1554 posts Posts by Jayne

How Buying Local is an Eco-Friendly Choice

local produceWhile it’s obviously common sense that we need to start taking care of our environment, more often than not, a lot of us get discouraged by how difficult or tedious living a greener lifestyle seems. Even the very act of segregating and recycling our trash can sometimes look like too much of an effort, especially since we’re already pretty busy as is with our daily lives.

But not all earth-saving practices are rooted in doing extra work. In fact, there is 1 eco-friendly practice in particular that can help you save effort and the environment at the same time: buying local. Here are some compelling ways on how buying locally sourced items can help improve your health and wellness and the state of the environment.

  1. You’re in proximity to where the product is harvested or made. When you buy local, obviously the source of the product is closer to you in terms of location. You don’t have to travel a long way just to get the item, and the item doesn’t have to be transported from far off places just to get to you. This means that the amount of resources necessary to get the item into your hands is lessened. This doesn’t just save on fuel and cut on the amount of greenhouse gases produced, it also saves you and the manufacturer from having to spend a lot of time on the road. This, in turn, shrinks your carbon footprint and eases the burden on Mother Nature in general. If the distance is reasonable enough, you can also choose to walk or jog to the seller’s place, which can serve as a form of exercise.
  2. There is much less packaging involved. Buying locally means that the product that you’re looking for did not have to travel much to get to your local market. There’s less changing of hands involved, so your item does not need a lot of packaging or preservatives to keep it in tip-top condition. It’s a well-known fact that discarded packaging materials cause a serious environmental issue. By purchasing your desired item in a location near you, you help reduce the volume of plastics and packaging materials that end up in the landfill or in the water. You can even choose to bring your own cloth bag to the market in order to further cut down your carbon footprint.
  3. You’re helping your local economy flourish. Buying local not only makes sense on an environmental level, it also presents a lot of benefits when it comes to the economy. When you buy local, you help the stores and shops in your neighborhood flourish. This allows local shop owners to keep doing business near or within the vicinity of their homes, which in turn eschews the need to travel or commute very far to sell their wares or services. This, then, reduces fuel consumption and the emission of greenhouse gases. As a nice bonus, you’re also forming a close and lasting relationship with your fellow locals, which could score you neat extras and discounts on your next purchase!
  4. You’re able to buy in bulk. Buying locally also means that you’re able to buy as much produce as you want without having to worry about being able to bring it all back home, since you are living nearby. You can buy in bulk to replenish your supplies, which not only saves you money but also cuts down on your packaging use and fuel consumption. It’s convenient for you and beneficial for the environment, plus it takes less effort.

Helping the environment isn’t always a bothersome chore, nor should it be viewed as one. For those of us who are just way too busy to really get into the whole green lifestyle, all we need to do is to make small and doable changes to our daily habits. Small as they may be, these habits can contribute to the global effort. Even the smallest change, such as buying locally, can make a huge difference.

Finding a New Hobby

I can’t quite believe it, but Burrito Baby starts school this September, which means I’m going to have a LOT more free time on my hands. I’m hoping to up my workload and also have more time for going to the gym, but I’ve also been thinking about how to have a little “me” time, so I’ve been trying to find a hobby that I can start from September. Some of them will be solely for me, but there are also things in there that Husband and I can do together, which will be great for us as a couple. Here are a few of my ideas:


Ever since I played Tiger Woods Pro Golf on the original Wii about ten years ago, I’ve been wanting to try my hand at proper golf, and Husband and I keep promising we’ll go to a driving range but never seem to get around to it. We’re lucky enough to have a golf club literally at the end of the road, so we’re making a pact to get around to giving it a go once we’re able to find the time. I’ll also need to find some decent  golf footwear for sale.


When Sausage was little, I went through a stage of making clothes for her, little dresses in quirky fabrics so that she wasn’t wearing the same off-the-peg stuff as everyone else. I haven’t made anything for ages, but I’d love to start making stuff again, maybe even for myself this time! Husband bought me a beautiful sewing machine two Christmasses ago, which I’ve barely used, so it will be a good opportunity to get some use out of it.


This one is going to sound silly, but I used to read a LOT, but as I’ve got older I’ve found it increasingly more difficult to read when there are distractions around me. Once the girls are both at school, I’ll have no excuses not to read and I have a list of books as long as my arm that I intend to plough through!


