Category: My Blog

Tips to Consider Before Getting a Tattoo

How to Avoid Tattoo Regret

If you are considering your first tattoo, you probably have a thousand thoughts rushing through your mind. A methodical approach is vital.

Most people spend a lot of time thinking about their first tattoo. That’s as it should be, but the problem is that more often than not, they are not thinking about the right things. Sure, the overall cost and the amount of pain involved need to be considered, of course they do. But these are relatively simple matters that the artist will discuss with you.

There are more fundamental considerations that are actually far more important. After all, look at it this way, nobody ever started to explore phrases like tattoo removal London on Google because their tattoo was too expensive or had hurt too much. If you spend too much time focused on things like these, you are missing out on the bigger picture.

It’s all about the meaning

The single most important thing is the meaning behind your tattoo. This is over and above the image itself, the cost, how long it takes or anything else. Why do you want a tattoo, and what will it mean to you? Be clear on this, discuss it with your tattoo artist, and you will be amazed how many of the other things fall into place.

Choose your artist with care

A tattoo is, for the most part, a lifetime commitment. This is not a time to be going for the cheapest option and hoping for the best – but more on cost in a moment. The point here is that you need to choose an artist who has skill and experience, but also it needs to be someone with whom you connect and who understands what you want to achieve and why.

The cost factor

We have already said that cost should not be the defining factor of your tattoo. But unless you have millions tucked away in the bank, it will inevitable still be a consideration. A good tattoo by a talented artist is not going to be cheap, and that holds true whether you are in the middle of London or on a tropical island paradise like Bali. When your artist understands what you want, he will be able to provide an accurate quotation. If it is outside your budget, you have some tough decisions to make. Compromising on what you really want to get it on budget will only lead to regret, so that leaves two choices. Some people get the initial outline work done and then finish off when they have saved up the money. That’s OK, but ideally it is best to get everything done at once. The best solution is to find out what it’s going to cost, and start saving!

Will it hurt?

Anyone who says a tattoo will not hurt is lying to you. Of course it will hurt. Whether that is a significant problem really depends on your pain threshold. Most people are able to “tune out” the pain, which can be likened to being scratched by a cat. It’s not a pleasant experience, but it is nowhere near as painful as stubbing your toe. And as long as you take the right approach, the rewards are well worth it.

After applying the outlines, the tattoo artist removes the rest of the non-inserted ink from the skin using paper towel soaked with alcohol

How to make your used Canon Camera Look New Again

Sell your second-hand camera more easily

To get a quick buyer and a good price for your used Canon camera, you need to make sure it’s in the best possible condition

Photography can be somewhat of an expensive pastime; for good quality photos you need good quality equipment, and buying the latest ‘must-have’ bit of kit can often prove costly.

Selling your used and unwanted camera can help you to raise funds for a new and improved model, but with a lot of competition out there, cameras that are in poor condition will often get overlooked by potential buyers. If you’re looking to sell a used Canon camera, there are some steps you can take to help get it looking its best.

Give it a good clean

You don’t really think about cameras getting dirty, but it’s surprising how much dust and dirt your photographic equipment picks up through everyday use. To get your Canon camera looking like new again, it’s important to give it a thorough clean. Start by giving the camera body a wipe down, and use denatured alcohol and an old toothbrush to tackle any stubborn stains. Smears and finger marks on the viewfinder and screen can be eliminated with a microfibre cloth, and you can use a Lenspen, brush or air blower to help remove bits of grit, dust and sand from the gaps in the camera body.

Dust can also collect on your lens and this can be tricky to remove without scratching the surface. Experts recommend using a blower to remove as much dirt as possible without having to touch the lens. Any remaining dirt can be tackled with lens cleaner and non-abrasive lint-free cloths.

Find the original packaging

Packaging your camera in its original box may not make the actual camera look new again, but it can make a big difference when it comes to attracting potential buyers. Cameras in their original packaging tend to sell more quickly and for a higher price so it’s worth taking the time to find the box. While you’re at it, try to find the original components that came with the camera, such as manual, straps, and any software or cables. Placing your equipment in a pristine box with all its accessories enables you to present it in the best possible light, increasing your chances of success.

Prevention is better than cure

All of these steps can help to improve the appeal of your equipment, but when it comes to having a camera that looks great, prevention is always better than cure. With this in mind, it always pays to take steps to protect your camera as much as possible from dirt and damage.

