Three driving laws which will be implemented in 2019

Motorists should be aware of three major changes which are due to come in during 2019 affecting how they are required to drive and the roadworthiness of their vehicle. These include sharing the road with cyclists, motorway driving and MOT requirements.

1. The new Highway Code rules define the amount of space a driver must leave when overtaking a cyclist. There should be a 1.5m tolerance between the vehicle and the cyclist, say the width of a car door. If you are not a cyclist, it is difficult to understand how they may feel when you are overtaking.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents offers advice for drivers and cyclists and the rules of the road. Violation of the new rules carries a fine of up to £100 and a potential three-point penalty on your licence.

2. New legislation referring to smart motorway driving will also affect drivers as will the arrival of learner drivers on UK motorways. Drivers could receive three points on their licence for driving under a red X signal and could also be fined up to £100. Penalties for breaking smart motorway rules are also being tightened.

3. Crucially, changes to new MOT rules are likely to be the changes which impact vehicle owners over 2019. Although the changes were introduced last year, 2019 is going to be the year when many vehicles are assessed under the new rules. The new categories include vehicles assessed as a direct risk to road safety or the environment.


MOT testers will probably look at their motor trade insurance at sites such as in light of these changes.

So far as the driver is concerned, there will be stricter rules on diesels, relating to the diesel particulate filter. Passing or failing will also depend on the introduction of new categories and a vehicle will pass or fail depending upon whether it is deemed dangerous, major or minor.
Testers can still offer advice on repairs needed in the future but still pass the vehicle. Higher standards will apply across tyres, brake operations and lighting systems. Vehicles over 40-years-old no longer require an MOT certificate, unless they have undergone a serious re-modification.

Motorists will need to be aware of the changes and how they are applied.

The history behind the iconic design of a bay window

The bay window is an icon of style; sophisticated and sleek while adding an abundance of light and beauty to the home. Created from an arch of windows extending from an exterior wall, they not only maximise interior light, they also make the home appear larger.

Origins in Europe
Due to their attractive and appealing appearance, bay windows have been extensively used in both commercial and residential settings.

The bay window first originated in mansions during the English Renaissance and were traditionally placed in great halls. Many of the early types of bay window were oriel windows,with an ornamental purpose rather than function. However, in the Gothic era, the bay window served a purpose in small chapels built within larger churches, and parishioners used these windows for private worship. They were also widely used during the Victorian era, particularly in Britain, and many examples can be found in flats, detached houses and terraced homes.

Influence from the Chicago School

The bay window first gained popularity in the United States as a result of its use in the Chicago School. Its architectural style first originated in the city’s buildings in the early 20th century.

William Le Baron Jenney, a prominent civil engineer and architect of the era, utilised bay windows in many of his architectural designs as a way to boost natural light. Most famously,Jenney used the windows in the Manhattan Building at a time when buildings were steel structures, and typically, of minimal adornment.

Modern applications

Today, bay window is a term used to define any window construction which extends from the building’s exterior wall, and are available in a wide range of designs. To select your own bay window for your home, contact a company such as

The modern bay window is usually a square or polygonal shape, and can be found across the world. Particularly popular in Europe is the box bay window, a square or rectangular shaped box style. In contrast, the circle bay window is adorned with decorative features such as crown molding, creating a dramatic feature in the home.

There are many reasons to choose the bay window for your home, as they maximise the space,add natural light and improve curb appeal. They also create an ideal nook for indoor plants,window seats and decorative items.

The new smart gadgets that are revolutionising kitchens

Today, consumers are spoilt for choice as manufacturers are increasingly exploring kitchenware tech. Here is a look at the most useful gadgets.

1. Nespresso Prodigio coffee machine
The Prodigio uses the existing Nespresso capsule system, making refills easy. You can make
cups remotely and schedule brews using your tablet or phone (iOS and Android).

2. iFavine iSommelier

If you are a wine buff, you may aerate your tipple. iFavine’s iSommelier pulls air through amolecular filtration system and pumps it into the wine in just minutes, improving taste and smell.
The iFavine app features a progress update bar.

3. Smarter Fridgecam
Spending £100 on a wireless camera for your fridge seems frivolous, but it should pay for itself.Fridgecam checks your fridge while you’re away, so you can make shopping decisions.Recognising food items and communicating expiry dates gives this tech the edge.If you are buying a commercial combination oven, you could

Meanwhile, House Beautiful covers smart kitchen appliances.

