Summer jobs and home maintenance – someone needs to do it!

Summer jobs and home maintenance – someone needs to do it!

It seems, at long last, that summer is finally here – or at least on it’s way! The temperature is rising, the sun seems to be shining and we’re actually heading out of the house without a coat! Summer is a time for the family to gettogether, lots of picnics and BBQ’s, long days down at the beach or spent in the countryside or heading to local tourist attractions and just enjoying the sunshine.

But, with summer comes great responsibility! Now is the time to tackle all those little home maintenance jobs that have eluded your over the winter months. So, come on, roll up those sleeves and let’s get to it!

Your heating

Most homeowners in the UK tend to turn off the heating around April, and it usually (hopefully) doesn’t come back on again until late September, when autumn finally starts to take hold. So, now is the time to make sure that everything is ready for when Winter rolls around again; that includes bleeding a radiator or two and cleaning out the accumulation of dust and grime in the air vents.
This also means getting a registered professional to come and take a look at your boiler. It’s better to ensure that everything is in fine, working order now, rather than on a cold winters morning when you’re trying to get a hot shower and the kids are hungry and cold! If your boiler seems fine then ensure that your boiler is fully serviced and ready to go.

Sound the alarm

Now is the time to check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Don’t wait – do it right now and then finish reading!

Wash your windows

Dirt from the road, soil, bird poop, rain water and general dirt and grime easily builds on your windows. So, give yourself a clearer outlook at give your windows a good wash. You’ll be shocked by the difference it makes!

Polish your porch and hallway

From muddy boot prints to the dogs sticky paws, your hallway or porch has gone through a lot these past few, wet months! Now is the time to give them a little TLC. Start by emptying the area and brushing everything down with a stiff brush. Then give the area a good mop down with some all purpose bleach or floor cleaner. If the family shoe situation is getting a little out of hand (shoes piled up by the door) then consider a new storage solution. A show rack or large storage box just for shoes.

Enjoy the air

If you have an outdoor space that’s big enough, consider putting up a clothes line or airier in the back yard. It’ll save you a fortune if you’re not using the drier. Drying clothes indoors can lead to mould and mildew build up and the damp air is not good for anyone’s health. And you’ll find that you get through that ever growing pile of washing a lot quicker too!


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Understanding leasing: Common questions you may need to ask

Understanding leasing: Common questions you may need to ask.

You are thinking about leasing a car but are a bit daunted by the prospect because of all the provisions in contract. Here are the answers to the questions you need to consider.

How and when do I pay my rent?

The usual way to pay rent for a Personal Contract Hire car is by monthly instalments, beginning one month following your initial down payment. Most companies prefer payment to be made by direct debit straight from your bank to theirs, although some will accept bank transfer. Paying in cash however is not an option. It is important to remember that most rental deals specific the annual mileage you are allowed to cover and if you exceed the penalty can be expensive. You will also be subject to a credit check and may find it difficult, though not impossible, to lease a car if you have a poor credit history.

Can I make improvements?

A Personal Contract Hire Car does not belong to you and unlike a rent to buy vehicle, it never will. So you are limited in terms of the improvements you can make Sure, you can personalise it with accessories that can be easily removed, such as seat and steering wheel covers and car mats, but you cannot do any mechanical alterations or adaptations that are irreversible, including fitting a state of the art sound system, changing the colour or a customized paint job.

How long is the lease?

You need to decide whether you want the car on a short-term lease of up to 24 months or a long-term option which can be anything from two to 5 years. The shorter the lease the more expensive it is likely to be. If having the latest model of your favourite model is important to you, don’t tie yourself into a long lease as it won’t be too long before a newer car catches your eye and you want, if possible, to avoid expensive termination fees. Shop around for a firm that can meet your requirements and tell you what you need to know about leasing.

How much is the security deposit, and do I get it all back?

Let’s be clear, it isn’t really a deposit, you aren’t buying the car, so you don’t get it back at the ned of the lease period. You will be asked to pay a large contractual down payment which is usually equivalent to your monthly payment times a specified number of months. Some companies today ask for a large lump sum, £1000, £2000 plus, depending on the type of car you are leasing. The down payment is part of the cost of the overall contract, the more you put down, the less your monthly commitment will be and vice versa.

How do you deal with maintenance and emergencies?

The general practice for the leasing firm to offer an optional maintenance package which you can pay for as part of your monthly payment, or separately. If your vehicle needs attention you can take it to a main dealer of your choice and have the work done under the maintenance package. Most repair shops will provide you with a courtesy car whilst your rental car is off the road.

So there are some of the important questions to consider when leasing for all kinds of drivers from businessmen to busy suburban mums.

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Why Aren’t More Parents Signing Children up for Sports Clubs?

Why Aren’t More Parents Signing Children up for Sports Clubs?

Sport, in the United Kingdom especially, is almost everywhere that you look. Whether it is the fallout from the weekend’s football, the pride of watching our athletes win gold or simple grassroots sport you cannot hide from it.

Regardless of whether you like sport yourself or even if you do not come from a particularly sporty family, it is something that every child should have the opportunity to enjoy. Not just because sport makes for great exercise and there is a constant call for parents to get their kids active, rather than spending all day glued to the iPad, but also for its social aspects.

Unlike school, where children see the same faced day in and day out, sports clubs see hundreds of children walk through their doors. It is very likely that children will meet someone new every week, whether they are playing with or against them, depending on the sport and type of club. That can only be a positive, surely?

Role Models

At any good sports club will be a coach or team of coaches that are qualified and CRB-checked in order to work with children. As parents know, children sometimes do not have a good choice in role models, so it is important that we can give them a nudge in the right direction.

Coaches play a pivotal role not just in a child’s on-the-field development, but also off-field, too. Good coaches lead by example, conducting themselves in an appropriate manner in success and disappointment, teaching children how they should handle themselves.


Sport has the power to bring people together like nothing else does. Families from all backgrounds all have the opportunity to take part, meaning that children from all walks of life integrate and socialise with one and other. With the United Kingdom being a multicultural society, the opportunity to children to make friends with others of all backgrounds is a fantastic prospect.

For children that do not speak English as their first language, sport can be a great outlet for them where they can feel included. Sports such as football, rugby and tennis are a universal language, making it easier for children, or anyone, that may struggle to communicate to engage with others.

It is not unusual for many families to come from countries that rely on charitable programmes where donations are made to sponsor orphans due to volatile conditions. The drastic change can be hard for anyone, especially a young child, and a local sports club can be a welcome release from what is likely to be a stressful period of integration into a new country and way of life.


When children go to school, there is all manner of reasons for stress. This can include homework, exams, social issues, classes and more – without a release, this can cause issues at home and have an effect on the child’s behaviour.

Sometimes, children do not speak to their parents about any problems that they are having at school. This can be down to a lack of confidence or embarrassment – whatever the reason, having a release where normal day-to-day problems can be forgotten about is ideal.

Exercise releases endorphins that project positive vibes, while playing with other children and enjoying some manner of success, whether that be in the form of winning or developing a skill, increases their confidence. This can be transferred into all aspects of your child’s life.

With so many benefits to signing your child up to a sports club, the question is why don’t more parents look to make use of the many clubs that are on their doorstep? Without people signing up, sports clubs wouldn’t be around and that would be a massive loss to the community.
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