Tuesday 1 September
Some 12,000 manuscripts produced by poet Edmund Blunden have been put online by Oxford University. Hilary Lister, who has only just got back from sailing solo around Britain, says she is after a bigger boat for her next challenge. The Harden’s restaurant guide says the Gordon Ramsay empire is showing signs of wear and tear. An American report, Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity, says that the US government should introduce a tax on high-fat food and high-sugar drinks. A washout in Manchester prevents England losing to Australia in a one-day international and leads to complaints from those used to playing cricket in damp conditions, many of whom had paid through the nose for a seat.  E.ON says that they will not be continuing its sponsorship of the FA Cup when the current contract ends.

Wednesday 2 September
The BBC train stops at Pay Cut Central for Alan Davies, who uses Twitter to announce that the budget for the next episode of Jonathan Creek has been slashed; he also throws in a few grammatical errors for good measure. The Victoria and Albert Museum announces a new exhibition of quilts; it will open next March. Music videos are back on YouTube after a new deal with PRS. The IOC unveils the technical evaluation reports for the 2016 bid cities: Chicago, Madrid, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro. Peter Hargreaves, chief exec of Hargreaves Lansdown, trousers an £11 million bonus and says that he won’t now be leaving Britain, even though he had said he would after the introduction of a 50% tax band. Harlequins will not be banished from the Heineken Cup, while West Ham seem to have lost £37 million in 2007/08.

Thursday 3 September
A ‘don’t text while you’re driving’ film made by Gwent police has become the latest viral internet phenomenon. Chocolate, crisps and high-sugar drinks will be removed from school canteens under new nutritional standards. The British Library has put some 28,000 recordings of traditional music online. Bristol Council has painted over a Banksy that was featured on a Blur album cover. Scottish author Philip Kerr wins the RBA International prize for crime writing for his novel If the Dead Rise Not; he is now €125,000 better off. Chelsea will not be able to buy or sell any players for twelve months as punishment for the previously unheard of crime of letting a player know that they were willing to pay him a fortune. Joe Denly becomes the latest England cricketer to be injured in the pre-match football game.

Friday 4 September
A Guardian poll suggests that 77% of those surveyed think the BBC is an institution that the British should be proud of. French schools are back after the summer and have banned ‘le petit bisou’, the traditional kiss of greeting, in an effort to combat the threat of swine flu. Now someone says that Chelsea should not be signing eleven year-olds; the club says they have broken no rules in bringing Jeremy Boga from Marseille to Chelsea. Meanwhile, John Terry says that England do not win major competitions because they are too honest to dive to win penalties; his face remains straight throughout. Kieren Fallon is back on a horse after a three-year ban. Keith Waterhouse, legendary novelist, playwright and journalist, dies aged 80.

Saturday 5 September
England win a friendly thanks to a dive by Wayne Rooney. John Lydon says that he is going to reform Public Image Limited for some gigs later in the year. An AA study suggests that the recession has brought a reduction in traffic congestion. The BBC has spent £3 million responding to requests under the Freedom of Information Act. The Forestry Commission launches a comprehensive survey of woodland across England, Scotland and Wales. Interpol launches a database of 34,000 art works that have gone missing.

Sunday 6 September
The war on drugs has failed, say the governments of several South American nations. Capel Battery, a series of tunnels in the cliffs near Folkestone, is up for sale. England reach the final of the women’s European Championship, beating Holland in extra time; book Trafalgar Square just in case.

Monday 7 September
Chocolate wars: US confectionery giant Kraft puts in a £10 billion bid for UK’s Cadbury. Chancellor Alistair Darling says that he will not flinch from cuts in public spending (but bankers’ bonuses are, of course, untouched). The Metropolitan police says that the “potentially racist” form 696 will be withdrawn. Terry Wogan says it is time to hang up his earphones as the king of breakfast radio. London fashion week next week but catwalk shows on the Tube tip off Londoners a bit early. Venice in Peril, a UK-based charity, says that a planned new port in the Venice lagoon will destroy the city. The European Commission begins a campaign to standardise copyright laws in response to Google’s plan to digitise the world. Whitbread’s chief executive, Alan Parker, says he has the best job in the country now that the leisure conglomerate is making money. England will be playing Germany in the women’s European Championships. Transfer news sets TLR Towers ablaze with speculation: will Bradley Wiggins be joining Team Sky; how do you spell Edvald Boasson Hagen; what would Dave Brailsford look like if you caught him smiling?

Tuesday 8 September
Speech Debelle, a 26 year-old from south London, wins the Mercury music prize for her album, Speech Therapy. Lesley Vainikolo, an England rugby union player, is in court on assault charges, Queen Victoria’s bloomers have been added to the royal ceremonial dress collection at Kensington Palace and Bill Wyman, who knows a thing or two about entertaining children, says musical video games are discouraging young people from picking up proper instruments. The British Medical Association calls for a ban on alcohol advertising, including sport and music sponsorships, in the interests of public health. Calculations suggest that the running of Wembley stadium has put a net deficit of £86 million on the Football Association’s accounts.

