The beautiful but fragile wings of a butterfly

It is getting close to that time of year again where our gardens will be filled with caterpillars, cocoons and beautiful butterflies. The sunlight shining off a butterfly’s wings is definitely a sight to see. The light seems to reflect the beauty of these insects even more. Similar to how light reflects and refracts through the glass of Chandeliers UK products like those from

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Here are some of the more common butterflies that you may see in your garden this summer:

  1. Peacock – One of the most numerous and unthreatened species of European butterflies. It has a very distinctive red colour, but the most striking thing is the black and white eye that is thought to ward off predators. This may explain the non-threatened status. It starts to appear in the spring through the summer.
  2. Speckled Wood – As suggested by the name, these butterflies are located near woodland. The can easily be spotted as the are covered by an orange and brown appearance. The speckling is black and gives the butterfly a spotty appearance.
  3. Common Blue – This beautiful blue butterfly is unfortunately now not so common. Its habitat has been slowly eroded away seeing a drop of ninety six percent in its numbers making it very threatened. Improvements and sanctuaries have been made though and the numbers appear to have stabilised. The problem is that the plants that host mating and larva and cocoons are being systematically destroyed as we lose grassland and woodlands. Special conservation measures have been taken to provide a more stable environment where these butterflies can safely breed has ben in place for many years. The male is a complete pale blue whereas the female is a darker blue with red mottling around the edges of the wings.
  4. Tortoiseshell – Once one of the most numerous and common of Britain’s butterfly’s it was an affirmation that Summer was here when one saw a gathering of this species. Environmentalists see it’s decline as an example of Global warming. It was strongest between 1975 and 1995 when the summer began wet and moved into a warm period. Scientists can find no solid reason for the decline other than this factor as the species does not do well in drought but that is not a common feature of Western Europe where the numbers have decreased significantly. This decline seems to be continuing and unless our habits change this species is going to be in trouble. It is a very distinct colour of orange with a black and white strip in the top of it’s wing. Underneath it is black grey colour completely different from the top to aid in its camouflage.
  5. Red Admiral – This striking butterfly is all black with vivid slashes of Orange and White blobs across its wings. It is an extremely territorial creature that will refuse to mate with other butterflies of its type outside of its area. It is quite a common sight.

Into the Saddle – Things to Think About Before Buying a Horse

Are you considering getting a horse as a pet? Maybe you or your child have a keen interest in riding, or maybe this is something that you are just beginning to look into. If you love animals, you may be better off with bronze wildlife sculptures. Well before you do go ahead and get a horse, there are a few things to consider beforehand….

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Do you have a suitable place for your horse to live? Horses are large animals – they require exercise and a great deal of care. It is unfair to keep an animal cooped up in a place that is too small or not suitable for them. One of the most important requirements is space – the horse will need to have access to a field to exercise in on a daily basis, best if it is with other horses. They will also need somewhere to shelter from the weather – the heat of the sun or the cold wind, it is important that the horse has access to a good shelter.

The cost of owning a horse is a great deal more than buying it. You will need to think about daily requirements such as food and livery costs, as well as the cost of a veterinarian and a farrier. If you are going to be riding the horse, you will also need to buy other equipment that you need, such as saddles, stirrups and reins for example, as well as the correct attire for riding, like riding boots and hats. Research all of these things before you buy a horse, to make sure that you are able to look after the horse financially – remember that horses live into their 20s, you don’t just think about now!

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It is also important to remember that caring for a horse takes up a great amount of time. When you are looking into livery, think about the amount of time you will be able to devote to your horse and how much care that it takes.  As the horse gets older, it may develop health conditions that will require additional care, so think about this too. If you know any people that already own a horse chat to them – ask them how much time they put into caring for their horse and any other questions that you may have.



Could you Survive in the Wilderness?

In our modern-day lives, the majority of us probably don’t give a second thought to outdoor survival skills – why would we? We are constantly with our mobile phones, able to summon help to anywhere that we are if we should need to. We expect services always to be available to ensure that we are never in a situation that means that we have to fight for our survival in the wilderness. But have we become too reliant on technology as a species? Would you know what to do if there were a disaster or if you were stuck out in the wilderness with no communication with anyone else? Here are a few things to remember that may one day save your life….

First aid skills are one of the most important things that you can have when it comes to surviving on your own. Whatever has happened that leaves you stranded, you, or a member of your group if you are with others, may well have suffered injuries. If you do not have any first aid skills, you should get yourself on a first aid course and learn them! Always keep a first aid kit in your car as well as in your home, so that if disaster strikes, you are prepared for it.

