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Grow your own spirit of community

How to maximise your fruit and veg and share the surplus with friends and family.

Iwas recently chatting to a friend who also rears his own meat about the great advantages of the “nose to tail” eating of our animals – using up every scrap in different and delicious ways – and it got me thinking that we certainly do not always do that with our fruit and veg.

A glut of fresh vegetables from the garden can get on top of you, leading to wastage. We spend time selecting the best varieties, sowing them, tending them, but are not always efficient about using them.

Rising number of landlords making a loss on their buy-to-let property

Rents may have risen in the private sector over the last year, but professional landlords are feeling the pinch.

The latest findings from the BDRC Continental quarterly Landlords Panel research reveals the biggest rise in the number of portfolio landlords making a loss since the Landlords Panel began in 2006.

The research shows that in the fourth quarter of 2011, the number of ‘portfolio landlords’ – those with 20 or more properties – who reported making a loss rose from just 1pc in the third quarter of 2011, to 8pc in the last quarter of the year.

Ski: avalanche accidents increase following record snow levels

imagePeter Hardy reports on how the best snow cover in a generation in the Alps has led to a major increase in the number of deaths and injuries caused by avalanches.

A week after Prince John Friso, 43, was seriously injured by an avalanche after skiing in Lech, Austria, much of the country is buried under the deepest snow in memory, with up to six metres at high altitude in the Tirol and Voralberg regions.

In the past week alone, three people have died and seven escaped uninjured in six separate incidents in the country, caused by the latest in a long string of avalanches. This compares to only three deaths in Austria last year, thought due to the exceptionally light snow cover last season.

The world’s best adventure cruises

imageFancy climbing a volcano, husky sledding or flying in a fighter jet? Wendy Gomersall picks the best adventure cruises for 2012.

Gone are the days when an excursion meant a gentle potter around a picturesque town centre or a scenic ride on a comfy coach. Nowadays, adventurous and unusual experiences you would never be able to enjoy at home are all part of what makes a cruise holiday so memorable.

Here’s a taster of the more “extreme” excursions on offer.

Frieze Art Fair in America: Armory fights British invasion

imageFrieze Week stands a good chance of replacing the Armory Show as America’s biggest art fair when it arrives in New York. Colin Gleadell reports.

Which is the greatest contemporary art fair in America? Is it the Armory Show, the biggest home-grown fair in New York? Is it Art Basel/Miami Beach, the American off-shoot of Europe’s mighty Art Basel, which launched in Florida in 2002? Or will it be Frieze, the London fair, now 10 years old and another foreign brand? Frieze’s announcement that it will launch its first New York edition in May has been sending shivers down the backbones of its competitors.


HomeAway, the world’s #1 choice for holiday homes, with 1 million holiday home listings across a global family of sites.
We help families and friends find the perfect accommodation for their dream holidays together by connecting them with homeowners.

Geneva motor show 2012: Range Rover’s Evoque Convertible

imageLand Rover has taken the wraps off its new Evoque Convertible concept ahead of the Geneva motor show.

“The world’s first premium convertible SUV” is how Land Rover is describing its Evoque Convertible concept car, which will make its debut at next week’s Geneva motor show.

Based on the three-door Evoque, the convertible features a fully retractable fabric roof with a roll-over protection system, four seats and a drop down tailgate. Land Rover claims that it has done all of this with minimal changes to the car’s weight and torsional rigidity.

From hairdresser to property enthusiast: a new style that turns heads

imageA hairdresser with a flair for renovation tells Zoe Dare Hall about doing up homes from rural England to Tuscany

As the founder of the Mahogany hairdressing chain, which has counted Samantha Cameron, Cheryl Cole and Greta Scaachi as clients, Richard Thompson has made some striking statements with his curling tongs.

But in the past 15 years, as his hair business has grown to include branches in London, Oxford, Bath and Manchester, Thompson has found another outlet for his creativity: property renovations. These have proven equally popular with celebrities, and include a penthouse in an old Highbury match factory, which Richard sold to the Alan Davies, the comedian, and a Georgian house in Hampstead that was bought by the singer David Gray.

Galanthophiles unite: in love with snowdrops

imageSnowdrops were love at first sight for Val Bourne, who was transfixed by their elegant pearl-drop flowers and soon on her way to becoming a collector.

In Hamlet, Shakespeare wrote about the primrose path of dalliance leading to a dissolute, if somewhat pleasant excess. However, my road to ruin has been lined by the snowdrop. It all began innocently enough 18 years ago when I read about a honey-scented snowdrop called ‘S. Arnott’. It was large and elegant, like the pearl-drop earring in the famous 17th-century painting by Vermeer, and I made up my mind to buy one. Then serendipity (a series of agreeable coincidences) took over. Within a year I was a serious galanthophile trapped under the spell.

Home renovations: restoring heritage properties

imageRestoring a heritage building requires unwavering faith, but the results can be heavenly. Genevieve Fox meets two visionary homeowners who’ve taken on the renovation challenge and won.

