Cleaning all over the world

Wonderful places to visit

This week I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time cleaning. Vacuuming, dusting, bleaching - all in a post- Christmas pine needle frenzy to get back to normal. At times I’ve stood, vacuum in hand, channel and felt a rather strong connection to Freeddy Mercury singing ‘I want to break free’ while mindlessly vacuuming back and forth! Minus the leather mini and pink crop top.

That and the Karcher Monuments of the World quiz I recently came across got me thinking, if I was to break free, where would I go? So while dusting for the 241st time I began to create my wish list of wonderful places to visit (without a duster in sight)’.

Rome is top of the list. Maybe a little obvious but I’m a romantic and the thought of strolling through 1000s of years of beautiful history is so very tempting. While in Italy I would spend some time in Florence. One of the main setting for E.M Forster’s ‘A Room with a View’, it’s a book I’ve read over and over as a teenager and I would love to bring to life the imaginings of that 16-year-old mind.

Next I’d continue that literary journey and make a stop off in America- the Deep South to be precise. a little travel around some of the haunts of Scout and Atticus from’To Kill a Mocking Bird.’  I’d  mix it up with a trip to Detroit – the urban home of so much great music.

Next, I’d take a few weeks to go somewhere hot, where I could be lazy, swim in clear blue seas and drink copious amounts of cocktails. I think I’d do this on my own. Much as I love my boys, this is my wish list so, for a couple of weeks it will be me, a pile of books and sunshine.

When I get back my final stop would be a tour of the Scottish islands. Far north, beautifully wild and full of adventure. We’d stay in quirky b&bs, search for hidden coves and watch sunsets, wrapped up in blanket, drinking hot chocolates and breathing chills clean air.

What a fantastic time I’ve had!


Keeping your property safe

It struck me over the festive period. I’d filled my home with expensive gifts, delicious food and plenty of lights…

ThenI went out to work, or the park and it would most likely be dark when I came home. Just how easy would it be for some burglars to decide now was a brilliant time to help theselves to all my hard earned stuff. They can almost guarantee there will be easy pickings – many nearly wrapped for ease of removal!

We do everything we can to keep our home safe. We’ve got locks on the windows and, apart from the odd senior moment, our doors are always locked when we’re out. But it doesn’t stop that niggling feeling that someone could be helping themselves to our things. Since having children I’ve become more aware of the need to stay safe. How scary for a four-year-old to think monsters exist and they e been in your home.

I’ve been looking at house alarms and how we can get something in place that won’t cost a fortune but will give us extra peace of mind. It’s definitely something for 2016.

In the meantime here are a few hints and tips on how to keep your property safe. I know most of us know these but there’s no harm in a little reminder:

  1. If you have a gate, keep it closed and in good repair. It’s the first thing any would-be burglar will spot, and they will judge how secure the rest of your house is from this first impression. If you don’t have a gate, maybe you could consider getting one installed?
  2. Get decent locks on your front and back doors – and more than one on each door if possible. If a burglar thinks the front of your house looks vulnerable, they’ll almost certainly find that the back is, too.
  3. Don’t leave ground-floor windows or doors open in the house – even if you’re in (and especially if you’re in your yard or garden). Sneak thieves will look for these kinds of opportunities and can be in and out in just a few seconds.
  4. If you have a dog, think hard about whether to put up a ‘beware of the dog’ sign (or if you have a cat, an ‘I love cats’ notice). It could actually indicate that you don’t have an alarm, or worse, that you leave your back door open for your pet. It’s worth noting that Kings’ alarms can be fitted with pet sensors, if required.
  5. Don’t leave your keys near the front door (on a hall table or another obvious place in your home) – especially at night. Burglars look for keys above big, bulky items, since they can take them away easily for a return visit in the near future!
  6. Store cash and jewellery carefully, avoiding obvious places like bedside tables. This is the first place that a burglar will look.
  7. To avoid false alarms, keep your alarm sensors free from dust, cobwebs and spiders!
  8. Consider having a second (false) alarm box on the back of your house, so that it looks as secure from the rear as it does from the front.