Driving in London Gets Harder ...

Jul 3, 2015 by

Back in 2008, The Evening Standard reported that London had the most difficult driving tests in the country, with statistics showing that people learning to drive in the city were the most likely to fail. Student drivers in Scotland, on the other hand, had an easier time of it as they were shown to be the ones most likely to pass.

It has been about seven years since that report first came to light, just enough time to take another look and see if there were any significant changes in the standards of driving lessons and tests in London. Nearly a decade ago, the lowest passing rates were in Bradford, where only 27.1% of the test takers walked away with a driving licence. Student drivers in Birmingham, where the passing rate was 30.1%, closely followed these lucky few.

These days, the city average does not look that much different as officials expect only 39% of test takers in London to pass the test on their first try. The more interesting part, though, is that the passing rates only seem to get lower each time a student takes the exam.

Survey statistics show that the average passing rate for student drivers taking the test for the second time decreases to 35%. The trends continue down the line, as only 10% of drivers taking the test four or more times finally get their driving licence.

Authorities suggest that the disparity between London and other cities is because there are more obstacles present, making navigating the roads more difficult. There are more cyclists to be wary of, yellow box junctions to stay out of, red routes, and there are simply more vehicles. It is much easier for drivers to look like they know what they are doing when there are only a couple of other vehicles around.

The moral of this story is for drivers to get a school that can give them their licence on the first go, as it will not seem like things will get better with time.

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Discover Tauranga: Top Things ...

Jun 26, 2015 by

Strategically nestled alongside the remarkable Mount Maunganui and upon the entrance to one of New Zealand’s biggest natural harbours, Tauranga is the Bay of Plenty’s primary centre and considered one of the most rapidly advancing cities nationwide. If you find yourself in this slice of heaven, xquizit.co.nz says here are some of the things you should never miss:

• Mauao: Take a leisurely stroll around Mount Maunganui and check out Mauao—the imposing rhyolite dome and an impressive relic of volcanic action back in ancient times. You can access it through Marine Parade or Pilot Bay. It will normally take an hour or so to go up or around Mauao.

• Beach Life: Live the beach culture at Mount Maunganui and explore Pilot Bay—surf, sunbathe, swim, whatever floats your boat. These are patrolled during summertime.

• Mount Natural Hot Pools: Situated under Mauao, these natural, therapeutic pools are a great place for viewing Mauao. You can pre-book and choose from among a wide range of massage therapies and pool temperatures.

• Aerial Activities: Go skydiving in one of the country’s top drop zones or simply relax in an aircraft while you take in the aerial view of Tauranga. The airport can be accessed via the Tauranga central business district through a local bus.

• Tauranga Cruise Ship Tours: You can take your pick among various cruise ships offering fishing, sailing, sightseeing, and dolphin spotting among many others. Costs will depend on the cruise itinerary and duration.

• Elms Historic Mission House and Gardens: Constructed in 1847 by the English, this is the Bay of Plenty’s oldest heritage site founded by the Europeans. Give yourself at least two hours to make the most out of the tour.

• The Heritage Walk: An educational 3 kilometre walk where you can see various heritage sites. Begin at the i-Site visitor centre at Willow St. in the Tauranga CBD and follow the trail marked by the i-Site symbol. Make sure to check the handy informational panels along the way and allow an hour and a half for the entire circuit.

Remember to wear sensible shoes and clothing, bring along a water bottle, and adequate protection from the sun. Lastly, don’t rush yourself and just have fun!

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Being an Ace at Self Storage A...

Jun 19, 2015 by

There is no question that the search for extra space has become a thriving business in Australia. Maybe not as much as in other countries, such as the US, but it’s an industry that’s steadily growing according to recent reports.

Credit it perhaps to a surplus in goods that allows people to stock items; or the need for businesses to increase their storage facilities; or to the numerous people who need space for their things while moving between houses. With more demand from consumers, the number of self storage facilities will continue to grow.

