Home, sweet home for abandoned gnomes

City Diary

If you suffer from the crippling social stigma of owning garden gnomes, fear not. Help is at hand. Top Essex Tory Robert Chambers has transformed his garden at Duddenhoe End, near Saffron Walden, into a sanctuary for unwanted gnomes.

Mr Chambers, former leader of Uttlesford District Council, has only received two so far, but he says thisproves how very much we Brits care about our gnomes. "I like them because they are friendly little creatures who always have a smile on their face.... People have revered creatures such as gnomes, pixies, goblins and leprechauns for thousands of years. They represent the spirits that live under the soil and look after the plants."

Sounds like someone should be looking after Mr Chambers.

Calling all bond dealers. Forget dollars and yen, how about investing in five-years' worth of top Bordeaux plonk?

For a mere pounds 2,650 you can buy a Matrix-Securities 1996 Wine Bond and receive 10 cases of wine a year for around half the shop price, according to the company.

Matrix-Securities, a corporate finance boutique. has teamed up with Jonathan Maltus, a Brit who sold his engineering recruitment company two years ago and bought the Chateau Teyssier vineyard.

The vineyard produces Saint Emilion Grand Cru "for laying down", and under the five-year deal you will also get L'Esprit de Teyssier claret and rose to guzzle while the top plonk matures.

Mr Maltus is seeking to raise pounds 1m from around 350 investors to build up the vineyard. David Royds, a director of Matrix-Securities, admits it isn't really a bond, rather a way of buying wine cheaply. Mr Royds insists the offer isn't aimed solely at high net worth individuals. "We're aiming more at people who drink a fair amount of wine."

I am the sitter, she said and sat

In the seat, carefully arranging her hat

In the office, next the window, next the road, by the river

Sitting and looking, her ample form suspended in amber and wood

Admired and spruce.

Office Corp Furniture of High Wycombe has launched its new range of office furniture with a brochure in which the usual sales "blurb" has been replaced by a series of poems, the above example being on the front cover.

Chester Wedgewood, the company's chief executive, wanted something different and he chose Giles Emerson, a poet and copywriter to do it.

Giles wrote seven short poems for them, and says he is delighted with the result. "It's a way of giving personality and colour to something that is very stereotypical and straight - a range of chairs."

Giles does a lot of copywriting for people such as the Foreign Office, and recently turned down an opportunity to draft the Government's White Paper on competitiveness, as he couldn't get down to London from his home in Shropshire. He has also written stuff for Whitbread's O'Hagan pubs, which sell bottled Murphy's beer: "A good head on stout shoulders."

I prefer the stuff about "her ample form" myself.

Karen Jones, managing director of Pelican, signed the sale of the cafes group to Whitbread on Monday - her 42nd birthday. And she has every reason to celebrate. She has 398,000 Pelican shares plus 1.5 million options exercisable at 31p. Given that Whitbread bought out the Dome and Cafe Rouge group for 170p per share, Mrs Jones will be trousering around pounds 2.8m.

Hailing originally from Upper Poppleton just outside York, Mrs Jones has brought a whiff of the Continent to the grey world of British caffs. Now she is the ultimate Londoner - the Pelican group is based in Frith Street in trendy Soho, and her club is the nearby Groucho, that nest of advertising bores. Come on - let's have a Pelican brasserie for Upper Poppleton.

Suggested Topics
peoplePaper attempts to defend itself
voicesWe desperately need men to be feminists too
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
Life and Style
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

IT Project manager - Web E-commerce

£65000 Per Annum Benefits + bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: If you are...

Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits