HERE COME THE GIRLS… The gates opened this morning for Ladies Day at Aintree’s Grand National, so expect the hats to obscure the horses, a photos of the full spectrum of extravagant outfits to hit the national press. For those travelling to Aintree and who are perhaps anxious about an inappropriate choice of footwear, Merseyrail is here to help, and is offering free flip flops to those in need. Unfortunately, with drizzle expected on and off throughout the day, attendees may be wishing for wellies rather than sandals.


Free After 3

END OF AN ERA… This week saw the last day of ‘Free after 3’ for council-run car parks in Chester, leading to grumbles from shoppers and agents alike that, with the city’s retail sector struggling in places, penalizing the people who actually were coming into the city to spend money may not be the wisest idea. Altrincham’s ‘free on a Sunday’ parking helped boost footfall in the town, and has been left in place even now Alty Market is an established destination consistently luring in the punters. With the 300,000 sq ft Northgate proposal distinctly lacking in pre-let announcements, to reassure the much-needed big brands that there is enough demand, Chester should take all the help it can get.

Wales Year Of The Sea

TOURISM PROMOTION… It’s Year of the Sea in Wales, following hot on the heels of the 2016 Year of Adventure and, who could forget, the Year of Legends 2017. The Welsh Government is giving businesses the chance to capitalise on promotion of products, events and experiences around such assets as the Wales Coast Path and its UK-topping number of Blue Flag beaches. Themed years pay off, says WG, with 2016 netting an additional £370m for the Welsh economy, and who but the most cynical would ever question economic impact figures? A tip for those looking to plan ahead: 2019 is the Year of Discovery, so get those hiking boots, binoculars, and telescopes at the ready.

Drew Spark Dog Kennel

Kennel proposal by Spark

IN THE DOG HOUSE… Let’s hear it for Bow Wow Haus, a collaboration between pet charity Blue Cross, American not-for-profit organisation Outdoor Arts Foundation and photographer Drew Gardner. Architects, artists and designers have created bespoke dog kennels, now on display around London, that will then be auctioned off to raise a big pile of cash for charity. One of the entrants includes Liverpool-based Condy Lofthouse, who teamed up with presenter Anne Robinson to create her ideal home for a pet pooch, and the submission is being displayed alongside the likes of Zaha Hadid Architects and, pictured here, this beauty upcycled from plastic, from Spark Architects. View all the kennels here

David Font Lyrics

Bowie font in action… but guess the song?

BANNED BOWIE… Ever wanted a deeper insight into the creative workings of musical geniuses such as Bowie, Lennon or Cobain? Well, for a brief time, that’s what New York-based designers Julien Sens and Nicolas Damiens sought to bring to the world, by creating Songwriter Fonts, free-to download fonts based around the handwriting of each singer. The premise was that writing in the style of these musicians might help other songwriters through their creative blocks. However, the dream was short-lived, as after launching this week, the website was shut down, due to intellectual property issues. Hello, goodbye…


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