Test your stress levels before you book

Written by Gareth Powell

You need to know your stress levels before you book a holiday. This quiz for evaluating stress originally surfaced in a Macmillan medical book in 1982 but in various forms it has been around for much longer. Basically what you need to know is whether you have been under too much stress inrepparttar past six months. If you have then it may affect your choice of holiday, your means of travel. • Going through an airport is a high stress situation. • Charging aroundrepparttar 143170 countryside on an explorer expedition can be stressful. • Driving long distances is stressful. Sitting byrepparttar 143171 pool and swimming a few lazy laps is not stressful. As is resting inrepparttar 143172 countryside. Or anywhere else where you feel relaxed and serene. First you need to get a point score. Noticerepparttar 143173 questions only apply torepparttar 143174 last six months. Not your lifetime. Duringrepparttar 143175 past six months: • Has your partner died? 20 points. • Have you become divorced or separated from your partner? 15 points. • Has a close relation (other than husband or wife) died? 13 points. • Have you been in hospital because of injury or illness? 11 points. • Have you married, or effected a reconciliation with your partner after a separation? 10 points. • Have you discovered you are soon to become a parent? 9 points. • Has there been a major change, whether for better or worse, inrepparttar 143176 health of a close member of your family? 9 points. • Have you lost your job or retired? 9 points. • Are you experiencing any sexual difficulties? 8 points. • Has a new member been born or married into your intimate family circle? 8 points. • Has a close friend died? 8 points. • Have your finances got markedly better or worse? 8 points. • Have you changed your job? 8 points. • Have any of your children moved out ofrepparttar 143177 family home or started or finished school? 6 points

Eating out in Paris on a Budget

Written by Gareth Powell

This is Paris and it is raining, which is as it should be. Paris rain is not asrepparttar rain of other cities. It is softer, benevolent. It caresses, rather than soaks. Perhapsrepparttar 143169 main reason I come to Paris is because ofrepparttar 143170 food. Not that I am a true gourmet. More a gourmand. It is perfectly possible to spend an arm and a leg on food in Paris. I am still in a state of shock after paying $17.50 for a single glass of beer. Granted, I was sitting onrepparttar 143171 pavement onrepparttar 143172 Champs Elysees and granted, I could have sat there all day. But I am still in shock. Normally I steer well away from such high-priced nonsense. When you go to Paris – and you should go at least once in a lifetime – make your own discoveries. I am assured it is possible to get a bad meal in Paris. It simply has never happened to me. Atrepparttar 143173 following restaurants you will only get great meals. First and foremost, La Crémerie Polidor. If it was good enough for Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Andre Gide, Jack Kerouac, Paul Verlaine and Paul Valery, it is good enough for me. For lunch yesterday I hadrepparttar 143174 plat du jour, which was cassoulet inrepparttar 143175 classic style. It cost $10. This restaurant has never heard of nouvelle cuisine. Its style of cooking is still firmly embedded inrepparttar 143176 twenties. (In fact, it opened 20 years earlier.) As are its decor and standard of service. Andrepparttar 143177 fact that it does not accept credit cards. With my meal I had a pichet, a small jug, which is about a third of a bottle of Chateau Magondeau, a Merlot, which has won a Medaille Concours Agricole and is generally well spoken of. A full bottle would have been silly, but a pichet at $10 was just right. This system of serving excellent wines in less than bottle quantities is splendidi. In most restaurants you can have a carafe of house wine, which normally will be singularly nasty and probably will have come from Algeria or Morocco and be chemically treated. Sometimes you can detect that someone arerepparttar 143178 grapes first. You can drink it at a pinch. But you have to be desperate. A step up from that is réserve maison, or réserve du patron. This is much better and very drinkable. Atrepparttar 143179 top in quality and price arerepparttar 143180 wines which qualify forrepparttar 143181 title vin delimité de qualité supérieur (VDQS), or appellation d'origine controlée (AOC). These can be truly splendid wines, but can be pricey and a bottle much too much to drink for one person. Some restaurants serve great wines byrepparttar 143182 glass or small jug andrepparttar 143183 good ones getrepparttar 143184 Coupe de Meilleur Pot, which is a much-coveted award. This means that you can samplerepparttar 143185 grand wines of France – and grand wines, indeed, they are - without doing dire damage to either your wallet or your liver. The best places to experience this superior plonk byrepparttar 143186 glass are in bars run byrepparttar 143187 Ecluse chain which keeps expanding. Originally there was one Now, I think, there are five bars. On offer are Bordeaux wines byrepparttar 143188 glass, some of them grand cru. These bars also have, beyond argument,repparttar 143189 best chocolate. Back to Polidor forrepparttar 143190 moment. The ideal time to go there is around 1.30, whenrepparttar 143191 first mad rush is over, butrepparttar 143192 atmosphere is still there. They don't accept telephone bookings. To get to it, takerepparttar 143193 Métro to Odeon on Boulevard St Germain de Près and walk through Carrefour Odeon and then up Rue Monsieur le Prince to number 41. It is not a flashy frontage and easy to miss. The unisex toilets are very probably a historic monument. After eating a literary lunch, go back down to St Germain de Près and turn left. You will shortly come to three great Paris institutions: Aux Deux Magots,repparttar 143194 Café Floré and Brasserie Lipp. It was at Aux Deux Magots in 1964 and 1965 Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir held literary court.

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