Buying a Pressure Washer

We’ve been thinking of buying a pressure washer for those jobs which are just too time consuming, and lets face it too boring to do by hand.

I’m thinking, cleaning the car, garden furniture, decking, and rubbish bins, already and I’m hoping I’ll find many more uses for it once I’ve decided which one to get,

I’ve been looing at the Karcher Pressure washers but can’t decide between the K2 and the K4 I guess the K2 will be fine for what we need.

Also considering the Karcher Window Vac out of pure lazyness.

What do you guys think ?

Books I’m Reading Sept 2019

I really don’t have time to read as much as I’d like too, so I’m hoping keeping a reading diary on my blog will give me some motivation and help my finish what I’ve started.

So here’s what I’m currently reading this month.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – I loved the TV series and have finally started reading the book.

Normal People by Sally Rooney – Given to me by a friend and not my normal type of book, but I’ve got to admit I quite enjoy it so far,

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay – While I love the NHS I try not to have much to do with it, and I have to say I bought thos book because it was by the same Adam Kay who wrote the London Underground song. Unfortunaty he can; seem to make up his mind about whether this book is about how great the NHS is or how incompetent his colleagues are.

Alesis V49 49-Key MIDI Keyboard

49-Key USB-MIDI Keyboard Controller

Along with the AKAI Pro MPK Mini MKII I’ve been lent a Alesis V49 keyboard to try out.

I like that this is 49 keys rather tha the AKAI 25 keys, obviously that means its also a lot bigger so not so great for thsoe with limited desk space. It also comes with a copy of Pro Tools that I’ve been looing to check out for a while.

Really lookingf orward t gettig started with this one!


Compact Keyboard and Pad Controller

Looking forward to playing with this new toy, I’ve been looking into getting a Midi keyboard for a while and have been lucky enough to borrow this Akai Mini MKII from a friend.

It comes bundled with some great software, Hybrid 3, by AIR Music Tech, is a high-definition synthesizer that can create anything from fat, retro synth sounds to edgy modern leads and everything in between. SONiVOX’s Wobble is an electronic music grime synthesizer that features two independent channels of spectral morphing synthesis with harmonic controls, individual filtering, and discrete LFO controls. MPC Essentials, a groove/beat production and sample-triggering software, lets producers and musicians incorporate genuine MPC workflow into their DAW of choice and extends the power of MPK mini by adding up to 8 pad banks and 4 samples and insert effects per pad. MPC Essentials also runs in standalone mode, so you can start making music without a DAW.

MPK mini MIDI Editor

This MIDI editor is a powerful preset management software that lets MPK Mini users customize their hardware and software setup on their Mac or PC. Create and tweak presets for your favorite virtual instruments, plugins, and DAWs, then store them on your MPK mini. You’ll spend less time setting up your gear and more time doing what you love—making great music.

I’m looking forward to playing more with this bad boy in the next few days.

How to Encourage Your Child’s Love of Science

Woman in science lab

Think of the world as a giant laboratory for everyone to explore. Science affects our daily lives, from weather to technology. Sometimes, children struggle to see the connection between what they learn in science class and their everyday lives. Here are four ways to promote a love of science outside of the classroom.

Explore Together

Science can be observed everywhere. Incorporate science into the discussion by asking open-ended questions. For example, ask your child why do they think snow falls in the winter instead of the summer. Allow them to think through questions and explain their reasoning. In order to take it further, conduct child-friendly at home experiments. Many experiments can be done with items easily found in the home or supermarket. Is your child interested in computers and video games? There are free websites and resources out there to teach your child about coding.

Talk about Careers in Science

Almost every career involves science or skills used in science (problem-solving, decision-making). Introduce your child to different careers in science and technology. You can use your local library for books about these careers or use videos online to learn more. Think about your own job and explain to your child how you use science daily.

Provide Science-Related Toys

Science can be tied into playtime as well. Provide your child with open-ended toys that allow for imaginative play, such as magnetic tiles or building sets. The toys do not need to be expensive either. Give your child recyclable materials from the house so they can build a rocket ship. The possibilities are endless. Unfortunately, there can be toys and books about science that are aimed at boys rather than both boys and girls. Use this as a talking point with your daughter that science is meant for everyone.

Keep On Exploring

Your child will not decide one morning that they want to become an astronaut or a chemical engineer. A love for science comes from years of exposure and a positive attitude. Encourage your child to explore, be imaginative, and to try new things. Give them opportunities to use their problem-solving skills.


A love of science is done through never-ending exploration and curiosity about the world around you. Skills in science are used in everyday life and push people further in their careers. Use these four strategies to support a love of science in your child.