Wednesday 9 September
Mark Thompson, director general of the BBC, suggests that James Murdoch is “desperately out of touch” when it comes to public perceptions of the BBC. Michelle Obama is getting her hands dirty in the White House vegetable patch and England’s victory at Wembley means they have qualified for the 2010 world cup in South Africa; cue a mad scramble for tickets. Sadly, the England women’s team cannot get past Germany in the final of the European Championships.

Thursday 10 September
The culture secretary, Ben Bradshaw, announces the long list of 29 candidates for the first UK city of culture. The offices of Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct retail chain are raided by the Serious Fraud Office even though Michael Owen had already made his escape. The Fat Duck food poisoning incident was the result of sewage-contaminated shellfish, says the Health Protection Agency. Gordon Brown issues an apology to Alan Turing who was hounded to his death by a homophobic state in 1953. A single tweet by Stephen Fry sends a book by David Eagleman flying up the best seller list. The National Portrait Gallery unveils its latest purchase, Self (2006) by Marc Quinn, which comprises a head configured in the artist’s frozen blood. The Arts Council is looking for volunteers to become part of a network of assessors to pass judgement on the merit of artistic endeavour nationwide. The FA has noticed that all the mascots at last night’s England-Croatia tie happened to be white (cue selection policy review) and Arsenal have noticed that they have not sold all the flats at their former Highbury home, putting a hole in the development’s, and the club’s, budget. In a bid to help motor racing catch up with rugby union Nelson Piquet reveals that he was ordered to crash his Renault deliberately last season to help Fernando Alonso win a race.

Friday 11 September
South African athletics officials attempt to defuse the Caster Semanya gender furore by threatening a “third world war” over the issue. IOC chief, Jack Rogge, says that such cases “preferably should be handled discreetly”, acknowledging the impact of such publicity on the athlete. Titian’s Diana and Actaeon, described by Nicholas Penny as one of the National Gallery’s six most important acquisitions, goes on show. Durham win cricket's county championship for the second year on the trot.

Saturday 12 September
Wiggo is back in the UK for the Tour of Britain and declares himself in top form having only spent a couple of weeks on the pop after the Tour de France rather than the couple of years after his first Olympic victory. Another brick is knocked off the cultural chimney with the news that ministers are to approve product placement within television programmes. Ten Warhol originals are stolen from a private collection in Los Angeles. Dean Richards says that the Harlequins blood scandal was the tip of a claret-coloured iceberg in professional rugby.

Sunday 13 September
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has been accused of destroying woodland in their efforts to protect birds. The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health says the density of students in many UK university towns creates unpleasant environments for the rest of us. The BBC, seemingly under pressure on all fronts, says it might consider selling BBC Worldwide. Judi Dench is working on a scheme that could see a replica of the Rose theatre, which originally stood near Shakespeare’s Globe in London, built in the north of England; she was given the theatre set from the film Shakespeare in Love and she still has the timbers in her garage. Kim Clijsters claims the comeback of the year award with her win in the US Open, while British tennis player Heather Watson wins the junior title. The National Trust annual report for 2008/09 shows a 19% drop in profits from commercial activities; it’s the rain, you know. The government is putting £680,000 into inner-city sport through the StreetGames initiative.

Monday 14 September
The New Local Government Network launches proposals for allotments on under-used private land, a scheme titled, perhaps inevitably, Dig for Victory. An enquiry begins in Russia to find out what has happened to much of the money supposed to have been spent on the long-delayed restoration of the Bolshoi theatre. Employees of the Rugby Football Union are reported to be upset by an overtime ban instigated as part of a £5 million cost-saving initiative. Similar disgruntlement at the Football Association where their 540-odd employees have had to up sticks from Soho Square for their new offices at Wembley. Roger ‘Roger’ Draper heaps praise on Heather Watson’s work ethic but he fails to mention that this was likely to have been instilled in Florida, where she lives and trains, rather than Roehampton. Nick Bollietieri, who oversees Watson’s training, says that he is hoping coaches from the LTA will visit Florida to see what they are up to. Keith Floyd, the original TV chef, and Patrick Swayze, the original Lord Patrick of Swayze, take their leave, aged 65 and 57 respectively.

