Spring has Sprung: Plans for my Garden

As a gardener, early-Spring is one of my favourite times of year. Although everything is still meant to be quite wet and cold outside, spring seems to have sprung early this year and is the perfect time to see the awesome power of nature. Despite the fact that the ground is still frosty here on some early mornings, spring shoots have recently started to force their way through the hard ground and have started to thrive. The snowdrops and daffodils are already in full bloom, adding beautiful splashes of colour to the garden.

Spring also means that I get the chance to think about what I want to grow in my vegetable garden in the coming year. I have just cleared out the last of the winter crops and now have a blank canvas for spring planting. A few fast growing crops, such as Spring Onions (salad onions or scallions) can work really well whilst summer crops are still in their seedling stage. Last year I had a dedicated salad bed where I was able to grow crops like lettuce, basil, spring onion and tomato. Perpetual spinach is also a firm favourite. Of course, salad beds are also firm favourites of a lot of garden pests, so I had to plant a range of companion plants to try to keep them all off my dinner!

I have just ordered some new packets of seeds, in anticipation of being able to grow a Mediterranean vegetables bed. Good fortune has meant that I have access to a new patch of allotment this year, which I am hoping will be perfect for recreating the Mediterranean climate. The new raised bed will be situated in a well-drained area which has sun for pretty much the whole day. Theoretically it should be the perfect spot for Mediterranean produce in the United Kingdom. The list of seeds which I have purchased for this new bed includes; chilli peppers, sweet peppers, aubergines, courgettes and fennel. I also have plenty of tomato seeds left over from last year.

I am also going to try growing a few fruit and vegetable varieties on my patio this year. Seed specialists are now starting to offer more and more varieties which are ideally suited to growing in small pots. As the housing crisis in Britain continues, more and more people will be forced to garden in smaller areas. Patio gardening is expected to become more popular than ever.

For my patio pots, I have bought a pre-established blueberry bush. It is a year old, so it will not have fruited yet. Hopefully I will be able to create the right conditions for a successful harvest. I have also chosen some carrots which are supposed to be ideal for pots. Carrots normally require a lot of space for deep rooting, but these carrots are a special stubby variety which needs very little downwards growing room. They almost look more like turnips and beetroots than carrots! Other easy patio crops include herbs and cut-and-come-again salad leaves. Lastly, I will add a splash of colour with some marigolds.


Going Pancake-Crazy

On a happier note to my personal injury categorised post from a couple of weeks back, Pancake Day is one of my favourite days every year. I just love pancakes in all of their forms. The taste, the beauty and the simplicity just push all of my buttons. Whilst I was at university (I won’t say when that was!) I even used to try to eat nothing but pancakes for the whole day. Although I do still get the urge to do this, my body will no longer accept pancakes for every meal. Having an adult job in an adult office also makes it very hard for me to get my lunchtime pancake fill, but thankfully being semi-retired I can live with it! On the other hand, sustaining myself over 24 hours of pancakes has taught me to step away from the classic lemon and sugar option and choose other pancake toppings.

This year’s main event was a delicious spinach and ricotta offering. The pancakes that I made to go with this dish were a very thin type of pancake, which were very similar to continental crepes. To make the filling I initially layered spinach leaves over the pancake base and then I covered them with a simple ricotta mixture. The ricotta mixture included a pinch of nutmeg to help to give it a lovely hint of spice. Once the pancakes had been topped, I rolled them up and put them into a baking dish. Before baking, I added a little smattering of grated Comte cheese to the top. I baked the pancakes for about 15 minutes and then served them with a simple green salad. Although it can hardly be considered to be a low-fat option (given all of the cheese which it contains), the dish is certainly a more mature option than some of the other pancake choices are.

Nonetheless, my dessert pancakes were a return to student form. For these pancakes, I made a slightly thicker, cakier iteration. These pancakes were actually far more similar to the American-style pancakes which are often served as part of brunch dishes. I sliced up a banana and then sprinkled on some finely chopped hazelnuts to give the topping a little bit of crunch. I also made a simple chocolate sauce by combining milk, chocolate, golden syrup and cocoa powder. Drizzling this chocolate sauce over the pancakes helped to give the dessert some much-needed moisture. Of course, this is a delicious combination.

Every year after Pancake Day, I always wonder why I stick to eating pancakes on one day only. There are plenty of healthier options that I could eat for dinner on other days, but for some reason I never move past Shrove Tuesday. This year I have decided to make a conscious effort to make savoury pancake dishes on days that are not specifically Pancake Day. There are plenty of cultures that enjoy pancake or crepe-style dishes as part of their national cuisine, so I am going to explore some of these ideas. Maybe it will stop me going pancake-crazy next time Pancake Day rolls around? In fact, I have already got an Indian-style Keema pancake lined up for dinner this week!


