions and driving at night. Even light rain may cause dangerous conditions. Therefore, slowing down when it is bad weather or the night is coming is a basic defensive-driving technique.
  9. Be familiar with traffic rules. Refresh your memory while reading a Department of Motor Vehicles pamphlet that offer in detail the rules of the road. This come up with guidelines on traffic laws, road signs or tips on safe driving.
  10. Avoid rear-enders in intersections. You should be attentive to the road when turning into an intersection because a lot of rear-end collisions happen.

All in all, speed is a major issue. A driver must obey the speed limit. Nevertheless, driving too slow can be dangerous as well. So, in order to be safe, you should be attentive to the speed limit. It is also of utmost importance to never put a child in a rear-facing child safety seat in the vehicle’s front seat which has a passenger air bag.

Moreover, you should take into account the vehicle condition. A vehicle must be inspected at least once a year. You should not wait until mechanical problems cause crashes. Most drivers might be excellent drivers; however, drivers could make errors now and then. In order to prevent making errors, a driver should learn to drive in a defensive manner.

Keeping calm and carrying on

If they listen to what I have to say, the copy writers of that legend which I have borrowed for the title of my latest post will surely forgive me. Life in London is stressful enough as it is. For instance, the anthem, in spite of a similar theme to keep calm in adversity, belted out around the hallowed ground of Twickenham, doesn’t seem to have helped the host nation at this year’s Rugby World Cup much. Even Prince Harry couldn’t hide his disappointment. Perhaps we British should take a leaf out of the revered Springbok’s motivational manual.

I think we could do with a holiday

After their humiliating defeat to the Brave Blossoms, from Japan of all places, look where they are now. By the time you are reading this post, the Springboks may very well have overcome the mighty All Blacks too, haka and all. Footie fans aren’t getting much joy either while rugby enjoys all the limelight for now. It’s a curious occupation for this Londoner to watch the sense of sheer enjoyment on the faces of rugby fans from around the world. Perhaps we could learn from them too.

 

Granted, most of the rugby fans are on holiday. Holidays bring the best out of us because we are all so relaxed. By the time we return our noses to our collective grindstones, we are well-rested and raring to go. If you’ve been reading my posts, you will know that my job as a van driver is quite stressful. Even at the best of times and in spite of the legislation in place to curb this, traffic congestion remains a huge head ache for us drivers who ply our trade for low wages.

 

For crime and country

 

The problem of low wages is a universal one for lorry drivers. Even cab drivers and bus drivers have their complaints. I feel for them because they always have to put on a brave face for their customers. Things should be better for them now that the Rugby World Cup is almost over. They would have made a killing with extra tips and all. Fortunately, I’ve managed to keep myself together while observing self-imposed rules to help me cope with my job.

One aspect of my job I have nightmares about is driving through no-go, crime-infested areas. Even with the best police force in the world, Bobbies on the beat cannot be in all places at once. Fortunately, law enforcement in Britain has successfully seen to it that gun ownership and the illegal carrying of fire-arms are kept to a minimum. It is only out in the British countryside that you will see men carrying hunting rifles over their arms during their hunting expeditions. Life is tough for the little creatures out there but at least the country-folk sleep a little better, knowing that the hunters keep their extensive armory well-secured in a top-notch gun safe.

All things being equal, all we can do is just stay calm and carry on as best we can until things improve.

Longboarding – Tips For Beginners

I’ve recently taken up longboarding, an exciting and relatively new sport that I’ve been hearing about for a while now. As the name itself suggests, it’s similar to skateboarding, but there are some important differences, mainly concerning the technique. Before I started doing it, and since I already knew how to skateboard, I thought I wouldn’t even have to learn how to ride it. Needless to say, I was mistaken. I think it’s a really fun sport that anyone should try, which is why I’d like to give you some tips on how to ease into it. I wish someone had done the same for me.

Try riding a longboard before deciding to buy one

This is important because you don’t want to spend any money on something you don’t really want. I’m really glad I did that, because it’s not that difficult to imagine myself being unimpressed by it. That is why I contacted one of my friends and asked him to lend me his longboard for a day. I ended up having loads of fun, but also realizing that knowing how to ride a skateboard doesn’t help that much. This fact manifested itself in the form of bruises.

