Travelling to a certain destination could be one of the best things that you may do so as to escape from stress. In fact, going to other places can make you relaxed, comfortable and free from any dilemma. Some experts say that it is one of the activities that can enhance the lifestyle of every individual. Therefore, it would be better to look for an avenue where you can go and spend your vacation during your leisure time.
Aside from travelling, taking some supplements and naturals like testosterone boosters can also improve your lifestyle. Probably you are asking how these supplements can enhance the lifestyle of most individuals, especially to men. If you are in doubt about its veracity, then you have to keep in touch on the succeeding discussions and try to explore the factual information about this thing.
Prior to your travelling in a certain place, you can also take some natural supplements like boosters so that you can have an extra energy when doing such things and activities. However, if you are totally decided to take these natural supplements, it is better to choose your product provider very carefully. Don’t just pick and purchase a specific type without the consultation from your experts because you will never know the consequences that may happen on you. As much as possible, you need to read some testimonials and reviews regarding the best testosterone boosters or any product that you want to buy. Furthermore, you can click here for more information on the Best Testosterone Booster on the Market.
How do Testosterone Boosters Affect Your Travelling Plan
No one can ever rebuff the fact that testosterone boosters can also help you to recharge your energy so as to perform the tasks that you have to do. Indeed, these can affect your travelling plan in some other ways. Here are some of the things that these natural supplements can do for your travelling plan:
- You can easily think the best plan for your travel since you have enough energy for you to be active when doing some plans and actions.
- You can definitely react or respond to a certain situation without hesitance and difficulty since an additional sort of energy is given to you by the natural supplement.
- You can have a worthwhile travel because of the vigorous strength that you gain out of the boosters that you took.
Moreover, to ensure that you can have a successful plan for your travel, then it is essential to look for some guides and tips on how to create a travelling plan for good. As much as possible, try to search some pieces of information through online since you can have an assurance that you will find useful details that you will help you for travelling. When looking for guides, you also have to consider the dos and don’ts when travelling and some essential tips for upgrading your experience when travelling to a specific place for vacation.
Pat Ruddy’s grade-school classroom in the west of Ireland was situated on the ground floor. This was convenient, because on days when his father came to take him out of school, young Patrick had some advance notice: He’d see the old man’s white head bobbing up and down as he walked past the window. Soon there would come a knock on the classroom door. Mr. Ruddy would have a quiet conversation with the teacher, and Pat would be excused for the rest of the day. The reason? It was fine golf weather.
This arrangement went on for a while, until school authorities began to object. So the elder Ruddy took his son out of the public school and enrolled him in a smaller private school run by the boy’s aunt. There, the rules were clear: On days suitable for golf (in Ireland, about 350 days a year are considered suitable for golf) Patrick’s classes would be held in the evening. On truly evil weather days, he’d go to school during normal hours.
Not surprisingly, given this foundation, Ruddy went on to make a career of golf-as a golf writer, designer or redesigner of nearly three dozen Irish courses, publisher of golf books, and, since 1987, owner, designer and president of The European Club. The course has been ranked, depending on the survey, as high as second in the Republic of Ireland and 43rd in the world.
The European Club sprawls across 200 acres of linksland on the Irish Sea, an hour or so South of Dublin. “Clean-shoe golf,” Ruddy calls it, referring to the superb drainage provided by sand that runs, in places, a hundred feet deep. He refers to the course as “my toy” or “my major,” but it would not be too much of an exaggeration to call it his fiefdom. He first saw the land on a helicopter scouting trip in the early 1980s, mortgaged his home to purchase it, and then-with a financial acumen far beyond the ken of most modern developers-set out to build the golf retreat he’d been dreaming of since his school days in County Sligo.
He did not take out enormous bank loans, or solicit help from investors. He didn’t sell house lots to help defray the cost-in fact, one sees no houses while enjoying his world-class playground. Ruddy sketched out the holes over three or four days, and then with Bernadine, his loyal and supportive wife of 45 years (“She’d go to hell with me and think it was great”), and their five children all pitching in, he ran the grading equipment, drove the trucks, seeded the fairways and bargained, face-to-face, with neighbors whose land or cooperation he needed.
The result is a modern masterpiece with roots deep in the game’s past. The holes run back and forth across a beautifully irregular topography of dunes covered in marram grass and gorse, a landscape so perfect for golf that you have the sense, walking it, that it would be a crime against nature to use it for anything else. Except for the whistle of the wind and the plash of the petulant Irish Sea (and, on one hole, the occasional passing car) the course is overlaid with a remarkable quiet. Since Ruddy was so careful with finances, he can now afford to keep the membership low. He neither wants nor needs to advertise. Everyone is welcome and the course attracts players from all over the world, but the $245 in-season green fee, moderately remote location and the owner’s insistence on widely-spaced tee times (generally about 20 minutes apart), mean that, in the club’s 12-month season it hosts only about 11,000 rounds. I played twice on a pleasant May weekend and saw exactly three other groups, total, and those at some distance.
