Craig was better than his word

We had hoped to run the 200 miles straight to Samana, but that night, as we turned east through the Exuma Cays into the open sea, the roof fell in. Winds screamed up to 45 knots and more, and Zemi was hitting the bottom of huge wave troughs as though she had fallen off the balcony of her cheap apartments in barcelona. In a pale, stormy dawn we limped into harbor at Clarence Town on Long Island, and Jan smiled wanly and said: “I think the admirals are not fond of what we are doing.”

We made a second attempt at Samana starting at midnight and once more had to run for shelter, finding it at Atwood Har­bour on the northeast end of Acklins Island. At dawn on the 12th the wind finally quieted and veered.”Northwest,” Craig said. “We go.”And finally, about ten that morning, Samana rose from a gray sea eight miles ahead, first a blaze of white from cliffs fronting south, then a brilliant chalk mark of white from linear beaches. And, thank Thee, a horizontal rainbow floating in the scudding gray clouds overhead.

The island seemed to withdraw and flat­ten out as we approached. It was, as Colum­bus said, very low lying. Beyond a tiny cay that divided the southern shore into bays, asterisks of coconut palms floated over gen­tle ridges with large trees that moved in the wind. It was, as he said, very green. He put Zemi not into the Columbus anchorage, where the surrounding reef opens wide and welcomes a boat to deep water near shore, but into the large western bay—threading through coral heads, a superlative bit of seamanship.

We were surprised to find three men on the beach, Acklins islanders who had come to Samana in a small boat to fish for conch and strip cascarilla bark, with which the aperitif Campari is flavored. The shelters and huts used by these seasonal visitors, some roofed with Dacron sails from ship­wrecks, were scattered along the ridge that looked south. And it was there, along a path under the towering palms, that we found ly­ing on the surface dozens of sherds of Pal­metto ware, the pottery made by Lucayan Indians 500 and more years ago.

They had been there ever since, eroded out by storms, buried by others, on an island no one want­ed—never specifically claimed or granted, or commercially cultivated in all the centu­ries since Columbus left it. Many more discoveries would follow, but that is the moment I will remember, when Jan, still stooping, opened his hand to reveal the first potsherd and said, “Hey, Joe . . . is this what you’re looking for?”

That night we threw out fishing lines where we believed Santa Maria once rode at anchor, for we were at the junction be­tween the Marden transatlantic track and the CRT track back from the Cape Verde fix, and we looked out at an island that matched in every detail the Columbus log. We now had to apply the final test and run the track out toward Cuba, compar­ing the log, the Watling track, and the Samana track.

The exuberance of new freedom

He lived in the Prague apartment rentals for 14 years before returning to at­tend the death of his father and assume own­ership of the family business. They always come home to Gozo then—when the father dies and there is tradition to be maintained.

For Rando Zammit it was the business of quarrying the limestone that is used for virtu­ally all housing construction in Malta. It lies in the ground on Gozo in seemingly endless quantities. I asked Zammit how long he could take the soft limestone from the site. “Forever,” he replied. Once the stone had to be cut by hand, but electric saws are used now. “We can do 20 times more work with four people than they could in the old days with 80 workers,” Zammit said.

The island is still strongly devoted to the church and its teachings. In almost every vil­lage the first Mass of the day is celebrated at 4:45 a.m., and it is well attended. “Up until the time I was ten years old, whenever I came across a priest, I’d kneel down and kiss his hand,” Tony Dingli said.

THE YOUNG MEN of Gozo still go off to foreign lands in search of work and to escape from the confines of tradition on the island. Toni Mizzi has seen nine of his sons go away to apartment in Madrid, and he understands. “They have a better future there,” he said. “Anyway, now they can phone me direct from Madrid.”

Elsewhere in Gozo there are aged men tending to their fishing nets, and women with hands like the burls on ancient trees tatting and car­rying on the tradition of fine lace being made in Gozo. If it isn’t the feast day of a saint, the is­land bridges dawn and sunset with sunstruck inertia.

