Why you should have a marquee wedding

Marquee weddings have been a popular choice in England for years, and for good reason. Able to accommodate just about any size guest list and fit in any venue, a marquee can be erected everywhere from your back garden to an empty field and a marquee can be transformed into a veritable paradise with minimal effort.

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Marquees are also ideal for all weather, and whether it’s a beautiful summer day or a typically grey and rainy afternoon, you and your guests will be safely ensconced inside and protected from the elements. If the weather is good the sides of a marquee can also be lifted to let in sun.

Stylish inside and out

The wedding industry has grown tremendously and there are décor options available to suit every bride’s preference. With a marquee you can choose not only how to decorate the interior, but also the exterior, giving you free range to create the exact look and feel you desire.

With a marquee, you have a blank canvas that you can personalise completely. It offers you the exciting opportunity to design the layout and to decorate and set up in the way you wish.

Flexibility and location

Marquees also provide bridal parties with an enormous amount of flexibility. Within reason, you can choose where you erect the marquee, and marquee hire in Kent such as http://www.2intents.co.uk/ should also be able to advise you of some ideal spots, should you be short of ideas.

You can choose the size of the marquee too, with few restrictions apart from the availability of space you have to work with.

Catering and entertainment

A marquee lets you have complete control over the food you serve too, and whether you prefer a buffet or a five-course sit-down meal, your needs can be easily accommodated. You are not restricted to a wedding venue’s menu and you can budget accordingly, opting for food that works for your special day.

When it comes to entertainment your options with a marquee are also unlimited. You can have a DJ, a string quartet or a full band, and you don’t have to stick to a cut off time as stipulated by so many wedding venues. There won’t be additional after hours charges either and you can even supply your own booze if you prefer!

Everlasting Art

Over the centuries, some incredible artists have given the world some stunning artwork. Artwork that inspires us and makes us see the beauty of humanity and the world we live in. There are many sculptors who have created long lasting, classic and iconic pieces and here we will take a look at some of the most wonderful sculptures ever created.

Bronze David

This is one of the most famous sculptures in the world and was crafted by Donatello in the 1440’s. It was the first unsupported standing work cast in bronze during the Renaissance period. It depicts a young David with his foot on Goliath’s head, after triumphantly defeating the giant. For modern day Bronze animal sculptures, visit http://www.gillparker.com/.

The Kiss

Another iconic sculpture, this was made in marble by Frenchman Auguste Rodin who lived between 1840 and 1917. It shows the 13th century Italian noblewoman from Dante’s Inferno who falls in love with her husband’s younger brother. The couple are discovered and killed by the husband. The sculpture shows the lovers with their lips not quite touching, suggesting that they were interrupted before they could share their love and met their demise.

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Lady Justice

Another one of the greatest known sculptures and is not attributed to one particular artist. It is a globally recognised symbol of law and justice and it adorns many courthouses across the world. It is also known as the Scales of Justice, Blind Justice and most commonly, Lady Justice. It has been in use since antiquity, dating back to ancient Greek and Roman times as the Goddess of justice.

The Thinker

Auguste Rodin is also responsible for another extremely well-known work in The Thinker. It was originally called The Poet and was commissioned by a museum in Paris to act as an impressive piece for the doors of the museum. Using Dante again as his inspiration, The Thinker is based on The Divine Comedy and called the doors the Gates of Hell. In the end piece, he sits atop the gates and ponders his fate in the fiery depths below. He is naked, in the classical tradition to represent intellect and poetry.

Venus de Milo

This sculpture is very old and was made between 100 and 130 B.C. She is believed to be the Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite. Incredibly, the sculpture was discovered by accident in a farmer’s field! It is marble and slightly larger than life with its original arms and plinth having been lost over the centuries. It is thought to be the work of Alexandros of Antioch and is available for public viewing at the Louvre Museum in Paris.

The Discus Thrower

The original of this sculpture has long since been lost and we only have copies to show us what the original looked like. Originally it was sculpted in bronze way back in 460-450 B.C. The copies have all been made in marble or smaller versions carved in bronze. The athlete is naked, as always in depictions of Greek athletics.

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Ride ’em Cowboy!

