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Extrovert restaurateur Sheldon Haseltine, owner of the likes of the 24-hour deli and diner Lox Around the Clock, has swapped the fast lane for something a tad more sedate.

Mr Haseltine was a familiar ingredient in New York's popular restaurant culture and when he moved back to the UK had no intention of going back into the business, but as he explained "restaurants are like heroin - you swear that you're never going to do it again".

Once Mr Haseltine had dealt with the tricky problem of the Government wanting to deport him, he found himself the owner of a diner in York. His new venture, Mowbray, "eat house and ice bar", has taken locals and tourists alike by storm. So much do the locals like what he is all about that they stole his car as well - a Golf GTI, once run by the grand prix ace Damon Hill. Mr Haseltine says it has not yet come back - but then neither has the insurance cheque.

Ted Graham, chief of BT's press and broadcasting, is non-plussed that the company's AGM is arranged for a scheduled rail strike day (July 27). "We plan a year in advance for these events, Mr Graham said, "so we cannot speculate on rail delays or earthquakes." BT shareholders, known stalwarts of the AGM outing, which will be addressed by Sir Iain Vallance, are unlikely to be put off by earthquake or even the relatively small inconvenience of a train strike. According to Mr Graham, most will arrive by charabanc for the occasion. Incidentally Mr Graham is obviously the right man for the job because he ended the conversation with BT's current marketing slogan: "It's good to talk." Anyone who can do that with a straight face deserves a pat on the back.

Behind every great woman is a man. In this case it is Michael Cripps, managing director of the City executive search and recruitment consultants Cripps Sears & Partners.

Mr Cripps undertook seven gruelling days in the saddle to ride from St Petersburg to Moscow to raise money for the British charity Friends of Russian Children, because his wife, Carolyn, is president of the charity and is still learning to ride a bike.

Averaging over 100km per day on a bike designed to accommodate his 6ft 5inch frame, Cripps and the 50-strong team of British riders overcame small obstacles such as mosquitoes and having to eat liver and meatballs for breakfast by surviving on Mars Bars. Each member of the team aimed to raise pounds 2,000. The team plans to repeat its adventure next year but Carolyn needs to practise a bit more first.

Making tax demands disappear is not obligatory for members of the Magic Circle, but it could make you popular with clients if you happen to be an accountant.

Mark Lee, tax accountant at Clark Whitehall, pulls rabbits out of a hat as a bona fide member of the Magic Circle when not being a partner at the firm.

He has devised his own trick to help those who come unstuck with the Inland Revenue's new self-assessment tax system with the CyberTax computer programme to lead its user to the best tax solution.