Buy yourself a decent longboard

Only after you’ve decided that longboarding is something you really want to do, you can go ahead and spend your money on proper equipment without feeling guilty. Choosing the best one can be tricky, of course, but fortunately, there are plenty of online guides that will help you do exactly that. One of such guides can be found on LONGBOARDMAFIA, but you can also visit your local sports store to ask for advice.

Ask someone to teach you how to ride it

This is by far the easiest way to start longboarding. I myself tried to learn by looking up different online tutorials, but it’s just not the same. I eventually gave up and asked the friend I mentioned earlier to show me a couple of tricks. The advice you can get face to face from someone experienced can’t be easily replaced.

Invest in quality bearing spacers

Bearing spacers are some of the most underappreciated longboard accessories that you can find on the market. They are at the same time extremely important for the quality of the ride. Unfortunately, companies that are in the business of manufacturing longboards don’t place enough importance on them. Nevertheless, I think it would be a good idea for anyone really interested in the sport to invest in quality bearing spacers, because they are what allows you to tighten the axle nuts and achieve a more consistent sliding pace, which is one of the more important things in longboarding.

Don’t get discouraged right away

There are people who give up too easily, and I think it’s such a shame. Not giving it your best ends up in a lot of missed opportunities and fun times. Longboarding really is an awesome sport, and I’d hate for people who might’ve enjoyed it to miss their chance.

Trip with My Friend Dog Groomer

A few days ago my friend invited me to the big city to hang out and of course I was excited as usual. When I arrived in the city my friend and I headed to a popular seafood restaurant to find out what is going on in each other’s lives. Apparently, Jim works as independent dog groomer, owning a little salon of his own. He said that if I want a plan B, he can always showcase me what’s up in this kind of business.

I was like, “Hm, interesting” and then asked Jim is it worth the investment, he replied: “You can earn good money with a dog grooming business. I’ll be happy to give you the information required to open your pet grooming salon.” The conversation kick started.

Visit Wholesale Pet Grooming Supply Stores

Jim mentioned that if I wanted to purchase high quality dog grooming equipment in bulk, my best bet was to visit a local wholesale pet grooming supply store and he wrote down the addresses of wholesalers that he visits regularly. Jim said that I’ll find everything from dog bathtubs to towels for the pets. I was glad to hear this because I know wholesalers are good for purchasing multiple items at good prices.

Veterinary Hospitals

I never thought of this idea, but Jim also told me that if I wanted to obtain dog grooming equipment I can go to the veterinary hospitals because many of them offer dog grooming services and they may have some used equipment that they plan to dispose of soon. By doing this I’m going green with my dog grooming business and I save money at the same time. He said that if they don’t have used equipment, I can ask them where I can find it.

Pet Based Mail Order Catalogs

Around noon I had a host of ideas from Jim and we decided to have lunch at a local Indian restaurant since we both love Indian food. As we ate some spicy chicken curry, Jim pulled out at least seven

mail order catalogs and I asked about them. He told me that he sometimes obtains dog grooming equipment from the pet based mail order catalogs. I’ll find everything from boxes of disposable gloves to dog grooming scissors as well as grooming tables to place the dogs on.

Manufacturers

Another idea Jim mentioned was to visit the websites of manufacturers of dog grooming supplies and purchase the equipment right from them. He said that I should sign up for the manufacturers’ email newsletters so I’ll receive coupons and promo codes on certain dog grooming supplies that I use the most.

Day Is Winding Down

Jim told me that he is proud of the career he built for himself as a self employed dog groomer and that he is now a homeowner after renting for all his life. I’m still renting but with my new dog grooming business I may become a homeowner one day. I’ve always loved dogs and I own cocker spaniel myself. I believe that dog grooming should be done with the utmost care and this is what dog owners want the most from dog groomers.

Things That Make My Life As A Van Driver Much Easier

Although I really enjoy being a van driver, the job itself can from time to time prove both challenging and tiresome. Any professional driver will agree with that. Fortunately, there are things that make it a lot easier, while some manage to even completely make up for the bad parts. I’ve decided to list them all here, so my driving experience can benefit other drivers as well. I sincerely hope it proves useful!