4. Nest Protect
This product sits on your ceiling and uses phone alerts and voice alarms if there’s danger with smoke or carbon monoxide. It’s also a nightlight.

5. Amazon Dash Wand and Dash Buttons
If you use Amazon to order items for the kitchen, this saves time. Dash buttons automatically order products, while Amazon Dash Wand lets you order via a barcode scanner or by asking out loud.

6. Tefal Cook4Me Connect cooker
Cook4Me speeds up the cooking process. Essentially a pressure cooker, it can prepare meals and keep them warm for up to six people. Recipes are included, with more available from the iOS/Android app. You can check your dish using the app.

7. Drop connected scale
The Drop scale connects to the internet, making cooking fun. Your iPad or iPhone becomes the screen, showing recipes and measuring amounts. If you have run out of an ingredient, Drop can suggest alternatives. The latest app update covers cocktail mixology. The scale has a wipe-clean finish and no wires.

8. Amazon Echo
Talk to Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant to set timers and convert recipe measurements. You can order items from Amazon, and get recipe and drinks pairing suggestions. Alexa now supports Sonos, so you can request music via Echo and hear it anywhere in the house.

The dangers of using an unrated insurer

Taking out insurance gives you peace of mind that you are protected; however, what happens if you use an unrated insurer and what risks does this pose?

Insurance rating explained

With so many different insurance companies from which to choose, how do you know which to pick? Analysing the insurer rating is one reliable option. Insurers allow companies to assess them with a rating, which looks at factors such as the insurer’s financial risk, liquidity, capital and earnings, management, and competitive position. This can reveal how financially credible and stable the company is.

The perils of an unrated insurer
If you use an unrated insurer, it is much harder to have a clear and reliable understanding of how financially stable or credible the company is. You also run the risk that it could collapse further down the line, leaving you without any cover. Is it worth taking such a big gamble? If you are looking for insurance, such as motor trade insurance, you will inevitably be searching

for the best deal possible. One thing to bear in mind if you choose an unrated insurer is that it has the ability to offer cheap premiums to brokers.

According to Insurance Times, using unrated firms could be in breach of a broker’s duty of care.By placing business with insurers that do not have financial ratings, a broker could be unwittingly exposing itself to potentially hefty legal claims.

With this in mind, choosing an insurer that offers the best price might not always be the most sensible option. You might save money at the offset; however, if the firm goes bust, you could end up significantly out of pocket. This is why you should always use a reputable broker such as Quote Me Today.

If you own a fleet of vehicles for business purposes, using an unrated insurer could even put your operation at risk if anything goes wrong with the insurance company. At the very least, you will have to obtain a new policy; what’s more, not having cover in place would mean your fleet of vehicles is out of action until the insurance situation is rectified.

It is always worth doing your homework before choosing an insurer to find out whether it has a rating in place, especially if it offers what appears to be a really good deal.

Watching your own little vegetables growing in your garden

There is nothing more satisfying than looking out into your garden over to a little raised bed area and seeing theseeds and plug plants that you have loving placed into the compost starting to grow. Freshly picked vegetables andfruits always seem to have a better taste than the ones that you can pick up in the supermarket. Even if you have thesmallest of gardens or perhaps just a balcony outside your apartment you can grow a whole variety of different vegetables.

Freshly grown vegetables are becoming a staple in many households and there are also many restaurants that areeither working closely with local farmers or have their own vegetable gardens to supply them with the best seasonal vegetables all year round. You can often see the results of their harvesting in the Saladette Counter, like the ones that you can see at
proudly displayed for all to see.

If you are looking for some ideas on what to grow take a look at some suggestions below:

.Leafy vegetables – These types of vegetables are incredibly easy to grow in a variety of containers from largeraised beds through to troughs and containers. They require a small depth of soil, although depending on
the variety that you are choosing, they can take up quite a bit of space when they start to spread out theirleaves. There are some great options if you are looking for pick and come again types which mean that you can simply take out the few leaves that you want to use, and the plant will continue to grow new leaves. The only growing concern with leafy vegetables is that they really don’t like to have soggy roots so if you have clay-based soil you will get a better harvest if you use containers filled with good quality compost.

.Root vegetables – again these are fairly easy to grow and lend themselves to larger troughs and containers very well. This is due to the fact that you can buy specialist varieties that won’t grow too long and they even the standard varieties will only grow to the space that they have available to them under the ground. The root vegetables that you can grow include carrots, parsnips, radishes and beetroot.

