In recent years, the shapes and sizes of living room furniture have been shaken up completely. It’s so rare to go into anyone’s living room these days and discover the traditional sofa with an armchair on either side.
Instead, everyone has something different, but one thing that you see in more homes than not is the corner sofa. What a great invention – or should we say re-invention because the corner sofa first gained popularity back in the 1970s. In fact, it seems that we’re harking back to that decade with other soft furnishings too. Just as newly popular as the corner sofa are the recliner chairs that seemed to go out of vogue in the 1980s. And you can get recliner sofas, too.
Of course, they’ve all been brought up to date – with an amazing range of colours and fabrics that they are finished in. New to the market is the chaise sofa – a corner sofa shape, but with a back only on one side. And more often than not, the chaise contains an incredibly useful storage section, or forms a part of the sofa bed that folds out of the other side of the sofa.
As well as allowing for cosy family groups to snuggle up in the evenings, corner sofas also free up the amount of floor space in a living room. You don’t tend to have other seating in the room, unless you have a particularly large living space to fill. So, the kids benefit from the sofa being placed further back in the room, which allows them space to play on the rug in between the sofa and TV or fireplace.
Of course, before exchanging your old sofa suite for something new, you’ll have to decide how much you want to pay – or can afford to pay. There are plenty of cheap sofas around, but there are also lots of flexible finance options offered by furniture stores keen to secure your business. You can buy an interest free sofa, and make the payments over a period of months – usually from 12 to 36 months, depending on the total purchase price.
This way, there’s far more flexibility in choosing the furniture you really like – especially when there are no interest payments attached to this kind of payment plan.
We all know that living a relaxed trouble-free lifestyle is good for one’s health, soul and beauty. This is just too easy to say, however. It’s difficult to be relaxed and care-free and to concentrate on only the good things in your life when you also have financial responsibilities, children, older family members and partners who look to you to look after their needs of all kinds.
And if you’re in the prime years of your working life whilst simultaneously trying to judge all these responsibilities and to stay fit and healthy – then you already know what a strain all this can be. In fact, it’s not far short of impossible.
But a lot of our underlying anxiety comes from an unease and from fear deep down in our minds; sometimes even the subconscious. We fear the loss of our loved ones, we fear what would happen to them if something happened to us – and we’re aware of life’s only certainty which is death. We don’t actively worry about these things at the conscious level – for the main part anyway – but they’re always there and cause a great deal of surface level anxiety which manifests itself in other ways and often surfaces around what may seem to be relatively minor / “petty” issues.
We can never remove these fears and we’re all ageing mortals at the end of the day – but there is a lot you can do to ease your worries.
One of the obvious ways is to make sure you have proper provision in place for your dependents should something unexpected happen to you. If you have sufficient assets to keep your family going without you – then great, and if you have no dependents, this isn’t a worry. But if you don’t have piles of cash, assets and investments and you do have dependents, then getting a good life insurance policy will ease some of those worry lines a little.
Always go for a reputable supplier like Suncorp Permanent Life Insurance, for example, or any other household name.
Suncorp and other major insurers should be able to give you the real advice you need – and explain exactly what you’re buying cover for – and what may not be covered in the event of your death. But do at least consider being able to relax with the right cover if you have dependents.
You wouldn’t usually think of a beer ad as being the best form of entertainment, but the latest series of Foster’s adverts are just that. For over a year now, two Aussies called Brad and Dan have been entertaining the British nation with their solutions to problems posed to them by British men via the Foster’s phone line they have installed in their beach shack.
Take Tom from High Wycombe as an example. He’s in a situation that many of us will be able to relate to. He’s in the pub with his brother trying to enjoy a few drinks, but his brother’s friend is invading his personal space.
Instantly, Brad and Dan know what he’s talking about: “a bloke who’s all up in your grill when he’s chewing the fat. Like hearing your words isn’t enough – he has to feel them on his face!”
Tom has tried all kinds of things to get him to back off a little; he’s even tried eating pickled eggs. Nothing’s worked so far. Brad tells him these kinds of measures aren’t strong enough: “It’ll take a lot more than that to knock him off his stride. Seriously – if you wanna beat one of these leaners, you’ve gotta be a shouter; shout at him like he’s in the next state. “
It’s great advice, of course, but the majority of Brits would be too reserved to take this kind of action – it would feel too rude! They’d rather grin and bear it than appear rude!
