Fresh - June 13th
Visiting the cinema allows Brits to suspend their usual well-mannered approach to life and irritate their fellows by rustling bags of sweets and spilling popcorn all over the place.
London's Electric Cinema expands on this behaviour by offering what they refer to as 'edible cinema'; at their special showings, patrons are provided with several numbered packets corresponding to placards that are held up at certain points throughout the film. For example, at a recent showing of Pan's Labyrinth, the audience opened their pine-smoked popcorn during a woodland scene, and enjoyed a red grape treat at just the moment that Ofelia eats an enchanted grape.
An arty excuse for gluttony? Not so, reckons Electric Cinema. 'It's not just about eating, but the smell, texture, even the way your mouth feels after eating... heighten the viewer's sensory experience.'
You can do this at home, of course. Watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail whilst eating a bag of Minstrels.
Having an allotment is a noble British pursuit for city folk who like to commune with nature and are unsatisfied by the saggy parsley in their window-box. It's a lot of effort though, isn't it? You've got to dig up soil, plant stuff, water it, nurture it, chase away the greenfly, dig it up again... backbreaking labour, that. It's what finished Arthur Fowler off (possibly, I can't remember). Wouldn't it be great if someone could do it for you...?
By jingo, they will! Abbey Parks' 'i-Grow' system allows you to control a plot in the improbably cartoonishly-named East Heckington in Lincolnshire, using nothing more than your deft fingerskills upon the keyboard. And by 'control', I mean you just choose how much space you want and what vegetables you'd like to grow, and Abbey Parks do everything for you, even delivering the produce to your door. So you can impress your swanky London chums by presenting them with hand-cut hors d'oeuvres from your very own allotment, without actually having to do a damn thing about it. God bless you, internet. http://www.abbeyparks.co.uk/allotments/
AGA is one of the brands that always comes up in lists of 'most traditional', but they're more progressive than you might assume. Their latest innovation leaps onto the bandwagon of placing the letter 'i' in front of anything vaguely technological, being called the 'iTotal Control'. (Snappy, huh?)
It's a proper AGA in the traditional sense, but it's had a brain artfully gaffer-taped to it somewhere, containing a SIM card. This allows the owner to remote-control the AGA using their mobile, issuing commands like 'roasting oven on', 'all ovens on' and so forth. So if you're staggering home from the pub and realise you're ten minutes from the kitchen, you can make sure the grill of your £10k oven is primed and ready to crisp up some late-night bacon as soon as you're through the door.
Of course, this operates on fundamentally the same principle as having an 'open/close' button on your DVD remote: it's a minor labour-saver, but you are eventually going to have to get up and visit the appliance at some point or nothing will happen.