King of the Road

Being a part of the British Road Traffic Police has always seemed like an interesting and exciting job where two days are really never the same. Racing up and down motorways after bad guys seems like a great way to spend a shift but it can’t all be excitement and adrenaline. The need for a specialist traffic police force came into being with the opening of the first motorway in 1959, the M1. As construction of the motorways continued into the 1960’s, these police departments grew. » Read more

Why tank driving is ‘the ultimate driving experience’

Looking for something different?

With the Christmas holiday past and the cold wet weather of January and February settling onto the scene, sources of excitement and exhilaration may seem far off. For the dedicated petrolhead, it must feel like a long time until the summer races and rallies. So here is a suggestion of a truly exciting experience, full of mud, water and roaring engines which may even be better in the rain.

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If you are based in the Midlands tank driving experiences are conveniently available. You might like to look at an independent review of what is offered or take a look at the description of a tank driving experience published in the Telegraph, which includes a video.

What can you drive?

Go along to one of these sessions and you’ll be given the controls of a selection of ex-military vehicles such as Combat Engineer Tractors (CETs), Humvees, Armoured Personnel Carriers, Chieftain tanks, and even Russian Gvozdikas. The instructor will encourage you to really stomp on the gas and throw the vehicles across the muddy, wet terrain. Many of the vehicles are amphibious so just love being driven into huge holes of water – with a satisfying accompanying splash!

How do they work?

They’re fairly simple to drive – pull the left lever to turn left and the right one to turn right, and hit the pedal. You do need to read the terrain, not so much to protect the vehicles, as to stop getting yourself a massive jolt to knock your teeth out. Oh, and don’t worry if the CET conks out on you. This is not unknown, and apparently, the MOD expects an attrition rate of up to 90% when they’re in active service. The instructor will move you to another vehicle and then, on with the fun!

Where to do this?

There are a number of venues offering tank driving experiences at a range of prices, and levels of activity. Armourgeddon, based in Leicestershire, has lots to interest the newcomer or the seasoned tank driver. Their website is at : https://www.armourgeddon.co.uk/, and is worth a look.

Roaring around a muddy field, in and out of water, while the powerful engine throbs at your command, and finishing off by driving over and crushing a car – what could be more fun?

How to get into the double glazing industry as a window fitter

The double glazing industry can be a prosperous career to get into, and one of the most rewarding jobs is being a window fitter. Experienced window fitters can benefit from healthy monthly wages and a 40-hour working week throughout most of the year. Here are some of the requirements for those looking to take up this career.

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What salary can I expect?

Window fitters can expect an annual salary of between £15,000 and £25,000, dependent on experience. Usually completing 40 hours a week, window fitters can also carry out extra hours to further enhance their takings. If you become a self-employed window fitter, you will be able to set your own rates. Here is a useful tax guide for self-employed window fitters – https://uk-taxreturn.co.uk/index.php/tax-guide-for-self-employed-window-fitters/.

What does the job entail?

Window fitters can work on domestic or commercial buildings and are usually called upon to fit windows in houses, conservatories and other building structures. Day-to-day duties involve removing windows and doors, measuring up spaces, fixing and sealing the glass units and repairing windows. The work usually requires the job holder to use a range of hand power tools and machinery, so the work can be physically demanding and pose certain health and safety risks.

What skills or qualifications do I need?

Window fitters do not require a specific qualification or degree, however, a certain amount of skill is necessary to do the job well. Some employers may prefer to hire an individual with GCSE pass grades or an apprenticeship. However, relevant experience in other industries such as carpentry and joinery may help you to secure your desired post. If you are just starting out and have no work experience to date, you might like to consider contacting local glazing companies to see if they can take you on as a fitter’s mate. Keane Windows is a window supplier in Dublin that welcomes trainees (http://keanewindows.ie/).

In terms of personal skills, a window fitter should be practical, organised and have good customer service skills.

Additional information

If you anticipate working on building sites, you may need to look into gaining a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card which is required by law. If you are a driver, you might need to prove that your licence is valid because you will likely be travelling to various locations for work.

Let’s play a game

You’ve all enjoyed your buffet or meal but nobody’s quite ready yet to hit the dance floor, fill that after dinner lull with some Christmas party games that will have you all in stitches. The works Christmas party is the perfect opportunity for team bonding and morale boosting and what better way than with some light-hearted festive fun. They also a great excuse to get people mingling and act as an icebreaker. Here are a few games that will go down a treat:

A great game to start off with your colleagues is the Funniest Christmas Presents: True or Not? Game. Make up one crazy gift and two real ones and have people guess which one is a fib. This has the potential for real giggles!

Christmas Charades is a classic at any party as it is so easy to play in large groups. To make it easier (or harder) you’re only allowed to do Christmas themes, films or characters. Christmas movie trivia is another winner as there will always be a movie buff or two in your group. Split into teams for this one and go head to head.