Claiming for the death or injury of a loved one

If someone in your immediate family has experienced a personal injury, the effects can be devastating. A serious personal injury can change completely change the life of the injured party, as well as having a profound effect on their closest relatives. If a close relative has been killed or seriously injured in an accident that was not their fault, it may be possible to make a claim for compensation. This claim could include the collateral effects that the injury has had on those around the victim.

Why make a claim on behalf of a loved one?

When someone is injured in an accident or as a result of a violent crime, it is not always possible for them to make a claim for themselves. This may be because the injuries that they suffered were so severe, because the person was killed in the accident, or because the person in question is not old enough to make their own claim.

If the person is under 18 or if they lack the mental capacity to make adult decisions for themselves then it is possible to become the “litigation friend” for the injured party. Before you are accepted as a litigation friend, the court will need to do some quick checks to ascertain your suitability to accept this role. Making a claim in this way will help to ensure that the injured person has access to all of the support that they need to help them to deal with the aftermath of the accident. The litigation friend will be responsible for making important decisions relating to the case.

If the person has died, it is likely that the death will have had a serious effect on your life and the lives of other family members. As well as shouldering previous medical costs and funeral costs, you may have been left with a severely reduced family income. In addition to this, there is a high degree of emotional suffering involved in the death of a loved one, especially if they death occurred because of a horrifying accident. It is a good idea to speak to a claims advisor to see whether it is possible to make a claim for the effects that the aftermath of the accident have had on you and your family.

What could we get compensation for?

Your claims advisor will help to decide what you might be able to get compensation for. The compensation differs in every single case, because it is always based on unique circumstances. In cases where the injuries are severe, the compensation may be awarded to enable the family to make necessary adaptations to the home and vehicles. This can help to make it easier to offer appropriate care for the injured person. The cost of carers may also be covered if professional care is needed. If you or another family member has suffered from a reduced earning potential because of the increased care requirement of the injured party, you may also be able to claim compensation for this.

The injured party should also receive compensation which is proportional to the extent of their injuries. In order to work out how much compensation a person may be entitled to, the claims advisor will need access to personal medical records. If there have been any out-of-pocket medical expenses incurred because of the injury, the defendant should be asked to cover these as part of the claim. The claim may also take into account all loss of earnings and potential future earnings which the injured party was forced to sacrifice because of their injury.

If the accident caused the premature death of the victim, it may also be possible to make a claim for the emotional distress that has been caused by the death. Damages can be claimed for loss of relationships (society) arising from the death of the loved one. Claims can also include the loss of financial support, particularly if the deceased had been the main breadwinner in the household. If the deceased had primary responsibility for any other tasks which now require someone else to be employed to carry out those tasks for the family, this may also be consider within the scope of the claim.

cosmetic surgery

I signed a Cosmetic Surgery Waiver: Can I still make a claim for compensation?

With Christmas only a week away it is inevitable that some gifts people receive will be for cosmetic surgery procedures (nothing wrong with that!) so I thought I’d publish some helpful information on your rights.

Having elective cosmetic surgery is not a decision that should be taken likely. Some candidates are rightly concerned about negative side effects that may occur as a result of the procedure. Most surgeons get candidates to sign something before the procedure to try to absolve themselves of any liability if the procedure goes wrong. However, signing this piece of paper does not always mean that you do not have any rights to make a claim.

Medical Standards

Any medical practitioner who operates in the United Kingdom is required to meet minimum medical standards. This legislation covers cosmetic surgeons, as well as doctors and nurses who carry out necessary medical treatments. Cosmetic surgeons and cosmetic opticians are also covered by their own industry standards which are designed to ensure that patients receive adequate treatment from qualified professionals. If licensed surgeons or practitioners fail to meet these standards, then they can put patients at risk. Alternatively, practitioners may be breaking the law if they are carrying out procedures without the correct licence.

If it can be proven that negative side effects from cosmetic surgery occurred because the practitioners were failing to meet minimum hygiene standards, then this will override any waivers that were signed before the surgery.   The existence of a waiver does not permit surgeons to take unnecessary risks with their patient’s lives. Hygiene is particularly important in cases where an item is being implanted into a patient. It can be very hard to clear an infection if the implant itself is the source of the infection. In addition to the removal of the implant itself, medical doctors may have to remove excess tissue from the patient to try to clear the infection. If the patient survives the infection, they could be left with severe scarring.

