With Brexit in mind, we appear to be living with a calendar where every day’s the political equivalent of Groundhog Day.
No one seems up to the task of leading the U.K. out of the EU without causing pain, anguish and quite probably worse.
Jeremy Corbyn is no great hope, as the fence he sits on threatens to collapse under the weight of pro-EU members, voters and logic, without him seeing the electoral light.
But the person who currently seems least capable of all is the prime minister.
All Theresa May is doing on a daily basis is stoking the risk of a popular backlash against any final deal.
Every day, in order to hold her fraying party together, she pretends to the country that Britain can take back control while it gives it away to ensure frictionless trade and no damage to our lives and livelihoods.
Instead of being so irresponsible and untrustworthy, it would be appreciated if she could learn the lesson that Phil Connors, the arrogant Pittsburgh TV weatherman took on board during his assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
To escape the time loop, repeating the same day again and again, after indulging in hedonism and committing suicide several times, Connors re-examines his life and priorities with beneficial consequences.
It would be greatly appreciated by everyone if Prime Minister May could do the same!
For Monarch Airlines
One sniff, total recall
A fragrance is one of those invisible parts of our very personal style. It has a powerful effect on how people see and remember us.
One way to stand out is a good scent, which also offers numerous other benefits, from making you even more attractive to helping you feel more confident and less stressed.
Yves St Laurent’s classic smelling La Nuit de L’Homme fits this bill. It’s an intense, boldly sensual, and very seductive fragrance. Its extremely masculine, bright and fresh notes combine with a nonchalant sophistication to create a natural and crisp yet mysterious scent which conjures up the spicy fresh notes of cedar, cardamom, and the fragrance of coumarin. This is most definitely a smell for the confident man from one of the most iconic of France’s fashion houses.
I give it 5 stars
- Projection and longevity
- Great smell
- Compliment magnet
- Perhaps too expensive
- Not really for daytime use
- Too subtle
- Too popular
- A little cloying
- Only for club or date nights
SCENT, BASENOTES AND INGREDIENTS
Launched in 2009 this impressive fragrance was created by noteworthy perfumers Pierre Wargnye, Dominique Ropion, and Anne Flipo. They have created an exciting scent that is bursting with tensions and contrasts.
It comes in a powerful dark flacon that befits its strong ingredients and noticeably represents the strong characteristics of man. The spicy cardamom notes explode on application to combine with the sparkling freshness of bergamot, cedar and lavender. The base notes are of vetiver and cumin, ensuring a sensual finish and an opulent, elegance.
It is available in three sizes – 40ml, 60ml and 100ml
This male fragrance casts a wide net and lingers with each turn you take; so much so it is bound to leave a powerful impression on any of the people you meet. If you use it as your signature scent and don’t switch fragrances depending on your mood, this scent will project as far as it possibly can.
In my experience, the performance of La Nuit de l’Homme is quite decent. I reckon it lasts for a good eight hours longevity (even longer on clothes). Though I would suggest this is better suited as a fragrance for cold weather when its scent lasts and lasts. The compliments all come from women, I should add.
This is a very versatile fragrance and I wear it for any occasion, whether it be lunching or clubbing. A lot of people are adamant that it is a night-only scent or only for more formal occasions, but in my opinion, L’Homme can be worn at just about any time.
One thing is for certain about this scent, it has drawn more compliments than any other cologne I have ever used. People tell me it’s very memorable too.
This is definitely one of the most exciting male designer fragrances on the market today. With its unquestionably spicy and sexy vibe that softens to a sweet and clean effect, especially as it settles into your skin, Yves St Laurent’s La Nuit de L’Homme gives a great performance, casting a wide net and lasting around eight hours. This is a great fragrance, which attracts a lot of good compliments, noticeably from the ladies! On one occasion recently, when I was returning by air from a business trip to the Continent I had reason to ask the stewardess if I could check something in my bag, which was in the overhead locker. As the stewardess reached up to grab my piece of luggage she looked down at me and announced how wonderful she thought I smelled!
I have been using this scent for more than three years, and my feeling is that it is a relatively subtle fragrance once you get over the initial explosion of smells.
Although the cardamon and bergamot elements are very prevalent when the fragrance is first applied the opening lacks another element that could really inject excitement – something like a pepper accord. Any sense of citrus notes all but disappears within the first 10 minutes – but this really is not a loss.
Once the scent has dried down to the base notes of wood and vanilla, it really is a comforting scent.
I am known to be a projection killer myself but the longevity is still there. I wear it when I go out in the evening, whether it be to a casual dinner with friends or at a full-on, top-of-the-range black-tie event. It’s a good scent from that solid old house that is Yves St Laurent, which has been producing so many great and iconic perfumes for so long.
