I subscribe to a weekly magazine called The Week. It takes only the best articles from the global online and print media and expertly edits them together giving a concise view of the news from the past 7 days. In about an hour one can be brought up to date with the most important news and events in a refreshingly succinct and witty style.
In addition to the main stories, opinions and comments, there are other sections covering the week’s cultural highlights, including the hottest art exhibitions, books, theatre, film, sport, people, and superbly written obituaries of well known personalities, properties, travel, gossip, restaurants and recipes.
I have many favourite pages, property of course being one of them. Each week a different theme for real estate on sale: Striking town houses, country cottages under half a million, houses in various states of repair, houses mentioned by the architectural guidebook Pevsner, apartments with sea views.
Another favourite page is headed Consumer. In it we learn what the critics say about the latest new car, and get tips of the week on everything from how to buy eggs, and how to get the best from a builder, to the best tablets, the best food processor, to where to find apps to make you more productive and where to buy the best coffee beans.
Wedged between these sections is the little nugget, ‘And for those who have everything’ – each week featuring some usually extravagantly priced, often exceedingly frivolous gift item, for those friends or family who seem to have everything. It always makes me smile, and particularly with the gift-giving season of Christmas just around the corner, I thought I’d highlight a few!
Feathers are one of the big fashion trends for Autumn/Winter 2017. They’re appearing on everything from dresses and camisoles to belts, scarves and shoes. So you can be sure to be in style wearing the Valentino feather clutch bag – going for HKD17,000. (www.net-a-porter.com). For the man in your life, there are feather bow ties, made with peacock or pheasant plumes, available for HKD2,000, from www.brackishbowties.com
If your preference is to wear stilettos but you find it a challenge walking quickly in them from one business meeting to another, try Yves Saint Laurent’s roller skates. Called the Anya 100 Patch Pump Roller, they’re stiletto shoes on roller skates. Available only from the designer’s own stores for HKD20,400 (www.ysl.com).
From www.aldousbertram.com/miniatures, one can buy the most sensational custom-built, furnished dolls houses, starting from HKD75,000. And for oyster lovers, a mail-order box of 50 oysters delivered fresh from Duxbury, Massachusetts, plus a one year subscription to Island Creek Oyster’s oyster-of-the-month club, will set you back a mere HKD8,000. (https://shop.islandcreekoysters.com/products/oyster-of-the-month-club)
For those with more modest budgets …. If you cant be bothered to get out a frying pan, the Bacon Express will do the work for you. Looking rather like a toaster, it can cook 6 rashers at a time and you don’t even need to turn them. HKD250 (www.amazon.com).
For frequent flyers weary of battling over the armrest, the Soarigami could be a god send. Made of light foldable plastic it clamps onto the armrest and divides it in two, creating enough extra space so that both passengers can be comfortable (HKD400, www.soarigami.com)
There you are, your Christmas shopping, done and dusted!