I started blogging back in 2010, and back then it was a passion project, something I did to air my thoughts. However, since I started writing commercially, I seem to find myself far less inspired to write personal posts. I’m really hoping that when I have more time to dedicate to my blog, the ideas will start to flow again and the balance of personal:commercial content will even itself out again.


At the beginning of the year, Husband (who is a life-long mountain biking enthusiast) bought himself a new bike, and it’s ignited a bit of cycling-fever in the whole family. We’re lucky enough to all have decent bikes and Husband has been letting me tag along with him (when I say “tag along”, I mean he goes on his usual route but has to go about 60% slower while I’m huffing and puffing along to keep up with him!). We’re hoping to get a bike rack when we get our new car, so we’ll be finding some new routes and riding together more.

Do you have any hobbies?

Ways to Fill the Summer Holidays When You Aren’t Going Abroad

pony schoolIt’s fair to say that Husband, the kids and I are all homebodies. We love the idea of going abroad on holiday but when we had Chuck is was impossible and Maureen is still a little bit too young for us to leave her for too long, so a jaunt abroad is off the cards for now. We do, however, like to fill the summer holidays with as many days out and activities as possible, so that the kids don’t get bored and do that annoying bickering thing that kids do when they spend too much time at home, with only each other to play with! This is just a few of the things we do each year:

Pony School

We’re lucky enough to live close to a few different riding schools and some of them run pony schools in the holidays where the kids spend one day a week riding, grooming and generally “horsing” about (HA!) with the friendlier ponies at the stables. It’s usually about £25 per session and the kids need over the knee boots from UK footwear specialists Uppersole, but it’s pretty good value when you think about how long they get to spend with the ponies.

Garden Beach

Last year, we bought a massive paddling pool, set up the slide, sun loungers, a Bluetooth speaker and some mocktails and had what we called “The Garden Beach”. It was like a very miniature version of lazing around the pool on holiday, the kids thought it was amazing and I loved the chance to sit in the sun and read my book! This year, we’re planning on elaborating and even having a tent by the pool which we may spend the night in, if the kids are brave enough!

Fruit Picking

One of the things we have planned this year is a bit of Pick Your Own – it’s something I did when I was a kid and I absolutely loved it, and as soon as I told the girls about it, they found the idea really exciting so it’s on the list of things to do this summer.

Get the Bus

The kids are lucky enough to have Mummy’s Taxi Service which means they get ferried everywhere in the comfort of our car, but neither of them has ever really experienced public transport much, so they’ve asked if we can take a trip into town on the bus! This may sound very run-of-the-mill, but when you consider that we live in the countryside with one bus stop a mile away and buses which run quite sporadically, I suspect it may be more of an adventure than your usual bus trip!

Cookery Classes

Our local supermarket has a test kitchen and every year they run kids cookery classes throughout the holidays. They’re about £7 per session and include all of the ingredients they need to make a different dish each week. It’s a really nice way for the kids to spend a morning, plus they learn new skills and have the thrill of bringing home and eating what they’ve made.

Rubbish Clearance Upcycling Classes Are Gaining Popularity In London

Upcycling rubbish clearance seems to have hit London with a splash! Everyone seems to be getting in on the fun, from those just hoping to save an old family heirloom to others who staunchly believe in using upcycling as a springboard to a zero waste society.

In fact, upcycling has become so popular in England’s capital that upcycling classes are now popping up all over the city. The mantra of the movers and shakers in this London movement seems to be, “Renew Don’t Buy New!” Rubbish clearance is no long considered “junk.” It is now the muse of a burgeoning waste free culture — and judging from the before and after photo galleries online, Londoners have discovered their creative mojo!

Before you decide to take an upcycling class, you should know that the activity is highly contagious and its “chicness” is spreading like wildfire. Among the most popular upcycling classes are those that teach participants how to upholstery and reupholstery old furniture that was being discarded as rubbish clearance. In some cases, you’d never guess how raggedy the old furniture was after the “upcycle” is complete — but of course the first thing you learn in upcycling classes is to take a “before picture” for proof!