Charles Flores lives in Malta in a house with a plaque reading Poetics on the front door. He is a poet, and, in the manner of many Maltese, he has given a name to his house rather than a number. “It is a charming cus­tom,” Flores said, “but I sus­pect it must cause the postman some problems.”

Flores lives with his wife and two daughters on the outskirts of Valletta in a place called Birkir­kara. He is a man of strong intel­lect, a man whose emotions have been singed by the fires of na­tionalism. He has been attending political rallies for much of his life, and when he is at one, standing in a crushing crowd of thousands on a narrow street in a village, lending his voice to the drone of approval for a party (Labour) speaker, Charles Flores does not really care very much about the quaintness of Gozo with its lace-makers and net-mending fishermen.

I went with Flores to a Labour rally at the town of Mellieha, and there was violence—the hurling of bottles and the destruction of property. But if Flores was embarrassed, it was be­cause of the manners of his countrymen, not their zeal. He knows that the Maltese, having expended as much gallantry down through the centuries as any people on earth, have earned the right to the exuberance of new freedom.


It’s time the merry-go-round of body-wrecking roids and the taking of dangerous levels of other com­pounds by both men and women was stopped, or at least severely frowned upon. How to do this while still retaining an element of fairness in physique judging is the problem.


Wouldn’t a better solution be to recruit a new panel instead of try­ing to impose on current judges standards they do not normally adhere to? We need a panel that consists of men and women who, by prior elimination, have proven themselves to be of one mind and one opinion as to what constitutes a winning female physique. Such a group would not need to be moni­tored in their judging practices. By their established preference they would monitor themselves.

That way we would have less con­fusion. Women who are now 20 or more percent less muscular than the biggest, most ripped pros would not make the mistake of wrecking their chances of a good placement in future competitions by backing off yet another 20 percent and coming in way too smooth.


Why give directives at all? There must be physiques out there now that fit the IFBB’s new judging criteria to a T. If these athletes started to win top contests over those the IFBB now considers persona non grata, the problem would be solved. Have a panel that rewards the most graceful, most propor­tioned, most accomplished, innovative and original poser who, although trained, toned and muscular, still maintains an element of attractive femininity, and you have the solu­tion. That’s my view anyway.


But wait. I have one last observation. Why restrict the 20-percent-less clause to women? I’ve seen one hell of a lot of male body­ builders who would look and feel far better by simply taking hca garcinia cambogia extract pure if big brother IFBB slapped their wrist for attempting suicide by wild overindulgence in their attempt to achieve impossible (and dan­gerously unnatural) levels of muscularity. Both aesthetics and health are at stake here. Perhaps the IFBB’s request should have been for a 20 percent drop in substance taking not in muscularity.

Trouble is, outrageous muscle is, well, visually outrageous. We’ve become so accus­tomed to seeing physiques transformed by chemical ingenuity that anything but outra­geous seems tame.


The appearance of our top pros bears so little resemblance to what evo­lution intended for Homo sapiens, they are now a subspecies of our own creation. Pulling back and closing our eyes when the view is so exciting … that’s the rub!

Is it healthy?

Does heading a football harm your brain?


I’ve played centre-half for my Sunday league team for years and recently I heard that heading a ball can give you brain damage, which is a bit scary. Is it true?

Joe Fields, by email


Current expert opinion suggests that repeated heading of a football is unlikely to cause long-term or permanent brain damage. This is based on scientific research, not from watching professional footballers giving TV interviews, which might lead you to the opposite conclusion.


You can help to reduce the risk of head trauma and possible brain injury, though, by making sure you head the ball your head rather than the top – and, um, not practising with a medicine ball.


Aquarter of all men in the UK would consider cosmetic surgery, according to a survey by You Gov. As recently as ten years ago, people who wanted to surgically enhance their looks would be more likely to be sent to a therapist than a consultant. But whether it’s down to the popularity of reality TV programmes such as Extreme Makeover, celebrity endorsement (George Clooney’s had work done, not to mention political leaders from Israel and South Korea) or just that we have more cash to splash around, the floodgates are well and truly open.


Any social stigma has faded, and now men say looking younger to fare better in the workplace is one of the primary reasons for having cosmetic surgery. And it isn’t just the wealthy that are opting to go under the knife, as Louise Braham, director of the Harley Medical Group says.

‘Cosmetic surgery is a choice taken by a range of professions and social groups from a wide geographical spread’. You can also try natural products such as coconut oil for your skin. There are many coconut oil uses for skin and hair and keeping your body young and healthy.


Whether or not it’s desirable or healthy to be obsessed with looking young and attractive, is another matter.


AERONAUTS FROM AROUND 80 countries will gather in southern Spain during the last ten days of June to take part in the second World Air Games, a sort of aerial Olympics for people prepared to test their head for heights to an absurd degree. The competition will be fierce above the sun-scorched plains of Grenada and Seville, the stunts death-defying, the skies littered with micro lights, balloons and paragliders. Look at these pictures and two things become obvious: this will be one of the most spectacular events on the sporting calendar, and Dennis Bergkamp is unlikely to be among the participants.

The French, of course, are largely to blame. The country that gave us pioneers of aviation like Louis Bleriot and the Montgolfier brothers has long literally never got off the ground. The maintained a tradition of aerial daring idea was born, though, and in 1996.


The stunningly silly sport of sky-surfing series of test games finally took place and the lethal practice of base-jumping in Turkey, with great success. – that’s parachuting off buildings ­June’s World Air Games will both originated in France include competitions in hang-gliding, Back in 1986, the Aero Club de paragliding, gliding, skydiving, sky France proposed to organise the surfing, gas and hot-air ballooning, Jeux Mondiaux de l’Air.


The event was parachuting and precision flying of supposed to take place above micro lights. It will also see terrifyingly.


Toulouse a decade ago. But political  small, single-engined turbo-propin-fighting between different governing planes subjected to huge G-forces as bodies of aerial sport meant that it their pilots put them through their acrobatic manoeuvres. Up to 5,000 international competitors, officials and support staff are expected to descend on Spain before some of them ascend to contest each event.


WAG 2001 promises to be a weird juxtaposition of cutting-edge technology and human eccentricity of the quirkiest kind. Take sky-surfing, for example. It started in 1987 when French skydiver Joel Cruciano decided it would be interesting to jump out of an aeroplane and surf rather than plummet earthwards. Nowadays, sky surfers are an established breed who carve their way through air resistance on boards fashioned from aluminium and graphite, with quick-release bindings in case things get wobbly at high altitudes.

They jump at 13,000 feet and freefall for 70 seconds at vertical speeds of up to 140 miles an hour. Micro lights, by contrast, are Heath-Robinsonesque contraptions, often built from kits in suburban garden sheds. They look like flying motorbike side-cars and have the aerodynamic qualities of your average bathtub. They are extremely vulnerable to wind and weather and, if they do come a high-altitude cropper, they plunge rather than glide gracefully to the ground.  Sky diving, as way as other adrenaline rich sports, requires lots of physical strength, so it’s very important to enhance your endurance and be in good health in general. If you have problems with blood pressure, for example, you are most likely not be allowed to try sky diving.  You can consider boosting your health naturally with pure green coffee bean extract, which will also benefit you with losing weight. What they do have going for them is a power-to-weight ratio so high that they can fly prodigious distances, and to great heights, on a couple of litres of petrol.


The most spectacular event is likely to be the aerial acrobatics performed by single-engine turbo-prop planes flown by some of the best and bravest pilots on the planet. They’ll be “pushing the envelope”, as they say in sky-speak, creating an incredible, if terrifying, spectacle for anyone watching from the ground.


