Me and My Amazing Curtains

28. July 2011

curtainsA few years ago we did up our house. Basically the building was spilt into two flats in the 1960s and, when we got married in 2002, we managed to buy both flats and decided to turn the house back into one. Got that? Good!

There was a huge amount of work to be done ­ the building had two electric systems, two water and heating systems, two front doors and had to be decorated throughout. We needed new stairs, a new bathroom, new kitchen. The list went on and on.

But this blog isn't really about all the building work we had to do (although I may well return to this subject for later blogs), it's about the curtains in our front room. More...



Classic Citroen DS – Looking Into The Future As Well As Round Corners

28. July 2011

classic black citroen dsA friend of mine once owned two classic Citroen DS cars. Both black, one of which had previously been owned by a member of Depeche Mode, which was to prove to be not the only thing linking these cars musically.

The other old vehicle had a unique selling point for the folks of Chelmsford where we reside, and it wasn't the sheer Americana size of the car on narrow suburban roads that turned heads, it was more specifically it's temperamental knack of sticking in reverse, most notably ending up over one Christmas period at a ludicrous angle outside a local pub on a one way street.More...



The End of Habitat

25. July 2011

Habitat - Photography by John S TurnerI remember when I longed to fill my home with exclusive items from Habitat.
Not so long ago, the lighting, the suites, the swivel chairs, the kitchenware and even the rugs promised an enlightened new world of designer charm.

But now it's all gone - apart from the Habitat name which will live on in a few flagship London outlets. So where did it all go wrong and where did Sir.
Terence Conran's iconic 1960s brand lose it's way?

I feel like I should be mentioning Home Insurance here for a moment together with cheap buildings and contents cover but I'm not exactly sure why.

Back to homes and Habitat and why did it all end in loss and liquidation? More...



Something Lurking in my Loft

25. July 2011

Original Artwork by Banksy - Photography by User Shermozle on en.wikipediaWe're thinking of having a new bathroom put in the attic of our house. It'll add value to our home and give me somewhere to escape to contemplate my home insurance policies. The attic was converted in the 1960's but there's plenty of space and it's very solid up there.

But, obviously, I wanted to check the joists to make sure the roof would take a full bath and me in it ­ and I wouldn't come crashing through the ceiling (and having to claim on my home insurance). So, we lifted some floor boards to check, only to find what can only (and accurately) be described as thousands of petrified pellets of poo. Loads of it. Bags full, filling the cavity between the floorboards and the ceiling below. The house I should say is over 100 years old and, although I'm no expert at poo dating, these deposits did look VERY ancient indeed. More...



Record Breaking Global Gathering of Citroen 2CVs

20. July 2011

citroen 2cv 4x4 saharaOver 6,000 Citroen 2CV’s are expected to converge on central France near Salbris from July 26th to 31st for the international Amis de la 2CV, which is held every two years.

Now I must digress here a little, as personally I’ve not so far understood the attraction of these vehicles and each time I hear the name mentioned, my mind is drawn to an event in my life from about 15 years ago. I remember hanging on for dear life as a passenger in a 2CV as it went round a roundabout at an alarming angle for the modest speed it was achieving. I recall leaning to the right at an equally alarming angle wondering why I had left my bobsleigh team strip at home that day. I suspect if this particular old car had achieved any greater speed, I would have been expected to climb out of the car as if competing in the Isle of Man TT side car racing.More...



Performance Direct at the Silverstone Classics

20. July 2011

e type jaguar at silversoneThe Siverstone Classic car show runs from Friday 22nd July to Sunday 24th and this year, Performance Direct Insurance are excited to be there too for the first time.

The stand will be located in the Trade Village next to the E-Type 50th Anniversary display, where Performance Direct will be available all weekend offering money saving quotations. Not only classic car insurance, but covering all types of vehicles, including convenient and cost saving multi vehicle policies.

The stand will have two superb vintage vehicles on display as well, a rather fun and rather attractive 1971 Fiat 500, surely the precursor to the current trend of small city cars, and a beautiful 1963 Karmann Ghia Coupe.More...