But to use a word like “exclusive” would be to miss the point entirely. With white hair surrounding a bald patch, direct blue eyes and a devilish grin, the 6-foot-2 Ruddy presides over the operation like the most benign king in all of history. In a traditional Irish accent (“fillum” for film; “cam” for calm; “tirty” for 30) he jokes with employees and visitors alike, reeling off one-liners that are followed by a sly grin, a sound like “nnn?” and a tilt of the head that wonders if you were quick enough to catch his humor. He appears to be in his mid-60s, but when asked his age, he replies, “Ninety-two and ten.” He’ll tell you that old men should design golf courses because they’ve had so many years to study the game, and then he’ll add, “But they have to implement their ideas quickly, before they forget them … nnn?”
Millions of people love golf, but in decades of playing and writing about the game, I’ve never met a man or woman who loves golf as much as Ruddy. Nor have I met anyone who takes more pleasure in meeting others who love golf. “Now that’s a true golfer,” he said happily, when told a visitor had lugged his own sticks across the Atlantic just for a couple of rounds.
At first The European Club had no clubhouse, then just wooden cabins, then a small, stone building where golfers could check in. Now there’s a fully stocked golf shop, a good-sized restaurant and, upstairs, living quarters Ruddy uses when not home in Dublin. His elegant second-floor retreat includes a golf library of 6,500 volumes, a signed pair of Johnny Miller’s golf shoes (“One of the gods,” Ruddy calls him. “No one knocked the paint off the flag like Miller”) and rare treasures like an illustrated book of golf poems written by Humphrey Bogart’s mother. The white wooden trim in his second-floor living space is festooned with cherubs holding golf clubs, and an armchair has golf-themed upholstery. In the evenings the onetime scratch player will take a 7-iron down to a favorite spot along the sea and hit balls, one after the next, in a rite that borders on the religious. He’s done that, he says, “thousands of times.”
It’s not like the creation of this little paradise came easy. Pat Ruddy harbored the dream of his own course for something like 30 years and made two costly false starts before he found this piece of land and felt financially comfortable enough to take the risk. Even then, partly because he needed to work elsewhere from time to time to replenish his funds, there were five years between groundbreaking and the first paid round. And, despite his 15 years of design experience, the learning curve was steep. He seeded the first green only to have the wind blow it out to sea during the night. A bit later, before the course was irrigated automatically, Ruddy found himself navel-deep in a pool of water and had to bury his face in it-at 3 a.m., by the lights of a car-to plug a hose into a leaking connection. Not once, but twice, he witnessed one of his sons flip a dump truck on the undulating terrain. Later came a disagreement with a kindly but recalcitrant neighbor, and the temptation-resisted-of selling his creation, during the Irish boom times, for e40 million.
All this was complicated by the fact that Ruddy is, to put it mildly, something of a perfectionist. When he created courses for others, he’d typically spend 230 days a year on site, working from dawn to dusk then lying awake wondering how to make this or that hole more interesting. Given that past, it’s not a surprise to learn that he’s constantly tweaking The European Club, adjusting the deep bunkers-faced with railroad ties-in keeping with his theory that long hitters should have to be accurate, or indulging his subtle sense of humor. After watching Jean Van de Velde’s troubles with the Barry Burn at Carnoustie, Ruddy changed the pond in front of The European Club’s final hole to a U-shape burn with extended perpendicular handles (and kept it shallow enough, I can say from experience, that mis-hit balls can easily be fished out).
When I asked him to take a cart ride and show me the thinking that had gone into his favorite holes, he brought me around the side of the clubhouse and told me to get into his silver Jaguar sedan. He then proceeded to drive past the putting green, in front of the first tee, and very slowly up the middle of the first 12 fairways, hole by hole, pouring out his thoughts as we went. “You see here how the view of this hole is constantly changing as you play it?” “That bunker over there is what I call ‘a frightener.’ ” “I like the look of the grass growing between the sleepers.” “Notice the way the sea comes into view here.” We skirted greens, bumped between gorse-carpeted dunes, became briefly stuck, and ceased our leisurely perusal only because he saw golfers ahead and didn’t want to disturb them with the shocking sight of a car on the fairway.
It gave new meaning to the word “golf tour.”
It was also perfectly Pat Ruddy. It’s his place, and he does exactly what he likes there. “I can go out and hit 30 6-irons onto a green and nobody can bother me about ball marks,” he says, not with any malice, but with the grin of a boy skipping school.
The consideration he showed for the golfers is perfectly Pat Ruddy, as well. Because he doesn’t want guests to be bothered by the sight of his staff of eight greenkeepers, he has never allowed a tee time before 8 a.m., won’t allow the machines within earshot of neighboring property owners before that hour, and has the work done from the 18th hole back to the first, so that if a fast player does have to encounter someone on a mower, he sees and hears the machine just once, going past him in the opposite direction.