What exactly is a rodeo? When you hear the word you probably conjure up images of cowboys and the Wild West and you wouldn’t be wrong but did you know that the tradition is actually Spanish in origin. The  word rodeo comes from the Spanish verb rodear which means ‘to surround’. Modern rodeo is based on the activities on early ranches from the 1700s which included roping, horse breaking, herding, branding and riding.

The influence of the United States occurred when the cattle business boomed. Huge cattle drives bringing cattle to stockyards would end in the cowboys staging informal competitions to decide which group had the best riders, ropers and drivers. That’s went the word rodeo was adopted for these contests.

When railroads opened and transportation became easier, there was no need for long cattle drives anymore and so the life of the cowboy dwindled as many found themselves taking jobs with a new venture called Wild West Shows. These shows were a mixture of theatre and contest and made money by glamourizing the frontier landscape and lifestyle. Rodeos continued as well and were a way for former cowboys to supplement their income in front of paying spectators. Towns would stage annual stock horse shows and cowboys would travel to these and hold their ‘rodeo’ competitions.

Wild West Shows didn’t last long due to their high production costs but rodeos survived. Spectators paid to watch and now cowboys paid to enter and compete, with contestant fees going into the prize money pool. Many towns hyped up these events and promoted them especially such frontier towns as Cheyenne, Wyoming and Prescott, Arizona. They quickly became the most exciting and anticipated event in these places. You can recreate all the fun of the Wild West by finding your own Rodeo Bull Manufacturer. For more information, visit http://www.gsrodeobulls.com/.

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As frontier life disappeared, its attraction and desire for heritage grew stronger. Cowboys who had once been in financial ruin, could now travel and earn a living from becoming a professional rodeo competitor. By 1929 many rodeo committees came together to decide on a uniform set of rules and regulations under the direction of the Rodeo Association of America. However, things weren’t always straightforward and the cowboys were often taken advantage of with prize money being short and dodgy judging decisions.

During 1936, some disgruntled cowboys staged a walk-out protest and thus was born the Cowboys Turtles Association which later became known as the Rodeo Cowboys Association in 1945. A further name change in 1975 saw them become the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and they remain the biggest body of rodeo in the U.S and Canada. After a full year of qualifying contests, the National Finals Rodeo is held annually in Las Vegas, Nevada.

So what started out as work eventually became a sport. The skills of the Spanish vaqueros were passed along to the American cowboy after the civil war when frontier territories were significantly expanding. The major difference between Spanish and American rodeo is that the Spanish focuses on style and the American version is all about the speed.

Tips for a first-time Caribbean cruiser

You’ve decided to book a trip to the Caribbean, but you have no idea where to start. Don’t worry; first-time cruisers are all in the same boat! Here are a few tips to help you make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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Pick the right region

It can take more than one trip to the Caribbean to really discover the areas you love. If you do not have the budget to go more than once, how can you find out what Caribbean all inclusive resorts are the best? The key is to research your trip and work out which parts of the region best suit your desired holiday mood and style.

As with booking a hotel, cruise lines all vary in what they can offer you. It is wise to look at pictures of towns and cruise ships and read reviews from guests who have actually cruised around the islands. Invespcro.com highlights just how influential real customer reviews are in this article.

Find a deal

If you are travelling from the UK, you might find a handful of cruise packages that set off from Europe. These might be convenient, but be prepared to waste a good percentage of your holiday travelling to the Caribbean rather than around it. If price is a big game-changer, shop around for the best deal and one that suits your preferred travel options. Always look out for packages that are ATOL-protected for your own peace of mind.

Book excursions in advance

If you have a long list of excursions that interest you, make sure that you book them in advance to help keep the cost of your trip down. If you need some inspiration, check out Lost Waldo’s blog; they post about the best travel experiences and can inspire you to try a particular activity or visit a certain spot (http://lostwaldo.com/the-best-all-inclusive-caribbean-resorts/).

Enjoy yourself on deck

You’ve done all of the hard work, so now you can sit back and enjoy a well-deserved (and well-planned!) holiday. On the ship, you’ll have a huge choice of entertainment from comedy to Zumba classes. You’ll also be given the option to choose from an array of top-quality restaurants and bars, so the cruise ship experience really is as much a part of your holiday as the places you visit!

