Not very long ago, the growing of vegetables in the United Kingdom was commonly dismissed as a minority interest for eco-eccentrics and crumbly old allotment holders. But concern for the environment, worries about healthy eating and the credit crunch have led to packets of veg seeds flying off the racks, with sales reportedly rising by up to 60% on last spring.
They are members of a hidden army who inhabit a curious in-between world. Tough, heavily-armed private security guards who love the adrenalin buzz of rubbing along with high-flying businesspeople and contractors. Blue collar workers trying to make a quick buck. This is the world of a foreign legion working, living, surviving, in what has become the most dangerous country in the world.
Help may be at hand for the sort of person who is in such a rush that they don't have time both to shower and drink a cappuccino -- a caffeinated bar of soap. The manufacturers claim that as a person lathers him or herself with the Shower Shock soap it releases caffeine that is absorbed into the user's system and provides the same hit as a couple of cups of coffee.
When the Liverpool footballer Harry Kewell parked his ''greenmobile'' beside his team-mates' Ferraris and Aston Martins he was teased mercilessly over his choice of wheels. But this year's choice for Car of the year has steered Toyota's Prius into the motoring mainstream.