Saturday 1 October
A food charity says that there has been a sharp rise in the numbers of people in the UK unable to afford to feed themselves. The scorching weather continues, with seaside resorts doing record business for this time of year. Zaha Hadid’s design for the Evelyn Grace academy in Brixton, a school with a running track as its focal point, wins the Stirling Prize. It seems that film-makers from around the world are queuing up to film in the UK, with Pinewood Studios currently chocabloc with runners, dollies and best boys.

Sunday 2 October
Sales of UK-made television programmes equated to £1.4 billion in 2010. More feet in mouth for the England rugby squad; this time it’s three players making lewd comments to a member of staff at their hotel, for which the three have since apologised. Lord Forte’s art collection is to be a Lowry lighter but an expected £6 million richer after a bit of auction action next month. Stoke hosts the second British Ceramics Biennial to remind the world that it still makes things of the highest quality. In Paris the Velib bicycle is joined on the streets by Autolib, a pay-as-you-go electric car. The Danish government introduces a “fat tax” on foods with high levels of saturated fats; revenue raised has been ringfenced for anti-obesity initiatives.

Monday 3 October
Organisers of London 2012 reveal the track in the Olympic stadium; it’s an Italian-made Mondo and a traditional red colour. At the British Museum Grayson Perry opens an exhibition titled The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman comprising a mix of works from the BM collection and his own pieces. The National Theatre's latest accounts show that the success of the play War Horse has balanced the £3 million of cuts to its grants. In Spain it seems there are concerns regarding the growing number of expensive museum projects that are rapidly turning into a herd of white elephants; a €44 million Guggenheim gallery in Aviles designed by Oscar Neimeyer has been closed just six months after it opened. Back in the UK it seems Chelsea might be considering a move, having taken steps to buy the freehold of Stamford Bridge from the company founded to safeguard the ground after unhappy experiences with property developers in the past. Ed Warner, chairman of UK Athletics, says it will be a big blow to the sport if London fails to win the bid to host the 2017 world athletics championships.

Tuesday 4 October

David Cameron’s people tell the press that his speech tomorrow to the Tory party conference will advise everyone to pay off their credit cards in the name of national unity. Karen Murphy, a Portsmouth publican, wins her case at the European court of justice regarding her right to show Premier League matches with a subscription to a Greek satellite broadcaster. The Fitzwilliam in Cambridge has managed to borrow Vermeer’s The Lacemaker from the Louvre for its exhibition Vermeer’s Women: Secrets and Silence. At Lord’s the archery test event kicks off (or whatever the bow-based equivalent might be) for a four-day exhibition of steady hands. Manchester City have bought the naming rights to their stadium from the city council for £2 million a year and also plan to build a training complex right next to the ground. Cycling and netball have been awarded million-pound funding pots in light of their success at raising participation numbers. The IAAF is happy that the London Olympic stadium will retain its athletics track. In Hawaii surfing is to become an official high school sport.

Wednesday 5 October
Ah. David Cameron doesn’t tell us all to pay off our credit cards because someone with O level economics pointed out at the last minute that this would in fact have a very serious negative impact on our already shot-to-pieces economy; JM Keynes referred to it as the “paradox of thrift” whereby individuals saving cuts demand. Instead the PM tells us all to “show some fight” as we face the consequences of a banking-led and government-indulged economic catastrophe. Birmingham central library and Preston’s bus station, both unloved examples of brutalist architecture, have been included on a list of the world’s endangered treasures. The BBC is reported to be planning to leave its White City site in west London. Steve Jobs, the man who ran Apple, dies at the age of 56. Renowned guitarist Bert Jansch dies at the age of 67. Graham Dilley, former England fast bowler, dies at the age of 52.