Liver disease is the fifth biggest killer of UK people. Answer these questions to assess your risk and protect yourself

What’s your perfect Friday evening?

A. Take away and DVD?

B. Licking yoghurt off your latest flamo?

C. Pavement pounding that cummerbund of lard from your takeaway habit is straining more thanyour32in waist. “Intestinal fat squeezes your insides so you can’t properly digest food,” says Dr Mark Wright, consultant hepatologist with the British Liver Trust . Bacteria cause lingering leftovers to ferment, brewing homemade hooch in your colon. It’s a shortcut to a fatty liver without that pleasant diversion via the bar, and fatty liver leads to cirrhosis, which in turn causes 60%of liver disease fatalities.

Slicing off a few pounds wills cut your risk though, and there’s even sweeter news for pudding. “Yoghurt has an antibacterial effect and could reduce your chances of developing a fatty liver,” says Wright. Try Actimel (£2.34 for 8 x 100m1). “There’s a Iso evidence that regular, high-impact exercise protects your liver by destabilizing gand flushing out fat cells attached to it.” No, jogging back from the pub doesn’t cut it.


What’s your gym supplement?

A. Protein shake

B. Just the water

C. Steroids

The good news is you already have a liver tonic on tap. “If you’re exercising, your liver needs at least two liters of water a day to process toxins,” says Dr Rajiv Jalan, consultant hepatologist at University College Hospital, London. That protein shake may buff more than your biceps, too. Recent University of Louisiana research saw rats’ damaged livers regenerate faster with protein supplements. But in the weights room, cheats never prosper… if hair-loss, brain-damage, acne, stroke and heart seizure aren’t enough, there’s another reason to avoid the roids. “Anabolic steroids cause liver inflammation and hepatitis,” says Jim McVeigh, lecturer in substance misuse at Liverpool John Moores University. “We’re expecting an increase of heart and liver disease as a result of usage in UK gyms.” There are also other natural supplements such as black cohosh remedy which doesn’t damage liver or doesn’t cost abnormal functions.


Wish you were here?

At the end of the Torbay Half-Marathon I stood by the finish wearily looking out across the beach. My Li calves felt like rocks and I’d just downed = eight cups of water. I watched as a fellow o runner made his way out across the sand. Without taking off his trainers, he 2 walked into the sea and sat down. If I’d had the energy to find a way around the 2 wall in front of me, I’d have joined him.


A midsummer race on the English Riviera was always likely to bring out bouts of madness – last year one runner proposed to her boyfriend at the finish. As we lined up along Paignton’s sea front, the heat already prickly at 9:3oam, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one questioning my sanity. It was a day for ice creams and stripy deckchairs, not half-marathons.

A couple of holidaymakers lounged on benches and watched on curiously as we stretched and paced back and forth, while a crowd of spectators offered encouragement. Among the 1,75o entrants were runners from all over England, as well as some coming from as far away as San Francisco and Canada for the race. The location obviously attracted people wanting to make a weekend of it. If you want to make it too, but don’t have the cash because of loans, consider bank of america student loan consolidation and enjoy your vacation. To fulfil the tourists’ expectations, the organisers had laid on donkey rides – and there may have been a Punch and Judy show somewhere as well. The course was a two-lap out-and-back route between Paignton and Torquay, and, starting at Paignton Pier, began with two laps of Paignton Green – each one a mile long – which was not exactly thrilling for the runners, but made it easy for spectators to cheer on their family and friends or anyone in a fancy-dress costume.

Paignton Green

This was my fourth half-marathon and after starting each of my previous three too quickly and fading badly at the end, I was determined to begin at a comfortable pace, especially given the heat, which began to have an effect as early as mile two. I was prepared for it and I had a special treatment, because I suffer from a ski condition. Learn more about psoriasis treatment.