A good seat

Since my job mostly consists of sitting in my van, the fact that I need a quality seat will come as no surprise. Unfortunately, there are plenty of young drivers around who don’t seem to realize the importance of avoiding terrible backaches. I myself used to be one of them, but then the years passed, I started growing older, and the backaches got worse. I remember this one time when I got out of my van after eight hours of driving, and simply couldn’t lift the boxes I was supposed to load in the back. I’m telling this story not because it’s particularly interesting, but because we all need to be told what to watch out for from time to time.

A reliable light bar

Being a van driver is a job that doesn’t include just driving from one store to another. I often have to drive to another city, sometimes even during the night, because something needs to be delivered first thing in the morning. This tends to get a bit complicated when you don’t have a good vehicle, and especially when it’s not equipped with good lights. After some research and a couple of failed experiments, I’ve found the best match for my van, or more specifically – led light bars that can be found here: http://lightbarland.com/code-3-light-bars/. Believe me when I say that driving around during night with reliable lights makes a world of difference. Not only will you feel safer, you’ll also do your job better!

A quality pair of shoes

Apart from good seats and reliable light bars, I also try to make my life easier with quality shoes. It might sound strange to those who don’t make a living by driving, but it’s actually quite important. After all, my job involves not only driving around, but also lifting and carrying some really heavy stuff. This is why a good pair of shoes is crucial – it prevents your feet from suffering the damage caused by the physical strain, and allows you to continue driving as you should.

A good selection of music

When you’re a professional driver, you inevitably spend a lot of time alone with your thoughts, which can become quite tiresome after a while. Different people react to that kind of solitude in different ways, and do many different things to prevent themselves from getting bored. I’ve learned to deal with that by listening to music and constantly adding new things to my playlist. That way driving around is never the same, and I can even say that my music taste has improved considerably.

A Few Driving Rules To Keep In Mind In London For The Visitors

London is a beautiful city and it is one of the most visited ones in the world too! But this is a very organized city as well. There are plenty of rules to follow and driving introduces you to a plethora of rules. For starters, you must keep this is mind that the cars move on the right side of the road and the driver sits on the right as well. You might take some time to get yourself accustomed to these new set of rules; but trust me, it’s not that difficult!

For visitors, it is only a matter of time before you are set for driving on the beautiful London roads. Here are a few rules and tips that might make driving easy in this part of the world!

london bridge

  • Speed limits: Like every other place in the world, London is also very strict about the speed limits while driving. The national speed limit here is 60 miles per hour on single carriageway roads. The value changes to 70 miles per hour on the dual counterparts. Even though the established and posh areas have a limit of 30 miles per hour, the same reduces to 20 near schools or other institutions. Breaking the speed limit is punishable by law, but a relaxation of 10 % below the level is accepted here.
  • Parking: Parking is indeed a grave problem in this crowded city. In the centre of the city, it is a rather difficult task to look for parking. There are some rules, however. If you come across a single continuous yellow line, it indicates that there are parking restrictions in that area. A double line of the same color tells us that parking is completely prohibited. Metered parkings are indicated by white marked bays. While you are stuck in London traffic on outings, make sure you have packed food. These efficient vacuum sealers might come in handy here.
  • Roundabouts: These are effective if the traffic is light. This is something that you will get familiarized with if you stay in this part of the world! These are best explained by the term ‘traffic circles’. The key aspect here is getting into the correct lane. Also, ensure that you give the correct indicator while you are making a turn. It is the safest measure possible.
  • Use of lights: In London, your headlights are of tremendous importance! Between sunset and sunrise, all your car headlights and registration plate lights must be kept on for convenience. In places of serious visibility issues, you could make use of fog lights in dire weather situations.
  • Traffic lights: Being a driver, you have to be thorough with the London traffic lights. The lights run in the sequence of Red – Red & Amber – Green – Amber – Red. During really heavy traffic sometimes, people tend to ignore the amber light. But you must try, as much as possible to maintain these rules!

Some Useful Landscaping Tips

I recently did some work for a landscaping company. Since it was an important consignment, the owner supervised the entire loading and unloading of the plants and other materials. There were quite a lot of new things that piqued my interest.

I don’t have a green thumb and my interest in gardening is limited to enjoying the flowers and well-kept lawns. But after talking to the landscape artist, I was really surprised at the things one could create in landscaping.  Here are some of the things that I learnt (which is quite a lot). Read on to know more.

