Well, what month! So much has happened since we last spoke it’s hard to know where to start!
How about with some happy Royal news? The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – aka Wills and Kate – had a baby daughter, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana on the 2nd May. She immediately slots in fourth in the line of succession behind her old man, her uncle Harry and her brother George and she weighed 8lb 3oz. As an aside, Charlotte was ranked 21st in the ONS list of most popular girls’ names in 2013. Who wants to bet that it will be higher in 2015?
We also marked the 70th anniversary of VE Day on May 8th.
Here are some interesting VE Day facts for you:
- 20,000 people gathered outside Buckingham Palace to welcome King George VI and the Royal Family, accompanied by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, on VE Day
- On VE Day, 13,000 British POWs were brought home on 200 Lancaster bombers
- It took 4h 19m from the time the Germans signed the official Instrument of Surrender at Allied HQ in Reims on May 7th (2.41am) to the time Churchill was informed the war was officially over (7.00am)
- Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force secretary Susan Hibbert took 20 hours to type the official surrender document signed by the Allied Expeditionary Force, the Soviets, the French and of course the Germans. It consisted of just 272 words but with everyone putting in their two-penneth, it took a while. When she died in February, we said goodbye to the last British witness to the German surrender
Street parties were recreated with the food, clothes, music and entertainment of the time but as we celebrated, we must spare a thought for those who perished on the battlefields, in the cities and in the concentration camps. Britain lost 450,000 in the war (with an estimated 65-80m dead worldwide) and that should never be forgotten.
Last week, to top off a memorable month for Britain we had the General Election. In the weeks leading up to it, it became clear that no party would get the requisite number of votes needed for a majority and a mandate to do what they liked. Would the Tories have to form another coalition with the Lib Dems? Would Labour have to join up with the Scottish Nationals? Would UKIPs Nigel Farage get the seat he was so desperate for?
The answer to all three was a resounding ‘no’.
Both the Liberal Democrats and Labour were so embarrassingly thrashed, within hours of the resounding Tory victory, both Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband resigned and then when Farage was trounced in South Thanet by the Tories (with not an inconsiderable helping hand from comedian Al Murray’s Free United Kingdom Party, aka FUKP), he also threw the towel in.
So there we have it, a Tory majority and a mandate to do all the things they said they are going to do. Let’s wait and see shall we…?
You know summer’s coming when the football season finishes. At the time of writing, the Champions League final will be contested by Barcelona and Juventus, bringing back the union of Luis Suarez and Giorgio Chiellini, where the latter was bitten by the former in the World Cup, and the union of Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra, where the former was found guilty of racially abusing the latter. Should be a good game!
We also know when summer’s coming when our phones are ringing off the hook. As ever, our city in the summer is a fantastic place to be and we have some fantastic deals on holiday apartments in London. Whether you’re coming as a tourist for a few weeks or as a student for the year, have a look at our selection of vacation and student apartments in London.
Here at Euracom, we have been arranging student accommodation in London for a quarter-century and as well as some great apartments at great prices, we make sure that you are well taken care of. If there’s anything you need or any help we can give you while you’re in the UK, please just ask us. It’s what we’re here for!
If you are looking for outstanding accommodation in London, make Euracom your first phone call (or email!). You can get us on 020 8420 7666 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to making sure you have a fantastic summer staying in a Euracom apartment!
See you in June!
at 1 May 2015
It’s that time again! Our letterboxes and increasingly so, email inboxes, are full to the brim with ‘please vote for us’ manifesto promises, political rhetoric, policy statements and photos of incumbents and hopefuls kissing babies, but who should you vote for?
Of course we’re not getting drawn into playing with that particular hot potato – we live in a democracy, vote for whoever you like! – but we thought we’d give you the runners and riders as well as a slightly irreverent look at the election rather than a serious political diatribe on who should be trusted* and who shouldn’t**.
* None of them
** All of them
Just kidding. Sort of.
Britain goes to the polls on May 7th and you and your 48,000,000 friends get to choose who will run the country for the next five years. In the 2010 General Election, voter turnout was 65.1% but analysts expect the turnout to be higher for this election.