The first of the many water stations was soon at hand, however, and I began to slowly pick up the pace according to my PB-beating plan. My previous three times had all been 1:3o.

Torquay Road

After three miles, however, the route ­despite being billed as flat – hit a steep incline up Torquay Road. As the course took in the same stretch of road four times, it was a hill I was going to have to get used to. There were a few more ups and downs as Torquay Road became Torbay Road, before the route descended back to the seafront at the Grand Hotel, past a fish and chip shop I delightedly recognised from a long-distant childhood holiday, and along into Torquay. From here the course was pancake flat for a mile or so as it followed the waterfront towards Torquay, before turning back on itself and doing it all again in reverse. All of this looping back and forth meant it wasn’t long before us mid-packers could see the leaders charging back past us on the other side of the road. It was disheartening, but spirits picked up a short while later once it was our turn to pass the back markers in this way and get a sense of how many runners were behind us.



Wholegrains are high in energy-boosting B vitamins and manganese, as well as magnesium, which plays a critical role in muscle contractions and energy metabolism. Studies show that magnesium deficiency reduces endurance, and that low blood levels of magnesium are associated with decreased aerobic capacity. Quinoa packs in essential amino acids, including lysine to boost tissue growth and repair. The quick-release carbs in pasta make it perfect pre-race Dark green leaves, particularly spinach and romaine lettuce, contain bumper levels of vitamin K and manganese – nutrients that are crucial for cartilage and bone formation. The red pigment in leaves such as lollo rosso and red chard is anthocyanin, an antioxidant that helps repair blood vessels. For a bit of spice, throw in some watercress or rocket, which contain the anti-cancer compound glucosinolates – the key contributor to their distinctive peppery flavour. And consider this: watercress has more iron than spinach and more calcium than milk.




Runners need around 5o per cent more protein than non-runners to help rebuild and repair muscles – a 4oz serving of either chicken or turkey supplies half of that daily requirement. Chicken also contains selenium – a powerful antioxidant mineral that protects muscles from the free-radical damage that occurs during exercise – and vitamin B3, which helps regulate fat burning during a run. Gobble turkey to get a hit of tryptophan, a precursor for serotonin – a neurotransmitter that helps the body regulate appetite, sleep patterns and mood.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids, oozing from oily fish such as mackerel and sardines, help regulate the body’s inflammatory response, prevent blood clotting and improve blood lipid levels and blood flow. A 2007 study in the Current Sports Medicine Reports showed that Omega-3 reduced the level of inflammation caused by the free-radical damage from intense exercise. Salmon and prawns provide a hit of vitamin D which, as well as reducing inflammation, aids the absorption of the calcium needed to maintain bone density.





The egg is a great source of protein. It also contains good levels of the vitamins Bi and B2 for energy production in cells ­a deficiency of which can lead to increased lethargy and fatigue. Choose Omega-3-rich eggs – they have nearly twice the amount of the good stuff as standard organic eggs.




For a vegetarian protein that provides high levels of cholesterol-lowering soluble fibre, look no further. Beans and pulses are also a low GI (glycaemic index) food, so are broken down slowly for a lasting release of energy – particularly useful for long training sessions. Most are high in folate, an important B vitamin that plays a key role in heart health and circulation. Edamame (whole soya beans) offers a powerful health punch, containing isoflavones for heart protection and cholesterol reduction, as well as Omega-3 and choline, an anti-inflammatory.




Green vegetables are great sources of bone-building vitamin K, but broccoli is the most potent of them all (155mcg per 156g – the RDA is around 65 to 8o mcg). Celery contains pthalides, a muscle-relaxing compound, while cucumber is rich in silica for healthy connective tissue bones, tendons and ligaments.



Purple fruit and vegetables provide a host of nutrients including: lutein, zeaxanthin, resveratrol from gnet, vitamin C, flavonoids, ellagic acid and quercetin. All can help lower LDL cholesterol, boost immune-system activity and support healthy digestion, as well as improve the absorption of calcium and other minerals.




