Enjoying the nature and going to the beach for a swim or a few hours on a surfboard is something that most of us like to do during our Summer holidays. But for some, surfing is taking place throughout the year, because it is a real lifestyle too.
In France, the destination to catch the waves is Biarritz. In the United Kingdom it is towards South Devon and the West Coast of Cornwall. Newquay offers a lot. The town is almost build for surfers.
Both of these beaches have changed throughout the years. Initially, it was all about sea and sand.
Buildings have appeared...on the beach.
Of course, tourism is important and having a better infrastructure is essential as well.
Cafés and restaurants have emerged from the grounds. It is all good and well done thanks to property management consultants. But what is rather worrying is the sea pollution throughout the globe.
Holidaymakers have to be safe whether there are inside or outside the water.
...The free service sends alerts or text messages about discharges of sewage and storm water at almost 250 beaches in England and Wales... Source
You can download it from HERE.
The other positive point mentioned by the BBC: it is interactive,
...the app also allows bathers to send a "must try harder" message to water companies and report pollution incidents to the Environment Agency's hotline...
Being able to give a feedback is certainly the best way to improve the water quality and the overall service.
Even The Telegraph guided its readers to go to the Southwest to catch the good and hot weather.
...Devon and Cornwall, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Wales and parts of Cumbria will enjoy warm sunshine, with highs of up to 24C...
Visiting other areas of Britain is good as long as you keep away from dangerous sectors and hopefully this Sewage Alert Service will make long weekends even safer for all the family.
Here is a little review about what is occurring in some and maybe too many businesses. It is not recent but with the paradox around financial cuts and bonuses given to some CEO, it seems to be an unclear area, which might need to be addressed.
For a lot of us our routine is about life work and retirement.
Some employers are - clearly - under qualified to cover the most important tasks in their own firm.
Luckily, some employees with the relevant skills are present to complete several tasks usually linked to IT knowledge. For instance, when it comes to produce a monthly report by using Excel with some charts then it can be a real panic attack for the boss.
There is no shame not to know. But it is getting worse when the Managing Director doesn't want to improve his/her skills. What if that knowledgeable member of staff leaves or is just not in the office for other reasons (sickness or on annual leave)?!
It happened that an Operations Manager of a call centre requested a report regarding some AHT (Average Handle Time) for an important client - a big player in the world of retail. When the spreadsheet and presentation slides were sent, there was no acknowledgement of the work. Nothing more normal to then ask whether that e-mail reached the recipient.
Surprisingly, all attachments were there. However, this head of department just replied, that the report was forwarded to the client without actually checking the data. The reason was due to the fact that this particular person didn't know how to actually read the graphs and NEVER used the spreadsheet software!!! Her wage was well above average and about three times higher than the quality analyst's monthly payment. Rather shocking!
When a man or a woman is in charge of a department, it is essential to match the actual profile and job specifications. What about having a regular review just to check whether their skills are strong enough to deal with all requirements...especially with the changes in technology and the way we interact through social media.
...As a result, too many incompetent people are promoted to management jobs, and promoted over more competent people... Source
Thankfully, some recruiters started to be aware of such gaps. This is not just specific to one country, it is unfortunately global.
High profile roles are getting harder to get. The right choice is vital for a business. So, if someone was going to work for a London private bank there are multiple check-points to go through due to the importance of the industry and also the clients, of course. In fact a financial establishment wouldn't simply choose their newcomer via a local advert in a free newspaper. And forget the old saying:
Some experts are available to deal with applicants whether this is in London or in Switzerland. Executive headhunters can have a delicate task to scan CVs and organise interviews to get the right person - but this is the rule of the game where no mistakes are allowed.
So hopefully, future Team Leaders/Coach will be chosen not only to be in charge of people but also for the actual work they can supply without having to delegate it to a more qualified (but underpaid) person.
One man on a canoe or a bicycle depending on the landscape and geography is what Alistair Cope is doing from Edinburgh to Exmouth.
It all started on 16th August 2013.
Alistair's aim is to reach Exmouth by 14th September 2013 - all being well, of course.
...300 miles of water - 111 locks - 390 miles of land... Source
There was also a short documentary on BBC Spotlight:
For the little story Alistair Cope is behind Velo Ventures - he used to organise events around cycles.
During these 4 weeks it will be about 60 miles per day for Alistair, swapping between the saddle and the paddle.
A tough challenge of course but why?
In fact, Alistair Cope is doing this for charity and donations are therefore important.
Three charities are concerned in Alistair's adventure:
You can find all details on the dedicated website http://www.papete.co.uk.
Various sponsors are supporting Alistair as there are loads of details to think of. So to name a few:
It seems that during this time he will be mainly camping and embracing the nature: no posh or luxury hotels for the man.
