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Satnav guide to saving a marriage

THERE is something about being confined in a 10ft metal box that brings out the inner diva in me.

It seems I'm not alone. According to a survey by the RAC, some 54% of us have succumbed to in-car conflict. In fact, 15% of the 1300 drivers polled said they argued more in the car than anywhere else. Just take a glance around the next time you're at traffic lights for a neat demonstration of frayed nerves in transit.

While many a family row can be ended swiftly with one party removing themselves, being forced to stay in the same airspace means that when debating en route things quickly escalate.

The motoring organisation has warned that so-called carguments peak sharply during winter because of the added stress of weather-related traffic and car problems and debates over the best route to take when roads are unexpectedly closed.

Certainly, I can testify that the only reason I'm still married is due to what we now (laughingly) refer to as the "relationship-saving satnav". As a driver with no innate sense of direction who can go from nought to panic in under three seconds, I have found the clear visual depictions, definitive instructions and calming voice of the sat nav have solved many a debate on direction of travel. Apart from that time it told me to turn left off the middle of the Kingston Bridge. And that other time it urged me on up a pot-holed dirt track between two farmers' fields and I wrecked a tyre rim. And the incident with the unexpected bollards . . .

IN a week when digital company acquisitions continued apace with Facebook buying mobile messaging service WhatsApp, it's good to know that our love for good old-fashioned paper books remains strong. A survey by online book-trading company FatBrain shows that the physicality of books - the smell, the margin scribbles and the dog-eared corners - along with the possibly of lending them to friends mean we have resisted going completely virtual when it comes to our reading habits. Even students apparently still favour paper tomes for their studies because they can cram the pages with their own notes and sell them on at the end of their course. Book fans also cited the joy of shopping for a book or giving it as a gift and, of course, you can't show off how clever you are with an online bookcase.

NOTHING says bitter-sweet like the fleeting joy of pressing the snooze button. Sure, you've managed to snuff out that incessant beeping with a stab of your digit allowing you to roll back to your happy, sleepy place, but it's such a painfully transient delight I can hardly bear it. Every further moment under the duvet is marred with the anticipation of the next alarm blast. Far better to just accept your fate and crack on, I reckon.

Scientists at the Institute of Pressing Things have worked out that on average we lose 85 hours a year by pressing the snooze button. Just don't tell George Osborne; he'll surely insist we're all grossly underemployed and spend the time working a second job.

THREE things always happen when we go to a homewares store. I have a near miss in the car park; hubby goes Awol in the electrics aisle and I leave with a bag of candles. No matter what I've entered the shop to buy, I'm incapable of leaving without a fix of sculpted, scented wax. What can I say? Everyone needs a vice.

However, in a bid to expand the traditional customer base of the scented candle, one Stateside manufacturer has launched a range of scents designed to appeal to men which include petrol, bacon, leather and, for the truly aspirational, money. Beats Old Spice, I suppose.

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