IF THERE'S one thing Brits are good at, it's buying into American culture. Now we've got the hang of decent coffee-to-go, it's time for bagel education. Enter bagelmania, a chain of deli/cafes, offering a "holesome alternative" (ho ho) to your average lunchtime sarnie, with two shops in London, and another six to follow across the country by the end of the year. Play your bagel straight or kooky - no request is deemed too strange - and at around pounds 2.50 a pop, you can afford to experiment...
4 Market Place, London W1 (tel: 0171 636 9070) or 41 Lexington Street, London W1 (tel: 0171 287 9610).
SWITCHED-ON folk have long shipped in Secret deodorant from the US, where it's been the bestseller for decades. It's highly effective, easy to apply - as long as you let it dry - it doesn't leave marks on your clothes. Now it's over here, and a secret no more.
Secret Satin Dry Cream, pounds 2.99, at chemists and department stores nationwide.
DIVA ALERT - gay carnival time is almost upon us. On Saturday, you can join the free, flamboyant, straight-friendly Pride Parade in its annual trek around the London's streets. If you can't make it, there's a separate festival from 2pm til 9.30pm at Finsbury Park. Acts already confirmed include Bjorn Again, Gary Barlow, Billie and the Human League (alas, no Kylie and Dannii), plus a Radio 1 dance tent, courtesy of Judge Jules and Danny Rampling. And, in grand camp style, if it all gets too much there's a champagne chill-out garden. If, on the other hand, you're so excited you can't wait until Saturday, run along to the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton, London, which is celebrating Mardi Gras early with a special screening of Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss, plus a Q&A session afterwards, at 3pm today.
Pride (London) Parade leaves Hyde Park at noon; tickets for Finsbury Park, pounds 10 (tel: 0171 957 4055). Ritzy Cinema (tel: 0171 733 2229).
EXERCISE REGIMES - you can get exhausted just thinking about them. Happily "neurobics" doesn't involve lifting a finger. It won't make you lose weight either (what do you want, blood?), but it might help your mental fitness and memory. To hone your senses of taste and smell, for example, try the Silent Meal. Sit opposite your partner, eat studiously and keep schtum. Well, it might give you something to talk about afterwards.
`Keep Your Brain Alive' by Lawrence C Katz and Manning Rubin, published by Workman Publishing, www.workmanweb.com
NEVER MIND horoscopes - if you want to know what makes a person tick just look at their record collection. In the new TV series All Back To Mine, Radio 1 DJ Sean Rowley goes into people's homes and forces out their cringible vinyl. The first victim is Norman "Fatboy Slim" Cook who reveals the record that clinched his romance with Zoe Ball (ahhh), and his early punk influences. Massive Attack's Daddy Gee and Skin from Skunk Anansie will follow. Maybe your stack of dusty LPs isn't so embarrassing after all.
`All Back To Mine', 11.30pm, Wednesdays, Channel 4.Reuse content