No Sweets Allowed: 5 Non-Food Easter Basket Ideas

Easter Eggs

For most of us, celebrating Easter wouldn’t be complete without a chocolate egg or two. But dietary restrictions, health concerns, and daycare or school regulations can leave you scrambling for non-food Easter basket gift ideas. You can forego chocolate and still put together an affordable and exciting Easter basket for the children in your life.

Magnifying Glass Set

Magnifying glasses allow children to see their world from a different perspective. Youngsters can take advantage of spring’s warmer weather by exploring the outdoors. Insects, flowers, and even sand, take on a new light when viewed with a magnifying glass.

Indoors, children can take a closer look at coins, stuffed animals, and their own fingerprints. A set of glasses with different magnifications will introduce young children to scientific experimentation. They can make a note of the greater detail that comes with higher magnifications.

Small Torches

Torches are both practical and fun. They can be used for nighttime reading and to light up play forts. Children can take turns making finger puppets or playing a game of torch tag. Older children can learn Morse code. They can practice sending and decoding messages.

Children love torches and will often “sneak” one out of the kitchen drawer. Parents will appreciate children having their own flashlight. Consider including a package of batteries, as they’re sure to wear out fast.

Seeds and a Pot

In most areas, spring is the ideal time to start planting flowers and vegetables. Seeds and a pot are a gift that children will enjoy for several months. Children learn responsibility while caring for a growing plant.

Indoors, a windowsill can accommodate small plants like herbs. Outdoors, heartier flowers like geraniums are an excellent choice for a budding gardener. If the plant is going to be placed outside, making sure the threat of frost has passed for your region.


Don’t dismiss stickers as frivolous, as most children absolutely love them. Younger children enjoy the tactile sensation of peeling and placing them on paper. Playing with stickers also encourages fine motor coordination. Stickers give older children a chance to express themselves creatively.

The options for stickers are endless. You could go with favorite cartoon characters or colors. Put an educational twist on the gift by purchasing letter and number stickers. To ensure that stickers don’t end up on walls or other unsuitable places, pair the present with a scrapbook or paper.

Cinema Tickets

Children are often eager to watch movies in a cinema. Whether you are buying for an older child who likes action flicks, or a toddler who is still into cartoons, movie tickets are a can’t miss gift.

If you’re able to, take the child to the cinema. If that’s not practical, see the movie on your own. You can then talk about the film after you’ve both seen it.

Start a new tradition this year by filling up Easter baskets with non-food gifts. Chocolate only lasts a few days, while these gifts will provide endless entertainment.

Five Ways to Help Your Child Become a Good Reader

Child Reading

Teaching a child to read is a job that many families leave up to the school. However, if you want your child to excel at reading, there are things that you can do at home to give your child a boost. Reading is a skill that is interwoven into everything your child will do at school. The better your child is at reading, the easier everything else in school will become.

Here are five things you can do at home to help your child grow as a reader:

Encourage Reading as Early as Possible

It goes without saying that the sooner your child starts to read the better off they will be. This does not mean that you should sit down and start trying to teach a three year old how to read Dr. Seuss! Instead, you will want to start off with very simple stuff. How early? You can start pretty much as soon as your child can talk in complete sentences.

Two great places to start reading are your child’s name and with environmental print. Environmental print is simply the words we see all around us every day. Stop signs, restaurant logos, and the names of TV shows are all words that your child gets exposed to on a regular basis so there are plenty of opportunities for practice. Don’t worry about having your child “sound out” the words. The important thing is that they recognize that groups of letters can create words and that words mean something.

Make Reading Fun

Reading with your child doesn’t have to be boring and super structured. Sitting down and reading together with your kid is something that should be fun for both of you. After all, if both of you are having fun doing it, then it is more likely that you will do it again. Not only that, having fun wakes up the brain and makes learning easier.

There are a ton of fun books to read with your kids, no matter what age they may be. Find books with colorful pictures and easy to follow story lines for the youngest readers. For kids who are a little older look for books with exciting plots and colorful characters. As you read, try to imitate the voices of the characters. Read louder in exciting parts and settle down to a whisper during sad or scary parts. Have your child read along or imitate you as you read. Do whatever it takes to keep them (and you) interested and having fun.

If your child wants to read a page, but they don’t actually know the words yet, let them read anyway. Turning pages, following along with a story, and looking at pictures are all what experts call reading like behavior, and it is important for your child to learn. It doesn’t matter if the younger kids get some (or all) of the words wrong, all that matters is that THEY think they are reading and that you are spending time together.

