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How to Store Your Prized Glassware Safely Away

Every now and again we end up with a piece or set of glassware that’s simply too exquisite to make it to the standard kitchen cupboard and be used for practical purposes. Instead, it’s destined to be put on proud display somewhere around the home, or put into storage to ensure it is kept in pristine condition for future enjoyment.

So with this in mind, here are just a few tips on how to store your prized glassware away and ensure it holds onto its lustre for the long-term:

Cabinets

glassware cabinetIf you’re keeping your glassware in a cabinet or cupboard for storage or display purposes, there are a couple of considerations to bear in mind. First and foremost, beware of the false sense of security some cupboards and cabinets give you. While they may look safe and secure, cracks and gaps can easily let in the kind of damp, dust and grease you’re trying to keep out. And what’s more, if using a lit display cabinet it’s vital not to use a bulb that will create too much heat and slowly but surely eat away at the integrity and finish of the glass.

Shelves

glassware shelvesWhen storing glassware on shelves, be aware that the only way to keep it pristine is to dust and wipe it pretty much every single day. It won’t be long before this kind of grime builds up and becomes near impossible to remove. Higher shelves are less prone to dust than those at lower levels, but at the same time increase the chances of breakages should anything fall.

Storage Boxes

storage boxesAnd finally, never forget the importance of plenty of padding when it comes to storing glassware in boxes. Sure you have no intention of throwing it around or squashing it yourself, but you never know what another family member or visitor may do without realising what’s in there. Use plenty of paper, foam, bubble-wrap and anything else you can get your hands on. And of course, always label the box clearly – you can never be too careful when it counts!

By Lisa Morton

This blog post was brought to you by Lisa Morton on behalf of Gurasu.co.uk. Click here to find out more about Gurasu and their extensive range of coloured wine glasses and fine crystal.

If It’s September It Must Be Time For The “C” Word

christmasIs it just me or has anyone else noticed how as soon as the summer season comes to a climate-ic end, there is a sudden deluge of the “C” word. I am referring of course to Christmas, but there are many that feel mentioning that word so early when the summer sun has only just packed its bags for the winter is something akin to a profanity. (Me included).

Although there are four seasons, there are only two that matter really – summer and winter. Autumn, okay, it has its moments, the golden leaves in the trees, the smell of bonfires, Halloween and Spring is noteworthy and charming for the flowers it ushers forth and the return of greenness to nature’s fauna and lambs gambolling about in the dewy fields.

Yet it is Summer and Winter that most people set their calendars by. Summer = sunshine and holidays. Winter = Christmas and presents. And that usually means Autumn and Spring are sort of by-passed really.

As soon as summer is over, the next thought is about Christmas. As soon as Christmas and winter is over, people are longing for June.

Thus we are in that limbo land. Summer has departed and now the world waits for Christmas (at least those who celebrate Yuletide are). Are these people bonkers? Not according to some voices in Consumer News.

In fact these early Christmas nuts may well be as wise as those Famous Three kings. Dig deeper behind the scramble to think tinsel and turkeys and one can appreciate more the reasons why it happens.

For instance, look back at your own childhood. Remember that Christmas when you had made your Santa wish-list, perhaps even when you were lounging around on the sand in Sidmouth in the summer, and had requested that must-have gadget in huge big capital letters. You were smart. You knew if you handed in your Santa list early there was more chance you would actually get that toy you so badly needed.

Unfortunately Santa was so quick off the mark. He dragged his feet and come Christmas morning you grew increasingly more disappointed as each present you opened failed to contain that dreamed for toy until you were left with the shattering realisation that Santa had not been able to procure one despite having three months advanced notice.

Gutted!

Then daddy leans forward and whispers consolingly to you as you lie on your stomach in the corner of the living room, “It’s not Santa’s fault. They must have sold out son.”

And that was the giveaway and why that young boy became the young man who goes Christmas shopping in September, just as summer dwindles to memory, to ensure the gifts his loved ones desire can be purchased before they sell out.

So, in hindsight, perhaps thinking about Christmas gifts early isn’t such a stupid thing after all?

By Mitch Wicking

A journalist and reporter for many years Mitch enjoys investigating Life’s little wonders for Consumer Checkpoint and many other domains and topics. Click here to find out more.

Carry On In Safety: How To Avoid A Holiday Mishap In Far Away lands

It’s natural for anyone travelling abroad to be on their guard when they step foot into a new land, but when you’re embarking on foreign travel that takes in multiple destinations on a whistle-stop tour, the need for extra vigilance is required.

After all, with all the to-ing and fro-ing, packing and un-packing, it is very easy to lose track of your possessions.

