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Why We Love Traditional Watches In The Digital Age

Watches have come a long way since they evolved from spring-driven clocks in the 16th century to the classic and technologically advanced timepieces we know today. We have had the pocket watch, the wristwatch and the smartwatch and with the advent of the latter many thought the traditional watch would go out of fashion, but that is not the case, read on to find out why.

The history of the watch


Thought to be invented by German watchmaker Peter Henlein in Nuremberg in 1505, the first watch was a portable pomander watch designed to be worn on the body with a chain as a necklace. Henlein started a trend and pomander watches, which kept time with only an hour hand, and were made of drum-shaped cylindrical brass boxes became popular.

These portable watches were made possible by the invention of the mainspring, and kept time with a rotating balance wheel. 


Styles changed and in the 17th century, the pocket watch became popular. This made the watches flatter in style and smaller so they could fit in a pocket, and glass was used on the watch face so the time could be read easily. A watch fob attached the watch to the pocket by use of a chain or ribbon.

The first wristwatch is thought to be designed by Robert Dudley for Elizabeth 1 of England in 1571 and wristwatches were worn almost exclusively by women when men used pocket watches.  Most watchmakers produced a range of wristwatches by the mid 19th century but it wasn't until the end of the 19th century that military men wore wristwatches to help with synchronising manoeuvres. 

The watch continued to evolve with a notable point being the invention of the quartz watch in the 1960s, which ran on electricity and kept time with a vibrating quartz crystal. During the 1980s quartz watches took over the market from mechanical watches.


Today many of us have smartwatches that have the power on a small computer on our wrist, able to connect to social media, track our exercise, play music and more but there are plenty of us who still covet a traditional wristwatch.

Why we love traditional watches


Of course, a simple traditional wristwatch is a classic item that can do one thing well - tell the time at a glance and many people like that simplicity, but it is also a style statement. Fashion watches with different colour faces and straps can be matched to our clothes, the weather and even the seasons. 

When we get to more expensive luxury Swiss made watches they have many fans for a variety of reasons. We love the tradition, the craftsmanship, the heritage, the status and the nostalgia. In a world where everything evolves these traditionally made watches stand the test of time! 

The crafting of a luxury watch like a Breitling is a skill that has been learnt throughout years of training, and years of hands-on experience and watchmakers are true artisans. Handmade automatic and mechanical movements last decades. These very best watches have durability and longevity that you don't get these days with many things.  We love the nostalgia of them, how they are made by craftsmen and how precise they are. 

There is a certain status observed with a luxury traditionally made watch, and many people aspire to own a luxury watch such as a Breitling, a Rolex or an Omega. These are watches for big life events, a 21st, a 40th, retirement. These watches are also precious items, handed down over generations to pass onto their children. They are a way to stay connected to our loved ones even after our death. 



Another part of the appeal is the association with sport and a glamorous lifestyle. You only have to look at watches being marketed with film stars and sports stars as ambassadors.  Although men do wear jewellery a watch can be seen as a more acceptable item of adornment to wear as well. Men love the nerdy features of watches too and the more complicated it looks the better for most men, and you don't have to be a pilot to wear a pilot's watch.

A collection of luxury watches or a collection of any type of watch is coveted and enjoyed by many people. Men, in particular, appreciate watches as an accessory and love collecting luxury watches. taking care of them, protecting them in watch cases by The Case Farm, and servicing them regularly. The pleasure of looking after a traditional watch like this cannot be ignored.

As you can see we love traditional watches as much as ever. Let me know, do you have a traditional watch? Do you covert a luxury watch?

*Collaborative post

5 Surprising Ways to Invalidate Your Travel Insurance

One of the greatest pleasures in life is travelling. There are several important things to prepare before travelling such as visas, itineraries, passports, accommodations, and all other trip details. One important aspect of travelling is travel insurance. There are a number of travel insurance policies available in the market today. The best travel insurance coverage will give you peace of mind, ensuring that you are protected and safe while on a trip. 


One thing that you don’t want to happen is to have void travel insurance. First time and frequent travellers sometimes overlook travel insurance claims that are invalid. How does this happen? In order to avoid these mistakes, here is a list of 5 surprising ways to invalidate your travel insurance: 


When you have a pre-existing medical condition that you fail to declare

One of the major questions that travel insurance companies ask is if you have pre-existing medical conditions. If you fail to disclose existing illnesses or medical conditions, it may invalidate your travel insurance claim. Your policy will cover unexpected medical expenses that incur while you are travelling, but it will not cover pre-existing conditions. You should also not travel when your personal physician advises against it. If you decide to ignore your doctor’s advice and still go on a trip, you will not be covered for medical expenses incurred as a result of a previously diagnosed health condition. 


When you participate in reckless or illegal behaviour

This seems pretty obvious: your travel insurance will not cover any claim that is a result of fraudulent or illegal actions while travelling. Your travel insurance will also not cover behaviour that arises from irresponsible or thoughtless actions such as ignoring rules or going to unrestricted places. 

When you fail to provide proper documentation

As a traveller, it is your responsibility to provide all the proper documentation needed for your trip. If you lack proper documentation and it results in a delayed or missed trip, you cannot reimburse expenses incurred. 

When you go to places that are dangerous

You will have void travel insurance if you decide to go to places that are deemed dangerous for travellers to go to. The World Health Organization (WHO) and your government usually give travel advice and have a list of places that are deemed dangerous to go to because of armed conflict or the presence of contagious diseases.

When you participate in extreme sports and dangerous activities

Most standard travel insurance policies do not include coverage for extreme sports and dangerous activities. However, if you pay an additional premium, you may be covered for such activities like skydiving or paragliding. You can participate in dangerous activities and still get proper coverage as long as you pay an additional premium.

In order to make sure that your travel insurance claim is not invalidated, make sure that you watch out for these things. You also need to read your policy thoroughly in order to know what is covered and what is excluded.

*Collaborative post

Are Your Car Tyres Safe?

Do you know how to check if your car is fully roadworthy? Do you know how to check that your car tyres are safe and that it is okay to be driving? Here are a few tips on how you can ensure the safety of your ride.

Check The Pressure 



There is some really handy information on TyreSafe, designed to help you with what you need to know when it comes to all thing tyres. One such resource on the website is the tyre pressure checker - all you need to do is input the make, model and vehicle (engine type) of your car and they will let you know the correct tyre pressure for your vehicle.

Tyre pressure is so important as under-inflated tyres can affect handling and grip - they can also suffer from a sudden rapid deflation which is extremely dangerous, especially if you are travelling at speed at the time.

Running costs are also reduced if tyres are at their correct pressure - why wouldn’t you want to ensure your safety and lower running costs by checking your pressure regularly?

What Is Your Tread Depth? 


Would you know how to check the tread depth of your tyres? Not many people do! One such way is the ‘20p test’. The legal minimum tread depth for cars in the UK is 1.6mm.

The 20p test is where you take a coin and put it into the main tread grooves of your tyre. If the outer band of the coin is obscured when inserted, then your tread is above the legal limit. If it is visible instead, then the tyres are potentially illegal and unsafe. You should always do the test around the three different locations around each tyre.

If your tread depth is correct, then the grooves help to remove water from the contact patch between your tyres and the road so your car can function properly in wet weather. If this depth isn’t adequate, your vehicle may struggle to perform such functions and thus it isn’t as safe to be driving.

Something else to consider is the financial implications. Failure to comply with the minimum tread depth could mean a fine of up to £2,500 and up to three penalty points for each illegal tyre.

Are You Safe For Winter or Summer? 


Something else to consider is the fact that your car needs to be suitable for winter driving - this often means getting some winter tyres which are specifically designed for such weather conditions. Steering, acceleration and braking are more difficult during this season as normal tyres have less grip. It is not just extreme conditions that can affect the performance of your tyres but also cold and damp roads too. 

Also, don't forget to check your tyres out before those Summer road trips as well. If your car is carrying more than usual you will need to check the tyre safety and pressure.

Use Local Garages or Suppliers 

If you are looking for the best quality tyres for your vehicle, make sure to check your local garages or suppliers. Stirling Autocentre, in Fife, is one such supplier that stocks the best quality car tyres for various car makes and models, all under one roof.
You can often get decent quality tyres at affordable prices from local businesses. 

How often do you check the safety of your tyres?

*Collaborative post

Can You Really Make A Business Work?

When you’re not naturally an entrepreneur, and you've got a great business idea, you can wonder whether you’re somebody that can go into business for yourself. Sometimes when things seem different or new to you, it can be really overwhelming, and you stop yourself from doing anything. Maybe you tell yourself that you’re not experienced and that you’d never be able to make a small business work out? Maybe you look at what others are doing and you start to make comparisons? Either way, you may find that you’re letting your mind stop you from doing some really great things. 



