The iPhone X – is it good for business?

The much anticipated iPhone was launched this month with a hefty price tag of $1000 but is the price good for business and the solo traveller?

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Our smartphone is pretty much part of the family, it sits there living in our pockets/bags like a baby that needs to be close by it’s mother. When we drop it or the screen cracks we mourn like it’s a friend hurt or that has passed away. Over dramatic? Maybe. My point is it will always be needed.

Step up the iPhone X – launched in a live broadcast across all mediums with big features and not so big featured that make it ‘the one’ to have. While others feel that it has finally caught up with the Samsung S8 Apple appear to have gauged their baby at the business professional:

Big Display

Not only does it boast a 5.8 inch retina (Super Retina to you) screen it’s toughened glass makes sure that any drop to a concrete floor won’t be like the slow motion movement it appears to be now with current smart phones. The X also features a double edged screen, water and dust resistant but nothing like the Samsung…of course. That said the Japanese giant is set to take a cut from the X due to it’s OLED technology.

The huge screen makes light work of scanning the internet, drawing or taking notes with the optional Apple Pen ($300). Downloading PDFs are made easy viewing as are videos from live conferences.

Intel – A11

Intel provide the driving force to the speed of the X, in fact it makes up 15% of the phone value itself. Good news for fast processing of documents, videos and photos. To date the A11 is the most powerful and smartest chip ever in a smartphone, with a neural engine that’s capable of up to 600 billion operations per second. With four efficiency cores in the all‑new CPU up to 70 percent faster than A10 Fusion the two performance cores are up to 25 percent faster, hopefully at full speed when nearing the end of space in the internal memory. This is good news for games too.

Security – FACE ID

Hold tight James Bond or fans of Mission Impossible, security on the X is tight. 3D sensors are on board to provide facial recognition, all laser technology based which made US makers Lumentum a nice hefty £150m in orders. Gone is the Home button and the tedious finger print recognition, that quite frankly, held up many queues in coffee shops around the world.

Face ID is enabled by the TrueDepth camera and is simple to set up. It projects and analyzes more than 30,000 invisible dots to create a precise depth map of your face, adapts over time and so secure that this is the new Apple Pay. That should make the coffee shop queue more entertaining…

Camera

The 12MP camera gives a sharper image and contrast features, great for selling products or sending customers information. Face timing and conference calling have just become even more hi-def. Both cameras at the rear have optical image stabilization and fast lenses for outstanding photos and videos even in low light, something that previous iPhones suffered with.

A wide-angle and telephoto camera on the iPhone X enable optical zoom, as well as digital zoom of up to 10x for photos and 6x for videos, on the fringe of SLR technology.

The True Depth camera can analyse over 50,000 muscle movements for that perfect selfie which works hand in hand with the Animoji feature, thus giving you the chance to be that panda you always wanted to be. Let’s hope there won’t be a movie to follow.

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Charging

How many times have we heard, ‘Anyone got an iPhone charger?’. This is now a thing of the past. Introducing AirPower mat. Set your iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods anywhere on the mat to charge them wirelessly. Wireless charging is now in force with the X, Apple assuring us that charging mats can be found in cafes, hotels and airports around the world. Forthcoming is a travel and car optional pad.

Software

The latest IOS makes sure business features of the X stay bang up to date with easier sharing options and user friendly navigation. Siri stays which is good news for the solo traveller giving you at least someone to talk too. Siri can come in handy for translating and getting about in a foreign country.

Maps looks superb on the more refined screen and gives more accuracy thanks to the newest of internal processors.

iCal and emails are processed faster with better features to sync with other Apple devices.

The iPhone X is set to be Apple’s best product to date, more featured, re-fined for the next generation and offering much more for the business user and traveller. Overall it is the best companion for anyone, anytime. It will wake you up, sort your daily routine out but it won’t make the bed. Yet.

Ben Glover

Research:

Apple

BBC Business

 

 

 

 

 

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iTunes – what you may or may not know

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If like me you spend more money on coffee than booze each month welcome to the club. Chances are you probably have a gym membership, spend more time with your mates (sober at least) and have a healthy array of songs on your smartphone.

I’ve been stuck in the 90’s since, well 1999. Maybe not physically, the silver hair testament to a ‘harsh’ work regime but musically. That particular moment in time was when I grew up. Sure ‘growing up’ could be perceived as the first ten years of your life have memories etched into your brain of being around the grandparents, your first school, your first funeral or the moment your dad went crazy and bought a Porsche. For me it has been 1990 on wards. From this humble decade of Naff Naff beginnings there were plenty of firsts to be had.

