The Best Job In The World?

1999 was probably the worst year of my professional life. Unsatisfying office jobs followed by long periods of unemployment and claiming benefits. I’d also missed out on an opportunity to train as a Microsoft certified programmer because I was unable to find a placement. The dream of making my way into the world of employment had turned into an absolute nightmare, at times I felt like a total failure.

Towards the end of 1999 an opportunity arose for me to work in a casino. I’d always loved card games after seeing the glitz and glamour of casinos in James Bond movies. Dissatisfied with life in Northern Ireland, at the age of just 20, I packed a couple of suitcases and ended up going to the Isle of Man to train as a croupier (casino dealer) in January 2000. 18 months later I was working on my first cruise ship, and 18 months after that I was boarding the QE2 (the most famous ship of them all) to do a world cruise.

For a young man from a housing estate in Antrim, Northern Ireland this was beyond even my wildest dreams. On a ferry from Belfast to Liverpool in 1997, I’d once seen a pontoon table and croupier and dreamt what it may be to work as a casino dealer on the high seas.

Everything aboard the QE2 was as you would expect, starting with Captain Ron Warwick, who looked exactly what the captain of the QE2 should look like (Google the name if you don’t believe me). Passenger facing crew were immaculate in their appearance. I could probably have shaved with the crease on my pressed tuxedo shirts, and on a number of occassions when I had been sunburnt in port, I could feel the creases cutting into my tender skin as I dealt the cards that evening in the casino.

The great thing for croupiers on cruise ships is that they only work when the ship is in international waters, in port, the casino must close, and casino staff are free to do pretty much whatever they want. Casino staff have a cabin steward who cleans their cabin and takes away their dirty laundry and brings it back fresh each day. We did a 103 day world cruise which included stops in places like Hong Kong, Sydney, Cape Town, Hawaii, Mauritius, Nagasaki, Tahiti and Singapore to name a few. I managed to do some amazing excursions like diving in the great barrier reef, quad biking in the Namibian desert, and dining in all sorts of fine restaurants, trying delicacies like Springbok, Kangaroo, Crocodile and Kobe beef. We made stops in 5 continents, crossed the equator and even experienced living a Tuesday in consequetive days when we crossed the world timeline. Imagine that, you go to bed on Tuesday night, wake up the following morning and its Tuesday again, but this was far from groundhog day.

The role in the casino was not about taking passengers’ money like in a land-based casino, it was about providing them with fun and entertainment. The passengers were friendly and pleasant, many of them being extremely successful people (I understand the lowest cabin cost for a world cruise on the QE2 was about $50,000 in 2003). A lot of the passengers had never played in a casino and were fascinated to learn and experience the one onboard. Just getting to know some of these people was an experience in itself, and a large part of the role in the casino was simply to entertain them whilst they were in the casino.

There were also celebrity passengers. We would finish work and go to the crew/members bar where we would have guest entertainers like the late Des O’Connor and the magician, the late Paul Daniels down to have a drink. God bless them both.

Was my job the best job in the world? Maybe not for everyone, but it was beyond even my wildest dreams and the 6 month experience, as well as the amazing people I met will be something I treasure forever. I was very lucky to have lived this experience and will always be incredibly grateful for it.

Many years have passed since then and I’ve always missed the buzz of casinos which is how Fun 21 Casino Hire was created in 2021. My celebrities now are anyone who hires the No Money Fun Casino that I provide for parties and celebrations, and I aim to give the same experience that you would expect onboard the QE2.

Pavers for your Driveway, Patio or Pool Deck

Installing a new paver driveway or replacing old concrete walkways are a great way to beautify a home or business in Jacksonville. While it will not only beautify your property it will help increase property value. Pavers come in many different designs, colors and textures, allowing you to fit any theme or personal design look.

Paving stones have always been a popular hardscaping choice among homeowners because they’re extremely durable, last a long time, have a great look and have many different uses around the property. Whether you’re looking to redesign a pool deck, walkway, driveway or improve the patio, pavers are an ideal solution.

Our Favorite Paver Manufacturers

As a homeowner, finding the best pavers for a driveway, pool deck or walkway is an important step in starting your project. There are many different paving manufacturers to choose from, and finding the right one is often a difficult task.

At Jacksonville Pavers, we’ve installed thousands of pavers on thousands of properties. Here are the top pavers for a driveway, pool deck or patio:

Angelus Paving Stones

Since 1946, Angelus has been one of the top permeable paving manufacturers. Their wide selection of permeable paver colors, textures and styles will give you many versatile design solutions.