Some Londoners who take their first upcycling class just want to save money (or make money) by rescuing their own rubbish clearance. However, many take that first class and then end up getting hooked on the tranquility these upcycling projects bring them. Some people claim it’s a zen experience. Others thoroughly enjoy meeting interesting and eclectic people. In this regard, it’s almost like a pub experience, only you have something to show for it, other than a pint breath! Some students who meet up in these classes end up collaborating on other upcycling projects together.

Upcycling rubbish clearance is also a source of pride as participants end up with a really cool object that was salvaged from an old piece of junk. They can show the “before picture” and talk about how their upcycling creation would have ended up in the landfill rotting away producing greenhouse gases and leaking toxic leachate into the ground water! They can talk about how they breathed new life and new vision into an old piece of junk. They can say they renewed the soul or spirit of the object or perhaps reincarnated it into a higher purpose!

Sometimes upcycling classes show up in the most unexpected places. Last February, the Royal Air Force Museum hosted an upcycling class with volunteers from the Loop at Grahame Park, piloted by Groundwork London and the London Community Reuse Network (LCRN). This group is funded by the European Commission’s LIFE+ Programme, not something you’d normally expect to see at the Royal Air Force Museum but it was a marriage made in heaven.

Some of the patrons who came to see the Royal Air Force Museum ended up taking the upcycling rubbish clearance class while people who came specifically to take the class ended up enjoying a museum they probably would not have visited otherwise. While participants in the class learned how to decoupage and tips on how to stencil, perhaps the greatest thing they learned was the joy of experiencing something new with a diverse group of people.

At the London Upcycling Show last November, there were many different upcycling classes offered, as well as inspiring upcycling exhibits. Rrubbish clearance that had once been thought of as useless was transformed into something that people highly desired. Afro Retro showed people how to convert Christmas jumpers, often tossed in the rubbish clearance bin after the holiday, into something more fashionable that could be worn year round. ThinkFOUND Furniture showed people how to make furniture out of scaffold boards.

The London Upcycling Show also featured unique and challenging upcycling rubbish clearance competitions with cash prizes. However, the camaraderie forged during these events meant so more more than the money prizes! Many contestants from last year are already planning the to attend the third London Upcycling Show coming up this fall and it promises to have even more participants. While some Londoners originally though that upcycling was just a fad, the growing success of events like these are proving that upcycling has staying power!

If you live in the UK and want to find an upcycling class in London or elsewhere, just Google it! The Old School Club, started by an entrepreneurial Mum, offers upcycling classes on sewing and upholstery. They even offer special upcycling classes for kids and upcycling parties for adults! London’s Obby was recently offering seventeen upcycling classes in their mix. Some people even seem to be turning upcycling rubbish clearance into a “money hobby!” Gumtree recently listed thirty-six upcycled living room furniture pieces for sale.

Many UK companies are catching the upcycling spirit as well! Clearabee is one of the best examples of this. Clearabee offers several rubbish clearance services. However, instead of taking the rubbish they clear to the landfill, or fly tipping it as so many others do, they make a concerted effort to divert the rubbish they collect from the landfill. They give top priority to upcycling whenever possible, following by resale/reuse and then recycling. In fact, Clearance upcycles, reuses, or recycles ninety percent of the rubbish they clear, giving them the best track record in the entire UK.

Using the services of Clearabee is the same as supporting upcycling, reusing, and recycling! Wouldn’t it be grand if one day our great great grandchildren read an old newspaper article from 2018 on “waste removal” and ask, “What’s that?” The London upcycling bug heads us in that direction for sure!

Ways to Make an Elderly Relative Feel More Connected

One of the things that elderly people can really struggle with once they lose their mobility is feeling disconnected from the outside world, and this isolation can lead to mental health issues, on top of what they might already been dealing with. Unless they’re lucky to have family around them all the time, the loneliness can be awful, so finding ways for them to have interaction and enjoy things they once loved can really improve their mental state. Here are a few things that you can do to help.

Get Them Online

The internet is an amazing resource and if your relative is open to learning how to use technology, it can help them to keep in touch with people and do a whole load of things that they once enjoyed. If your relative enjoyed bingo or having a flutter every now and then, teaching them how to use websites to do this could give them a much needed source of fun and freedom – the least you can do is check it out!

Join a Club

There are loads of clubs all over the country which are set up for elderly people to give them a chance to socialise. Many of them have weekly entertainment or talks and in some areas the council will even provide transport, so we’d strongly advise you to have a look in your local area to see if there’s anything like that where you live.