My secondary school career began and from a lanky framed person as myself was not an easy task. My mother constantly un-hemming trousers to stop the bigger lads taking the piss and undoubtedly shouting out ‘bell bottoms’ or ‘ankle bangers’ as I patrolled the corridors with my market bought or often hand me down ruck sack. My head hitting every door frame of the classroom and why was I always at the back of the yearly photograph?

But what carried me through this decadent time frame was music. A healthy obsession for club music that packed in everything from trance to what we now know as big anthems. Aged 14 it was easy to get into raves with warehouses crammed from of sweaty bobbed haired fellas and dungaree wearing girls, each magnetised to the huge bass bins vibrating on every speaker. Most of their heads on the Mitsubishi Ecstasy tablets doing the rounds whilst I only ever went for the music and the dancing.

It is no surprise that my iTunes is packed full of anthems, taking me ‘back in the day’ to the old skool bangers that gave me freedom of movement on the dance floor, constantly giving it the ‘ooop ooop’ and reaching for the lazers. in the hallows of a warehouse in Plymouth. Accept they aren’t.

My 90’s playlist would put Judge Jules and Dave Pearce (DJs by the way) to shame. I’ve spent well over £200 a year on songs, not just the anthems. My most played was ‘Born Slippy – Underworld’, a 12 minute hedonistic journey that stepped me back into the clubs, each lyric harping back to my first ‘obsession’ with a girl called Kerry (much older than me at the time, I had no chance). At a recent Boot Camp I needed a pick me up anthem, a ‘Rocky’ style pump ready for 60 minutes brutality in my active wear. Imagine the horror when I find it’s no longer there. It is like losing a best mate you often see for lunch or coffee. I searching every thing, title, artist, albums, downloads and even purchased – nothing.

Apple are not always the easiest people to get too – whilst we are asleep in our beds we assume they are awake and working from their sunshine glinted office in California. I jumped on the Support tab and sent an email. I was quite surprised to find a reply within an hour.

So why does iTunes trash your tunes?

When you download a song to your iTunes did you know that you do not technically own it? Not even with the whole 99 p you worked so hard for to buy it. Here is what the lovely Bernard told me:
‘Ben, upon carefully checking your account thoroughly, I do apologize (how they spell in the U.S), I’ve determined that the reason why you cannot re-download the “Born Slippy” is because the content was modified by the content provider.

Please note that an item can be modified for several reasons such as change in version, upgrades/updates that the content provider, production company or record label do.

In addition to that, when the changes are applied by the developer, the item goes back to the store as a new version and the older version becomes obsolete and is therefore, deleted. Thus, preventing you to re-download the item.

I know your files are valuable to you, so I encourage you to back up your hard disk regularly. If the disk needs to be replaced, you can restore your purchases and other data from the backup and avoid the need to purchase replacement copies of your collection’.

A fine reply from Bernard that has taken a part of my life way and lesson learned. I did reply hoping for a refund alas I was given credits to download some new tunes, of which, sadly my 12 minute trip into 1995 can no longer revived and will just have to settle for the 7′ 32″ version instead.

So, back up your files else not only will you loose your tracks back your fine memories too.

Ben Glover

FAST and FREE WiFi is available in ALL Town Or Country properties…ideal for backing up your files.

Bank Holiday Outings

Not sure what to do for the Bank Holiday weekend? Let us wet your weekend whistle.

Southampton Pride -The Stage Door

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The Stage Door opens all it’s doors for one of Southampton’s biggest festivals. Pride Southampton brings together a celebration for all genders, backgrounds and ages.

The Stage Door will be on hand contributing with live music, food & drink, entertainment for the kids and all topped off with a parade of love including, this year the emergency services.

The fun starts from 11am in the Guildhall Square daily.

 

 

 

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Man Overboard Race – The Elephant Boat Yard, Old Bursledon, SATURDAY.

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If you are looking for some fun on the water then the Bursledon Regatta will float your boat. Whether you fancy your chances in the kayak race or want to test your ability to try and stand up on a paddle board much fun will be had. Just pop a few coins into their charity coffers and take a change of clothes! Register from 1230 pm.

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The Titanic Walk, Southampton SATURDAY

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On the Titanic Trail there is a walk through the streets where the Titanic crew lived and drank. Many buildings of the period survive today including; the Terminus Station, arguably the oldest railway station in the country; the luxurious South Western Hotel, where first class passengers stayed, including Thomas Andrews, designer of the ship, and Bruce Ismay, chairman of the White Star Line. Stop at the White Star Office and reflect on the families, who waited days for news. Hear the true story of Jack Dawson. See the pub where Titanic stokers had their last drink before sailing. These historic streets still resonate from the loss.

