Money

Homeowners are more inclined to improve their current property rather than move house, research carried out by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has found.

Doors business sale boosts Spring Ram after from disposal sale

Spring Ram, the troubled kitchens and bathrooms maker based in Bradford, is boosting its finances by slightly more than pounds 22m by selling most of its loss-making Crosby doors business to Premdor of Canada.

Spring Ram slumps to pounds 43m loss

Spring Ram slumps to pounds 43m loss

OUT FOR WHAT HE CAN GET

2 Outing Yourself by Michelangelo Signorile, Abacus pounds 6.99. Reactionaries are right to carp about the "bad example" set when public figures like Barrymore come out - because their examples really do make it easier for teenagers growing up gay to decide that they have nothing to be ashamed of. But if coming out is uncontroversial in gay circles, "outing" is more complex. Gay activists devoted fruitless hours in the early Nineties to discussing the morality of outing. The justification was that if public figures who come out help the gay cause, then any who chose not to, hindered it. It was all, you understand, in the public interest, just like the tabloids. The leading exponent of this view was Michelangelo Signorile, which is what makes the title of his new book, "Outing Yourself: How to come out ...", so very, very cheeky.

how to shave without pain

Men fall into two distinct categories. There are those that emerge Adonis-like from the bathroom with the marble faces of Paco Rabanne models, and the rest of us, who come out wincing in pain with skin rashes and bits of toilet paper stuck on gashes, inflicted by rusty twin-heads.

Mysteries of the morning shower

Science is not just about the big things, like evolution, the Big Bang, genetics, being called Dawkins or Hawking and going on Start the Week to talk to Melvyn Bragg about the big things like evolution, the Big Bang, genetics, etc. It's also about the small things in life, like bathrooms.

Caradon director in line for pay-off

Caradon director in line for pay-off

Househunter Greystone, Angus

Househunter Greystone, Angus

true gripes tap manglers

Many people who live alone seem to have strange relationships with their bathroom taps. Now I don't mind what they do in the privacy of their own homes, but when they come to visit me they tend to bring their habits with them. I'm talking about their apparent obsession with turning taps off properly. Not content to simply turn them off normally, they clamp them down an extra turn, just to be certain. This can cause all sorts of problems. My wife is a comparative weakling, and, whenever certain people come to stay, I have to leave a wrench in the bathroom to ensure she can turn the taps on again after they have used them. Furthermore, I always like to fit high-quality tap washers which should last for years, but a weekend of being squashed flat by these compulsive tap manglers and their lives are drastically reduced. I've even had a tap turned off so hard that it ended up pointing uselessly over the side of the wash- basin.

LETTER : Sectional strife

From Mrs Helen Draycott

Possessed by dreams

THE VANISHING PRINCESS Jenny Diski Weidenfeld & Nicolson pounds 9.99

Toilet humour

Toilet

INVESTMENT COLUMN: Blue Circle's cash pile begs questions

The most important aspect of yesterday's big jump in profits from Blue Circle was not the numbers themselves, which in cement at least were excellent, but the rapid rate of cash generation the company is achieving. How it spends it will be crucial to how the shares perform.

Brochure boasts of the perfect refit

The QE2 sails serenely in calm waters, her cabins immaculate, her passengers chatting amiably to the captain. Ah, if only it were so, writes Will Bennett.

Country Matters: It was in the bathroom, twiddling its ears

What do you do if, sauntering back from a bath stark naked, you meet a bat coming the other way down the passage? No doubt books of etiquette furnish a correct response, but I was so surprised that I simply carried on, and the bat, with perfect decorum and aeronautical control, shot silently over my left shoulder.

A minister, a rubber mat, and a Birmingham hotel . . .

THERE is a most extraordinary case going on at the moment in the High Court, in which a Cabinet minister is taking a large hotel to court for practising sexual discrimination against him. Here is part of yesterday's testimony, in which the plaintiff was being questioned by counsel.
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