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If you’ve got a big enough venue then why not have a silly race of ornament and spoon. Instead of the classic egg and spoon, balance Christmas decorations on a spoon instead. Split into teams and set up a relay course (using two cones will suffice) and try to add a few obstacles along the way. If you drop the ornament, you have to start the course again and when passing the ornament to the next person in your team, neither of you can touch it. After a few drinks, this is sure to be hilariously entertaining. For Corporate Christmas events, contact Davis Events Christmas Corporate events agency.

Along a similar theme is the Penguin Waddle Game where balloons are placed between your knees and you must waddle around a course, racing against the opposing team. Another childhood classic can be reinvented in Pin the Nose on Rudolph. Blindfold a guest, spin them around and watch their comic attempts to put Rudolph’s nose in the right place!

Make sure nobody has a bad back before attempting this one. Santa Limbo is like normal limbo but with a big cushion under their top to give them a ‘Santa belly’. For a slightly calmer activity, place objects inside a stocking and have people try to guess what’s inside. Whoever guesses correctly, wins the item. Another brilliantly fun idea is the Gift Wrapping Game. Encouraging team working and collaboration, get your guests to work together to wrap a gift but each person can only use one hand.

A good game for more sedate guests is Two Truths and a Lie. To keep things respectable, you could make it a Christmas themed game. Find out who has the best poker face by trying to guess which fact is true and which is a big fat fib! Each person must provide two truths about their celebration of Christmas and one lie. This could be a made up tradition that their family supposedly does. This game is engaging and highly amusing.

How to Afford Your Dental Implants

Forget crowns, bridges and caps: dental implants are becoming the go-to solution for damaged teeth, with increasing numbers of dentists recommending them. However, as implants are more expensive than other forms of treatment, without the backup of a private dental care plan to help with funding, implants may seem beyond your budget. This doesn’t have to be the case.

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There are several options when it comes to paying for private dental treatment like implants, so be sure to explore them as possible solutions if your dentist recommends them as the best form of treatment for you.

Look at Staggered Payments

Many dental practices are aware that the upfront cost of implants is more than most people budget for, and they respond by offering finance packages. In general, these involve paying a deposit and the remainder in stages. Do shop around, especially by looking at interest rates, if any.

Ask for a Discount

This may seem a bit cheeky, but if you plan to have more than one implant, or regularly recommend a private clinic to friends who then join and have treatments, it is worth asking for some money off your own or for a cash discount if paying in full upfront.

Consider a Bank Loan

If you have a good credit record, it shouldn’t be too difficult to secure a bank loan to pay for your treatment, (and you could still try for the cash upfront discount). Although this method automatically adds interest charges, the repayment period and amount may be better suited to your budget.

Look at Treatment Options Abroad

Some people choose to go to another country for dental implants, as the overall cost with flights and accommodation can still work out cheaper. This option requires careful research, as poor-quality implants or sub-standard dental work can cause havoc, and realistically it is difficult to fly back for any unexpected follow-up treatment needed. One compromise is to look at alternative locations just outside the UK. It’s easy enough to contact a dentist in Dublin such as Docklands Dental and get some quotes to compare with local prices.

Dental implants may not be the best solution for everyone, but if it is only the cost that puts you off this amazing treatment opportunity, it really is worth shopping around for a solution.

Advertising Christmas

Christmas preparations seem to start earlier and earlier every year and the TV Christmas ad is big business. These adverts almost become a TV show in themselves with people eagerly awaiting the season’s release from big names such as Sainsbury’s, John Lewis and M&S. Data shows that a third of the population start their Christmas shopping in September and so it makes sense for retailers for start gearing for Christmas pretty much as soon as summer fades. This is not necessarily a modern phenomenon though as the Daily Telegraph ran Christmas ads on 28th October 1912. » Read more

A unique proposal

Popping the question is a very big deal indeed and a task that usually falls on the man, unless it’s a leap  year. From a simple romantic gesture to an extravagant surprise, the method you choose will depend on the limits of your imagination and your budget. » Read more

A world of weddings

We tend to have a set view of the structure of a wedding based on our cultural background and while the internet is full of lists for planning the perfect wedding, this can only cater to the basics as it doesn’t take into account the huge variation of cultural and traditional practices. The modern wedding does not have to be bereft of heritage, family respect and traditional customs and there is no reason why we can’t adopt customs that we like from other cultures. One thing all weddings share though is a desire to capture the happy moments forever. For a Bournemouth wedding photographer, visit http://www.nickrutterphotography.co.uk/

Here we take a look at some unique customs from around the world.

