Life in the fast lane

If driving is your passion then top of your Christmas list this year should a driving day experience. Make it your mission to drive as many different vehicles as you can before they all become driverless! Here are just a few ideas of things you can get behind the wheel of: Continue reading Life in the fast lane

A history of sitting

Chairs used to be a piece of furniture reserved for the elite and dignitaries only and were not found in the homes of normal people. In fact the chair is still used a symbol of authority, for example in the House of Commons and for those who ‘chair’ meetings. Not until the 16th century did the chair become a more common sight. However, most homes still had benches, stools or chests for seating. Continue reading A history of sitting

Birds of War

Pigeons can be a real nuisance, fouling on streets, windows and cars. They are an everyday sight in our towns and cities as there is a constant supply of food from litter and dustbins in urban areas. For help with London pigeon control services, visit http://www.vvenv.co.uk/pest-control/by-pest/pigeons/ However, there have been some very useful pigeons in history and during war time some of these birds made themselves very helpful indeed. Continue reading Birds of War

Creative Kids – Getting your child to help decorate

The very idea of your child helping you to decorate may well fill you with dread – but before you write the idea off entirely, read this. You are probably imagining spilled paint and tantrums, but it doesn’t have to be that way, and there are a lot of benefits to getting your child involved with decorating… Continue reading Creative Kids – Getting your child to help decorate

Identity Theft Protection: A Good Move, Or A Waste Of Time?

It’s a good question, and the answer is yes… but with some caveats.

Identity theft is one of the curses of the internet age. Put simply, it’s a problem that’s only going to grow, as the 21st century marches on.

But if you’re concerned or worried about making sure the only person using your identity and your sensitive financial information is you… you might be wondering about the best way to go about protecting your identity from criminals and hackers.

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Essentially, you have Two Options

The first is to try and look after it all yourself, and the second is to pay for an ID protection service.

The good news is that both work.

The bad news is that taking a DIY approach can be time consuming and frustrating. Yes, you can save yourself some cash and review your credit reports and check all your financial statements with a magnifying glass yourself, but the learning curve is pretty steep, and the chances are you’ll never know what you might be missing…

The second option is of course to pay for a service to take care of all the headaches for you. However, the important thing about using a third-party service, and like the first option above, is to make sure you do your research first.

If you don’t, you could end up paying for a product that not only doesn’t do a good pro-active job of safeguarding your identity, but also makes your valuable personal information even more open and vulnerable than it already is. There’s no point buying an alarm for your house if you never turn it on.

Essentially, when you go out shopping for identity theft protection, you need to compare what these companies will cost, against what they protect. In many ways it’s like shopping for insurance, and while it’s tempting to always just renew with the same guys as before, it always pays to get out there and compare the market.

The most important aspect in choosing identity theft protection is to make sure and choose a reputable company. Take some time, do some research. Don’t just take the company’s website at face value. Read identity theft protection reviews, and look into the small print so that you get a good idea of what the company does and doesn’t protect against.

Of course, it’s also really important that you realize, that no matter what option you choose, you will always be vulnerable to some extent. No service can 100% ever absolutely protect you no matter what option you choose, from becoming an identity theft victim.

But you shouldn’t panic too much if this does happen to you, because a good identity theft protection service can get you back on your feet a whole lot faster than you probably could yourself, depending of course, on who you’ve chosen to protect your identity. A decent service should at least offer a basic level of assistance in resolving issues for you should the worst come to pass.

In conclusion, the best thing you can do to protect yourself from identity theft, is to learn how and why it happens in the first place.

If you know how it all happens, it’s easier to take more effective measures to prevent yourself from becoming a victim. Although this type of theft cannot always be prevented, every pro-active step you take in helping to further protect yourself turns you into a much smaller, and much harder target to hit.

Global Economy In A Recession

After two to three years of stable growth, which was apparently only a veil on a bigger problem, all indicators are not pointing towards a global recession. The 2008 recession changed everything in the world. Just a few years ago, nations started moving back on track with new jobs being created, but the truth is, it was a blanket on a bigger problem, which has got even bigger such that it won’t stay under cover.

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The ongoing warfare in the Middle East, migrant crisis, the EU exit turmoil in the UK and so on. The list keeps going on forever. Keeping this in consideration, economists have changed their predictions for 2016 and now indicate a slowing growth. The IMF also made its forecast public, expecting a 3.1% growth world over in comparison to 3.4% in 2014.

The global markets are in turbulence as China’s weakened economy continues to deflate and cause more problems in the world. Investors are pulling their money out of China and putting them somewhere safe like India. The communist state of China is known for surprises. Investors and economists alike are afraid of the uncertainties and surprises that China might put out to save itself.

China is also involved in debt, which resulted from the aggressive lending it has done in the past few years. Known for the manufacturing hubs in the country, China is now looking to turn into a service-based economy, which is also a reason for the slow down. In drastic movements, China is also ready to lay off 1.8 million coal and steel jobs in the country to reduce the excess workforce. This move will be a very devastating one for its citizens.

Britain’s exit from the European Union is like a bomb hanging over the union. The UK has a lot of money invested in the financial affairs of Europe. Pulling out would result in the loss of huge sums of money and the acceleration to destabilization of the entire European Union. It could also result in trading damage worldwide as the stock markets will be the first to take the hit. Brexit could be the last nail in the coffin to seal the fate of the EU, after that, everything will fall like dominos.

