Isle of Wight guru, sleepy parent, shrewd shopper for mattresses and diamond rings
Former journalist, enthusiastic about holidays on the Isle of Wight (http://www.isleofwightguru.co.uk/). Serial website creator, including The Best Mattresses Guide (http://www.best-mattresses.co.uk), The Cheap Engagement Rings Guide (http://www.cheap-engagement-rings.co.uk), The Best Watches Guide (http://www.best-watch.co.uk) and Holiday Park Guru (http://www.holidayparkguru.co.uk)
I've long claimed that one of the plus points of holidaying on my beloved Isle of Wight is that it is compact. There's a risk that can manifest itself as claustrophobia if you spend too long there, but it's terribly convenient to not be faced with an hour's drive to get anywhere decent.
Luxury watches are one of those areas of shopping where some people get very angry, very quickly if you disagree with them. You'll find bitter remarks online from watch fanatics who are offended at the jewellers who just sell quartz watches from China rather than traditionally made Swiss masterpieces.
My mother grooved the night away to some kind of grungy rock act (there's a helpline to support those who witnessed this incident) and then spent an unnecessarily long time making small talk with a crepe seller who I'm sure would rather have dealt with the queue.
I am very much of the opinion that hotels and toddlers do not mix. We've had the odd night at a Lenny Henry themed hotel off a motorway to break up an intolerable long journey but the thought of a week in a hotel with a little one or two doesn't appeal.
Anyone willing to invest in a new event which could be ruined by bad weather, poor ticket sales or first-year teething problems deserves credit for taking the risk. Without encouragement and local support I'd say they will be less inclined to build it up to something big.
So what's the answer? Should we take our offspring on child-friendly holidays involving a whole week spent in soft play and touring round toy shops? Or a week sat round a swimming pool whilst a man dressed as a dog provides daily entertainment? I can't really think of anything worse.
Cornwall is completely different and in terms of land mass is nearly 10 times the size of my beloved Isle of Wight. So, it is worth spending 10 minutes studying a map before booking your holiday and hoping you can explore the whole county.
People of Cornwall, please don't be offended. We've had some lovely trips to your county and I'm not surprised it is frequently voted as England's favourite holiday destination. But come and see our fair Isle once and I'm confident you'll be back again.
According to both the British Chiropractic Association and the Sleep Council, what you actually need is a 'supportive' bed. For some people, that will be a firm bed but for other people it will actually be quite a soft bed.
Official winter brochures for English seaside resorts paint a rosy picture of crisp mornings, low lying sun glistening off the sea and roaring fires in thatched pubs. There's very little mention of England's winter rain or howling wind battering against closed ice cream huts.
It's far less pressure to spend time looking for rings online, on your own, so that you can compare gradings, carat sizes and reviews of the jewellers. You can also decide if you want to search around for discount codes or wait for a sale, which you are unlikely to do if you are shopping together.
With mattresses, it's a very different story. Retailers wag their fingers and tell you that it's the most important purchase you'll ever make because you'll spend so many thousands of hours in bed. A cheap bed will lead to a lifetime of back pain and remorse, they say.
It's bad news economically but it's a big loss culturally too. Organisers seemed to make a real effort to include local artists and organisations onstage. For an unknown local artist, even an 11am slot in front of a few hungover revellers was a coup.
The all-time peak was at the end of 2015, as people rushed to buy engagement rings for new year proposals. I expect the peak will be beaten this month (December 2016), though that's just a guess based on previous data.
The run up to Christmas is a golden time for engagement ring sales. If you listen carefully on Britain's high streets you can hear jewellers rubbing their hands together as clueless shoppers wander the streets looking for the perfect diamond ring in preparation for a New Year's proposal.
09/12/2016 16:03 GMT
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