It breaks the heart to see them. Hidden away in city centres, standing in the middle of the countryside, or lurking in dark woods, wrecks are out there, wanting someone to love them. They come in hundreds of different forms: abandoned follies, ruined churches or deserted lighthouses. But they all have one thing in common: potential.

Growing Basil In Your Home Garden

imageGrowing basil is easy, cheap and easy, provided you have the right conditions. There are many different types and varieties of basil that can grow in your garden, basil, often used in Italian cuisine, more exotic varieties such as basil, with its dark purple leaves. To find the type of soil with adequate water, sunlight, and care of your garden will flourish with little effort, no matter what kind of basil you choose to grow. Before you know it, you will be healthy cooking fresh pesto and pasta dishes with your own basil that grew and harvested.

Geneva motor show 2012: Citroën’s DS4 Racing concept

imageThe Citroën DS4 Racing Concept is set to make its debut at March’s Geneva motor show.

French car-maker Citroën will present a high performance “Racing” version of its DS4 crossover at March’s Geneva motor show.

Despite its name, this hot hatch is in fact a road car, albeit one that has benefited from the knowledge of Citroën’s Racing engineers, who have tweaked the 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine to produce 256bhp – a record for a Citroën production car.

Heidi Thomas: ‘My dramas are the new Sunday lunch’

imageThe writer of the wildly successful ‘Call the Midwife’, ‘Upstairs Downstairs’ and ‘Cranford’ explains their broad appeal.

For me, one of the most enjoyable aspects of the success of Call the Midwife has been the passionate and positive feedback from viewers. I don’t read reviews, but I’ve been hugged by strangers in the street (they looked a bit embarrassed afterwards), and the day after the first episode was broadcast I looked out of my window to see the man next door give me a massive two-thumbs up as he went past. It made me cry.

Martin Simpson, June Tabor

imageMartin Simpson, June Tabor and Dick Gaughan, Kings Place, London, review
Three titans of modern folk – Martin Simpson, June Tabor and Dick Gaughan – on one stage makes for a memorable concert.

There was bound to be some banter. June Tabor had swept the boards at the BBC folk awards and come down to London the following evening (Thursday 9th February) to be part of Martin Simpson’s Purpose + Grace events at Kings Place.

Whitney Houston back in top 40 charts

image200,000 Whitney Houston records bought in a week as I Will Always Love You reaches number 14 in the singles chart.

Three of Whitney Houston’s best-known hits are back in the UK’s top 40 following the star’s death.

I Will Always Love You hit number 14 in the official singles chart yesterday, while I Wanna Dance With Somebody went in at number 20 and One Moment In Time was in the number 40 spot.

The singer, who was yesterday buried in Newark, New Jersey, was found submerged in the bath in her hotel room on the fourth floor of the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles last Saturday.

Elmgreen and Dragset’s Fourth Plinth, review

imageWhat does Elmgreen and Dragset’s Fourth Plinth sculpture say about us, asks Alastair

Glinting in the winter sunlight, unblemished as yet by pigeon droppings, the latest work of art to occupy the Fourth Plinth in the north-west corner of Trafalgar Square was unveiled today — and in one sense it is the most old-fashioned yet.

Conceived by the Nordic artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, Powerless Structures, Fig 101, the eighth contemporary artwork commissioned for the plinth since 1999, is a monumental bronze equestrian statue more than 4m high. Executed in a realistic figurative style, it belongs to a tradition that stretches back to the ancient world, when Rome was awash with colossal gilt-bronze portraits of emperors mounted on horseback.

Oscars 2012: and the winner is?

imageThe triumph of ‘The Artist’ is almost certain at the Academy Awards on Sunday night. Our film critics look at who else is in the running.

It’s hard to know what the oddest thing about the Academy Awards is this year: the fact that a silent, black-and-white French film is the likeliest big winner, or the fact that that win now seems boringly predictable. But that’s the magic of the Oscars: in just one night, it can transform a cinema fan’s passion for an under‑appreciated gem into shoulder‑shrugging, told-you-so indifference.

Living a Prolific Lifestyle

imageOne thinvg that I push my readers to experience is living proactively instead of reactively. A prolific lifestyle is one where you create your own opportunity, you take responsibility for your life and you go into your world and shape it into what you want it to be. A reactive lifestyle is just the opposite; you go out into the world and wait for life to interact with you, then you just react to each stimulus as it comes. People who live prolifically are more satisfied with their life, and I’ll tell you why.

Emily Brontë portrait goes under the hammer

imagePortrait believed to be of author Emily Bronte will be auctioned.

A hitherto unknown portrait believed to be of author Emily Bronte is expected to fetch thousands of pounds when it goes under the hammer this week.

The oil painting is the latest in a flurry of items relating to the Bronte sisters to be put up for auction in the last few months.

Its sale by JP Humbert’s in Northamptonshire comes after the auction house sold another painting of the reclusive writer for £23,836 in December.

Offers Attractive Packages for Shimla Manali

imageIndia Summer can sometimes bear. Therefore, during the summer months there are long holiday in schools and universities and the heads of people in the mountain town for a refreshing and spend a few days into the holiday atmosphere of cool places. Of all the hill stations in India, Shimla and Manali are the most popular.  Now is the time you use the custom course work writing service for your job and start traveling.