The 2015 General Election Runners and Riders
There are 650 constituencies in the UK and we are voting to elect MPs in each of them. The party who has the most seats when all the votes have been counted will win. Or at least that’s the theory…
Alongside the main seven political parties, a number of smaller parties are contesting seats including the Elderly Persons Independent Party, Left Unity, the Christian People’s Alliance, the National Health Action Party and of course everyone’s favourite election losers, the Monster Raving Loony Party, but here are the key players:
Conservative Party – David Cameron (incumbent Prime Minister)
Liberal Democrats – Nick Clegg (incumbent Deputy Prime Minister)
Labour – Ed Miliband (Leader of the Opposition)
Scottish National Party – Nicola Sturgeon
Green Party – Natalie Bennett
Plaid Cymru – Leanne Wood
UKIP – Nigel Farage
As with every election, there are always the traditional issues that each party will campaign on – education, health, welfare, immigration, law and order, pensions, housing, environment, Europe, taxation and defence – and each one will tell you that their ideas are right for the country and their opponents’ ideas are wrong for the country.
The thing is, it’s up to you to make up your own mind by reading the manifestos, listening to the politicians speak and making your own mind up. Don’t be swayed by popular opinion or what you read on Facebook on Twitter. The decision on who you will vote for is important and if you’re registered to vote, please do.
If you don’t vote, you don’t get to moan about who ends up in Number 10 for the next half-decade!
Instead of us spouting on about our own brand of political bias, here’s an irreverent look at the election, the candidates and the parties. After reading this list, you may be clearer on whom to vote for, then again, we may have muddied the waters further…!
- No party has ever come back into government after one term in opposition since 1979 when Thatcher beat Jim Callaghan. Miliband has to if he wants to be PM
- Ed Miliband is 5’11” and Clegg and Cameron are a shade under 6’1”
- The youngest Prime Minister was William Pitt the Younger who was 24 in 1783
- 59% of Labour MPs were educated in state schools compared to 30% of Tories and 26% of Lib Dems
- According to the Daily Mail in a survey of 1,000 women, 3% said they would vote for Joey Essex over Nick Clegg and if they were standing, 14% would vote for Russell Brand, 11% for Lord Sugar, 4% for David Beckham and 1% for Cheryl Cole….
- As of April 2015, of the 650 MPs, 148 are female and 502 are male
- Perhaps surprisingly, just under half (49%) of MPs represent a constituency in the region they were born
- 24% of MPs are Oxbridge-educated
- In the Tory stronghold of Wealden in East Sussex, Labour have chosen an 18 year-old Politics student called Solomon Curtis to contest the seat and to challenge Nick Clegg in Sheffield Hallam, UKIP picked a 21 year-old former Lib Dem activist
- The longest continually-serving MP was Charles Pelham Villiers who was elected in 1835 and served until he died in 1898, a period of over 62 years
- MPs earn £67,060, while the combined ministerial and parliamentary salary for a Cabinet minister is £134,565
- In a YouGov survey asking people what animal David Cameron most resembled, voters decided on a snake. Nigel Farage was seen as a weasel and a response from a focus group on Ed Miliband was ‘one of those animals that, when you go to the zoo, you’re not bothered whether you see it or not!’
- UKIP are being challenged in Nigel Farage’s Thanet South seat in Kent by comedian Al Murray, the Pub Landlord and his newly formed Free United Kingdom Party (FUKP)
- David Dimbleby will head his 51st and final election broadcast on the BBC; Jeremy Paxman has been snapped up by Channel 4 and Tom Bradby and Alistair Stewart will look after both ITV viewers
- In a measure of consistency, on election day Cameron will have been in charge of the Tories for 3,440 days, Miliband in charge of Labour for 1,686 days and Clegg for the Lib Dems for 2,698 days
- The last election not to take place on a Thursday was on Tuesday 27th October 1931 and it was also the last time a party (Baldwin’s Conservatives) took over 50% of the vote
- It’s said that elections take place on Thursday because traditionally, people were paid on Friday and they would have little money left to get drunk
There’s also the list of ‘Things That Will Definitely Happen in the General Election’, including:
- A tabloid superimposing a candidate into an image of a vegetable
- One of the campaign buses will be foreign-made or will inadvertently park in a disabled spot
- A member of the public will throw eggs, make a rude gesture or confront a candidate in the street
- That member of the public will get arrested and end up doing the rounds of tabloid interviews until we forget who they are
- One of the candidates for PM will forget a mic is on and say something royally stupid, racist, sexist or plain ignorant
- A politician visiting a school will be asked a very simple maths or spelling question and get it wrong
Whatever happens, the future of our great nation is in your hands!
