Thinking Of Moving Back To South Africa?

Tips For A Stress-Free Relocation

Moving back home is a big step, but with the right planning and attitude, there’s no reason why it can’t be a success.

If you have settled in the UK but long to return to South Africa, then there is no reason why you can’t move back. With the right planning you can make your move home as stress free as possible. Still, some concerns may remain. What about job opportunities, or finding the right property? Many South Africans worry that moving back home will mean leaving the pets that they have grown to love in the UK as well. To put your mind at rest, here are some tips for making a success of your return home.

Think about your finances

Before you move back to South Africa, it’s important to think about your career prospects. If the reason you left the country in the first place was to find work that suited you, then really take the time to assess whether you’ll now find those opportunities at home. Look at whether you’ll need to make sacrifices in your salary, and don’t forget to plan for your work/life balance back home as well. If you work for an organisation with a presence in South Africa, then it could be worth enquiring about a transfer too.  If you come to the conclusion that you’ll be well off financially, it’s time to start planning the move.

Decide on a location

Think about where you want to re-establish your roots in South Africa. Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Johannesburg are some of the country’s major cities, and it’s here that you’ll find a wealth of employment and educational opportunities. Each part of the country offers something different for returning nationals, so think about the interests and skills that you have cultivated in the UK before deciding on somewhere to settle down. Of course, if you have family still living in the country, you may want to live near them and rely on them for support in your first months back home.

Bring your cat with you

If you have a cat here in the UK, you will of course be worried about taking it with you. After all, flying a pet out to another country is a nightmare, right? Wrong! By letting Fetchapet Ltd take care of your cat export to South Africa, you can have your beloved moggy join you back home with no hassle. Fetchapet is passionate about the health and happiness of the animals that they look after, and will inform you of everything that needs to be done to ensure that your furry friend’s journey goes off without a hitch. They’ll even provide a custom-made carrier so that your pet can travel in comfort.

Will you make the move in 2018?

Most importantly of all, remember that you have changed, and so has your home. Expecting to go back home and find everything just as you left it will only set you up for disappointment. Think of your move back to South Africa as a brand new chapter, and embrace all the changes and challenges that come with that. With your pet by your side, it won’t be long until you are fully settled back in the country that you know and love.

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Cold Food Transport Brings Supermarket Prices Down

Positive Knock-On Effect Of Germany’s Efficient Distributions

Ever wondered why German brands Aldi and Lidl are claiming a larger market share of the UK supermarkets year on year?

Germany has been ranked top of the World Bank’s Logistic Performance Index which analyses the efficiency of supply chain networks in both domestic and international markets. Attributes that are considered when determining Germany’s position as world leader of logistics include the quality of infrastructure available for trade and transport, shipment prices that are competitively priced, reliability of delivery times and the ability to track and trace consignments.

Success Of German Operations In The UK

Synonymous with efficiency, it is Germany’s ability to produce top class logistics that is partly responsible for the international success of the nation’s own supermarket brands such as Aldi and Lidl. Both companies are growing steadily within the UK and are rivalling the biggest names in the industry. Aldi has recently overtaken the Co-Op to become our fifth largest supermarket chain with a market share of 6.9%, whilst Lidl has also beaten luxury brand Waitrose into seventh place with a healthy industry portion of 5%. The combined share of both Aldi and Lidl has increased 80% since 2013, proving that our love of German brands doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing down.

Brits Love Low Prices

One of the draws of both these German supermarket chains is the low cost of groceries, which is made possible by focusing on a limited range of goods as well as the low cost of cold food transportation that has brought the food to the UK. As cold food transporters such as Kuehl Speed expand out of Germany to bring more efficient and reliable courier methods to the supermarket industry, Aldi and Lidl are set to double the number of UK stores they hold. This in turn will continue the price war with bigwigs Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys and Morrisons, forcing their prices down lower to the delight of British shoppers.

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The Best North London Towns

The Growing Appeal of North London – it’s Not Just for Hipsters

Over the past 20 years, north London has become one of the most desirable areas to live in the UK. Which towns should be on your radar?

Go back to the 1980s, and places such as Hackney, Haringey and Camden were associated with crime, poverty and post war slums. Yet anyone who has not visited between then and now – perhaps one of those legendary gangsters who fell foul of the law and has been “away” – would literally be unable to recognise the north London of today.

It is easy to label it the Shoreditch Effect – but the shabby chic and pop up shop culture that brought the word hipster into the common vocabulary only tells a small part of the story. Despite challenges in the broader economy, Islington letting agents have seen a steady increase in demand for properties among people from all walks of life and demographics. Young and old, single professionals and growing families, all are flocking to north London.

Here, we lift the lid on some of the most popular communities, along with what makes them so tempting to those seeking a slice of north London life.


You can walk into the city from Islington in less than 30 minutes should you wish to do so, yet stroll down Camden Passage and explore the antique shops, clothing boutiques and street traders, and you will think you are in a small market town. Emerge into the air of Upper Street, and you are faced with a dizzying array of eateries. Food critics often call it “supper street,” and with good reason.

A community with a somewhat bohemian history, Islington still has a unique character, and plenty of cultural attractions, such as the Screen on the Green and the famous Almeida Theatre.

Finsbury Park

While Islington basks in its history, Finsbury Park, lying just to the east of Holloway Road, is writing its own story. This is exactly the sort of place you would have steered clear of 30 years ago. Today, a range of redevelopment and regeneration projects have given birth to a whole variety of modern homes, accompanied by no end of cafes, bars, restaurants and shops.

While the area is growing increasingly popular with wealthy professional couples and families, it is still home to plenty of second and third generation immigrant families. It all makes for a vibrant and cosmopolitan community.

Kentish Town

Kentish Town used to be seen as a great spot to live for those who like the hustle and bustle of Camden but want to live a little outside it. This is certainly true, but it misses the point in as much as Kentish Town has plenty going for it in its own right, and is more than just a “Camden overspill.” Kentish Town has a great range of pubs, clubs and nightlife, with something to suit every age and taste, from a quiet pint to a night of dancing.

The properties are largely of the traditional Victorian terrace variety, many of which have been converted to flats, although there are some exciting new developments appearing in converted industrial premises too. There really is something for everyone, so call Stadium Residential today to view your new home!

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Common UK Pests

A run down of the most common pests found in UK homes from the tiniest dust mite to the larger rodents such as rats. When a pest isn’t a pest such as the honeybee.

An overview of the most annoying, disruptive and common pests in the home

Along with invited visitors, our homes can also unfortunately play host to certain unwanted visitors in the form of common pests. From tiny fleas and mites to larger creatures such as rats, pests come in all shapes and sizes and can cause damage, injury and disease to name just three hazards.

Here are some of the most common types; fortunately, prevention can help stop many pests from appearing in the first place, and pest controller services with effective disposal techniques and equipment can help get rid of those who do decide to pay a visit.

Bed bugs and dust mites

Bed bugs and dust mites are common household pests, and so tiny they can hardly be seen with the naked eye. Both can cause allergic reactions amongst humans, and in order to keep them at bay areas need to be kept dust free and (in the case of bed bugs) bedding needs to be cleaned and changed regularly.

Careful vacuuming and treating with specialist sprays can help.


They don’t cause a health risk and the majority of the 2,000-plus species are harmless,  but some ‘qualify’ as pests due to the damage their larvae can cause to clothing and soft furnishing materials.

Delicate and expensive fabrics such as silks are at risk as the moth caterpillars like to eat the protein (keratin) in natural materials including wool and cotton.


Ants often nest outside on lawns, in warm soil or under paving but aren’t thought to be hazardous in themselves although the idea of an army of them marauding through food cupboards is enough for most householders to seek their removal.

A small infestation may be dealt with by ant killers available in supermarkets and DIY stores while a larger infestation may need pest control experts.


A dangerous pest in that they can carry diseases such as salmonella, gastroenteritis and dysentery amongst others.

They’re very tough insects and breed quickly so require swift action from a pest control expert to stop an infestation before it gets out of control. Like many pests, they’re attracted to warmth, food and water so keeping food out of the way and not allowing water to collect in old vessels are basic ways to prevent them appearing.


Mainly a nuisance because of their sting, wasps are more active in the milder summer and spring months. They may build a nest in or around your home such as in the loft, the eaves or in another space or cavity.

If you suspect you have a nest of have definitely noticed one, then professional removal is recommended as the DIY approach can be dangerous; wasps disturbed may well attack in larger numbers and this could be doubly dangerous if you’re accessing the nest up a ladder or entering a confined space such as a loft.