Since there’s no lodging at the club, Ruddy arranged for me to stay in the Tinakilly Country House, an Italianate mansion outside the humble town of Wicklow, some 20 minutes away. This turned out to be both a good and a bad thing. Good, because the Tinakilly-built by the sea captain who laid the first transatlantic cable-is a bit like Ruddy’s course: the same blend of elegance, modern convenience, and old, old roots. There are tall-ceilinged parlors where one can enjoy an excellent steak and a glass of Jameson Black Label Reserve, an exceptionally friendly and accommodating staff, good beds in immaculate rooms, gardens for a stroll and massages for the golf-weary.
Here’s the bad part: The last half of the drive from Tinakilly to the club winds along a road exactly wide enough for two bicycles. At least it seemed that way to me, sitting on the right side of the car and creeping along on the wrong side of the road. Yes, there was a sign warning “CAUTION, ACUTE BENDS AHEAD,” and yes it was a scenic drive: sheep in sloping fields, 97 shades of green, tranquil estates, ancient stone walls and signs in Gaelic that read “Go Mall,” which either encourage the visitor to shop or to Go Slow. But, as Pat’s son Patrick told me in the clubhouse, “the way to do it is to keep your left mirror brushing against the foliage at the side of the road. Careful, though, sometimes there’ll be a thin coating of ivy, and beneath the ivy, hard stone.”
Once I’d arrived safely on that first day, Patrick’s father and I sat down to tea and conversation. “A butter-free society wouldn’t be worth having anything to do with,” was the first thing Ruddy said as he slathered some on his scone. By the time he sent me off on the first tee, two hours later, I felt as if I’d been given a warm and loquacious welcome to a golfer’s fantasy kingdom. There wasn’t another soul to be seen on that mild Irish day. Just the wood-faced bunkers that looked like the mouths of so many whales, arranged in a pattern of such brilliant illusion that the golf became a puzzle, a mental challenge as much as a physical one. Tee off with a hybrid and stay this side of the bunker, or try to fly it with a driver? Risk the wind pushing a fade into the dunes, or hit a long iron and have a 200-yard approach? Yes, that’s true of most links courses, but at The European Club it is true on every shot, mercilessly true, magnificently true. The holes are finished off with smooth greens sporting maddeningly subtle breaks. “There’s a mouse buried here and there, yes, true,” Pat admitted afterward.
The second time I played, the wind was, more typically, up in the 15-20 miles-per-hour range, which made Ruddy’s puzzle into a Rubik’s cube of options and obstacles-215-yard 5-irons in one direction, 165-yard drivers in the other.
Ruddy gave special attention to the par 3s, where the superhuman length of the best players matters little. My favorite hole was the downhill sixth, 177 yards from the members’ tees, with a green that slants toward a stream close to the left edge, a mighty bunker front right, the deep grasses and smaller bunkers beyond. As Pat pointed out to me from behind the wheel of his car, part of the optical fun is a conspicuous bush. From the tee, it appears to be just in front of the putting surface: It’s actually 40 yards shy.
Here and there throughout the round, one comes upon other traces of Ruddy’s mischievous humor. A sign at the entrance says, “We prefer traditional steel spikes for safety but soft spikes are allowed.” The aforementioned U-shaped burn at 18 is 10 yards more forgiving to a shot flying toward mid-green; there’s an Irish cursing stone on No. 10, where you can doom your enemies. In another unique touch, there are two extra holes, neat par 3s that play to elevated greens and are set in such a way that, if you choose to enjoy them, they don’t interfere with the course routing. Twenty holes for the price of 18, and why? Because Pat Ruddy loves golf, that’s why.
The best joke of all is the 127-yard-long green on the sweeping, oceanside 12th. On the day Tiger Woods played here, in preparation for the 2002 British Open, he finished the hole and then challenged his playing partners-Mark O’Meara, David Duval and Scott McCarron-to a putting contest, dropping balls as far from the pin as possible and seeing who could lag it up the closest. “Now there’s a man I can relate to,” Ruddy thought, because it was the kind of thing a golf-loving kid might do. Woods holds the course record from that day, a 67, but perhaps equally impressive was the 70 Rory McIlroy-barely 17 at the time-shot in qualifying on his way to winning the Irish Men’s Amateur match play in 2006.
I loved that 12th hole. Played from elevated tees, it sweeps down in a gentle leftward curl with the whitecapped Irish Sea against its right flank. In certain winds you have to start the drive out over the water in order to have it find fairway. There are bunkers clustered just left of the narrow landing area, then more bunkers set in zigzag fashion right up to the front of the massive putting surface. The par-4 seventh has been chosen as one of the 100 best holes in the world, but No. 12 should have a place on that list, as well. It’s here that the owner sneaks off to late in the day to hit iron shots and muse. If you look east from his favorite spot, you can imagine Liverpool, 100 miles across the sea, the place where the British Open will be played this year. In 2019 or so, the Open will travel to Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland for the second time, and in 2007 Padraig Harrington used The European Club to prepare for his Open victory at Carnoustie, so it’s not impossible to picture the great tournament crossing the Irish Sea again, champions testing their skill against Ruddy’s sometimes mirthful, sometimes cruel design. When I finished my first round, I found him on the putting green-deep into the late Irish twilight-still practicing. “And I thought you were a kind man,” I joked.