However, you can make things happen if you really put your mind to it. In order for that to take place, there are some key steps that you might need to take.

No matter what kind of experience you have, or where you are in life, you can absolutely create your own small business and make a success of it. So to help you to make that happen, let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to get things off the ground and up and running.

Getting Into The Right Frame Of Mind

To start with, you really need to make sure that you’re in the right frame of mind. Banish negative thoughts and instead, focus on the positives to make sure that you are excited about this, and that you’re determined to do something special with it.

Considering Your Options

Then it’s time to think about the different options. Do you want to become a freelance writer? Do you want to create a product or offer a service? Do you want to make passive income? Do you want to open a shop? It's time to decide on your business idea and work out how to make the business work. 
There is free business advice out there so take it.  

Researching

The next thing that you need to do here, is research. Brainstorm different ideas, and then research if there is a gap in the market for it.  Think about how you can actually make some money with the business, and whether people are going to be interested in it or not.

Getting Started 



Then, you just need to start, it’s really as simple as that. You can’t research forever and mull over the idea. T
hink about what you need to get set up, start working a list of what you need and then focus on getting the finances together. 

Putting The Work In

Now, a lot of people believe that there’s a secret to success. That successful entrepreneurs know the secrets, and they don’t share, but that’s not the case. The main secret is that you need to work hard. You also need to be extremely focused on the business, be a quick learner on how to promote it and also look for a gap in the market. If you put the work in, and you’re able to dedicate yourself and commit to making this work, then you will find that things start to take off quicker than you could imagine.

Believing In Yourself

If you’re going to be able to make this work and actually allow yourself to blossom in business, then you really do need to believe in yourself. Other people believing in the idea can help too, get support from others and people around you as well.

Deciding What You Want To Earn 




The next thing that you’re going to want to do here, is to understand how much the business will make.  For this, do some research into the business ideas that you’re looking at, such as a Crossfit coach salary UK or the top earnings you can make for freelance writing, from selling your products or service and work out how you’re going to generate that income.

Setting Goals

Then, in order for you to help grow and get to where you want to be, you need to make sure that you’re setting goals for yourself. Do you want to turn over a set amount? Do you want to sell a certain number of products? Are you looking to expand in the future and open more than one store? Think about your goals, and then work out how you’re going to get there.

Getting To Know Your Customer

The next thing that’s going to help you here, is for you to think about getting to know your customers a little better because if you’re going to be able to grow your company, you have to make the right decisions based on their needs. Look a how you can serve them better, and ask them! Send out surveys, encourage them to sign up to email lists, question them in store. It’s important for you to be able to take the time to get to know them and ensure that you’re always adding value with what you do.

Growing On Your Terms

Finally, grow on your own terms. Sometimes, it’s easy to think that you should be doing things in a certain way. Maybe you feel as if you should run a business as your friends do, or in a way that looks the best to the outside world but it's your business so do it your way. So stay true to your company, be consistent, and make sure that you do grow on your own terms. 


Have you a great business idea? Do you own your own business? 

*Collaborative post

10 Small Business Ideas When Working From Home

There are more and more people choosing to work from home nowadays. Whether you are looking after a young family, carer to the elderly or have a disability which makes it difficult to leave the home then home working could be a viable career option for you. There are plenty of small business ideas you can opt for if you choose to work from home and some of the ideas are below.

Of course, you need to think of all the legalities if working from home.  You must make sure you register as self-employed and fill in your tax returns. Something that should also be considered is insurance such as the insurance Sherpa offers for the self-employed. Could you afford to keep running your business if you were to get ill? It is important to have adequate life insurance and critical insurance cover when running your own business too.

So if you want to go ahead, here are ten small business ideas you can try when working from home.

Childminding




This obviously requires certain things such as being registered with OFSTED and some sort of qualification but if you like children, and especially if you are looking after your own, this may be a career choice for you. Being organised, interested in children's education, and being patient is key, as well as a love of children obviously!

Chore Service

These are becoming more and more popular as others lead such busy lives. If you love washing clothes and/or ironing them, there’s a market for that. There will always be people too busy to do these chores themselves or who simply don’t want to and would rather pay for the privilege.

