Boost Trampoline Park Northampton Review

Kids are always hyperactive. We adults, we want to sit down on the sofa and watch a movie instead. Even if it a cartoon for the children’s sake, we don’t mind as long as we don’t have to move.

But you can’t be that selfish, can you. At some point, you got to give in and take them somewhere they can expend all this energy which they never seem to run out of. What could be more fun than trampolining?

I thought it would be quite cool to go there and do some jumping myself. I think charging £10 for an hour session is a bit much to be honest. I’ll happily pay £5 but I don’t think doubling this is justified. Plus you have to buy special socks which cost another £2.

Anyway, like I said before, I wanted to try it. So I booked through the website and there’s a waiver that you need to sign because it’s considered as a high risk activity. Under 18s need to have the waiver signed by a parent.

First impression did not look too good because the car park was crowded. It’s a very small car park so you have to get in there early. Once you’ve managed to get yourself a space, you need to check in. They’ll check your details, make sure you have signed the waiver and then give you a wristband. I think they use different colours for different booking duration (eg 1hr slot or 2hrs slot). Then you have to wait for a briefing which takes about 10 mins, from the time you go in, sit down and get out. Remember there’s a crowd with you so it’s not that fast. So you have to make sure you get to the site at least 20 mins before your session starts.

There are quite a few things to do there, once you’re on the trampoline park itself. You can jump on one trampoline square only (up/down) or jump from one square to the other (forward). I’m not used to jumping on trampolines, so the first time I was trying to jump felt really awkward. You have to get used to it, so take your time. You might see someone doing something which looks easy but if it is your first time, don’t try any skills unless you’re really sure.

You can climb up and jump down onto sponges. Although it doesn’t look too high, when you’re up and looking down, it kind of feel scary. So bear this in mind. There are places where you can bounce against the wall and then onto the sponges. It’s not as easy as it sounds; I tried it and sucked at it badly.

There’s also the rope ladder thing; honestly don’t try this unless you’re fit. Although I exercise regularly and I’m quite flexible, when you reach the top part, the whole thing becomes so unstable and if you’re not careful you will hurt yourself, like I did. The ladder flipped for me and during the movement of me going down, I didn’t let go of the rope, so my shin hit the wooden part of the ladder and I bruised badly. It’s not the company’s fault, it was mine because I should not have attempted something that was beyond my skill level. Even if something looks very easy, take it with a pinch of salt I’d say.

You also have places where you can jump up and down, places to bounce off and play basketball at the same time. There are quite a few things to do. I booked a 2hr slot but that was too much. After 15 mins on the trampoline, you can feel the heat rising up your body. Half an hour in and you feel you’re in a desert and need water badly (do remember to bring your drinks with you, if not there’s a shop there where you can purchase though or a vending machine). At 45 mins, you’re looking thinking to yourself when is it going to end. When your hour is up, you will feel so happy. Mind you that I jump non-stop when I was there, I don’t take much rest. I like to get my money’s worth.

All in all, it’s a good treat for the kids and maybe even you as an adult if you fancy burning a lot of calories while having fun but make sure you don’t end up binge eating at McDonald’s after the session as you’ll be really hungry.

I think the price is a bit dear for my liking. If it was cheaper, I’d probably make this a regular thing. Other than that, I did have fun even if I got injured!

Does car insurance really get cheaper with age?

According to Moneysupermarket motor monitor (June 2012), there is indeed a decrease in overall car premiums with age. While there has been a general decrease (about 5.1-6.8 percent) in car premiums over the years, the age group 20-24 have seen the slightest decrease while those aged between 24-29 years had the biggest drop in premiums. Ironically though, the premiums’ of those aged between 17-19 years dropped only by 2.7 percent while those aged 65 and above benefitted from a 14.5 percent drop.

Insurance companies seek out some information in relation to the risks of accidents and damage before coming up with the proper vehicle coverage such as age, gender (though based on the European legislation 2012, there can no longer be discrimination based on gender for vehicle cover), type of vehicle, area in which the person lives and drives. Basically the lower the risks of making claims, the lower the premiums.

The link with car insurance and age is the fact that young drivers tend to be more involved in car accidents, have their car damaged or stolen than mature drivers. Car insurers, to be on the safe side from giving out money, thus always put the youngsters on the red list. Also, because young ones have just started out driving, they still have to build the no claims bonus benefits.

Over time as the driver gets mature on the road, the car premiums also decrease. A 40 year old driver (with no claim history) will find his coverage less than that compared to a 25 year old driver while a 17 year old driver will find his premiums considerably higher than that of the 25 year old simply due to a lack of road experience. This is why the age group 65 and above has the lowest premiums simply because of experience.

