Looking After Your Car with a Service

I’ve recently received my car back after a 3 month visit to the repair garage. We were involved in a crash, which was not our fault and neither was the damage to our car. But, what if your car ends up in the repair garage with a costly bill just because it’s broken down?

I’ve been a driver for over 20 years, and I know the importance of car services. You need to keep your car in good condition to prevent costly repairs and to keep the value if you decide you want to sell it on later.

Looking after your car has many benefits and booking it in for a service is easy. It may be an extra expense at the time, but it will save you money in the long term.

a driver sitting behind the wheel of a car

Photo by Hareez Hussaini on Unsplash

What is a Car Service?

A car service will check the parts that suffer the most wear and tear and degrade over time. If you don’t look after these parts then the car will not run as efficiently and could end up costing more in repairs.

There are different types of service that depend on your mileage. A car that does more than 2000 miles per month will need an interim service every six months. But generally, a car needs a service every twelve months.

You can book Book car servicing online at KAP Motor’s Brighton Branch where you can choose what type of service your car requires. The service carried out may vary from place to place but as an overview the kind of things you can expect include;

  • Check of the lights, horn, washers, wipers and condition of windscreen.
  • Change of engine oil and engine oil filter, check of brake pads, wheels and tyres.
  • Check of antifreeze, cooling system and screen wash.
  • Check clutch and condition of battery.
  • Road test of brakes, steering, suspension, engine, gearbox and heating system.

A Full, or Major service may also include;

  • the fitting of new spark plugs, air filter and fuel filter
  • recommend Cambelt change date
  • check and adjust emissions
  • check and adjust ignition timing
  • check and adjust idle speed.

Why You Should Service your Car Regularly

Here are some real good reasons why you should regularly service your car.

Safety – A service will identify those problems that may be the cause of an accident, for example worn brakes or tyres, or exhaust leaks.

Keeping Clean – A regularly serviced vehicle will reduce the emissions that it releases into the air. Also, under-inflated tyres will burn more fuel

Cost – The cost of a regular service may reduce a much bigger cost of any repairs needed later through lack of maintenance.

Resale Value – A car that has been looked after will obviously attract a higher price when you come to sell it.

Fewer Breakdowns – No-one likes breaking down and a service can help detect those little problems that may develop into big ones while on the road.

Do you service your car regularly?

Collaborative post

Preparing Your Car for Winter Journeys

traffic stuck in snow

I hate driving in snow and ice, it scares me and I’ve had a couple of near mishaps. Once, I was coming out of an icy car park, approaching a busy road, when the car just wouldn’t stop. I was skidding towards the moving traffic sideways on. Eventually the car stopped just inches from the road, just as a bus went passed. 

I avoid driving in snow and ice whenever I can, but sometimes it’s not possible. The weather stays bad for months and the car needs to be used so I’ve put together some tips for making sure the car is ready for winter journeys.

Do Your Checks

Make sure your tyres are in good condition, you may even consider changing to winter tyres. The legal limit for tyre tread is 1.6mm but 3mm is recommended for a better grip in bad weather.

Car batteries have a life of around 5 years so it’s worth checking how old yours is, it’s going to take a lot of pressure over the winter months.

Check the amount of anti-freeze in your water and top it up if necessary. In winter it should be fifty percent water, fifty percent anti-freeze.

Clean your lights, windowscreen and wipers. Being able to see properly is a priority on darker days and nights. Check for chips in the windowscreen too as these can grow when it’s cold.

Always make sure you have a decent amount of petrol in the tank in case of delays in your journey.

Emergency Supplies

It’s always best to be prepared for an breakdown or being stuck in traffic in cold weather. We all see it on the news, rows of cars stuck for hours in the snow, but we never know when it could happen to us. So it’s wise just to be prepared. A simple breakdown kit could contain, a shovel, torch, blanket, scraper, de-icer and a few food and drink supplies. That should help until you get moving again, or rescued. It’s always good to have a fully charged phone too.

Last but Not Least

Do make sure that your car is up to date with it’s service checks and MOT. According to the AA a lot of car problems in the cold weather could be avoided by regular servicing and maintenance checks. So, get yours done before it’s too late. No one does better VOSA approved MOT in Northampton than Calmac Tyres Autocentres. Get your car checked today!

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post

The World Of Country Life

We were on holiday last week and stayed at Devon Cliffs holiday park in Sandy Bay, Exmouth. We have been there before and had fond memories of The World of Country Life which is in walking distance from the holiday park.

