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Dont Drive my Car!

Do you ever use your phone at the wheel? Yesterday I was reading how police had cracked down on the amount of people using their mobile phones at the wheel. 

Around 8,000 fines and penalty notices were handed out in exactly just one month, that’s an increase on previous years! In September the amount of points and the fine doubled. The correct thing for me to say here is not to use your phone ever while driving, yes not even the most important calls. I’m a little confused if using a Bluetooth headset is acceptable or not. Let’s be honest this is massively important. I am not sure of the number of accidents on this one but what I am sure of is this will cause accidents most times these will be serious. I not talking about taking calls over the phone but this can include things like, texting, tweeting or even ordering from Twistfix while at the wheel. Cant that test message reply wait?

Because I do a lot of Wall Tie, Damp Proofing and Basement Water­pro­ofing jobs all over the country I am often travelling up and down, north and south in the van. I find myself constantly observing and commenting on other people’s driving habits. One thing that often irritates me A LOT is when people fail to indicate, not only will this irritate me the driver but also a pedestrian who is trying to cross the road. Now this is being enforced we will easily see a decrease in the amount of people using a handheld mobile while driving. This is good news and will mean we avoid road traffic accidents. How about drink driving? Well we all know how that ends…

Stay safe on the roads. Remember to indicate. We should all be fine.

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Gone in a BANG!

Yesterday in China, in a large scale building demolition 19 big buildings were completely and totally demolished in just 10 seconds.

It took a whole load of explosives to bring them all down. As with any demolition it brought down the whole structure, glass, concrete and steel. This is making way for a new business hub in China which will include a tall 707 metre sky scraper. This happened in the city centre of Wuhan, so they had to be extra careful of the surrounding areas. Something like this can be planned and prepared but the results can be un­pre­dic­tab­le and often un­con­trol­lab­le. It all happened late at night. Approx 11:50pm. Using explosives is the best method to use when destroying building’s like these. It is both time and cost effective not having to take building down part by part, piece by piece this would have took many days. It’s funny to think that something that would of took quite a while to build can be brought down in seconds! When being constructed these would of taken some time to put up. Thankfully there was no damage to anyone or to anywhere nearby.

Watching buildings be demolished is not always to peoples liking, as they may be upset to see a certain building they may have liked or even loved fall to the ground. This could also have been someone’s home and they have to move out to allow demolition of their home. Someone of my favourite places from my hometown are no longer there anymore, however new buildings now stand where they used to be. Sad, but it happens. I do see some buildings that are ruined, wrecked and unoccupied but still standing…how about dismantling and getting rid of them?  they’re all eyesores.

Time for them to now build fresh, new and beautifully designed buildings to stand in their place. The ever-changing scene of our towns

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Unlucky for Some - Friday the 13th

This Friday is Friday the 13th a supposedly unlucky day, it’s not quite Halloween (that was a few months ago). Friday the 13th will happen twice this year, falling again in October.

How much do you read into days like these, or like me do you think it’s all a load of rubbish? To think that certain things will go wrong due to it being a certain day in the English calendar is rather foolish, however you do get su­per­sti­ti­ous people.­  Often people complain at me when I’m working up high from a ladder and the only way to get past is to walk under it. I simply tell them to get a move on. Politely of course. For one person I had to come down and move the ladder!

Walking over cracks in the pavement is a thing that lots of people avoid as they believe doing so will heap bad luck upon them. How about having a crack in your brick walls? Any type of crack is bad news I would say that’s pretty unlucky. Somebody I used to do work for thought that their building defects were down to bad luck, come to think of it maybe they were right. I was there quite often. It stemmed from Friday being considered as an unlucky day and 13 being an unlucky number. I don’t get that because I tend to like Fridays, a lot more than Mondays anyway. How can anyone not like Friday! You could view bad luck as something small such as when I lose my keys to the van or something more major, having your van stolen.

Yes this happened to me, but not on a Friday and not on the 13th. Bad luck can happen at any time.

I do hope you enjoy the rest of your week and I wish you the best of luck on Friday. 

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Do you take Contactless?

Just this weekend while out doing my shopping for the first time ever used contactless on my debit card, a simple tap on the screen of the card machine and I had paid. How simple.

