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Laundry business boosts Photo-Me

Letter: Wordy basis

Sir: I do not know what happened to "before" (letter 18 September), but it seems to have fallen victim to a general belief that the more words, the better. Above the payphone in my local Homebase store a notice reads: "This payphone is emptied on a daily basis." The words "on", "a" and "basis" are redundant, but this flabby construction has now become all but ubiquitous (listen to any news broadcast).

Words: coffin, n.

ANOTHER NEWSPAPER'S corrections column has alerted readers that they might have been misled by a report that "the left-arm spinner ricked his back lifting his coffin out of the car". This was not some prescient bargain, a new line from Homebase, but recent slang among Australian and English cricketers for a cricket-bag taken on tour - not yet in any dictionary, nor in G. A. Wilkes's boggling Australian Colloquialisms.

The Knack: How to Make a Room Look Bigger

CONTRAST IS the key. Use horizontal bands of different colours - keep them quite broad, having about five up a wall. It plays with your sense of perspective and really does make it feel as if the space has got much bigger. The more contrast there is between the stripes the more efficient the effect; white and black are the best because that really does trick your eye, but of course it's up to people whether they can live with that.

Homebase pulls plug on kitchens

SAINSBURY'S Homebase is pulling out of the kitchens business in a move that will lead to the loss of 550 jobs.

Words: statement, v.

SAINSBURY'S WILL add to its trading difficulties by the Ratner- like suggestion that frequent purchasing of DIY apparatus at its Homebase sheds is a sign of mental deficiency. The pounds 2 voucher for buying such things came with a form which noted the "spend previously statemented this personal year".

Shopping: Bags of cool for summer

Forget the Tupperware boxes and plastic beakers. Wouldn't you rather picnic in style? By Rhiannon Batten

Shopping: Forget Ken - real men love barbies

It's time to stick a few beers in the fridge and get the firelighters out; but have you got the right barbecue? By Shaun Phillips

Fast forward: Garden gadgets - Lawn and order

Back yard demanding attention? Martin Skegg and Michael Oliveira- Salac offer some cutting-edge accessories

Shopping With... Blowing it all away

Fashion and beauty PR Michael Donovan proclaims himself to be a disciplined shopper - at the start of every season he blows his entire clothes budget in one shopping trip. This suits him because he hates the "machinations of clothes shopping". After 11 years in public relations Donovan knows to avoid the trends that won't last and how to buy "reasonably timeless clothes."

Comic Relief `stole noses'

FRIVOLITY WAS tinged with fury yesterday after the organisers of Comic Relief's Red Nose Day were accused of stealing the design for their hooting plastic noses.

A home away from home

Swapping your house with someone else's is a cheap and comfortable way to see the world. Felicity Cannell reports

Sainsbury's warning adds to retail gloom

FURTHER EVIDENCE of flagging consumer confidence emerged yesterday as Sainsbury's, the supermarket giant, warned of difficult trading conditions while a brace of other companies reported disappointing results.

Investment: Sainsbury's reveals a sudden loss of appetite

SO MUCH for food retailers as defensive stocks. Yesterday's grim trading update from Sainsbury's challenged the received wisdom that people will carry on spending in supermarkets when times are rough.

Size does matter in DIY sector

Analysis: Almost 100 B&Q Warehouses are to be opened. The market is stirred. Will it be shaken?

Kingfisher to create 20,000 jobs

KINGFISHER, the retailing group, yesterday pledged to invest pounds 750m and create 20,000 new jobs at B&Q, its DIY subsidiary in an expansion of Warehouse, the giant shed format.
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen