For those of you who have already done your Christmas shopping and decorated the tree, or for those of you who prefer the last-minute thrill, there is plenty of live sport on TV today to help fill your Sunday. Along with the test cricket from India, Champions Cup rugby and the NFL matches later this evening, arguably today’s highlight is Sky Sport’s ‘Super Sunday’ offering, Manchester United vs Tottenham. Whilst Jose Mourinho’s team may well not be celebrating at the final whistle this afternoon, on Saturday 7th January 2017 they will celebrate an incredible FA Cup run, even if they lose! Their third-round match against Reading will be their 55th consecutive game in the competition shown live on TV. Fifty-five games! This extraordinary run dates back more than a decade to January 2005, when they captivated BBC viewers with a 2-0 win over the mighty Exeter City. Since then, every FA Cup game Manchester United have played has been broadcast live. With last Monday night’s third round FA Cup draw scheduling very few mouth-watering ties, surely this offered the national broadcasters the perfect opportunity to give the remaining lower and non-league sides left in the cup an early Christmas present of some extra TV revenue?
It is definitely the busiest time of the year for the long-suffering dinner jacket. Whether it be Christmas parties or annual dinners, the month of December is surely the ultimate test of the strength of the evening suit waistband! Wednesday evening was another big test, with the Revo (formerly British Council of Shopping Centres) Annual Dinner and the presentation of the Gold Awards to recognise achievement within the retail property industry. The Gold Awards benchmark our industry’s commitment to the improvement in quality of the built environment and celebrate the most creative and innovative centres over the past twelve months. Categories range from best new shopping centre (Friars Walk in Newport), Public Sector Award (Bradford City Council) right through to Retail Occupier (Smiggle) and Food & Beverage Occupier (Nando’s). For those of you with an allergy to the high street, Smiggle is a children’s stationary chain which launched in the UK in 2014, with ambitions to open 200 stores nationally by 2019. Given they have already opened 90 stores, their Gold Award seems well-deserved and apt given they are Australian-owned!
For those of you without Advent calendars, today is the 11th December. So what, you may ask? Well, it means in exactly two weeks it will be Christmas Day. Today is also the day recognised as being the busiest day of the year for couples splitting up! There are competing theories as to why a fortnight before Christmas is the year's most heart-breaking day. For new couples, some may decide they don't want their other half to meet their family, while the more money-minded may decide that staying together and exchanging expensive gifts just isn't worth it! A similar situation occurs in the USA ahead of Thanksgiving, with the issue so common that it's now known as the 'Turkey Dump'. On a more positive note, if you make it through the next two weeks, you should be safe until Springtime. Christmas Day is the day of the year when fewest relationships officially end, with the frequency of break-ups building up a head of steam before peaking again in the Spring. So if you ever wondered where ‘Spring break’ or ‘Spring clean’ originated from, now you know!