He looked up, grinned, and answered, “No, I’m a miserable bastard.”
“He’s a genius,” said a member of The Island GC in Dublin, a great old links with a fine, if less stunning, layout. “He’s so modest,” opined a worker at the Tinakilly. Both terms fit. It’s one thing to find and finance the land, design and build your own links. It’s something else entirely to see your creation ranked in the world’s top 100, next to courses that have been around for centuries.
More than many nations on earth, Ireland has seen its tough times. The cruelties of British occupation, the famine, the seemingly endless troubles up north. More recently, a bank collapse that took all the fierceness out of the Celtic Tiger and made for empty buildings in the capital, unemployment at 12 percent and an Irish diaspora that sucks hometown youth overseas simply to find decent work.
But there is something in the Celtic spirit that accepts these trials with a stoic good humor and affability. On a Sunday night in Dublin, O’Donaghue’s Pub was packed with young people sipping Guinness and listening to a two-man band singing the Rolling Stones’ “Dead Flowers.” The vibe was pure Irish-loud, friendly, touched around the edges with an understanding of sorrow.
Wandering the streets there, listening to radio reports of Gerry Adams’ arrest, of a gangland hit in South Dublin, hearing about a string of great old courses near Malahide that have given up on requiring any initiation fee and are just hoping to hang on, I wondered if Pat Ruddy was trying to bring a bit of sunshine to the Emerald Isle with his “toy.” A place to go once in a while and have a few hours of primeval peace. A shrine to true links golf and the sometimes masochistic pleasure it can bring a soul.
“The light just goes on,” he told me in our last conversation, “and you realize what you’re supposed to be doing with your life.”
Asked when that light went on for him, he launched into a tale of trying to get a golf ball airborne for the first time on his gravelly yard back in Sligo when he was 6. He tried and tried, and finally managed it. Unfortunately, he managed it so well that the ball smashed through the kitchen window, where his mother was preparing supper. I asked if she was angry, and he said, “No, she was very much in praise of my getting it airborne … nnn?”
There is about this man a lovable eccentricity. For all the scruffy seaside perfection of The European Club, there’s something there that sings a tune of pure, unselfconscious love of golf and casts a glance back over its shoulder to that boy in County Sligo, clubs strapped to the frame of his bicycle, pedaling hard to get in a last round before darkness falls.
you can click here to see more about my roadless traveled.
Do you want to travel in place filled with beautiful spots and great adventures? If yes, then you have to book your tickets first and start thinking for the best trip ideas. Booking for your travel and tours requires less time since you can just simply go to a booking station and buy tickets for reservation.
If you want to know more tips about travelling for vacation, then you can probably search new ideas online. Through surfing the internet, you may also know some important things that you may bring during your travel and some pieces of equipment which you may use for your gardening works. One of the gardening tools which you may explore in the internet is the string trimmer. This tool is very essential in maintaining the beauty and cleanliness of your garden. If you want to choose or purchase a best string trimmer in the marketplace, then you may click here and visit this site. In this link, you will surely find an ideal type product that is good for your gardening works.
At some point, you may also avail some discounts and promos for the tickets. What you need to do is to look for some booking stations that provide great deals and offers. Some of the booking stations offer free services and discounts for flights. So, you can also avail these offers.
However, you need to know first the exact location or destination where you will travel so that you may already know your expectations about the place. Also, it is important to consider a lot of things prior to your travel so as to have a worthwhile vacation once you travel with your family and friends. Some of the important things and considerations that you have to include in your plan are the following:
- Budget – This is the very first factor that you need to consider so as to have a good travel. Know the different expenses for your travel including the transportation, daily allowance and others so that you can already allocate your money for those expenses. As much as possible, minimize your budget and learn how you can avail more discounts and promos for your travel.
- Things and foods to bring – You should know the important things and foods that are easy to bring. Just pick the essential ones so that you will not experience difficulty in bringing those things.
- Hotel accommodations – Some booking offices and operators also offer hotel accommodation as package when booking some tickets. However, some of them don’t include hotel accommodations in the package. So, you need to pay for a separate payment for this particular factor.
- Number of companions – When planning for your travel, make sure that you know exactly the number of participants who would like to join for the travel and tours. The number of companions also affects the total budget for the travel. So, you may limit the number of participants if you want to minimize your budget for your vacation.