It also felt quite weird, after using chip and pin to pay for card purchases for so long and now it would seem I would never have to do that again. Well that was until the next day I was out shopping again and was told I would not be able to use contactless as the shop did not take it! I’m sure soon every shop will have methods to pay this way. A lot of you are as I am aware unsure on using a contactless card, what if you lose your card and is picked up by someone else who then that person wouldn’t need your pin to make a purchase up to £30 (the limit was £20 up until September 2015). I think this will most likely increase with time. For this reason many people refuse to use contactless.

You can also tap in and out in a similar way with an Oyster Card on the tube this has banished the need to ever que to buy a ticket, however ques are still around a mile long just to go through the barrier (when they are not on strike that is). I’m starting to embrace using contactless out and about and I believe more and more people will, old or young.  It allows me to be tech savvy in this new day and age. Maybe soon contactless will be the only option and chip and pin will be no longer.

Let’s see how often I use it this week for day to day things. Which is your preferred method of payment?  

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Dont pack your bags just yet...

Announced just this week are plans to build 14 new Garden Villages across England

Sites from both up North and down South have been chosen. These plans have been introduced to hopefully build lots more houses away from huge towns, this will create small and large new communities. Perfect for people who don’t like the hustle and bustle of city and town life. On paper this sound like a great way of building more homes set in a picturesque environment where most people would like to live. People have come out and voiced their displeasure at these proposed sites, how they will ruin the ever dwindling countryside that we have when the Garden Villages are built. Another matter would be house prices and how this affects them, this will have an influence on both buyers and homeowners.

Sure your opinion on this matter may vary dependent on whether you are for or against the current government’s policies. The population continues to rise so homes will need to be built. I believe that an increasing population also has a negative effect on environment with the damage people cause. Do you see these potential homes as a plight on UK green areas? These ideas will continue to be discussed. As always people are bound to have varying issues and questions, if anything these are a long long way off. I believe thought needs to be put into these for them to be successful, there is always the worry that they won’t be.

If I was you I wouldn’t pack my bags just yet. Of course these plans have only just been announced and everybody should know homes are not easily built. Maybe it won’t even happen. Can it be delivered? 

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Not so January Blues

Welcome back! We have taken a big leap into 2017 and not much is different thus far, except the Twistfix website. (It looks as though Twistfix got a new website for Christmas) I noticed the fresh, clean and trendy new website, which is really nice and easy to use. It has made buying Twistfix products an even better experience. They have even given me time and space to write this blog. 

I hope you had an enjoyable time over the holidays. Everything has been at a standstill with public transport not running and shops closed it’s been hard if you have needed anything or wanted to get anywhere. On New Year’s Day I had to put up with a train cancellation and then a replacement bus service home later on that night! They still have the cheek to put fares up by 2.3%. Transporting around by car is costly, as is public transport nowadays.

So while I have eaten too much and done very little this week marks the return to the day job. I have quite the backlog of request for works needing to be done. First of all using the Twistfix website I can order the goods I will need before I commence, I am certainly going to need quite a few Remedial Wall Ties. I have been called upon to install some wall ties in a property this should be no trouble at all. Installing the Wall Ties is fast, straight forward, for me it will be plain sailing. So as I get back into the swing of things this job is a good way to ease back in.

It may seem a pain to be back waking up at 5am but 2017 has the potential to be a very good year. So what are we waiting for…

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New Year, New You

Forget Christmas as the New Year fast approaches now is the time to start thinking about what your New Year’s Resolutions will be

Notice I said ‘thinking’ and not ‘doing’... As we come into another year everyone feels the need to better ourselves (or try) and most certainly make some changes to my professional life. People will be intent on improving and set themselves aims. In 2017 I really want to educate myself on the ever-changing industry that we’re involved in, it is changing rapidly. You’ll find you never stop learning. New products come to light which will whether these help me with Damp Proofing or Crack Stitching. For me to start using them I need to get to know them and gain a better insight into these. This is something I look forward to ex­pe­rim­en­ting with in 2017. I am also looking at branching out and working across the UK in 2017 there will be many more projects further afield. Ahead of thinking about food and presents this weekend, I’m already planning this forthcoming year. Lots of jobs and op­por­tuni­ti­es will be available to me, which gives me the chance to help out others from all over.