Also, it has nothing to actually do with a Tour de France as he is on his own. Something certainly not for everyone as the physic and the mental have to follow. But Alistair is prepared and used to face: wind, rain, hot and cold weather as this is not his first.
Morocco is another destination that Velo Ventures knows well. However, this is more for a fun group discovery and exploration on mountain bikes.
What will be eye catching is the canoe behind the Pashley cycle. It is a Flaxland! And yes, it is all traditional and eco-friendly.
Good value for money is what everyone is after, whatever the product. Remember the metal die-cast toys you might have had, these were so strong that maybe two or three generations down the line are still playing with it. Nowadays, it is almost classified as "vintage" and the value is gone up simply because of their quality. Lasting strong items are always pleasing, because the money spent shows there is a know-how, skill & passion involved in the manufacturing process.
This is why for Alistair's extraordinary trip, kits and sponsors have been hand-picked, to make sure all goes to plan and if there was a delicate situation, there will always be someone to resolve the issue. It is all about building a community of reliable individuals.
Even if Alistair is alone travelling from Scotland to the Southwest of England, there is a genuine team behind him, and this is what makes it even more fantastic.
An example to talk about and to repeat indefinitely.
A couple of days just about cycling in and around the English capital...nothing better and certainly great fun to meet new cyclist fans.
Prudential RideLondon did so on 3rd and 4th August 2013.
...a 100-mile challenge on the same closed roads as the professionals, with the added incentive of raising money for good causes. To capture it all, the best action will be broadcast live on TV in the UK and internationally, to be seen by an audience of millions... Source
It is sure that the win of Bradley Wiggins on the Tour De France helped to increase the number of people buying and then commuting on a bicycle whether it is a racing bike or just a minimalistic fixed gear or singlespeed...but you've got the idea.
Cycling is a real discovery for some. Others have been on the saddle for years. And there is no real restriction regarding the age or the gender.
If you follow what is going on in the world of cycling on the professional level - not talking about Froome's Tour De France 2013 win - you might have heard about the slightly different story of C3 paracyclist Tom Staniford.
Staniford's story, who is aiming at the Rio 2016 Games, appeared in the news in about 48 countries.
The impact? A huge and fast rise of the followers on Tom's social media outlet Twitter.
Tom Staniford has a great attitude towards life in general and has always some specific goals he wants to reach.
Beside being a pro paracyclist, he is a graduate in Law and French Law as well.
Also, a day without coffee is not a normal day for the man who likes to experiment new blends and tastes - this is maybe one of his secret "pour garder la forme". His other career could completely involve something special with aromas and flavours... follow his tweets and maybe...just maybe he will reveal something?! Watch this space...
Of course, you don't have to be a complete aficianado and technician about cycles as long as you ride safely, with the relevant protections:
YOU are then ready to join the crowd and why not create a cycling community around the 2 wheels!
Most of us have seen Orla Kiely products without actually knowing who is behind the design and patterns.
Who is Orla Kiely?
...Orla Kiely is an Irish fashion designer based in London. Although she started work on hat design, she has since moved into design work on handbags and her designs have been featured on a variety of other items, including kitchenware... Source
Her style is unique, of course. Usually the design of her products are standard but the choice of colours, shapes and patterns make them interesting and there is a comfortable feel to actually get one for your "home sweet home". Whether it is a cushion, curtain, lampshade or just an Orla Kiely bone china mug, it is always a good topic of discussion. Simplicity in home design and interiors works.
An almost empty or let's say minimal living room, lounge is more and more common. Forget the cluttered walls with loads of family photographs and thick carpets. Raw, natural and eco-friendly layouts are actually trending. Some people also compare - slightly - Kiely's work with Cath Kidston range despite of being totally different. This is maybe due to the use of repetitive colours and forms?!
...particularly known for her nostalgic floral patterns... Source
I (sadly) discovered Orla Kiely goods recently when visiting a friend of mine who just moved to a new West London property. But things seem to have multiplied and suddenly Orla's colours and items are - almost - everywhere. All these objects were, until now, invisible to the eye and once you know THAT particular designer, there is an interest and it all becomes way more visible and obvious.
Even Dwell modern design and architecture, dedicated an article and slideshow titled "At Home with textile designer Orla Kiely".
Rather intriguing though to actually discover that Kiely's home interior is "punctuated by her distinctive palette and motifs" to quote Dwell's September 2013 magazine.
Not sure if this new kind of interiors is for everyone though...maybe a good thing, as you don't want to go to your neighbour and discover the same features! Remember the Banksy effect, when so many individuals started to buy fake street art on canvas for their walls...
Of course, fashion which can sometimes become a real craze/obsession, is good for the economy and the manufacturers. Being part of a movement and sharing the same taste can bring people together. However, it needs to be settled and not over the top. Too much is never that good...keep in mind the image of a house where all rooms have the same theme: the colour pink!
The "less is more" comes to mind and this is applicable for everything, isn't it?