It is not the developing economies causing much of the problem. It is the advanced economies that are responsible for the uncertainties looming over the world. Citigroup says that the global recession is unavoidable, which means we have to be prepared for it. IMF suggests that the advanced economies step up to their plate in this grave situation. The fund also advised that better policies and reforms need to be put in place that emphasize and ease global trade while also serving the domestic needs.

The weakening of the economies is clearly visible in the commodity prices and the stock market. Visit hereto look into the history of stocks. The stock market remains quite volatile, and so does the oil. It is possible that the recession we are going through will continue for some more time and in the process, we might see reforms and policies that will benefit everyone in the long run.

Sew what?

Home Economics used to include sewing but it seems that many of our secondary schools are dropping this art from the curriculum. Is sewing a dying art? Do we have any need for it anymore? Any piece of clothing was sewn together but with manufacturing outsourcing so much work, designers are now struggling to find people skilled in using different kinds of sewing machines. It seems that somewhere along the way, sewing became an image of the domestication of women. Career women didn’t have time for making things or mending things. Why bother when clothing was available in mass, cheaper than ever before at the local store?

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Sewing can be a very relaxing and therapeutic activity. If you rip your favourite item of clothing, wouldn’t it be easier to know how to put a stitch in it rather than having to replace it entirely? Imagine the thrill and feeling of accomplishment after designing and making your first craft item. With Christmas fast approaching it’s a perfect time for a new hobby – creating a festive piece of craft using designer Christmas fabrics. A cushion is a good first piece to try and it will look totally unique and bespoke as part of your home decoration. For more information visit http://www.higgsandhiggs.com/fabrics/christmas-fabric/show/all.html.

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Fortunately there are many local sewing classes available across the country and also magazines and online guidance so you never need to feel on your own. Most of the classes will expect you to bring your own sewing machine but you can also take classes in sewing by hand. It would appear that the world of crafting is keeping these skills alive and is becoming very popular.

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There are some great projects that you can achieve with a little sewing knowledge. Turn old bootcut jeans into skinny jeans, Lavender heat packs, bags, cute baby headbands, gift bags, seat cushions, fringe purses, wallet organizers and ruffled hems to update old sweaters. If you have the creative flair, or even if you don’t, you will be able to design completely individual gifts and pieces for your home.

Maybe you are a budding dress designer and want to start creating pieces that are only on paper at the moment or keen to have a career in the fashion industry. As more and more schools drop it from the curriculum, it may have to be an activity that is enjoyed out of hours.

England’s Most Haunted Village

Sitting in the countryside, on the edge of the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire is the pretty little village of Prestbury. With its beautiful houses and picturesque scenery, it looks like any other idyllic Cotswold village – but beneath the charming façade this village is a little different. Legend has it, that this is the most haunted village in England. It is not really surprising, given the age of the village that it has some resident spirits. It is mentioned in the Doomesday Book in 1081 so it has been around a long time! Prestbury became very popular with wealthy visitors to Cheltenham in 18th – 19th century – they visited the Grotto Tea Gardens, an upmarket outdoor tea room with a summerhouse, and came to take in the views from Cleeve Hill. Prestbury is a particularly pretty village, with its chocolate box cottages, with honey coloured walls it is easy to see why it attracts so many visitors. If you aren’t lucky enough to live in one of these pretty cottages, http://reliable-remodeler.com/  has great ideas for home improvements and making the most of the home!

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The Burgage is Prestburys oldest street, and also where the most hauntings are reported. There are many sightings of a charging horseman on a white horse riding down the Burgage. While on his way to fight in the war of the roses it is said that he was killed by an arrow. A skeleton was found in the area in the 20th century, with an arrowhead in it. Many people believe that this is the skeleton of the horseman. He isn’t the only horseman to ride down the Burgage – another unfortunate ghoul who rides along the haunted street is a headless horseman who was knocked from his horse during the Civil War – on his way from the nearby Sudeley Castle to Gloucester. He was beheaded by the Roundheads of Prestbury.

Further along the road, is Sundial Cottage – there are many reports of sightings of the spirit of a young girl here who plays the spinet. A family took refuge in the cottage during the second world war and saw the girl many times, and heard her music in the house.

Prestburys most famous ghostly resident is the Black Abbot. There have been numerous sightings of the Abbot in the churchyard of Saint Mary’s Church. The Abbot also used to be seen in the church itself, until it was exorcised. He always walks the same route – appearing in the churchyard and walking through it before disappearing into a wall! The picture below was taken of the spook in 1990 and is still one of the most famous ghost photographs ever taken.

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Of course, a visit to the village will not guarantee that you see anything paranormal, but if you have an interest in the paranormal, or even want to spend time in quaint English village with a few resident ghosts, Prestbury is well worth a visit.

Ways In Which Technology Is Transforming Finance

Like any other industry, financial services organizations have notably focused on the reduction of costs. However, thanks to the drastic change of the business environment in recent years, this sector is now faced with the double challenge of keeping up with the regulatory demands as well as with the preferences of a tech-savvy generation which actually wants to access banking and other financial services with the help of apps and instantaneous data access. They virtually want to perform all their financial tasks online or through apps. Today, if they are accessing the internet to perform regular banking facilities like checking account balance, transferring funds etc, they don’t hesitate to complete more elaborate functions like applying for loans online as well. Continue reading Ways In Which Technology Is Transforming Finance