Let Them Read (Almost) Anything

Many parents get frustrated or confused when their child wants to read the same book over and over again. However, it is actually very good practice and you should not discourage it. Like any other skill, reading takes practice, and practicing skills we have already mastered not only helps us maintain those skills it also makes it easier for us to learn more advanced skills.

A quarterback doesn’t throw a ball once and call it a day. They throw the ball thousands of times a year in practice. All of the easy throws add up and when it’s time to make the hard passes, they are ready. Of course the quarterback will practice harder skills. So will your child – when they are ready.

Your child might sometimes pick up a book that is way beyond what they can read. Don’t discourage this behavior. Your child will come to realize on their own that the book is too hard now, but it won’t be forever. No matter what the book is, the child probably recognizes some of the words so that means they just need to practice some more. Letting them come to this realization on their own will help them encourage themselves to keep trying.

Talk about What They Have Read

Fluency is the ability to quickly and correctly read words. Comprehension is the ability to understand what has just been read. By the time your child enters the third grade, school will be focusing more on comprehension than fluency. Fortunately, comprehension is another reading skill that you can practice at home.

When you are reading with your child, ask them questions while you are reading. Have them retell the story in their own words. If they have never read the story before, ask them what they think is going to happen next or why they think something in the story happened the way that it did. Look at the pictures before reading the book and have your child tell you what is going on in the pictures.

One powerful way to help with comprehension is to have your child make connections with the books they are reading. Have they read any books similar to the one you are reading? Ask the child to tell how they are the same. Do they know someone who looks or acts like one of the characters in the book? Ask them to explain how they are the same and how they are different. If the book is about a real place, has the child been there before? How is the place in the book different than when the child went there?

When your child is in school, they will be asked to write about things that they have read. Talking to your child during reading about what they have read is a good way to help them think about what they are reading more deeply than they might on their own. Just remember to have fun with it. Don’t ask your child to sit down and write an essay about Cat in the Hat!

Show Them That You Like to Read Too

One of the best ways to get your kid to love reading is to show that YOU love reading. When children see their parents doing something, they want to do it too. If you never read then don’t be surprised if they don’t take reading seriously either.

If you’re actually not much of a reader, don’t feel bad. You don’t have to be reading all the time to show your child that reading is important. Just make sure your house is well stocked with books and magazines and grab one every once in a while instead of flipping through social media or watching reruns.

Even though we live in a digital world and books and magazines are not as widespread as they used to be, reading is still incredibly important. Reading serves as a foundation for communication. People who are better readers are usually better writers and speakers as well. As communication becomes more face to face and instantaneous, kids who developed strong communication skills by being good readers at an early age will have a leg up on their peers.

Take the time to help your child become a good reader while they are young. It will pay off immensely not just in school but in whatever career they pursue later in life.

Rectangular Vs Round Trampolines – What’s in the Shape?



There are two common trampoline shapes – Round and Rectangular. Deciding on what shape to buy can be tough and confusing. People often doubt the best shape they should go for. Here are the most three important features people should consider. These features will help in making an informed decision before purchase.

Bounce Height

Round trampolines give a soft low bounce compared to Rectangular trampolines. They are perfect for small jumpers like young children. The low bounce is consindered safe for kids. This protects them from injuries that may occur due to soaring too high. Rectangular trampolines offer a higher bounce, almost equal height and power. They are good for adults. The difference in bounce height is brought about by how the kinetic energy is spread through-out the springs.

Weight limit

This is an important feature to consider when purchasing a trampoline, select a shape that can handle the weight specifications you have in mind. Round trampolines can handle a maximum of 250 pounds. Rectangular trampolines handle a maximum of 450 pounds. Round trampolines are perfect for fun and recreational purposes. Rectangular trampolines are ideal for gymnasts.


Round trampolines are more cost effective because they are cheaper to make. No additional care is needed during construction. The materials used for construction are lighter and cost-effective. Rectangular trampolines require intensive labor. Strong construction materials are used. This translates to a higher price.

Frame thickness

Because of the uneven weight, rectangle trampolines are made of thicker steel frame unlike round trampolines. The long straight lines require robust thick frame tubing. They also require more springs and extra reinforcements. They are made in a way they can safely handle a high jump force. Round trampolines are made of lesser steel tubing and less springs. Rather than the weight limitations, the engineering behind is that circles have greater strength than rectangles.

Types of children bicycles

It is commendable that many parents try to accustom their children to a bicycle from a young age. This helps the kids to develop coordination of movements, helps to strengthen the muscles and allows you to spend a lot of time in the fresh air. Therefore, it is useful to consider what kinds of children’s bicycles can be found in the modern market, and which ones will suit your child the best.