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When you are stuck out of doors, you will need to build yourself a shelter if there is none available, this is a major priority, especially at night, as it will offer shelter from the weather and also any wild animals that may be on the prowl for their dinner (depending on where about you are stranded of course!) Fire is another important thing to have – learning to start your own fire is another important survival skill, as it will provide both heat and light a night. Having survival supplies that you know how to use such as Vanquest outdoor gear from, is another great idea to ensure that you are well prepared.

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Water is essential to human life, and we can’t get by for very long without it (approximately 2 days). Finding a source of water is one of the first things that you will need to do, and you will need to make sure that it is clean. You can get water purification tablets, but there are many other ways to clean water that will make it safer for drinking – you may not have water purification tablets on you, but you will probably have clothes which can also become a handy water filter! When it comes to food, it is a good idea to learn what is and isn’t poisonous in the natural world – if you get it wrong you could be in for a nasty bout of sickness, or even death.

5 top Formula 1 facts to know

Formula 1 is the most dangerous racing environment in the world, the most competitive and the most technologically advanced. It isn’t just a race between drivers but the rivalry between cars. To win Grand Prix races, you need discipline, money and attention to detail.

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The name ‘formula’ derives from a set of rules under which the car and participants must work, first used after World War 11 in 1946. The first race under this new name was held at Silverstone in 1950. A lot has changed over the ensuing 68 years with today’s cars costing anything from £6 to 8 million, but the competitive spirit and a love of speed have not changed.


Formula 1 cars are made up of about 80,000 components weighing in at 702kg including the driver, excluding the fuel. The 2017 cars are a little heavier at 722 kg and wider with an increase in speed of up to four seconds faster. This will significantly change the role of the driver and make the races more exciting.

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Formula 1 is definitely a rich person’s sport, travelling around the world to some of the most exotic locations, Monaco is probably the biggest race on the F1 calendar and as a spectator you could be truly spoiled at the famous Ermanno Palace which have the best views of the F1 track.


The 2018 season starts on March 25 when the drivers line up in Melbourne, Australia. The hot favourite to win his 5th driver’s title is Lewis Hamilton after winning the title by 46 points from rival Sebastian Vettel. The bookies will be keeping a close eye on the youngest F1 winner Max Verstappen who won a race last year in Spain and is only aged 18 years. He still has four seasons to take the title and become the world’s youngest F1 champion.


The winner of the race is not necessarily the one who goes around a lap in the fastest time. Sponsor DHL has defined a new standard of speed with the ‘DHL Fastest Lap Award’, the Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was one of the seven drivers to win this award in 2017.

Fans think Grand Prix racing has been more exciting, prestigious and competitive over the past two years. What will 2018 bring?

How to pack a box for van removals

Packing and moving all your precious belongings is one of the most stressful parts of moving house, it is, therefore, essential to get it right.


It is important to have good strong boxes in various sizes, a quantity of bubble wrap, old newspapers and some tissue paper. When packing, put heavy objects in smaller boxes and keep the larger boxes for lighter items. This way you will prevent the boxes becoming too heavy to lift.

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Think about what should go in each box; items that are used regularly should be packed together, so they are all available quickly when you get to your destination. Books and CD’s etc. can be packed up first as these are items not necessarily required immediately. Bedding and pillows can be used to fill gaps in boxes or around more precious items to give them added protection.

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As you pack each box, label it or use a marker pen, so that you know what is in each box. This will be very useful when you are unpacking and you will be able to put the boxes in the relevant rooms before unpacking them.


If you feel you don’t have the time to do your own packing, there are professional companies who will come and pack for you and move your belongings to your new home such as Slough man and van Using a professional company will take most of the stress out of your move, giving you more energy to get on with the unpacking at the other end.


As soon as you have made the decision to move house, you should start decluttering each room and get rid of broken or unused items. The worse areas will be the shed, garage and loft where all of us are guilty of storing items that we know we will never use again. Be brutal! You will then have a clear view as to which items you need to pack.


Keep a box for all your paperwork and essential items which you can keep with you at all times. Toiletries and any medications, pet food and bowls, something to entertain the children, tea bags, coffee and milk and snacks to keep you going until you can cook your first meal in your new home.

Putting in an offer on a property

Buying a home can be a complicated process, so here are some handy tips in how to put in an offer and be successful.

Before you make an offer

When you first meet with an estate agent, state the amount you’re willing to spend at slightly lower than the reality. Agents tend to show you properties at the maximum end of what your budget is, so this will put in a good position right from the start when it comes to negotiation. For an Estate Agents Gloucester, visit

Many people get overexcited and sentimental when it comes to finding a house they really love. Don’t be too obvious that you’ve had your head turned during viewing or the seller will know that you’ll be willing to pay more for it. Try to play it cool and ask lots of questions.