Travelling with your friends and relatives would be great enjoying if it is well-planned before your travel time. Of course, when travelling for your vacation or for your special days, you need to pick a specific place or destination to go. If you have an idea where to go, then you just have to prepare the things that you needed for your trips and tours. You need to bring the important things with you so that you can easily use those things once needed. Don’t forget to bring your watch with you so that you will be updated with your regular schedule on your travel. If you are still planning to buy a new brand of watch for you, then you may check it out to the best watch brands guides that you can find online. Through online, you can also search some other things that you will need for your travel.
Are you planning to travel and go to any specific place outside your country? Then, try to know first the where you can book some tickets for free. Also, it is essential to explore the best places where you can go before making any decision.
There are some private and public operators who offer free travel for all the elderly people in State. So, if you are travelling together with your relatives and grandparents who are already 66 years old and above, you can have the privilege to avail this kind of deal and offer. For more information, you can first have a quick research about the different pieces of information on travelling to some other places that you want.
In your research, always consider the following things and factors that you will need during your travel and tours:
- Affordable hotels and restaurants – It is very important to know first the cheapest hotels in the place, but offers remarkable services. There are numerous affordable hotels where you can stay during your vacation. Also, it is crucial to explore the different restaurants and food chains on your specific destinations. At least, you can easily access these places if you and your companion want to look for some palatable foods and delicious specialties.
- Beautiful destinations to go – Of course, it is very necessary to list down the places and specific destinations where you want to go. If you would like to go to a certain country, then you need to know first the beautiful spots and tourist destination of the place. Then, always know the mode of transportation and how much it will cost so that you are aware of the possible cost that it may incur.
- Promos and free travel and tours – talking about practicality and great convenience, it is very nice to know if the transportation agency has promos, best deals and great offers. These factors can give you the opportunity to minimize your budget. Thus, you can have the chance to enjoy your vacation in just a cheaper cost.
Some Other Things to Know When Searching Online
Of course, searching online for all the things that you need is really a great option so that you can find it easily. In fact, you will know everything you need for your travel and tours. Furthermore, you will know some other things and products which you will also use to upgrade your lifestyle at home. At some point, you can explore some products like the best string trimmer, better products for grooming and any other tools that may help you to enhance your livelihood techniques. For more information about the product that may help you in upgrading your lifestyle, you may try to look for a reliable site and be able to read more reviews about these things.
So, what are you now waiting for? Explore the different things that you need through searching online and you will eventually find the best things or tools to be used for your livelihood programs and ways or approaches on how to find the best promos for travel & tours.
Do you always travel to some specific places during vacation and even in the midst of your leisure days? If yes, then that would be nice for you since it gives you great benefits to your overall health (both physical and social aspects).
Traveling is not only for fun and seeking for journey; but, it can also mold your personality when you start the exploration of a certain thing in your destination. If you are looking for a certain place to visit, then why don’t you try to scroll the website’s pages online? There, you can have the chance to meet new destinations where you can go for good. Through online searching, you can also have the privilege to seek the best testosterone supplement offered in the market. If you want to know more about the best natural testosterone booster, then you should try to read out more here.
With the natural testosterone booster, you can also enhance your testosterone level, which will helps you to become more active and adventurous. There are some online sites that offer natural boosting supplement. So, you can easily seek some supplements which you can utilize before travelling.
After taking the supplement for you, then you can start doing your adventures together with your family and friends. Going from one place to another place will definitely give more benefits and advantages for you. Here are some of the benefits that you might get out of travelling:
- It can relieve stress – As you travel to your desired destination, you can surely feel excitement and great joy. That’s why your problems in life may temporarily forget. Because of this, you will be free from any worry. Eventually, your stress will be relieved and you will feel more happiness.
- Physical benefits – Travelling can primarily help your body to enhance your physical health. Of course, you may also walk or do some routines that would also enhance your body structure while having your journey.
- Cultural benefits – Travelling is one of the reasons why many people are culturally bounded. If you go to unfamiliar places, you tend to learn their culture. Thus, you can also explore their cultures and beliefs. This is one of discovering new things from the other environment.
So, don’t neglect to travel, especially during leisure times or days. Probably, you can start your journey together with your family and friends during vacations days. At least, you can free from work stress and any problems that you are experiencing at the moment.
If you are fond of travelling from one place to another place, then it is important to seek for some online sites where you can get more information about travelling discounts and promos. Some online sites offer price comparison for travel and tours, especially for some holiday trips. Furthermore, these sites offer travel arrangements for you in order to lessen your worries as well.
You may look for some online sites which give you the privilege to lessen your worries about travel booking, costs of travel and even to the specific destinations where you want to go. Through seeking some websites for travel, you can have the chance to meet new products which will be used for gardening projects. You may explore a gardening tool in the market. If your quest is also to find a type of string trimmer in the circulation, then you may read out more here. There, you can easily find the right and high quality type of gardening equipment which will be beneficial for you.