Joking aside, as long as you’re a registered voter, please vote. You may not think ‘just one extra vote’ counts, but it absolutely does. It’s your country and you have a right to say who is in charge.
Have a great month and we’ll see you in May!
at 21 Apr 2015
March is all about women. International Women’s Day (IWD) was celebrated the world over on March 8th under the banner theme ‘Make It Happen’, and they most certainly did.
IWD has, perhaps surprisingly to many of us, been celebrated for well over 100 years. It was established by Socialist International (then, the Socialist Party of America) in 1910 to recognise the contribution of women to society in general disregarding barriers such as nationality, ethnicity, linguistics and cultural, political and economic differences. Its fundamental purpose is to look back on past struggles as well as accomplishments but equally as important is to look forward to the phenomenal untapped potential and opportunities that are waiting for future generations of women the world over.
Here in the UK, IWD was celebrated, in amongst many other ways, at the Women of the World (WOW) festival at the South Bank Centre in London with a week of incredible workshops, talks, seminars and performances celebrating women and girls from all over the world. Topics included gender roles and identity, violence, empowerment, women in business, the perceived glass ceiling and politics and human rights. In addition, the festival addressed (including a Q&A with Annie Lennox) the many and varied humanitarian issues facing women around the world today including the plight of women and girls living in conflict zones, asylum and FGM, an horrific and brutal ‘procedure’ practiced in 28 countries and highlighted by amazing charities including28toomany.org.
In fact, whilst researching this blog article, the writer came across a beautifully written blog by a GCSE student about the misrepresentation of women in society, You can read it in full here but it’s worth pulling out a few quotes that perfectly highlight the issues women face:
‘Considering that only 12% of country’s leaders are women but approximately half of the world population is female, this is completely unrepresentative of humanity’s needs, unjustifiable and simply unfair.’
‘[the speaker] suggested that it is not that men do not want to diminish the concerns [equal pay, childcare provision, adult social care and ending violence against women] – nor is it that they do not care – but that they have an entirely different frame of mind to women, and therefore do not consider them in the same manner that women do. The subject of women being inclusive was also addressed, as well as the importance that the needs of the whole of society are considered; to do this one must actually speak to the women.’
Makes perfect sense when you think about it. Sadly, not enough do but we are safe in the knowledge that there are people out there who have our backs!
If you went to the WOW festival, tell us what you thought on Twitter @EuracomLondonor on our Facebook page here.
Also, Harry Potter actress and newly-appointed UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson who took part in a Q&A about gender equality and theHeForShe charity which you can view here. Women make up as near as makes no difference half of the world’s population and it’s great to see that the voices are loud and clear.
Since we’re on the subject of women, don’t forget this Sunday is Mother’s Day! Held on the fourth Sunday in Lent, its original name, Mothering Sunday was not a reference to mums per se, rather a reference to remind people to return to the warm embrace of Mother Church but since Clinton Cards got involved, it has morphed into a celebration of the woman who brought you into the world – your mum!
Lent in the Christian calendar is a period of 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday where Christians essentially replicate the sacrifices made by Jesus as he withdrew into the desert before he was crucified. Lent is commemorated by metaphorically fasting for the period. Naturally one cannot fast for 40 days; rather you sacrifice a particular vice such as wine, chocolate or smoking and it is a test of self-discipline and moderation. In Latin it’s known as ‘quadragesima’, or ‘fortieth’.
