Tuesday, 30 March 2021

The Village of Holt, Wiltshire Part 1

Please join me on this walk around Holt. There is much more to see in this village, and that will follow in another video. Holt has a rich history and is full of amazing cottages and other buildings.

 

Thursday, 11 March 2021

Springtime - my favourite time

Springtime is one of my favourite times of the year. Following winter, which can often be wet and gloomy, there is usually more sunshine and, of course, longer days. Spring 2021 officially begins in the northern hemisphere on March 20th.

Already as we approach spring, we see signs of new life as the early plants pop up through the ground and some trees display blossom. There is a distinct sound of birdsong as our feathered friends pair up and start to nest. Yes, spring is a beautiful time to look and listen as new life starts to abound and produce that feeling of optimism.

It's a time to get out for those country walks.  It is time to enjoy life found in fields and woods. For those close to the sea, the sounds and sights of coastal life. Take your camera and capture memories for the future, especially in the depths of next winter, to remind you that spring will be just around the corner.



Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Should I Get a Credit Card?

Credit cards can be useful and convenient for paying for goods and services. They are, however, a way to get quickly and deeply into debt. The high rates of interest and a low minimum repayment can create problems for borrowers. Debt can grow, and many have found themselves buying things on impulse they can't afford. With crimpling repayments, people tend to borrow more and as they make those repayments and end up living on them until they can borrow no more. 

Credit card debt is one of the most common debt problems in the developed world. The cards are very profitable for banks as they make money from the high-interest charges and the transaction fees they charge the retailers. You can tell this from the many adverts for credit cards and the retailers who tempt you to take out their cards when you shop. 

Credit card debt is toxic and out of all the ways to borrow is one of the easiest ways to get into difficulties. We should all try to avoid debt if we want financial stability and long-term peace of mind. There are a few reasons to have a credit card if you have the self-control to use it in the right way.

Credit Card Consumer Protection

The first reason that I use one is for consumer protection. When spending over £100 on an item, the credit card company legally (UK laws) assumes responsibility for merchantable quality and delivery. If the purchase turns out to be faulty or you don't receive it, you can claim a refund from the card company if the retailer doesn't pay you back. Of course, the best way to use this is when you have the cash to immediately settle the credit card and pay no interest. 

Another benefit to cards is if you spend online with a debit card and the card then gets used fraudulently it can leave you seriously in trouble with your bank freezing your funds until they can rectify the issue. If your credit card is stolen or cloned, it's not technically your money that the criminals are using. As long as you have taken proper precautions, you are not liable. 

Credit Cards Abroad

Another reason that many will find advantageous to use a credit card is that you will usually get a better exchange rate when travelling abroad. Plus, you get the added security of not having to carry cash or someone cloning your debit card.

There will be some readers who will add advantages such as points for every pound you spend and if you do all your shopping with your credit card thas could add up to a reasonable sum at the end of the year. Whilst this is true, the danger of spending too much far outweighs the gain. It is a known fact that even if people have sufficient cash to cover their purchases, they are more likely to spend more than they intended.

In answer to the question, should I get a credit card? My view is 'yes' if you have the self-control to only use it to buy things you have saved for, give you the consumer protection and security of not carrying cash when large amounts required.

What do you think about using credit cards? Please leave a comment in the box below. 

See also my post - The Danger of Debt

Wednesday, 10 February 2021

The Danger of Debt

At some point in our lives, many of us will borrow money. This might be to buy a home, car or other goods. Retailers, banks, credit card companies want us to borrow. There are advertisements wherever you look, which are tempting you to buy now - pay later. Borrowing invariably is a bad thing, perhaps except for a mortgage to buy a home, and even then, great care must be exercised to avoid trouble.

Photo by energepic.com from Pexels

Rather than buy now and then spend months or even years paying back the debt, with added interest, it is far better to get into the habit of saving for what you need. It is also wise to avoid being drawn into a world of 'must-haves', rather than actual need. 

Financial experts will tell you that to stay out of debt because of unforeseen occurrences, we should all strive to save between 3 to 6 months of living expenses. If you lose your job or some significant unplanned expense suddenly comes along, you will be able to meet that without borrowing. 

When you get in the habit of saving, you are less likely to impulse buy even if you have plenty of available savings. How many of us have bought something, especially on credit and then realised we didn't really need it? Far too many, I'm sure. The act of having to withdraw real money from savings accounts that you have worked hard to build up is far more thought-provoking than handing over a credit card.

A savings mentality certainly has worked for me. It's sadly taken a long time for me to develop, but now I find it easier to consider every purchase more carefully than before, and as a result, spend less. It's also good to plan ahead for major expenses, for example, a car. What will your next car cost and when will you need it? Start saving now every month, and put the money in a separate account, if that is safer for you not to spend it. Effectively, you become your own bank or credit card company and think of the interest charges you will avoid.

I try to view things this way. If I have to borrow a pound, I now need two pounds in reality, excluding interest. One to pay back the lender and another to replace the one spent. This mindset has helped me to look at things very differently. Retailers tell you that this car is yours for only £199 per month or this TV for £30. Look away and ignore those messages. Plan your own financial future and don't be part of theirs.