Tips to Take when Seeking for Travel Site Online
There are lots of things and considerations that you need to think prior to travel in your desired destination. Some of these things are listed below:
- Big savings – Of course, you need to consider a traveling website that offers great benefits like big savings. If they offer discounts and some promos for the holiday trips, then you may also grab their offers.
- Partnership with some of the major airlines – If a travel website that you have chosen has partnership with the major airlines, you can also set your nicest choice for the flights and trips that you want.
- Vacation packages – Actually, this is not a very important consideration to take. However, in some instances, it would be useful for you if you will think for some vacation packages. Some travel sites offer complete package for your journey. These packages includes car to rent, flight, room hotel where you will stay and some other aspects that would improve your traveling experience.
Travelling to a certain destination is really a nice thing that you may do since it can temporarily make you free from any problem. You can embrace new environment while you are exploring the beauty of the surroundings. Just always make sure that you are well-prepared and secured so that there will be no problems or unexpected things that might happen while you are travelling.
In “Libraries + Gaming Communities” (LJ 5/15/10), I talked about finding partners to help you create the best possible programming around games for your library. Here, I speak specifically to the importance of champions, i.e., those who will press on in the face of lethargy or opposition, who will not turn back when an experiment fails, and who will embrace the shining moment when a patron’s eyes light up and the hobby wins a new devotee.
Maybe that champion of gaming is you. You play games in your off hours and proudly call yourself a gamer; you spearhead gaming events at your library, where players fill the meeting rooms to bursting; and, owing to your efforts and advocacy, your library system participates in National Gaming Day @ Your Library (ngd.ala.org).
Or, maybe not. You enjoy-or even love-gaming, but you just have too many other responsibilities. Theoretically, you can scrape by and implement gaming at your library with minimal effort: pick a game from column A, a genre from column B, a format from column C, include a tablespoon of community involvement, and you’re good to go.
But you’ll have greater success if you get someone in your court who sincerely seeks to grow the hobby they love–better still, someone who loves games and libraries and will put in the extra effort to champion them both.
Look to your community
Your friendly local game store might be run or frequented by such a person. Talk to the owner, talk to the people attending game nights. Advocate for the power of libraries to reach beyond the usual suspects, its potential to help those loving the hobby to share that love and make a difference in the community at large. Post a notice on the university bulletin board: “Local library seeks dedicated gamers to help us introduce new players to your favorite games.” In my hometown of Tucson, AZ, there Are several advocates of gaming whose efforts have had considerable and far-reaching effects. Chess coach Jean Hoffman and Women’s Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade are the forces behind 9Queens (9queens. org), a nonprofit that runs chess championships in and out of libraries. Through 9Queens, they seek to bring the benefits of chess to underserved and underrepresented populations, especially girls and at-risk youth. Their publicity machine helps to attract many more attendees than the library alone could muster.
That kind of passion exists on a smaller scale as well. An MLS student ‘who is also an avid game player recently asked my advice on how best to unite his two interests professionally. He hoped to expand his existing Go club through library tournaments as well as individual programs. We discussed piggybacking his programs alongside some of the library’s existing chess events. In the end, he decided to test the waters by starting small, contacting his neighborhood branch, and offering to run a Go club there. I have no doubt his efforts will only grow going forward.
Another exemplary local champion is Brian Gross, a game hobbyist whose love of libraries inspired him to bring his 20-plus years of tabletop RPG (role-playing game) experience to his neighborhood branch. There, Gross just wrapped up a three-yearlong, once-monthly RPG campaign with a tale unfolding within the rich literary setting of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings (see “Games and Literature,” LJ 8/09). Now familiar with the joys of tabletop RPGs, the players he taught have elected to continue to play together, choosing a Victorian steampunk setting with fantasy elements as their new milieu.
For every two-hour game session Gross led, he prepared for about three hours. That takes a champion’s mind-set. Asked what motivates him, Gross describes the pleasure of watching the next generation be rewarded for thoughtful planning and careful execution, of witnessing the players’ sheer enjoyment of the game. He spoke of one participant in particular, who, prone to acting out in daily life, demonstrated through the course of the game greater focus and a natural inclination toward leadership.
Keep your eyes peeled
Champions aren’t a dime a dozen, and you can’t force someone into that role. (You probably can’t find one on Craigslist either, though that might be an interesting way to go!) Be prepared to recognize the power and value of such a person to help your gaming events rise above just another library program. You might find a champion where you least expect it. Perhaps, when you stop to think it through, you’ll even find that champion in your mirror.
When the batch of 1983 comprising 18 starry-eyed designers graduated from the Premlila Vithaldas Polytechnic, SNDT University Mumbai; little did the faculty realise that one of the students would be a name that would make waves in the fashion industry in India. Anita Dongre nee Savlani shows the way for new fashion designers making it on your own and proving true the old saying: Where there’s a will there’s a way.