Thursday 6 October
Sir Mervyn King, governor (sic) of the Bank of England, says that the UK is in the midst of the world’s worst-ever financial crisis. Popster Rihanna takes the tube to her gig at the O2 in London and a gastropub in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, the Hand and Flowers, wins two Michelin stars. Wayne Rooney Snr (the boy Rooney’s dad) is arrested over a betting scam involving a sending off in a Scottish football game. Swedish poet Tomas Stranstromer wins the Nobel prize for literature. The court of arbitration for sport rules that LaShawn Merrit, the American athlete who has served a two-year drugs ban, cannot be prevented from competing at the Olympic Games, having already served his ban; the British Olympic Association says it will defend its position of banning any dopers from wearing a British vest.

Friday 7 October
No noticeable impact on Wayne Rooney’s demeanour while playing for England following his father’s arrest; he’s sent off again for kicking an opponent. The V&A’s next big show will showcase seven decades of British design from the 1948 London Olympics to the 2012 London Olympics. Some added risk in the Royal Parks as the stags rut and the public occasionally gets a bit too close.

Saturday 8 October
The number of people aged 18 to 24 not in education and without a job in the UK is set to pass one million. It seems that staff at the National Gallery are considering strike action. in the rugby World Cup Wales beat France to reach the semi-finals and England limp out to the joy of almost everyone. The British boxing team wins four medals at the boxing world championships.

Sunday 9 October
The 2012 Cultural Olympiad is to include a project called New Music 20x12, with twenty 12-minute pieces of music of a range of genres. Brazilian businessman Bernardo Paz is working towards his dream: the ultimate destination for lovers of contemporary art, an artistic equivalent of Disneyland, if you will. In New Zealand the England rugby team, now freed from the concerns of competition, go out on the lash again, leaving Tuilagi floating in the harbour. In Tokyo Andy Murray wins his second tournament in as many weeks, throwing the doubles title in as well in the company of his brother. Wigan RFC appoint Shaun Wane as coach. Paul ‘Sir Macca’ McCartney gets married again.

Monday 10 October
The Institute for Fiscal Studies reckons that the number of children in poverty will rise by 500,000 to 3 million by 2015. Tate Modern unveils Tacita Dean’s Film, the latest work to fill the Turbine Hall, to general acclaim. The England rugby team arrives at Heathrow and, under a misapprehension that there was a crowd to greet them, left by the back door. The GB women’s gymnastics team qualify for the 2012 Olympics at the world championships in Tokyo; the British men miss out but will have another chance. Meeting in New Zealand, the International Rugby Board agrees to cover the losses of every nation taking part in the next World Cup.

Tuesday 11 October
A British couple wins £101 million on the Eurolottery and don’t even make the top 700 of wealthiest Britons. Meanwhile, it seems HMRC let Goldman Sachs off a £10 million tax bill when the company’s attempt at tax avoidance went wrong; it was a “cock-up” by HMRC, admit HMRC insiders. Islington council is to put on display the defaced library book covers that Joe Orton and Kenneth Halliwell slipped onto the borough’s library shelves in the early 1960s; both served six-month sentences for the rather elegant but provocative collages. All change at the Olympic Park Legacy Company: the Olympic Stadium will now not be sold to West Ham but instead an annual lease arrangement will be effected. Liverpool FC wants to negotiate its own television deals and is prepared to challenge the Premier League so to do. Surprise surprise: Mark Cavendish is unveiled as one of the new members of the British Cycling professional cycling squad; his long-term oppo Bernie Eisel is also added to the roster.

Wednesday 12 October
It seems that the Blackberry system is down and the world shifts slightly on its axis (perhaps ‘access’). A European survey reckons that Britain is among the happiest of nations, with Britons rating their lives seven out of ten; it notes we spend an average of only two minutes a day volunteering. Jarvis is to be an editor-at-large for publishers Faber & Faber. Art Review magazine reckons that Ai Weiwei is the most powerful figure in the art world, a world that gives us the Frieze art fair, a big tent in Hyde Park to which the super-rich come to spend lots of money on art works. A Nepali environmental group says that there should be toilets on Everest. The UK government has tells the FA that it has until February to sort itself out otherwise there will be legislation. Manchester United and Chelsea say they do not want to be part of Liverpool’s television rights revolution.

