One of the most enticing aspects of renting someone else's home in another country for a little while: the chance to live in your fantasy house/castle/boat/apartment without the type of income that drives you to wear a paper bag over your head and pontificate about sardines in the manner of dear, humble Shia Le Boeuf.
Children or no children, beaches in winter are all about wild seas, rugged walks and the type of gear normally associated with polar expeditions. And nowhere on earth (or quickly reached on a short-break) does those beaches better than the UK. These are the places to teach your children the true value of things they take for granted, like walking upright and body heat.
Get ready nay-sayers, I'm about to list a fairly obvious and predictable bunch of cities for this list of winter travel destinations. There's a great reason for my lack of originality; these cities are extremely well equipped to deal with snowy winter weather and to keep the mind and body warm with great choices for accommodation and things to do. Take your pick...
My perception of Amsterdam has always been a sleazy city with little to offer families. After becoming a mother some years ago the last place I've ever wanted to visit was Amsterdam. However a recent visit proved me wrong. Here are just a few of the things you could do when visiting with your family.
Chronically underfunded, defiantly commercial or both, the inherent fragility of fringe festivals has also become their greatest strength. Everyone mucks in and makes do, building a resilience that defies sound logic. As Britain languishes in the doldrums, Brighton Fringe saw ticket sales grow by more than 30% in one year. And it's surely not alone.
This weekend saw the UK host two of the largest Gay Pride festivals in Liverpool and Brighton, celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life. Both cities will hold a parade and open air festival, featuring stages and street stalls accompanied by various arts and cultural events throughout the cities.
My first visit to the Netherlands has taken me to the historic city of Haarlem, located to the west of Amsterdam. Here there are several multigenerational 'Centraal Wonen' projects. Centraal Wonen translates as 'Central Living'. In the UK we use the term 'cohousing' which follows the US who coined the term 'cohousing' when bringing the concept to America in the late 1980's.
This week has seen a lot of news on the EU, and has split opinion between those pro-EU and those sceptical of it. It seems that all EU news these days is negative, particularly since the financial crash and the rise of UKIP. But there is one piece of news from the EU that is positive and benefits the consumer...