All posts by Sally

Guinea Pigs and Rabbits in Cold Weather

If a cold snap looks likely in your region, then it is important to think about your small pets before the worst of the weather arrives. Rabbits and guinea pigs which usually live outdoors are vulnerable to extreme weather condition. Their furry coats alone do not offer sufficient protection against the coldest temperatures.

Rabbits and Guinea Pigs Living Outdoors

Owners of small pets with outdoor hutches must remain extremely vigilante throughout the winter months and should keep an eye on the weather forecasts. Any hutches and runs must be protected from snow, frost and rain. If you don’t feel sure about the wellbeing of your pet, you should seek advice from your vet.

Guinea pig

What You Can Do

Here’s what you can do to ensure that your rabbits or guinea pigs remain happy and healthy in freezing conditions:

  • Make sure that your pets’ homes are waterproof, draught-proof, dry and adequately ventilated. Their homes should also be escape-proof and predator-proof. You must check the hutches regularly for water marks and other signs of damage which could weaken them.
  • If rabbits are healthy and living with other rabbits it is acceptable for the temperature of their home to be as low as -20 degrees Celsius. Elderly and sick rabbits or animals which live alone would not be able to cope with such cold temperatures.
  • Healthy guinea pigs can also cope with living in temperatures as low as -20 degrees Celsius.
  • Both rabbits and guinea pigs must be given plenty of bedding for warmth. They need extra bedding in the winter and their hutches should be lined with a good supply of newspaper. It helps if you cover the hutch with an old duvet or blanket to provide extra insulation.
  • Water bottles and bowls should be checked every day to ensure that the water in them hasn’t frozen.
  • Try to avoid too many temperature fluctuations if at all possible.
  • Your animals’ homes should be placed in a sheltered position and protected from wind, rain and snow. Hutches should be positioned at least 10cm off the ground.
  • If the weather becomes really severe it is worth moving outdoor pets to an inside space which is well-ventilated. Light and room to exercise would also help. Do not house your pets in a garage that you park your car in as vehicle exhaust fumes are harmful to both rabbits and guinea pigs.

Rabbits and guinea pigs have small bodies and this makes them highly susceptible to hypothermia. If they are locked in their hutches then they are powerless to improve their own situations and they rely on their owners completely to provide a safe and warm environment.

Should You Consider Installing Triple Glazing?

I remember when I first started working at Heathrow. I was based on an industrial estate adjacent to the airport and was shocked by the level of noise pollution. The aircraft were flying over the building every ninety seconds. At least once each day the Concorde passed over as it took off and that was quite simply like Armageddon! Continue reading Should You Consider Installing Triple Glazing?

How to Create the Perfect Garden for Wildlife

Many of us spend a great deal of time and money travelling in order to view wildlife. Visits to animal parks or zoos and bird watching trips can take a toll on your wallet. Whale watching or bear viewing in Alaska really stretches the finances! If you appreciate wildlife then perhaps it is time that it came to visit you! Continue reading How to Create the Perfect Garden for Wildlife

A Guide to Freestanding Baths

The bath tub is the focal point of the bathroom and so your choice of tub will always define the look of your room. Freestanding baths will bring a touch of luxury to your home and will help to create a unique look which you can be proud of. But you may have thought that a freestanding bath would be beyond your means. Think again!

Sophisticated and Glamorous

There is no doubt that a freestanding tub adds a touch of glamour and sophistication to your home. The luxurious looks may have left you feeling that these chic baths are the preserve of the rich, but not so. Freestanding baths can be an extremely affordable option. Their popularity has seen the introduction of exciting styles in different sizes and fashioned from a variety of materials. There are stylish yet affordable options which just might be perfect for your space.

rolltop freestanding baths

Size Matters

Whilst you may be able to accommodate a striking freestanding bath in your budget, the tub must also be a suitable size for your room. Space can be at a premium in bathrooms but there are smaller freestanding baths which could suit. However, it is important to realise that a freestanding tub needs at least a little space around it in order to highlight its wonderful form. If your bath is squeezed into too tight a space, its beauty and impact will be considerably diminished.

You should also think about the weight of your favoured styles of tub, both empty and full. Your rafters must be able to take the weight of the bath if it is upstairs. If you are in any doubt, seek expert advice.


Freestanding baths are available in a surprisingly diverse range of styles. Traditional roll top and slipper baths are the perfect addition to a period bathroom but there are striking contemporary designs which create a fabulous centrepiece for a more modern bathroom. There will be a freestanding bath to complement the aesthetics of your particular home. The baths can stand directly on the floor, on feet, on cradles or on plinths to add yet another dimension to your design scheme.