One way for youngsters to reduce car premiums is to add an adult with no claims history to the insurance cover. Though not all insurance companies offer this incentive, it’s worth a try for those aged between 20-29 years. But in no case should the adult put his/her name as the main driver for the insurance cover; in case the insurer finds out if any claim is to be made, the company will not pay out and is considered legally as fraud.

Squatters rights and how to prevent them

The last five years has seen an increase in unoccupied housing being seized by squatters, unfortunately it would seem that squatters have more rights to a property than the home owner does. There is very little you can do to remove them without going to court and spending a small fortune in eviction notices. If you are successful you then have the financially draining task of having to re-decorate and furnish the property as most squatters will not bother to clean or keep the property in good shape.

The most worrying trend that seems to be sweeping across the UK is foreign settlers that ‘house watch’ when they find a house that is unoccupied they quickly move all their belongings in, change the locks and take over. Squatter’s rights only seem to cover those that move into a property that is vacant but worryingly houses have been seized when it is occupied. There have been reports of unsuspecting people going about their daily lives of working, going to the shops and going on holiday only to come back and find that people have moved in, changed the locks and claiming the house as theirs.

The police only usually get involved if they have broken in or caused criminal damage, if they managed to find a way in without causing any damage then you will need to have a backup plan. It is extremely disheartening to know that you could go to work in the morning and come back to find that your house has been taken over by low life. Usually squatters are those that cannot afford to pay rent, drug dealers, alcoholics and students are then most common squatters. Then there are tenants who stop paying rent and then claim squatter’s rights.

If you do find that you are a victim of squatters then seek advice immediately don’t let them get too comfortable. Most people will say burn the house down, threaten them or break in but if they were to call the police you would be in trouble not them as you would’ve been the one to make the first move. It’s unfortunate that at the moment there is no law in place to protect homeowners so here are a few things you can do to deter squatters:

  • Have a timer that will switch on the lights automatically every now and then
  • If you have a good neighbour ask them to go in and check the post and draw curtains etc
  • Always make sure the windows and doors are locked, you may need additional security
  • Install security cameras or an alarm you can get them at your local DIY store and do it yourself
  • Put up signs saying ‘no trespassing allowed’ or ‘CCTV in action’ these can also deter squatters and thieves
  • Instruct a security specialist to look after you property when vacant, they can also board up the property using steel rather than timber

 

Takes steps to look after your property whether it is your family home or a let property.

 

Dartmoor ponies selling cheap

We all know that one of the first people to suffer in the recession were those that have pets that they couldn’t afford to keep in the first place, as inflation has increased and the cost of living soared many families found that they were unable to care for their beloved family pets. Cats and dogs were the most expensive small animals to look after as vet bills soared and many households could not afford insurance. The next increase in abandoned or uncared for animals is the Dartmoor Pony.

Horses and ponies have been extremely popular for young children as they grow up together and share a special bond but as the cost of feeding, bedding and care has gone up many families have had to sell or give away their horses and ponies. The Dartmoor pony is no exception, a while ago they would sell for as little as £1 but a minimum price of £10.50 has been introduced, even with these small price tag farmers and breeders are still unable to shift them on to good homes.

On average 100 Dartmoor ponies are slaughtered each year due to keeping the breeding stock strong and healthy but slaughter men have seen an increase in perfectly good ponies being slaughtered due to lack of interest. The cost of breeding a pony and then waiting for a sale adds up to the breeder and the longer it takes to move them on the more expensive it gets.

As unsuitable buyers step forward breeders have no choice to sell them so they can make a profit but keeping a pony in a small shed or greenhouse is unacceptable with many buyers being completely unaware of how to look after these ponies. Breeders who are unable to sell their stock have resorted to selling them off to the local zoo, Dartmoor Zoo. The Tigers are very happy with the premium meat they get and the Zoo has reported that the Tigers have a much better looking coat due to the protein in pony meat.

It is now though that the Dartmoor pony is even rarer than the Giant Panda with only 1,500 left as opposed to the 30,000 we had just a century ago. Unfortunately they need to have a £5 microchip inserted, a £10 pet passport and also a bale of hay costs around £18 and as they cannot digest food properly they have to continue eating. These high costs are what are attributing to the decline of interest in Dartmoor ponies, it is a shame that many children will not know these fantastic animals but unless rules and regulations are not so strict the ponies will continue to be culled.

 

Consolidate your debts before they get worse

With the recent financial crisis that is affecting the nation, it’s easy to fall into the red – household bills, credit card payments and loans are just some of the reasons people fall into debt. As the economy continues to become unstable unemployment is also at an all time high, if you find that you are struggling with your financial affairs then debt consolidation may be the answer for you.