An offshoot of the self storage industry has also risen to the fore: self storage auctions. Some people approach these auctions as if they’re gambling, but it’s actually a business in its purest form. The less you rely on luck, the better your chances of striking it rich.

Here are some tips on being an ace at self storage auctions:

Use common sense

That sounds really simple, right? You should be aware that greed can drive your common sense away while bidding during an auction. Due to the popularity of those bidding programs on TV, you could be tempted to spend a lot of money in hopes of finding treasures like valuable antiques.

While finding high-value things will surely give you a fortune, know that there are very slim chances that you’ll ever get to find one. Instead of wasting time keeping an eye on antiques, you may be better off looking for items that are easy to sell like furniture and appliances. More often than not, these will give you a better ROI.

Luck favours the prepared

Like a soldier always ready for battle, you should come to the auction prepared. For instance, don’t forget to bring a flashlight so you may inspect a storage unit well. You should also have your paper and pen ready. Remember that you will not be given forever to check.

Keep to your budget

Do not be carried away by the bidding frenzy. Instead, think about the price that you are comfortable paying and stick to it. This way, you don’t end up losing an arm and a leg.

Maximise your profit by making smart decisions at auctions. Keep in mind to stick to a budget and go for items that are in demand.

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Gypsum: the Affordable Way to ...

Jun 18, 2015 by

Style your home with gypsum, a fire-resistant, economical, versatile and sound-resistant material. These properties of gypsum make it an excellent material for constructing homes.

Gypsum naturally forms in the soil in large amounts. Manufacturers of high-quality plasterboards, cornice, adhesives or home decorations prefer gypsum. They rely on its durability and pliability.

Similar to chalk, when dry, you can cut or shape it easily because of its low hardness. When wet, you can mould it easily, making it a favourite among decorators. Change the texture and finish of homestyle decorations, gyprock.com.au says: make it rough, rustic or vintage, or make it smooth, glossy and elegant.

A Fraction of the Cost

Construction companies choose gypsum boards for ceilings and walls. Your dream home does not have to be costly at all since gypsum is affordable, but it can still be elegant the way you want it.

Start by cutting down costs on construction materials without compromising safety and durability. Choose gypsum board over wood boards to fire-proof your home. Then, customise the finish the way you want it; keep in mind that paint easily sticks to this type of board.

Whether applied or sprayed as a plastic primer, gypsum always produces a top-notch outcome. These are easy to cut and install.

Modern Advances

Now, gypsum boards come in various types, such as those with added substances that make them more durable. This special material can control temperature and moisture. The core of the water-resistant type is specially designed to repel water, perfect for humid areas.

Others are more specific: sag-resistant gypsum works great for large structures, while those who do not like moulds get the mould-resistant type.

Cost Consideration

Before, cheap boards made in China had mercury and formaldehyde, and obviously, both were health hazards. This means that cheap is not always a better decision; pay attention to quality and safety.

Choose only the trusted brands, or check on your neighbours and see what they have to say. Often looking at feedback will give you an idea of how gypsum or a trusted gypsum contractor fulfils their work.

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Tail Gate Loaders and the Impo...

Jun 17, 2015 by

Pick-ups and flat-bed trucks are good for a lot of things. Most of the time, in construction fixtures, these trucks do most of the dirty work; they can haul debris to a faraway place for disposal. They can also be used to deliver other heavy machinery.

It’s always the job of a tail gate loader to help you load these heavy loads, equipment, or rubbish on the back of the truck. A tail-gate loader usually works with hydraulics, so you’d better take a look to see how these are doing.

Why Pay Attention to Hydraulics?

At the heart of tail gate loading is hydraulics. The more you use that loader, the more you can appreciate hydraulics in the tail gate loader. Once the hydraulics give way, though, it’s as if you’ve just slapped on some useless metal and bars on the back of your truck.

It pays to keep the hydraulics working; to load more heavy machinery on your truck, you have to give more attention to your hydraulics.