Malta's Vintage Leyland & Bedford Buses - Catch One While You Can

18. July 2011

classic Maltese Leyland BusIt was while channel hopping on a rainy Sunday that I stopped on the Channel 4 series, Coach Trip. Yes, I freely admit it, but what had drawn me on this occasion was a bright yellow and orange vintage bus. I'm a simple soul, and bright colours and sunshine win me over every time. This classic Leyland bus is a beautiful thing as I'm sure you will agree, so I thought I'd investigate further.

Malta buses are quite something, coming on like a cross between the grand, gas guzzling brightly coloured American cars you might still find in Cuba and a giant automobile museum piece, the shimmering chrome and the lurid livery are the stuff of small boy's dreams. More...



Panhard Vintage Cars - Surprising Innovators

13. July 2011

Classic Panhard Dyna ZI was having one of those days where you trawl the net for something to inspire you. I thought, I know, I’ll look up odd classic cars. Almost immediately I found a French vintage automobile, the Panhard, mentioned in a classic car blog with a comment that it “..looks like it’s sucking on a lemon..” – and yes, it really does. It also has a vague hint of the retro-inspired Nissan Figaro about it.

I’d never heard of it, I confess, but the company was founded way back in 1891 when it was called Panhard et Levassor, and they currently manufacture military vehicles.

The Panhard company was under the ownership of Citroen for around 40 years prior to 2005 and they ceased production of civilian motor vehicles in 1968.

But let’s not mock too much here, as with various other French car manufacturers, the company was a very forward thinking organisation.  More...



Will the New Porsche 550 Spyder Carry on the Curse of James Dean's Original?

4. July 2011

New Porsche 550 SpyderThe motoring world is awash with rumours that Porsche are set to revive the historic, legendary and infamous Porsche 550 Spyder name.   The new car, based upon the VW Bluesport concept car, should be available to buy in 2013 or 2014 depending upon which rumours you believe or possibly in which country you live.  I assume that we will probably have to wait for right-hand drive versions here in the UK.  A 1.6 litre flat-four will be turbocharged to give power output of around 200bhp via the rear wheels.  An expected 0-60 time of under 6 seconds and a top speed of 145mph are quoted as being the likely performance figures on the two-seat, lightweight, classic inspired frame.  Nicknamed the 'Baby' Porsche this little lightweight is due to get a no-fuss manually operated canvas roof as well as a conventional manual gearbox.  It all sounds very promising and here in the office we're hoping that Porsche deliver the drivers car that we all hope it will be.  Performance Direct will certainly be delivering some great value Performance Car Insurance to complete the package for lucky drivers.
 
Obviously Porsche have dabbled with the classic 550 insignia on the Boxster which had always claimed 550 heritage from the vintage model but will the all new version of the 550 live up to the original automobile's reputation?  In many ways I think that we're all hoping that it doesn't.  Although only around 90 550's were originally manufactured by Porsche, the vehicle quickly got a reputation for it's frightening handling and unpredictability.  If you were to buy one today you'd certainly need to make sure you have some great Porsche classic car insurance in place.  For those of you reading this who are unaware of the original legendary status of the 550, it was the car that James Dean died in.  Like all great legends though it didn't stop there, in fact things got far more mysterious than a Hollywood film.  More...



Searching for Cheap Home Insurance

4. July 2011

Home Insurance ClownIt may not have escaped your notice but one of the main purposes of this Home Insurance blog is to attract visitors searching for popular terms on the web. Stuff like Cheap Home Insurance, Home Insurance online quote, buildings and contents insurance quote. That sort of thing.

So I thought, why not write one of my Home Insurance blogs about writing a home insurance blog and how to write copy which is, on one hand, engaging, on the other, friendly for those searching 'buy cheap home insurance now'
and 'quick home insurance quotes'!

Well, not that I consider myself an expert. The first rule has to be: write something that makes sense and is actually readable. How many times have you seen copy like this: 'For the best cheap UK Home insurance, contact our Home Insurance team now for a cheap home insurance quote on you house in the UK'?

Not great is it and, I'm glad to say, search engines think so too. Nowadays you really can't fool Google and company with massive over repetition of key terms - such as cheap home insurance, in this case. They know what you're doing and will punish you for it. More...