Tuesday 15 September
Eddie Izzard completes a journey of 1,100 miles on foot in 52 days as part of an attempt to raise money for Sport Relief and get people engaged in the Olympics. Another Dan Brown blockbuster novel is released to the world. Another new book, Where Men Win Glory, explains how Pat Tilman, the celebrated gridiron footballer who joined the US military after 9/11 and was subsequently killed in action, had come to regard the invasion of Iraq as “an imperial folly”. Mayor Boris is in New York and says he is refusing to “crow about the triumph of Billy Elliot in the Tony awards… [and] our success at winning the Olympic Games”. Apparently New York authorities are considering banning smoking in public parks, while Lotus could be back on the formula one grid next year. A KPMG investigation suggests that there is a £160 million hole in the London Assembly’s Olympic legacy budget; “breathtaking incompetence” is mentioned.

Wednesday 16 September
The Toronto film festival is immersed in a pro/anti-Israeli argument as the Jewish state tries to improve its overseas image. Sir Michael Lyons, chair of the BBC Trust, gets into an argument with culture secretary, Ben Bradshaw, over the licence fee at the Royal Television Society’s conference in Cambridge. Allegations from South Africa that the local police are looking to apartheid-era policing techniques for the FIFA world cup; shoot to kill here we come. Bob Dylan is to be the subjective of a retrospective of his paintings next autumn at the National Gallery of Denmark. Ireland’s minister for sport, tourism and the arts apologises for his taste for €900 hotel rooms and on-call limousine services as part of his €500,000 expenses bill between 2002 and 2007. A theme park in Orlando, Florida will soon be home to a Harry Potter ride. Renault are not even going to bother denying that they cheated and Andrew Flintoff turns down a central contract; “He may do bungee-jumping,” says his agent, Chubby Chandler (always bad news when your agent has a better nickname than you).

Thursday 17 September
Lord Browne, chair of the Tate, is confident that the planned expansion of Tate Modern will go ahead even though there are question marks over much of the funding. A second children’s farm has closed in Sussex following fears of an E coli outbreak. Edvald Boasson Hagen wins his fourth stage of the Tour of Britain in a row.

Friday 18 September
Strictly Come Dancing finally gets going after months of off-field moaning. Another children’s farm closure, now in Nottingham. Mayor Boris is arguing with LOCOG and the British Olympic Association about the 2012 shooting venue; moving it to Barking would save £20 million, says Boz. German sports brands Adidas and Puma, each founded by one of the notoriously antagonistic Dassler brothers, officially end their corporate enmity with a hand shake between the founders and a football game between staff. The latest excerpt from the Flintoff Files suggests that he could be moving to Dubai to save some tax (so proud to play for England as long as he doesn’t have to contribute any of his hard-earned) and may coach the UAE national team (coaching qualifications all sorted, presumably).

Saturday 19 September
Outrage at London Fashion Week as designer Mark Fast used models who have eaten in the past week to show off his new collection. Anish Kapoor’s new sculpture, Tall Tree and the Eye, is now a fixture of the Royal Academy of Arts courtyard; an exhibition of his work opens on Tuesday. Construction consultancy McBains Cooper says that using listing buildings, 20,000 of which are currently empty, could ease the housing shortage. London Open House weekend kicks off as 700 buildings that are usually closed to the pubic open their doors.

Sunday 20 September
A Renaissance masterpiece by Mazzolino is discovered after spending sixty years in a packing case in Dorchester. David Hockney is upset that he cannot smoke where he wants to anymore and Mayor Boris says “we need to be very cautious” before we change the law to presume motorists’ responsibility in accidents with cyclists (a similar arrangement in Holland has made cycling one of the most popular forms of transport). Leonard Chuene, president of Athletics South Africa, admits that he lied about gender tests for Caster Semenya. Hotel room rates in London are finally falling, down £10 on the 2008 average; prices in the UK as a whole dropped 8.1% in 2009. Nottingham Forest are planning a new stadium that could become a “Wembley for women”.

Monday 21 September
A big turn out at Durham cathedral for Sir Bobby Robson’s memorial service. Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov are in Madrid to rekindle their legendary chess rivalry. Boris cannot shut up: now he’s saying that national museums should be a bit more heavy handed about asking for donations when they promote free entry. The BBC’s Little Dorrit wins seven awards at the Emmys in Hollywood. Flavio Briatore is banned from involvement in formula one for life, leaving him plenty of time to continue picking the team at QPR.

Tuesday 22 September
Glyndebourne, the Royal Opera House and Shakespeare’s Globe are all signed up to Opus Arte, the company that distributes live performances via cinemas; King’s College, Cambridge and Teatro Real in Madrid are also on board. The National Theatre reports its highest attendances for seven years; they reached 93% capacity in 2008-09 with 817,000 paying guests. But tears elsewhere in the capital as Chas and Dave announce that they are to split.