This manufacturer is a top choice to consider if adding permeable pavers for a new driveway on your Jacksonville property.


Whether you’re looking to add some old world charm or contemporary flare, Belgard offers a variety of concrete pavers perfect for driveways, walkways and patios. Their pavers come in different styles, shapes and tones to help you add zest to your property.


Pavers can be installed to enhance the look and feel of almost any outdoor area. Here are different ways you can use paving stones to customize the look of the common areas on your property:



Pool decks


Outdoor steps or walls

Parking lots

You can choose from particular brands and colors that you can have when making upgrades to your home.

We can help provide some guidelines to help narrow down the long list of paver materials and provide you with reputable, high quality pavers in Jacksonville.

Having A Company Design And Install Pavers in Jacksonville

Installing new pavers for outside areas on your property is an important investment. It’s easy to find dozens of paving companies in Jacksonville and the surrounding area, but choosing the right one is often more difficult. Knowing what to look for in a paving contractor is an important first step in choosing the right company for your next project.

At Jacksonville Pavers, our team of paver designers have years of experience helping not only individual property owners, but even homeowners associations find the right pavers for their projects.

We know that every paver project is unique, and we have the experience handling large projects with a personalized touch. We’ll guide you through the entire process from choosing the best pavers to design and installation, and we’ll answer all of your questions along the way.

When you work with Jacksonville Pavers, we encourage you to browse through paving manufacturers catalogs, see physical samples and look at other projects in the area. We’ve installed tens of thousands of projects in Jacksonville, Orange Park and the surrounding areas of Florida, and we’d love to help you with yours.

What Are The Most Common Uses for Aluminum in North America

Aluminum is one of Earth’s most abundant metals. Few come close to its performance. The popularity of aluminum comes down to its many benefits – lighter than steel without losing any strength, corrosion-resistant, durable, ductile, malleable, conductive, and odourless.

See the Most Common Uses for Aluminum in North America

Another large part of why dozens of America’s top industries use aluminum in their products is because it’s environmentally friendly, 100% recyclable, and doesn’t lose any of its strength in recycling. The most common uses of aluminum come down to 4 of our biggest industries.


Aluminum has 63 percent of the electrical conductivity of copper, something which makes it perfect for long-distance power lines in addition to its lightweight. Aluminum can form wire significantly easier than copper. Its corrosion resistance also adds some weather and climate protection. Aluminum is used in a wide variety of electrical products and designs, from motors to appliances, power systems, television antennas, satellite dishes, and some LED bulbs.

Consumer goods.

Aluminum is most frequently seen by the general population in consumer goods. Smartphones, laptops, tablets, and flat-screen TVs are all made with aluminum, which has high functionality as well as being high-tech looking, sleek, and sophisticated. Aluminum’s also a big material for Apple products, like iPhones. It’s used in the furniture like tables, chairs, lamps, and home décor, as well as pots and frying pans. Most iconically, aluminum is seen in soda beverage packaging having been used since 1967 by brands Coca-Cola and Pepsi.


Construction makes use of aluminum because the material requires virtually no maintenance in large part because of its corrosion resistance. Thermally efficient, construction aluminum keeps buildings cool in summer and warm in winter. It can be cut, curved, and welded with ease, allowing architects to design whichever shape they please and create some truly inspiring buildings. Aluminum’s greatest application in construction, used in 1931, is the Empire State Building in New York City. Today, aluminum is used in almost all major commercial building constructions in one way or another.


Transportation aluminum has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, allowing vehicles to move easier and providing better fuel efficiency. With transportation aluminum, its alloys mix in with other metals. The automotive industry, some experts have said, will increase aluminum use in a car by 60 percent within the next five years. Cutting down on friction resistance, high-speed rail and subway systems worldwide also use aluminum. Lastly, it’s used in airplane and aerospace manufacturing as well as for the reasons mentioned.

Is that it?

There’s no other metal or material that has the adaptability and eco-friendliness that aluminum does. Plastic may come close however it does not carry the same environmental sustainability rating as aluminum does. Looking around, you’ll find aluminum is used alongside stainless steel, alloy steel, galvanized steel, brass, bronze, and copper to make some of the most well-known products. It can be cut in so many different ways and its benefits are so varied.

Aluminum could very well be the ultimate construction material of the twenty-first century, as it’s used in almost everything we use and which is around us. For the sake of our transportation, consumer goods, construction, and electrical, the world wouldn’t be what it is today without aluminum.