If you’re in London for Mother’s Day, or indeed for any other reason, it’s not too late to book an apartment this weekend or indeed for any other weekend!
Browse through our apartments in London and then contact us. We’ll be happy to talk you through the process. Contact us today.
The weather seems to be getting warmer and there’s no better experience than spring in London. We’re looking forward to seeing you!
at 13 Mar 2015
It’s a special person who can get through an entire day without getting annoyed at someone or something. Modern life, on the whole, is a positive experience but from time to time (and those times are more frequent for some of us) we see or hear something that gets our goat!
It could be that the things that annoy us are simply small cogs in a far bigger wheel and can be explained by scientific theory – ‘x’ annoys me because of ‘y’, and the net result is ‘z’ – but more likely, it’s because those things are just really, really annoying!
Fingernails on a blackboard. People talking through films. Your mother’s Facebook status updates. Unexpected items in the bagging area. The list is endless and we all have our own, but last week, online gaming site mobileslots.com conducted a straw poll of 700 people to find out the 50 things that really wind us up.
Here is the list from 50 to one. Some you’ll agree with, some you won’t. Read through and mentally tick off the ones that do. You will either be angrier than you think you are or more accepting of modern society’s foibles than you think you are. Judge for yourself…!
50. Monday mornings
49. People who litter
47. Justin Bieber (genuinely shocked he wasn’t waaaaay further up the list)
46. Jimmy Carr (that laugh…)
45. Clocks changing in the spring and autumn
44. ‘Liking’ your own status on Facebook (bad form)
43. Cat poo
42. Speed cameras
41. Cyclists who don’t ride single file
40. Finding the start of a roll of Sellotape
39. Overseas call centres
38. Katie Hopkins (see #47…)
37. All-day delivery times
36. The Voice (presumably this refers to all ‘talent’ contests on TV)
35. Mobile phone conversations on the bus
34. Other people listening to music without headphones
33. Packed trains
32. Twitter trolls
31. Expensive mineral water (glorified Peckham Spring)
30. People putting their bags on train seats to prevent anyone sitting there
29. People who leave their phone on at the cinema or theatre
28. House prices
27. Slow wi-fi
26. Weather being news (a British institution)
24. Incessant DFS adverts (do they ever NOT have a sale on? It that even legal?)
22. Celebrity fitness DVDs (because we all have that sort of time to get into perfect shape)
21. Traffic wardens (who leaves school wanting to do that?)
20. Spam email (around 80% of all email traffic worldwide is spam)
19. Rude shop assistants (they’re rude because they work in a shop, go easy on them)
18. People who don’t stand on the right on escalators
17. People who talk in lifts
16. Small talk (harsh)
15. The One Show (more annoying that Justin Bieber? We think not)
14. Josie Cunningham (the girl who had a boob job on the NHS)
13. PPI calls
12. BO on public transport (or indeed anywhere, ever)
11. Bad grammar
10. People who do their shopping at petrol stations
9. Perez Hilton (he was in Celebrity Big Brother apparently)
8. Tulisa (something to do with music, drugs and fake sheikhs…)
7. Snow (eh? What? Snow is fantastic for kids but agreed, not so great for cars)
6. People who put the milk in first when making a cup of tea
5. Public transport
4. Slow walkers
3. Nigel Farage (perhaps because he’s a dead ringer for Sam the Eagle from The Muppets)
2. Queue jumpers (yet none of us have the guts to ever say anything)
And the thing that annoys us the most…
1. Self-service checkouts
Google ‘things that annoy us’ and you’ll find a list of lists that are broadly similar, give or take a few anomalies but it turns out that on the whole, as a species, we do annoying things. That’s the long and short of it. Often the things that annoy us are not done on purpose (leaving indicators on, going to the shops and forgetting why you went, plane delays) but some of them are (selfies, not cleaning up after dogs, parking where one shouldn’t to save three seconds) so the message is, take a good look at yourselves and try hard not to do the things that annoy you about other people!
