Staying at home is far easier than going away. So last weekend I thought I'd try one of those 'airbnb' accommodations.
They are the 'in thing' right now apparently. I got quite excited when I looked at the website. Castles, igloos, villas.. each destination a 'unique travel experience'. We decided to go to the Cotswolds. Idyllic, picturesque, cobbled-streets. Beautiful countryside.
The location I found promised peaceful leafy streets and luxury accommodation. Imagine my surprise when my Sat-Nav directed me through the overcrowded streets of Cheltenham, down the most complicated one-way system ever (I'm talking Monaco Grand Prix street circuit) before finally declaring 'You have reached your destination' outside a terraced townhouse with 'parking permit' only signs all over the place.
When I was a kid, Halloween meant a toffee apple (that would require teeth made from dominoes to bite into) on sale by the till and ‘trick-or-treating’ round the green outside the local pub, where most people told us to “jog on”, chasing us to make sure we did so.
Now, the first three aisles of ASDA are dedicated to fake cobwebs, jack-o-lanterns, masks and ghouls to hang round the house. My four-year-old is so scared we have to shop elsewhere for the month.
I first heard news of the Crowborough crash via Facebook. A friend had shared the video with the title 'Horror video captures final minutes of two friends who speed to their death'. This was in among a news feed of what people were having for dinner and dogs who look like their owners.
Initially, I was appalled. I could not understand how sharing the video footage, retrieved from the accident site, could possibly be of any benefit to anyone. How could something so personal, so distressing, be Facebook feed fodder?
I saw this post on Facebook the other day. It was a cartoon of two people. One of them was stood empty-handed; the other had a massive jar in his hands labelled ‘Happiness’. 'Hey' said the empty-handed cartoon, 'where did you get that? I’ve been looking for it everywhere' The man with the happiness jar said 'I made it myself'. It made me think. Can happiness ever be bought, or can it only come when we make it for ourselves?
Who can we trust? The Former Bishop of Lewes, Peter Ball, was sentenced to 32 months in prison over sex offences. It is said he ‘abused’ his power to exploit young aspiring priests for his own "selfish sexual motive". Between 1977 and 1992 he abused 18 boys. Now aged 83, Ball will serve just half of his sentence in custody, meaning jail time of just one month for each of his victims.