Month: June 2011

Strawberries and the cream of the tennis world

Wimbledon boasts some impressive statistics. Most gentlemen’s singles titles won: Pete Sampras and William Renshaw (seven apiece); for the ladies, Martina Navratilova holds a seemingly unbeatable nine. Fastest serve ever at the Championships: a racquet-thumping 148 miles per hour from Taylor Dent in 2010. Number of tennis balls used per tournament: 54,200. Percentage of the UK population who watched the Championships on TV in 2010: 51. On the all-important food and drink front, tennis fans nibble their way through 28,000 kilos of strawberries and sip their way through 300,000 cups of tea at the grounds every year. (more…)

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Want to start up a business? Go to the library!

 Ask most people what you need to do to set up a business and chances are they’d say things like: come up with an original idea; write a business plan; raise some capital; get a website – maybe even apply to go into the Dragon’s Den or into the boardroom with Alan Sugar! But how many would suggest that your first port of call should be a library? After my recent visit to the British Library, me for one! (more…)

Best in Show

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In the ‘posh tent’ ambience of the lunchroom, we settled into our starters of fresh asparagus and smoked salmon, with a crisp glass of pink fizz. Outside, we could see a giant boat-shaped pod in a gaudy shade of candyfloss pink, suspended high up in the air and overflowing with ferny plants and frondy leaves. As we watched, it was raised and lowered by the overarching arm of a huge metal crane. Across from the floating pod, and just out of sight, was a tall glass tower sectioned into cubby holes packed with shredded books, straw, peat plant pots and other enticing paraphernalia, each ‘room’ in the ‘insect hotel’ a perfect mecca for small birds and insects. We smiled contentedly across our heavily linened table, now loaded with a light fish main, perfectly cooked and served with a creamy primrose yellow sauce. (more…)