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In the swim

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Good to see some of our leading practices are diversifying as insurance against sector-specific recession.

Nigel Coates has started to rent out part of his summer villa in Tuscany, although would-be visitors should be warned that the swimming-pool has no stair.True to Nigel's general approach to life, you dive right in or you don't go in at all.Meanwhile, Astragal hears that Lady Hopkins is brushing up on her culinary skills.Those who visited Blackheath mansion, the Hopkins' Suffolk pile, for 'Open Gardens'were able to purchase Patty's home-made orange or lemon marmalade. All proceeds went to charity, Astragal hears.

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