Wednesday 23 September
The Crucible in Sheffield will open after a £15 million refurb in February with Sir Antony Sher starring in some Ibsen. The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology says that thousands of miles of hedgerow has been lost in England in the past decade. A red mist descends on Sydney, a result of a dust storm coming in from the red centre. Delhi’s drivers have been warned to “change their mindsets” before the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Gerry Sutcliffe, who is still the sports minister, tells the Football Association that it should implement the Burns Report, published four years ago, or face withdrawal of £25 million in government support.

Thursday 24 September
A senior official in the Foreign Office, Rowan Laxton, is facing disciplinary action after a shouted anti-Israeli outburst directed at the TV in the gym where he was working out. A bronze statue standing 49m in height is the focus of much debate in Dakar, Senegal; some think that the £17 million spent on this supposed symbol of African renaissance could have been better directed. Lily Allen drops her campaign against online piracy, saying that the abuse was getting too much to take. Arsene Wenger says he owes his success to growing up above a pub: “You get a practical psychological education.”

Friday 25 September
No cuts to the £7.9 million civil list will be part of any public spending plans because the legislation covering royal finances, passed in 1972, only allows for increases not decreases. Robin van Persie stands himself on the head of a pin with his explanation of the difference between diving, which he does not practise, and “showing the referee when you have been pushed”, which he does. Meanwhile, UEFA is investigating a total of 40 games as part of a match-fixing inquiry.

Saturday 26 September
A Tory government would put a new focus on the nation’s built heritage, says Tory Jeremy Hunt. Film auteur and jailbird Roman Polanski is arrested in Switzerland, from where he may be extradited to the US. Plans by Southampton’s council to sell off a Rodin and a Munnings from its art collection to fund a new museum and gallery have been put on hold after intervention by Tate Britain and the Museums Association.

Sunday 27 September
A study by the Academy of Medical Sciences says that Britain’s ageing population is staying fitter for longer. Only a month after the event West Ham and Millwall are to be charged by the FA with failing to ensure that their supporters refrained from racist behaviour during a tie in the Drink Proper Beer Cup. On a roll now, the FA also announce that a women’s super league will be launched in the summer of 2011, only a short while after cancelling the original start date and a shorter while since all the top British players decamped to the US league. Cadel Evans, the punchiest of Aussie battlers on a bike, wins the world cycling road race title. Strewth.

Monday 28 September
Researchers from France complete an exhaustive scientific study that reveals that the bubbles in champagne have a significant impact on the taste and aroma of the wine; glad we’ve got that sorted. The Society of Chief Librarians announces that readers can now use their library cards to register at any library they might be visiting, regardless of where they live. Barak will be going to the IOC ball as part of Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympics; legacy and a compact Games are key aspects of the city’s bid. Arsenal’s accounts show that their turnover for 2008/09 was £313 million, the biggest annual turnover recorded by any British football club. Holland will be playing in the England and Wales domestic one-day cricket competitions next season.

Tuesday 29 September
It seems JK Rowling, the author who has arguably done more to promote literacy among young people than anyone since Janet and John, was refused the presidential medal of freedom by George Bush because his administration thought it might be construed as an endorsement of witchcraft. Hugh Jackman, working on stage in New York, is the latest actor to get upset when the fourth wall is broken by a mobile phone in the auditorium. The mystery over who actually owns Leeds Utd continues; now Ken Bates admits it isn’t him, having previously said it was. LOCOG, UK Sport and the British Olympic Association are relieved to announce that Visa is signed up as the main ‘presenting partner’ for the Team 2012 programme.

Wednesday 30 September
Michael Boyd, artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, says that the ‘theatre in cinema’ presentations are great but nothing like actually going to the theatre. British archaeologists have uncovered an amphitheatre near Rome’s ancient port. Pop Life opens at Tate Modern, an exploration of art and commerce, but a photographic work by American artist Richard Prince, Spiritual America, which features an image of the 10-year-old Brooke Shields, has been removed on the advice of the Metropolitan police obscene publications unit. The American Library Association publishes a list of the books that individuals or organisations have tried to have banned in the US; Philip Pullman’s works are at the top of the tree. Michael Owen is injured; who would have thought that was going to happen? Paul Deighton, chief executive of LOCOG, unveils UPS as the 22nd sponsor for London 2012 and predicts that the London organisers will reach the top end of their £600m to £700m sponsorship target. Toni Minichiello, who coaches Jessica Ennis, is confirmed as the UK Athletics national coach for combined events.



the world of leisure
September 2009

Tuesday 1 September:
An American report, Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity, says that the US government should introduce a tax on high-fat food and high-sugar drinks.




Wednesday 2 September:
Peter Hargreaves, chief exec of Hargreaves Lansdown, trousers an £11 million bonus and says that he won’t now be leaving Britain, even though he had said he would after the introduction of a 50% tax band.





Sunday 6 September:
England reach the final of the women’s European Championship, beating Holland in extra time; book Trafalgar Square just in case..

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