From festivals to social media, we're spending more time with our friends. A growing number of us enjoy a close group of mates that we consider to be a surrogate family: a friendship-family or 'Framily'. In some cases, this is taking over from where the traditional family unit may have left off: either in distance, as people move away from home, or emotionally.
Travel is such a rich area for mindfulness. It's driven partly by curiosity, an interest in what's out there, and partly the essential need to take time out from routine. In a sense it's a bit like the practice of meditation... Here are a few tips we've put together to help you be a more mindful traveller.
You'd think a book would be the least dangerous thing you could send to your friend who's just begun their summer holiday. Nothing could be much safer, it might seem, than relaxing on a deckchair, in a peaceful garden or hotel poolside terrace, with a book and a cool drink. But this is Northern Ireland, and when we send parcels, we have to risk assess.
We're back from our summer hols. We went to Suffolk. Southwold to be precise. We always holiday in Suffolk; it's my attempt at creating childhood memories the boys can bore their own kids with. I regularly irritate them with rose tinted tales of crabbing in Cornwall. It's only right I allow them the same pleasurable adult pastime.
Porto's historic city centre has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and for good reason. Undoubtedly, one of the best things you can get up to during a stay in Porto is simply to wander and wonder; to engage in the well-established art of flânerie - to walk around idly and aimlessly. Here are some things to look out for on your strolls around the city.
Over two million British children live in families who can't afford a trip to the seaside... we like to run day trips and camps to classy events and venues that disadvantaged teenagers are otherwise very unlikely to get near. The latest of these is the residential camp we've set up in Glasgow across the Commonwealth Games.
A two hour drive from London brought us to the New Forest, an area which I have always associated with tiny ponies, perhaps with some justification as there have been 3,000 wild ponies roaming this national forest for the past 2,000 years. They still roam free, along with deer and cattle and all are looked after by local landowners, or commoners as they're called, under an ancient system put in place in 1079 by William the Conqueror.
With their vintage threads, vinyl records and penchant for independent coffee shops, hipsters are well known for their discerning tastes. But thanks to the global popularity of this exclusive subculture, hipsters no longer need to settle for a mainstream chain - they can now unpack their skinny jeans in the boutique hotel of their dreams.
Island holidays in Europe are the perfect way to unwind. Who wouldn't want to spend their holiday sipping cocktails in Capri, lazing on the soft white sand of the Greek Islands or hiking in rugged Malta? With so many beautiful Mediterranean island destinations to choose from it's easy to forget that Europe is also home to some lesser-known but equally charming islands.