5 summer car maintenance tips

When the days are long and warm it’s summertime, the months of holidays and trips abroad, to the countryside and to the beach. Some people are aware that it is a good idea to get your vehicle ready for winter, and the same is true for summer as well. Make sure your car is in tip top shape for long drives in high temperatures so a break down won’t get in the way of the fun.

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Wipers and Brakes

The brakes are probably the most critical safety feature on your car. If the brakes are not working properly then you will be danger. If you notice a problem, it generally pays to have it fixed as soon as possible. If you’re going on a long trip, get the brakes checked before you go.

Windscreen wipers may not seem that important, but in a sudden thunderstorm with heavy rain beating down you will be glad that they are working. The rubber on wipers can perish in extreme temperatures, so replace them for the summer season.

Vital Fluids

As people need to up the intake of water in summer to stay hydrated, cars need their fluids too. If you have air conditioning, make sure there is enough refrigerant in its system. If staying cool in summer is a major priority, you could think about driving a pale car. According to this report in The Guardian, silver and white cars are cooler inside than dark vehicles.

Also check the radiator and ensure there is plenty of water and coolant, and that it is not leaking. Another important item to check is the car battery. Heat can make your battery wear out faster, but you can help extend its life by cleaning the terminals and examining all the connections to make sure they are tight and not coated with grease or residue that could interfere with efficient charging.

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When looking around for a new car battery it would be worth speaking to experts in the field such as http://www.grovesbatteries.co.uk/, who can provide helpful advice.

Summer is the time to get out and about and make the most of the warm weather. Give your car some attention and prevent any major problems from occurring. Maintenance will prepare your car for the heat and will ensure it gets you to your destination safely and in comfort.

Top Three Safety Surfacing Options for Playgrounds

As child care providers seek to increase active play, outside play areas have become a focus for many venues. Safety is a priority, and choosing the right surface for your play area is an important choice.

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Although there’s no legal requirement to put in protective surfacing according to ROSPA, recent out of court settlements for playground accidents suggest that courts consider it good practice.

If you are choosing a safety surface for your active play area, you may be confused about which of the different types to use. We’ll discuss the most popular and give you some guidance as to which might work best for your area.

Wet Pour

A versatile solution is wet-pour rubber. Available in a range of colours, wet pour is incredibly versatile as it can be poured in different thicknesses to ensure that whatever equipment you have, the children remain safe. For example, if your play area included wooden climbing frames such as those from http://www.niclimbingframes.com/climbing-frames, you could increase the thickness depending on the fall height.

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Wet pour is created by mixing pellets of EPDM rubber with a binder. This wet mixture is poured onto concrete, macadam or stone base and screeded to a flat surface. Pre-cut inserts in different shapes and colours can be included to create additional play opportunities within the surface.

Wet pour can also be repaired in the case of damage, and self-repair kits are available to help save on costs.

Rubber Mulch

Like wetpour, rubber mulch is created by binding wooden bark in a rubberised solution. It is a great solution for play areas that tend to be muddy, and looks more natural than wet pour.

It can also be laid in different thicknesses and can be laid on most surfaces, keeping the cost of installation low.

Artificial Grass

Artificial Grass helps prevent cut knees and bruises during falls, so it is a helpful solution for play areas where the children are younger and more prone to these kinds of accidents. Shock pads can be installed underneath areas where there is an increased risk of a fall. The benefit of artificial grass is the appearance, which is more natural than the other solutions.

Keeping children safe is a top priority for any play area owner. We hope this guide has given you useful information to make the best choice for you.

Finding the Perfect Formal Wear for any Occasion, Style, or Budget

Sooner or later we all find ourselves in need of formal wear. We receive an invitation to a wedding with the word “formal attire” included or we are suddenly invited to an awards dinner. Unfortunately, we don’t all have a tuxedo, fitted suit, or long ball gown simply hanging in our closet. We also don’t have an unlimited budget for such clothing. Before you panic, use the following information to help you find exactly what you need at a price that is easy on your bank account.

Rent Garments

When a tuxedo is required, renting one can be the best value. For a minimal price you can have an outfit that is stylish and perfectly fitted. Rentals shops are easy to find, and you’ll be able to select a jacket, shirt, and pants in a variety of colors. Renting formal attire used to be an option only the men could take advantage of, but many shops now offer gowns as well.

Thrift Stores

Don’t be afraid to browse your local thrift store for formal attire. Many people by gowns, cocktail dresses, or suits and only wear them once. These pieces eventually find their way into second hand shops. It is easy to find dressy options at an unbelievable price. If you don’t see your size, check back in a few days. Patience and perseverance can really pay off.

