Thursday 1 September
Michael Gove has come up with a solution to redundancies in the armed forces: he wants them to be fast-tracked into the classroom as teachers. The BBC’s new Salford HQ is named as the winner of the Carbuncle Cup, the award for Britain’s ugliest building. Bad news for Madonna’s film-making career: her film W.E. is panned by critics after its showing at the Venice film festival. Selfridges hosts the Museum of Everything – part museum, part artwork – in its basement. At the world athletics championships Dai Greene wins the 400m hurdles while Channel 4’s coverage takes some flak.

Friday 2 September
The prime minister says that there is no similarity between Oxford University’s Bullingdon Club (throwing things in the street, breaking windows of restaurants) and the recent riots (throwing things in the street, breaking windows of shops). Rupert Murdoch receives a £7 million bonus for his year’s work at NewsCorp. Lenny Henry is to appear in The Comedy of Errors at the National Theatre. Edinburgh’s tram may be back on course for the city centre but it is going to cost £1 billion. Playwright David Hare says that politics is now nothing more than people saying hopeful things with their fingers crossed. At the RFU the board demands that the Blackett Report is published and the acting chief executive is to be charged with bringing the game into disrepute, as if such a thing were possible.

Saturday 3 September
Jamie Oliver urges the UN to take action on rising levels of obesity. Usain Bolt wins the 200m at the athletics world championships.

Sunday 4 September
Bill Bryson adds his weight to the protests against proposed changes to the planning regulations and the planning minister (it’s Greg Clark) says that he is “open to suggestions”. A raft of actors urges the government to encourage artistic creativity in schools. Mo Farah wins the 5,000m at the world athletics championships, taking the GB medal tally to seven. At the world rowing championships in Slovenia the GB team wins three Olympic-class golds, making it a very positive event for British rowing.

Monday 5 September
Justice secretary Ken Clarke says that the prison system is failing in its duty to rehabilitate offenders, a failure that contributes to social unrest. UK branches of McDonald’s begin to display calorie values for all items on its menus. What will become of Wenlock and Mandeville now that Pride the cuddly lion has been unveiled as the Team GB mascot for 2012? David Walliams begins his swim down the Thames. In Istanbul restaurants have been told to remove tables from the pavements, allegedly after the Turkish prime minister’s car got stuck in table-crowded streets, and tourism is suffering as a result.

Tuesday 6 September
In Leeds the church is trying to engage with club culture via Beth Tash, a young Anglican minister who is taking on the city’s nightclubs as a parish. One million tickets for Shakespeare plays to be performed during 2012 will go on sale next month. Remember the case of Costas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou, the Greek sprinters who missed a drugs test at the Athens Olympics and were alleged to have staged a road accident to explain their absence? Seven years after Athens 2004 they have been cleared by the Greek courts of faking the crash; but it is worth remembering that it was the third drugs test they had missed that year. Salvatore Licitra, the rising star of the opera world, dies at the age of 43 after a scooter accident in southern Italy.

Wednesday 7 September
Some 127 coastal areas are to be proposed as new nature reserves, to comprise an internationally recognised marine conservation zone. A study by the Medical Research Council has found that Weight Watchers works for those looking to lose weight. The tourism and heritage minister (it’s John Penrose) is consulting on proposals to remove the licensing requirements on pubs and small music venues offering live music. David Walliams is heading down the Thames but is doing so in some gastric discomfort owing to the water quality. The Royal Academy will be displaying seven years of David Hockney’s work next year, including films made by the artist. Jeremy Hunt, the reticent and retiring culture secretary, says he will be suggesting to the International Olympic Committee that the Paralympics is held before the Olympics in future. Fabio Capello says he has been dismayed by evidence of his players’ mental fragility. British Cycling’s Chris Froome wins the seventeenth stage of the Vuelta to secure his second place.

Thursday 8 September
Dear Lord: David Cameron and Boris Johnson play tennis in Trafalgar Square, setting back the LTA’s efforts to shake off the image of the game as one for the feckless upper classes by another generation. The Tate Modern will not have its extension completed, originally scheduled for 2012, until 2016. Having insisted that the 2012 Olympic Games ticketing operation could not have been done any better, the Little Baron says that lessons have been learned for the ticketing of the Paralympians. In Turin Notts County play Juventus to mark the latter’s new stadium; in 1903 County’s donation of a set of shirts set Juve on the black-and-white road to footballing greatness.