Reflecting on Mirrors

Quite a few of us can admit to spending rather too long in front of a mirror, whether we’re admiring the view or trying to fix our hair before we dare leave the house. Animals have been known to show an interest in their image too with apes, elephants and dolphins having a good peer into mirrors too. Put a cat or dog in front of one and it will be convinced there’s a rival in the vicinity! Mirrors are used to show us how we look and this comes in very handy when trying on new clothes for example. But what is a mirror and how does it work?

Standing in front of a mirror, you’ll see a perfect example of the conservation of energy and its effect on light. Light energy travels at some 186000 miles per second so when it hits an object – it has to go somewhere right? When light hits an object it can either go through it, sink into it and disappear or reflect back out. The energy is conserved because it is still there but is converted into something else.

During the day, light reflects off your body in all directions which is how we are visible to one another. Light rays bounce off randomly  and if you stand in front of a mirror, some of this light will stream in straight lines towards it. Rays of light are tiny pockets of light energy called photons which are fired in a stream and these shoot through the glass and hit the silver coating behind it. The light reflects off the mirror then in a more orderly way and is called specular reflection. Incoporate some light and the illusion of extra space with some Mirrored Furniture.

Silver atoms behind the glass absorb the photons from the incoming light energy and become excited. Due to this excitability, they become unstable so they try to compensate by becoming stable again and ridding themselves of the extra energy by give off more photons. The back of a mirror should usually be covered in dark material to protect the silver coating and block out light seeping through. Silver is the most reflective material and gives off almost as much light as what falls onto it in the first place.

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There are many different types of mirrors that can give us some very peculiar reflections. If you’ve ever been to a funfair with a crazy hall of mirrors, you’ll know exactly what they can look like! What you see isn’t really there but your brain tells you it is as it’s an optical illusion.

Plane Mirror – if the surface is perfectly flat then it’s a plane mirror. What you see is virtually the same as what’s there but the image is inverted from left to right.

Convex Mirror – if the surface bulges out in the centre then reflections will look smaller and further away. This is how driving mirrors work.

Concave Mirror – if the surface bows inwards, the reflection will seem nearer and bigger so magnifies an image. This type of mirror is used in shaving mirrors.

How to Boost Your Digital TV Aerial

Once upon a time, if your TV had poor reception the solution was simple – get the wife to hang out the window with the aerial while you finished watching Match of the Day.

Sadly those days are gone. Compared to analogue signals, a digital signal either works or doesn’t work, so it’s much harder finding the optimum position by doing gymnastics with the aerial.

That said, the location and orientation of your aerial remains critical – always place it as high as possible or near a window – and away from appliances that could cause interference.

Roof Aerials are Best

Your scope to adjust them yourself is limited – even if you have experience working at heights, are you going to take your digital tuner and TV onto the roof so that you can detect when it’s in an acceptable position?

When you’ve tuned your first channel it’s no guarantee your tuner will be able to find all the others available in your area. In the UK that first channel defaults to the BBC – and they nearly always have a stronger signal than the channels you actually want to watch.

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With certain tools you can get an idea of the right direction, but there’s no substitute for having a roof aerial adjusted by a properly equipped and experienced installer (if you live near Malvern TV aerial installation can be done by http://steveunettaerials.co.uk/services/satellite-repair-installation-malvern/).

Things You Can Try Yourself

Changing the shape of your aerial shouldn’t be one of them – if one shape worked better they’d have been standardised years ago – but aerials can be amplified for digital TV.

Some aerials have amplifiers built into them of variable quality. If yours doesn’t, either buy one that does or (usually better) buy an external signal amplifier. They come in many shapes and sizes but generally speaking are small, inexpensive pass-through boxes.

Signal amplifiers are also available for roof aerials. They’re usually fitted on the outside of your house or attached to the aerial – so again you should probably seek a professional (joining co-axial cable isn’t easy and you may end up with no signal at all). They’re easily combined with splitters so that you can share the benefits of your amplified aerial between the different rooms of your home.

