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How much should you pay...

to join a tennis club

Hurlingham Club, Ranelagh Gardens, London SW6 (0171-731 2909) pounds 2,000 joining fee, annual fee of pounds 580. Nine-year waiting list. Courts free. Whites obligatory.

The Queens Club, Palliser Road, London W14 (0171-385 3421) pounds 1,155 joining fee, pounds 730 annually. Nine-month waiting list. Courts pounds 5-pounds 15, but off-peak hard courts free. Whites.

The Vanderbilt Racquet Club, Sterne Street, London W12 (0181-743 9822) pounds 950 joining fee, pounds 795 annually. Courts up to pounds 21.50. Whites optional.

David Lloyd Racquet Clubs (all over the country, call 0181-564 8877 for details) pounds 170-pounds 280 joining fee, pounds 39-pounds 67.50 per month. Courts up to pounds 10 peak-time, otherwise free.

Local LTA affiliated clubs

The Lawn Tennis Association (0171-381 7000) will supply a free list of clubs in your area. All have their own courts and many have a bar. Annual membership varies, but is likely to be less than pounds 100. After that courts are free. So joining a club is often cheaper than hiring public courts. The only problem is, you have to be "played in": ie, pass a tennis test.

Portable fan, pounds 4.95 It is 90 in the shade, you have finally found a parking space in SW19 and squeezed your way to those plum Centre Court seats. Then - gasp - Andre Agassi is knocked out in three sets by a 14-year-old Bulgarian. Here is where Housefun's Mini Fan comes in. Handbag size, it has a soft hum that won't annoy fellow spectators. From Peter Jones, Sloane Square, SW1, and John Lewis branches.

Garlic peeler, pounds 9.95

On the side of the box for The World's Only Garlic Peeler! is a cheesey picture of its "famous inventor", David A Holcomb. Sorry, David, your claim to fame can only be that of inventor of the World's Most Puzzling Gadget! On its maiden voyage, TWOGP! produced half a mangled clove with most of its skin still on, the remnants gooed up in the contraption's claws. The second clove flew across the room, and it was only on the third attempt, with painstaking precision-placing of the clove, that anything resembling a decently naked bit of garlic emerged, albeit pitted and scarred. Life is too short. Pass the knife. From the Innovations catalogue (item IA22163): 01793 514666.

Ordinary playing cards, pounds 2.99

Magic Secret Mark Cards, 98p

They look like ordinary cards, but what only the most gimlet-eyed will notice is the little slash in the pattern in the top left corner. The type of slash and its position indicate the value of the card: diagonal, third from left - it is the two of clubs! Just think of the advantages: abolish tedious guesswork at bridge through knowing your partner's and opponents' cards; tell when your colleagues are bluffing at poker; know when to twist at 21; fleece your friends, enrage your enemies. And what fun when they spot the secret of your jolly jape! From Hawkin's mail-order catalogue: 01986 782536

Top 10 Dulux colours (vinyl matt)

1 Magnolia..................................

2 Soft Peach.........................................

3 Wild Primrose..................................

4 Dusky Apricot.....................................

5 Buttermilk.......................................... 6 Moonshadow............... .....................

7 Sorbet...............................................

8 Country Clover.................................

9 Forget-me-Not.................................

10 Springtime.............................................

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