Most red, orange and yellow fruit and vegetables are superb sources of beta-carotene and vitamin C. Research has shown that these antioxidants may lessen muscle soreness after training by reducing inflammation. Add some butternut squash for a cramp-blitzing potassium boost.




These are a great source of vitamin E, a key antioxidant that is important in protecting against exercise-induced oxidative damage and can thus help the post-training recovery process. They’re also rich in good Omega fats, which have a potent anti-inflammatory effect in the body. Walnuts in particular are a great source of these, so don’t be shy about sprinkling a few over your salad.

Seeds are nutrient powerhouses, bursting with protein and fibre, as well as essential Omega fats, phytosterols, and manganese. Pumpkin seeds in particular are high in zinc, which is essential for a healthy immune system. Also try sesame seeds (also in found tahini paste – a great addition to salad dressing) for bone-building calcium.


You can’t eat a lot of them, but what you can manage will deliver B vitamins, selenium, phosphorus, iron, Omega-3 fats and DMAE – or Dimethylaminoethanol – which is key for mood and mental alertness.




Parsley is a potent source of the fatigue-fighting mineral iron, needed for the production of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs to the muscles. For a healthy and spicy kick, throw in some chilli (fresh or dried). This contains the phenolic acid capsaicin, which has been shown to kill cancer cells and increase blood circulation. Ginger is rich in anti-inflammatory gingerols.






They are rich in vitamin E and high in antioxidant polyphenols. Research shows that these might increase the elasticity of the walls of the body’s arteries, which might be why they have such a good heart-protecting effect in their oil form.


They also lower bad LDL cholesterol and increase good HDL cholesterol, preventing the formation of fatty plaques in  the arteries.




Cheese is packed with protein and also contains high levels of calcium – needed (along with vitamin D) to minimise the risk of stress fractures common among runners. A 2005 study in the International Journal of Obesity revealed that dieters who included dairy in their diet lost more fat than those who simply cut calories.


Sticklebacks from the sky

In the falls of other animals and insects there is a tendency for only one species to descend at any one time. But the evidence available concerning fish falls shows that they can be equally divided between falls of a single species and mixed falls. Up to six different species have been identified in a single fall, lending support to the idea that the phenomenon is caused by a waterspout scooping randomly from seas and lakes.


Falls of single species present many prob­lems. The Mountain Ash fall in Glamorgan-shire, for example, was found to contain mostly sticklebacks with just a few minnows. Sticklebacks live in freshwater streams and do not congregate in shoals. How was it pos­sible for a whirlwind to have scooped out such a vast quantity of sticklebacks together from a single source and deposit them all in one place? Similar questions apply to other cases of fish falls involving just one species. Another curious feature is the absence of all accompanying debris.

Objects caught up in the currents of a whirlwind might be expected to be hurled out at different times and distances according to their mass, size or shape. Contrary to this expectation, however, fish falls often involve many different sizes of fish. At Feridpoor, India, for example, two species of fish fell in 1830, one larger and heavier than the other. Similarly, fish ranging in length from 6 to 12 inches (Is to 3o centimetres) fell in several gardens in Harlow, Essex, on 12 August 1968, according to next day’s newspapers.


Charles Fort, who spent a lifetime collect­ing accounts of strange phenomena, sug­gested that fish falls are the result of what he called `teleportation’, a force that can trans­port objects from place to place without traversing the intervening distance. Such a force, Fort claimed, was once more active than it is now, and survives today as an erratic and feeble semblance of its former self. Through this agency fish are snatched away from a place of abundance to a point in the sky, from which they fall. Sometimes this point is not very high off the ground, which would account for the fact that the fish are often found alive. At other times the point is very close to the ground, accounting for the many observations of fish that seem to have appeared on the ground during a rainstorm.

