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Etc...

I'll be back when it's over

If you have a reservation at the Linthwaite Hotel in England's Lake District anytime over the next month or so, you may notice a few unusual touches. For starters, most of your fellow guests probably will be female . For another, the complimentary newspaper left at your door each morning will be missing the sports section. Oh, and TV will offer a steady diet of movies with romance themes, such as "Pretty Woman" and "Bridget Jones's Diary." The Linthwaite, you see, is marketing itself as a World Cup-free Zone for "soccer widows" who want a break from the wall-to-wall coverage of the quadrennial tournament that they know the men in their lives will be glued to. In fact, the mere mention of the sport by any member of the hotel staff - if overheard by a guest - will result in the offer of an adult beverage, on the house. "The bookings," manager Mike Bevan told journalists, "are starting to stream in." It's not known whether one of them is from Kirsten Jensen. But it could be. The Amsterdam resident, a secretary, told the International Herald Tribune she has tried watching soccer on TV with her boyfriend . But he'll want to see all 64 World Cup games, while she'd be expected "to take care of the drinks and snacks." So she is looking into going away for the duration, with other nonfans.


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