Regular readers will know that The Weekly likes to keep a close eye on sporting, economic and property trends. However, as recent references to "Love Island" clearly demonstrate, we are not adverse to commenting on social trends either and this week one headline stood out above all the others; "Fortnite parents hiring video game tutors for children". For those in the dark about Fortnite, this is the latest craze in popular video games. And, according to the article, parents in the US are now paying private tutors as much as $50 (£38) an hour to help their children get better at playing it! Why? Apparently many parents are “worried about their kids’ social standing with their classmates" if they can't compete in the virtual world of fight-to-the-death survival. Indeed, according to The Guardian, children are at risk of "being exorcised from social life because they can barely last a minute of game play without getting shot from behind”. One obvious, money-saving solution would be to tell the kids that your prowess (or otherwise) at playing a computer game is not the be-all and end-all of life (?!), but that might be oversimplifying matters. Some parents forking out huge sums for Fortnite tutors say they hope their children’s gaming skills could eventually lead to a college scholarship or a lucrative career in e-sports. That might not be quite as bonkers as it sounds. Just look at the new crop of so-called "tutors", they're absolutely raking it in!
It was announced this week that Bristol's landmark Aurora building is up for sale. The 95,000 sq ft office building, which is part of the Finzels Reach development and is due to be completed before the autumn, is more than 80% pre-let. It is also the only speculative office development under way in Bristol and the only grade-A office space to be developed this year. And owner's Palmer Capital look like they may have got their timing just right. Limited office supply has fuelled exceptional rent rises in Bristol City Centre, with primes rents now standing at £32.50 psf, up from £28.50 psf at the end of 2017. Furthermore, prime yields (currently at 5%) are expected to tighten further with Imperial Tobacco’s HQ office on Winterstoke Road reportedly under offer at a yield of 4.5%. The Weekly suspects that buyers may be queuing up for Aurora. Or at least those who can afford the circa £60 million price tag! And if Savills latest market update is to be believed, the UK institutions may be at the front of the queue. It appears that those with significant amounts of capital to deploy are on a concerted drive to invest in regional office markets, with Bristol likely to be firmly in their sights. After all, it is one of St Bride's Key Cities for good reason!
The secretive Government Communications Headquarters, better known simply as GCHQ, is releasing a new collection of brain teasers to celebrate the agency's centenary. The "GCHQ Puzzle Book 2" will follow in the footsteps of a 2016 edition which proved a surprise hit, selling more than 300,000 copies. The first book was reported by the Guardian to be “as frustrating, divisive and annoying as it is deeply fulfilling” and Book 2 will apparently offer more of the same, giving readers a snapshot into the challenges that have faced problem-solvers at GCHQ for the past 100 years . The new edition isn't released until the autumn, but for those amateur code-breakers who want to know what they can expect (or if you simply need to occupy your unruly teenagers for an hour or so on holiday!), here is a sample question with which to challenge your little grey cells:
"The dog's in the canal, the cat's on the fell and the sheep is over there. Is the pig in the cellar, larder or the porch?"
Got it? Answers on a postcard please! Or you'll have to wait until next Sunday's edition to be put out of your misery.....!