One of the best things you can do is to budget. Work out exactly what you spend and what comes in. Look for areas where you can reduce expenditure and possibly increase income too. Be honest. Even £1 per day adds up to £365 a year and if that was in savings and not frittered away on some small daily item look at the value. In fact, it's a good idea to put expenditure into yearly terms and see how much even small value things costs. If you're struggling to cope, those little savings can become huge in your plan to avoid debt or get out of it.

Warning: If you are having serious debt problems, seek out debt charities or government agencies to give you impartial advice and not those who might profit from your predicament.

See also my post - Should I Get a Credit Card

Thursday, 28 January 2021

The Older Part of Trowbridge Sewage Works

 Before you think of poo and nasty smells, please stop! This is a walk to the older part of the Trowbridge sewage works and in fact, is quite rural with a small woodland. I hope you enjoy this short walk taken from my YouTube Channel, Roland's Travels

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

A walk through the village of Hilperton, Wiltshire

Please join me on another walk as we stroll through the village of Hilperton on the outskirts of Trowbridge in Wiltshire This village has been greatly expanded over the years but the old part is still looking lovely.

 

Look out for the old lock-up where those guilty of breaking the law would be locked up for the night. We also see the old village water pump and some fascinating old buildings.

Originally live-streamed on Periscope and Twitter you can see my videos on YouTube at Roland's Travels.

Friday, 15 January 2021

Looking with Fresh Eyes - An Antidote to the Lockdown

Looking with fresh eyes
Photo by fotografierende from Pexels

The Coronavirus pandemic has certainly brought great stress to many people. Many of us have been or are now locked down with little room for movement, which can lead to frustration and depression. Here in the UK, we are allowed limited movement in the form of exercise or essential travel, such as going to work or attending a medical appointment. 

Limiting people's movement will help control the spread of the virus and help bring it under control.

With such limited movement, it can become very boring as we see the familiar sights around us, and that led me to write this post, Looking with Fresh Eyes.

When we see the same things day in, day out we might actually be missing something. These might be small or even large details that we might be pleasantly surprised to see if we take a second look with fresh eyes. How many times have you walked along a path and then after a considerable number of journeys suddenly spotted something that has always been there, but you had not seen? Maybe if you were with someone on that journey, they pointed out an object that you had never noticed before? It happens a lot. 

We are often blinkered into seeing what we want to see, or in our rush to get somewhere don't have the time to really take in our surroundings. The lockdown can now be a time to start looking with fresh eyes at the things around us, perhaps not only physically but also in other ways. 

Let's concentrate now, though on the physical. There is a difference between our general vision and looking. We possibly see millions of things every day, which raises this question. How many objects do we really look at and get to know them? We might pass buildings with a rich history and clues embedded that we have never taken time to look at. There could be historical relics along our daily exercise routes that we miss but have been there for all to see. With each passing month, there will be different plants we don't know the names of, each with their own beauty and story to tell. If we take time to learn about just some these, we can enjoy a rich education and grow in our knowledge.  

It's good to take a closer look at the area where we live and see it with fresh eyes. I recently started a YouTube channel, Roland's Travels and record my walks along routes familiar to me but see things with fresh eyes and share them with you. With a little research using the aid of Google, there hundreds of facts that can be brought to life. Usually, there are so many fascinating points that I have to keep some back for another day. 

Having walked the same routes for many months has helped me use the approach of always looking with fresh eyes, which has made the lockdown more enjoyable.

Please, let me know how you are getting on with your experience of lockdown and if you too are looking with fresh eyes. 

Sunday, 3 January 2021

A Walk at Iford, Wiltshire

In this video, I talk a walk through the hamlet of Iford and the home of Iford Manor. The manor has grade 1 listed gardens which are open to visitors and for details please visit the website

This is a tranquil place with the River Frome flowing past and under a beautiful bridge in front of the manor which you can see in the video.


Please visit my YouTube Channel, Roland's Travels and do consider subscribing.

Saturday, 2 January 2021

A Walk Through the Village of Turleigh

 Join me on this walk through the village of Turleigh, Wiltshire.

Turleigh lies close to Bradford on Avon and the buildings show that at one time though small, greatly prospered. The names of many of the buildings, now residential properties, indicate their former past. There is The Old Malthouse, an old pub, bakery, post office, tannery, mill and brewery. Quite a busy place for such a small village. 

Please enjoy this walk as we explore this village starting on the hill down from the village of Winsley and the source of the village water supply before mains water was introduced. 


 

 If you have enjoyed this video, please visit my YouTube channel, Roland's Travels and subscribe to be the first to see new videos.

Friday, 1 January 2021

A Walk along the Kennet and Avon Canal, Bradford on Avon

 Join me as I walk along the Kennet and Avon Canal from Bradford on Avon to Avoncliff and over the aqueduct. Take a look at the narrowboats, fine buildings and views on this route. This canal is now a busy pleasure route as part of the UK canal network. The towpath also forms part of the National Cycle Network and is route number 4 going from Bristol to London.



Please do subscribe to my YouTube channel, Roland's Travels.