Afterwards relax in the Docks Coffee House, which could not be better located in one of Southampton’s most historic and pleasant streets. Look at a fascinating pen and water colour illustrated map of historic Southampton by local artist Carloline Misselbrook. And enjoy one of Dan and Dishi’s delicious cream teas.

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Wake Up Well – Five Ways

  1.  Make Your Bed (straightaway!)

Research has shown (and this did come from the U.S.) that if you make your bed straightaway after waking up then all the other tasks for the day will fall into place. I tried this theory out this very morning. Since making the bed I have got showered, dressed, ironed and I wrote this blog. I kid you not. (And for those lazy days let our housekeeping team make it for you).

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2. Down A Pint

Water is the key to all well being. And with the body packing over 90% of the stuff it is essential we keep it topped up. Starting off with a pint of the clear stuff not only re hydrates the body is is good for the heart, kick starting it into a good rhythm for the day. It also contributes to the 2 litres we should be drinking daily.

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3. Wake Up To Music

Waking up to Chimes or Cosmic on your iPhone daily can have a negative affect on your day, especially if these are your daily risers. Set your alarm to some middle of the road music from your music playlist and edit your alarms accordingly. Coldplay, The XX or something with a nice intro build up are key.

Avoid the Bedtime function; your brain will be aware that your iPhone or Smart device is on ‘standby’, it’s like keeping one eye open when awake.

4. Stretch

You can’t beat a good click of the back in the morning. Pull out the yoga mat, poor the water and stretch those limbs into a new day. By doing this you’ll free up all the bunched up limbs from the night and be warmed up ready for the day.

5. Avoid Coffee…for at least an hour

And this is from a coffee lover. As beautiful as the ‘c’ word is a caffeine hit first thing in the morning could come crashing down on you middle of the morning. Start with a green tea or anything light such as fruit tea, that will be a good refresher and motivator to your day.

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Ben Glover

Three Events To Look Forward To!

The nights may be drawing in (boo) but fear not dear guest, there are some things to look forward to in and around your serviced property!

Southampton Pride

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August 26th 2017

This year the parade will take place outside The Guildhall Square at 2pm, where it will continue up West Marlands Road, down Above Bar Street to the Bargate Monument, around the monument, back up Above Bar Street to Guildhall Square and back along West Marlands Road.
Full details on the route are online; the idea is to get dressed up, bring your kids, your parents, your dog, your family and your friends! Be as colourful as you can and make some noise!
Then after it is all back to The Stage Door for an after party…

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Prosecco Festival, Port Solent

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14 Oct 2017 6.30pm – late

Join in for the inaugural Port Solent Prosecco Festival – an evening of fun, decadence and glamour by the waterside.

 

Port Solent is offering Prosecco lovers an evening to remember with a show stopping, Hollywood-style festival of Prosecco spread across the whole of the Boardwalk.

Included in your ticket price:

Five glasses of Prosecco

Souvenir glass

Goody bag

Live music

Fire dancers

Martini glass dancer

and much more…

So, to enjoy an evening of glitz, glamour and bubbles, come down and join us at our 2017 Port Solent Prosecco Festival.

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Southampton Boat Show, Mayflower Park

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15th – 24th September 2017

TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show is a spectacular world class annual event held in September and attracts visitors, exhibitors and investors from all over the world. An on-water Show boasting Europe’s purpose built Show marina located in Southampton, the cruise and boating capital of the UK.

The Show started in 1969 and is held annually in September. An important sales platform for both national and international businesses attracting over 110,000 visitors. The Show attracts high net worth individuals from the UK and around the world. TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show is one of Southampton’s biggest events and takes over the City for a 10 day period, whilst people of all walks of life discover what the marine industry has to offer them.

Travel Problems Solved By Tech

Travelling whether for business or pleasure can sometimes bring it’s stresses and tests! Now tech can come to the rescue.

RFID Chips

Say goodbye to the odd sock that you can never find in the morning. RFID chips can be sown into your sock that mate with an app in order to track the little blighter down. RFID tags, a technology once limited to tracking cattle, are tracking consumer products worldwide. Many manufacturers use the tags to track the location of each product they make from the time it’s made until it’s pulled off the shelf and tossed in a shopping trolley.

Coffee On The Go

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15 minutes in the working day is a long time. Save yourself time and money with making a brew from the comfort of your desk. The MoJoe mobile brewer gives you the chance to become all Barista with everything you need to make a fine cup. From grinding the beans to sharing the wealth with one of the two compact cups built in the coffee shop comes to you!