When freestanding baths initially became a feature of domestic households, homes did not feature plumbing and so the baths did not have taps fitted to them.  They were filled using jugs or buckets. Today many styles retain the period look and so require the addition of freestanding or wall mounted taps. If space is a challenge then the location of your taps is a further consideration.

Boost the Value of Your Home

Your bathroom should certainly be created with your needs and taste in mind. However, a great bathroom is a significant selling point for your home when it is time for you to move on. Like beautiful kitchens, a stylish bathroom is sure to please potential buyers. A freestanding bath provides an aspirational look which will appeal to most buyers and so could raise the value of your home.

The leading bathroom ranges including Heritage, Ideal Standard and Burlington offer a wonderful selection of freestanding baths. Don’t rule out fitting one until you have explored your options!

Outdoor toys; The best choices for your garden

As the weather warms up many of us will look to give our gardens a refresh and restyle. For those that have kids it might also be time to buy some outdoor toys, the type that will keep them entertained and out in the fresh air.

But what do you go for? There are a variety of different kinds of outdoor toys to pick from and the choice really does depend on the age and interests of your little one as well as the space that you have to spare.

What child doesn’t love the fun that only a slide and swing can bring?


As much fun as it is, there is a good chance that a trip to the beach isn’t on the cards for every day of the summer. But this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to build a sandcastle or two. There are a variety of sand pits available to buy for your garden, meaning that you can bring the beach to your home.

Many of them are also combined with paddling pools so that you can really have a splashing good time and all from the comfort of your own home.

Outdoor toys

Slides and Swings

Mean frequent trips to your local park, if you decide to buy your very own playground equipment then you won’t have to go any further than your own backyard.

They come in a variety of sizes ideal for toddlers right up to older children although you should always check that the equipment will fit within your garden space before you buy.


Trampolines have become one of the most popular outdoor toys. They are not only great fun but they are also suitable for all ages (even the biggest kids) meaning that they can grow with your child.

It is important to remember that trampolines, especially the larger ones, can be bulky and take up space in your garden; therefore, if you are going to purchase one, be aware that it will limit the room that you have in the rest of the garden.


Nerf Toys

If you don’t mind a bit of rough and tumble, then Nerf is the ideal outdoor toy for your family. Suitable for both girls and boys these kid friendly foam disc and bullet blasters are great fun and are not only ideal for your own garden but can be packed away to take on that summer camping holiday too.

Ball games

When it comes to outside games you don’t always have to opt for the big and bold. Instead you can pick up one of the huge varieties of ball games that are available. Swingball, football or simply just a bat and ball; they are a great way to come together and interact as a family. They will keep you all fit too!

Playhouses and tents

Children love having their own space and this is just as true in the garden as it is for the home. If you have the room to spare, then a playhouse or tent is sure to become one of your child’s favourite places to play.

Whether you go for a simple tent or perhaps a large double storey playhouse; these are great additions to your home.

Who knows how long the summer will last? Get out there and enjoy it as best you can! Whether you are playing with balls or water, there is so much fun to be had in the great outdoors

Dream House or Nightmare Home?

Many people harbour dreams of finding a property in need of renovation and transforming it into a perfect home. It is easy to get carried away with the dream of that charming period home restored to its former glory but such projects shouldn’t be undertaken lightly. Property renovation is hard work, it is fraught with difficulties and it will often produce nasty surprises. Your dream could quickly turn into a nightmare when your project becomes a money pit or you discover that it is impossible to fulfil your vision. Continue reading Dream House or Nightmare Home?

The 24 Hour Washing Machine

I bought a new washing machine last weekend. This was perhaps not the most interesting thing to do with my Saturday morning but then it didn’t take all of the morning. In fact it took me precisely five minutes after which time I got on with what I really wanted to do. This episode was in dramatic contrast to my last experience of buying a washing machine which was a lot more painful. My latest purchase was a reminder of just how much my shopping habits have changed in a short space of time and I am not alone. Continue reading The 24 Hour Washing Machine

The Beauty of Wrought Iron

I can still remember the moment that I became fascinated by the beauty of wrought iron. Like most children I hadn’t been much excited by architectural features, especially metalwork, but all that changed when my parents took me to Salzburg in Austria. Before the trip it had been the city’s connection to The Sound of Music that had filled me with anticipation but it was a street in the centre of town that was to make a lasting impression. Continue reading The Beauty of Wrought Iron

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

When I was cleaning my house the other day I found myself marvelling at the number of mirrors that feature in my home. This thought probably should have occurred to me before but the lamentable infrequency of my housework and the functional nature of mirrors have clearly led to me take mirrors for granted. This is slightly odd as I clearly chose each piece in the first place! Continue reading Mirror Mirror on the Wall