21 Tips Your Pack for a Trip

image1. Security and Keeping Details Safe

Scan your passport, passport photos and paper tickets (if not the e type) in. Store this (in an email for e.g.) in your web based email account. You can also store the details of your emergency ‘lost card’ telephone numbers in your web based email account so you know who to contact if your credit card or ATM card is lost or stolen. This way, even if you lose everything, you have immediate access your all important information. You can even email the details page of your passport to the embassy or consulate when applying for a new one.

The romance of a railway home

imageFor one couple renovating a train station was a labour of love, finds Jake Wallis Simons.

It all started in Victorian times. “One of my forebears was the stationmaster of King’s Cross Station,” says Anna Gudge. “It was a prestige job in those days. He used to wear a top hat and tails, and roll out the red carpet for the Queen. He became a big part of family folklore.”

Happiness is a shed of one’s own

imageFrancine Raymond explores the joys of a haven at the bottom of the garden

Home improvement? Life improvement is perhaps a more fitting description for garden sheds. From Wendy house to tree house, from tool shed to allotment hideaway, it seems that throughout our lives we all need a space of our own at the bottom of the garden.

Anyone would think it was the panacea for all human ills. Literature with titles such as A Shed of One’s Own: Midlife Without the Crisis, Shed Men, and Shedworking: the Alternative Workplace Revolution leaves you in little doubt.

Looking for a long-term fix

imageMaria Fitzpatrick asks five experts for their home improvement advice

What’s in a name? Not much if you are Volkswagen, which trades model names like Top Trumps. As from this year, the 39-year-old Passat name graces the rumps of two entirely separate models, the first in Europe, the second in North America and the Far East. The larger American Passat is built at VW’s new Chattanooga plant in Tennessee, whereas European Passats continue to be built in Emden, Germany.

Sir Paul McCartney ‘gives up cannabis for daughter Beatrice’

imageThe former Beatle said it was finally time to give up smoking the drug due to a “sense of responsibility” in caring for his daughter.

“I smoked my share. When you’re bringing up a youngster, your sense of responsibility does kick in, if you’re lucky, at some point,” he said in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine. “Enough’s enough – you just don’t seem to think it’s necessary.”

The 69-year-old rocker also revealed that the Fab Four had considered a reunion but had decided against it so they didn’t “spoil the idea of the Beatles”.

In the magazine interview Sir Paul admitted to smoking cannabis “a lot” and has previously declared a passion for “wacky baccy”. Heather Mills, the mother of Beatrice, claimed Sir Paul smoked marijuana as often as most people drink cups of tea during the couple’s divorce proceedings.

Going, going, gone for a song

imageThe salerooms are booming and new records are being set – no wonder Lord Coleridge was aggrieved that his Tudor chain of office was sold for a fraction of its worth.

Two years ago, a couple from Pinner found a Chinese vase in a dusty recess of their parents’ house and took it to an auctioneer in Ruislip. Everyone was astounded when it was knocked down for £53 million. It was, as headline writers noted at the time, the ultimate cash in the attic.

Top Gear, series 18, episode 4, review

imageAndrew Marszal reviews episode four of the latest series of BBC Two’s Top Gear

At some point during the endless cycle of offensive jokes, demands for apologies and “boys will be boys” refusals, somebody at the BBC seems to have decided enough is enough, because tonight’s episode of Top Gear (BBC Two) seemed intent on being as congenial and helpful as possible.

Instant winter colour: hot gardening pots

imageSimple winter containers are a great way to brighten the gloom, says Ed Cumming.

Much of the country is recovering from snow, and gardens are drab and brown. It’s the perfect time to spruce things up with some instant winter colour. A few well-chosen containers can tide things over until spring. Though many garden centres offer pre-planted versions, nothing beats making your own from scratch. A pot, some evergreen foliage and a couple of trays of colourful bulbs or bedding plants are all you need.

Art sales: records and surprises in London


Art sales: records and surprises in London
Colin Gleadell reports on the latest goings on in the art market, including a Valentine-themed sale and a contemporary homage to Alghiero Boetti.
The Impressionist and Modern art sales in London last week saw an impressive £278 million change hands – one of the highest totals for a winter series of such sales in London. While it was generally Henry Moore’s week, with £33 million of sales, there were also strong prices for Impressionist paintings.

Aquino confirms dating Korean TV host

image“We’re seeing each other,” Aquino answered when asked at the tailend of a news briefing the real score between him and the radio talk show host and TV anchor.

The reporters cheered the President, “Yihee.”

Pressed on how long they’ve been seeing each other, the President  invoked his right to privacy.

Aquino, 51, has been linked to various women, many of them younger than him.

Bruce Springsteen: I enjoy artists who take on the world

imageBruce Springsteen’s 17th studio album is his most overtly political yet. At its launch in Paris, the blue-collar icon reveals why .

“You can never go wrong in rock’n’roll when you’re p—ed off,” according to Bruce Springsteen. In Paris yesterday to unveil his new album, Wrecking Ball, to the world’s media, Springsteen admitted it had been written in a spirit of political anger. “My work has always been about judging the distance between American reality and the American Dream.”

