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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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

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Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

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A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us