Recognising that it is the peak summer holiday season and the number of out-of-office messages in use,The Weekly thought it would break slightly with tradition this week and share some news stories that caught our attention over the past seven days, news stories that you may well have missed irrespective of whether you have been soaking up some Mediterranean sun or simply wishing that you were!

  • England has been playing the West Indies at Edgbaston in the first day-night Test match in the UK, a move regarded as being transformational for Test cricket. But as far as The Weekly can tell, not a lot appears to have changed other than the use of a pink cricket ball. England's top order are still shaky, Alastair Cook and Joe Root remain world-class batsman and the West Indies have proved, once again, they are a complete shambles.
  • A Northern Ireland teenager scored two holes-in-one in the same round of golf. The odds of doing this are a whopping 67 million to one!
  • Official figures released show that the number of visitors to the UK rose to 3.5 million in June, up 7% from the same month last year. The number of visitors from North America shot up by 34%, buoyed by the sharp drop of the pound against the dollar. The surge apparently has nothing to do with the recent actions of their President.
  • Top A-level grades increased for the first time in six years, with boys overtaking girls in top grades for the first time in seventeen years. Of more concern for the UK property industry is the dip in university applications that has left universities looking to fill more places than usual.
  • The quarterly Citibase Confidence Index found that lease lengths of one to three years have become increasingly popular, with 41% of respondents now favouring a short lease, up from 30% in just six months. Given that SME’s are the lifeblood of the UK economy, it is essential that landlords and investors sit up and take notice.
  • CBRE’s H1 2017 Property Perspective report was released and it found several cities including Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Leeds and Manchester witness improved levels of take-up when compared with H1 2016. However, overall demand in the UK’s regional office markets was slightly down on the five year average, with office take-up reaching 2.8m sq. ft.
  • On the day after hundreds of thousands of commuters were unable to reach London Waterloo due to the combination of planned engineering works and a train derailment, it was announced that millions of rail users will see the price of regulated rail fares rise by up to 3.6% in January. What ever happened to burying bad news?
  • It was announced that vanilla ice cream, the UK’s most popular ice cream flavour, is under threat. Earlier this year a cyclone ravaged the vanilla bean-producing region of Madagascar, the world’s largest exporter of the spice, and the crop damage has pushed the price to an all-time high, leaving many UK ice cream outlets struggling to afford to buy it.
  • The chimes of Big Ben are to fall silent from midday tomorrow to allow essential repair work to take place. The works are currently due to be completed in 2021, although the chimes will still ring out for important national events such as New Year’s Eve and Remembrance Sunday.
  • Daniel Craig confirmed that he is coming back as James Bond for one more film, proving his statement in 2015 that he'd "rather slash [his] wrists" than make a fifth Bond film was complete nonsense. It’s amazing what his reported pay of £100 million can do, isn’t it?