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The Importance Of Regular Boiler Servicing

One of our friends has had a very close shave just recently. He ended up in hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning. It seems that his central heating boiler hadn’t been serviced for quite some time and it had started leaking carbon monoxide into his home. You can read lots more about the dangers of carbon monoxide and the need for regular boiler servicing on www.boilerblog.co.uk. People don’t realize just how deadly this gas can be. You can’t see it, can’t smell it, can’t taste it but it can kill you. Small amounts released continually into a small space will cause illness such as headaches, nausea and general flu like symptoms. If it’s allowed to continue then it can lead to brain damage and if there’s a high enough concentration that remains unnoticed then it can eventually lead to death.

Luckily our friend spent a couple of days in hospital and he’s now fine. His central heating boiler was inspected and they found that a seal had been damaged and the carbon monoxide fumes were the result. The boiler has now been serviced and the fault fixed.

There is a new web site that collects free quotes from up to five Gas Safe registered companies for any boiler servicing or repair requirements, so click on the link for quotes from the experts Visit MyBoilerService for a free instant quote from up to 5 companies in your area!

Designer Clothing Facts

From the red carpets of the celeb functions to your very own wardrobe, mens designer clothing has gradually become part of the essentials for lots of people wishing to remain stylish and up to date with the latest designs. Nevertheless doing this is no economical task as these womens designer clothing options only appear to continue rising in cost. A trademark name that at one time could be purchased for £35-£50, is now rapidly increasing into the £100 or more range.

 

The important thing to keep in mind when deciding to wear designer clothing is not just the price. While you are spending for a name, with that name also comes the quality that is not readily available anywhere else. While a lot of people would not go out and buy a pair of 7 For All Mankind Jeans and expect to use them for many years, the quality option of fabrics used in designer clothing can permit them to last longer than any cheap knock-offs.

 

It is not simply about the style or the expenses for some people. While there are many that select a specific brand promoted by their favourite star, others select the items for their superior quality. It is no understatement that brands like Desigual, Baracuta and Adrianna Pepell will last you for an extremely long time. They may be highly priced, however that does not actually indicate that you need to treat them like a new born baby. Of course, with such a substantial investment  you wouldn’t want to do too much in them that could risk damaging them. Do the wood chopping or the fence erecting in your Levi’s but save your designer jeans for those smart casual occasions.

How to organize your works Christmas party!

The summer is just over with and before we know it, we’re into October  and the shelves in shops are stocked up for Christmas! It all becomes a bit of a whirl and now the human resources manager has allocated you the job of organizing the works Christmas party!

 

Do not panic, for help is here!. There’s still plenty of time to book the hall, the DJ and the photo booth.

 

Sit yourself down with a nice cup of coffee, your notepad ready and your thinking cap on! Away we go!

 

Don’t worry, you haven’t left it too late for now is the perfect time to start organizing. The first thing to do would be to find out how many people the party needs to cater for. Next find out via an office email what date would be convenient for everyone. Easier to shoot out a ball park range of dates and when this is agreed by the majority vote you can then send out a ‘save the date’ message. When you’ve done that, then the venue needs booking.

 

Booking a venue can be tricky and depends upon numbers. If you work for a small firm then a function room at the back of the pub would be perfect. If booking a Christmas party for an office of about ten then a lovely meal in a cozy pub or restaurant. If organizing for a hundred plus people why not hire a hall for that added thrill. You’ll need a DJ to get the party started and a photo booth to really get things going! DJs, function rooms and photobooths are filling up their diaries at around this time in the year – now is a really good time to get booked up!

 

Next, are the food and refreshment considerations? Depending upon your budget you might prefer the buffet option over a formal sit down evening meal. Many large corporate functions have a budget that allows for the workforce to enjoy a free party but if not the case, find out how much your work colleagues would consider paying out for a works party ticket. £10 each might be appropriate at some firms whilst others would think nothing of a rather large contribution. Perhaps the management would consider offering a sizable contribution themselves towards the proceedings.