The latest Fosters ad featuring Brad and Dan is for Foster’s Gold – the new premium beer that Foster’s launched last year. This time we’ve seen one of the boys out of their familiar beach shack surroundings as Brad attends a garden party. He’s called his mate Dan – still in the shack – for some advice as although there’s a pleasing amount of Gold on offer, the cucumber sandwiches have no meat in them.
Dan is shocked: “No sausage? That is a crime against sliced bread!” But instead of agreeing with Brad’s plan to boycott the sandwiches, he says he ought to eat them – out of sympathy for the fact that his hosts can’t afford meat for them.
The ad ends with the line: “Foster’s Gold – Australian for Chic!” – which just about sums it up!
One of the most exciting new electric vehicles to make its debut in 2012 has to be the Tesla Model S. The Model S is the second car to be produced by Silicon Valley start-up car manufacturer Tesla, and in Silicon Valley style, it is packed with technological gadgets.
The first car produced by Tesla was the Tesla Roadster, revolutionising EVs by being a sports car capable of getting to 60mph in 3.7 seconds and with a 245 mile range. Unfortunately the price tag of $100,000 put it out of most normal people’s price range.
The Model S starts at a much more reasonable $50,000 and has been designed to be a practical family vehicle. It seats seven – five adults plus two children in folding seats in the trunk. When the folding seats aren’t in use the Tesla Model S can carry a mountain bike, surfboard and flat screen TV all at once, so it’s obviously pretty roomy. Up front, there isn’t anything under the hood – so Tesla has called it a ‘frunk’, a trunk at the front for more cargo. This is because the electric motor and battery pack are mounted to the floor, providing the car with a low centre of gravity.
The Model S will come with one of three different battery packs, specified by the owner when they order the car. The standard battery pack gives a range of 160 miles, the next level up offers 230 miles and the biggest battery pack will give a maximum range of 300 miles. So there’s little need for the ‘range anxiety’ often associated with EVs. Each increase in battery pack raises the price by $10,000.
To recharge the battery, you can plug into a 240V outlet, or standard 120V wall sockets and public charging stations. If you have a High Power Wall Connector installed, you can recharge the Model S at 62 miles range per hour. Using the touchscreen monitor in the car, you can program the car battery pack to recharge during your electricity company’s off peak hours to maximise your economies.
The new car offers features such as Google Earth provided satellite navigation, a 17” touchscreen monitor with internet access.
Tesla’s whole ethos is around providing performance cars that run on purely electric power, with no tailpipe emissions, so it’s unlikely that the company will diversify into offering hybrids or alternatively fuelled cars, with the possible exception of hydrogen powered fuel-cell electric vehicles. However, there have been no announcements to suggest anything like that yet.
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If you’re looking to organize any kind of event during the more temperate months of the year – and let’s say these are March to October inclusive for argument’s sake – then hiring a marquee can be a very cost effective tool.
And this literally can be for virtually any type of event as marquees come from the hire companies in all shapes and sizes.
Of course the big problem in northern climes is the weather. But good marquees are water-tight and can even be kept nice and warm with warm air blowers which aren’t too expensive nowadays – particularly for short periods. Usually marquee hire companies have a partnership with portable heater suppliers or simply hire out their own portable units.
Also, there’s usually a good deal to be done if you need a suitable venue for the marquee with places like large public parks and stately homes etc., if you can demonstrate some form of commercial advantage for the venue provider – in bringing visitors to the wider venue, for example. It’s usually a far cheaper form of venue hire than the main venue hall or hotel etc., itself.
Alternatively, if you have a large garden, or access to a large garden, a marquee can give you real peace of mind for an event should the guests need to take cover from the elements for all or part of a wedding function and party, for example. It really is a far more versatile and under-used tool than most people give it credit for.
A marquee can also be a good alternative for small conferences with a slightly more informal feel about them – the kind of event where you want people to mingle in an informal setting – but come together no and then for a talk or presentation.
Outside the coldest months of the year – a marquee can be a great solution.