Thursday 13 October
The Department of Health’s new anti-obesity initiative, a “national ambition” which seems largely to equate to an exercise in stating the bleeding obvious, is derided by health campaigners. The courts find that Brent council is not breaking the law by closing half of its libraries. Prince Charles is taking an official artist as part of his retinue travelling to Africa. Germany celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Ampelmännchen, the former East Germany’s funky little pedestrian crossing green man which continues to spread across the united nation. Eager to ensure that the England football team begin the process of underperforming months in advance, Wayne Rooney is banned from the first three games of next year’s European championships.

Friday 14 October
Michael Boyd and Vikki Heywood, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s artistic director and executive director respectively, announce that they will both be stepping down by the end of 2012. The Lowry in Salford opens an exhibition of the work of Adolphe Valette, the Manchester-based Frenchman; known as the Manchester Impressionist, he taught and inspired LS Lowry. Danish design practice Bystrup wins the National Grid’s competition to devise a new electricity pylon. English rugby clubs issue a collective apology to New Zealand for how the England team has gone about playing rugby during the World Cup.

Saturday 15 October
Heartbreak for Wales, losing by a solitary point to France in the rugby World Cup semi-final; cue minute dissection of the rules of tackling and body weight transfer. A Redditch United player punches the referee during a match against Chesham United, prompting the referee to abandon the game and Redditch to cancel the player’s registration – his name is Josh McKenzie – “within minutes”. Betty Driver, actor and the queen of Coronation Street, dies at the age of 91.

Sunday 16 October
One of London’s premier tourist attractions, St Paul’s Cathedral, becomes the focal point for the Occupy London protest group. Andrew Motion says that the Man Booker prize judges have done literature a disservice by emphasising ‘readability’ for its short list. Research suggests that the impact of public sector spending cuts is having a profound effect upon the northern half of the nation. Andy Murray wins his third tournament in a row and is now world number three, just ahead of one Mr R Federer. In Washington the first statue of a person other than a president on the Mall depicts Martin Luther King. In Las Vegas British racing driver Dan Wheldon is killed in a crash during the Las Vegas Indy 300.

Monday 17 October
The home secretary (we’re not making this up: it’s Theresa May) tells parliament that she will ensure full disclosure of official documents relating to the Hillsborough disaster. Lord Sugar says that an “expectancy culture” and the “goody-goody benefits system” has made it too “cushy for people”; he then may well have paused to sign the House of Lords register to qualify for his three-figure daily allowance, which is granted for mere attendance. Meanwhile in Brent protestors try to prevent library closures. Fauja Singh, a 100-year-old from Ilford, becomes the oldest marathon runner. Trouble in Cowell-coloured paradise as the X Factor ratings slip, while the latest announcement of lottery funding from UK Athletics sees Kelly Sotherton and Mark Lewis-Francis among those whose grant aid has been reduced in line with the likelihood of winning medals.

Tuesday 18 October
Julian Barnes wins the Booker prize with The Sense of an Ending. Thank God there’s no plan B or we’d be in trouble; inflation is at a three-year high and household spending has, to the surprise of no one not educated at Oxford, declined. The earth of the Ardnamurchan peninsula in the Scottish highlands has finally given up a Viking chieftain’s burial ship, to the delight of archaeologists. In Manchester tears of joy mix with the usual precipitation as the Stone Roses announce they’re back together for a couple of gigs and some new material; age, it seems, has withered them a bit but they’re still proper lippy. English Heritage offers a list of the most endangered examples of industrial heritage, including, to the surprise of no one who remembers Thatcher tottering over the site in the 1980s, Battersea power station, which still stands derelict.

Wednesday 19 October
The Advertising Standards Authority confirms that Manchester’s Hallé Concert Society is not accurate in claiming to be the UK’s longest-established professional symphony orchestra; the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic is, it seems, 18 years older. The Ashmolean is getting ready to unveil a new Egypt gallery and the Little Baron backs the latest plan for the Olympic stadium, saying, “It’s very important that we maintain a commitment to an Olympic legacy.” Nabila Fanfuka, a 22-year-old student of leisure and tourism, is killed in a crush at a nightclub in Northampton.

