Mike Roberts should be a happy man. His Ridgeview vineyard nestling at the foot of the South Downs is producing award-winning sparkling wines that regularly best the finest champagnes in international competitions. Business is booming. A new £330,000 degorging plant – which turns the fermenting grape juice into champagne-style sparkling wine – stands proudly in a cavernous warehouse surrounded by rows of 17-year-old chardonnay vines now coming into bud. And yet. "I'm a worrier, I'm always worrying," says Roberts, who sank the fortune he made in computers into Sussex's flinty soils where his endeavours have been rewarded with contracts to supply the likes of Marks & Spencer and Waitrose. His most immediate worry is the weather. An early warm spell brought his vines on, only for recent frosts to cause him sleepless nights. A cold snap would harm the putative buds on the vines and spell disaster. Scores of paraffin candles now stand sentry-like next to the vines, … [Read more...] about Champagne giants eye up England as sparkling wines win praise worldwide
Contracts for difference uk
It's nearly August, the retail fashion industry is in an uneasy slump, and summer issues of women's magazines are gaunt for want of advertising. Yet in the past four weeks, the 'black issue' of Italian Vogue has caused such a phenomenal demand at news-stands in Britain and the United States that Condé Nast, the publisher, has rushed to reprint and distribute 40,000 more copies. The explosive content of what, by any standards, is a small-circulation magazine with an average monthly sale of 109,000, is now being spoken about as a cultural watershed in fashion. With the next show season six weeks off, its influence might finally end the 'white-out' that has come to dominate catwalks and magazine pages. On Friday, a saleswoman on the till at WH Smith in Hammersmith Mall, west London, was proudly gesturing to a Vogue Italia propped up at her cashdesk. 'We've managed to get 10 more,' she said, as a group of black and mixed-race schoolgirls broke ranks in the queue and doubled back to … [Read more...] about Fashion world stunned by Vogue for black
Healthcare provider Virgin Care has been forcing patients to attend extra appointments to boost profits, says former employee and the Labour MP for Dewsbury, Paula Sherriff. Speaking in the House of Commons, where she was protected from possible legal action by parliamentary privilege, Sherriff accused Virgin Care of insisting on “extra consultations before surgery, boosting their profits at the expense of the taxpayer and patient safety”. Before she stood for parliament, Sherriff worked in Virgin Care’s dermatology service in West Yorkshire. She claims patients were obliged to book a second, follow-up appointment before receiving treatment – for a suspect mole, for example – when the NHS would previously have carried out the same work in a single booking. She told the prime minister this was among “many unethical practices” she had witnessed. The MP, who has made a name for herself in her short time in parliament by campaigning against the … [Read more...] about Patients forced to make appointments to boost profits, says Labour MP
The day begins with the alarm at 8.30 and then commences the great struggle: wake up or go back to sleep. I am by nature a nocturnal person; the hours between midnight and 3am are when the world feels almost enchanted in its stillness, and writing comes most easily. Through my 20s, I wrote at night – 10pm to 4am. If I were a different kind of person, one who could shut out both the world and myself, in order to work I would still be writing during those hours. But my life requires both solitude and sociability, and in the interest of the latter I have to reshape the ways in which I interact with the former. So, no more writing into the early hours of the morning. The alarm rings; I struggle with myself; I get out of bed. (How long this process takes is entirely dependent on how keen or not I am to get to my writing desk). Into the kitchen for a cup of coffee, and stop along the way to pick the Guardian off the doormat. Drink coffee; read paper. (How long this process takes is … [Read more...] about Kamila Shamsie: you can’t avoid talking about your relationship with the internet
2018 was meant to be the “year of publishing women”, after the novelist Kamila Shamsie challenged the books industry to publish no new titles by men for a year, in order to “redress the inequality” of the literary world. In the end, the tiny independent And Other Stories was the only publisher to rise to her challenge. Her provocation, published in the Guardian back in 2015, saw the novelist lay out in detail the disproportionate space given to male authors and reviewers in the press, the male skew to writers submitted for the Booker prize and the greater number of male protagonists in award-winning novels. “Like any effective system of power – and patriarchy is, over time and space, the world’s most effective system of power – the means of keeping the power structure intact is complex,” she wrote, then suggesting “a year of publishing women: 2018, the centenary of women over the age of 30 getting the vote in the UK, seems … [Read more...] about What became of 2018 as the year of publishing women?