Friday 1 July
Andy Murray goes out of Wimbledon in the semi-finals, having been a set up against Nadal. More controversy over the post-2012 future of the Olympic stadium as an employee of the Olympic Park Legacy Company is suspended for having been paid by West Ham as an adviser. In Australia they are going to put an ice rink on Bondi beach as part of the winter festival.

Saturday 2 July
Criticism of the government’s enterprise finance guarantee scheme, set up to back, among other things, musicians and new bands, which has made only two music-sector loans in two years. Petra Kvitova wins the women’s title at Wimbledon and Britain’s next great tennis hope, Liam Broady, loses the boys’ final after being a set and a break up. The Tour de France rolls off with the British Cycling team hoping for better things after last year’s chastening debut.

Sunday 3 July
Novak Djokovic wins the Wimbledon men’s title. Nicholas Kent is to stand down as director of the Tricycle Theatre in London, a move he attributes to the impact of funding cuts on the theatre’s budget. A study by the University of Worcester suggests that parents consistently overestimate the amount of physical activity taken by their children. Lee Hall’s new opera project, Beached, is cancelled following a dispute among the organisations involved over a reference to one of the character’s sexuality. West Ham reckons it is going to sue Tottenham Hotspur over allegations of bribery.

Monday 4 July
Oh good: London’s acquired a statue of President Reagan. Meanwhile the Common’s defence committee reveals that the Ministry of Defence has mislaid – mislaid – assets worth an estimated £6.3 billion – billion. Protesters set up camp outside the Greenwich Park Olympic site which is preparing to host its first test event. Another volte face by the Mecca bingo group sees chief executive, Ian Burke, rejoin the company a few days after resigning. Peter Ridsdale is reported to have bought Plymouth Argyle for a pound. The Commons culture, media and sport committee issues a report that is highly critical of FIFA and FIFA’s response to the FA’s allegations of corruption.

Tuesday 5 July
The Met is to put 12,000 officers a day on duty during the Olympics. England’s women’s football team reaches the quarter-finals of the world cup. Artist Cy Twombly dies in Rome at the age of 83.

Wednesday 6 July
It’s all got a bit sticky for culture secretary Jeremy ‘Berkshire’ Hunt with an explosion of the News International phone hacking scandal and calls for the delay of the BSkyB takeover by Murdoch’s Sky. Harry Potter fans begin to clog up Leicester Square in advance of tomorrow’s premier of the final HP film offering. Heston Blumenthal says that some 30,000 people a day contact the Fat Duck in hope of a reservation. Riders using the Olympic equestrian venue in Greenwich Park are critical of its rather “dead” feel. Mark Cavendish wins his 16th stage of the Tour, taking the fifth stage of this year’s race. PyeongChang in South Korea will host the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Thursday 7 July
Four schools and one sixth-form college sent more pupils to Oxbridge over a three-year period than 2,000 other schools and colleges combined, according to a recent study. Cyril Macq, secretary of the Cambridge Squash Club, is accused of being part of a plot to murder the King of Spain in 1997. Calls from MPs and others for the BBC to show the England women’s game against France on one of its terrestrial channels. The British Cycling team wins its first ever stage of the Tour de France when Edvald Boasson Hagen takes stage six. The roof of a stand at FC Twente’s ground in Holland collapses, killing one and injuring 16 others.

Friday 8 July
The News of the World is to cease publishing following the apparently unstoppable furore over business and journalistic practices at News International. A partnership of English Heritage, the National Heritage Memorial Fund and local authorities has bought Venta Icenorum, the site of a Roman town in Norfolk. Chute! Bradley Wiggins crashes out of the Tour, breaking his collar bone in an apparently innocuous crash, but down the road Cav takes the stage, making it win number 17 for his palmares. Manchester City are to be paid £400 million over ten years for naming rights of their stadium. The BBC is going to put England’s women’s world cup match on Beeb 2.

Saturday 9 July
The National Museum of Art opens at the National Museum Cardiff. England’s women’s football team goes out of the World Cup on penalties. It seems that problems obtaining visas is dissuading foreign artists from visiting the UK.