As well as all of this I plan to help out skilled contractors and labourers boost their careers assisting them with what I already know about the construction industry, hopefully develop 2017s next wave of skilled profes­si­ona­ls. That is something that excites me. 2017 excites me. As for this weekend un­for­tuna­tely its Christmas, my favourite time of the year (not). I'll enjoy eating a ton of Mince Pies!

Time for me to spend some time with my family and find out what they’ve been up to this past year. I hope you have a good Christmas and a Happy New Year.

See you in 2017!

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Can I beat the Cold Freeze?

Temperatures have finally dropped below freezing, ice is appearing everywhere. I have to spend at least half an hour de-icing the van every morning, fun!

Working in these conditions is not pleasant for me or my workers. However as I am off next week I have a Damp Proofing job that needs doing this Friday, I am determined to get it done. I will be using the Twistfix Damp Treatment All Cure Total in a property. Walls need to be injected with DPC Cream both inside and out. If the weather stays like this then it is going to be fairly bitter for when I need to start the job. Thursday night I will have to make sure I lay out all my thermal clothes. In the morning I will make a flask of hot soup, depending on if I have any! I want to make sure I have adequate layers on! Let’s face it the next few months will be like this, best get used to it and combat the effects.

As well as keeping yourself warm, you need to keep your home warm this coming winter. Everybody and everything will feel the brunt of the winter freeze. Snow and Ice can cause a lot of problems inside and out. I suggest ‘cold-proofing’ your home with loft insulation. This has personal and economic advantages so will save you money, this is nice especially after what will no doubt be an expensive Christmas period. I am hoping to just come out of this winter with a measly cough and cold. I hope I get nothing too serious! So I’ll spend a lot of time preparing for my work over the next few months. Let’s see how it goes. I often ask people the question.

Would you rather be too hot or too cold?

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All I want for Christmas...

Christmas is scarily close, everyone is in Christmas mode in between work I am trying to find my friends and family the perfect gifts, I should hope they are doing the same!

I don’t like leaving all my ordering to the last minute because I find that it never comes in time for Christmas. Many people would find my Christmas list rather boring I never look for other gifts or anything different; my list is full of tools and materials I can use throughout the upcoming year. I see it as the best chance to build on my vast range of tools; I’ll add these to my collection. Also I can get rid of my aged and worn out stuff that has run its course after taking a beating.  I need to hint to my family and friends when I see them as they’re not as technically minded as me and would end up getting me any old rubbish. They wouldn’t know what to buy me and in my view you can never have enough power tools.

People come and ask me to repair their faulty or broken Christmas lights at this time of year, something I cannot do. I get lots of enquiries this time of year for people needing work doing quickly before the holidays as they want everything done before Christmas Day. I do have the next week to complete what I need to do, I should be finished for Christmas Eve, and rest assured I won’t be cooking this year! So in the meantime I will have to wait to see what my friends and family have bought me for Christmas. Hoping I will get the power tools and extra materials I have hinted for, I tried to point them Twistfix’s way as much as I could. If not I guess I can build with the Lego my brother gets me every year.

What would you like for Christmas?

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Health and Safety gone mad!

Do you agree with Health and Safety procedures that you must follow when working on a construction site?

Even if you’re a worker, contractor or client I am most certainly sure you will have to follow the health and safety guidelines, covering things like slips and trips to impacts loud noise can have. Construction is one of the most dangerous industries, that is why there are so many procedures. These are in place to protect everyone around to be safe and prevent an unexpected accident, however do you think some of regulations are nonsense and safety signs are now too many?

Many procedures are common practice and don’t get me wrong Health and Safety is important and it is needed. Before any roofing work I always need to plan and organise the job so work can be carried out safely but effectively. I am always extra careful when working with electrical equipment, making sure to isolate any electrical systems. Wearing the correct PPE is imperative. No type of PPE should be worn if it’s damaged or ruined, throw it away!

I am in charge of site organisation this includes looking after the public and other workers; this is a huge responsibi­lity I must monitor what is going on around the site. Un­for­tuna­tely I don’t have eyes in the back of my head and I am not psychic. I can’t always foresee potential accidents but I can minimise the risks. I can predict the type of injury that can occur from an accident, as you would expect with any accident comes a whole lot more work. Following health and safety policies may seem boring but it is essential for everyone some mishaps are minor meanwhile some carry major con­se­quences. Listen to the health and safety advice.

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