Keep Them Young

It’s a well-known fact that when elderly people spend time with kids, it keeps their mind active and can have a real rejuvenating effect on them, so taking your kids to visit your elderly relatives can actually help them on an even deeper level. Also, happiness can lower blood pressure and stop the blood from thickening, so you’re helping them on a medical level, too!

Do you have any tips for helping to keep elderly relatives feeling young? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear them,

Are You Sitting on Hidden Treasure?

treasureUnless you’re one of those people who’s a sensible adult with a savings account or an emergency credit card, there’s a good chance that you’ll come to a point in your life where you need quick cash and struggle to find it. There are, however, a few raise to raise some funds and most of us have things in our houses which we no longer use but are of value to someone else. Here are some suggestions of things you could sell to make some cash:


While I’m not suggesting that you flog your family heirlooms, many of us have jewellery boxes full of outdated items that we basically never wear, and there’s never been a better time to recoup some of the value in your items. It’s simple to get cash for gold and you could get a decent amount if you sell enough of it.


I’ve watched enough Antiques Roadshow in my time to know that the most valuable art is often the smallest, most unassuming pieces which don’t look like much which are worth a small fortune! If you’ve got any paintings which look like they might be originals, have them evaluated by an expert to see if they’re worth anything.

Bags and Purses

Bags and purses hold a surprising amount of value if they’re designer pieces, or even if they’re just made from decent leather. Look on eBay or other selling apps to see what sort of items sell well and to get an idea of what sort of price you’re looking at, and then sell anything that you’re not likely to use again.

Retro Games Consoles

If you’re the sort of person who puts things away nicely and stores them in the loft, and you have retro games consoles squirrelled away, you could be sitting on a small fortune! Retro games consoles are incredibly collectable and the more games and accessories you have with them, the more the bundle will be worth.


A lot of vinyl isn’t worth much these days, purely because there’s only a limited amount of collectors left and the condition isn’t always great. There are, however, particular albums which are worth a LOT of money, especially if they’re ones which are printed on a special vinyl, like clear or coloured records. Go through your collection and see if you have any of the valuable ones.

Reasons to Visit the South of Spain

With summer upon us, most of us are starting to think about jetting off on holiday and just recently we’ve been thinking about the South of Spain. I stumbled upon www.immoabroad.com and it got me thinking about a villa holiday for the whole family, so I started doing some research about some of the reasons to visit the South of Spain, and I thought I’d share some of what I found:

Seville CathedralSeville Cathedral

I may be the least religious person on the planet, but I still appreciate amazing architechture and history, and it’s the location of Christopher Columbus’ grave, so a visit to Seville’s cathedral could be a great way to spend an afternoon. You’re allowed to go to the top of the bell tower and the views from the top look phenomenal.


One of the things that I noticed whenever I read anything about Southern Spain is that people find it really affordable. Obviously, you’ll find ‘luxury’ options available, but it’s really easy to have a holiday with the whole family which won’t break the bank, but won’t leave you feeling like you’ve had to scrimp.


South of Spain

Obviously, Spain is famous for being somewhere that people go for beach holidays, but there are lots of ‘hidden gems’down on the south coast which aren’t crawling with tourists all year long and finding them is all part of the fun! Nerja, is a small beach town east of Málaga and despite being stunning, has a surprising lack of tourists!


When you limit yourself to resorts or more popular holiday destinations, a lot of the local culture has become totally homogenised, and in some places it’s hard to find anything even vaguely Spanish, thanks to the influx of ex-pats, wanting their English Pub and Full English Breakfast experience. However, Southern Spain has managed to avoid a lot of this and you’ll get an authentic travel experience.

Something for Everyone

There really is something for the whole family to enjoy in the south of Spain – cityscapes, rivers, mountains, history, culture, art, dancing, food, farms, vineyards, and beaches perfect for any type of traveller. Beach towns like Nerja, Marbella and San Fernando are perfect for a relaxing, sun-filled break. The Sierra Nevada mountain range near Granada is home to some of Spain’s highest peaks and is known not only for its hiking but also for skiing in winter. Those looking to indulge their taste buds a bit can enjoy sherry tastings in Jerez de la Frontera.