An effective way to make money

imageFor organizations that effectively use online resources such as social media and web marketing of all kinds, we must recognize the fact that emerging platforms are additional resources. They help to harmonize and extend various existing sources of recruitment. The media can be used for sourcing candidates, interacting directly with job applicants and establishing a direct communication channel with them. Can also be used as an additional source of public relations broadcasting daily updates making effective ads. As does the pay per click.

Emma Watson to star in Beauty and the Beast

imageHarry Potter star Emma Watson is in final negotiations to star in a period film adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.

Guillermo del Toro, the director behind the darkly fantastical modern fairytale Pan’s Labyrinth, will direct Watson in a film version of the classic fairytale.

Last summer del Toro was reported to have said that Watson was “perfect” for the part of Belle. She is now steps away from confirming the role, Variety has reported.

Statue of Liberty – NYCStatue of Liberty, New York City.

imageLocated at the mouth of Hudson River, New York City became America’s main immigration entry point in the 18th century. The city was named the first capital of the United States in 1785. The first Congress met in Federal Hall on Wall Street and drafted the first Bill of Rights, as well as the Northwest Ordinance that same year.

The Northwest Ordinance was the first step in expanding the United States. George Washington was inaugurated in New York in 1789. A new street grid system was put in place in the early 1820s, which mapped all the streets on the island of Manhattan. The street grid divided the city in sections in order to accommodate the immigrants that were moving into the city in large numbers.

Alternatives to Mega Cruise Ship Tourism

imageCruises are one of the most popular and low-cost vacation options, allowing passengers to visit multiple locations while enjoying all the standard amenities of a luxury vacation. However, cruises also contribute a disproportionate amount of waste when compared with other means of travel. The U.K.-based Climate Care estimates that cruise ships emit more carbon dioxide than long-haul flights, and other studies have shown that cruise ships generate about 21,000 gallons of sewage a day, 170,000 gallons of grey water (waste water from laundry, showers, and dish cleaning), and other harmful wastes. Cruise ship passengers are also estimated to dispose of more trash daily than local residents.

A history of skiing in Mürren, Switzerland

imageDesperate to enjoy current skiing conditions in the Alps, Adam Ruck secures a last-minute deal to Mürren.

To arrive in the Swiss Alps at the tail end of a snowstorm seems like good timing, as long as your ski resort is accessible. A single traveller – me – separates himself from the Wengen-bound throng at Lauterbrunnen station, crosses the road with a smile of self-congratulation at having chosen the road less travelled, when a notice on the door of the Mürrenbahn stops him in his tracks. Geschlossen. Closed. It is time for a phone call to the Hotel Eiger.

Wego Travel Search

Wego Travel Search

Wego is the leading travel search site in the Asia Pacific and Middle East. Available in more than 50 localised country sites and 30 languages, Wego searches hundreds of global travel websites including airlines, hotel chains and online travel agents, using powerful yet simple to use technology. We have been around since 2005 and we power travel search for various first tier players such as Yahoo!, MSN, STB & News.com.au.

Mail order flowers

imageMail order flowers: get ready for some colourful arrivals
Using mail order is a great way to add variety to your floral collection with minimal fuss – provided you know what to look for.

It’s always tempting to try something new – a new holiday destination, the new beaujolais. And in recent years the number of new plants appearing at mail-order nurseries seems to have become a flood; it can be hard to distinguish between what is just a “me too” version of an old favourite and what is both new and actually worth growing.

Venice: a new haven for overseas property investment

imageThe city of canals is again attracting wealthy investors. Caroline McGhie finds out why it is worth a punt.

In a troubled world, we gain solace from spiritual uplift and physical beauty. Few places have the ability to touch the heart and move minds like Venice. For decades it has been a place to visit rather than one in which to buy property, but gradually things are changing. British estate agents have developed connections there, and some big money is about to arrive. “Ocean’s nursling”, as Shelley described it, is becoming a connoisseur’s place to purchase.

Picasso and Modern British Art, Tate Britain, review

imageRichard Dorment wavers between exultance and despair at the Tate Britain’s exhibition about Picasso’s influence on British art.

When Tate Britain announced plans for an exhibition about Picasso’s influence on British artists such as Duncan Grant and Graham Sutherland, my snorts of disbelief could be heard in Sidcup. Recent exhibitions have pitted him against Titian, Rembrandt, Velázquez, Goya, Delacroix, and Matisse. To hang important works by him in a show full of his British imitators would be an act of cruelty.

3 Simple Tips To Make Money Online

imageHave an idea to make money online but do not know where to start?

There are several ways to make money online, even if you have a product to sell. Keep in mind that running a business online takes time and effort, just like any other business deal. However, you can start without any product, something that is less a barrier for most people who want to start a business.

Lady Gaga Takes Over Barneys New York

imageIf you’re in New York or planning to go to a visit soon, make sure you drop by Barneys to visit the Gaga Workshop everyone’s rambling about. The pop icon launched the opening of the Gaga workshop just yesterday in a custom Chanel ivory poufy dress, designed by Karl Lagerfeld specially for the occasion.