Always carry your camera in a protective case or bag, and use a screen protector along with lens and body caps to guard against any dents or scratches. You can protect your lens further by keeping a UV filter fitted at all times, and some photographers even remove their rings in a bid to avoid scratching the body.

Alongside these common-sense steps, it’s also worth sending your equipment in for regular servicing to help ensure that it remains looking and operating at its best.

Of course, these maintenance tips may well be too late for you this time, but it’s worth keeping them in mind to ensure that you can keep any future equipment in peak condition.

With a bit of elbow grease you can soon get your Canon camera looking like new again, and the hard work will all be worth it when you get the money you need to buy your newest piece of equipment.

Replace Your Old Banger This Spring

old banger ready to be a scrap car

Old banger ready to be a Scrap car How to dispose of your old banger in a quick, easy, environmentally friendly and profitable way using a specialist car disposal company in one day or even less.

Give your old faithful an honourable retirement and make money

It may finally be time to bid farewell to your old motor; it’s served you well and by now probably doesn’t owe you anything but perhaps the ravages of time are ultimately catching up with it. The good news is moving it on these days can be quick and convenient and also profitable as money can be made on your old wheels.

Goodbye to the scrapyard

Time was when disposing of a very old car with no real sell on value could be something of a time consuming chore. You’d have to get it over to a scrapyard – especially awkward if it was a non-runner – and then be at the mercy of their price offer. If you didn’t think it was a fair price then you’d have the hassle of taking your old motor away again.

That’s thankfully a thing of the past with the advent of car disposal companies who make the process quick, easy and maybe even profitable for you.

The efficient way of car disposal

Whether your car is too old to keep on the road in terms of repair costs being uneconomical, or it’s simply reached the end of its life, then environmentally friendly disposal is expected as part of the EU’s ELV (End of Life Vehicle) Directive. This lays down ground rules for the way vehicles should be broken down and disposed of.

A specialist car disposal company is registered with relevant environment agencies and connected to a fully authorised treatment facility so as to enable the proper disposal of your car. They also take care of notifying the DVLA your car has been scrapped and will issue you with a COD (Certificate Of Destruction) as proof.

Vehicles in all sorts of condition and types are usually considered, so even if you have a non-runner rotting away in a shed or a field somewhere there’s no reason not to dispose of it.

Various models of cars, vans, commercial vehicles and even motorbikes can likely be handled by your car disposal company and the process is extremely quick; your vehicle could be bought and taken away by the company with the money in your account all on the same day you approach them.

The process

Disposing of your car is simple:

  • Visit the disposal company’s website and enter your registration number and check the correct vehicle comes up
  • A price will appear once you’ve added a few extra details and preferably uploaded a photo
  • If you’re happy with the valuation, contact the disposal company to arrange the sale of your vehicle to them
  • They will arrange to come and collect your vehicle often the very same day; if it’s a non-runner that’s no problem as they’ll remove it on a flat bed truck
  • The company will pay you immediately direct into your account

Other details

You’ll need to ensure the V5C (registration document) and all keys and locking nuts (for alloy wheels if applicable) are present. If it’s a non-runner and all keys have long since been lost, the disposal company can still take your vehicle but do notify them in advance.

If you haven’t got the V5C then this can be overcome but you’ll need to prove that you are the owner of the vehicle.

The disposal company will pay you by bank transfer that will clear funds into your account before the vehicle is taken. They can’t pay cash as this is illegal for the payment of scrapped cars.

Disposing of your old wheels in this manner is quick, easy, profitable and environmentally friendly.

The Four Best Villages in Hertfordshire Within A 40-Minute Commute of London

The Four Best Villages in Hertfordshire Within A 40-Minute Commute of London

The Four Best Villages in Hertfordshire Within A 40-Minute Commute of London

If you work in the big smoke but fancy relocating to somewhere more peaceful and travelling into work each day, then Hertfordshire boats plenty of quaint and beautiful villages to visit.

If you’re visiting Hertfordshire for the first time, why not book into a relaxing hotels Hertfordshire to set you up for a weekend of exploring?

 

Aldbury

Noted for its picturesque setting and “chocolate-box” village, Aldbury is a village in Hertfordshire, bordering Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. For a two-to-three-bedroom cottage, prices start at around £400,000. Commuting into London Euston each day would take just 35 minutes, and there are excellent village primary schools and secondary schools here.

