Future of living: 7 ways our homes could adapt to meet a changing world - Zoopla

From robot builders and treadmills that generate energy, to ‘greening’ the streets and modular houses, we speak to the experts about what could be in store. This article is part of our Master Your Move Zooploma - a series of free guides, insider advice and inspirational stories delivered straight to your inbox. It’s impossible to predict exactly how we will live and what our homes will look like in the next half a century or more. After all, the science fiction films of 50 years ago present a

I overcame my terror of cycling and learnt to ride confidently in London

I overcame my terror of cycling and learnt to ride confidently in London With cycling levels up 70% compared to early March, it seems I’m not the only one keen to start using two-wheels for a taste of freedom Lockdown continues to ease. But with warnings still in place not to take public transport unless we have to, many of us have been looking for alternative ways to travel. As a result, I recently retrieved the ancient bike donated to me by a friend years ago – which has lain unused ever sinc

School uniform costs are rising so parents are turning to second-hand

School uniform costs are on the rise and pupils’ parents are forced to turn to second-hand clothes Estimates from the Children’s Society last year put the total cost of school clothing at £256 per primary pupil child and £338 for secondary What is the purpose of school uniform? Depending on who you ask, it is descended from elite private schools or a means of levelling the social divisions in the school population. Either way, the cost can still be too much for cash-strapped families. Parents

Why is magic dominated by men?

Magic has long been the preserve of men. For more than a century women have served as the glamorous assistants to male magicians, being sawn in half or disappeared before your very eyes. The “golden age” of magic spanned from the 1880s to the 1930s and, arguably, the profession hasn’t caught up with the modern day in terms of equality. Which prompts the question: do you need to have your own “magic wand” to be a magician today?

A primary school sent stressed teachers on a 10 week wellbeing programme – here’s what happened

More than 3,750 teachers were signed off on long-term sick leave last year due to pressures of work, anxiety and mental illness. Over the past four years 1.3 million days off have been taken by teachers for stress and mental health reasons, leading Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, to warn of an “epidemic of stress” engulfing the profession. A YouGov survey last year found 75 per cent of teachers in the UK reported symptoms of stress compared with just 6

10 best long-haul flight accessories

Flying long haul can be a strain. Nobody likes being stuck in a small seat for hours on end, unable to fully recline and with hundreds of other people at close quarters. But don’t let that put you off heading to Barbados, Bora Bora or another dream destination thousands of miles away. With the right gear anyone can experience comfort travelling between continents, without having to upgrade. Just make sure you pack it all in your hand luggage – don’t leave it languishing in the hold. From £6.9

Is it worth visiting Father Christmas in Lapland with no snow?

We booked plane tickets to Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland on an incongruously sweltering day last July. For months our five-year-old has been asking when we’d be going to visit Father Christmas. Touching down on a runway silvered with salt and ice earlier this week, my son’s first remark: “Where’s the snow, mummy?” Snow has been surprisingly absent in the capital of Lapland. The mildest November in 60 years follows a record-breaking hot summer. Several tour companies have cancelled trips from the

Five things to do in Lapland when there's no snow

I must have checked the weather forecast in Lapland an average of 20 times a day in the run-up to our Christmas trip of a lifetime. For months, I had told my five-year-old that we were going to visit Santa in the North Pole (although, technically Finnish Lapland is nowhere near). Except, as the forecast and news articles kept telling me, there was no snow this year. Lapland has experienced the mildest November for 60 years. When my family and I touched down on the runway at Rovaniemi Airport la

It's about time the movie-famous Thai beach closed - I've been there and it's chaos

“Have you been to where they filmed The Beach yet?” It’s one of the first questions you’re met with upon arrival at the Thai island of Koh Phi Phi. Famous for its starring role in Danny Boyle’s 2000 film featuring Leonardo Di Caprio, Maya Bay went from practically deserted in 1999 to a tourist magnet attracting in excess of 200 boats and 5,000 visitors a day - this on a shoreline only 800-ft long and 50-ft deep.

Why we should all love the vulture

Have a bone to pick with the scraggy vulture? Just remember they’re vital as nature’s waste disposers – which is why their decline is very bad news… Vultures, with their big, ungainly wings, beaky faces and fondness for scavenging on dead meat, have a terrible reputation. They are seen as harbingers of death, circling dying animals, ready to pick at decaying flesh. But they don’t deserve a bad press. They offer a vital service by feasting on carrion, protecting us from diseases spread by rotten
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