Interestingly, one of the things that annoys our clients here at Euracom is them trying to find apartments in London with other firms, which is why they all end up coming to us. We are the antithesis of annoyance and our customer service is second to none. That’s why our clients have been our clients for years.
They don’t get annoyed because they get precisely what they want, every time. Browse our website for the best student apartments in London, the best holiday apartments in London and the best corporate apartments in London and then call us on 020 8420 7666 or email email@example.com today!
We’ll see you in March!
at 9 Feb 2015
Happy New Year! We hope the holidays were full of friends, family, food and gifts and you’re back to work or university raring to go! We are!
While this blog post is a nice throwback to years past, it would be remiss of us not to acknowledge and condone the horrific, inexcusable yet wholly unnecessary executions of the defenceless writers, journalists and cartoonists at the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last week. Here at Euracom, we cater for lots of French students and executives and our thoughts are with their friends, families and colleagues.
We digress. As we’ve alluded to, 2015 is a year absolutely jam-packed full of historical anniversaries so we thought we’d ease you into the year with a short(ish) but fun and memory-provoking trip down memory lane! Some will make you smile, some will make you sad and some may drive you into a seething cacophony of boiling rage…
The King, Elvis Presley would have been 80 this year. Winston Churchill died 50 years ago and 70 years ago in 1945, Auschwitz was liberated by the allied forces.
It’s been 25 years since Nelson Mandela walked free from Robben Island after 27 years, Bob Marley would have been 70 and 40 years ago, Margaret Thatcher was elected Tory leader.
Guitar demi-god Eric Clapton turns 70, Mikael Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviets 30 years ago and it’s been 50 years since US troops first landed in Vietnam.
Winston Churchill resigned 60 years ago due to his failing health, the liberation of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp took place 70 years ago and Saigon fell 40 years ago.
The Lusitania was torpedoed by a German U19-type submarine called SM U-20 100 years ago this month, it’s the 70th anniversary of VE Day in Europe and 35 years ago, Joy Division singer Ian Curtis died.
200 years ago, The Duke of Wellington’s Seventh Coalition defeated Napoleon’s armies at the Battle of Waterloo. 600 years before that, King John signed the Magna Carta, a series of written promises between the king and his subjects the he, the king, would govern England and deal with its people according to the customs of feudal law.
Harry Potter’s mum, JK Rowling, turns 50; it’s the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, the first major campaign to be fought entirely by air forces and it’s been 15 years since the Air France Concorde flight 4590 crashed minutes after take-off from Charles De Gaulle airport into a hotel in the small town of Gonesse, prompting the demise of supersonic flight.
Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi army invaded Kuwait 25 years ago, claiming they had both reneged on promises to waive the debt Iraq had run up fighting Iran and stolen oil and drove the price down by over-supply. In reality, Hussein wanted oil and access to the Persian Gulf and did everything he could to fulfil his objective. It’s been 75 years since the Americans dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki and the King of Bonds, Sean Connery, the most Scottish man in the universe turns 85.
In one of the most high-profile crimes of the 20th century, Patty Hearst, granddaughter of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst was arrested 40 years ago as part of an armed robbery of a bank in California after being kidnapped and brainwashed by the Symbionese Liberation Army. Coronation Street has been on our screens for 60 years and 45 years ago in 1970, four planes bound for New York were hijacked by the Python-esque sounding Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in what became known as the Dawson’s Field hijackings, so named for the airstrip in Jordan where two of the planes landed.
It’s been 600 years since the Battle of Agincourt, a major British victory for Henry V against a numerically superior French army in the Hundred Years’ War; it’s been 50 years since the Telecom Tower, one of London’s most iconic buildings opened and it’s been 85 years since the R101 airship crashed.
Thatcher walked out of number 10 for the last time 25 years ago and five years before that was the historic Reagan-Gorbachev meeting, known as the Geneva Summit.
25 years ago, English and French engineers met and shook hands under the Channel, the Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra would have been 100 and 2015 years ago, Jesus was born!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this look back through the ages and don’t forget, Euracom has a great selection of apartments in London from where you can see 2,000 years of history right on our doorstep!
at 12 Jan 2015