Bridal Shops

Bridal shops are the experts when it comes to formal attire. Women can find dresses and gowns to suit any occasion while men will discover tuxedos and suits at a great price. Discounts are often given to large groups such as wedding parties and their families. They can also refer you to a custom tailor such as those at Sabatini of London if you don’t find exactly what you like.

Now that you have a plan in place, you can relax and enjoy looking forward to your formal event. You’ll look terrific, and best of all, you won’t go in debt buying clothing you may only need once in a lifetime. After your special occasion has come to pass, help others by donating your garments to a local charity where they can be put to good use.

Unusual Art Forms

We usually expect art to come in the form of posh portraits or ancient sculptures, we don’t normally expect to see something totally weird and bizarre. The wonderful thing about art though is that it comes in all shapes and sizes and in recent years has taken some pretty ‘out there’ forms. Let’s take a look at some of the more bizarre ways of creating art. For preserving your own masterpieces, think about using an Artwork Reproduction Service.

Dirty Car Art

Recent years have seen art becoming more ‘street’ and part of the fabric of modern urban living. Most people wouldn’t think of great art as being drawn in the dirt on a vehicle but there are now several artists around the globe who have made a name for themselves doing just that. These amazing drawings, made with the thick layers of dust and grime that accumulate on cars, are so good that people don’t want to wash them off. Scott Wade in America has had his work featured in art shows and is hired by advertisers.

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Body Part Art

If you can imagine it, then yes it has been done! As well as some male artists using their appendages to paint with, female artists have been known to paint with their lady bumps too! Some use their tongues or bottoms but the strangest body part has to be the severed hand used by Norwegian artist, Morten Viskum.

Reverse Graffiti

Instead of using spray paint to create art, reverse graffiti aims to create an image by cleaning grime off certain parts of grubby, urban walls. Power washers remove dirt built up from exhaust fumes and in doing so, provide the artist with the opportunity to create a beautiful image instead. It has been a controversial action and people have been arrested, which seems bizarre when they are actually cleaning.

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Anamorphosis

This method involves drawing an image that can only be viewed or understood by looking at it from a specific angle. This is not new, however, as Leonardo da Vinci created such images in the 15th century. These days the technique is seen in 3D images and even in street art. The modern genius in anamorphosis was the Swiss artist, Felice Varini.

Body Fluid Art

Not many people would be too keen to appreciate something drawn in bodily fluids! One controversial artist has created art using urine and animal blood to depict gory reflections of his experiences of World War II. Another infamous Brazilian artist will only create art made from his blood. Definitely not art for the squeamish!

Lipstick Art

Natalie Irish creates her portraits by smothering on lots of lippy and kissing the canvas. Her work is astoundingly good and obviously made with much love!

Bottle Cap Art

Such a simple everyday item is used to stunning effect by artist Mary Ellen Croteau. She takes thousands of bottle caps of all colours and sizes and makes beautiful images in an attempt to highlight the issue that many bottle caps are non-recyclable and a threat to the environment.

 

How to Sneakily Discover What to Get Your Mom for Mother’s Day

With Mother’s Day around the corner, you are probably wondering what you should gift your mom. However, sometimes the best gifts are memorable surprises. Sure, she is expecting something like flowers or a sweet card. But you could surprise her with something better, if you could only find out what she wants, needs, or would love. The following guidelines are a how-to in sneakily discovering the best gifts to give your mom for Mother’s Day.

Be Stealthy but Observant

Sneaky is the key word here. You have to stealthy, like a gift-giving ninja. Stay aware of the conversations your mom has, as well as the things she does throughout the day. Observe her hobbies, interests, and likes. Really pay attention, but do so in a way that isn’t apparent to the average onlooker. For a surprise to work, you have to make sure your mom doesn’t suspect anything.

Lure Your Mom into Nonchalant Conversations

Bait your mom with nonchalant conversations about everyday stuff. Ask questions, find out what kind of things she loves lately, and formulate a plan. Has she been really into interior décor lately? Snag a retro décor book to give her a glimpse at interior design through the years. Or, if she loves flowers, plant a small garden of beautiful blooms, then lead her outdoors to show her the gift.

Invest in Something Practical but Memorable

Trinkets, such as a willow tree angel, are nice and sweet, but it can be better to gift your mom something she can use. Even practical and functional gifts can be memorable. If you insist that a trinket or figurine is the absolute best present for your mom, then get her something practical to go with it. For example, if you get a collectable for her trinket collections, invest in a cabinet to put them in too.

Ask Around (to Those that Can Keep a Secret)

Your other parent, dad, grandparents, siblings, or your mom’s closest friends, should have some intel into what your mom would love for Mother’s Day. Ask around, but do so with the loved ones that can keep a secret. You don’t want anyone ruining the surprise while you’re still piecing it together.