Contrary to what many people may think, there are many places that can help you get your finances back on track, eg http://www.debtplan.org/texas.htm. Some are free of charge and some companies charge a small fee to go towards their administrative costs. A credit counseling program can assist you in

  • reducing your monthly payments
  • stop annoying creditor phone calls and letters
  • reduce the years to pay off your debt
  • and best of all consolidate all your unsecured debt into one simple monthly payment

Instead of burying your head under the sand and pretending that all your financial woes will disappear, get help now before you are beyond help and need to file for bankruptcy. If you need to apply for credit in future, it always helps to make sure that all your bills are paid in time. If you have a bad credit history, it can seriously affect your life in the future.

Currently student loan debts are the latest to continue to rise as University fees creep up a little each year. Many are forced to use student loans to pay for their education. As many struggle to pay it back, they may think that they cannot be helped but this is not true; seeking professional help will mean that you can negotiate a lower repayment making your finances easier to manage. In you’re in the Ohio region, be sure to check http://www.debtplan.org/ohio.htm.

If you have gotten yourself into debt, don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed there are more people than you think who are in the same situation as you; seek help now before the financial strain also affects your health.

Olympics traffic

Since the start of the Olympics on July 27th businesses have allowed staff to work from home and the Government has warned people not to travel unnecessarily to London unless absolutely needed, this has worked too well as people have heeded advice and not bothered at all. Roads are empty and London hasn’t ever looked so deserted but as a result of this businesses are suffering.

Taxi drivers, rickshaw drivers, mimes, restaurant owners and hoteliers are just some who have noticed a huge reduction in customers. Central London is usually heaving with people but Soho, Regents Street, Oxford Street and Westminster are practically empty, no cars or people. Underground stations are also desserted.

The Olympics were supposed to attract 300,000 tourists to the capital but barely 100,000 have come, the money that the country has put into the Olympics is a huge loss as the money was supposed to be recovered through tourism it now seems highly unlikely.  As you may well know the stadium was sold last year for nearly £500m but it cost over £1bn to build so already £500m has been lost.

You must have also heard about the Games Traffic Lane that has caused worldwide controversy, before the games there was so much confusion in which of the many lanes were in operation that it caused huge traffic delays and congestion. Now that they are in operation people have decided to avoid these roads leaving them completely empty and traffic free. Westfield shopping centre in Stratford is also usually very busy but that too has been abandoned. People are choosing to holiday in Wales, Scotland or Cornwall to get away from all the hype of the shambolic Olympics.

Just weeks ago high street retailers were slashing the prices of stock because of the washout summer people had turned to the internet to avoid venturing outdoors. Although it didn’t really entice customers they just used the internet to their advantage and shopped from home. Some small shop owners are really suffering as they are not getting as much clients as they used to, a rickshaw driver usually rakes in £150 a day but is barely scraping together £40 for a days work. Restaurants are empty and market stall owners are hardly making any money to cover a days wages.

So don’t believe all you read in the papers there is no Olympics traffic or congestion just empty streets and ghost towns, enjoy while it lasts and spend a nice day out without the hoards of people that are usually present.

Luxury cat hotel

One of the added expenses of going on holiday for pet owners is the task of finding someone to look after their beloved pets or a suitable boarding house for the duration of their holiday. You can get pet sitters that visit your home to feed and care for your pets but the thought of letting a stranger into your home is scary for most home owners. Finding a reputable and reliable cattery or dog boarding is also tricky most places need proof of vaccinations and paperwork before they even consider looking after your pet. With the annual vet bills increasing each year not many pet owners are not vaccinating their pets on a yearly basis. Another but costly option for cat owners specifically is finding an ‘animal hotel’. The costs can mount up but if you have the money and really want the best for your pets then this can also be a little holiday for your cats too.

 

Luxury cat hotel

There are many of them all over the UK and very popular in America. The reason they are called ‘luxury cat hotels’ is because they are more like private apartments that are on the ground floor and have a garden view and lots of room inside to play. Cats will be fed daily and some cat hotels also have a play room or recreation room that they can also play in. The rooms all have an activity centre, bedding and sometimes even a cat sized sofa. The only downside of this is that they don’t actually get to go outside and roam around like many cats do. They have a small garden enclosure at the end of their ‘apartment’ that allows fresh air in and they can see outside. Some older cats no longer use litter trays and most still like to spend a lot of their time outside lazing around in the sun on a nice day. Cat hotels do not allow this as they can get confused and run away so they are confined in this ‘apartment’ for their duration of stay.

Cost of luxury cat hotel stay

I have found the cheapest price of £8.95 for one days stay at a cat hotel but prices can go up to as much as £25 a day, for a second cat sharing the same room its usually a reduced rate but only a few pounds less than the standard rate. They do look very cosy and clean but for the price you pay it isn’t really anything special. It’s just another way of people to exploit cat owners to make money out of them. I have two cats and they spend a lot of their time outdoors even if it’s raining or snowing, they also do not use litter trays so a cat hotel would upset them as they would be confined all day.