Direct Sales

These do get a bad reputation sometimes and they aren’t necessarily something I would opt to do myself but if you are chatty and a good salesperson, this might be the job choice for you. Some companies supply leads so there is no cold calling involved so perhaps look into this if you want to get into direct sales over the phone.

Data Entry 




It isn’t the most glamorous of jobs but if you have good touch typing skills and a good eye for detail, data entry is a job that you can do quickly and easily and you can make a decent amount of money doing this.

Tutoring Online

There are many websites out there who hire tutors for children in various countries abroad who are attempting to learn English. If you are educated to a degree level and want to work from home, perhaps this small business idea is the one for you.

Baking

If you are a great bake, then why not put those skills to good use and make a business out of it? Yes, you will need to have the correct set up with various certifications and a visit from the council to ensure your cooking area is to the correct standard but this can be a lucrative business idea.

Homemade crafts

If you are skilled in crafting, then why not sell your creations? If you have a skill for making then try jewellery making, creating bath bombs, sewing clothes or knitting. People love receiving handmade unique items so why not turn a skill into a business?

Grow and sell your own produce




If you love tending to your garden and growing your own fruit and veg, then why not sell the extras that you will not use? Jams and chutneys are always popular and many people like buying homemade items from source. You could even get a stall at the local farmer's market if it takes off 

Virtual Assistant

I have many friends who have stepped into this role. It is a great way to make a living from home. A virtual assistant can do many things such as schedule their client's social media, various administration tasks such as sorting emails and so much more.

Reselling

My final small business idea - and one that does divide people - is reselling. This is where you buy items at a cheap price from car boot sales, charity shops, auctions and garage sales and flip them for a higher price on eBay and other selling sites. As you get further into your journey as a reseller, you will find that you manage to seek out the more lucrative items.

Do you work from home? What do you do?


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Glamping In A Mongolian Yurt With Caalm Camp Dorset

I have a little confession to make, I'm not really a camper. Years of camping with my family as a child with blow up airbeds going flat by the morning, the wind blowing away our tent, peeing in a bucket in the night as the toilet block was too far away, and all those camping japes put me off camping as an adult.

Of course, camping has come a long way since the 1970s and in today's age, glamping or luxury camping, is all the norm but I would be wrong in saying I didn't have a little trepidation when I ventured to Dorset with Mr W for our stay at Caalm Camp. I needn't have worried.

Caalm Camp is a luxury glamping site, with 6 Mongolian yurts instead of tents. Run by Mark and Caryl Ralph, this site used to be a dairy farm until a few years ago and is situated in Shaftsbury in Dorset. For the purpose of this review, they hosted us on a complimentary basis.

The Yurt

We arrived after a two and a half hour drive from South Wales to be greeted by the owner Mark, who showed us to our yurt.

The Mongolian yurt was beautifully decorated with a fabulous wooden door painted in bright colours. I was excited to see what was inside.



The yurt inside was supremely spacious and didn't disappoint. Firstly I was impressed with the hard floor which was covered with matting, less chance of a spider attacking me than with a grass floor!




Then I was pleased to see the proper beds and mattresses, none of this blow-up bed nonsense, just comfy mattresses and crisp white bedlinen.  There were one double bed and two-day beds, and two additional Z beds can be added at a small cost of £10 per bed per night.

The yurts have electricity by the main bed, which is great as there are proper side lamps and also two other floor lights for illumination. 


Although there wasn't a wardrobe, two sets of drawers added some storage space as well a pull-out drawer under the smaller beds. A coat hanger was useful for coats, and we brought a few hangers to hang our clothes on. A small wardrobe would have been a great addition.



There was a small table area, suitable to boil a kettle on one ring as well as electrical sockets there as well. You wouldn't be able to cook anything on the stove as really it's only suitable to boil a kettle however there is a communal kitchen a 20-second walk away. More of that later.


The yurt had a wood-burning heater, and there was plenty of wood available free of charge to heat the yurt.



What took my breath away was how stylish the yurt was. Traditionally used by nomads in central Asia and Mongolia, a yurt is a traditional portable house made of lattice bent wood.  The detail on the yurt was exceptional, with beautifully painted wood on supporting joists. The furniture in the yurt fitted in well too.

Directly outside was a fire pit and small barbecue as well as a tap for each yurt so the water was easy to access to fill up the kettle, no trecking to the kitchen. You had your own personal bench big enough for 6 which was a lovely area to sit outside with a cup of tea or glass of wine in hand.