Thursday 20 October
The Welsh Assembly seems likely to be the first part of the union to ban the smacking of children. The Turner Prize exhibition opens at the Baltic Centre in Gateshead, the first time the Turner has ventured outside London. Banned from playing in the European championships for violent conduct? Play for Great Britain in the Olympic football tournament; this seems to be the message from the FA to one Mr W Rooney Jnr. FIFA reveals the 12 cities that will host World Cup games in Brazil in 2014 but the event is overshadowed by the inconvenient light shining into the dark and corrupt corners of the Brazilian football authorities.

Friday 21 October
Now the dean of St Paul’s is saying that the cathedral will have to close to the public for the first time since the war because the front door is being blocked by the Occupy the City protestors; someone might like to mention that Sir Christopher Wren anticipated such an occasion and put a few other doorways into his design. The Stone Roses sell out three dates scheduled for Heaton Park next year in 14 minutes. BBC1 has commissioned its first Asian sitcom, which will appear next year under the title of Citizen Khan. Holding your breath? Sepp Blatter sets out a “road map” for reform and transparency within the FIFA structure. Meanwhile Arsene Wenger says the Olympic will “make life impossible” for Premier League clubs and that the Olympic football tournament is “not a real football tournament”. At the European track cycling championships the British team win three golds on the first day.

Saturday 22 October
Authors including Julia Donaldson and Philip Pullman join those protesting in Brent against the closure of libraries. Prepare for all things Viking to take hold: a raft of films, television series and a British Museum exhibition is on its way. Prepare also for a fight over Burlington Arcade, an indoor parade of shops in London dating from the Regency that has been bought by developers who oh so predictably want to get rid of all the small traders and replace them with the global superbrands. “Cycling is the new golf,” says the chief exec of online bike shop, Wiggle; the London School of Economics also reckons that cycling contributed £3 billion to the UK economy in 2010, with sales of bikes that year up 28% on the previous year. Back on Planet Football, Mario Ballotelli, Manchester City’s very own master of the bizarre, manages to set his house on fire with fireworks. Elsewhere 45-year-old Steve Claridge, a player for whom the “more clubs than Jack Nicklaus” tag might have been coined, scores on his debut for Gosport Borough. On Planet Rugby it seems Wales coach Shaun Edwards is out of contract as soon as he gets back to the UK.

Sunday 23 October
St Paul’s is considering an injunction against its new neighbours. Meanwhile Laura Marling plays a gig at York Minster. Ho hum: Paul Walsh, chief exec of booze purveyors Diageo, is the latest member of the superrich to say senior people just don’t want to pay tax at the rate of 50% and will stay away from Britain as a result. Quote of the week: “Simon Cowell is just Hughie Green in big trousers”, courtesy of scriptwriter Tony Jordan. Manchester City beat Manchester United 6-1 at Old Trafford. The All Blacks win the World Cup, squeaking past France in the final by a single point. Wales are suddenly very keen to keep hold of Shaun Edwards as their coach and at the end of the European track championships British riders have won seven of the ten Olympic disciplines.

Monday 24 October
A sketch – a short performance piece – written by Harold Pinter in the 1960s for a stage review has been discovered. The Institute for Fiscal Studies reckons government spending on education will fall by just over 14% over the next five years. Meanwhile applications to universities are down 12%. The second World Book Night on 23 April next year will be marked in the UK by the distribution of one million free books across the country; 25 different titles will be given away by volunteers. The Victoria and Albert Museum opens a new gallery dedicated to its unrivalled collection of photography. The Tax Justice Network has calculated that the ground-breaking tax deal done by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs with the Swiss authorities will generate around £1 billion, not the £5 billion that HMRC has claimed. Sven Goran Eriksson has been sacked again, this time by Leicester City and, unbelievable as it may seem, Mario Balotelli is actually the face of a fireworks safety campaign. Luke Donald wins the last US tournament of the year, shooting a last-round 64 in the process, to head the money-winner’s list in the US and Europe, the first player so to do.