Keep a close eye on what’s happening in the property market in the area you want to buy. How much are home selling for and how quickly do they sell? If they sell slowly and for under the asking price, then you know you’re in a strong position to put in a lower offer.

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Putting in the offer

Notify your estate agent as by law they must pass on every offer they receive to the seller. It’s good practise to put the offer in writing too, an email following a phone call will suffice. If the seller is interested, then the negotiation process can begin through the estate agent. As the agent works for the seller, you might feel there’s nobody acting on your behalf. Often buyers will hire a buyer’s agent to help in the negotiation process.

A lower offer is more likely to be accepted when:

The property has been on the market for some considerable time

If the seller needs a quick move

You are the only person to show interest in a property

Your suggested completion date works well for the seller

If you are able to move quickly and have funds available right away

Bidding tactics

The bidding process can vary – open or sealed. Open negotiations are far more common.

With open negotiations, like any bidding process, start low. Perhaps think about offering 10% lower than the asking price. This is often expected by the seller, so they put their property on the market higher than they expect to receive.

You’ll normally be informed if another bid has topped yours, so you can bid again if it’s within your budget limit. Remember to stay cool and polite, keen but not desperate.

Sealed Bids involve writing down your offer and sealing it in an envelope from which the seller chooses the highest. This is more common in very high demand areas like London. It’s imperative to stick to what you can afford and don’t overbid, or you could find your mortgage company won’t cover it.

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After an offer has been accepted

Gazumping is a problem that around 1 in 10 have experienced. Even when an offer has been accepted, it is still not legally binding until contracts have been exchanged. Sellers have been known to pull out if they receive a higher offer, leaving many buyers out of pocket. There is not much to do apart from ‘counter-gazump’.

Sightings in Welsh Coast Campervans

Most people travel to different countries to see the beautiful sight of a dolphin in it’s natural environment. But many people in the UK are not aware that you can see these beautiful creatures just off the Welsh coast.

Once you have your transport and accommodation sorted (and for a combination of the two take a look at ), the next most important thing is to figure out what you are going to do and what better way to spend your time on the coast that sight-seeing for Dolphins. This takes some patience but is an incredibly rewarding sight.

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Bottle-nosed dolphins are highly intelligent mammals and incredibly friendly and playful. Their sociability is also shown in the fact that they live in large groups which can be made up of same sex or mixed sex individuals. Their very survival relies on their ability to interact well with one another. They work together to hunt, give birth and raise their young and tend to one another when they are sick.

Dolphins are very playful, and they can often be seen rubbing up against each other and picking up small rocks or coral from the seabed and deliberately dropping it to watch it fall. This further confirms their intelligent nature. They often jump out of the water to look for the location of seabirds as this help to identify where the shoals of fish can be found.

Some interesting facts about these creatures include:

  • They are born with only one set of teeth to last them their entire lifetime
  • The females breathe whilst sleeping by lying on the water surface, but the males sleep under the surface and momentarily ‘bob’ up to the surface occasionally to breath as a reflex action.
  • Dolphins hunt fish in an organised manner, pushing the shoals into a dense mass causing the fish to become confused and try to escape.
  • A female pregnancy lasts for 10-12 months
  • When delivering the baby a mother will be surrounded by a number of ‘midwife’ dolphins to help protect both her and her new-born from predator attacks.
  • A dolphin can live for up to 50 years.
  • They use echo-location as a means of communication.

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Dolphin and humans have come into conflict for the same fish food source and numerous dolphins have been caught and died in fisherman’s nets. Some dolphins have also become beached on coastline. It is thought that this may be due to their echo-location being upset by ships depth sounders, causing them to become confused about their surroundings and then their distress calls draw other dolphins to them.

Although we are continually learning about these animals there is still much about their life we do not understand. Despite this a dolphin sighting is definitely something to add to your to do list.

What to look for in a great VoIP provider?

You’re probably already aware of the advantages that setting up a VoIP service can have for your business. As well as increasing productivity, using a VoIP network can also save you money. However, not all VoIP providers are the same. Some may charge you unfavourable rates, or else insist on unnecessary or insecure equipment. To ensure that you get the very best from your VoIP service, here are the things to look out for when choosing a VoIP provider.

They have a plan for outages

The performance of your VoIP system is dependent on the performance of the network through which it runs. The occasional outage is inevitable with most networks, but ensure that you ask any prospective VoIP service provider what backup plans they have in place to deal with loss of connectivity and other network issues.

They cater specifically to business customers

When selecting a VoIP provider for your business, it can be tempting to focus solely on wholesale VoIP termination rates. However, it’s also important to survey the other features offered by your chosen provider and ensure that they meet the needs of your business.

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Some VoIP services are geared more towards the needs of consumers than towards business customers. These providers tend to have a limited range of services. Business class VoIP providers, such as, may offer software and device integration, custom routing and daily testing to ensure the stability of your service.

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They guarantee quality

Research by Georgia State University cites jitter and packet loss as two of the biggest factors in poor VoIP call quality. The best VoIP service providers will outline the exact parameters of call quality that they intend to provide, including a limit on the amount of jitter or latency that you can expect to experience. When a defined standard for call quality is established in this fashion both you and your provider can be certain of your expectations. This is often referred to as a Service Level Agreement (SLA).

A clear, well-defined SLA is a great sign that you’re looking at a good VoIP service provider. In most cases, if they are unable for any reason to provide a service that matches up to the standards mapped out in the SLA, these service providers will offer a refund of some kind for that period of time.

How to choose the right sewing machine

If you’re in the market for a new sewing machine, it can seem like a bit of a minefield. Whether you’re looking to make simple clothes or something more complex like curtains, it’s important to make the job as simple as possible by choosing the right machine for you. Here are some questions you want to answer in determining which one is the machine for your needs:

For Beginners or Occasional Use

A basic model is probably all you’ll need if you only plan to create small, easy projects, are just starting out or intend to only use it to mend items. A model with a variety of foot attachments will be useful if you want to complete tasks like inserting a zip. Foots like buttonhole and ones for delicate fabrics are also useful to have. A choice of several different stitches is a minimum requirement, even for beginners.

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Machines for Dressmaking

If you want to use a machine for dressmaking or you think the machine will be subjected to a lot of use, you might want to consider a mid-range machine. If you plan to make more complex garments or soft furnishings, for example, you’ll benefit most from a machine with a wider variety of features and settings. You’ll need to ensure your machine has a free arm, an over locking stitch and a machine that can cope with heavier fabric. You’ll want a bigger selection of feet and if your budget allows, a computerised machine can be really useful. For a wide selection of Dressmaking Fabric, provide a range of dressmaking fabric.

Machines for Embroidery

For those who are serious about creating beautiful embroidery and have a sizeable budget, you’ll probably want a computerised, top-end model or even a specialised embroidery machine. Machines like these can operate three different thread colours at the same time but can cost in excess of £800. For downloading stitch programs, you’ll also need access to a computer and memory card.

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High-Use and Professional

A machine that will be in almost constant use or needs to produce professional quality items, a high-end model is the only option. A computerised model is essential, particularly for repetitive work as stitches can be programmed. You’ll need a machine capable of handling heavy duty fabric, so you can make anything and everything. Running a business requires considerable investment and if this is your main machine, you won’t want to skimp on the features and settings you need to make your business a success.

Four Ways to Retain Existing Customers

Many business strategies are often focused on acquiring new customers, and while this is an important aspect of company growth, it neglects the notion of retaining customers. Whether you have a small or large business, existing customers are more likely to continue buying from you – not to mention it costs more to find new customer rather than concentrating your efforts on the ones you have. The question is: how to do it?

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Invest in Customer Services

Ensuring that you have good customer service and in store music is essential for getting customers to interact with a company. Providing answers to their problems and listening to what they say is crucial to knowing what they expect from your company. When choosing brands, customers rely on an efficient service, and this is one of the reasons they’ll return to a company. Additionally, good customer service will create brand ambassadors, who will vouch for your company’s products and how good they are.

Get Personal

Treating customers as individuals is likely to impress them and make them feel that they matter to your business. You can do this by sending messages that are tailored to their experiences rather than an automated email that reaches everyone.

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Create Micro Moments

Micro moments are those times when a customer instinctively turns to a mobile device in order to fulfil an instantaneous need. Subsequently, this will help your business to enhance a connection with customers so that they’re given what they need. Micro moments include ‘I need help’ or ‘I want to buy’ and can improve your understanding of what the customer is experiencing and how to make this better. Engaging with your customers in this way can be helped further by employing the services of companies such as to ensure you maximise your customers’ experiences.

Reward Loyal Customers

You can provide your customers with a reason to continue being loyal by offering them discounts or offers or by adding value to the experience they receive from you. There are many different options to consider when targeting customers who have stayed with you the longest: think about introducing a loyalty scheme or, alternatively, start a club so they have access to information or events that wouldn’t be available to new customers. Whatever you decide, it’s guaranteed to make your loyal customers feel good about your business.

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