HOW DOES IT COMPARE?
A single fragrance has the power to foster deep emotional connections. Indeed smell is our most powerful sense – 150,000 times more sensitive than our vision.
Smell also conjures memories more efficiently than any of our other senses thanks to the olfactory bulb that is connected directly to our limbic system – the emotional brain.
This is why unique and powerful equal deep and emotional connections.
Anyway, when it comes to comparisons with Yves st Laurent’s La Nuit de l’Homme, one obvious competitor is Eros FOR MEN by Versace. However, this is a much more everyday scent for the summer, and in no way as striking, especially when it is worn in the evening.
Another noteworthy challenger is Armaf Club De Nuit INTENSE. This is a similarly Spicy fragrance for men, but is much more recent – only being launched in 2015. Plus its top notes are at the other end of the spectrum to the Yves St Laurent offering. Club De Nuit gives off lemon, apple, black currant and pineapple; meanwhile, its middle notes include rose, jasmine and birch and its base notes are made up of musk, vanilla, ambergris and patchouli. Despite its name, I find this much easier to wear all day.
Also launched in 2015, that can be treated as an alternative to L’Homme is Carolina Herrera CH Men Prive. This has an impressive longevity that just keeps on purring after many hours making its presence felt. This has great maturity and depth but is much more sugary sweet than the Yves St Laurent competitor.
There are not many expressions that instantly conjure up such strong feelings of expectation, interest and excitement as does the word “hamper”.
If you believe you are about the receive a hamper from a friend, member of the family or colleague what comes to mind? Gifts, food, special things, enjoyment, pleasure. What is the common denominator? None of them is negative: They are all positives!
It is a truly enervating experience to have a mystery basket arrive on your doorstep. Anybody who doesn’t get excited about discovering what layer upon layer of a hamper reveals must be suffering badly.
- The hamper may be full of delicious food and drink.
- It may be stuffed with fascinating trinkets.
- It may be an arrangement of flowers thoughtfully assembled in a unique display.
- The basket may be packed with succulent fruits of every description.
There are few things that cannot be delivered in a spectacular way in a hamper, whether here in Singapore or anywhere else around the world.
Hampers first really became popular in Victorian England and have been standing the test of time ever since. Today they are a glorious gift solution for any celebratory event throughout the year and can contain just about anything. You choose.
The concept of the hamper originated in France in around the 11th century. The term ‘hamper‘ comes from the French word ‘hanapier’, which describes a case for goblets. Woven baskets were always traditionally been constructed with willow and were originally employed to transport food and drink on long journeys, hunting expeditions or other expeditions.
It was in the 19th century, as a result of the UK’s industrial revolution, and the improved transport links that came about as a result, that inspired the Victorians to literally grasp the handle of the hamper idea and send items of fresh food throughout the country and Empire.
Luxury food hampers quickly became a popular tradition, particularly at Christmas, when families would send hampers to each other as impressive gifts.
Around this time it also became common for employers to present hampers to their servants and other staff. These traditional baskets, made of wicker, might have been packed with food and clothes. The convention was for these hampers to be filled with seasonal produce, including meat and preserved fruits and given on Boxing Day.
Hamper delivery was a way of saying thank you and making sure everyone had plenty to enjoy over the festive season.
Since the mid 19th Century the use of hampers to spread joy and goodwill has continuously evolved and grown throughout the world. The evolution of the hamper has followed in the footsteps of a variety of food trends and every change in fashion.
The exciting development of hampers and their uses continues today. Indeed, even hamper weaving methods and the baskets produced as a result are changing too.
Nowadays a wide variety of natural weaving materials is used in addition to willow. Other materials can include:
Expert weavers are able to create hamper baskets in a whole array of sizes and shapes. Wooden and other boxes and gift bags are also used for hamper delivery
Hampers are perfect for this part of the world because giving gifts is part of the culture of Singapore. Recent surveys have indicated that more than 44 percent of people say they are willing to spend over S$200 on a single gift and more than 24 percent are likely to spend between S$100 and S$200.
The surveys also show that gifts are given all year round, not just during the Great Singapore Sale and the festive seasons.
The opportunities for hamper delivery are almost infinite. It is not just for the traditional seasonal occasions, like Christmas, New Year, Easter, Chinese New Year, hampers can also be created, put together and delivered for:
- Mummies to give to their babies and vice versa
- Parents to give their babies for a Full Moon party
- Couples to give each other for Valentine’s Day
Hampers are such a perfect solution for busy Singaporeans keen to satisfy their friends, family and colleagues, whatever their budget.