Barley

The village is an early Tudor town, with a 12th-century Norman tower, two pubs, a shop and a school. You can travel into London in just 35-minutes via King’s Cross, and an average two-bedroom period cottage costs around £300,000. There are a steady flux of people moving into the village, but Barley remains relatively untouched, with a number of long-established families living in the village.

Wheathampstead

Wheathampstead is the perfect destination for those seeking the tranquillity of Hertfordshire countryside, with a splash of urban convenience. The village has a number of heritage trails and beautiful landscapes to explore, making the village a fascinating and welcoming place to live in. If you’re commuting here into London each day, you can expect the travel time to be around an hour via bus and train.

Much Hadham

Formerly known as Great Hadham, Much Hadham is a village in the district of East Hertfordshire with two churches and many listed buildings, including four listed at Grade I. A three-bedroom house costs around £450,000 and the average travel time into London by train is 39 minutes. Much Hadham is ideal for retired couples and young families who enjoy village life. The village is set in the open country, with cute thatched cottages, Georgian manors, local pubs and farmers’ markets.

Cold Food Courier Companies Keep Prices Low

Cold Food Courier Companies Keep Prices Low

Cold Food Courier Companies Keep Prices Low

Figures released this week show Aldi raked in over £10 billion in sales last year for the first time after soaring record sales over the Christmas period as festive shoppers snapped up luxury products and cut-price vegetables.

The German supermarket keeps costs low by running a very efficient logistical network that includes cold food couriers UK to provide fresh food from cheaper producers in Europe to the supermarket shelves, allowing them to undercut the established British supermarkets.

The budget chain’s “specially selected” premium range did especially well, with sales rocketing by 30 per cent, with mince pies, Aberdeen Angus beef roasting joints and Irish cream liqueur among the top-selling products in December.

Despite the rise in luxury food prices, Aldi have been able to provide consumers with great quality produce at more affordable prices, as shown by their record breaking sales over the Christmas period.

The festive boost pushed Aldi’s sales through the roof, with total sales in the UK and Ireland during 2017 over the £10 billion barrier for the first time.

Indulge at Christmas

The recent figures show a clear indication that shoppers knew they were able to indulge in Christmas treats and festive essentials thanks to Aldi, at a fraction of the price they would pay elsewhere.

Aldi excelled in the food and drink departments, selling over 6.8 million bottles of wine, champagne and Prosecco during December, and over 4 million mince pieces and more than 100 million packs of vegetables during the seasonal period.

Christmas can often be a tricky time for discounters, they tend to lose a little market share compared to earlier in the year as more and more shoppers return to traditional supermarkets in search of old favourites.

Aldi and Lidl collectively rose to the challenge and managed to attract nearly one million additional households during the past three months.

Why Romford Is a Favourite Destination for Londoners

Romford

Romford

The Best of Both Words for City and Country Life

Many Londoners are finding that Romford is the ideal place to enjoy a rich quality of life while remaining in reach of the city they love.

As one of the most important cities on the globe, it is easy to get the mistaken impression that London has become an overgrown, anonymous place lacking in community spirit. Yet this is far from the truth.

The city has always had a rich cultural diversity, more so today than ever, and this is what makes the place so special. Most of those who adopt London as their home develop a strong affinity to the place that lasts a lifetime. Yet for all its positives, there is one fact that cannot be overlooked – living in the city can be cripplingly expensive.

For Londoners who want to find somewhere more affordable to live, while remaining within easy reach of the city they call home, rental agents in Romford could have the ideal solution. Let’s take a look at what is available and why this market town on the boundary of rural Essex and metropolitan London presents such a tempting option.

About Romford

First of all, make no mistake about the nature of Romford. This is no suburban overspill from the city. The town has one of the oldest markets in the country and a thriving local community. It boasts three major shopping centres, making it the fourth largest retail hub in the London area. It is also within easy reach of Lakeside Shopping Centre, by either car or train.

Property in Romford

Despite being only a 20 minute train ride from central London, and therefore in prime commuter belt country, Romford property prices have remained within reach of mere mortals, while those in the city itself have gone through the roof.

The town has a huge choice of houses and flats in both the sale and rental markets. Most are traditional Victorian terraces, although there are also a number of new developments close to the station.