So for those about to embark on their Cuba holidays, or mini tour of France, that will involve considerable moving around from region to region, hotel to hotel, here are a few tips to keep you and your belongings extra-safe.

wallet

#1 This should always be the first thing you do as a matter of course, but when you’re hopping on and off of planes or trains or buses, it is never a good idea to be holding your money or credit cards or documentation as you get off. You may have been asleep moments earlier and suddenly realised it’s your stop and you need to get off – but for safety-sake, just take a moment to keep your valuables hidden as you disembark, as the fact of the matter is most pick-pocketing and snatch-n-grabs occur at airports or train stations or bus terminals.

rogue taxi drivers

#2 Rogue taxi drivers. They are common in most countries and cities and it is very likely you will get ripped off wherever you are unless you have taken the care to find out which cab firms are legitimate. Always ask the driver too how much it will cost to take you to your destination; that way they have no excuse to charge you more. It is also best for a personal safety view point to ensure the taxi you are getting into isn’t just some guy turning up off from a side-street. Although major incidents are rare, there is always the chance something worse than overcharging could occur.

atm cards

#3 ATM’s are one of the great conveniences of recent times, but although getting your money has never been easier – it has also never been easier for thieves to get their hands on some quick loot. If you are going to be using ATM’s frequently, always make sure you do so in a hotel or bank or shopping mall. These are usually well-populated and much safe than stopping at the nearest one you see on the streets. However, if you are desperate, and it’s night time, never go alone and keep your wits about you. Again, thefts from ATM’s don’t happen often – but the potential is always there.

By Mitch Wicking

A journalist and reporter for many years Mitch enjoys investigating Life’s little wonders for consumercheckpoint.co.uk, The Holiday Place and many other domains and topics. Born and bred in London, father-of-three Mitch now lives and works aboard a beautiful narrow boat on a peaceful marina in the heart of England which he shares with his Leicester “duck”/muse.

Hotel Room V Holiday Home – There Is Only One Winner

hotel room

hotel room

It is easy to understand why people may instinctively believe that booking holiday accommodation in a hotel would be cheaper than staying in a holiday home or cottage. In fact one would think there would be quite some distance in prices. Check out this post about Quick Questions to Ask Before Booking.

But really this is a complete misconception; the holiday home is not more expensive than a hotel room. In actual fact, the holiday home/cottage is far cheaper!

Do the math and it all becomes much clearer, especially if you are talking holiday cottages cornwall.

Well, think about it. If you are taking five or six family members away for a week, for instance, that might involve booking at least two rooms, if not three in a hotel block. And that immediately becomes quite expensive, especially when you add on all the hotel extras – namely the food.

When you book a self-catering holiday home/cottage you are immediately saving on the room costs, as well as food as you will either be buying your own and cooking it or eating out. But on the whole, if you are going self-catering you are going to be saving heaps on breakfast, lunch and evening meals.

So, believing hotel accommodation is cheaper than the holiday home/cottage is one myth exploded.

But there is another reason holiday homes win out over hotel rooms and are becoming more popular right across the UK and that’s suggested by the very term holiday “home.” For that is exactly what you get – homeliness.

This is actually quite significant on a psychological level. Of course, the whole point of going on holiday is to get away from your home and neighbourhood and spend time away somewhere different. But hotel rooms are so impersonal that many people don’t really feel comfortable in them. After all, you’re staying in rooms that are exactly the same as the rooms that the other 120 guests or so are staying in. You’re just one of a crowd.

In a holiday home you get that “home from home” feel which is so much more relaxing to be in. They are generally more personal too, with the hosts applying their own individual touches to the accommodation. And when the weather is not conducive to that day on the beach, well, spending time in is far more enjoyable in a holiday cottage than a hotel room; purely because it’s all yours and no one else’s for the duration of your holiday.

The holiday home gives you more space and freedom to be yourselves.

Lastly, why bother joining the throng rushing to book hotel accommodation when you could beat the rush and find holiday home accommodation instead much more easily. There are far more attractive and available holiday homes/cottages to be enjoyed than hotel rooms.

As the title of this piece confirms – hotel room v holiday home? There is only one winner.

By Mitch Wicking

A journalist and reporter for many years Mitch enjoys investigating Life’s little wonders for consumercheckpoint.co.uk and Crylla Cottages. Born and bred in London, father-of-three Mitch now lives and works aboard a beautiful narrow boat on a peaceful marina in the heart of England which he shares with his Leicester “duck”/muse.

Planning The Family Holiday Of A Lifetime? Don’t Forget To Use Your Brain!

family holiday

What do I mean by that?

