2012 A Bit of a Wash Out

Well this year has certainly seen it’s fair share of rain, several records have been broken for the appalling summer we’ve just had, not that you would particularly notice that it’s over, seeing as it’s no wetter now than it was in June! This has had such an effect on what people have been doing, not least the festivals, many of them were rained off this two festival goers in the mudyear and those which did go ahead were a total mud bath. I’ve been to Glastonbury Festival before when the heavens opened a week or so before it started and then continued throughout the festival, it was a wash out, certain areas of Worthy Farm were completely flooded, tents and all. You couldn’t even sit down to watch a band, so the whole event was pretty exhausting too.

That got me to thinking about how Brothers Cider are getting on this year. The apple crop has been dismal from the UK. This is because the honey bees were unable to fly while the blossom was out, either because of rain, high winds, cold or all three, so as a result the trees were poorly pollinated and had low yields. There are a few beehives close to me and the only apple trees which I’ve seen with decent crops are very close to the hives. I assume this is because in the short breaks in the rain the bees were able to fly out and do their job, but couldn’t reach the trees further away.

All that being said, I suppose there are a few industries which did quite well out of it, umbrella and welly boot manufacturers for example.

a muddy festival kiss

So here’s to hoping for a better summer next year, with a bit of luck, the music festivals will all go ahead, so we can get back to the days of sitting out on the grass listening to some live music again.

Annie Lennox Tribute Band

Party Band Pop of Ages Extend their Reach

The locally well known party band, Pop of Ages have a new act, the Annie Lennox Tribute, they do two different shows, either the diva show, which is dedicated to the solo songs, or the Eurythmics show, as you may expect, this one has all Eurythmics songs instead.

Pop of ages have been around for several years playing at private parties, balls and weddings with a broad repertoire ranging from modern acts such as the Kings of Leon, Lady Ga Ga and Amy Winehouse, through the 70’s and 80’s with songs from the likes of Phil Collins, Queen and Dolly Parton, right back to old classics from the 60’s including the Mamas and Pappas, the Kinks and of course no set would be complete without the occasional Beatles song thrown in. They are about the only professional party band I know of, actually gigging pretty much every weekend and traveling up and down the country to do so. Most bands seem to have a full time job and just fit playing live in around that where they can. This gives them a bit of an advantage in that they are able to pack up the PA, lights and instruments and set off to play further afield, because they can leave earlier.

The new tribute act will certainly require some traveling to play, being a tribute they will probably have requests from much further afield than the local counties.  After all it could be a dedicated Eurythmics fan’s birthday up in the north, so they will have to make their way all the way up there, but not only set everything up but also take various costumes and probably have a few quick changes during the set. They have a new site dedicated purely to the new show, it’s called the Annie Lennox tribute and it provides a lot more information about the members and the songs they play.

Jewellery and Tradition

Every bride will repeatedly recite the traditional “Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.”  They will also usually rack their brains out trying to think of ways that they can carry out the tradition.  Bridal garters with blue bows on and borrowed handkerchiefs are the most common ways but wedding jewellery can also play a huge part.

Something Old
This could very easily be a piece of jewellery.  A family heirloom piece maybe or something that has belonged to someone who has passed away that was very close to you. There may be something of the bride’s mother that has been passed down to her that the bride particularly likes which she could wear for the day.  This makes the traditional part of the wedding run all the way through it.  Weddings are, by nature, traditional events, and wearing something that has been handed down from generation to generation within the family keeps tradition going.  Maybe there is a particular piece of jewellery that every bride in the family has worn and to wear that would be very special.

Something New
This could, of course, be your own choice of bridal jewellery.  A particular piece that you find romantic and appealing could actually become a treasured family heirloom eventually.  Not only that but it would be something for the bride to wear and remember the special day that she first wore it to take her wedding vows.

Something Borrowed
This could easily apply to a piece of jewelry.  A ring or bracelet that belongs to someone close to the bride could be loaned for the day.  The person who is lending the item would feel very proud and privileged and the bride would save the expense of buying a similar item.  If there isn’t anything that fits the bill, it is also a possibility that you could rent out a piece of jewelry.  Many jewelers will rent out jewelry for a fee plus a refundable deposit, which may mean that you can find a more expensive item that you could normally afford, but it would cost you much less.