Post graduation Anita Dongre moved into the commercial fashion circuit designing highfashion garments. Orders on her graduation collection kept her busy thereafter. Two years later, in 1985, Dongre and her sister (also a graduate from the same college) started the MAS label (Meena Anita Savlani) and the duo opened their first store in Bandra, Mumbai.
With Jaipur as her birth place, Dongre’s inspiration comes mostly from her home state. Being a woman designer has been helpful too, “Because I want to wear something affordable every day, so I have created different labels for women which they can afford to wear. My collections are a personal projection of me. I love the fact that I am a woman and in the fashion business my understanding is so much more [because of that]. I can’t imagine being a man and in this business!”
“I got disillusioned as a lot of stores were ripping off my label and selling it under their name My personal style was evolving and changing. I wanted to do simpler clothes but the stores wanted more embroidery and I was moving away from it.”
Starting a label in the 1980s was not easy. Fashion as an industry was not organised as it is today. And being newcomers, the two designers did all the running around for everything right from designing, sourcing fabrics, getting the outfit from the master and the artisans and finally selling it to the client themselves. But Dongre looks back at the experience as vital learning. “I think the whole process has taught me things from the GRASSROOT level, which is helping me a great deal today. The retail business in the 1980s was run by familyrun department stores, Roopam, Sheetal and Benzer. There was no high-fashion store like Ensemble but little boutiques in Bandra with names like Saks.”
Lack of finance and no family
experience in the business of fashion was another stumbling block. Undaunted, they started everything from scratch and built it gradually. As in all sectors, the best learning is from your own mistakes. The key lies in sustainability and the ability to grow. And that is what this young designer managed to do to give her the reputation she enjoys today. Early years
The biggest challenge for any brand is to gain visibility. Dongre decided to go through the Clothing Manufacturer’s Association of India Garment fairs in the 1980s where brands from all over India participated. Soon she realised that though doing that was great fun, it became frustrating later on. Being the only fashion designer-led company at the time, their styles were different from the norm. Moreover, as newcomers, survival in the industry was the greater need. There were a few compromises along the way. “I got disillusioned as a lot of stores were ripping off my label and selling it under their name. Then Sheetal and Benzer who were spending crores of rupees on their ad campaigns wanted their labels on my clothes,” recalls Dongre.
Not in a position to call the shots the designer played the waiting game. Payments from retailers were late and at the end of the season there were returns. Dongre geared up to deliver during the good season when retailers sat on her head demanding collections. Catering to their needs, Dongre made an unpalatable discovery. She says, “I was designing and creating but over the years felt the focus was too much on embroidery at that time. My personal style was evolving and changing. I wanted to do simpler clothes but the stores wanted more embroidery and I was moving away from it.”
“But couldn’t imagine creating an Indian label that is well priced That’s how the GLOBAL DESI brand was born. It’s amazing but the GLOBAL DESI label has beaten AND sales everywhere.”
Sitting in her 4,000-sq. ft. flagship store in Bandra that was opened in December 2010 which stocks all her different labels for her very wide customer profile, Anita Dongre, Creative Director, AND Designs India Ltd, says that she has come a long way. Reminiscing about her journey and how her stable of brands grew in the 27 years that she has been in the business, Dongre acknowledges the moment she decided to take charge and change tactics. Important clients like Hema Malini coaxed her to get her labels under one roof to facilitate shopping for mothers and daughters. “Twelve years ago I created a whole Western line of clothes which I would like to wear. I let MAS continue and thought of a new label AND. But in India, everything had to sell with embroidery at that time. I made 40 pieces under AND and took them to the stores like Sheetal, who thought it would not sell. It was very international so they didn’t want it,” says Dongre. She was convinced about the need for such an outlet.
This led to the birth of the brand AND. “My first AND store came from the frustration that they didn’t want to buy a line that I loved,” reveals Dongre. The opening of the first store at Crossroads the first mall, was the beginning and there was no looking back. The tiny 200- sq. ft. store was a rage doing amazing business. AND has grown as a label and today boasts 26 company-run stores and 100 shop-in-shop sections in stores such as Pantaloon, Central, Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle, et cetera.
“My first AND store came from the frustration that they didn’t want to buy a line that I loved.”
AND the difference
Dongre’s creativity was now in full bloom. Five years ago, she wanted to have her personal signature label and longed to do high-end clothing and so ANITA DONGRE IINTERPRET was started. AND appeals to the 18-38-year women while IINTERPRET is for the older woman and is a more elegant, simpler, classic line with good-quality fabrics and in small quantities within a price band of ` 4,000, while AND retails at a lower price range. “AND is a high-street brand and it is price restrictive, so one cannot do a pure silk garment.