.Tomatoes – it is best to grow tomatoes in specialist, nutrient rich soil and to ensure that you regularly feed them with a bespoke plant food. Other than their soil requirements tomatoes can be grown in containers such as pots and in hanging baskets and you can pick the varieties that suit you best, whether this may be a small cherry tomato variety or a larger beef tomato option.

What Do Industrial Employees Want from Technology at Work?

When the technology used at home seems far more advanced than that of the workplace, it cancause frustration among your employees. While having a high-tech workplace may seemobvious for a start-up, it may be less so for an industrial employer. Yet employees are expectingtheir workplace technology to match what they use at home.

Supporting Employees
A study by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated found that almost half of employees wished their workplace tech was as advanced as their personal kind. This is not just beneficial to the employees but to the company as a whole because investment in the right technology will increase productivity levels and prevent wasted time.
In fact, over 30% of industrial employees felt that outdated technology made their work more difficult. If you ran an industrial workplace, such as a spiral duct manufacturer, then ensuring your workplace technology is up to date will help increase staff morale and make you more attractive to a younger workforce, who are less tolerant of poor workplace technology.

To further illustrate the point, if your business needs field service workers, they report that it is easier to use personal assistant apps than reporting directly to a person in the head office. Apps that allow them to perform their jobs more efficiently will mean they can complete more jobs and ultimately provide a better service for the customer.

User-Friendly Technology
It is not enough to ensure that your technology is cutting-edge – it needs to be user-friendly too.Your staff are used to using apps in every facet of their life so have pre-existing expectations of how their workplace technology should work.

It may not seem obvious at first in a company that makes, for instance, dust spares andproduces spiral duct products, but the proper implementation of technology can make forhappier employees and a more productive workforce.

Equally,workplace technology does not stop at what has been implemented by the business.Employees are now likely to expect to bring devices to work to enable them to have a betterwork-life balance. Being able to support this will be seen as a positive for your staff.

Those who adopt this technology will have a clear advantage in recruiting and retaining the best talent.

The glue that holds a family together.

Families take on all shapes and sizes. It’s quite amazing how we actually manage to make it all work, especially when you consider the sayings that you can’t choose your relations or that Friends are Gods apology for relations. Some people consider their Friends their family anyway. What makes us call our Aunty Joan every Friday? What impels us to feign interest about what our cousin Sharon is doing in the Falkland Islands and what is it that possess our brains and mouth to utter the words “Of course your Mother can come to ours for Christmas Dinner, that will be lovely”.

Love is generally thought of as being the main reason or even the only reason for such things to happen. In fact, it might surprise you to find out that some people actually look forward to family gatherings so that they can all bask in the glow of the glue that holds families together. Now this glue is more a metaphor and not literally like the best metal bonding adhesive that you can find.
Families that stick together like a love-based metal bonding adhesive can often be seen embracing one another and they also high five each other when they’ve done something relatively worthwhile. Perhaps it’s a competition or something. Families don’t have to be this big extended thing where you know all your cousins, second cousins and even a maiden Aunt or two (I knew someone who had the ultimate in those, she was a Nun).

It is all a bit Disney to expect that love is the only glue. The glue is probably more of a blend with respect and compromise added to the love element. In fact, the respect part is hard to come by so for the most part it’s just the compromise bit. There is also the fact that with compromise comes negotiation and reward. You know that you’re going to be owed big after agreeing to entertaining the Mother in Law for Christmas.
Families often seem to pull together in times of adversity or sadness, and this is one of the beautiful parts of being a member of a loving family, even if you don’t see one another very often. Families, their make-up and emotional ties have been studied b psychologists for many years and there is still so much that we don’t really understand.

How to tackle troublesome tenants as a landlord

Troublesome tenants can be stressful and difficult to deal with; however, as a professional landlord, you can use the following tips to help you tackle these difficulties and resolve the problems.

Be calm

It understandable that you might get a bit hot under the collar when your tenants cause problems, but staying calm and dealing with the situation rationally is vital and can stop the situation becoming worse.

Write everything down

Make a written record of everything that happens between you so that you don’t risk the bad tenant disputing what has been said to them.
Smart landlords use property inventory software from providers such as to help keep track of the condition of everything in their property. Money Facts agrees that making an inventory is essential in managing the relationship with your tenants.