Taxi Ride

When you’re a kid, a ride in a taxi cab is a super adventure and really exciting, especially if you’re off on holiday and taking a taxi to the airport or train station. It’s a luxury for many people and probably the closest us normal folk will ever get to having our own personal chauffeur. Riding in a taxi is still an exciting and interesting experience, especially for those of us who have good memories of traveling in them.

It makes me wonder about songs involving this particular form of public transportation so here’s a look at some of the songs where even rich and famous artists found subject matter in that shared experience of riding in a cab.

 Annie Christian (written by Prince): Prince declares in the chorus of this song that he seems to spend his life living in taxicabs. It seems to be a metaphor for something deep and dark that was troubling the artists and it has been said that Prince wrote this song after learning of the death of John Lennon.

Harry Chapin, ‘Taxi’: For this song, the writer came up with a story of a late-night run-in with an old flame while driving a taxi through the rain in San Francisco. It’s a classic example of the storyteller mode of songwriting, akin to Bob Dylan. For Taxi Chester, visit http://www.chestertaxis.co.uk/.

Vampire Weekend, ‘Taxi Cab’: This is a classic heartbreak, break-up song and the singer here recalls a specific experience with a lost love, getting out of a taxi and seeing her wonderful life in a gated community. The words seem to portray the feeling that the relationship ended because she was a “real aristocrat” and therefore too good for him. He blames her, he blames himself, and it amounts to a very mature look at the failings of a relationship.

 Joni Mitchell, ‘Big Yellow Taxi’: This is probably one of the most famous and well-known songs featuring a taxi. ‘They paved paradise and put up a parking lot’ sings Mitchell on this track and clearly it was mostly an environmentalist protest song. Sadly, she once revealed that the title refers to the day that a big yellow taxi arrived at her home and took her father away from her.

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Prince, ‘Lady Cab Driver’: A Prince song again, it seems he had quite a fascination with cabs. The lyrics to this one suggest that after being picked up by a lady cab driver, Prince gets involved in some romantic activity with her.

Tori Amos, ‘Taxi Ride’: Amos gets pretty deep on this track and uses the imagery of an insignificant taxi to highlight injustices in society. This story is about a friend of hers who was dying and the world’s uncaring attitude towards him, treating him like just another faceless taxi flying by. The song is a judgment on society’s attitude who don’t care for those who are dying but only for the money they leave behind.

How to create your own bathroom spa at home

For most of us, the idea of a day at the spa is very tempting. There’s the pampering, the facials and the overall relaxing. But when it comes to it, very few of us do manage a day at the spa. There’s the hassle of booking, driving there and the general lack of privacy. For this reason, we are increasingly turning to home spas. By creating a relaxing spa environment at home, you can enjoy all the benefits without any of the hassles.

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Setting the scene

It goes without saying that you’ll need to create the right atmosphere first. Any kids’ toys or other unsightly objects need to be tidied away, and you’ll want to make sure your bathroom is clean. Bringing plants in from other rooms can really help set the mood, and if you’re lucky enough to have cast iron baths at home, then you’re halfway there. Candles are also a plus, but not needed for a daytime spa. Instead, you could try heating some essential oils in a burner for the full spa feel.

Exotic spas

If you have a separate shower, try the Japanese spa technique of showering and exfoliating with a glove, before getting into to your bath. This really is a luxurious feeling, sinking into a hot bath once you’re already clean. You could also try a flower bath. Flower baths are particularly popular in exotic locations such as Thailand, where spa guests can indulge in Jasmine baths. However, for a more British feel, look out for rose petal bath packets or pick some of your own.

Sourcing your spa

Obviously, having nice bathroom furniture and fittings, or a cast iron bath like the ones at http://www.wilsonsyard.com/products/bathrooms/baths-new-cast-iron.html will help set the scene. However, you can also shop for home spa accessories, with a view to using your bathroom as a spa more often.

The little extras

Once you’re soaking in your lovely warm flower bath surrounded by foliage and the scent of oils, reach over and apply your homemade beauty masks. There’s really no need to buy mask products if you have fresh honey, thyme, yogurt or cucumber at home. Natural yogurt is a probiotic and good for cleansing and soothing. For a more vigorous mask, try adding coffee to an inexpensive mud or clay mask.