 

Advertise the works Christmas party well in advance to ensure people do not get themselves double booked and can’t attend. Draw up a poster for the noticeboard and send periodic “countdown to the party” email memos.

 

A week or so before the big night, ring round the various people you have booked for the Christmas do. Make sure they can confirm the times they will be attending so that you can make the appropriate arrangements for entry to the function room to be gained etc.

 

On the night, if the party starts at 7.30pm, make sure you get there an hour before. If decorations were put up, this is the time to check they are still up and haven’t dropped making the hall or room look scruffy. All last minute disco curtains and balloons are in place until the first guest arrives and (if you haven’t booked a meeter and greeter) you will be available by the entrance welcoming your guests.

 

Finally, don’t forget to have a good time yourself!

House Flooding Insurance

Will it ever stop raining?

The current spate of flooding across the length and breadth of the UK means no one is free from the threat and worry caused by the heavy rains. With many more homes flooded through once more across Wales, Gloucestershire and the South West shouldn’t we be putting measures in place to ensure the destruction doesn’t occur again? Weaknesses in our flood defences are being addressed so say the environment agency but is this really enough?

At a time when serious weather calls for serious counter measures, a recent article in the Guardian considers the ineffectual call of the insurers to return things back to how they were before. These extreme weather patterns were predicted by climate experts so how can we avoid an expected repeat of the devastation caused by flooding when the insurers insist everything goes back to how it originally was? How is this a way forward for people who have to live with the threat of annual flooding?

A Flooded House in Norfolk
As Sue Blackmore, the article’s author explains, the worst part of experiencing your home becoming devastated by flooding is not during the actual flooding simply because there is too much to do to preserve what items you can. For those of us who have been lucky enough not to experience the hell of your home flooding the focus is on grabbing treasured possessions and getting them out of harm’s way. The panic only really settles in once your home is flooded and the enormity of the situation becomes horribly real. It is at this point that you need to get in touch with your insurance company and convince them that everything has been damaged and when it boils down to it, that turns out to be a lot of stuff that needs replacing and putting right.

As Sue says who would think there was so much to a floor? If your floor is flooded then there are a multitude of things that make up the floor such as chipboard, insulation, waterproof membrane, carpeting, underlay. Chipboard rots so all that has to come out and insulation never dries so that needs replacing completely too. What of the waste and the carbon footprint caused by all the damage of a flooding? Is it right that the insurers will replace everything that will in all likelihood end up needing replacing the following year?

Why is it that the insurers insist everything be replaced and returned to its former glory when surely a new plan of action would be more suitable?

Luckily in Sue’s case the insurance company have approved of her taking measures to improve the flood damage expectancy chances of her home through underfloor water pumps , reflective blankets and waterproof grout until flood resilient flooring becomes more readily available. With many homes built on so called ‘functional floodplains’ climate change is going to prove very expensive.

Claiming insurance for a whiplash injury?

What is whiplash? The term ‘whiplash’ usually only refers to rear end collisions where a single car is stood still and another drives into the back of it. A whiplash injury refers to injury of the soft tissue in the neck during a car accident. Whiplash can last a few days or in fewer worst cases, several years. If you should sustain an injury following a car accident, you should receive medical treatment immediately.

There is nothing worse than experiencing an accident on the roads but if we are extremely lucky, we might be able to walk away – as so many people are not able to. What if you are injured? What happens next? What if you are suddenly inflicted with a whiplash injury? Are you able to claim for an accident that you might be partly responsible for?

The thing about claiming for a whiplash injury is that in many cases there are multiple drivers to blame and you are one of them. Part responsibility is a grey area that is sometimes very tricky to prove.

In the event that a collision occurs, a series of miscalculations or bad driving decisions are made by often, more than a single driver. Can you seek compensation for a whiplash injury? First of all, before you make a claim on your insurance make an appointment to consult with a solicitor.

A solicitor will need to determine who was to blame for the collision that caused your whiplash. They will look to witness statements to ascertain the liability as well as thoroughly work through the details of the crash. If a police report is available they will certainly use that. It is up to the solicitor to arrange a liaison with the legal representation of the third party and at that point attempt to determine an agreement as to the liability of the collision.

On the matter of compensation, the extent of severity of your whiplash will have to be formally recognised. The solicitor will request an independent medical report concerning your injuries. This report will include details relating to the anticipated term of recovery that you will require. Once this has been received the third party’s solicitor will receive a copy and then compensation is discussed and approved.

Should you find you are involved in a road traffic accident where you are partly to blame, there is a chance you could receive compensation for your injury.

Moving Home – A True Story

“There are a few houses in between the Scottish Highlands and Devon you know!” was the comment a friend aimed at us when we first announced we had moved to our new home at the other end of the British Isles.

We decided it was time to move from our secluded house in the scenic Cairngorms to the glorious rolling valleys of scenic Devon.  A journey that encompassed 500 miles or so.

The task at first was a daunting one. Initially finding a house to move into was more difficult than we expected. We had the 500 or so miles to travel down to our new chosen location and then organise the viewings. We were not prepared for a massively thriving rental market where competition for houses had become so fierce that landlords were fighting candidates off with a stick. When relocating such a considerable distance you need to be prepared to drive – a lot! To cut a long story short, eventually we found our dream home and couldn’t wait to move.

All was about to get even more challenging as our move was set on a rollercoaster path right from the off!

After a spate of heavy rain and the flooding of our bedroom, our highland dwelling had lost any appeal that it first had. We enjoyed the views, the wildlife, the space, the cold winters for four years but the damp problem was a big issue. So with two months notice to evacuate the property we decided to move to Devon.

Family and friends can prove invaluable at a time like this, so when we had an offer to help with the move we accepted gratefully (many hands make light work) and got to work packing and getting on with the many charity shop and recycling centre runs. But then disaster struck when weeks before we were set to physically move, serious illness hit the family and the help we were relying on was withdrawn.

After all the panic and turmoil, a lovely local man with a van stepped in. The only problem was the van wasn’t big enough for all of our furniture and belongings. We would need to do a return trip to the Highlands and collect the rest of it (thank goodness for a very hospitable landlord who let us keep our things in the shed until we returned).

The night of the actual move was fraught with frustration though. Everything was boxed up – just the kettle and the teabags remained – and we were ready. We had some local lads come along to help with the lifting and carrying but come the time the man with van was due, then an hour later and an hour after that, our helpers had gone. Our van and man eventually arrived some five hours after he was expected. It was dark and raining and his exterior lights were broken. Like something out of a surrealist film, or indoor lights were rigged up out in the rain so that things could be loaded into the van.

Two hours later. The van and the man and half our stuff had set off for Devon. Eleven O’clock at night. After a good sweep round and sorting the remainder of our things it was gone two o’clock in the morning when after this long and tiring day and even more tiring evening, we set off on the very long drive down to Devon.

When we arrived at our new house we found that the van and the man were still unloading along with the assistance of – our new landlord!

The moral of this story is don’t kid yourself you are saving money by not getting in the professionals to help you move! You don’t. You spend more and waste more time than you needed to. Secondly, landlords get a bad press and there are really lovely ones out there… you’ve just got to know where to look (start in the Highlands and finish in Devon!)

Ambulance Chasing Banned, but Advertising Continue...

While ambulance chasing is prohibited or strictly regulated in most industrialized nations, the advertisements used by lawyers are not far-removed from the practice. Today’s lawyers might not chase ambulances to the hospital or visit the emergency room to find clients, but they still solicit injured clients with their television and print advertisements.

This type of solicitation is also a kind of spam. The Information Commissioner’s Office is responsible for investigating this kind of activity when the internet and private email addresses or cell phones are spammed.

In late 2011 and early 2012, the ICO conducted two raids and confiscated thousands of hardware systems designed specifically to send out large numbers of text messages. The spam was traced to a firm in Manchester and contained messages classified as “ambulance-chasing claims”.

Attorneys often state they are providing a public service in defense of the television and print advertisements. The public may not be aware that they can seek restitution for injuries resulting from prescription drugs, for example. That is true, but in some cases, the person has not actually been injured.