Behave how you want them to behave

Actions speak louder than words. When it comes to establishing a good relationship with yourtenants, a good land lord needs to teach their tenants how they should interact with each other by walking the walk.
This may mean that you have to take harsher actions than your character would naturally take, but remember that you are acting in a professional capacity. Don’t let a tenant get away with even one late payment without a reprimand.

Kill them with kindness

While it can leave a bitter taste in your mouth to stay smiling while a tenant talks through a list of problems, it pays for you to stay professional and keep smiling while you are handling a difficult person. Acting with kindness usually achieves a positive outcome for you and you can be confident that the tenant will have received an unquestionable service, even if they seemed to
be taking pleasure in being difficult to start with.

Stick to your guns

If you have tried kindness, remained calm and kept a written record of everything but the tenant is still behaving badly, you need to acknowledge that you have reached breaking point and ask them to leave. Do this in a professional manner with the help of your legal advisor, letting agent
or property manager and you can hopefully see the situation resolved with them leaving before you begin an eviction process.

Next season’s biggest fashion trends for men

Next season’s catwalks are seeing a return to elegance and tailoring. Suits are in, whether it’s a double-breasted affair, or a single-buttoned jacket. For this year’s spring/summer collection, fashionistas are telling men that they should wear their suit with nothing underneath. In other words, you should go bare-chested. In a surprising move, the fashion world and high couture
have embraced this daring look. As a result, the trend that was showing strongly at recent fashion shows in the capitals is to show skin, whether it’s hot or cold outside.

Tailoring is back, and menswear is smartening up

Tailoring is back, at least for a while. It was once booming, but then it tapered off. Now it has made a welcome return. From formal wear to blazers, menswear is smartening up. What is behind this buzzing trend? Over the last few seasons, men have rekindled their romance fordressing smart. The designs are timeless, and with men going out less often but making more of
an effort when they do, they are keen to turn heads. Double-breasted is the preference for this season. Big suits with plenty of room, worn open, are hitting the catwalks.

The handbag is making an appearance once again, and this spring and summer it comes in the form of shoulder bags and cross-body carriers. Tassel bags are back and in fashion for men. Lime and sage are two of the most notable shades on recent catwalks. Sandals are rearing their heads, too, with some models designed as almost high-tech gadgets.

Shirts are versatile and are a staple in the wardrobe

Farah shirts are a staple in every man’s wardrobe as they are extremely versatile and can beworn in the office, at parties and on nights out. They are available from
in all colours and sizes. They can be teamed with a jumper to create a smart look. According to the Evening Standard, a cashmere jumper makes an ideal gift for a fashion-conscious man.

Bold and eye-catching patterns that clash have also been featured in recent menswear collections. They are now adding a layer of vibrancy, with the bold newspaper prints and bright and brash ’80s vibes. Logos are also now high up on the agenda, and they are contrasted with neon-like camouflage prints.

An introduction to A-Z VoIP termination

You won’t travel far in the world of VoIP before you come across the term A-Z termination. In essence, what this means is that the service provider offers call termination routes to all parts of the globe.

This has a number of advantages for business users, not least that you can get all of your voice communication needs met in one place, and also that there are significant savings to be made on call costs. No wonder that VoIP services are taking off in a big way –

Flexible solution

Not only does VoIP offer the opportunity to make savings, it has a number of other advantages too. It’s easy to use – for the end user really no different from a conventional phone service – and it offers much more flexibility.

Using a wholesale VoIP provider, for example,
means that you can easily adjust your service as the business expands and to cope with sudden increases in demand due to seasonal or other factors.
It also offers all of the features you’d expect from a phone service including caller line identification (CLI), conference call facilities and the ability to share the same service across a number of business locations.

Things to consider

If you are considering switching to a wholesale A-Z VoIP solution there are a number of key factors that you need to take into account. Cost is often the main factor in driving the decision, but you also need to think about quality. Opting for the cheapest solution may not always be the best. Voice  communication is important to your business and if call quality is poor it will reflect badly on you.

How your wholesale provider routes their calls is the factor that makes a difference here. The more partners they have the greater the choice of routes available and the better the chance of ensuring you get the best possible quality for your calls. It also means the ability to reroute should one connection fail.

Security needs to be taken into account too. Any service relying on the internet is potentially vulnerable so you need to take steps to protect your VoIP service. Call fraud is a risk, so you need to ensure your user accounts are properly secured. You can also use software to block certain types of call.