Thinking inside the box-set

I’m part of a growing group who don’t watch conventional TV in the way we all once did. For us it’s no longer a case of sitting down in front of the goggle box and watching ‘whatever’s on’. Oh, no – for box setters, ‘linear’ broadcasting (to use a pretentious-sounding term) is a thing of the past. Time, you see, is a limited commodity, so we’ve decided to focus in on programmes we actually want to watch – gorging on them like telly-addicted versions of Augustus Gloop.

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What would men in middle age do without Jeremy Clarkson?

Then there’s Jeremy Clarkson. Imagine what life would be like if he’d never been born. So much would be different! For a start, men of a certain age would have no role model during their midlife crises! Sales of ill-fitting jeans, artificially distressed leather jackets and ridiculously impractical gas guzzling cars would plummet in a Clarkson free world… or, as he’d put it, ‘If there was no Jeremy Clarkson IN THE WORLD!’

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SIMILE LIKE YOU MEAN IT!

The word ‘like’ is one of comparison. It suggests that one thing is similar to, but not the same as, another. Yes, we all know that, but it’s important to state at this juncture. For some reason, however, the word ‘like’ has replaced ‘erm’ for many as an unconscious way of punctuating sentences.
As such – and my English teacher would be proud of me for this – we’re living in a world of similes.

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The Perfect Ride: Cycling Plus Feature

Imagine the scene: the sun is shining and the birds are singing. You’re on your bike, riding at that perfect pace: not too slow so you’re burning carbs, not too fast so you take in the vista around you. Your freshly-shaved legs are looking good in perfectly fitting shorts and your tan lines are maturing nicely – in fact, it would be easy to be mistake you for a pro. You chat with fellow riders who are great company, while other road users happily, safely and respectfully keep their distance. The only thing on your mind is what type of coffee to order when you arrive at the friendly little café that lies just beyond the crest of the next rewardingly challenging incline.

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Michael Caines: Lympstone Manor

“I’ll not be happy!” said one old lady, so everyone on the bus could hear, “if he ruins that place, Courtlands House. Lovely it is!”
Her companion nodded in agreement.
“In fact, if he does, I’ll never watch his films ever again! He should stick to acting, blooming Michael Caine!”
I overheard this conversation, between a pair of endearingly-confused locals, just over a year ago. Today I find myself in the lush surroundings of Lympstone Manor (formerly Courtlands House), East Devon’s newest luxury hotel, talking to the man behind it all.

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Steph Bridge: Interview

I find Steph Bridge holding court. She’s in her element talking to customers and friends, it’s easy to see how the former quickly join the ranks of the latter. As she talks, Steph constantly does three things at once -answering phones, monitoring emails and organising appointments. Within minutes I can see that Steph, who spends half her time propelled by a kite, is the closest thing to a real life superhero I’ve met.

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Bump, Baby & You

Nobody, and I really mean NOBODY is interested in other people’s holiday snaps. They are the photographic equivalent of watching Songs Of Praise at your nan’s house or uncomfortable chats with taxi drivers – something to be endured and got over with, as quickly as is humanly possible.

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