A Classic Gent

A Few Reasons Why I Chose To Study Geography At University*

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Where Does My Passion For Geography Come From?


I have always loved the subject from being a young lad and I think my family has a lot to do with it. In the case of Nature vs nurture, I believe nurture has had a great influence. So back to the beginning, my Dad was a kid in the 1940s and  early 50s so when he was a lad there wasn't much to do on a rainy day, or if all his mates happened to be grounded or otherwise engaged, other than to read books and look at atlases and maps, and on a Sunday Evening he might be allowed to listen to his Father's radio. He would also collect stamps from all across the world; specifically from the colonies and former colonies of the (at that time now breaking-up and soon to be all but defunct) British Empire. He would travel up and down the UK via steam trains, on his own at just nine years of age, saving up for months to pay for his tickets; stopping at various stations along the way and taking down numbers and names of every one of those beautiful steam engines he saw. Even today when you see the odd commemorative steam train still in operation, I can start reading the number aloud and after two or three digits he will say, 'Seen it' or, 'Seen all that class'. 'No TV in those days', he always wryly adds. Again some names of one's I can recollect him mentioning as a boy were the 'Duchess of Atholl' and the 'Duchess of Sutherland' in the Coronation Class of Engines. These names spurred his curiousity and he would look up the names and learn about the places; some classes of steam trains would be named after Colonies of the Empire, of famous Battles and Generals and thus to this day my dad has a general knowledge which is absolutely amazing and I'd say he passed on his passion for learning about the world. 

Like wise exotic names such as Antigua and Bermuda, Trinidad and Tobago, Hawaii and such seemed about as far removed from Dad's reality as you could get especially combined with books filled with exotic and strange looking creatures, or with the beautiful landscapes and landmarks from around the world. Growing up in the afore mentioned slum with no electricity and no toilet (he had to walk forty yards down a lane in order to go to the lav in the middle of the night, in the Lake District in the North of England, back when 'Winter's were Winters!'. He also recalls taking baths in front of the fireplace, and walking up the stairs at night holding his candle for light. He would spend hours as a boy learning about these far flung and mystical places and his curiosity about the world around us was sparked in that way and as such, as a young lad, I myself was prone to spending the odd rainy day looking over maps with him and watching documentaries and shows about the world around us. Another reason for my curiosity and willingness to learn about other cultures also has at least a bit to do with my Mum and more specifically her background.




My Mum's Dad was an immigrant to the UK from what is now Ukraine, but when he was born there in 1922 it was part of the USSR. Grandad came to England shortly after World War Two had ended and so being that I am therefore a quarter Slavic I have always had a fascination with those origins. However due to terrible circumstances my Grandad never ever returned to his homeland, as his family were ALL lost by the time the war ended. His is a story of the utmost tragedy and hardship and of courage and I shall definitely talk more about him at some point. So having this background I was naturally always inclined towards wanting to learn about the outside world. In fact I recently received a book called This is London by Ben Judah which is a brilliant book and it delves into the immigrant communities of yesteryear right up to the present day giving some fascinating insights into the ways in which immigrants have helped to shape and make not only London, but Britain as a whole. Unlike my Dad who lived in the same town for the first 44 years of his life, my mum grew up living something of a 'Gypsy' way of life, moving from time to time up the length of the country as my Grandad worked on the construction of the first motorways in Britain and so they had to move to where the work was. 

In fact looking into my family history has been very enlightening in itself, I also found out that some of my distant forebears were French Huguenots who fled religious persecution in the Provence region of France and immigrated to East Anglia; itself of course taking its name from the Germanic tribe named the Angles, who ruled the region when England was not yet formed but was divided into several separate Kingdoms such as Mercia, Northumberland, Wessex etc. England itself obviously comes from 'Angla' Land, roughly translated, once again meaning, 'Land of the Angles'. Sorry for the random tangent, but so many people seem to view migration and immigration as fairly recent concepts, but a quick glance through history will reveal the omnipresence of human trans-migration worldwide.

As A Degree Which Can Help You Further Your Experience, Career and Skills.