A word about


Bees are not pests but some may nest in or around your home. Like wasps, they sting so DIY removal is not recommended. They’re less aggressive than wasps and, depending on exactly where the nest is and how large it is, it may be left safely and the bees will die out naturally at the end of the summer.

Honeybees can be removed with the help of the British Beekeepers Association but they can’t help with other types of bee such as bumblebees and solitary bees. This page on their website shows the differences.


A common sight as most properties experience the odd fly or two in the warmer months, but they are dangerous pests and can become an overwhelming infestation if left unchecked – some species can go from egg to adult in just a week.

Flies carry some nasty diseases such as salmonella and E coli.

As with many other pests, flies are attracted to food and thrive in less hygienic environments so keeping food under cover, or preferably away from the open, will help as would something as basic as a deep clean of an area and denying access by shutting windows and doors and using fly screens.

Keeping bins and standing water covered is a sensible move, and in areas where food is prepared fly boxes or electric fly killers are effective.


Extremely distressing and annoying pests to have in your midst, mice can cause damage through their gnawing and spread disease through their droppings and urine.

They only need the tiniest gap to access your property, and don’t require much food each day to thrive – a sliver of biscuit lying in a crevice or a handful of crumbs on the floor make a significant addition to a mouse’s daily dining.

Keeping any cracks, gaps and holes filled in (don’t underestimate how small a gap a mouse can get through) is a start in preventing their presence as is keeping food debris cleared up and containers on all foodstuffs as their sense of smell is highly acute.

You may feel inclined to try and get rid of a mouse yourself through using a trap or similar, but be aware there may be more than one around. A call to pest control experts should help not only rid you of the mice present but prevent them reappearing.


Perhaps the number one most despised pest of all, rats – like mice – can cause all kinds of damage to property through their gnawing, and spread highly dangerous infections through their droppings and urine such as Weil’s disease and salmonellosis.

Rats can breed very quickly, so left unchecked a minor invasion can soon become a full blown infestation.

As with mice above, rats thrive on untidy environments where food is available. Therefore, refuse bins inside and outside should be kept covered and emptied as frequently as possible; areas should be kept clutter-free; don’t put organic food waste on compost heaps and keep food stored away in containers with well fitting lids.

If any tell-tale signs of rats are present such a droppings or gnawing marks, it’s best to call pest control experts in quickly.

Prevention and cure

The key advantage of using professional pest control experts to deal with your pest problem is, not only can they ensure their safe and effective removal, they’ll also help ensure there is no recurrence in the future.

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How to Stop Your Outside Tap Freezing

Keep the Water Flowing and Avoid Burst Pipes This Winter

Frozen taps are an inconvenience and can result in expensive damage. How can you keep yours ice-free during the harshest weather?

As homeowners, we face the same old challenges every winter, and often they are the ones we remember our parents facing while we were growing up. If the phrase “that tap always freezes in winter,” is familiar to you, then perhaps this is the year you will prevent history from repeating itself and do something about it.

When the temperature drops below zero, there is always the possibility of water in the pipes freezing, and plumbers in Edinburgh and throughout the UK will be expecting the usual flurry of activity as we reach the coldest months. You might think that a frozen outside tap is not a huge cause for concern, but it can cause serious, and potentially costly, damage.

Ice expands

When water freezes, the crystalline ice molecules are of lower density than those of liquid water. This means that when a given quantity of water freezes into ice, it needs more space – in other words, it expands, and if it is in a confined space, it will need to find a way out. This is one of the reasons it is so important to have antifreeze in your car – if you use neat water and it freezes, it will simply crack the engine open.

The same can happen in your pipes and tap if they are full of water, and the first you will know about it will be when the ice thaws and the water starts spraying out through the ruptured pipe.

What to do

You can reduce the risk by making sure all your pipes are adequately protected. Underground pipes or those inside the house should be reasonably safe, but any that are located outside are certain to freeze if you do not take action to insulate them.

Think which pipes are the most vulnerable – if you have lived in the home for a few winters, the chances are, you already know the weak spots. Don’t forget the pipes that are on an outside wall, or those that run through any unheated crawl spaces.

Switch off

The simplest solution is to simply shut off the supply lines to outside pipes and taps in advance of a cold snap. You will probably have a shut off valve in the supply line somewhere near where it passes through to the outside. Close it off, drain off any water in that section of pipe and there is nothing to freeze.

Of course, this is not a solution if you need to use the water supply, for example if you have livestock.