Airport Accelerator 

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Drones. Love or hate them they are here to stay. But have you ever tried to carry one with you? With the Airport™ Accelerator Quadcopter Divider Kit, you can easily convert one of our Airport™ Accelerator backpacks (sold separately) into a customised quadcopter transportation backpack.  On point with the new era of photographic possibilities and needs, the adjustable dividers offer multi-compartment convenience to hold every key component and accessories of a quadcopter plus supplies for the day’s outing. With its durable and changeable storage dividers, all of your gear and personal items are safe, organised, and at the ready.

Sandless Beach Mat

Sand Free Beach Mat

Calling all beach lovers! The Sandless Beach Mat is a revolutionary beach accessory that’s literally impossible to cover with sand. Initially intended for military uses, this clever sand-free ground sheet is perfect for a fun and stress free beach outing. Finally, no more annoyingly sticky sand! Now you can make the most of your seaside experience while lounging in the warm sunshine, reading a book, or spreading out a picnic.

Portable Cocktail Kit

Portable Cocktail Kit

What better way to get in the vacation spirit than with a portable cocktail kit, equipped with everything you need to craft two proper beverages in style, anywhere, anytime? Compact enough to fit in a pocket, W&P’s slick Carry-On Cocktail Kit is the best bet for mixologists on the go, offering a handy recipe card, stainless steel spoon/muddler, linen coaster, and all the ingredients for two proper in-flight concoctions.

Depending on your preferences, there are a variety of travel sets to choose from, from Champagne and Bloody Marry to Gin & Tonic and the original Old Fashioned.

goTenna

Portable Antenna

Inspired by the disaster rescue and recovery operations following Hurricane Sandy, goTenna has been designed to keep Android or iOS devices connected even when there is no cellular service. Made of rugged materials, this pocket-sized two-way radio and antenna uses Bluetooth-LE to pair with a smartphone. This innovative technology allows users who possess the device to share messages and location info instantly within a range of up to 50 miles in ideal conditions.

 

Guest Champions!

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Racing Hotel Princesa Yaiza, with a crew of: Alejandro Bethencourt Fuentes, Afredo Gonzalez, Hector Gonzalez, and Laiyin Francisca Ley Torres Jorge.

When it comes to serviced accommodation we cater and look after for everyone’s needs whether from a business or pleasure perspective. We like to thrive on the success of our guests and we are proud to announce recent residents and Spanish sailing team Rayco Tabares. They recently won the J/80 World Championship for a forth time. Based in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, they led the regatta, on the Solent, from the first day to the last, but did survive a technical hitch on the penultimate day.

Two second place finishes to clinch the world title in the closing days of the tournament. Experiences sailors will know a northerly breeze ranging from 10-18 knots shifts both to the west and the east, yet provided another testing race course in the Central Solent. All fourteen scheduled races were completed, much to the satisfaction of the competitors, which roundly showed their approval for a World Championship that organisers say was a ‘huge success’.

Town or Country were proud to cater for the needs of this award winning team, going above beyond to make sure you are champions.

Congratulations to team Hotel Princesa Yaiza!

Do you have successful news to share? Get in touch info@townorcountry.co.uk  

 

Five Sports You Need To Do This Summer In Hampshire

  1. Go Kayaking – River Hamble

You are only a stones throw away from some of Hampshire’s most beautiful waterways.

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The River Hamble begins at it’s mouth with Southampton water and continues down towards Botley. Why not launch from the Public Slipway of Swanwick marina and head towards Curbridge.

Banking off to the right takes you to the Horse & Jockey pub, a land mark for those who wish to pick up a bite to eat with a pint. Or steer left and head towards the YMCA Activities centre with plenty of fun to be had for all the family.

Play it right and you’ll pick up at least two pubs along the way…

 

2. Portsmouth Water Sports Centre

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Portsmouth Watersports Centre is based in the stunning Langstone Harbour with views of the South Down on the eastern side of the island. The Unique facilities host a wide range of land and water based activities such as Sailing, Windsurfing, Stand up Paddle boarding, Powerboating, Climbing, Archery, High ropes and much more. The Harbour offers an amazing variety of wildlife from rare birds to a large friendly colony of local seals.

There is a 20 station Expression gym on site available to use with stunning views looking out over the harbour while you workout too.

3. Kite Surfing, Hayling Island

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Hayling Island traditionally has been a mecca for beaching it in the summer. It has since been the popular destination for kite surfing. So popular in fact the annual Kite Surfing championships take place with a little help from Sir Richard Branson, a regular visitor.