Geography is a multi-skilled discipline and is divided between Human Geography (which led me to my B.A. Hons) and Physical Geography which leads to a MSc. I was naturally better at the Physical side in terms of my grades, but I didn't enjoy that aspect of geography nearly as much as the Human side. Here's a run down of what falls under 'Physical Geog'. you learn valuable skills from how to argue a point supported with evidence and backed by a deep understanding of an issue, carrying out and conducting surveys and research thesis' doing real life investigations, statistical analysis and all kinds of data analysis in general, formatting the results of research in creative and interesting ways, learning about different economies, political systems, languages and cultures from around the globe. Andrew Charlton has written some very interesting books on such issues and one which I think is worthwhile for anyone with an interest in business or economics is Dragon's Tail. It is a tremendously engaging and thought provoking read on the rise of China as a global economic superpower, as well as looking into some of the ramifications and potential effects for Australia (His homeland).

I was also very fortunate to go to one of the strongest three Geography departments in the UK and is consistently ranked as one of the top ten Geography Departments in the world according to the QS Rankings. Whereas if you want to be a doctor or a lawyer or a computer scientist, then you will obviously take up the necessary corresponding medical, legal or computer-study based route to your respective career. However, for the many people out there who perhaps aren't quite so sure what career you would ultimately like to do then I would say Geography is a tremendous option as so many of the skills you learn are transferable, and the content of the courses is rigorous enough to really challenge you in my opinion.



By studying such a breadth of separate topics under the umbrella of geography also helps to build up a pretty good level of understanding about a wide variety of issues and concepts which are undoubtedly relevant and in some cases crucial to the future of our planet. Covering everything from human impact on the planet to the extreme urbanization and economical shifts within nations such as in Thailand in recent decades; whereby the country's agricultural industry collapsed as there was a long period of mass migration with regards to the formerly rural populations moving en masse to rapidly developing urban centers (like Bangkok) in the search for greater prosperity. Just an insight into one of the ways in which the study of geography can help develop an understanding of geo-political and socio-economic issues among others. You see geography is not just 'advanced map colouring' :)

Where Could It Lead?


There are so many roots, you can go into further academic study such as in the case of Andrew Charlton who went on to further study at Oxford as well as working as a Political advisor to a Prime Minister, and of course a successful author; or perhaps you might want to become the fabled part-time geography/physical ed teacher? In reality geography graduates can be found in pretty much any industry you can think of and most of my friends are now working in business/finance. There are many options open to geography graduates. I'd recommend it as a course of study to anyone with a passion for learning about this amazing planet which we happen to inhabit.


P.S. I also loved the fieldwork element of my course, rather than being stuck in a classroom all the time, I relished the opportunities to get out in the countryside or to a city in order to conduct research. For me it just has a good mix of everything which kind of matches my curious nature and questionable attention span ;).  





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Bad Credit Loans: What are they?*

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As The Name Suggests . . .

Many of you will be aware of bad credit loans and what they are, but for those of you who are perhaps unfamiliar here is a brief run down. As the name implies, these loans are intended for people with a bad, poor or insufficient credit history. Because of this, generally you can expect higher rates of interest as well as more restrictions than for ordinary loans due to the lender viewing such loans as having a higher level of risk attached. This in itself is a crucial point to remember. 

Who are they for?

In a nutshell, bad credit loans are for people who simply cannot get approved for a standard loan, this normally stems from the belief of the lender that the money might not be paid back.

So, here's a list of some of reasons why you might be refused approval for a standard loan:

1) Have a lot of debt.

2) If you have applied for loans/credit too frequently (e.g. more than once every few months).

3) Missing payments or defaulting on your accounts.

4) If you have difficulty repaying current lenders and if you receive a County Court Injunction (CCJ), Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) or Debt Management Plan.

5) If you are declared bankrupt.

6) If you don't have an extensive enough credit history yet (e.g. Could be due to one's age or being new to a country etc).

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Search For A Loan Which Suits You.

In terms of finding a loan which will help and not hinder your credit rating further I have to say it is a task made much easier thanks to online comparison websites. You can enter your details it will match your requirements against the criteria of various lenders in order to then match you with the best loan option for you.

I would say that such a product (Bad Credit Loans) Should be thought very seriously about and unless you are positive you will be able to repay it, do not go there. However, it is a simple fact of life that millions of people are struggling day to day, and especially since the crash of 2008, and there are times when a bad credit loan might be the only option you have to see you through X amount of days, weeks, or months.


Managing Your Loan.

If you manage your loan effectively, and you make repayments on time for the full term of the arrangement, then you will be able to improve your credit score gradually over time. Meaning that in future you might be able to borrow money from a greater variety of lenders while being in a position to negotiate better terms and rates of interest on future loans.


