Today’s new ‘beer cafes’ are a far cry from the smokey bars with their nicotine stained walls and Saturday nights down at the social club pint of bitter, mild or lager to block out the noise of the latest ‘turn’. There are those who lament those smokey dens more than I, but times have changed and so has the UK's drinking habits. Of recent years here has been a rise in micro pubs and .....
For those of us who can remember growing up in the 1960s and 70s Halloween was a time we used to fashion our own spooky costumes and go round peoples houses to greet them with ‘Happy Halloween’. It was a common thing to give kids a few ’coppers’ back then. We didn’t want sweets. You couldn’t buy bangers with sweets. Halloween was always seen as an opportunity to .....9 Sep
You don’t have to be a Worzel Gummidge fan to appreciate the rise of the annual scarecrow festivals up and down the UK. Set over the summer months, they initially started out at summer church fetes, but as they developed and gathered more interest they spilled over into sports centres and people’s gardens. They are a fantastic way of unleashing your creativity, getting the whole community involved and brightening up our verges and up and down the country. There’s no limit to people’s ......8 Sep
If you have ever manned your own arts and crafts stall at an event over the summer, you’ll most likely be placed in the position of losing a sale simply because you don't have a credit card reader to complete the transaction. Most people’s wallets only hold a certain amount of cash, but a credit card can often temp a shopper to spend more. Like I did at a recent gallery preview of work by talented artist Kate Lycett. I did come away with a stunning limited edition fine art print though ......11 Aug
No wedding these days, it seems, is complete without its very own ‘Prosecco Palace’ and all kinds of decorative and humorous plaques have sprung up in stores celebrating the love of this sparkling Italian wine. But has Prosecco peaked? Back in 2008 the UK downed sixteen and a half million gallons of Italy’s famous fizz. How the Prosecco craze took off is uncertain but by 2013 Brits were guzzling over twenty million gallons of it a year. The following year sales really climbed as high as twenty four and .......9 Aug
‘How lucky you English are to find the toilet so amusing. For us, it is a mundane and functional item. For you, the basis of an entire culture!’ Ade Edmondson’s witty lines as Von Richthoven in Blackadder Goes Forth have been a cause for amusement in the many years since that episode was broadcast, but humour aside, the humble lavatoire is probably responsible for ridding society ......13 Jun
It can boast Britain’s third oldest university (St Andrew’s 1410) and St Andrew’s the ‘Cathedral of Golf’ is regarded as the oldest golf course in the world. It’s ‘firewater’ Scotch Whisky is exported the world over.
Steeped in Celtic culture and traditions, its rugged Highland’s and deep lochs, steeped in legend continue to attract visitors from all nations. In 2018 the sound of the pipes attracted a total of 3.4 overseas visitors, generating an impressive £2.4 billion in revenue. Up by 29% on 2017. Visitor numbers from across the UK were also up by 11% on the previous years figures.
While the UK as a whole saw a a drop of around 2% in visitors from across Europe, Scotland bucked the trend with 29% more visitors from Europe. While England and Wales returned a verdict to leave the EU in .... .24 May
At this time of year our attention turns to tidying up the garden and getting it looking a little less tatty. Shifting all those dead leaves and plant remains from last Autumn, making way for all the Spring bulbs to push through.
FIt's also a good time to check over those sheds and other outdoor features to make sure they are in good shape over the winter. Cold temperatures and winds can play havoc with roofing felt, so it's essential they are ......16 May
Digital books are convenient. You can store them on various devices and have a portable library at a touch. But, rather like the vinyl LP, there’s something about about a physical book. Wander into any bookstore and you’re greeted with that wonderful and welcoming aroma of hundreds of books drawing you in to explore the shelves. Who isn’t tempted to pull one from it’s perch and gaze at the artwork or read the rear cover?
There was a time when it seemed the physical tome was out for the count. It’s virtual opponent had all but delivered the final sucker punch as we were all seduced into the world of Kindle and tablet computers. Don’t get me .....10 May
We all enjoy a glass of wine whether it’s with a meal or to unwind with after a hard day at the ‘coal face’. It also helps to liberate a few of those tales you would much rather keep bottled up when out with friends!
Some ellevate the appreciation of wine to an artform. Not for them the ‘let’s neck the whole bottle’ approach. That would be a sacrilege. Afine wine must be savoured, the fullness of body, the richness of colour, aroma and of course flavours are to be drawn out and expressed in words such as petrol, tobacco or earthy. Much to the amazement .....