Soil info

Before starting on the planting stage or adding a new plant to your existing garden, you should know about the light, weather and soil conditions present. When you grow a plant in a favorable growing condition, the plant can take care of itself easily. Most often landscapers choose the plants that need minimal water in case of sandy soil that drains water quickly. For areas where the soil is moist, bog plants are the best.

Shrubs and trees

Shrubs and trees are a dominant part of the landscape and with time the space occupied by them increases. When you plant long lasting plants, you can enjoy several years of flowers, colorful foliage, and fragrance with minimal maintenance. When you use proper pole saws, such as those available at, http://polesawreport.com/, they help in efficient landscaping.

planingPlanning

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Landscaping needs planning just as any other task you undertake. It need not be anything elaborate. A simple and basic plan of the home and the outdoor space with the existing shrubs and trees and other garden elements would suffice. Don’t forget to include the pathways that lead to other outdoor living spaces, swings, pool or vegetable garden you have. And include areas that you want to add in future.

Selecting plants

Native plants are more accustomed to the soil condition and weather in your locality, so using them predominantly in landscaping is a good choice. Sun exposure needed for a plant should be provided to ensure the plant thrives prosperously for a long time.

Point of foci

Instead of placing multiple areas of flowerbeds all over the property, focus on a couple of important spots in your garden to get an impressive look. For the front walkway, using a perennial and shrub is ideal or you can focus on near the front door.  The space near the patio, deck, or porch is also a perfect spot to focus on. Since these are often visited spots, having them in their full splendor will make you enjoy your efforts well.

Bordering

Making a border for the shrubs, vegetable gardens, perennial beds and other spaces with a spaded edge or something more elaborate prevents grass from invading the garden. The border serves two purposes. One is it prevents weeds and grass invasion, and the other is it gives a more appealing finish to the garden.

Consider adding lush green cover for the ground that is easier to grow. It can be lamium or creeping sedum or any other ground cover plants. These add good texture and color to the shrubs and perennials and keep the weeds from germinating. Adding a layer of about three inch made of cocoa hulls, wood mulch, or pine straw also prevents weed growth.

Cool High Tech Kids’ Toys

Recently I had done a delivery for a retail shop. It specialized in toys, not the usual kind that kids play with, but the special ones that the even grownups love to play with, such as the radio controlled toys, planes and cars.  With technology advancing in leaps and bounds, you can even find a toy with an inbuilt camera and which you can use without a remote as your phone is sufficient to control it. While I was talking to the guy at the retail store, I learnt about many of the new arrivals. Although the price was a bit on the higher side, some are of affordable range too. I found a few that could be perfect gifts for birthdays and holidays. Here is a rundown on the latest in the RC toys section.

Kaortiks Thunderwave Playset

This is an electric RC playset, which any eight year old would go gaga over. The stunt arena is totally customizable and you get walls, ramps, jumps, spinouts and many more exciting stuff. You can even combine the playset with another and go on a two person frantic drive that sets the adrenaline pumping. Another toy that I’ve seen create such an excitement is the quadcopter available at http://quadcopterguru.com/. The excitement you get when you control the toy up in the air is just incredible.

Stirling Engine (Thames & Kosmos)

This educational toy is perfect for budding scientists. You can charge the RC car with sun’s rays and the manual with the toy explains how this happens in beautiful detail.  A best toy, if you have a kid interested in scientific experiments.

RC Hummer Ride (Combat Zone)

This is a car which you can have your kid drive, even if he isn’t 16 years old yet. The child-sized car has a turret, which lights up and plays a nice sound. The adjustable seat and safety belt are great additions. The car has interior as well as RC transmitter controls.  The WLTOYS-V262 is another superb RC controlled toy, which turns up the excitement several notches.

Forensics Fingerprint Lab (Thames & Kosmos)

If your child loves to play the super sleuth, this is just the right gift for him. The kit has everything that a kid would need to collect proof, analyze it, file, and find out the fingerprint match. The kit also comes with an educational detective game that tests the knowledge your child has.

Pink Intellective Girls Computer

Since technology plays a major role now, it is necessary to get your child interested in it, as early as possible. While some may think that the exposure to tablets and phones that today’s kids are subject to is detrimental to their development, an educative toy such as this could be beneficial. While it is the boys who are crazy about toys, girls have their own set of toys, which are not that much technology related. But this toy is great for introducing computer, math, words, music and alphabets to your child. The voice effect, sound, and music are really good.

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