Sunday 10 July
From this day hence the nation will have to learn to live without the News of the World; we’ll manage. The Heritage Lottery Fund announces £5 million of grants to a diverse range of projects. It seems that St Just in Cornwall has become one of the focal points of animation following the move of the Spider Eye studio. South Sudan marks its status as the world’s newest sovereign nation with a football game. Hope Powell, manager of the England women’s team, says she was surprised at the cowardice shown by her team when they were asked to take penalties. The GB rowing team wins medals in 10 of the 12 events in the final event of the season’s world cup.

Monday 11 July
Dame Judi Dench is awarded the Praemium Imperiale, Japan’s equivalent of a Nobel prize. Visa reckons that the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics will bring a £750 million increase in consumer spending, but they would say that wouldn’t they. The Rugby Football Union continues its descent into organisational ridicule with the continuing chaos regarding the sacking of John Steele. Qatar says that while it spent a lot of money on winning the World Cup there was no corruption, but they would say that wouldn’t they. Rio de Janeiro is introducing a number of initiatives and schemes to make it the world capital of gay tourism. In Turkey 22 people are arrested as part of a football match-fixing enquiry.

Tuesday 12 July
The BBC has trimmed its wage bill for “talent” by some 4%. A rediscovered work by Leonardo, Salvator Mundi, will be displayed at the National Gallery this autumn. In Northern Ireland the marching season comes to a close with yet more violence. Sir Clive Woodward is to ask all members of the GB Olympic team to sign up to a code of conduct largely based on British Cycling’s approach; tidy rooms will be a vital element of success. A shock in France as Mark Cavendish loses a sprint, while in Moscow the city has, perhaps inevitably, opened its first museum dedicated to sex.

Wednesday 13 July
Rupert Murdoch says that News Corporation will not now be bidding to take full control of BSkyB, something that Secretary Hunt didn’t see coming only a few short weeks ago. Tate Liverpool is looking for a new director following the decision of Christoph Grunenberg to leave his post. Qatar has become the world’s biggest buyer of art. As you were: Cav wins stage 11 in the Tour to take the green jersey.

Thursday 14 July
The Open starts at Royal St George’s, a golf club that does not allow women to be members; the chief executive of the R&A says that the R&A does not have a role to play in “social engineering”. A manuscript of an unfinished Jane Austen novel is sold at auction for £1 million. A statue of Yuri Gagarin is officially unveiled in London. The British Library launches an appeal to raise £9 million so that it can buy Europe’s oldest book, a copy of the gospels that is some 1,300 years old. Olympic Marseille FC says that the city’s reputation for crime is making it difficult for the club to sign new players. Tourism minister John Penrose unveils a plan to target offshore gambling companies operating in the UK for tax revenue.

Friday 15 July
News Corporation is still in meltdown; Rebekah Brooks is the latest victim of the phone hacking scandal to be forced to resign and then arrested. Georgio Armani will be designing the uniforms for the Italian Olympic team and the Queen unveils a memorial to those who worked at Bletchley Park during the second world war. The Premier League reinstates its funding for Supporters Direct [see World of Leisure passim]. The RFU is to stick its continuously befuddled head into the sartorial lion’s mouth by putting England in an all-black strip during the forthcoming rugby World Cup. Lord Coe insists that London must bid for the 2017 athletics world championships despite the problems created by Tottenham’s continuing legal dispute over the Olympic stadium.

Saturday 16 July
Poussin’s Adoration of the Golden Calf, hanging at the National Gallery, is sprayed with paint by an individual who is swiftly arrested. Baroness Neuberger reckons that the House of Lords enquiry into behavioural change will show that the big society will not work. The women’s football World Cup confirms that five members of the North Korean squad have now failed drug tests.