The litigious society we live in is often criticized. The high cost of medical care in the U.S. is sometimes blamed on the need for expensive malpractice insurance. The high costs can not be blamed specifically on ambulance chasing, but they can be blamed on the practice of suing or threatening suit to resolve issues that might be settled without legal assistance.

Allowing lawyers to advertise their services is a relatively new thing. Like other professionals and drug manufacturers, lawyers were not allowed to advertise in the U.S. until the 1980s. Advertising was generally considered “unprofessional”. Now everybody advertises their services.

Firms do have a legal right to run their ambulance chasing ads. But, just because it is legal, does not necessarily mean it is ethical.

It is essential that attorneys, lawyers, barristers, solicitors and judges are ethical. A lack of ethics in the legal community would have disastrous results. Maybe, there have already been some disastrous results.

The fear of being sued has caused municipalities to cancel many activities that were once a part of our culture. Everything from cheese-rolling festivals to veterans’ parades have been cancelled because of the fear of being sued. We see warning labels on everything. The culture of trying to sue for everything has dramatically increased the costs of public liability insurance as well as forcing more and more companies to take out this kind of insurance.

Ending ambulance chasing advertising might not be a solution. There would still be people who would sue over a super-hot cup of coffee, but maybe there would be fewer of those suits, if there were fewer ads.

Choosing A Domestic Cleaning Service

When considering hiring a cleaning service I like to make a list of what I expect them to do. Here’s my current list to give you an idea of what I ask of the cleaning company.

  • Kitchen:  Clean microwave, stove, wash floor, empty trash, clean all counter tops and wash dishes as necessary
  • Bedrooms: Linen change, dusting, rug vacuuming
  • Bathrooms:  Clean shower, tub, sinks, floors & mirrors, wash floors, replace trash can liners
  • Living Room and Family Room:  Wash floors, vacuum rugs, dust (including ceiling fans)
  • Hallway:  Pull up hallway runner, wash floor, vacuum runner  and replace runner
  • Each room:  I have plantation shutters in each room.  The shutters are cleaned and dusted each visit
  • All supplies and equipment must be included in the price and they must be  eco-friendly
  • Substantial liability insurance coverage must be in place

I closed the door on my corporate career earlier this year and finally had enough time to look for another housecleaning service.  After extensive internet research,  I called a local company based on its consistent 5 star reviews on a number of web sites, and had a lengthy chat with them before making an appointment.  I didn’t cancel my other service “just in case.”  The new team arrived promptly, as scheduled, and left my house absolutely immaculate!  I mean it was amazing!  Frankly, I always felt my former cleaning service was mediocre but this new service not only proved it, they were  also less expensive.  I immediately switched services and have been extremely happy ever since.

Howard, the company boss, is happy to communicate via email which is my ideal form of communication.  If I think of something the night before my cleaning or I want to schedule something special in the future, I email Howard and he gets it done.   He is also very consistent with sending the same team over but when he has to substitute (which is rare), the replacement is just as friendly and competent as the other team members.   Having managed large law firms, I know the value of having a staff that are not only interchangeable but appear to like working for his company.

This summer has been one of relentless emotional and physical upheaval.  My daughter, who is my only child, is being married on July 31st and moving out of state.    In the meantime, my husband’s son is here for the summer and on a very tight academic and fitness schedule. My husband’s job has taken him out of town for days at a time. That being said, I am now the transporter to numerous destinations – while in the midst of helping my daughter nail down the last minute details of her wedding.   Tuesday was my housecleaning day and I totally forgot.  Howard’s team arrived after the cable guy (yes our phone and Internet had gone down) and I felt like bursting into tears. I wasn’t ready.  However Olivia, the leader of the cleaning team, took my hand and said,  ”Howard told us about your daughter’s wedding and all you have to do.  We are here to help in any way we can.  Don’t worry, we are here to help.  Besides cleaning your house, is there anything else we can do to help you?”    Ok, so I cried anyway but they were good tears!