Outside


The farm is set in lovely grounds. It has a communal area to sit as well as a small slide and mini trampoline for the kids.



Very little ones are well catered for too as there is also a children's playhouse and cars for toddlers to play with.

The Old Hay Barn


The old hay barn is an area with cooking, washing and entertainment facilities for the guests.


The kitchen here was well equipped with modern facilities. Every yurt has its own fridge with a small freezer compartment as well as their own kitchen utensils, pots and pans. There were two cookers for 6 yurts to use. There was also a toaster and microwave available.




The communal lounge/dining area in the old hay barn had dining tables, a high chair, a table and chairs in bright colours for little ones, a TV with DVD player and comfy sofas. There was a selection of films available to watch too which was a nice touch.





We thought the games room in the old hay barn was a cool space, with table tennis available as well as a pool table and somewhere to sit. Unfortunately, Mr W still hasn't recovered from the time I beat him at pool on a trip to Paignton earlier this year so we didn't have a game but everything was there to play and the facilities were free to use. There is nothing like a poor loser!




The shower rooms were excellent. You have a key to your own individual shower and toilet room, so you don't share with other families, and the room was exceptionally clean. Toiletries, however, were not provided so bring your own shower gel, shampoo and conditioner if you need it.

What to do in the area


Salisbury Cathedral

Caalm Camp is close to Shaftsbury, a small town with a 
museum, in the beautiful Dorset countryside and Cranborne Chase an area of outstanding natural beauty, perfect for hiking.

We took a drive to Salisbury 25 miles away and it was worth the trip, although the 25 miles on country roads took us about 50 minutes in the car. Salisbury has a great range of shops and of course, the famous Salisbury Cathedral with fabulous architecture was worth a visit. 


Haynes Motor Museum

Another place we visited was Haynes International Motor Museum. The Haynes International Motor Museum has the largest selection of cars in the UK from all around the world. Mr W in particular really enjoyed the trip, and the Haynes International Motor Museum is a car enthusiast's dream. 


Where to eat



We had a great breakfast at the Udder Farm shop cafe and can also recommend The Ship Inn (above) and The Kings Arms for fabulous pub food. 

My thoughts



I was impressed with Caalm Camp. The Mongolian yurt was much better than I expected and the bed was exceptionally comfortable. It was lovely having a wood burning stove to heat the yurt, with plenty of free wood available, and we did need it on occasion in May. It kept the yurt lovely and warm, and although it doesn't last the night, there is coal available too at a charge.

The facilities were very good for a site like this, having children's play facilities on hand and also having a pool table and table tennis for use were great. Wi-Fi was available and was much better in the Old Hay Barn than in our yurt. The private shower room with toilet, just for your family's use was an excellent idea. 




The shared kitchen facilities were very g
ood. With all shared facilities then you do have to take things in turn, and that could be an issue in the evening if everyone is self-catering but as we ate out it wasn't an issue to us. They also have a large outside pizza oven available for hire, which would be a great option to try out in good weather, sitting outside with a glass of wine, chatting with family and friends sounds idyllic.

I think it's truly amazing how camping has evolved and how glamping is now so widespread. Staying in a Mongolian yurt in the beautiful countryside is a dream for many people, and I must say, I really enjoyed it, and the best part... no peeing in a bucket! Any downsides? Well, you do get some sound carrying as you are in a tent, and the light came in through the large skylight early in the morning so if you are a light sleeper you may want to keep that in mind. In the spirit of disclosure, we would try glamping again but I feel you do need the nice weather. It was cold one night and raining another although we had lovely weather for most of our trip. The wood burner helped us keep warm. Would we honestly go glamping in Winter? Maybe not. Would we go glamping again in the Spring or Summer? Most certainly. 


Check out the video Mr W made for travel blog Fly Drive Explore

You can book a stay with Caalm Camp through their own website or with Campsites.co.uk. Campsites.co.uk have a range of camping and glamping sites, check out their site for unique glamping options with all the creature comforts.

With a TripAdvisor Certificate Of Excellence and being voted the best glamping site in the South West of England 2017, Caalm Camp is certainly a site you should check out. If you love the idea of glamping in the beautiful Dorset countryside, you definitely won't be disappointed. Recommended. 

Caalm Camp
Goods Farm, Stour Row,
Shaftesbury, Dorset
SP7 0QH
Telephone: 01747 838565


* Thanks to Caalm Camp for hosting us