Something Blue
It is possible to buy jewellery items that fit in with this.  A pendant or ring which has a central sapphire would look stunning, the same goes for earrings.  If sapphires are too dark, how about aquamarine or blue topaz?  If you don’t want the blue to show, wear something that is covered.  If you have a high necked gown a pendant could be worn underneath it.  You could also go for a headdress with blue stones in it or slides in your hair.
With just a little bit of thought and ingenuity, it is more than possible to cover the saying in just a few pieces of jewellery.  Every bride should shine on her wedding day and with the right jewellery she can.  She can also follow the traditions on her wedding day with just the right touches of jewellery.

Fantastic Wedding

A friend of a friend of a friend kinda thing, got married last weekend, I went along as my other half’s plus one, so didn’t really know many people there other than a handful of mutual friends (not ones who I even know very well to be fair! But it was a really good wedding and I can’t remember the last time I said something like that about a wedding.

It just started off well and continued that way for the entire day. OK it was a church do, which isn’t really my thing, but they managed to jazz it up a little by having a gospel band there, it was very handy as pretty much nobody in the congregation sang at all, but they really belted it out at the right times and did some very quiet background melodies to create a really good atmosphere. So we left there for the reception already being quite impressed.

Then they jumped in their car amidst a torrent of confetti and drove off, we all milled around for a few minutes, then wandered back to the car in the blazing sunshine (it really was a fantastic sunny day) and followed on to the reception.  When we got there we has drinks out on the lawn, it was a great venue, a converted barn, with marquees outside too one for the catering and another with a disco in it, all done to a very high standard, and who should be there in the corner, the gospel band again, they continued singing for about an hour outside while we all had a few glasses of champaign on the lawn, so again, it was nice. I think this was the marquee hire company, who are worth a mention as the marquees were fantastic, spotless and decked out inside really nicely (the venue one, not the catering one of course!)

Then we came inside to the tables, kind of dreading the speeches, but food first 🙂 that was pretty good too, although by this point I was starting to realise they had spent a small fortune on the day, so out came the starters, I had a mozzarella and avocado salad, the veggie option, followed by a vegetable tart thing, it was lovely, my other half had the meat and said it was equally good. So a few drinks later and the speeches started, first the brides father, he got up made a couple of jokes, thanked everyone he needed to and sat back down again, phew! Then the best man, this was a bit longer, but was almost like a comedy stand up gig, he was hilarious, the whole crowd was in stitches.  Oh I think the groom also stood up and said a couple of words, but that was literally it, so we got off lightly there too.

Then we went back outside (lucky it was a sunny day) where some tables and chairs had been laid out, we could see the staff furiously rearranging the inside and pulled back a curtain which was at the end of the hall and we could see a fair sized stage with a disco set up on one side and a drum kit and guitar near the middle with various microphones dotted around too.

When we went back in the disco was playing, quite quietly and a buffet was already being laid out on a table to the side, a little early I thought, but apparently everything had been running late (not that I had noticed) so it was being laid out before the catering staff left.

Anyway, the disco played for about an hour as the evening guests started to arrive, then after the volume had crept up a bit, the band walked out on stage, a four piece band with a lady singer, drummer, guitarist and keyboard player who doubled up as an extra percussionist and saxophone player, apparently a well known wedding band, they belted out the hits and some classics for the oldies, were very good and kept the dance floor packed all night.  They did 2 sets, the first was a bit more sophisticated and included more classic hits, the second part was more of a good old knees up, apparently this was exactly what the groom had asked them to do.

I was very impressed so thought I would give them a quick plug as they are a highly professional wedding band in Swindon, Wiltshire, they also do corporate functions and do a cocktail pianist set too so if you need a good party band, I would suggest checking them out, If I ever get married and am looking for wedding bands I’ll certainly be getting back to them. I didn’t get the details of the gospel singers too which I’m a bit disappointed about, but then again I suppose I wouldn’t want it to be exactly the same as theirs.

Marketing Online for Tourist Sites

Pretty much every company has a website these days from the retailing giants and ebay through to the smallest of home based companies, all chasing after those customers who search the web for their latest purchase as opposed to trekking down to the local shops instead.