Whether it is fresh fruit, the best wines, or healthy biscuits and award-winning baby products, all of these items can be incorporated thoughtfully into an exciting basket of goods that can be put together for hamper delivery.
Today the hamper is more popular than it has ever been. They are a chance for people to be given and to experience and taste products they may never have thought of buying themselves.
What is more, it is now possible to put hampers together to suit very specific dietary needs and other requirements. This means that nobody needs to miss out on the joy and excitement of receiving such a fantastic and innovative present. It’s even possible to create Gluten-Free and Diabetic hampers if they are required.
The perfect food hamper needs to be a delicious mixture of savoury and sweet. Everybody loves one, whether it is receiving it, or the interest of putting one together with care and attention, picking out those things that your friends, family or colleagues are going to love. It makes the hamper as a present that little bit more special.
It is best if the sweet items are individual and bespoke. Local products are invariably winners. Temptations like butter shortbread or chocolate wafers are never rebuffed. The savoury items could always be something homemade, like a pressed tongue or a cured ham.
The best hampers are definitely those that are personalised to suit the people to whom they are being given. Today the items in a particular hamper can not only be swathed in bespoke gift wrap but the accompanying card can be specifically tailored for a specific person, occasion or purpose, or all three.
Baskets, ribbons, greeting cards, and other decorations all add elegance to a hamper. But when it comes to giving a gift and hamper delivery one thing that most definitely cannot be overlooked is convenience.
Hamper delivery must be efficient, precise, friendly, and punctual or the whole purpose can be easily marred.
Singaporeans like to give and receive gifts but they not only expect the best products to be chosen for their hampers. They also require practical convenience for their hamper delivery.
What is the enduring appeal of hampers? They suit just about any occasion and most certainly every person who receives one. Whether it’s for family, friends, customers or staff, hampers provide a perfect gift.
Do you have a habit of throwing your old plastic bags in a ball when you’ve used them to bring the shopping back home?
Some people who are keen on handicrafts create a crocheted bag to store their old bags in and keep them neat and tidy and out of the way.
But why not go a step further and create an even cleverer and more environmentally friendly solution by crocheting a bag holder with yarn that you have created yourself out of recycling your own leftover plastic shopping and grocery bags.
You can make a very pretty and extremely environmentally benign bag holder simply by following these instructions. And an additional bonus is it will cost absolutely nothing – just your own time and effort.
Choose one of the many striking designs for crochet patterns that are available for making a bag holder.
There’s nothing new about the idea of recycling old used plastic bags but think about it: if you take the bags back to the shop for them to recycle, they will simply melt them down and make new bags. This will have the harmful effect of emitting, even more, pollution into the air.
Fusing and joining plastic bags together with an iron can release some very noxious fumes into the atmosphere, stinking out your home.
Get your scissors
So, why not get out a pair of the scissors you already use for handicrafts and set about recycling any old plastic shopping and grocery bags into useful ‘yarn’ with which to make an attractive bag to store your future collection of plastic shopping bags.
Start by first laying out a single plastic bag. The bags most suitable for this are those thin ones that you find in chain grocers like Walmart. Take the bag’s seams and tuck them in at the side and then smooth out your bag so that it’s flat. This doesn’t have to be done so there are no creases and the bag is perfect. It will all look fine in the end.
Now you are ready to cut off the bottom edge of the bag with your scissors. For this, you will need to ensure your scissors are good and sharp because you will find that even slightly blunt scissors are not able to cut plastic bags well.
Once you have cut the edges you need to fold the bag lengthways and cut the folded bag into strips of about one and a half inches wide. Again this does not need to be perfect. As it’s just a guideline you don’t need to hunt for a ruler.
Every aspect of this task needs to be kept as simple as possible. Now unfold one of the cut strips and begin the process of joining. Be careful so the strip doesn’t tear on any fused seam.
Loop the loops
Get hold of another cut strip and unfold this too. Loop the strip around a thumb and index finger while holding the rest in your fist.
Then continue this process of bag joining by bringing the loop that is on your right hand over the strip that is looped in your left hand.
Maintain the loop that is in your right hand, and grasp the strip from your left hand, pulling it a little of the way through the loop that is in your right hand.
Carry on until you can complete the bag joining and tie the knot. For this, you need to place your left hand through the most left part of that strip that you most recently passed through the loop that was in your right hand and let it settle on your left wrist.
Now grasp the other end of the strip that you passed through the loop in your right hand with your left index finger and thumb.
Draw the part that you’ve already pinched in your left hand through the loop that you have on your left wrist and continue to pull the knot until it is tight.