For anyone struggling to pay off debts at the moment, free advice is available so please investigate further, if you are unfamiliar with the potential benefits of a debt consolidation management plan and other forms of debt management it might well be worth your time. Here is a link for those of you in the UK and the United States.






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A Couple Of Potential Routes Into A Career In Law*

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'The Welfare Of The People Shall Be The Supreme Law'. Marcus Tullius Cicero.

'Salus populi suprema lex esto'. (In case Boris Johnson or any other Latin Lovers are reading ;)


I have always been slightly curious about Law, I considered a career in Law during my youth. I ultimately ended up going down a different route so although i didn't get a law degree, my affinity for the subject never completely waned. As such I have recently been looking into the pros and cons of studying for either an LLM in International Business Law and at some of the benefits of completing a law conversion course such as the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) in the UK. You can find out more about where the GDL is offered as a course of study here. I was always enamoured with the concept of helping to protect the innocent, both in terms of victims of crime, and miscarriages of justice. However, the notion of potentially having to defend a client you might know to be guilty is something I'd have a difficult time doing especially if the crime was something heinous. Hence I would say I am more interested in aspects of business law especially with being involved in businesses for the last ten years. I wouldn't necessarily wish to become a solicitor but such a qualification could be beneficial to me in many ways.

I believe knowledge of the law to some extent can really be of great help to any small or large business owner and again in life too, and as well as taking such a course because I am attracted by the subject itself: I also feel that by completing such a course I will be adding a string to my bow. I am still weighing up options. Of course Law is a notoriously heavy subject and it would require a tremendous amount of reading, learning and time in general. On this note it is good that there are options for differing course lengths as well as part-time or full-time study. There are some other courses out there which I am also looking into at the moment. Another example of a potential route of study might be with regards to finance or tax laws, again both skills which can help in general life and in business.

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We shall see what happens but it's an option for sure. The Graduate Diploma in Law is a great way of getting into the legal profession if you currently hold a non-law Bachelors Degree from a recognized College/Institution. I have a friend who studied geography for his bachelors then went on to study the GDL followed by studying for the Legal Practitioner's Course (LPC), he is now a fully fledged property lawyer in London. So it is useful to have an example like that as it demonstrates that it can be done this way, rather than going the more traditional route of studying for a Bachelors in Law and then onto the LPC.


Since starting this blog I've realized that knowledge of the law to some extent is helpful, especially in an industry whereby laws are changing and new regulations are frequently introduced. It helps one stay abreast of certain issues such as the recent GDPR regulations. We are all well aware of the legal requirement for transparency, to ensure full disclosure and the stricter guidelines which have come into play over the last year or so with regards to advertising and marketing especially. We also have a responsibility for the content we publish for public consumption and as such reading up about such legal issues has re-sparked my curiosity with regards to Law.

For anyone in the States looking for a personal injury attorney, Tampa or if you require a Tampa car accident attorney.




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Find Out If You Are Entitled To Make A Claim: Personal Accident Injury*

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Get Free Legal Advice And Info Online



Legal Issues can seem quite foreign to many of us, we are not familiar with the terminology and the jargon for a start, but thanks to the internet it has never been easier to make such legal matters much simpler.  For people in the States it helps to know a little about your own respective State's laws and legal processes as each state has it's own laws and jurisdictions regarding personal injury claims. 

Many people have never been through the process of making a claim following a personal injury before, and as such you might be unfamiliar with what kinds of injuries this term ('personal injury') might constitute. So here are a few examples of some of the types of accidents for which you might be able to claim, note, there are more categories besides these;

Animal Attacks

Automobile Accidents

Negligence Traumatic Injury

Insurance Disputes

Product Liability

Slip and Fall

Motor-cycle Accident

Wrongful Death


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The Importance Of Getting To Grips With The Laws Where You Live


As mentioned, it has never been easier to have legal matters explained to you in terms that you can understand. Again due to the differences in the Laws of each State it is worthwhile making sure you are familiar with some of the processes involved with regards to your particular State. Fortunately each state has it's own free to use websites, dedicated solely to helping citizens make sense of legal matters: here's one example of a free -to-use and helpful service relevant to those living in the State of New York; This service is great as you can get free advice from real life attorneys and people who 'know their stuff', and there are services like this nationwide, a quick online search should come up with numerous relevant sites.


For any UK citizens who may have been injured while in the United States, you may be intrigued to learn that you might have a legitimate entitlement to make a claim in the US. Again, information can be relatively simple to obtain and there are Law firms which actually specialize in these claims. So, whether you need a personal injury attorney, Tampa, or in New York or in Las Vegas: If you think you might be entitled to make a claim due to being in some kind of accident then it is worth your while investigating further.  




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Don't Let Debts Take Control Of Your Life; Dealing With Debt*

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For many People Debt Is An Unavoidable Aspect of Life


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There are only a few things in the world which can be so debilitating to a person, (mentally and physically), than being burdened by debts. Seeing no light at the end of the tunnel can really take it's toll. With recessions and economic downturns as well as a rocky international geopolitical landscape, debt is experienced by the vast majority of us. Like many people, I willingly walked in to more than £30 000 worth of debt in order to pursue my dream of studying at university.

Unfortunately there wasn't a trust fund or a 'college fund' or any other such resource, and, with being the first person in my family to go to Uni, the hidden expenses which inevitably accrue were unforeseen. I was quite fortunate in that during the holidays from University I would come home and work in construction as a general labourer. This money was really helpful in taking out some of the sting out of the cost of those few years of 'study' and in contributing to an overall debt reduction. However, I was fortunate as it is not easy to come to an arrangement with someone who will let you show up a few times a year and then disappear again soon after.

Another big help was getting a job a few nights per week doing PR work for a nightclub in the small city I was living at the time. I was lucky to have the construction work as it helped to keep my head above water financially. Most of us will experience debt during our lifetime, whether via credit cards, borrowing for personal, car or business reasons, or even in securing a mortgage, which for most people will be the biggest and most colossal debt acquired.

Debt is construed in the negative generally speaking, but of course there are different kinds of debt. I am not saying that getting a mortgage is a negative thing because for a lot of people as well as being their biggest financial investment it can also offer them a real sense of security. I know for my parents growing up the notion of owning one's own house to them seemed like an intangible representation of financial security.


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Be Aware; There Are No Guarantees In Finance


Of course we know a little more than they did back in the 1950s and 60s, and we are all familiar with the fluctuating nature of the property market; and how in 2008 the property industry like many others here in the US/UK and elsewhere came to a complete standstill. From construction companies to lettings agencies, and everything in between, everything stopped and then everything plummeted. Many a millionaire property landlord became bankrupt practically overnight. Then there was the whole Sub-Prime Mortgage Scandal from 2007-2010; a banking crisis which rocked the United States economy. It is perhaps worth noting that no one in the world of finance, and no investment is 'bulletproof'.

Important to mention I feel, although there is a lot of truth in the saying; 'there's always money in bricks and mortar', you should always be aware that every financial investment you make comes with some element of risk. Even getting a secure looking mortgage. It is better to recognize this as a possibility ahead of time in order to have plans B and C at the ready should you ever require them. It can be difficult to see any way out but it is important to note that there are companies out there who specialize in helping you to get out of your financial difficulties.

Nationwide Debt Reduction Services are one such company, they offer a bespoke service and pride themselves of tailoring a payment plan which works around you and your unique circumstances (With no fees to be paid until the debt is settled). As depressing as the burden of debt can be it manageable in most cases and with companies such as this which also donate to scholarship funds I think it demonstrates that not everyone out there is simply 'after your money'.



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Male Grooming: On The Lookout For A Good Shaver*

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Trying To Look After Myself A Bit


I've never really been the vain type and at any rate, I knew from a youngish age that I was never going to look like Brad Pitt. That said, as 'Father time' has slowly crept up on me, it suddenly seems only sensible that I take some of the necessary steps to prolong my youthful looks for as long as possible. Recently I became the proud new owner of a Sonicare electric toothbrush which promises to do miraculous things for my teeth! Unfortunately despite doing my best to look after my teeth, they aren't as white now as they once were. Still, all in all they are in pretty good condition considering what I've put them through growing up . . . rugby collisions, falling out of trees, toppling over on my bicycle and such like.
Despite all the bumps and scrapes, my mouth has escaped relatively unscathed. Ironic really because when I did eventually lose three teeth it was only to create space for orthodontic treatment. Three perfectly healthy teeth I might add, extracted in order for me to have a fitted brace when I was fourteen years old. The toothbrush is very expensive to buy and bearing in mind I haven't had a toothbrush which cost more than £15 before, I'm curious to see whether it will improve my overall mouth health. I shall keep you posted and may well write a post in a few weeks time to chart my progress (if there is any.) If I see impressive results or anything noteworthy then I shall be sure to inform you!