For those looking to rent, this two-bedroom terrace in Woodford Green is a picture that paints a thousand words. You can imagine how much a property like that would cost per month if it was in Dalston or Camden!

Buyers also have some tantalising choices, with numerous three bedroom semis in the £300,000 to £400,000 range, and two-bedroom flats changing hands around the £250,000 mark.

Getting around

As we already mentioned, London and Lakeside are both a short train ride away, but there is also plenty to explore in the other direction. Take the one hour train ride to Colchester, and you find yourself in the heart of the Essex countryside and Constable Country, where the hustle and bustle of city life seems to be a world away.

The road network around Romford is also second to none, with Junction 28 of the M25 just four miles down the road.

The best of all worlds

Romford has a thriving local community, and there are many things to do in Romford, plus it has great transport links and is within easy reach of the city and the countryside. No wonder Londoners are adopting it as their new “home from home.” Why not join them?

3 Classic Wedding Breakfast Ideas

wedding breakfast

Planning a wedding breakfast can be a challenging task; your friends and family may have a range of dietary requirements and preferences, and some may be meat eaters and others vegan, but these helpful tips will point you in the right direction for choosing a delicious breakfast for everyone to enjoy.

Sharing platters

If you want to get everyone talking at your wedding reception tables, why not go for a sharing platter of delicious food? It will serve as a great icebreaker between guests and get family and friends interacting on your wedding day.

It’s the perfect alternative to more formal wedding receptions, and you can enjoy delicious hearty bowls of steamed vegetables, fresh salads and an array of kebabs and meat dishes. Follow this up with larger bowls of suckling pig or Moroccan tagine, to spice things up a little!

Food bars

Why not let your guests’ graze on whatever food takes their fancy? Gourmet grazing stations are all the craze at weddings as it allows people to try a bit of what they fancy.

A champagne and oyster bar would look stunning at a wedding breakfast and would be a treat for the eyes as much as the palette! Doughnut walls are also an increasingly popular choice of breakfast at weddings, as people can pop to the sugary wall of joy to get their sugar fix throughout the day – or even the night!

Afternoon tea

How about serving up a traditional afternoon tea for your guests? Sandwiches, scones and cakes are all very filling foods, and is often a more affordable option than a full wedding breakfast. It’s also an ideal choice for couples who want to give their wedding a classic British feel.

It’s a substantial alternative to a traditional wedding breakfast and works perfectly with an evening BBQ or hog roast to indulge in later on in the day!

Project Managing a Major Building Development

Project Managing a Major Building Development

A project manager is a specialist advisor that represents the client and is responsible for the day-to-day management of a project. They rarely participate directly in activities, but instead help to maintain the progress and interaction between the team to help reduce risk of failure, maximise benefits and control costs.

Preparation process

Before a project can take place, the initial preparation tasks must be completed, which includes carrying out a topographic survey of the site.

Surveys determine where existing facilities are, such as drainage, power supply and cabling, along with establishing the best area to install a new infrastructure. These surveys are conducted in rural landscapes, urban areas and brownfield sites, producing accurate and detailed surveys from any natural or artificial area.

Planning the project

Once the initial preparation has taken place, it’s time for the project team to produce a plan for everyone to follow. During this phase, the project manager creates a project management plan – a formal, approved document to guide and advise.

The plan outlines the scope, cost, schedule baselines, communication rules and goals and objectives. Other documents included in the planning phase include scope statement, work breakdown, communication plan and risk management plan.

Carrying out the works

Once the planning stages have begun – it’s time for the work to begin! After a team with all of the consultants and contractors, the project team begins to assign resources, execute project management plans, update the schedule and modify the project plan.

End of the major building development

The last phase is project completion; some project managers will hold a meeting to evaluate the success and failure in the project. A list will be drawn up by the team on any tasks that weren’t accomplished, so they put together a final budget and create a project report.

How To Make Effective Minor Paint Repairs To Your Car

Shiny car in London Nottinghill

Shiny car in London NottinghillRepair those minor scratches and stone chips effectively with some DIY

It’s an unfortunate aspect of car ownership that sooner or later the odd scratch, ding, scrape or mark can appear – stone chips especially are commonplace. Depending on the severity of a scratch or scrape, it may be possible to repair it yourself to a good standard.