Friday 9 September
Several members of the cabinet, including the communities secretary, Eric ‘Inner’ Pickles, and his departmental ministers, have opposed developments in their own constituencies despite backing the new bonfire of the planning regulations. Stuart Rose, former boss of Marks and Sparks, says he would pay more tax to help bail out the nation while shadow culture secretary Ivan Lewis warns his political colleagues that the Labour front bench looks like an urban elite.

Saturday 10 September
At Goodison there is a march by some Everton supporters protesting about the absence of a Scouse billionaire to put the club on what passes in these modern times of professional football as the straight and narrow. Len McCluskey, leader of the Unite union, reckons that strikes and civil disobedience could be the only way to fight the cuts. David Walliams is now rescuing labradors as he swims down the Thames.

Sunday 11 September
The Institute for Fiscal Studies says the chancellor’s austerity measures will cut living standards of families across Britain by 10%, with those on the lowest incomes hardest hit. The British Council announces a series of loans from British to Russian museums as part of a cultural thaw, to be marked by the prime minister’s visit to Moscow this week. The Equalities and Human Rights Commission reckons that people with disabilities in the UK see harassment as inevitable. Horse and door belatedly bolted department: Jeremy ‘Berkshire’ Hunt is to ask the media regulator, Ofcom, to look at how cross-media power might be measured and hence restricted. In Tripoli Libya’s National Museum begins the task of removing the floor of Gadaffi-related ephemera upon which the Great Leader had insisted when opening it 23 years ago. In Scotland the value of Scotch whisky exports have increased by 22% in the first six months of the year. In New Zealand South Africa have reason to be pleased that the use of television replays, sanctioned years ago by the International Rugby Board, had escaped the attention of the referee of their match against Wales; he neglected to use it when a Welsh penalty was erroneously said to have missed the posts, enabling the Boks to win by a single point. In Spain British Cycling’s Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins finish second and third respectively, becoming the first Britons to stand on the podium of one of the grand tours since Robert Millar in 1987; meanwhile the first stage of the Tour of Britain is won by Mark Cavendish, another one out of the Brailsford school of excellence.

Monday 12 September
The chancellor publishes his response to the banking crisis: some less than radical trading restrictions that will have to implemented in eight years’ time. Secretary Hunt says that there will be a £100-million campaign “to set the record straight” for overseas visitors who think the UK is a riot-torn nation of inequality, unemployment and disenchantment; the £100 million will comprise £3 million, taken from the projected underspend on 2012 venues, to boost domestic tourism, £40 million for VisitBritain to target overseas visitors and £60 million from “the private sector”. Kate Bush is to release another album less than six months after the last one. The EU ratifies the extension of artists’ copyright from 50 to 70 years. Professor David Cowan, director of London’s anti-doping laboratory, says London 2012 will be the riskiest yet for dopers, while the FA keeps a straight face defending its policy of keeping secret the names of players who fail drugs test for so-called recreational drugs. It’s a bit windy so the second stage of the Tour of Britain bike race is cancelled and David Walliams completes his swim down the Thames.

Tuesday 13 September
The Westfield Stratford City mall, the biggest urban retail space in Europe and gleaming star of London’s Olympic Park, opens its doors. The government’s pro-family policies might well include shorter school holidays over the summer and a ban on advertising to children should the government decide to implement them. The Roald Dahl estate launches a campaign to raise £500,000 to restore the writer’s writing shed, drawing criticism from some quarters who point to the ongoing flow of publishing royalties from Dahl’s work. Parliament is to debate the release of the Hillsborough papers following 138,000 signatures on an e-petition.

Wednesday 14 September
The TUC envisages the “biggest mobilisation in a generation” that could see three million public sector workers on strike in November. American R&B performer Kelis reckons that she was racially abused by fellow passengers and a UK passport official at Heathrow. The King’s Head Theatre in Islington says, “We’ve got a previously unperformed play by Oscar Wilde” (we’re paraphrasing); “Oh no you haven’t,” says Wilde’s grandson. Water Bonatti, mountaineer and one of Italy’s greatest sporting heroes, dies at the age of 81.

Thursday 15 September
Camra, the Campaign for Real Ale, reckons that a “perfect storm” of supermarket promotions, tax increases and non-existent support for licensees is closing two pubs each day in the UK. After a 77-year wait Lancashire win the county championship. In New Zealand England captain Mike Tindall is the focus of a shocking ‘rugby player goes out on the lash after a match’ story. On Planet Football the FA has promised that any footballers representing Great Britain in the Olympics will stay in the athletes’ village.