If you do choose to send your cat to a cat hotel then make sure they have been vaccinated and neutered as well. The accommodation should also be approved by the council, don’t be fooled by professional looking websites, always visit first to make sure it is up to a high standard. A weeks lodging for one cat can cost as much as £80, for two cats £144 so before you fork out make sure you do a little research first.

 

How to find cheap car rental companies

Europe offers a wide variety of vehicles for hire in its numerous airports since it is a common holiday destination. Whichever port, train station you may choose to get down from, you will be able to get a car for hire for your holidays. But, this wide range of car hire companies can prove to be a problem in itself in that it may become difficult to choose the best agency, with the best deals and getting the car most suited to your needs.

The car hire search engine that is offered here is very simple and direct so that you do not have to go around checking out various sites again. You can just input your details and a selection of vehicles will be offered to you; all the agencies are trust worthy and strategically located so as not to pose any pick up problems.

By entering your dates and location into the search engine, you will get a list of vehicles at relatively interesting prices through the database of car hiring agencies. Once you have made your choice, you can make your reservation and payment right online and when you get to the destination, the car will be waiting for you. No more paperwork to be involved in then, you can just get into your car and drive off.

One of the best ways to enjoy your holidays is to go for a car which can easily take you from one place to another. There are many places that are not accessible by common transport and so you really have to have your own means of transport for moving about and this where a private car can help you out. You might want to get a 4×4 if you are staying in remote places and where you will often go off the tracks for exploration; for this kind of activity a normal car would not be suitable and so you can get a better suited 4×4 from an agency. You can also get people carriers from an agency if you are travelling with your family so as to enjoy more space and make your holidays more comfortable.

You might want to get a luxury car for your holidays to get you around and there are numerous agencies specialising in hiring luxury cars such as Mercedes, BMW or Audi. You can pay a little extra and enjoy your holidays in the comfort of a posh car.
Once accommodation and flights have been confirmed, it is important to book a car as some models are very common and thus gone very soon while some agencies do not have many models of the same car.

Non UK residents may find it difficult in obtaining car insurance

Many car insurance companies will not grant insurance to non UK residents. In order to solve this problem, non UK residents should bring their cars with them from wherever they are from; they will be able to travel with their vehicles while keeping their original insurance policies from America, France or any other country of origin.

Other insurance agencies will continue to cover you up no matter which country you may be in as long as you are driving your car, but it is advised to check this out with the individual companies to see if it is applicable or if there must be some change in the current plan to remain covered in another country.

Most of the insurance agencies in the UK will not provide any insurance coverage to non residents be it for days, weeks, months or years. Non UK residents have to rent a car to get any car insurance for the whole time that they will be in the UK or stay without a car.

Getting an international driver’s license is another way to get car insurance in the UK. Having an American driver’s license does not mean that it will be recognised in all countries of the world where as an international driving license is easier to secure and can be used in most countries.
Sometimes, even if you have an international driving license, it can be difficult to get car insurance. If you want to buy a car in the UK, you will need insurance coverage to do so, however if you are getting a car from another country you may not have to change your current coverage.

In some cases, you may find coverage but they will be very expensive for non UK residents as compared to those who have been driving for some years within the UK. This is applicable to international drivers, drivers with licenses from their countries of origin and students who drive from time to time. The UK road laws are very strict regarding those who have not driven for long in the UK because driving is on the opposite side of the road in most European countries and as such insurance companies do not want to get involved in situations regarding negligence of this fact.

How to generate bright ideas

A very common question is ‘Can you give me some ideas, I have tried everything but nothing seems to work.’

Though it may seem obvious, the truth is just that you have to loosen up and the let the ideas flow and jot them down as soon as they do.

Write it down
Have you ever had that problem when everything just seemed to flow into your mind at the same time and you just did not know where to start? Else, you got stuck on an idea? If you answer yes to these questions then the best thing is just to write them down on paper.

Why paper is simply because getting some inspiration while writing it down on a word document can be quite difficult and it is way easier to organise paper notes and you can also scribble all over them, something that is not possible with word.

Why you should write it down is that as soon as you get an idea, your mind will try to push it to the back to give way to new ideas. This will encourage the flow of more ideas and give you the freedom to organise everything and match them up as needed. This technique does not apply to writing only, it can be in any aspect of your life.

Pictures
Visual materials are always interesting as you can clearly see them which can then lead to the creation of new ideas in a way no words could ever do. As it goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

This is why it is always a good idea to scribble in the margins of the idea paper. You do not have to be an artist to do this, make things that you understand as it concerns only you and you have to be able to translate it.

Sometimes drawing something bad can lead to the creation of new things so really you should not bother too much about your drawing types as long as you know where you are going.

Many people read a lot of ideas and techniques that do not inspire much at the end of the day but writing them down will loosen up your thoughts and give you the freedom for more ideas.