The Effects of Domestic Abuse and Why You’re Not Alone

The effects of domestic abuse vary from person to person depending on their circumstances. Abuse can come in many forms. Physical attributes, such as bruising, broken bones, scars and burns, can be very hard to deal with, and are the most obvious signs of abuse from a partner, friend, family member or anyone you have a relationship with. But what about the mental effects of domestic abuse? These are harder to spot, and worryingly, only around 40% of abuse survivors have the courage to speak to friends or family about their ordeal. If you know someone who has survived an abusive relationship, it’s important to understand that, although they can claim compensation for abuse, they will still need help moving on emotionally. Below are some common effects of domestic violence to look out for. You can learn how to spot them, offer help and be there for survivors.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is an anxiety disorder which occurs after a stressful or traumatic event. When you have PSTD, you tend to relive your experiences in the form of flashbacks and nightmares. If you suspect a loved one is suffering from PTSD, then speak to them. Some symptoms include avoidance, alcohol misuse and more. PTSD can be treated thanks to therapy. The earlier someone sees a therapist, the earlier their PSTD can be treated.

Suicidal Tendencies

People with suicidal tendencies will usually not openly show any signs of their turmoil. However, if you suspect someone is depressed or suicidal, ensure that they cannot harm themselves with household objects, such as knives. Another way to keep them safe is by hiding any pills that can cause harm in large amounts.

Emotionally Numb

If you have noticed that your loved one has become socially detached, excusing themselves from social events, acting strange or not emotionally responding to certain events, then they may be showing signs of emotional numbing. This is a typical symptom of PTSD, depression and anxiety. They may not even know they’re excluding themselves emotionally. In order to open up a dialogue, mention that you’re concerned for their mental health, and that you will be there for them if they need to speak to a professional.


Not everyone is the same, and many people may lash out as a response to their emotional trauma. If you’re experiencing this, it may be a good idea to sit your loved one and down, and explain that although you are here for them as a friend or partner, you will not tolerate anger in your direction. Usually, anger is used a reaction by someone who cannot emotionally understand their trauma. Many therapists can address this.

Guest post by Gina Kay Daniel

Ways to Jazz up your Shed

A shed is a main focal point of your garden and can sometimes look a bit boring or out of place if not maintained properly.  Instead of being something picturesque to look at, it can become a bit of an eyesore. In reality – it doesn’t need to be that way.  When people look around your garden shed, they should be looking at it because it looks great and ties in with your garden and personality.  We have put together some ways in which you can jazz up your shed and make it your own.

First Step is, Choose the Right Shed

There are lots of sheds out there, so make sure you choose the right one for your project.  Wooden sheds are usually the most popular.  These are easily adaptable, and have a traditional, rustic feel that people seem to like.  You can check out Buy Sheds Direct’s range for some great and affordable options – and this will also make sure it is of the highest quality and incredibly durable as they’re one of the top recommended companies.  A shed is an investment in your garden, once you have put all that work into it – you don’t want to have to go changing it.  Once you purchase your shed, it will be with you for a long time.

Don’t be Afraid to Be Bold

Don’t be afraid to be bold when it comes to selecting a colour.  Wooden sheds are easily painted, and you can choose whatever colour you like.  You can choose a colour that reflects your personality, and or go with something vibrant to make it stand out.  Although traditional wood can look beautiful and traditional, a lick of paint to mix things up definitely won’t hurt.  Alternatively, you might want to use your garden shed as a bit of a haven, in which case – you might want to select a nice cream or pastel colour if you are more traditional.  The good thing is, you can always repaint – the look isn’t permanent.

Add a Window Box

A window box is a lovely touch to a garden shed and can definitely jazz it up.  Choose your favourite flowers – and use them to fill up a lovely decorative window box.  If you have chosen a light coloured shed, you may want some vibrant flowers to offset this and add character and colour.  This could also be a nice gardening project for you in the summer time and give you an excuse to spend more time outdoors.

Include Some Lighting

To create a nice atmosphere, it could be a good idea to add some lighting to your shed.  You can get some great outdoor lights that can be used, however an increasingly popular trend has been fairy lights.  It will have the Hansel and Gretel approach – and look like something out of a fairytale.  If you are having a garden party or a barbeque in the evening – this can be a great way to set the tone and draw attention to your beautifully decorated shed.

