Kids need to be close enough to feel safe, and yet not close enough to make turning on a light or communicating in anything noisier than a WhatsApp message impossible (as friends I know resorted to on one holiday, when they were forced to remain in the room with their children after bedtime). Largely, this delicate balance has seemed to preclude holidaying in hotels. Self-catering is the way forward. Mobile homes with outdoor decks from which the children's room can remain in line of sight. Houses or apartments where the communal areas are within comfortable distance of bedrooms. A friend and I once took our combined offspring on a skiing holiday and the room the four of us shared included a steam room off the bathroom - where, after bedtime, we enjoyed a glass of wine and a chat. Locked in with our children, but far enough away to actually speak. The parenting holiday jackpot. In the main, hotels seem to just offer up the option of parents sitting outside in the corridor once the … [Read more...] about Killenard: Living it large in child-friendly Laois
Friendly village mobile home park
Wikkelboat in Wijnhaven, Rotterdam. Photo: Yvonne Witte / Wikkelhouse Who would want to live in a space the size of a shed at the mercy of the elements? Deborah Nicholls-Lee finds out why the Tiny House movement is gaining ground in the Netherlands. Sometimes a queue forms outside Marjolein Jonker’s Alkmaar home. She enjoys showing people around her house, but at just 20m², only a few visitors at a time can fit inside. Co-designed with students from the TU Delft and parked since 2016 on grassy wasteland where a gas factory once stood, Marjolein’s Tiny House was one of the first of its kind in the Netherlands. Marjolein (42) co-founded Stichting Tiny House Nederland in 2015 and is one of the most active voices in the Tiny House movement here which, in times of sky-high property prices and massive personal debt, is gathering momentum (see map). Tiny Houses are cleverly-designed homes, no more than 50m², which make efficient use of a small space. Most, like … [Read more...] about Could a custom-made Tiny House be your affordable new home?
Malala Yousafzai, the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, said she had never been as elated about anything as when returning to her home town for the first time since a Taliban militant shot her there in 2012. “I had never been so excited for anything. I've never been so happy before,” she said after arriving in Pakistan's Swat Valley, flanked by heavy security in a helicopter provided by the country’s military. Ms Youzafzai, who is studying at Oxford University, admitted she had pined for her home, often looking at Pakistan on the map, saying she had waited for that moment for more than five years in the hope of returning. Read more Malala breaks down in tears as she returns to Pakistan Malala Yousafzai returns to Pakistan for first time since shooting Malala says men like Trump should 'think about their daughters' Malala and Apple team up to help at least 100,000 girls into education “It is still like a dream for me - am I among … [Read more...] about Malala says returning home to town where she was shot makes her happier than winning Nobel prize
A judge who allegedly broke into a neighbour’s home and stole a young woman’s underwear has been charged with burglary. Robert Cicale a Republican district court judge in Suffolk County, New York, was found with pairs of soiled women’s underwear, police said. A 23-year-old woman who had spotted a man matching his description when she was alone in her house and called her mother, who in turn phoned the police. Read more Queen's lingerie firm loses royal warrant over bra-fitting revelations Do not boil your underwear in hotel kettles, warns expert You can now return underwear, even if you’ve worn it already Minutes later officers caught Cicale a few streets away. “He was found to be in possession of soiled female undergarments that we believe were either proceeds from today’s burglary or proceeds from a prior burglary at the same location,” Suffolk … [Read more...] about Judge arrested after ‘breaking into neighbour’s home and stealing her underwear’
For years, the UK’s love affair with France has been conducted largely in three distinct, and very different, locations – Brittany, the Riviera and the Alps. Each has its appeal, of course, but if you’re not a skier, or a movie star, you will probably gravitate to Brittany. With its delightful towns and villages, proximity to any number of Channel ports and countless leisure complexes devoted to young families, France’s most prosperous department wants for nothing as a holiday destination. But let’s face it, you can’t keep coming back to Brittany every year. After all, France is a huge country and there’s so much to see, and so little time. A few hours’ drive due south from Brittany, easily reached via the country’s excellent toll roads, is the Charente Maritime. Wilder, less developed, less commercialised but, if anything, more charming than its northern neighbour, the Charente is perfect for those with growing, more active … [Read more...] about Travel: Park yourself in the Charente for a family-friendly French getaway