Barneys 5th floor (which is around 5,500 square feet) is entirely dedicated to Gaga fans until January 2nd, 2012, beautifully decorated with chocolate Alexander McQueen armadillo shoes, Gaga-ish diamond studded stick on nails, and Gaga candles that are made to look like her head and cry when lit.

Coldplay write in doll’s house

imageChris Martin has been writing songs in his daughter’s playhouse.

The Coldplay frontman found inspiration to pen the lyrics for their new album Mylo Xyloto in an unusual place. Chris has explained the British rockers spent time putting the track Charlie Brown together in seven-year-old Apple’s den.

‘This is the only song we ever wrote in a doll’s house. I turned it into a studio because my daughter didn’t like it,’ Chris is quoted as saying by British newspaper The Sun.

Contagion: movie review

imageA lethal bug spirals out of control in a chillingly authentic disaster movie from Steven Soderbergh.

What’s the story?
An encounter in Hong Kong transmits a virus that rapidly spreads. At the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention staff race to contain the disease before it destroys everyone.

Travel advice: best apps for planning a skiing holiday

imageDonald Strachan recommends the best travel apps for booking accommodation and more on a skiing break.

We’re planning a skiing and snowboarding holiday. Which apps would you recommend?

Donald Strachan, a specialist in new media and technology, replies

There’s a tailor-made app for just about every stage of the process, from booking accommodation and checking the weather, to mapping your resort and even improving your mogul skiing.

Briton missing from Mexico cruise ship

imageA search was under way today for a British passenger who apparently went overboard from the world’s biggest cruise ship in waters near Mexico.

The 30-year-old man was seen falling over the railings by another passenger on the Allure of the Seas, the Royal Caribbean International cruise line said.

He could also be seen falling over in footage from an on-board video camera.

The man went overboard as the ship was sailing to Cozumel, Mexico and the Mexican navy and coastguard are assisting in the search.

The Allure of the Seas left Fort Lauderdale in Florida on Sunday for a seven-night cruise. The ship can carry 5,400 passengers.

The man’s name has not been released.

Chelsea Flower Show: Telegraph garden designer Sarah Price

imageElizabeth Grice meets Sarah Price, the young designer carrying Telegraph hopes for success at Chelsea this year.

If you were pressed to associate Sarah Price with a flower it would probably be the autumn crocus: a mauve, reticent cup of colour that spears through the earth with a startling lack of warning when everything around is beginning to die back.

First-time buyers return to property market

imageFirst-time buyers made a surprise return to the housing market in January while repossessions fell to a four-year low, in some rare good news for the property market.

The number of mortgages given out in January was 58,610, an increase of 30 per cent on last January, according to chartered surveyors E.serv.

Of these loans, over 15,300 were lent on homes costing less than £125,000, the price bracket that typically attracts first-time buyers. This represents a rise of almost a third since last year, and was the highest number of mortgages given out on such properties since March 2008.

Citroen DS3 review

imageCitroën’s latest DS3 might be one model too many, says Neil Lyndon.

I am walking through a prosperous town in the south-east of England early on a Saturday evening. The young groovers are beginning to come out for their larks. A new Mini passes on the street, driven by a young man with a girl in the passenger seat. On the tail of the Mini comes an almost identical couple in a new Citroën DS3.

Off with his head – how Henry VIII was decapitated from royal painting

imageOne of Tudor England’s most famous paintings, The Field of the Cloth of Gold, contains an unsolved puzzle.

It is one of Tudor England’s most famous paintings, depicting the pomp and splendour of Henry VIII’s reign.

But a key feature of The Field of the Cloth of Gold remains shrouded in mystery – just how Henry lost his head.

The painting portrays the 1520 meeting between Henry and Francis I of France near Calais, an 18-day spectacle arranged by Henry to boost propaganda surrounding his reign and project an image of harmony between the two nations.

Melancholia: movie review

imageIt’s the end of the world as we know it for Kirsten Dunst and Kiefer Sutherland. But do they feel fine?

What’s the story?
On her wedding day, Justine (Kirsten Dunst) succumbs to a depression that ruins the best-laid plans of sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and her husband John (Kiefer Sutherland). Might her mood be connected to the giant blue planet plunging towards Earth?

Snow: fresh travel chaos looms as Britain hit by ‘freezing rain’ weather

imageA blanket of snow will spread across the Home Counties on Thursday night amid warnings of fresh travel chaos and freezing rain.

Forecasters warned up to four inches of snow will hit most of the south as two weather systems collide, with temperatures struggling to remain above freezing.

The Met Office issued a rare “freezing rain” warning for most of northern England and southern Scotland, prompting fears of more havoc on the country’s fragile transport networks.

A history of skiing in Mürren, Switzerland

imageDesperate to enjoy current skiing conditions in the Alps, Adam Ruck secures a last-minute deal to Mürren.