Sunny Days

We were so lucky with the weather while we were away, but the forecast had been not so good for Wednesday, so this was the day we decided to go. If memory served us right, there was just as much to do under cover as there was outside.

As usual, the forecast was wrong and we had another sunny day. This meant lots of fun in the outdoor adventure park. The kids were enthralled with the all wooden combine harvester, which was a newer addition as we did not remember it before.

The Little Man Driving H4rry the Harvester

There is so much to see and do at The World of Country Life, I wouldn’t be able to fit it all in one blog post, but I’ll try and include some of the best bits for now.

A Trip Down Memory Lane.

There could be no other way to describe this than a trip down memory lane.

Memory Lane

You get to walk down a replica of a Victorian street, minus the cobblestones (which is a huge plus for wheelchairs and buggies.) They are not just shop fronts either, you can go inside and examine the historical exhibits. There is even a pub with a piano and bar games you can play. 

There is so much more in the exhibition centre, from old farm machinery, to fantastic old cars and even a couple of mini trains.

The Little Man would be a perfect driver for this train

I think you could spend a whole day just walking around the museum. I must have over a hundred photos from in here and I didn’t spend much time looking at the old cars, I left that to Graham.

The Animals

Well, you can’t have Country life without animals and this place has plenty. You can feed the goats and sheep in the field, they are happy to come for a feed and a stroke. You can’t feed the Donkey but he’s happy to come for a stroke over the fence. There are also ostriches strutting their stuff out in the field. 

Over in the Old Farmyard you can meet a mummy pig with her piglets which are just too cute, but my favourite was the two Alpacas, Sven and Olaf. I think I can guess where their names are from. 

More Animals

We were so lucky, we arrived at the goats just in time for their daily walk. It was hilarious, the kids were told to just follow the goats and not pull, but to let go of the lead if they ran off. We were lucky enough not to have any runners, but the kids had a real fun time walking their goats. Some were insistent on headbutting any other passing goat, and some were just too stubborn to move. I’ve got some videos to edit to show how much fun they were having. In the meantime here’s a photo.

Taking a goat for a walk

There were lots of Birds of Prey to see too. Each day they do a show but we didn’t catch it on our day. We also didn’t catch the ferret racing, but there is just so much to do, and we didn’t have time for everything.

The kids had so much fun walking the goats, we didn’t think that anything would top this. Then we went on the Deer Train. We had been on before on our last trip eight years ago, but I hadn’t remembered much about it. I think mostly because I was 6 months pregnant and not prepared to hand feed the animals, and the girls were a lot younger at the time, two and four years old. This is an amazing experience, but you need to be prepared to be hands on and not afraid of animals getting really close and personal. (oh, and to be prepared to get a bit messy too!)

The Deer Train

The train is open carts pulled by a tractor and everyone climbs aboard expectantly. The train then rumbles along and the driver, through speakers in each cart, tells you about the unusual sheep in the field. Then he tells you about the deer and llamas that you pass as the train goes around in a circle then stops. 

While circling the driver has thrown out feed for the animals and they come rushing over. Then the driver walks up and down the cart filling everyone’s hands with feed and the animals get right up close to fill their tummy’s. The deer are so beautiful and friendly and once they’ve moved on, the llamas come up for their turn. Finally it’s time for the babies to feed, there is a pecking order here. 

The cart was filled with squeals and laughter as the animals came up to feed. Hands and clothes got mucky and I remembered what I’d forgotten before. The girls had been terrified last time, and I couldn’t feed, so we’d huggled up in the middle of the cart to avoid them! This time though, was amazing. Even better than the goat walking!

More Fun

We had fond memories from our previous trip of the large pirate ship play area, which is indoors on a bed of sand, so great for any weather. The ship can keep kids playing for hours, there is so much to explore and once their imaginations get going you’ll find them role playing their own pirate adventures. Well, that’s what my kids did. I remembered joining in last time, holding my then two year old, Boo’s hand and helping her climb the decks and walk across the rope bridge. This time they didn’t need any hand holding and Graham and I enjoyed a nice cup of coffee while they played.

Ahoy! Me Hearties
It’s a Pirate Life for me!

A Great Day Out

The World of Country Life is really worth a visit, it’s a fabulous day out for the kids but there is loads for the adults to enjoy too. 