Get some info and lessons HERE

4. Saber Power boating

002.jpgSaber Powersports offer a unique range of Powerboat Experiences in which (on most boats) you get to drive. The 450HP Jet Viper is a unique powerboat thrill ride featuring a Hamilton Jet Drive that can out maneuver any other craft on the water.

The Honda Powerboat Taster session gives you the chance of driving a genuine offshore powerboat. Or drive the Thunderbolt a high performance inflatable catamaran built in South Africa for surf rescue.Or we do a mix of two boats, the 007 Experience and Superboat Challenge. Or all three boats-The Ultimate Day. Click HERE for more.

5. Southampton Water Sports Centre

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At Southampton Water Activities Centre (or SWAC as we like to call it) they are passionate about water sports…from sailing and rowing, to power boating and the latest craze stand up paddle boarding.

So whether you’ve never been in a boat before and can’t tell the pointy end from the flappy bit, or if you’re a seasoned sailor looking to improve, they guarantee  a course, experience or package that will be perfect for you.

With over 25 years of experience in operation, a talented team of instructors, and a hugely impressive array of boats and equipment, Southampton Water Activities Centre is the perfect place to indulge your passion for life on the water. Our expert team are in place to help you Discover, Explore or Excel all that there is to love about sailing and power boating. In fact it is so good you spot one or two of the Town Or Country staff on the water too, especially our company director.

Content: Ben Glover

How To Keep A Cool Head In The Office

As the UK basks in it’s one week of sunshine for the summer sometimes it is hard to keep a cool head, especially when it comes to business. Use these for when the heat is really on

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It starts at the wardrobe. Choose wisely. By the time lunchtime comes you would probably already sweated the equivalent of three pints just walking to the photocopier. Keeping things light and airy are the way forward. For the gents don’t be afraid to rock the linen look, it’s back in for summer ’17. You can still look smart, even with a pair of shoe socks. And for the ladies a light flowing dress will certainly keep the airflow through the office. If you are having a trousers day keep the top half light with a loose blouse or top.

Avoid heavy food on the lunch breaks. Nipping to Nandos with the IT lot this lunchtime may not be the best decision ahead of the afternoon graft. Consuming carbs such as bread, pasta or potatoes gives the body a longer digestive time in the heat, especially if you are already tired, as your body is already producing some breaking it all down. Grabbing something like a salad not only lightens up the rest of the day it will be part of your five a day. Well done you.

Avoid the coffee. Yes and this is the hard part of summer but caffeine and heat don’t marry too well. Coffee dehydrates the body and that is never a good thing. Switch your latte for a fruit cooler, packed with plenty of energy and vitamins to get you through the day. Or why not make your own at home.

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Water, water, water. Ditch the plastic bottle with sports cap you got with your meal deal at Tesco and settle for a 2 litre monster from Amazon. Set yourself a goal by taking in a water bottle that has fluid levels on the side of it. That way your can gauge how much you drink (at least 3-4 pints a day). This could be a hard task but it doesn’t have to be. As soon as you wake up by downing a pint of water first thing not only sharpens up the senses but helps the heart get out of it’s sleep mode and hydrated. Oh and that is the first pint done; just 3 more to go. It will contribute to looking after your bladder too, with the aim for your urine to be as light in colour as possible. If it’s too yellow or dark drink more.

Audio bliss. By listening to music this can help keep you cool, perfect for the commute in or out. Classic FM might be a bit extreme but by treating your ears to The XX or Dua Lepa will certainly keep you cool with the kids…

Ice polls in the freezer. Take yourself back to the age when you didn’t have a care in the world and cola iced polls tasted better when melted. Relive your ‘youff’ by bunging in a bag load into the work freezer. They are good fun to hand out during the lunch break or at the desk.

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Switch off. Monitors, desk tops and even mobile phones all bang out the heat when they are sat at the desk. Switch them off when you do not need them. This includes the light bulbs or if you are still living in 1981 turn off the spots and replace them with LEDs that give off less heat.

Breathe deep. A yogic breathing technique can help you stay cool. Roll your tongue and breathe slowly through the mouth, to help lower body heat and ease stress. Breathe in through your rolled tongue (or, if you’re not genetically able to, purse the lips) and exhale through the nose. Breathing through the mouth should allow your saliva to cool the air you breathe before it enters your lungs. Best done out of the office for fear of making you look a right div at your desk.

Day dream. The office day dream is often the best part of the day. By thinking of being in the snow or staying in an ice hotel can help reduce the temperature.

Sleep well and naked! There is nothing wrong in going commando. The less clothes at bed time the better. Pull out the duvet and sleep with the sheet on top of you. That way you get the best of both worlds and a good sleep!

Ben Glover

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