Create a Pathway

People will be more likely to look at your creation if they can see something leading up to it.  A beautiful pathway can be a great way to draw attention to the focal point of your garden. There are lots of different options when it comes to this.  You can get some great stone pathways that will define the shed even more, and they are also relatively cost-effective as well as easy to maintain – so there is little work for you to do.  This can also improve the look of your garden in general.

Create a Landscape around your Shed

If you want to make your shed stand out, you need to make sure that the surroundings are right.  You could do things simply like mowing and shaping your lawn, or else you can go for something a little different and create your own vegetable patch.  There is nothing better in terms of a garden project like growing your own vegetables.  You can cook food with vegetables from the garden, and it can be a great activity for the kids too!

Showcase a Workspace

If you like a little bit of DIY, or some great garden projects – there is no reason why you can’t showcase this outside your shed.  It could be that you are potting plants or doing something else that will place focus on it and show off your lovely plants!

A shed doesn’t need to be a simple storage solution for your garden, it can be much more than that.  Put your own stamp on it, and it can be a great talking point for guests and visitors.

The Rise Of Cobots

cobotsSince their emergence, robots have been labeled many names. Some view them as job snatchers and any term that describes what they think is depriving a human worker of his daily bread is a perfect term.

Away From Robots, How Are Cobots?

What if things took a different turn? What if these types of equipment are used to complement human labour? What if the much-hated gadgets are able to work hand in hand with a human co-worker without posing any threat? Maybe things would be much better. The answer to this robot-human conflict is in the introduction of collaborative robots.

What Is a Cobot?

A cobot is the short form for a collaborative robot. It is a term used to refer to robots that have been designed to work hand in hand or alongside humans. Thanks to their programming, cobots can operate with minimum or no guidance at all and without causing any harm. Cobots are important because they relief the human worker off the tedious tasks. Human employees can take up the roles of assembling while a robot takes on the more complex or sensitive duties like loading and offloading. For instance, in the auto factories, a human can take up the role of placing tools in front of a cobot as it completes other tasks such as tightening of bolts.

With cobots at work, the light gets brighter and unlike the traditional robotics, with cobots, everyone is happier. No lifting heavy weights, no wasting hours completing complex tasks etc. Another exciting feature of cobots is that they are programmed to work side by side with humans. They can sense human touch or presence and are able to halt or even stop all movements. This is unlike the traditional robots that have to work in a cage to avoid causing unwanted harm.

Cobots are easily programmed and can be run by an average person. Industrial robots require professional know-how and a specially trained programmer who is tasked with assigning tasks, supervision and so on. A collaborative robot operates on a simple manual and is easily reprogrammed according to the task at hand.

Cobots are lightweight and easy to move around. They are not like the industrial robots which are heavy which when bolted down in one part of an industry, they cannot be easily moved around.

Are Companies Embracing Cobots?

Many manufacturers can revolutionalise their levels of production if only they decided to embrace the automation of the process. Unfortunately, a good number of manufacturers have been hesitant. This resistance is partly due to the high cost of industrial robots which have been the norm for a while. After assessing the ROI of a company, many prefer to stay away from automation.

There is some good news though, small, medium and large companies can embrace cobots. When compared to traditional robots, these are way cheaper and accommodative. They do not replace human labour but rather do provide a means and ways of working side by side with humans. Another reason why many manufacturers will find cobots interesting is that they are not very expensive, a factor that allows for the quick realization of ROI.

With an automation mechanism that enhances human effort, cobots are breakthrough that sweeps many people off their feet. From investors, employers, and employees. Incorporating the use of cobots in the production chain significantly reduces the amount of time taken from collecting raw materials, to the final delivery of a finished product.

There is no better way to speed up the production process, ensure efficiency and at the same time retain human manpower than the use of collaborative robots. They are low cost, simple and effective.

The Reaction of Human Employees To Cobots

Once an automation system is introduced into any company, the employees develop some sort of anxiety. The feeling that; a machine is taking up the available jobs. This is normal. As an employer, it is advisable to make all employees understand that introducing cobots in not intended to replace them but to make their work easier. Once this is understood, the reception of cobots will be very positive. Either way, when they all see that no one was laid off due to an automation, they will love the advancement and make the most out of it.

As an employer, it is important to spell out the reasons for automation to the entire team before actualizing it. It rules out the fear of an intent to lay off some employees.