The Consent Form

Patients may also be entitled to make a claim for compensation from their cosmetic surgeon if they are able to show that the risks of the surgery were not adequately explained to them before they submitted to the procedure. In order to sign a consent form, patients must be able to understand the content of the consent form that they are being asked to sign. If the content of a contract is written in such a way that it cannot be easily understood by the signatory party, then this can void the contract. Alternatively, it may also be possible to show that the risks were not adequately explained to the patient outside of the contract. Examples of successful cases include; instances where it was shown that the surgeon encouraged patients not to read the waiver as it was “just a formality”; and instances where surgeons downplayed the risks of the procedure or failed to mention increased risk to that particular patient.

Cosmetic surgeons also have a responsibility to refuse their procedures to people who would be deemed to be in a very high risk group. These are the people who are most likely to suffer serious side effects during the procedure. If it can be shown that a surgeon performed a procedure on a patient, even though the surgeon was aware of the increased risk to the patient, then it would be possible to overrule the content of the waiver.

If a cosmetic surgery procedure goes wrong, it may not be the surgeon themselves who is ultimately liable. In recent years, there have been a number of high profile cases where the fault lay with the manufacturers of the implants which were being used. If it is discovered that a faulty product has put you at risk during a cosmetic surgery procedure, then it may be possible to sue the manufacturer rather than surgeon who did the work. In cases like this, patients will often need to undergo a second procedure to remove the faulty implants. Any subsequent corrective surgeries should be covered as part of a compensation claim.

If you have suffered extreme negative side effects as a result of cosmetic surgery, you should not feel like you are bound by a waiver signed before the procedure. Get in contact with a personal injuries lawyer or a claims advisor to see if you might be eligible to make an appropriate claim for compensation.

3 year time limit

Time Constraints when Making a Claim for Compensation

A personal injury can have a huge impact on your quality of life and your financial wellbeing. Even if the injury was only an accident, you may have the right to make a claim for compensation. Compensation is designed to help to make it easier for you and your family to cope with the effects of a personal injury. A claim should also cover any out of pocket expenses that you have been forced to shoulder as a result of the injury. Before you make a claim, it is worth remembering that there are some time limitations on launching an action.

Normal Time Limits

There are standard time limits on making a personal injuries claim in the United Kingdom. These time limitations can differ slightly, depending on what type of cases is being raised. However, the standard time limit is three years after the date of the accident in cases which are being raised as a normal personal injuries claim. For the claim to be considered, court proceedings must have been launched within this time frame. It is possible for the case to run on after the end of the initial three year period, as long as the proceedings had been formally launched before the cut off point. The government in the United Kingdom believes that this is a fair amount of time for both the defendant and the potential claimant. It is not normally possible to launch a new claim after this period of time has elapsed; unless it can be shown that there are special circumstances.

Special Circumstances

In some cases, it may be possible for a legal professional to apply to the courts to allow them to raise a case after the standard time limit period has elapsed. The most likely reason for the courts to grant an extension to the statute of limitations is when a problem arising from the initial incident takes longer than this to manifest itself. In these instances, legal teams have to work harder than normal to prove that the medical outcome occurred as a consequence of the initial incident. Although it is harder, there are thousands of examples of successful cases which were launched after the official statute of limitations had expired.

Sooner Rather than Later

In general, lawyers and claims advisors will always encourage potential claimants to start their proceedings sooner rather than later. This is because it is much easier to gather all of the evidence that is need when a claim is made closer to the time of the incident. There is a lower chance that vital evidence will have been destroyed and witnesses are able to give more reliable testament about the event in question.

It is also beneficial to the accident victim to start proceedings as soon as possible. Those who suffer personal injuries are most vulnerable just after the incident. It is during this period that they are forced to make any changes to their home and lifestyle to try to accommodate their new medical conditions. Personal injury victims are also more likely to suffer financial trouble during this period, because they may not be able to achieve their full earning potential. Launching a claim at this point in time can help accident victims to get access to the support that they need.

Launching a Claim for Compensation

If you have been received a personal injury in the last three years because of an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. The first thing that you should do is to make contact with a qualified solicitor or claims advisor. Many claims advisors will offer free consultation sessions.

During your introductory session, the claims advisor or lawyer will listen to your story until they have enough information to advise you about whether or not you have a valid claim. If they determine that your claim is valid, then they will be able to tell you how much your claim is worth. It is then down to you to decide whether you want to continue to pursue your claim for compensation. If you decide to continue with the case, your advisor will help you to get the ball rolling.

1 2 3