Well, it’s all very well deciding you’re going to take everyone on a wild and adventurous holiday of a lifetime to some far flung corner of the world – but you’ve got to think about the kids, especially if they’re very young.

By all means do it, it will be amazing and everyone will love the experience (hopefully!) – just make sure you plan well in advance and take into account the things you may not have thought about or have taken for granted.

For instance, kids are kids, just think about the last time you tried to make a simple 10 minute journey down to the local supermarket. Did they grumble about going? Yes? Well, imagine how they will feel when you tell them it’s time to go on their Cuba holidays and it’s going to take 10 hours to get there!

They will love the idea of going to Cuba – but will not be impressed it will take that long to get there. It will seem like forever.

So give a lot of thought to how you will “distract” your kids on the journey. Keeping them busy, happy, entertained will keep them quiet and consequently make the journey all the more enjoyable and comfortable for you.

The same applies to food along the way. In fact this is just as crucial as making sure you’ve packed enough games or made sure the batteries are charged for their various media devices. You can never assume there will be food available during the journey or that there will be anything your kids will like. So pack plenty of back-up snacks and fillers just in case. As you know, there’s nothing quite as bad as a wailing, hungry kid!

And while we’re on food – for goodness sake check what kind of meals will be on offer for the kids in and around the area you are staying. You might be looking forward to trying the hot and spicy Cuban fare – but your kids aren’t! Have a look before you go or check with your travel advisor what kind of meals for kids there will be. Are there any English-style supermarkets or corner shops nearby? It is useful to know these things ahead of time.

This in fact leads onto the subject of medicines. Falling ill abroad is not pleasant for anyone who is not a native to the country they are visiting. Cultures are different, which means medicines might be different or non-existent, at least the sort of medicines you might give your children for tummy upsets or colds.

So pack those everyday cures, pain killers, plasters, cough medicines, throat sweets and so on that you would find in the UK but might not find in the local Cuban chemist.

Again, the best thing to do is check with your travel advisor because when it comes to taking the young family on the holiday of a lifetime it can quickly become the holiday from hell without some simple thought and planning.

By Mitch Wicking

A journalist and reporter for many years Mitch enjoys investigating Life’s little wonders for consumercheckpoint.co.uk and The Holiday Place. Born and bred in London, father-of-three Mitch now lives and works aboard a beautiful narrow boat on a peaceful marina in the heart of England which he shares with his Leicester “duck”/muse. Also you can check out his post about Three Reasons to Consider a Home Stay.

Seven Heavenly Beaches in Mauritius

If you think you’re going to have your work cut out for you selecting which beaches to try on your Mauritius holidays, you’re right on the money. Not to put too fine a point on it, there are hundreds of the things and every one seems to be even more spectacular than the last.

So, if looking for at least a few boxes to tick knowing you’ve done it right, be sure to check out the following seven for beach paradise heaven:

Péreybère

Péreybère

They say do as the locals do to find the best places and the island inhabitants always seem to make a beeline for Péreybère – take a visit just once and you’ll find out why, it’s off the scale!

Grand Baie

Grand Baie

Found on the northern coast of the island, this is one of the more heavily built-up areas of Mauritius and is packed with shops, bars, hotels and restaurants. It makes the list as although it isn’t what you’d call secluded, it’s stunning to look at and offers infinite water sports.

Belle Mare Plage

Belle Mare Plage

This beach toward the East of the island belongs to Constance Belle Mare Plage and is reputed for some of the most stunning sunrises on the face of the Earth and is also a mecca for stargazers all through the night.

Roche Noires

Roche Noires

Head a little further to the north and you’ll find Roche Noires, which is quite frankly stunning and a rarity to say the least. The volcanic black sand at the edge of the water contrasts brilliantly with the bright white sands of the beach – it’s really a wonder to marvel over.

La Cuvette

La Cuvette

And if heading to the above-mentioned gem, it’s also worth trying out La Cuvette which is pretty close by again an absolute hit with the locals. It’s a great place to find a vacant tree and while away a few hours in its shade, watching the world go by.

Gris Gris

Gris Gris beach

As far as drama goes, the title has to go to Gris Gris on the south, where imposing cliffs offer an amazing view of the rough and wild waters which although not safe to swim in are still worth visiting just to spend a while staring at.

Blue Bay

Blue Bay

One of the most popular beaches on the island, Blue Bay is excellent for swimming and water sports alike that can get quite suitably congested at weekend and during holidays.

By Stan Reading

Stan Reading is a full-time travel agent with a particular passion for Mauritius holidays and all things exotic. He’s due to be married later this summer.