A causal chat with Kishore Biyani, the genius behind Pantaloon Retail and Big Bazaar chains, set Dongre on another track – expanding the horizon. Biyani pointed out the need for an Indian highstreet brand. The vacuum in the smaller cities in India for fashion apparel was an untapped territory. Being traditional in outlook the greater need was for Indianwear. Biyani advised Dongre to bring out a range to fill that gap, but price it well and have a pan – India presence. Recognising sound advice and that too from a veteran from the industry set Dongre’s brain ticking. “But couldn’t imagine creating an Indian label that is well priced. What made me start probably was listening to Bollywood remixes. That’s how the GLOBAL DESI brand was born. It’s amazing but the GLOBAL DESI label has beaten AND sales everywhere.”
Apart from opening her own stores, Dongre decided to go the franchise path. The AND and GLOBAL DESI stores at Express Avenue Mall at Chennai operate on a franchise model. The success of the new ventures opened more avenues. GRASSROOT was born from the desire to support a greener world. Apart from the decision to use organic cotton, Dongre adopted another strategy change. GRASSROOT truly reflects the thought behind it – going to the GRASSROOT . “I use crafts from villages for embroidery. I work with an NGO [supported] farm in Andhra Pradesh. I have also tied up with Shop for Change which certifies the garments made from cotton which is produced by farmers from the Chetna Organic Agriculture Producer Company,” states Dongre who was one of the first designers to bring organic collections onto the ramp at fashion weeks.
Handling the empire
Dongre’s signature labels are ANITA DONGRE – TIMELESS, ANITA DONGRE – IINTERPRET AND GRASSROOT along with her two most popular high-street fashion brands AND and GLOBAL DESI. For the signature label it is a two seasons’ cycle namely Spring Summer and Autumn Winter. IINTERPRET is what the urban Indian women relate to with long tunic, blouses, salwar kameezes; while GLOBAL DESI is kurtas, funky Indian prints and Anita Dongre Couture is now converted to ANITA DONGRE TIMELESS. The MAS label has been discontinued now. The backend production is taken care of by her designers and the two facilities that fulfill the store orders.
The stores don’t buy and have no role to play, including the shop-in-shops. Some conservative buying is tweaked for a particular region but no collections are customised for different parts of India. “It is a company policy that we have similar merchandise in all our store locations, though we have to make minor additions or deletions. AND corporatewear is a hot selling item, and it is believed that almost every second urban, working woman shops at AND for her workwear attire.”
Twice a year, Dongre does photo shoots for the collection but has not yet had an ad campaign. These photos are sent to the media and stores where the clothes are sold. Designs are created daily and collections are planned months in advance with special fabrics woven and designed. Dongre still has not ventured into the hard core bridal market where garments are much steeper but may consider it in 2011.
While Dongre declines from revealing the brand’s turnover, she admits it is now phenomenal from the paltry `20,000 with which she started her designing business. Having been in the fashion world for over two decades Dongre sees a great future for the industry in the coming years. “It’s definitely getting more organised and methodical. It’s ever growing. More and more women are effortlessly balancing the designer labels with high-street brands to achieve their personal style mantra – especially the gen next women. For me that’s what fashion is all about; it should bring out one’s own individual style.”
The headline brightened my mood: “BA returns to commissions for U.K. agents.”I knew that some major airline would see the light one of these days, reverse its course and start paying commissions again.
And here was one of my favorites, good old British Airways, taking the lead. Wrong.
BA is returning to a commission-based policy in Britain, all right, but they’re paying 1%, effective Dec. 1.
One percent. Give me a break.
Two years ago, BA stopped paying 7% commissions and announced what it euphemistically called a “fresh approach” to agency compensation. The new plan was based on fees, calculated according to the type of fare and the length of a flight. The program would pay from $3.93 to $31.42 for a booking. As paltry as these sums were, they actually represented a better deal than the 1% about to be offered.
As you would expect, British agents are outraged. The word they are using to describe the plan is “derisory.” That sent me to my Funk & Wagnalls. “Derisory” turns out to be a Briticism that means “laughably small.” Leave it to the Brits to pick the right word. Laughably small, that’s what the 1% offer is.
BA says the rate reflects the tough times it is having in attempting to compete with low-cost carriers. Maybe so. But 1% also is a slap in the face to thousands of agencies that have supported the carrier for years.
The 1% offer reminds me of an incident some years ago. They were early days in my career, when I was engaged in a struggle to make ends meet. I had an important appointment one morning in Manhattan.
I rarely used taxis in those days, preferring the lower-cost alternatives of walking or using the subway. But it was raining hard, so I decided to hail one.
When we reached the address I’d given the driver, I paid the fare and tacked on what I thought was a reasonable tip. Truth be told, it was a pittance but it was all I could afford. The driver took the few additional cents I had offered and threw them back at me. “You need this more than I do, Mister,” he said.
British travel agents are threatening to show their anger by “switchselling,” another Briticism that means selling away from a supplier. I don’t know if it’s realistic for them to do business without booking a carrier that has such a far-flung system. Probably not. But no one could blame them if they tried.
One percent may be laughingly small, but British agents aren’t amused. In a way, the offer is worse than nothing. It’s not only insufficient, it’s insulting.