Types of bikes

First of all, bicycles are divided according to the type of design, depending on the age of the child for whom they are intended. There is a special table in relation to the baby’s height and the size of the wheels. Together with the wheels, the frame also corresponds to the height. For example, when choosing a bicycle, you need to consider that the frame should be no more than 10 cm from the crotch of the baby in a standing position. A distance of the legs to the pedals is also important. The feet should be freely reachable to the pedals in their lower position. And you need to reach the paddles with the middle of the sole, and not the toes.

Basically, children’s bikes can be divided into 5 types:

• Three-wheeled;

• Two-wheelers for kids from 1.5 to 3 years (up to 100 cm);

• For children from 3 to 5 years (up to 115 cm);

• Almost teen models for children from 5 to 9 years (up to 130 cm);

• Externally similar to the adult MTB, but while reduced in size – from 8 to 12 years (above 130 cm).

Do not buy bicycles with the prospect that the child will grow. Each of these models is designed for children with a certain height and weight. Therefore, having bought a children’s bike for growth, your child is most likely not able to manage it because of the massive frame and insufficient height.


Many do not even consider this type of transport as bicycles. Yet, they are very popular among children from 1 to 3 years old. They do not have a chain, shifters and a speed switch. But, despite the simplicity of the design, these bikes are also divided into several types. Bikes for boys and girls differ only in color. This applies to children’s modifications of all ages. But functionally, there are several types of children’s tricycles.

The first one is a bicycle carriage. There are no pedals whatsoever in this model. It is designed for very young children whose age is less than 1 year. There is a long handle behind the back, thanks to which the parent controls it. Depending on the manufacturer and model, a visor and a seat belt are fitted to these bicycles.

There is a classic three-wheeled bike, where the kid himself turns the pedals, as well as a bicycle-transformer, which includes both pedals and a handle for parents. Thanks to this, after the child grows up, the handle can be removed and the kid can be allowed to operate the bike himself.

From 1.5 to 3 years

This type can fully be called a bicycle. To reduce the trauma of children, the design is as safe as possible. The frame is set up very low, so the child can sit comfortably and would not get damaged when jumping off the saddle. To maintain balance at the rear, two additional wheels are installed on both sides.

The chain and the sprockets have a special plastic or metal protection, so the child would not catch on to it with his trousers or put his foot in there. This type of bike strongly resembles old school children bikes.

From 3 to 5

It is remarkably similar to the previous group of bicycles. The difference is only in proportionally increased sizes. As a brake, there can be a foot-operated backstop mechanism as well as a handle on the handlebars. There is also chain protection and additional wheels. The frame can be made of both steel and aluminum. Each material has its advantages. The steel bike is stronger, and the aluminum one is lighter. Therefore, the bike should be selected from the characteristics of the child. As a rule, boys are bought steel, and for girls – aluminum.

From 5 to 9

At this age, the growth and weight of children is significantly increased, and their physical capabilities allow faster acceleration of their iron horse. Therefore, the bicycle must meet the stated requirements.

Brakes should be more reliable and responsive. This group of bikes often install the front V-brake. And the foot brake is also present. The fork is equipped with shock absorbers, and the wheels grow to 18-20 inches in diameter.

From 9 to 12 years old

Most similar to adult bikes. They are fitted with 24-inch wheels, full-bodied shock absorbers and at times even disc brakes. The frame corresponds to mountain bikes as much as possible. The only difference is in proportionally reduced size. The frame consists of two parts. There are special models for girls, where the upper crossbeam of the frame is lowered.

Non-standard models

There are modifications that have retained the principle of the bicycle, but have been redone for other modes of transport. For example, today in shops you can meet a children’s bicycle in the shape of a car. It usually has 4 wheels. Seating is the same as in the car – the back is thrown back, and the legs – forward. With the help of a steering wheel identical to a car, and pedals, all 4 wheels are set in motion.

Also there are children’s bicycles in the shape of a tractor, which can have 3 and 4 wheels. The child’s seating in most models is vertical. Often, a trailer is added to the bicycle in the shape of a tractor, which clings to the rear and can transport even the second child.

A bike in the shape of a motorcycle looks like a standard bicycle the most. It can be three or two-wheeled. All components and the principle of operation of the traditional bicycle are preserved. The effect of the motorcycle is only due to the plastic frame. These models are usually designed for children under 6 years.

How to choose children’s bicycle seat?