Sunday 17 July
Will the regeneration of east London see historic parts of the capital lost under the weight of corporate branding? Some critics think so. Darren Clarke wins the Open, allowing Graeme McDowell to celebrate the end of a four-week fallow period for Northern Irish golf during which an player from Norn Iron had failed to win a major title.Unite, the UK’s largest trade union, is planning to offer membership at 50p in an effort to establish a rival to the big society. In Lyon authorities have introduced new regulations to combat le binge drinking which is the latest trend among the city’s teenagers. Still in France, Mark Cavendish wins another stage in the Tour. Japan win the women’s World Cup.

Monday 18 July
Of all the revelations tumbling out of the phone hacking scandal and the Chipping Norton set, the news that the prime minister and Rebekah Brooks met for a picnic on 23 December is perhaps the most bizarre. Darren Clarke suggests that the Open should be held in Northern Ireland.

Tuesday 19 July
Jeremy ‘Berkshire’ Hunt writes to governing bodies of sport saying that they will have their funding cut if they do not deliver increased grassroots participation. Other government ministers are preparing to launch a badger cull.  The Olympic Delivery Authority says that the cost of building the London 2012 venues will be £7.25 billion, significantly under budget, and is ahead of schedule. The Institute of Economic Affairs, a free-market thinktank, reckons that the proposed high-speed rail network is “economically flawed”. The British Museum is to host an exhibition of art dedicated to the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. Steve Waugh reckons that Test captains should be subjected to a lie-detector test before matches.

Wednesday 20 July
The Olympic ideal is alive and well as McDonald’s announces that it is to open its biggest restaurant (sic) on the London 2012 site. The Arts Council is going to be one of four organisations able to support the residency applications of potential immigrants with “exceptional talents”. Four of the six buildings on the Stirling Prize short list are sport, leisure and culture sector buildings: the Olympic velodrome, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the Folkwang museum and An Gaelaras. Eddy Boasson Hagen, one of Dave Brailsford’s boys, wins another stage of Le Grand Boucle. Oscar Pistorious, the double amputee athlete, runs the world championships A-standard qualifying time for the 400m; could the Olympics be next? Artist Lucian Freud dies aged 88.

Thursday 21 July
Amid the News International meltdown, the company’s contract with the British Olympic team to be the “official newspaper of Team 2012” is cancelled by the Team GB partner organisations. Still with the Games, the Royal Mail unveils its special Olympic stamps for 2012. Kate Middleton’s wedding dress goes on display at Buckingham Palace, which is to open 19 rooms for its summer visitors; 125,000 advance tickets have been sold already, twice as many as last year. Linford Christie is banned from driving but the case is only notable for the fact that he has a personalised number plate, which reads 100 RUN. Class. To the surprise of no one a poll of voters in New Jersey suggests that Bruce Springsteen would romp to victory in any race for the governor’s mansion he cared to enter.

Friday 22 July
A huge terror attack in Norway, including a multiple shooting at a youth camp, dominates headlines around the world. Claridge’s has appointed David Downtown as its first “fashion artist in residence”. There are now 85,578 people in prison in the UK, a new record. An outbreak of unpleasantness at the Poetry Society sees the board of trustees resign en masse. The war paintings of Mervyn Peake, better known as a novelist, will go on display for the first time at the National Archives Museum at Kew. London’s flashiest hotels are reporting good business as big spenders come to the capital in preference to their habitual Middle East stamping grounds. Eyes down for London 2012: British sprinter Bernice Wilson is suspended from competition after failing a drugs test. British artist Chris Drury’s work, Carbon Sink What Goes Around Comes Around, will not now be displayed at the University of Wyoming, who commissioned it; protests from the local coal industry are to blame. In Germany the Free Body Culture (FKK) movement (naturists to us) is looking for new members as taking one’s clothes off in public is not that popular among the younger generation.

Saturday 23 July
Tracey Ullman is to return to the UK stage to star in a play by Steven Poliakoff about the importance of teachers and the public service ethos. It seems Britons are going mad for camping, particularly at the posher end of the canvas-clad spectrum. Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s final stories are to be published in English for the first time. Cadel Evans wins the final time trial of the Tour de France and with it the yellow jersey, the first Australian so to do. Amy Winehouse dies aged 27.

