Sandra

Nov 042010
 

london

If you’re planning on spending time in a London budget hotel, you might want to bring your own towel. In the same spirit as budget airlines, where anything more than your little bag of eight peanuts will cost you at least five bucks, one particular London budget hotel now has a fee for everything – even your towel.

Tune Hotel Westminster is located just 30 feet from a Tube station. You can make your way to Buckingham Palace in 10 minutes; Oxford Circus is a mere five stops away. Rates start at $54, and peak at $99 – what a deal!

However, for $54, you get one of the rooms without any windows. The room is also incredibly small, with barely enough room to open up your suitcase on the floor.

The other catch is that you pay extra for everything. $2.40 per day. Feel like relaxing with an English soap opera at the end of a day of sightseeing? It will cost you almost $5 every day that you activate the television. Oh, and don’t worry about the housekeeper walking in at an awkward time; you have to pay $12 just to get a housekeeper to show up more often than once every three days. Forget a free continental breakfast; Tune Hotel offers great breakfast, but it’s $7.

Could this be the hotel trend of the future? Perhaps budget hotels, like budget airlines, will start expecting you to always bring your own towel, and that $2.40 per towel rate might even seem cheap in a few more years.

Oct 182010
 

The Japanese kimono can be used as a comfortable, much more fashionable alternative to the bathrobe. Dating back to the fifth century AD, both Japanese men and women have been wearing kimonos since a similar style of dress was important from Han-era China.

In Japan, the kimono was always far more than something comfortable to wear around the house. western-style clothing didn’t make it to Japan until the early 20th century. In 1923, Japan’s emperor issued an edict requiring almost all public officials to change their style of dress from kimonos to western-style uniforms. Until that time, the kimono was one of the basic items of clothing for both women and men.

The east-west interchange of clothing styles goes both ways. Since the early 20th century, westerners have collected kimonos as souvenirs or as elegant, unique ways to dress. Although traditional kimonos remain expensive and elegant in the west, some people like to use the kimono as a loose-fitting housecoat to relax around the home.

Japanese-Americans still keep kimonos on-hand for special occasions. During the traditional Coming of Age Day, for example, a kimono is still a common item, as it is for weddings. A kimono jacket can be found for under $100; truly elegant silk kimonos can exceed $500.

Oct 132010
 

Lisa Simpson, of the animated, long-running series, The Simpsons, once observes about her mother: “Her heart won’t just wipe clean like this bathroom countertop: it absorbs everything that touches it, like this bathroom rug.” The bathroom rug in question is revealed to be more a science experiment than a rug, with various items growing out of it.

Hopefully your bathroom rugs and bath mats don’t look like the ones in The Simpsons. If they do, here’s a suggestion: wash it.

Why Bath Mats and Rugs Get So Dirty

Our bath mats get dirty for two main reasons. The first problem is the environment in which our mats and rugs live. The bathroom, especially inside or close to the shower, tends to stay moist and warm, making it a breading ground for mildew and other nasties.

The second problem is the nature of a bath mat. Bath mats are textured so that we don’t slip and fall inside the shower, but the texture means that there are plenty of nooks and crannies for dirt to hide in.

Three Easy Ways to Wash Your Mat

1. Bath mats are easily cleaned with a pressure washer. The next time you use your pressure washer, take the mat outside and wash it, too.

2. Most bath mats, and almost all rugs, can be easily thrown into the laundry. Wash your bath mat with a bath towel, as the friction between the two will help wash the mat clean.

3. If you’ve been meaning to wash your bath mat but never seem to find the time, just do it at the end of your shower. After you step out of the shower, spray it with your favorite bathroom cleaner, give it a quick scrub, and hang it to dry. It will take you all of two minutes, giving you no real excuse not to clean it.

Just Do It

Don’t become the butt of a Simpsons joke. Clean your bath mat and bathroom rug on a regular basis to improve your family’s bathroom hygiene.

Sep 302010
 

seals need towels

Save a Seal with a Towel.

A wildlife center in the UK is asking for towels, especially big towels, to use for sick and injured seals. The particular wildlife center, the RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre of Norfolk, England, cares for 50 seals and nearly three hundred other animals.

What will the big bath towels and beach towels be used for? The staff wraps the seals in the towels to make them easier to handle and to provide warmth for the animal.

Unfortunately, the wildlife center recently announced that they’re going through a shortage of towels at the moment, a problem which is reaching crisis proportions. As of September 21, 2010, the center is caring for 21 seals in their intensive care unit. With such a high level of care, the center is going through an astonishing 120 towels per day.

If you live in the UK, you can drop your new or used towel off at a nearby Tesco. If you live outside the UK, send a towel or two to:

RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre

East Winch

King’s Lynn

Norfolk, PE32 1NR

United Kingdom