Tuesday 25 October
China is to limit the number of “entertainment” programmes on television in favour of “harmonious, health and mainstream programmes”. Back in London, the Bishop of London says that the anti-banking protestors should now leave the environs of St Paul’s. Brighton seafront has acquired its own 46-metre Ferris wheel and the FA is to investigate a claim that John Terry made racist comments during Chelsea’s defeat at QPR. In India England are whitewashed in the five-match series of the 50-over version of hit-and-giggle cricket. In Wales Gareth Thomas retires from professional rugby, while in America Bernie is in talks to add a New Jersey grand prix to the Formula One schedule, a list of events that already includes a race in Texas next year.

Wednesday 26 October
It seems St Paul’s will reopen one of its several doors to the praying and paying public despite the continuing presence of protestors in the yard. A graph of the government’s total spending of £691 billion shows that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport accounts for £7 billion of it, with community health under the auspices of the NHS weighing in with £8.4 billion. In New York the Metropolitan Museum of Art reopens its Islamic galleries following a major refurb and a ten-year wait since 9/11. Britain’s biggest nightclub company, Luminar, is calling in the receivers, putting 2,700 jobs at risk.

Thursday 27 October
Still at St Paul’s, someone who isn’t: the canon chancellor of the cathedral, Giles Fraser, who has resigned over plans to call in the police to clear protestors. Tate Britain says next spring will see an exhibition to illustrate the influence of Picasso on British artists. French chanteur Jonny Hallyday is scheduled to perform in the UK for the first time in his long career. In Moscow the Bolshoi reopens following a major restoration of the building, returning it to its 19th-century splendour. On Planet Football the PFA says that Manchester City cannot fine Mr Tevez more than two weeks’ wages; the club wants to make it four, which equates to something around the million-pound mark.

Friday 28 October
A government-commissioned enquiry is proposing extensive state funding for political parties, which could amount to £100 million over a five-year parliament, balanced by severe caps on private donations. The prime minister is to revive the British Empire Medal as part of the ‘big society’ initiative (some say ‘charade’), although there will be no royal investiture for recipients. Clocks back this weekend but strong suggestions that next year will see the start of an experimental period of double British summer time.

Saturday 29 October
Changes to tax regulations could see tax breaks on second homes removed, bringing some additional revenue to local authorities. It seems that the Church of England’s buildings are finding new revenue streams in the hosting of gigs, filming  and fashion shows. Jimmy Savile, broadcasting legend, entertainment maverick and Yorkshireman, dies at the age of 84.

Sunday 30 October
One hundred economists write to The Observer to tell the chancellor that he needs to change course to save the British economy. HMV is likely to sell more headphones than CDs this year and India’s first Formula One grand prix is deemed a success.

Monday 31 October
The dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, Graeme Knowles, resigns following widespread criticism of the cathedral’s reaction to the Occupy the Stock Exchange protest on his doorstep. Who’d have thought it: an album of unreleased material recorded by Any Winehouse will shortly be in the shops. Wales bans unsupervised sunbeds and the General Medical Council tells GPs that they must do more to help long-term patients return to work. The Southbank Centre in London will be hosting a Festival of the World to complement the London 2012 cultural Olympiad. Meanwhile, Austria is to update the lyrics of its national anthem to make them rather more gender-aware.


the world of leisure
October 2011

Wednesday 5 October:
"Ah. David Cameron doesn’t tell us all to pay off our credit cards because someone with O level economics pointed out at the last minute that this would in fact have a very serious negative impact on our already shot-to-pieces economy; JM Keynes referred to it as the “paradox of thrift” whereby individuals saving cuts demand. Instead the PM tells us all to “show some fight” as we face the consequences of a banking-led and government-indulged economic catastrophe."

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