Shaving - Traditional Or Electric?

I'm also looking for a Men's Trimmer as mine is old and no longer working properly. Over the last twelve months I have been shaving for the most part with a more traditional Razor (which I wrote a review on last year for Girl Gone Dreamer.) There's no denying there's a certain romance attached to the notion of the wet shave, the careful application of the foam onto the wet synthetic soft-haired brush and then to skin. However you do have to concentrate more to take care not to cut the skin as it's so much easier to do than with an electric shaver. One of the other difficulties when using a traditional shaver is maintaining the correct angle at all times. As a child my brother and I would watch my Dad shave. It seemed like such a manly and grown up thing to do. Little did we know then, that having to shave daily would become one of the biggest chores in life. That said, when I use a traditional razor, due to the closeness of the shave combined with the fact that I'm not blessed with thick facial hair, I usually then don't need to shave for at least two or three days.

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Unless I'm enjoying a slow paced wet shave in preparation for a good night out, a wedding or a business function, most of the time shaving is somewhat of an inconvenience, as I know it is to most. Bearing this in mind, I'm now on the lookout for a trimmer which I can shave with in a time efficient manner, (although granted, I shall still keep my traditional shave as an alternative). I like to be able to shave and leave a little stubble, rather than rendering myself completely hairless. 

This also helps me avoid any skin irritation which although is a rare occurrence, can sometimes happen. I'm not particularly interested in all the features regarding making patterns in my facial hair; I just want a simple clean, smooth shave with the option to edge and style my facial hair on the rare occasion that I have it long enough to require some neatening up. Again I might do a product review once I've tried a few. I'm definitely looking for something simplistic compared to some of the high tech gadgets on the market. The Panasonic Trimmer is of interest. Designed for use on body, head and facial hair, it seems like it would meet some of my time efficiency requirements.

For the more seasoned 'beard-groomers', the Panasonic trimmer features settings which enable professional styling and design of the hair. Prepare yourself for an eclectic mix of potentially wondrous results!

This trimmer has many perks! Featuring a 45 degree blade, this gadget trims – which is what I'm looking for - makes lines, cuts through tougher hairs and bristles and if you fancy having a haircut then you'll be pleased to know it can do this too! It's sensitive enough that you can even shave under your arms. Is there anything the Panasonic trimmer can't do?

What do you use for grooming? Are you a fan of the traditional razor or do you prefer an electric shaver?



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Financial Loans for Small And Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) In The UK*

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Sometimes . . . 'It takes money to make money'.



For anyone who has set up a business or even if you haven't but are considering it, then you will probably have an insight into one of the most difficult aspects at the outset of most business ventures; i.e. raising capital. Businesses will usually find it fairly difficult in the first couple of years of operation. After the initial outlay of capital in launching the business and then the struggle of 'keeping afloat', businesses often require some financial assistance in order to then reach long term profitability. It is often much easier said than done, with the current state of the economy, and with banks unwilling to part with much cash in order to help fund small businesses; It can be very difficult for people to raise capital but there is hope out there and for those of you who might need a financial boost then this article may be of interest to you.

Merchant Cash Advance are a company which specialize in business loans from £3000 to £500,000 depending on the specific business in question and other relevant factors of course. They are a company who firmly believe that entrepreneurs and SMEs (Small & Medium sized Enterprises) are the backbone of the UK economy and they aim to help people across the UK realize their business potential by providing fast and flexible financing options.

I think the fact there are such companies which are doing what they can to help out small businesses in the current climate of globalization and corporate conglomerations is positive and refreshing to see. For those of you out there who might not qualify for a bank loan, then at least it offers a glimmer of light in knowing that companies such as this are out there.

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I'd like to add that I do not endorse blindly throwing money at a situation in the irrational hope that by doing so the business is sure to come around to prosperity. Only look for outside financing if you know that by doing so you are giving yourself a good opportunity to succeed. 

As Napoleon Bonaparte once said; 'quitting while you are ahead is not the same as quitting'.



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