The tourist industry is a prime example of this with the vast majority of customers searching and buying holidays, day trips and weekend breaks on the internet, and even more researching them this way on the various review and information sites. So it’s essential for every company in the sector to have a strong web presence, ideally in both the search engines and on social media sites like Facebook, Linkedin and Myspace (I’m not going to go into Twitter here as I personally have yet to see or be convinced of any real benefit from it so far, although I am very much open to suggestions on how to better use it), that being said it’s a good idea to check with one of the known experts like Eco SEO or perhaps someone from one of the big SEO forums like SEO Chat or UK Business Forums before you take my word for it. .

Many of the tourist related websites are absolutely huge, integrating feeds from other sources such as flight information and aggregating data from other places to be displayed relative to what you are searching for on that site.  Many of them also send out monthly, weekly or even daily emails with information on last minute deals and special offers, so subscribing to them can prove to be beneficial if you are looking for a cheap holiday or a bit of a bargain.

There are also many more websites providing information about services you may need when on holiday, these include hotels, guest houses and B&B’s, whilst these are often small sites, they often have information and links to other local companies and attractions, this is a great way for those smaller companies to gain some exposure, as this interlinking between sites not only passes the site visitors around a network of useful and locally owned sites, but also this tells Google that your sites are related, they can also see this by the theme of the pages and even the addresses and telephone numbers on there confirms that there is a direct correlation between pages.

However, getting targeted visitors to your website may not be this easy, when I say targeted, I mean the type of visitors who actually want what you are offering, for example if your website appears for the term “cheap guest house in Wiltshire” but you are aiming for the luxury end of the market, you will not get the right type of visitors. this is where a good seo company can prove to be worth their weight in website visitors! They will make sure that you are focussing your pages on the right words for the market you wish to attract, so finding one who specialise in tourism seo will be even better as their experience will be invaluable having already worked with other travel and tourism related businesses.

Indian Wedding Jewellery

It is not possible even to think about the Indian wedding without the jewellery. Indians have their own cultural design and belief for the jewels. As wedding is such a holy occasion in the bride’s life, she is decked up by golden jewels on the wedding day. You can check any Indian wedding if you want to have a look at the design and cultural value for the Indian value. A bride can never get married without getting fully accessorised with all the jewels all over the body. Bride must be adorned by her realities or parents by giving wedding favours full of various accessories.

A gorgeous wedding sari with combination with Indian Jewellery makes a stunning look for the bride and makes an irresistible combination for anyone to ignore. Some must have trend in the jewellery is a neck piece to be worn at the centre. It is generally a long necklace and reaches to the end of the bride’s blouse. There can be a big piece of diamond on the Pendle. Here emerald and Rubies also are very likely to be included.

Waistband (called as kamarbandh) looks astonish appealing when worn on the traditional sari. Although it is considered as old fashioned for the regular wearing in India but still for wedding it is one of the most desirable jewellery to wear on.

Same can be said for the nose ring. It gives a very cute and elegant touch to the bride and is always a key component of indian bridal jewellery. It is generally worn with a side chain going towards ear and gives brides face a glittering look in Indian nath i.e. piercing of the nose is quite common for the bride and bride always use to wear nose ring on there nath only.

Bangles are always designed to give a smooth and shiny pattern. For wedding they prefer wide band bangles which are generally heavy to weigh and there are many stones and diamonds carved in it. Here the design of the bangles area always matched with all other accessories. As it is the mist spotted jewellery for the Indian bride. While selecting earrings, you have to be careful not to go for heavy earrings and to select the gold type and design according to the necklace. For earrings it looks great to have tops and danglers. Remember there will undoubtedly be many people there with cameras, not to mention the official wedding photographer, so it’s essential to look your best, as you are likely to be immortalised in numerous photographs.

Nowadays the Indian wedding designs seem to be the combinations of the traditional aspects with modern additions such as the jodha akbar style. Suppose for gems used in gold and Kundan is the sample of the traditional admiring while diamonds and rubies in the jewellery shows the adaptation of the new and recent trends for the Indian bridal decorations. If you really want to have a look at the Indian bridal jewellery, find its designs by searching for the historical styles of the queens of the ancient India. With time many other cultures like Arabs, Islam, and French and at last British took the command of the Indian with passage of time and eventually it influenced the Indian way of jewellery and resulted into the current design that we see now.

