28 June 2016

pre-vacation checklist

At Home 
You are about to head off on your summer vacation. Sun, sand and the sea awaits. Oh and perhaps some Sangria! The excitement of the holiday is perfectly clear to all you decide to tell via the various social media channels. Perhaps best not to do that unless you want the world to know you're away! You've also bought the new outfits, shoes and accessories, and hopefully you've also followed our little guide to safer travel, (click on the link for more) A little guide to safe travel. So you're ready to go, but before the big departure its worth remembering you need to make sure your home is safe too. 

Sketches has collaborated with Simplisafe, who provide wireless security systems to keep the house safe whilst you're having fun abroad. (If you'd like to learn more about these systems or the company, then click on the red links.) Simplisafe have kindly allowed me to attach their pre-vacation checklist in this post. By following their advice you'll be able to head for that airport feeling more than secure and ready for that important holiday. 

Infograph courtesy of SimpliSafe 

Keeping Safe 
Once again its not rocket science, but its such an important part of the whole holiday process, so I hope you've found this post useful? Keeping safe is paramount when travelling and keeping the house secure is just as vital. Its the little things like the pre-vacation checklist and the advice I gave in our previous post that can give you peace of mind. So enjoy your travels and stay safe. 

26 June 2016

a little guide to safe traveling

Keeping Safe
Every travellers nightmare is that moment when you know you had something; money, a valuable procession, camera, ipod ect and then all of a sudden you can't find it. Panic takes over, you scramble around searching your suitcase or backpack, throwing your clothes on the bed or floor, including those smelly socks you forgot to wash! Sometimes you'll find it, tucked away amongst dirty washing or at the bottom of your makeup bag, for some it's nowhere, gone, never to be seen again. 

It doesn't matter whether you are a backpacker, leisure traveller, a family with screaming children in tow or on a business trip. Keeping your processions safe is a concern for everyone. So with the holiday season fast approaching, Sketches gives you a little guide on how to keep your belongings safe on your next adventure. 

a little guide

Have a safe journey
So there you go, perhaps obvious tips but still its important to remember, as we can all get a little complacent when we travel. Well its all about having fun isn't it? I'd love to hear if you have some tips of your own. Lets share and most importantly be safe. Happy travelling.

17 June 2016

imperial war museum

Travel Diaries

Imperial War Museum Entrance - London

The Imperial War Museum is an attraction that has somehow passed us by. I may have visited it in the past but have no memories of going. We've always visited the more accessible museums in central London. We're currently reading the wonderful 'Grandpa's Great Escape' by David Walliams with M, and it inspired us to take a look at the museum, as it heavily features in the story. Sketches has featured a number of museums on this site, National History and Science Museums, and I'm glad that we've been able to add this one to the list. So if you've never been or are looking for something to do in London this Summer, then let us help you. 

London museums
Above the Grand Hall - Imperial War Museum
Grand Hall
Perhaps the most problematic part of the day was actually getting to the museum. It's a little walk from the tube station (Lambeth North on the Bakerloo Line), so be warned if taking children. That said a ten minute stroll isn't too much hardship and you won't be disappointed once you've arrived. Signs clearly direct you, so getting lost shouldn't be a problem. Firstly let's be clear this is a museum that doesn't glamorise war, and there are images and displays that small children may find disturbing. Right so what's it like?

Once you've negotiated the giant guns that welcome you into the museum, I say that with a hint of irony! You'll arrive in the grand hall. Suspended above your head is a Harrier jump jet and Spitfire, on the ground exhibits such as trucks from various different conflicts. Our thoughts of the story we're reading came flooding into our minds at this point. (You'll have to read the book to find out more!) From here you are given choices; head upstairs and work your way down though the various levels, head for a coffee or the First World War exhibition on the lowest level. We decided on lunch first.  

London museums

Stunning Displays
After a quick packed lunch and a coffee (the downstairs cafe was busy, so be warned), we headed for the World War 1 exhibition. This has been recently revamped and not having been through it before I can only speak of the new display. Lets start by saying that for such a horrific period of history the exhibition is amazingly structured and laid out. Informative, thought provoking perhaps don't fully give it justice. Interactive displays and large exhibits allow younger children to also come away with a sense of this period in our history. All done in a totally non glorifying way. There was so much to read that you could probably spend all day just in that exhibit alone. You're taken through the whole process from pre-war to its conclusion, including a section on what it was like in the trenches. Some photographs are graphic in detail, so best to be aware of that. Overall though this was a stunning display and highly recommended. 

London museums
Relics of the past - Imperial War Museum
Imperial War Museum 
The other floors feature different stages of the Second World War and then bring it up to date with recent conflicts. Although these displays perhaps don't have the physical impact of the World War One display, they are nevertheless interesting and again thought provoking. Relics of these wars such as cars, tanks, and equipment help to bring added interest as you walk the corridors. Depending on your time and who you're with then give this museum at least two or three hours of your time. There is little doubt that you will have learnt something new when you leave. 

Although the Imperial War Museum may not be to everyone's liking it's certainly an important museum that will give you insight into previous wars and why we need to maintain peace in our times.  Have you been? Did you enjoy your time there? Should we have museums that look at war? Whatever your view I'd love to here from you. As always thanks for your support. 

8 June 2016

roadside wonders

Beauty in unexpected places
How often do you take a moment to glance at the roadside as you speed along the motorway (highway), negotiate a country lane or walk along a path? Probably not often if you're driving! If however you are the passenger or you are walking, then please do. Look closely and you will find beauty in these unexpected places. Colours of many hues, from red to yellow, green and purple. Summer has well and truly arrived and our pathways are brimming with natures' delights. 

Looking at the roadside
If you are a regular visitor to these blogs or you've looked at our Instagram site you'll know we're always featuring photographs on nature and the natural environment. It's such a beautiful time of year and the chance to capture some of this beauty has been a real privilege and pleasure. This post is called roadside wonders because that's exactly what they are; wonders on the roadside. So the next time you get a chance to take in your surroundings whilst out and about, take a look at your roadsides. Wonders await. I promise.

summer flowers

It would be wonderful if you could share some of your roadside wonders, so please share your links so we can enjoy them. Also keep a look out for other images on Sketches various accounts as we continue to seek out the wonder of our roadsides. 



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