Ordinarily Not

‘Dream Grapes’ Fetch $1,000

TOKYO ~ Guests at an upscale Japanese hotel had a special treat after dinner: “dream grapes” that are fresh, juicy – and cost nearly US$30 a pop.

Kagaya, a renowned Japanese-style inn in the central prefecture of Ishikawa, bought a bunch of Ruby Roman grapes for 100,000 yen ($910) when the first batch of the new-variety grapes went on a local market.

“We served them last evening to our repeat customers who were staying in top-notch rooms,” Kagaya’s chief cook Fujio Uko said.

New, Charitable, Author Debuts at 93

LONDON ~ A 93-year-old debut novelist has used the proceeds from her book to move her friends out of nursing homes and into her new country house, she said in British newspaper reports on Monday.

When Lorna Page hit the jackpot with A Dangerous Weakness, a raunchy thriller set in the Alps, she traded in her flat for a £310,000 (US$600,000) five-bedroom house in picturesque Devon, southwest England, and invited her contemporaries to move in with her.

“Care homes can be such miserable places. You sit there all day staring out the window with no one to talk to,” she said, quoted in the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph.

Roni the Raccoon to Join Olympic Event

BEIJING ~ As the world’s best athletes line up on the track in Beijing, Roni the raccoon and a clutch of other memorabilia are going under the hammer in an auction marrying Olympic kitsch, sport and history.

The cuddly toy mascot of the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics is one of a curious mix of Games-related objects likely to be snapped up by some of host nation China’s growing ranks of the rich and acquisitive.

Friday’s auction, on the day track and field events get underway here, also includes Olympic torches, souvenir stamp sets, unused tickets, jewelry and signed pictures.

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