Ways to Keep them Working

Of course, given the application that the loader is most used for, the hydraulics in these tail gates don’t easily give out. However, proper maintenance is needed so that you can avoid having to replace them—at worst—or seeing them break down a bit.

Oiling your hydraulics is a good thing. This helps them avoid rust and oxidation brought by steady rain and exposure to the elements. It is a good way of doing preventative maintenance on your tail loader, among other things, such as covering it while parked.

You can do many things to protect tail gate loaders from being assaulted by different weather conditions and outside elements. For the sake of your safety, fix your broken tail gate loader sooner than later if you want hassle-free experience – or better yet, hire one.

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When There is Romance: Wedding...

Jun 16, 2015 by

Most couples celebrate their wedding anniversaries to remember their commitment to one another through life’s challenges. It’s a way to keep the passion alive throughout the years of their marriage. It’s their promise to love each other until they are old and gray.

This special day warrants special gifts. You can’t just walk into a store and buy the first thing you see—your present needs to come from the heart.

Here are a few gift ideas from Christensen Jewelers for your anniversary:

Show Your Love through Words

There’s something unexplainably romantic about writing love letters. Even if the gesture may seem old-fashioned, a love letter can show the many meanings of your marriage. You don’t have to be as great as Shakespeare and write a sonnet; you just have to be honest with your words. The effort and sincerity of your words are enough to melt your spouse’s heart and love you even more.

Set the Perfect Date at Home

It’s your anniversary, and that should mean no taking care of the kids for the day. Clean up the house, cook a scrumptious meal for two, and turn your dining room into a romantic setting. To make it extra special, surprise your spouse with a diamond ring or a pair of diamond earrings.

Go on a Second honeymoon

You can buy plane tickets for two and take your spouse to the place where you had your honeymoon. This is a great way to de-stress from the everyday busy schedules and just simply make time for one another. Relax, have fun, and create more memories together.

Immortalize Those Special Moments

Every moment is worth remembering – from the time you said your vows to the spontaneous to consider.
trips you took together. What better way to keep these memories than to compile them in a special album. Gather the best photos and mementos you had throughout your years of marriage.

You can give your spouse anything on your anniversary, but your thought, effort, and love are the things that matter the most.

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Storing Furniture Safely: A Gu...

Jun 15, 2015 by

After several years of living in the same home, you can bet that clutter will pile up without you really noticing. From items you are saving for the next season to antiques that no longer complement your living room design, things just continue coming in, with nothing really going out.

Rather than letting those pieces eat up valuable space, now might be the perfect time to move your old furnishings to a safe place – a home of their own.

How exactly do you do that? Here is a quick guide:

Clean and Cover

Before looking for the appropriate storage facility, be sure to give your furniture a thorough cleaning. Disinfect each item to prevent insect infestation or eliminate their hiding places. Bear in mind that every material has an appropriate cleaner.

Wrap what you can in industrial plastic wrap. Seal it tight, so it will not collect dirt or host bugs and other pests. Don’t forget to label things accordingly when packing your boxes. Create a detailed checklist, if possible.

Rent a Self-Storage Unit

After preparing the furniture, it’s time to find a perfect place to store them. A self-storage unit is a great option. Industry professionals like Perth Metro Storage suggest finding a facility that offers 24/7 security, climate controlled storage and automated keyless access. Choose one that’s capable of storing small and large household belongings.

Store Strategically

It’s important to plan for temperature changes when storing an item. Some pieces of furniture should not be placed in extreme heat or cold. Choose a well-insulated storage unit and make sure your things have enough air to breathe. It’s advisable to leave a small space in between items.

In addition, know how you can maximise the unit’s space without the sacrifice. If you don’t have a strategy, you won’t like the consequences of sloppy storage.

Preparing your furniture for long-term storage involves more than just placing them in a box. Proper storage is important to preserve each item’s colour, design and function.

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