To arrive in the Swiss Alps at the tail end of a snowstorm seems like good timing, as long as your ski resort is accessible. A single traveller – me – separates himself from the Wengen-bound throng at Lauterbrunnen station, crosses the road with a smile of self-congratulation at having chosen the road less travelled, when a notice on the door of the Mürrenbahn stops him in his tracks. Geschlossen. Closed. It is time for a phone call to the Hotel Eiger.

Cruises: voodoo with Saga in Africa

imageIf you think you know what Saga stands for, a cruise with the company that takes in Togo, Benin, fetishes and voodoo might change your mind. It’s the perfect introduction to West Africa

There are two surprises about this cruise. One is where it went, and the other is the cruise line.

If you drew up a list of the countries you are least likely to visit on holiday, they would probably include most of those on this journey down the west coast of Africa. Benin, anybody? Togo? And if you had to think of a tour company to run such an intrepid voyage, Saga might not immediately come to mind. How wrong you would be – as I was – on both counts.

Roger & Val Have Just Got In, BBC Two,

image“I’d like to keep it as bleak as possible,” said Val at the start of the return of Roger & Val Have Just Got In (BBC Two), and it felt like we were getting a hefty nudge from the scriptwriters. It’s going to be bleak, we like it bleak, they seemed to be saying. Which was presumably a message aimed at newcomers to the programme, because anyone who watched the first series would need no reminding that Roger & Val Have Just Got In is rather like a trip across the Russian steppes.

eGlobal Central

Tour Auto: seeing France the fast way

imageAs one of the greatest classic car events around, the Tour Auto combines action, adrenalin, stunning scenery and sumptuous lunches.

The annual Tour Auto is the most extraordinary classic car event many of you will have never heard of. Held in France for the last 20 years, it’s a loving recreation of the Tour de France Automobile, which was first run in 1899 and took competitors on a gruelling route around the country’s nascent road network in examples of the very earliest “horseless carriages”.

Grow your own cut flowers

imageBetter-looking, better for the environment and easier on your purse. Once you know how to grow your own cut flowers, you’ll never go back.

Put the current national obsession, grow-your-own, together with make-your-own and it’s not surprising that growing cut flowers and using them to make arrangements for your home is the next fast-growing hobby.

Homes in search of a character

imageYour house is in the perfect location, but it’s as ugly as sin. Fear not. A growing number of people are turning to cosmetic surgery to rejuvenate their homes

You love your house, your street, your neighbourhood. The schools are first-rate. Transport links are excellent. In short, everything’s pretty much perfect. There’s just one problem: there’s no des in your res. Your house is a carbuncle. You would sooner reverse through the front door than look at it.

MITIE CEO named National Business Awards ‘Leader of the Year’

imageMITIE is delighted that its chief executive Ruby McGregor-Smith was named Orange Leader of the Year on Tuesday night , at the National Business Awards in partnership with Orange, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. Ruby was honoured with the evening’s highest accolade for her outstanding achievement and effective leadership, growing a successful FTSE 250 company and nurturing a dedicated and engaged workforce.

Jobs: British young people ‘use economy as excuse for unemployment’

imageEMPLOYERS are turning to employing foreign workers because they are hard working, punctual and have a more positive attitude than British young people.

A report for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) says Britain has produced a lost generation who are weak in literacy, numeracy and communication skills.

The report’s author Gerwyn Davies said that many employers considered that the education system in Britain was simply not ‘fit for purpose’.

“Marked Slowdown” in Britain s Jobs Market: KPMG

imageAccording to Bernard Brown, head of business services at the global accounting firm KPMG, a recent survey conducted by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and KPMG has shown that the British jobs market is experiencing a “marked slowdown”.

The survey found that private sector job creation has slowed at a time when the government was hoping that companies would be able to boost the job market.

How to Make Money with Adsense

imageLooking for specific information about other ways to monetize a website other than adsense I noticed that most people who ask this question do not have a specific answer and not have to make money online with adsense is not for everyone.

There is so diverse that information is often not credible, however I want to give a firm answer to this question:

Can you make money with adsense?

After more than 1 year internet I’m learning but it is certain that if you can win money on the Internet and specifically with adsense, which is a Google program with confidence and seriousness of this global monster, which always pays on time.

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Online Money Making process will help us to get some money from online and you can also from the group with your friends. You will get extra money through SMS earning money if more friends from your group get registered.

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The Offer Attractive To Travelers

imageAmong their offerings of particular interest to the traveler are the mini-cruises, a proposal with all the advantages and comforts of a traditional cruise, but whose journey is shorter. These trips were called mini-cruises designed especially for people who can not afford to sail aboard a ship for so many days, whether for reasons of time or cost.

The Cruise xyo website you can find information and resources necessary to choose the trip that best suits your needs. Access to these will be very easy because the site has a search section that includes the typical classical search by region, shipping, ship, date, travel time and output port.

Mediterranean Luxury Cruises – The Time Of Your Life

imageWith three continents and more than a dozen countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea there is much to see and do here. A luxury Mediterranean cruise will see you visiting everything from romantic Islands to busy vibrant cities and towns.