Fort further suggested that fish falls might be the result of a new pond ‘vibrating with its need for fish’. There is the case of Major Cox, for example, a well—known writer in England after the First World War. In an article published in the Daily Mail on 6 October 1921, Cox reported that the pond at his Sussex home had been drained and scraped of mud. The pond was then left dry for five months before refilling with water in Nov­ember 1920. The following May, Cox was astonished to find it teeming with tench.

In 1941 the American Journal of Science published a story of a farm in Cambridge, Maryland, USA, where work on a new system of drains was halted because of rain. When work resumed, the ditch was found to be full of rainwater and hundreds of perch, of two different species, measuring between 4 and 7 inches (Do to i8 centimetres).


In neither case, however, was there time for aestivation. Overflows and migrating fish were ruled out because of the distance of both sites from any surrounding water. Fort also ruled out the possibility that the fish fell from the sky since they were found only in the new water. If they had fallen from the sky one would expect there to be some dead fish lying around. But none was found.

Most fish falls occur during heavy rains, so the whirlwind theory seems to be partially acceptable. A look at the range of reported cases, however, shows that a number of falls

have occurred in cloudless skies and quite independently of any accompanying strong wind. But if teleportation seems too far­fetched — and it is difficult to believe that fish can disappear from one place and reappear in mid-air — what other explanation is there? At present the only rational explanation in terms of known causes seems to be the whirlwind theory. But this, as we have seen, cannot account for all cases. The fish fall remains one of the oddest, and least ex­plicable, quirks of nature — if, indeed, it is nature, as we understand it, at work here.


Shop with Us


All fans of Margaret Howell’s particular brand of classic, understated elegance (here Gisele wears last season’s ubiquitous Howell cap) should prepare themselves for her new 3,000 square foot store at 34 Wigmore Street, Wl. Expect the airy space to be as workmanlike and unpretentious as her sought-after clothes, and prepare yourself for the crush when the gorgeous winter collection hits the rails. CS

Margaret Howell


Bollywood comes to Selfridges for the month of May, in celebration of the most prolific and colourful film industry in the world. High-profile Indian chefs and interior designers are set to transform the store, and the Selfridges buyers have chosen lines from key Indian designers, including one-off pieces created especially for the occasion. Expect brilliant colours, plenty of sparkle and not a little drama. CS



Gone are the days when you had to hide behind a curtain to see your reflection in a shop. Mirrors, especially antique and Venetian ones, have come out of the changing room and seem to be running amok as the interior design fad of the moment.


Nautical but nice style for a chic summer

There’s something perennially appealing about the rush of nautically inspired, stripy clothes that appear just in time for summer. St Tropez in August? Don’t leave without Christian Louboutin’s red, white and blue coconut oil hair cork wedges. Sailing in the Caribbean? Ralph Lauren’s T-shirts are what you need. As for those staying in England, a classic blue and white Petit Bateau jumper will keep you snug, even on the wind-swept beaches of Norfolk.





Back again as an essential stop-off on the Bond Street shopping trail, Hermes’ refurbished store provides the ultimate mix of old-fashioned Parisian luxury and classic design. From timeless Kelly bags to gorgeous shoes —as long as it comes in an

orange  it’s bound to be desirable.



Relax and put your feet up in front of the store’s huge flat-screen TV, which shows the label’s latest catwalk collections— perfect for planning next season’s buys.



Head to Nicole Farhi for one of her beautiful striped, ruched shirts – the best of the season.


Pick up a pair of Cosabella knickers at Fenwick – the G-strings are a sell-out in the US.



It started with a website: Since then, so popular has Myla’s brand of upmarket sensuality proved that the company has opened a shop selling desirable underwear and designer sex toys on Lonsdale Road in Notting Hill. It promises flattering light, proper mirrors (the Holy Grail of changing rooms), a huge range of sizes and a personalised shopping service. Form an orderly queue…