Finally, you are ready to finish joining the bag loops and begin crocheting. It’s very important that use up all of your shopping and grocery bags.
The yarn that you have created out of all your bags is best crocheted using a size K or larger crochet hook.
In the end, you will have a perfectly crocheted bag in which you can store any shopping bags that you collect in future.
Peugeot 406 break 115
Back in the mid-1990s, the Peugeot 406 Break was widely welcomed as offering almost executive levels of automotive refinement. It was ahead of many of its competitors at the time, and although it has fallen back in the pack since it still can be considered a comfortable, main road distance eater – especially for the money for which they can be bought and maintained.
It’s not the greatest handler but it still stays calm even when being driven over rough surfaces, and altogether delivers a composed drive. The engines may be considered gutless but they are strong, smooth, and relaxed. Slick is the word aficionados use to describe the gearbox.
Not unexpectedly, the dashboard has that tired look of the 1990s, but its dials are simple and clear to see and the switches and other controls are easy to use. The room for the front passenger is very adequate and comfortable.
The back is not particularly roomy, but there is an ample amount of space in the load bay. And because the seat at the back splits and folds, this break offers even more versatility for anyone who has loads to carry.
The driver’s seat doesn’t appeal to everyone, with some drivers reporting it doesn’t support them adequately.
It’s a reasonable car as far as costs are concerned. Servicing is comparatively cheap and when repairs are needed unexpectedly, which is unusual, these can be fixed inexpensively.
As with many French cars, it is the electrics that attract the largest volume of criticisms. Particular bugbears are problems with the central locking mechanism that sometimes misses out the boot, and the indicator stalks can be problematic.
The transmissions also attract more than their fair share of complaints. The brakes can be questionable and not always easy or cheap to sort out. If the car has been used for lugging heavy loads – which is often the case thanks to the roomy load bay – it has probably challenged the suspension.
With a full service history the engine tends to be a robust part of this car, but beware if there are any gaps in the service record, especially if there are signs of excessive wear and tear inside the car and too many tell-tale scuffs and chips on the bodywork.
If it is a modern estate/brake car you are hunting for, especially if you want more than average refinement and to project a distinctively mature image, the Peugeot 406 break 115 would be hard to beat.
Among the strengths that this car has are good standards of comfort, handling, and ride that come encased in an attractive and very spacious bodywork.
All round, and for the money, the Peugeot 406 break 115 is a sound choice.
Alfa Romeo 166 2.4 JTD 10V
The Alfa Romeo 166 2.4 JTD 10V, like other versions of the 166, has always been praised for its alternative, sleek styling, with super dynamics and a large cabin.
The model, which was only ever available in left-hand drive, was only constructed between October 2003 to January 2007 and the 2.4 JTD diesel engine has always been regarded by Alfa enthusiasts as one of the most successful of the car manufacturer’s engines.
It was created by the Alfa Romeo Style Centre with the aim of expressing the harmony of form and function while combining the sports traits of a coupé with the elegance of a great saloon.
If cared for, it is said the engine is capable of running for as many as a million kilometres (620,000 miles) without problems. It generates 100 kW (136 PS) at 4000 rpm, and the car has a huge pulling power of 304 Nm (224 lb/ft) from 2000 rpm.
When you slide into the comfortable but hardly supportive driver’s seat you will find that any rumours about the ergonomics being compromised are no more than tittle-tattle. This is a car that was built for long journeys and as a result, its levels of comfort do not disappoint.
However, if you are expecting build quality and high-class materials you will feel let down. But Alfa Romeo’s always have a sporting heart – and this model is no different. The 166’s engine note sounds fantastic, and if you are an enthusiastic driver you will want to keep it in gear just for the enjoyment of it.
Unfortunately, however, the 166, like a lot of Alfa Romeos has been exposed by time to be a fragile specimen. Its interiors don’t wear well, so be careful if you really are thinking of buying one of these.
It is a far cry from when this model was launched. Then Alfa’s boasts were many: the car came fitted with an advanced climate control system. There was plenty of sound-proofing. The in-car technology had supposedly been designed to make life feel that bit easier. There was an electronic interface, with Cruise Control, a smart radio which dynamically adjusted the volume in conjunction with surrounding noises, and a satellite navigation system.
Having said that, this Alfa is rare among executive cars in that it puts the pleasure of driving above efficiency and comfort and efficiency. It’s Twin Spark engine gives a lively performance, which is enhanced by a well-balanced chassis and firm ride firm. The steering is noticeably precise and adequately weighted.
The only big gripe is that this is a gas guzzler – even in the calmest driver’s hands.
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