Whether you take one of the smaller ships to a few of the smaller Islands or a luxury cruise liner around the Mediterranean you will not be disappointed. With countries such as France, Italy and the Greek Islands being in easy reach by sea you will be sure of a fun filled holiday that creates memories you will cherish forever  On a Mediterranean cruise you will be able to enjoy a vast multitude of different flavours, historical sights, cultures and cuisines and there will be something for even the fussiest guest on a Mediterranean cruise.

Skiing holiday advice: how to save money

imageNick Trend offers advice on where and when to get the most for your money this season.

As Peter Hardy points out in his report, it looks as though it will be a classic season for snow – most skiers will want to bag a week if they possibly can. But which week will offer the best prices, the best snow and the quietest pistes? I’ve talked to some leading ski operators and tried to predict how the rest of the season is likely to pan out, to offer a strategy for finding the best value.

Swiss Alps Adventure

imageA holiday with kids on the Swiss Alps evoked a lot of thoughts – excitement, apprehension (since it was to be their first experience with snow) and ultimately adventure with luxury.

Jungfraujoch (Top of Europe) and Mount Titlis were really a sight to behold with the snow, the mountain ranges, the thin rarefied air, the snow mobiles and the expanse of white all around.

Travel Tips for Egypt

imageslam in Egypt is not a religion reserved for Fridays and holidays – it is a shaping factor in all aspects of daily life. As such, many social conventions stem from the teachings of the Koran, the Muslim holy book. People are enjoined by their religion to be courteous and hospitable and they expect similar respect from visitors. Shaking hands is the normal greeting but men should wait for a woman to offer her hand before assuming it is acceptable.

Top gardeners inspire with new books

imageHow to get fired up by reading the successes and failures of gardeners.

If you are looking for a good gardening read now the cold, wet weather has set in, there are some fascinating new books on the shelves to choose from. The ones that caught my eye describe the creation of gardens by gardeners themselves. These titles are quite different to the more aspirational, picture-led gardening books, which can leave you feeling inadequate and unsatisfied. Quite the reverse, the tales of triumphs, setbacks and backaches will inspire you to start hatching plans for new projects.

As anyone who has designed a garden knows, this is a stimulating experience and one you learn a lot from. You feel there is part of you in the garden, giving you a strong bond with the place.

Fiat Panda review

imageThere’s a lot riding on Fiat’s new Panda, not least a battle of the tiddlers against the VW Up and Kia Picanto.

The phrase “Small cars, small profits” is the blunt retort credited to Edsel Ford when presented with the first proposals for the Fiesta. In the even more Lilliputian world of sub-B cars such as the Panda, or its new rivals Volkswagen’s Up or Kia’s Picanto, you need to get the production right or you can lose money on every car you sell.

Edinburgh – The 10 best northern cities to buy property

imageFive years ago the towns and cities of northern England and Scotland symbolised the UK’s bullet-proof housing market. Prices were going up almost as quickly as new flats were being built. That has all changed now, of course. The days of endless price increases are over.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing, however. These areas contain some of the most spacious properties in the country. Large gardens are the norm not the exception, and a decent family house is the price of a Mayfair garage. After the Government this week confirmed plans for a new high-speed railway line linking London and Birmingham, the distance between north and south is set to shrink even further.

Upsides to the downturn for property investors

imageThe uncertainties facing the market in 2012 will create unexpected bargains for keen-eyed property investors. Graham Norwood explains how to make the most of the tricky year ahead. New Year resolutions tend to be about losing something from your life. Weight, cigarettes, or that third glass of wine. But canny house buyers will be doing just the opposite; using 2012’s uncertain outlook to make fresh fortunes from anticipated price cuts.

Industry pundits say values in most areas will tumble by as much as seven per cent in the year to come. This is thanks to a triple whammy of rising unemployment, public sector cuts and a weakening UK economy. Add in the effect of inflation, currently at five per cent, and the price fall could be the equivalent of 12 per cent, or £60,000 on a £500,000 home.

1,589 British lose job every day

imageOver 1,500 British people lose their jobs every day due to the country’s £1.4trillion debt in loans and mortgages, which is more than the national output.

According to the personal debt charity Credit Action, Britain’s debt rose by £1.5billion in 2011, which caused 1,589 redundancies every day and 833,000 unemployed for a year or more. This means the country now owe more than the total national production.

Una Farrell, of the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, said: “I fear that it is only going to get worse as household budgets are subject to inflation, welfare benefit changes, likely interest rate rises and redundancy. This pain will not be felt evenly. Certain groups are likely to be squeezed more than others such as low and middle income earners and pensioners.”

Great Britain’s Job Center Plus System

imageGreat Britain’s Job Center Plus is a great resource for the unemployed or those that can’t work due to incapacitation or need financial assistance. They may also provide you with training opportunities if you need to consider learning new job skills.

How to Make Money with Affiliate Elite

imageRecently I get an email indicating the appearance on the Internet (and Spanish) of a system of income generation from home, offering a simple formula for making money online.

This immediately caught my attention. So I went to have a look, as they say. Oh! surprise when I find something well thought out and worth reading. Batteries headed off with the contents of the page and I could not but feel the satisfaction of good work with which I had encountered. These are few in Spanish.