Your mom is a super-special lady, and she deserves the absolute best for Mother’s Day. It might be sneaky to gather ideas for the perfect surprise present, but it’s for a good cause. Her smile, appreciation, and love for her gift will make all the hard work worth it.

Parking attendants issued with cameras

The wearing of surveillance cameras is nothing new. We know that police wear them and now drivers and cyclists are using them to film any incidents of poor driving or road rage. The cameras in our streets and public buildings are in place as a deterrent in addition to being used for prosecution purposes.

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Parking attendants

Parking attendants across the UK are now availing of surveillance equipment to protect themselves on the job. There has been a rise in the number of local authorities using body worn cameras, with over half of local councils using them. Bath is an example of an authority recently adopting the technology for its civil enforcement officers, equipping them with cameras that will be activated only when necessary.

Why use cameras?

Many workers are being subjected to abusive behaviour while carrying out their jobs, which can be intimidating and can cause much distress to the person involved. The camera is there to deter people from being abusive. When you are aware that your actions may be recorded, you are more likely to moderate your behaviour accordingly. Declaring that you are recording conversations immediately defuses potentially abusive scenarios. Footage of abuse can be used to prosecute where appropriate.

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A history of abuse

Parking attendants are known for being on the receiving end of abuse by motorists. They can be subjected to both verbal abuse and physical abuse, such as pushing and other physically-intimidating behaviour. Adoption of body worn cameras has been linked to a halving of abusive incidents in Dundee, according to the council’s spokesperson.

Your legal rights

When cameras are being used, it is important to know where you stand legally with the footage. As an individual, you are covered under the data protection act. Only data linked to an incident should be retained for prosecution purposes. Users of cameras, such as those available from https://www.pinnacleresponse.com/legislation, should be aware of legislation around the Protection of Freedom Act of 2012 and should research its implications carefully.

Many council workers are being given body cameras to protect them at work; for example, a Welsh council has given them to its street cleaning staff to deal with increasing incidents of abuse and councils are offering them to staff working in buildings with no CCTV to record abusive behaviour.

American Prep: How to Master the Style

American prep is back in fashion, but it can be a difficult look to pull off. The style is both hipster and preppy, and it is ideal for everyday wear – but it needs to look effortless rather than over-styled.

If you want to pull off the American prep style this season, here is everything you need to know.

The Style

The overall style of the look is relaxed and yet mature. It is an everyday look that is crisp and fresh, and it is ideal for men who want to look fashionable while also feeling comfortable. American prep style is mostly made up of high-quality versatile pieces that mix and match well with each other.

Tops

An American prep top is a classic style in a simple colour, such as polo shirts and Farah shirts. Polo necks and Farah shirts tend to look best in shades of blue, from dark navy to a light summery blue. They also look good in red shades such as cherry.

If you want to buy some high-quality mens Farah shirts, check out suppliers such as http://ejmenswear.com/brands/farah.

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Hats

Hats are back with a bang, especially classic American prep baseball caps. However, it isn’t enough to just put the hat on your head: first you must think about how to wear the hat! According to GQ, you should take off any shiny stickers straight away, as this will ruin the look.

The colour of the hat will also determine if it looks mature or immature. Avoid bright colours like red and yellow, and instead go for a more neutral colour like heather grey, light blue or natural.

Trousers

The trousers are perhaps the most important part of the American prep style. The best option is a pair of high-quality no-nonsense jeans that are neither too slim or too baggy. This is because if they are slim they will resemble skinny jeans, and if they are baggy you will look more skater than preppy. The colour of the jeans should be dark to medium rather than light-coloured.

Another great option is a pair of well-fitting chinos in a light shade such as beige. Make sure that you buy the chinos in-store rather than online, as it is easy to order an ill-fitting pair that can ruin the look.

10 incredible ways to repurpose your old clothes

There are so many ways to repurpose your old clothes that you never need to throw them away. Try some of these brilliant ideas.

Making toys and accessories

1) Old baby clothes can be used to make lovely soft stuffed toys for babies. You can use free-motion sewing to add features – just sew different shapes together until you get the result you want. Making your own soft toys means you know exactly what is in them and that they are safe for your baby.

2) Scraps of patterned fabric from skirts or dresses can be made into flowers to wear in your hair. Back them with white cotton fabric and sew a decorative button in the centre to finish them.

3) Use old T-shirts to create colourful pompoms to decorate clothes. Cut thin strips in a continuous length from the T-shirt and use this as you would use wool to make a pompom with a cardboard template.

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4) T-shirts can also be used to make strong and flexible shopping bags that are easy to fold and keep in your handbag.

5) Old jeans are ideal for converting into draught excluders – just stuff the denim tubes with offcuts of material.

The Telegraph offers more ideas for helping the environment as Earth Day, which is on 22 April, draws near.

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Other ways of repurposing clothes

6) Without sewing, you could change a scarf into a stylish wrapped skirt, which is especially useful on the beach.

7) A nightshirt or large T-shirt can easily be repurposed into comfortable shorts with an elasticated waist. Make them as long or short as you like.

8) Another idea for a large T-shirt is to convert it into a strapless dress for summer. Just cut it across below the armholes, hem, and attach elastic to the reverse. Stretch the elastic as you sew.

9) A man’s shirt can be repurposed into a top. Either pleat or gather a rectangle of fabric cut from the shirt and attach it to a yoke. You could use a contrasting fabric from a company such as https://www.higgsandhiggs.com/fabrics/plain-cotton-fabric.html for this.

10) If you have a few pairs of old jeans to use, why not make a quilt with strips of denim interspersed with strips of flannel? This is great for boys and is also hard-wearing.

4G mobile signal disrupts TV reception in Shetland Islands

When Alan Inkster turned on his television he was surprised to find that there was no signal for his Freeview service. It was only when he went to a community meeting later that he was told a 4G phone signal was now transmitting in the area. Mr Inkster researched the possibility of the 4G signal having an effect on his television and soon realised that this was the reason he was not receiving a picture on his TV.

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Reporting it

Once he knew what was the cause he contacted at800, a government-led project which was set up to monitor disruption caused by the rollout of 4G services. As he was the only person in Shetland to raise an issue, he was told that a free filter would be sent to him which would then fix the problem.

However, when Mr Inkster spoke to his neighbour, he realised that although his television seemed fine at first, it was when he swapped from his satellite to the aerial connection that he knew it was an issue in the area and not just with his own TV.

Mr Inkster was not happy that he was not given fair warning that this problem may arise due to the mast now emitting the 4G signal, however, at800 told him that 357 postcards were sent to the residents of Scalloway advising that there was a small chance that there may be some Freeview interference.

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What causes it?

The issue arises when the 4G 800 MHz signals overload Freeview receivers, which can cause a blank picture, no signal or other forms of interference. However, at800 have confirmed that they are only aware of one person in the area who has been affected. If the filter does not help, they will send an engineer to try to solve the problem.

As with any television interference, there can be a number of reasons. If the issue is only affecting you then it may be a problem with your aerial. In Gloucester TV aerial repair is easy to come by so make sure that you do your research before hiring anyone. A company such as http://steveunettaerials.co.uk/services/tv-aerials-repair-and-installation-gloucester/ will be able to provide quotes once the issue is known.

Although 4G signal interference is possible, it is unlikely, so make sure everything is checked thoroughly to eliminate any signal problems.

What to Look for in a Sports Kit Supplier

Buying kit is often a club’s biggest expenditure, so you want to minimise the risk of getting it wrong.

Prices for a full adult kit generally start in the region of £200, so you will want to purchase a kit that will last a full season and preferably longer. Opting for a proven manufacturer is the best way to achieve this.

Quality, Reliability, Delivery

Quality, reliability and fast delivery are key factors to consider when choosing a supplier, and comfort is also an important consideration because you want players to focus on performing well and enjoying it. Having an itchy or ill fitting kit can distract them from this.

Amateur clubs are frequently run by volunteers who, while dedicated, often have many demands on their time. They need a supplier they can rely on to deliver what they need, when they need it. A good kit supplier will have a deep understanding of football and experience of working with grassroots clubs, so you can have confidence that they understand your needs and can provide help and advice if required.

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Supplier Checklist

There are many football team kit suppliers about these days, such as https://www.kitking.co.uk. At first glance they may seem very similar but, if you spend a bit of time now carefully selecting the best kit supplier for you, you will reap the rewards in terms of saving time, money, and stress in the long run. The check list below contains questions that you can ask yourself and suppliers to increase the likelihood of you receiving the quality and reliability that is so important.

– How long have they been selling football kits for?
– Who are their customers? It is always good to ask another club about their experiences.
– Do they sell top brand names which are highly rated for their quality and comfort?
– What are their delivery times and shipping methods?
– Are there staff on hand to offer guidance?
– Is their ordering process quick and easy?
– Do they provide bulk offers that enable you make savings if ordering kit, training wear and equipment?
– Is a printing or embroidering service available to provide flexibility with designs?

By applying these questions to a handful of suppliers and comparing their responses, you can find the best one for you.

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