The kids (and Graham) also had fun on the air bouncer and the huge slides. There are also swings, roundabouts, trampolines, soft play centres, bouncy castles, sand pits and so much more.  

Accessibility is really good, I had no trouble at all in my wheelchair, although the battery was getting very low towards the end. Pushchairs would be no problem at all, and there are plenty of paths if the grass gets wet or muddy. I had to transfer from the wheelchair to go on the Deer Train but there is a sheltered area to leave wheelchairs and pushchairs. There are two steps up onto the train cart and the seats are wooden and hard inside. 

The pricing isn’t too bad either, it’s £55 for a family of five (£45 for four), which is great value. I checked my Kids Pass the day before and found out I could save on two of the kids tickets, a total of  £22.40! Once inside they have a few rides dotted around that will eat up your pound coins (conveniently we didn’t have any, but the kids were fine with that anyway.) We didn’t have food there but the coffee was reasonably priced, and you can always take a picnic, there are plenty of tables both inside and out you can use. We had to pay an extra £1.50 for the Deer Train, but you get the food included (Which is normally £1 a bag) It’s really worth it. 

Kids Pass

I saved over £22 on admission to The World of Country Life with my Kids Pass. You can save too on all sorts of attractions and eateries. You can try Kids Pass for yourself for just £1 for 40 days.*

Disclosure: I am a KidsPass Mumbassador. *If you don’t cancel your account at the end of your trial you will be charged the full membership.

Country Kids linky

The Kids in Minehead

I went to a blogger retreat in Somerset last weekend but as I am sick, it’s not a good idea to be too far away from my husband, who is also my carer. So, I thought it would be nice to have him and the kids stay nearby in a hotel.

I really didn’t expect them to have good weather, but it turned out to be a great weekend, with only a couple of showers.

Beach Time

They spent plenty of time on the beach on the Saturday, Dad even bought them buckets and spades. They do love the beach and it’s pretty nice at Minehead, particularly when they have the beach almost to themselves. I guess no-one else was expecting it to be so warm either!


Steam Trains

But the beach was not the only place they got to visit. They also stopped by the Somerset and Dorset Railway Museum in nearby Watchet. I felt a little jealous because I do love a good railway museum. I’ve been on a few steam trains, they are not always that comfortable but it’s like a journey into history. The kids really enjoyed the visit but Dad didn’t take them on the train as it would have taken up most of their day, what a shame.

They did talk about going up the hill to visit Dunster Castle but for some reason Star wouldn’t go. So they just went for a drive around the hills instead and saw some lovely sights.

Who Lives in a House Like This?

Yes, it really was someone’s family home.

Of course, it wasn’t all sight seeing and beach fun, there was lots of food and ice cream to be eaten as well. And the kids managed to persuade Dad into an amusement arcade.

I think they had a really great time. It was kind of strange they were only a few miles away from me, I couldn’t even speak to them because my phone had no signal. It was lovely to see them again on Sunday afternoon.

If you are interested in what I was up to while they were having all this fun you can read my Retreat post here.

Country Kids

Signs You Need a Break


Sometimes it can be hard to admit to yourself that you need a break, with work expectations, family obligations and societal pressures it’s no surprise that many of us don’t take regular breaks even if it is just for a relaxing weekend away. Roughly one third of adults in the UK don’t take their full annual leave entitlement and that not only impacts their mental health but their physical health too, being ‘fatigued’ and experiencing ‘burn-out’ are phrases we hear way too often. So, how do you know when you seriously need a break? The infographic below will help you identify some tell-tale signs…

Besides, holidays really are great, spending time with loved ones, exploring new places, creating memories and most importantly relaxing and pressing that reset button. Go on, take a break.


Monday Stumble Linky

Disclosure: Collaborative post

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

Some people only write reviews when things go wrong with products, which is good because it lets people know that there could be potential problems. I’ve also seen negative feedback with say things like, I had to return this item because the colour did not suit me…is this useful?

I write reviews on most items I buy because I like to give genuine feedback. If I have a genuine problem with a product I will write my review in the appropriate place.

I write reviews on my blog too, but they are mostly positive. Why? Because I only write reviews for the things I’ve loved. If I don’t love them I let the person who sent me them know with details why and then let them decided if they would rather me write a negative review or not write one at all. It’s always the latter.

This is my blog, my place and I’ll let you know about the things I love. If you want to find out what other people have hated about the product then you will need to look elsewhere.

My reviews may all be positive, but they are still genuine.