Make Money Online

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So just come back to reality as earning money online and becoming rich through the internet is possible, but it’s not quite easy and quick. Before you begin with any work you must know that what it is all about and how it will work, just explore about all the jobs and then choose the best one. Here are few jobs that will help you earn money online:

Pay Day Loans – Convenient Money for Salaried Professionals

imageThe need for money is never ending and it does not matter how much you earn, you would always be short of it. There are times when you would have to earn more money for certain commitments which are totally unexpected. You would depend on the savings that you have or probably loan some cash. Over a period of few decades money lending system has changed a lot, banks, private organizations have emerged into creating a huge industry for loans.

Cruising Tips

imageEvery year more and more people discover why cruises are the ideal vacation. A cruise ship is basically your giant buffet of wonderful experiences, with a wide selection of cuisines and cultures, activities in the sun and spas to pamper your every indulgence, destinations to exotic locales and a million ways to relax. You can do it all or do absolutely nothing – the choice is yours!

Chart Your Course! Pick the Cruise That’s Right for You
Your first choice is the most enjoyable, for it allows your mind to wander around the globe and back again, revisiting every destination your dreams have ever taken you to. Where in the world do you want to go and for how long?

Ski like it’s 1899 at ‘Belle Époque’ week, Switzerland

imageWhat was skiing like in its earliest days? Adrian Bridge gets some idea at ‘Belle Époque’ week in the Swiss resort of Kandersteg.

For one terrifying moment, I felt exactly as I did the first time I ever put on a pair of skis and faced down a mountain. Gulp! Where do I go from here?

My fear had a lot to do with what was on my feet: two extremely long pieces of wood with no finely honed edges, no firm bindings at the back and almost no flexibility.

These were the skis that those plucky pioneers of winter sports holidays – many of them British – would have been wearing when they first began exploring the Swiss Alps more than 100 years ago. And suddenly I had a whole lot more respect for what they had achieved.

21 Tips Your Pack for a Trip

image1. Security and Keeping Details Safe

Scan your passport, passport photos and paper tickets (if not the e type) in. Store this (in an email for e.g.) in your web based email account. You can also store the details of your emergency ‘lost card’ telephone numbers in your web based email account so you know who to contact if your credit card or ATM card is lost or stolen. This way, even if you lose everything, you have immediate access your all important information. You can even email the details page of your passport to the embassy or consulate when applying for a new one.Also consider writing your home and destination address (and mobile number if you have one) on a self-adhesive sticky label to stick INSIDE your luggage in a visible place. If your luggage is lost and the baggage label has come off, at least the airline can still figure out whose luggage it is.

Green Property: Refurbishing derelict homes

imageSarah Lonsdale tests the latest ‘eco’ products and sorts the fads from the finds. This week: refurbishing derelict homes

It is a contemporary scandal of monstrous proportions. There are about two million families in this country who need homes but who are priced out of buying or renting because of a lack of supply. Yet there are thousands upon thousands of houses lying empty – nearly three quarters of a million in England alone.

In the Midlands, North East and North West, great swathes of perfectly sound Victorian terraces, in better condition than ones in Fulham or Putney that change hands for over £1m each, are standing derelict; boarded up, their roofs stripped of lead, the elements slowly doing their destructive work.

Top cars of 2012

imageThe next 12 months will see a battle of the city cars, more safety measures introduced and plenty of historic motorsport action.

After last year’s roller coaster of politics and economics, previewing 2012 is going to be about as effective as lighting a match in a gale, although there are some things I am looking forward to. Chief amongst these is the forthcoming battle of the tiddlers between Volkswagen and Fiat over their new Up and Panda models. There’s little love lost between both chief executives, Martin Winterkorn and Sergio Marchionne respectively, and the fight between the two has already got quite dirty so watch out for fireworks.

Art and exhibitions preview of the year 2012

imageAlastair Sooke selects the key dates in the art year 2012 from January to the end of March.
Pick of the exhibitions 2012: Damien Hirst
Tate Modern, London SE1 (020 7887 8888), April 4-Sept 9
Britain’s most famous living artist has never had a retrospective at a major public gallery in this country. Yet Hirst has fashioned an artistic identity that resembles an enduring corporate brand, with currency in auction rooms on both sides of the Atlantic. It seems appropriate, therefore, that the Tate should turn to him during an Olympic year, when Britain is courting the attention of the world, and finally offer to stage one. It should allow us to evaluate his strengths and failings as an artist, not a showman, and whether he deserves a place in the pantheon of artistic greats.

Downton Abbey, Christmas special, ITV1, review

imageDownton Abbey, Christmas special, ITV1, review
Sarah Crompton reviews the Christmas day special of ‘Downton Abbey’ and is relieved to find the love story perfectly wrapped up for Christmas.

So now the last eye has been wiped, the last heart string wrung: Downton Abbey (ITV1) has delivered the consummation devoutly to be wished. That handsome, kind-hearted Matthew has got down on one knee in front of Lady Mary in the gently falling snow, and she has agreed to be his wife.

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SSE to hold Open House Session in Karachi · The LUMS School of Science & Engineering (SSE) is holding an Open House Session in Karachi on Dec 10, 2011


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