Insulating pipes

You can buy insulating sleeves that will do an effective job of preventing the water from freezing. These fit snugly around the pipe, and are then taped in place. Alternatively, you can use fibreglass or rockwool insulation.

Make sure you insulate every single spot, and be sure to go all the way around the pipe – this can be fiddly where it runs close to a wall.

Protecting taps

Finally, remember that the taps themselves contain water. You can but covers that fit tightly over them and will reduce the chances of them freezing. After a particularly cold night, check the taps by running off a little water whether you need to or not, as keeping it flowing will also help.

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Why You Need a Topographical Survey for Your New Development

Large projects, such as new housing developments, can often be costly affairs; therefore, it is imperative that the planning stages are meticulous and well thought out. A topographical survey is the very first part of the development process, and is the foundation in which your new project will stand.


Transforming sketches

Knowing what is on the land is vital, especially if you want your development to proceed without incident. A thorough topographical survey is like a window into the future, providing a vision on how your empty site will transform into a stunning new development.

Everything needs to be planned out, such as where drainage pipes will be placed and where to build foundations for a flat surface. Topographical surveys give developers the data they need in order to make the right decision the first time.

Saving time and money

The right information from a survey will allow planners and architects to foresee any problems that may lie ahead due to the way the land sits. The knowledge before the project can save time and money, as they can work their plans around the findings in the survey, rather than encountering issues half way through a build.

Everything from road markings through to maximum building heights and alignment can be included in a survey for a developer to work with, making a topographical survey an indispensable part of any successful project.

How a topographical survey works

Topographical surveys are conducted in one of two ways; either conventionally or aerially.

Conventional surveys are the most popular; they are carried out by land surveyors who look at the surface of the land and are generally still conducted in a manual fashion, despite the advances in topographical surveying technology.

Aerial surveys however are done by taking photographs of the land from the air. Two overlapping photos are looked at together to form a stereo pair that allow surveyors to see the ground’s surface from two different vantage points. This gives the surveyor a greater sense of depth than is possible with a single photo.

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DIY Car Repairs Anyone Can Do

Basic Repairs are Not as Complicated as you Might Think

Whatever the age or type of your vehicle, there are plenty of things you can fix for yourself, without needing to call in the professionals.

You will often hear car enthusiasts bemoaning the fact that these days you need to plug a car into diagnostic equipment and have the right software to do anything, and that the DIY mechanic is now limited to tinkering with those automotive survivors from a bygone age.

You also hear people saying: “never let the truth get in the way of a good story,” and that’s certainly the case here. Sure, if you want to get down and dirty with the engine management system, you’ll need some diagnostic equipment, but there are still plenty of areas such as renewing braking or electrical components and car paint repair that have really not changed at all over the years, and certainly will not need any special computer software.


With winter here, now is the time to be checking your battery. You used to get plenty of warning when a battery was about to die, with that slow cranking in the morning, but these days, car batteries give up suddenly. You can get a great price on a replacement online, and it will be delivered direct to your door. Fitting it is a cinch, as it just involves slackening and removing the two terminal connections removing the securing clamp, taking out the battery, slotting in a new one and reconnecting the terminals and the clamp. A few extra points worth noting:

  • Always disconnect the negative terminal first, and reconnect it last.
  • Keep the car keys on you in case the central locking suddenly deploys.
  • Make sure you’ve got the PIN codes to hand for the radio and any other systems.

Car paint

Minor paintwork damage is annoying. It can really spoil the look of your car, but you’d probably think twice about taking it to the bodyshop for a little graze sustained in the supermarket car park. Car paint in itself has certainly changed over the years, but the basic principles for its application and repair are the same as they ever. Be patient and allow as long as it takes to get a perfect key and you will be able to get a finish that a professional would be proud of.

Brake pads

Brakes starting to squeal? That’s almost certainly because the pads have worn down and need replacing. That’s exactly what friction components are designed to do, so it is a job that will inevitably come up from time to time. If the squealing becomes a grinding, you’ve left it too long and are starting to damage the disc, and that’s when things get expensive, so sort those pads out now.

Windscreen wipers

If you are struggling to see where you are going, you are putting lives at risk. Like brake pads, the wipers are made of a material that naturally wears down through usage, so if you are getting streaks across your screen, invest in a new pair of blades. They come with a choice of fittings, so look carefully at the old ones to see exactly how the clips work, and always replace them one at a time, so you will have the other one to look at as a pattern.

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