Battersea Park was filled with 2,000 Santa’s yesterday as part of the London Santa Charity Run which raises funds for Disability Snowsport UK

Like most sports, cricket has evolved over time. Whilst the aim of the game - to score runs and take wickets - remains the same, the way it is played, the format, the equipment (check out the differing sizes of these bats!), the way it is officiated, and even the colour of the ball have all changed. Despite the sport having a long and mostly distinguished history, the last 10 days will feature prominently in future documentaries about the history of the game. We have just witnessed the first ever day-night Test match in Adelaide, where not only was a pink ball used for the first time but tea replaced lunch as the first meal of the match! We have also just had confirmation from the ECB that it will trial another innovation next season, this being no mandatory coin toss. This idea aims to improve the quality of the cricket pitches that county cricket is played on and thereby encourage the development of spin bowling. In other words, England have no decent quality spinners coming through the ranks, so rather than try and coach them to be better, the ECB has decided to do away with a 272-year old tradition. What's next? Rather than do extra fitness training, cut off the crusts on the cucumber sandwiches provided at tea?
 
Whilst most of the property industry is focused either on getting remaining deals over the line or still deciding what tasteless Christmas jumper to wear for their office party, there remains no let-up in the production of high-quality property market research. The IPF released their latest UK Consensus Forecast this week, predicting that the All Property Total Return average forecasts for 2015 and 2016 will be 13.8% and 9.3% respectively. The 5th issue of the Laxfield UK CRE Debt Barometer was also released, where stand-out findings include the UK regions now outstripping London in demand for finance by both loan count and volume. And to complete the epic research trilogy, Cornell University / Hodes Weill published their annual Institutional Real Estate Allocations Monitor, and informed us that global property allocations could reach 15% over the next 10 years, up from the current average target allocation of 9.56%. Whilst spare time is usually at a premium at this time of year, reading these three research reports will not only broaden your knowledge but would also help any practicing RICS members reach the required number of hours of CPD before the 31st December deadline!
 
Christmas tree etiquette is rather baffling isn’t it? Everyone has their own way of seeing in the festive season, whether it be buying an overpriced 8 foot Nordmann fir from a local farm or digging out from the loft the fake tree that cost a tenner from Homebase in the 1990 post-Christmas sale. But when is actually the best time to put up your tree? In centuries gone by, Christmas trees were not to be brought in, let alone decorated, until after noon on Christmas Eve. Erecting them in August (like Starbucks appear to do) feels rather premature. For many of us, it’s not something we will probably give a great deal of thought to and for many parents the answer is simply ‘when the kid’s nagging gets too painful’. But if you are keen for some advice then you are in luck as Needlefresh has just published their tree “timetable” to help you avoid the trap of buying too early or too late. It reckons tomorrow or Tuesday are the best days to buy your tree whilst next Monday or Tuesday are the best days for bringing them inside and decorating them. ‘Make a day of it’ they enthuse… The Weekly remains unconvinced.

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