Sunday 24 July
The National Gallery is to honour its first director, Sir Charles Eastlake, with an exhibition of some of the works he bought. David Beckham says that the FIFA corruption scandal made him feel sick and Lord Moynihan, chairman of the British Olympic Association, calls for the government to make leisure a statutory service for local authorities. Something of a diem mirabilis for British sport: Cav wins the Tour’s green jersey, the first Brit so to do; Lewis Hamilton wins the German grand prix; Amir Khan wins the WBA and IBF light-welterweight world titles; and England take control of the first Test against India. Meanwhile, David Beckham says he doesn’t fancy coaching.

Monday 25 July
Plan B anyone? Figures from the Office for National Statistics show the UK economy flat lining in terms of growth. The same organisation is piloting a survey of national wellbeing, which could allow ministers to make policy decisions on the basis of a “social cost-benefit analysis”.  IOC chief Jacques Rogge says London’s progress towards lighting the Olympic flame is the best he has seen.

Tuesday 26 July
Bramley Baths in Leeds is threatened with closure and the campaign gains the support of the West Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra, who play a floating concert to bemused swimmers. The Arts Council confirms that it is withholding funding from the Poetry Society until it (the Poetry Society) sorts itself out. Plans to “cut red tape” from the planning process prompt the National Trust to issue grave warnings that the UK’s greenfield sites will be under unprecedented threat.

Wednesday 27 July
It’s a year to go until London hosts the Olympic Games; why has no one mentioned it until now? Tom Daley dives into the Olympic pool to mark the occasion. Meanwhile the Little Baron rails against suggestions that recreational drugs may be removed from the banned list. The new National Museum of Scotland, sited in Edinburgh, is unveiled before tomorrow’s official public opening. The Louvre and the National Gallery are to exchange works by Leonardo da Vinci on temporary loan. Could Europe’s top football clubs be working on a breakaway from the control of FIFA? Could anyone really care less?

Thursday 28 July
The Murdoch meltdown just won’t stop; now it seems that the News of the Screws was hacking Sara Payne, one of its own star causes célèbres. Boris marks the first anniversary of the London cycle hire scheme initiated by his mayoral predecessor, Ken Livingstone. Tate Britain has invited Patrick Keiller to fill the vast space of the Turbine Hall in 2012. Overseas trips by UK residents fell 5% in 2010, which followed a 15% decline in 2009.

Friday 29 July
Planning permission has been granted for a public walkway on the top of the Dome in Greenwich. The Commons culture, media and sport committee calls on the FA to reform substantially in order to fulfil its role in the modern game; sports minister Hugh Robertson issues a statement which effectively reads: “Hear, hear.”

Saturday 30 July
England rugby international Mike Tindall marries Zara Phillips, which probably means that Clive Woodward is now somewhere in the line of succession to the throne. Oliver Letwin, who is apparently minister for policy, says that those working in the public sector need the “fear of job loss and real discipline”. A report on the investments made by the UK Film Council shows a mixed bag in terms of financial success; but they did back The King’s Speech, which made oodles. Stuart Broad takes a hat-trick during the second Test against India, putting England back in the game.

Sunday 31 July
Paul Finch, chairman of the Design Council, is pleased with the architectural achievements of the Olympic park and suggests that the best thing about it has been that Prince Charles was not involved. The government and partners alcohol working group now has half its membership made up of drinks industry representatives, which health commentators suggest might be a bit of a conflict of interest. In the second Test against India Ian Bell is reprieved over tea after being run out while wandering off for a sandwich. Frank Lampard gains a PhD in ‘D’uh’ with his comment that England’s football team may well struggle to win the World Cup in Brazil; he thinks the climate and home advantage will do for them but we all know better. The Spanish government has recognised bullfighting “an artistic discipline and cultural product”, which could spell continuing bad news for bulls in Catalonia.


the world of leisure
July 2011

Monday 4 July
Oh good: London’s acquired a statue of President Reagan. Meanwhile the Common’s defence committee reveals that the Ministry of Defence has mislaid – mislaid – assets worth an estimated £6.3 billion – billion.

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