The chandni chowk market

Markets are a necessity. No city could exist without one. Markets are places that contain all the necessities of life. People sell their goods and earn for their livelihood, while others can buy their sources of livelihood from here. India is a country full of markets. They represent a country’s cultural and traditional background. Some in India are very old while some are new. Chandni chowk is one of the oldest bazaars in India. It is also one of the famous markets in india. It dates back to the mughal time period when processions would pass through the chandni chowk. This market is also a source of tourist attraction in India.

The chandni chowk literally means silver light. It is located in Delhi, the walled city which is one of the most important cities in India, financially and economically. Now the chandni chowk bazar is considered the grandest of all the markets in India. It is now congested because of the increasing buyers and sellers and a lot of traffic and pollution. The streets of the bazars are very narrow. There is not much space for bigger vehicles to pass through them. Many sellers sit out on the roads with their carts laden with a lot of goods. There is a lot of bargaining done in this market.

Moreover, this bazar is, no doubt a traditional mark of India. Displaying all the hand made products by women at home, the chandni chowk market stands out among all of them, as one enters the market, an aroma of different foods enters the nose. There are alot of food items such as kachoris , samosas , jalebis and other items that attract people especially foreign visitors . A lot of restaurants are present that provide food items that are much more delicious than five star restaurants, however they are not hygienic.

There are sellers sitting with their stalls, containing a variety of items, ranging from clothes, laces, classic indian jewellery, books, stationary items and a lot more things that are beyond one’s imagination. The chandni chowk market being the most famous and oldest and the grandest of all markets is India is also one reason for the income generating source. It is a place rich in Indian culture. The  hub is so famous that even bollywood directors also decided to use it in their movie ‘kabhi khushi kabhi ghum’. It is a place full of havelis. Havelis are those big houses that are just like mansions with large backyards. They are historical types of houses. A number of hotels and restaurants are present that provide great service to the visitors, a service that can never be forgotten. This place was shown in many many other bollywood movies that made it more popular all around the world. These movies showed chandni chowk as a place full of locals, with their dresses being the traditional ones and their food and lifestyles also being traditional. People with big, long black moustaches can be imagined with the name of chandni chowk. It is no doubt a place full of lustre and attraction and anybody would want to visit it and spend some memorable days there

Tourism in the West

Many more people have been staying in the UK for their holidays in the last couple of years, this is possibly mainly because of the recession which started in 2009 and really took hold in 2010, as many people simply didn’t have the money to splash about on foreign holidays. However, I would like to think there is a little more to it than just a financial decision and perhaps tourism in this country is picking up a bit.

When we say West, we generally are referring to the South West of the country, so Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire, Bristol and possibly even Gloucestershire could be considered the south west too. Wiltshire is the first county you are likely to reach if you are heading in from the East (I mean of the UK not Arabia etc) and one of the first towns many people like to stop off at is Marlborough because it is a very pretty little town and easily accessed from the M4 and A4, in fact, if you drive down the A4 it’s impossible to miss as the high street forms part of it.

As you pass through you can stop at many other historic towns such as Bradford on Avon, Cricklade, Melksham, Salisbury, these typically have numerous tourist attractions, such as Stonehenge and old buildings dating back many centuries. If you want to find the night-life you may want to stop off in Swindon, as this is a bustling city centre with all the restaurants, bars and clubs you could want with entertainment to suit most peoples tastes.

Once you start heading further West you will come to Devon and Cornwall, the pace of life is a bit slower down here, so expect to see lots of families milling around in the towns and villages, numerous walkers treading a path down the coastal paths and plenty of people out cycling, although the latter two will depend on what the weather is like. The further you head west, the warmer and wetter it’s likely to become, so it’s advisable to keep an umbrella in the car, or at the very least expect to spend a little more time than planned in the bars and cafes.

In the hight of the summer season some of the more popular resorts can get quite booked up, so it’s a good idea to book your hotel in advance, there are many hotels, guest houses and B&B’s to choose from, and particularly Dorset has many camp sites, ranging from fully equipped ones with their own club house, to a farmer who rents out a field with a tap and toilet.

Whilst most people would drive, the transport links are surprisingly good and you can get a train straight down to Plymouth from London, however be aware that travelling around may involve bus changes, but then again if you are on an adventurous type of break, this can provide the opportunity to stop off and visit a few places which you may have otherwise not considered.

For detailed information on all the counties, there are sites such as visitwiltshire.co.uk which offer detailed information on all the towns and tourist attractions in each area, they have quite a bit about the major towns such as Swindon and Salisbury.