  • Africa – ‘jumping the broom’ is a custom that originated as slaves were forbidden to marry. The couple would jump over a decorated broom to symbolise the start of a new life together.
  • Czech Republic – the tradition of something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue is strictly followed here. The borrowed item must be from a friend already married and the old item must be a family heirloom. The bride and groom share their soup with one spoon and rice is thrown at the couple to encourage fertility.
  • Netherlands – the Dutch have a lovely custom of placing a ‘wish tree’ by the newly weds. Guests write special messages and tie them to the branches.
  • France – it is a custom for the groom to walk his mother down the aisle before marrying.

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  • Ireland – the night before the wedding, the groom is invited to the bride’s house to be served with a cooked goose. Bells were believed to ward off evil spirits and guests would ring little bells as the couple left the church. Bells could also be rung instead of clinking glasses at the speeches. A shoe would be thrown over the bride’s head as she was leaving the church as a sign of good luck. I’m not sure how lucky it would feel if it hit you in head!
  • Sweden – a custom for the bride was to wear coins in her shoes to ensure she would never go without. It needed to be a silver coin from her father in the left shoe and a gold coin from her mother in her right shoe.
  • Vietnam – the mother-in-law bestows pink chalk on the bride to symbolise a rosy future and the date of the wedding is determined by a /Buddhist monk or fortune-teller. There are several ceremonies that need to place including a procession to the groom’s house, a procession to receive the bride, an ancestor ceremony and the banquet party.

How to fix scratched and creaky wooden floors

Nothing is more frustrating than scratching your beautiful wooden floors. While it’s easy to reach for a rug to cover up the unsightly marks or call in a professional to fix the problem, scratches are actually easily repaired as long as you know what you’re doing.

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With DIY firmly on the rise, more and more people are willing to give repairs a go themselves. In this handy guide, we will reveal exactly what to do if you’ve damaged your wooden floors.

Before you get started

Before you begin, you will need to invest in the necessary pieces of equipment.

These include:
–       Floor Cleaner
–       Soft Cloths
–       Fine Sandpaper
–       Steel Wool
–       Putty Knife
–       Mineral Spirits
–       Putty or Wood Filler in the same colour as your floor
–       Floor Varnish

You can often find good floor cleaner and repair kits at a reputable online flooring company, such as http://www.ukflooringdirect.co.uk/.

What you’ll need to do

First of all, it’s important to give the area you’ll be working on a good cleaning with your floor cleaner before you start.

Next, try to assess the level of damage. Light scratches and deep scrapes will require very different repair methods.

For light, cosmetic scratches, lightly rub steel wool over the affected area. It is important to follow the grain of the wood or you’ll cause more scratches than you’ll fix.

For deep scratches ,rub over the area with a lightweight sand paper. Again, it is important to follow the grain of the wood in order to avoid causing any more damage.

When you’re happy with your sanding, wipe over the area using mineral spirits on a soft cloth.

Then, using your putty knife, fill the remaining delve with wood filler and leave to dry.

When the putty is completely firm, sand the excess filler away with lightweight sandpaper so that the area is level with the rest of your wood floor.

Next, clean up the dust and varnish the repaired section of wood so that it matches the rest of your flooring. You can keep the sanded piece of sawdust in case you need it for any further repairs. This can be mixed with glue to quickly and easily fill small holes in the wood.

The $26,000 office chair that will make you feel weightless

Many office workers spend much of their day sitting on a swivel chair that is considered deluxe if the back rest adjusts, despite established research on the damage long periods of inactivity on this type of seat can cause.

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Modern alternatives to swivel chairs

Some employers are beginning to offer alternatives that deal with these issues, including adjustable standing desks and so-called ‘action chairs’ that reduce spinal stress. These include wellness – large, yoga-like – balls with a weighted bottom, or buoy, which look rather like a public waste bin but work miracles by using gravity and core muscles as you tilt and spin your way through the working day.

The ultimate alternative

If these alternatives sound futuristic, imagine spending every day in a chair that is said to provide the closest thing to zero gravity you can experience outside space travel.

The Elysium chair is the ultimate answer to all seating-related health conditions. Created and designed during ten years of research by British inventor Dr David Wicket, this outstanding piece of engineering is based on the merging of key principles from both biology and physics.

Along the same lines as floatation therapy, the chair uses the notion of zero gravity to capture the most comfortable position for its user. This is generally at the point between lying down and sitting up, with the user’s weight evenly distributed.

If tech talk leaves you baffled, let’s think about it in more basic terms. This is a beautifully made chair that is comfortable to sit in for any number of hours because it adjusts itself. It is a chair that responds to you and cares only for your ultimate and ongoing comfort and good health.

There are no noisy motors or cables to deal with and not even a control panel; instead, you use simple hand gestures to control movement. This is quite a contrast to the lever mechanism regular office chairs rely on for adjustments! Perhaps one day easy office furniture will be the norm.

If you must have this chair in your life, you need to act quickly and have an understanding bank manager. There are only 20 available right now and each costs a whopping $26,000 (over £21,000). One for the Christmas list, perhaps?

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