Assessing the damage

When deciding whether to tackle the job yourself, assess first whether it’s possible or may be better undertaken by a professional such as in the case of a scratch or chip that’s down to the bare metal. It’s not always your lack of skill that may be the issue – more the lack of access to the right equipment and materials.

That said some advanced polishes and car touch up paint can be obtained easily enough and at reasonable prices to make DIY repair viable.

Light scratches

It may be that a scratch removing fluid such as T-Cut or a cutting compound would do the job. These effectively remove a very thin layer of paint to literally polish out the scratch.

If paint is required

Obviously, you’ll require the correct matching paint, so providing your main dealer or a third party paint supplier with your car’s paint code (check your manual to see where this is) will ensure you use the right shade.

Despite this, you may not get an exact colour match as different batches of even the same colour can be slightly different to one another. That said, if it’s small stone chips perhaps low down on the car this may not show much from a distance.

Overall

Don’t try and tackle repairs beyond your scope, but if you do take your time and don’t cut corners. Ensure the area to be repaired is clean, rust free, you can work in a non-dusty environment and follow the instructions on paints and polish containers carefully.

Devil Sticks For Beginners

Devil Sticks

Devil SticksLearning a new juggling skill

Learning to use devil sticks is both challenging and interesting, providing excitement for beginners and experienced jugglers alike.

Juggling as a performance art form has been around for thousands of years. It’s difficult to trace its exact origin, but the first evidence of juggling was discovered in an ancient Egyptian tomb which dates back to around 2,000 BC. References to juggling have also been found in artefacts from Ancient China, Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, indicating that the art form has enjoyed long-lived and widespread popularity.

The word ‘juggle’ comes from ‘jogelen’ – a Middle English word which means to perform or entertain. And juggling has certainly kept people entertained throughout the ages. This popularity has continued to the present day, and juggling acts can frequently be seen in circuses and street performances. Juggling has also evolved over the years with new variations coming to the fore, such as the use of diablos or fire-juggling.

One juggling variation that has gained popularity in recent years is the use of devil sticks. Although not strictly counted as juggling, ‘devilsticking’ is commonplace in many juggling clubs and is an interesting and challenging skill to learn, both for those who are new to juggling and more experienced jugglers who are looking to expand their repertoire.

Originating in China, the basic idea behind devil sticks is to keep a large tapered stick in the air by hitting it alternately with two smaller handsticks. Once the basic elements are mastered, practitioners can move on to more complex patterns and tricks, often using multiple sticks at once.

Starting out

To start out in devil sticks, you first need the right equipment. Devil sticks can be purchased from most providers of juggling supplies, and are available in a range of colours and materials, so it’s easy to find something that suits your needs.

If you’re brand new to the sport, you might want to start out by using flower sticks. These have weighted ends which provide a slower spin, making them easier to use and enabling you to hone your technique before graduating to devil sticks.

The best way to learn the art of devil sticks is to join a juggling or circus skills club. However, if that isn’t for you, there are plenty of online tutorials available which, with a little patience, will help you to master the basics from the comfort of your home.

Learning the tricks

As your confidence builds and your skills improve, you can move beyond the basics, and start building up a repertoire of different moves. There are a number of different skills you can master to add flair and interest to your devil sticks routine. These can vary from fairly simple but still impressive-looking tricks, such as full spins, under leg, and behind the back, through to more complex routines including helicopters, propellers, and double leg rollovers. You can also use clever body moves and balances to help make your tricks look even more impressive.

Showcasing your skills

Once you’re confident in your abilities, it’s time to show off your devil stick skills to an audience and for this you need the right devil sticks. When starting out, cheap yet durable sticks are usually your best option, but as you progress you will probably find that good quality pro devil sticks will serve you better.

When it comes to performance, don’t underestimate the importance of appearance. Even a fairly basic routine can be given a little extra pizzazz with the right sticks – fluorescent or glitter sticks, for example can really help your performance to stand out for the right reasons.

For those whose devil stick skills are more advanced, or who are feeling especially brave, there is also the opportunity to use fire devil sticks which, as the name suggests, can be set on fire to add excitement and drama to your routine.

With so many variations available, devil sticks is a really interesting new skill that never gets dull, and is great for improving balance and hand-eye coordination. So what are you waiting for? Grab some sticks and get practicing – your future audience awaits.