A bicycle is a convenient means of transportation for short and medium distances. The use of cycling includes daily trips for work and other business or just cruising around the area. A comfortable bicycle is equipped with numerous devices for the convenience of daily use. Various bicycle seats and bicycle trailers allow you to transport children from a very young age. Currently, there is a wide variety of bicycle seats.

How to choose a bicycle seat for a child to ensure safe transportation of the child?

Children’s bicycle seat is made of a steel frame and has proven safe materials (non-toxic plastics). This seat is specially designed for a comforable bike ride with your young children. Models differ by manufacturer’s brand and ways of how the seat is installed on a bike.

The main installation spots are:

• the pin under the saddle;

• bicycle frame;

• bicycle carrier.

Saddle on the bicycle handlebars

This modification is connected to the steering tube or to the front triangle. Such a bicycle seat is suitable for low-speed riding for small distances along bicycle trails, or any other roads with a flat surface.

Ways of installation:

• front upper pipe;

• lower front pin;

• body of the steering gear.

Advantages of the front saddle:

• Convenience in control;

• There is the possibility of constant monitoring of the child;

• Optimal visual view of the child;

• Lightweight design;

• Increased protection from pinching of the child’s feet between the spokes of the wheel;

• Adjustable seat belt;

• Ventilation opening;

• Increased depreciation;

• Free trunk.

Also, it is worth noting that the front bicycle seat is chosen for a bike with a rear shock absorber.

Disadvantages of the front saddle:

• Reduced safety for possible accidents and falls;

• Lack of pedaling comfort to a cyclist;

• The bicycle is narrow and firm, what brings discomfort for the child;

• Can withstand up to 15 kg.

Installation to the seat pin

Rear bicycle seat is attached to the pipe under the saddle – this is the most popular version of the child seat. It is attached with a special lock inserted into the ends of the suspension pins.

The main advantage is full depreciation: the seat is always suspended. For the installation of the seat, no additional fastening elements are required, in order to acquire a suitable chair; only the exact dimensions of the diameter and shape of the pin under the seat are required. It is considered the best option for safe and comfortable transportation of the child.

Main advantages:

• Available cargo transportation up to 23 kg;

• Easy to install / dismantle;

• Increased strength;

• Fixing the back of the seat;

• There is a compartment for the helmet;

• Presence of ventilation;

• Ease of planting;

• Universal – suitable for many modifications of the bike;

• Reliable depreciation;

• Can be used instead of the trunk.


• Only side views are available;

• Lack of tracking without special rear-view mirrors;

• Can not be installed to a bicycle with rear shock absorbers, as this may damage the parts.

Installation to the trunk

The seat installed on the trunk is suitable for flat dirt tracks and bicycle paths. It is mounted on the trunk box, so this type of chair can only be installed on a sturdy system. It is considered a simple and universal tool with a single minus – a complete lack of depreciation.

Advantages of fastening:

• Withstands a physical weight of up to 25 kg;

• Suitable for most cycling modifications.


• Absence of depreciation;

• Low degree of comfort and safety of the child.

If there is a question of which bicycle seat for children to choose on the bicycle, you can buy a universal seat complete with parts for attaching to the trunk and seat post.

Design of the bicycle saddle

Universal design of the bicycle seat:

• Side protective barriers;

• Adjustment of the passive safety device;

• Soft laying on the entire seating area;

• Adjustable footrest;

• Belt for fixing feet;

• An arc of attachment to cycling;

• Adjusting the angle of inclination with additional holes in the back of the seat;

• Equipped with a system to adjust the height of the backrest.

Required accessories for protection

There are three common degrees of safety for a child’s bicycle seat:

  • Belt that fixes the pelvic area of the child – strapping to the bicycle seat with additional plastic clips for the legs.

When falling, there is a risk of injury to the upper and lower extremities.

  • Foot fastener – the child is fastened to the bicycle seat with a special belt, the legs are located on the step.

If you fall, there is a risk of injury to your hands.

  • Full fixation of the child with seat belts. The child is held by the built-in belts.

This protection is considered to be the most reliable, serious injury is unlikely, possibly a minor injury if a serious fall.

The basic rules for choosing a bicycle seat

When choosing a bicycle seat, you need to pay attention not only to the brand and price of the product, but also to details that will ensure the comfort and safety of the passenger.

• The first thing to look at is a high level of protection – the smaller a child is, the safer the security system;

• Soft gasket on the seat;

• Notch for protective helmet;

• Footrest;

• Light reflectors for walking in the evening or cloudy weather.

When choosing a seat, it is better to choose items with anatomical forms, high back, side curtains and soft inner liners, then a ride with a young cyclist will be as safe as possible and will not cause discomfort.