Friday 16 September
Edward Whymper, the first man to climb the Matterhorn, is recognised with a blue plaque at his former home in Teddington. Boris Johnson launches London Fashion Week dressed, according to some fashion-literate commenators, as a shed. The London Philharmonic has suspended four musicians who protested against the presence of an Iraeli orchestra at the Proms. It seems that Glasgow is currently very popular with Hollywood film-makers wanting to recreate San Francisco; the hills, the architecture and a helpful local authority make it an attractive venue, if not the weather. The City Varieties music hall in Leeds reopens after a £9-million refurbishment of the Grade I-listed building. In Brussels Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake runs the second-fastest 200m of all time, causing Usain Bolt, who was running in the 100m, to raise both eyebrows.

Saturday 17 September
Lottery winner Charmaine Watson is investing £20,000 in an anti-bullying musical and Zofia Posmysz, an Auschwitz survivor, says that only the opera based on her book, coming to the English National Opera soon, can capture the horror of her experience. Ireland beat Australia in the rugby World Cup.

Sunday 18 September
The Great North Run takes place around Newcastle with 54,000 participants. A new exhibition at the Historic Dockyard will tell the story of how HMS Victory was nearly scrapped in 1903 after it was damaged in a collision with another ship; only the imminent centenary of the Battle of Trafalgar (fought, as we all know, in 1805) saved what was then a rotting hulk. Lars Boom wins the Tour of Britain with Mark Cavendish taking the final stage victory.

Monday 19 September
Feeling the pinch? It seems that the government wasted £500 million on a national IT system for the fire service which was never implemented. Some one million seats for London 2012 will go on sale in the spring, according to LOCOG. The Hunterian Museum in Glasgow has reopened after a two-year refurbishment. Lots of gongs for Brits at the US Emmys television awards, including Downtown Abbey. Legendary horse trainer Ginger McCain dies at the age of 81.

Tuesday 20 September
An exhibition of Lucian Freud portraits, including his last, unfinished work, will open in February next year at the National Portrait Gallery. In Germany it seems that traditional British café cooking – ein fry-up? – is the current thing. Back home the HMRC head of tax, Dave Hartnett, admits that the deals done with large tax avoiders, including Vodafone and Goldman Sachs, were not in the interests of the British tax-payer and cost us billions in lost revenue. Richard Caborn reckons that the London 2012 legacy aspiration is heading for disaster. Bristol City’s plan for a new £92-million stadium is being put on hold by an application by the parish council for the site to become village green. Silver for Emma Pooley in the time trial at the Worlds.

Wednesday 21 September
At the Lib Dem conference Nick Clegg reckons that summer schools will be the solution to rioting tendencies. Blackpool is set to become a natural gas boom town if there is any substance to the claim of a find of a huge gas field in the Irish Sea. REM, the band from Athens, Georgia that took indie mainstream without selling out, announce they are to split after 30 years. The Greenlands Labour Club in Preston holds a cage fighting bout involving eight-year-old boys, causing something of a stir when the footage ends up on YouTube. The National Portrait Gallery opens an exhibition of portraits of comedians. In Sweden day centres are using GPS tags to keep track of children during woodland events. With Barcelona’s last bullfight round the corner, the poster for the event by renowned artist Miquel Barcelo is disappearing from walls all over the city. In New York David Cameron tells an audience of business people that the Olympics will be worth £1 billion to British business. Problems for FIFA who are forced into a swift reversal when it appears that the Olympic football tournament was to be organised by Issa Hayatou, a FIFA official under investigation by the IOC for corruption. Mo Farah says it would be amazing for the UK to host the 2017 athletics world championships and in Copenhagen Bradley Wiggins takes silver in the Worlds time trial. In the Ukraine the 77-year-old winner of a dumpling-eating contest dies shortly after the event.

Thursday 22 September
London’s Tricycle Theatre announces it will be responding to the absence of an official enquiry into the summer riots with a play. Preston City Council says it will be reviewing the licence of the Greenlands Labour Club in light of its junior fight club proclivities. Planning minister Greg Clark says that, yes, he might make a few changes to the proposed planning legislation in light of the huge nationwide opposition to the draft. Facebook is to be an enterainment hub, according to its creator, Mark Zuckerberg.

Friday 23 September
The BBC is planning to phase out pets on Blue Peter as part of an updating of the programme. Nobody panic but the boys and girls at Cern think that they may have found neutrinos travelling faster than the speed of light. Schools commissioner Liz Sidwell reckons that white working-class culture is the hardest culture to change and British cyclist Lucy Garner wins the world junior women’s road race champion in Copenhagen. The IOC says it will investigate allegations that amateur boxing’s world governing body has accepted cash to deliver two gold medals to Azerbaijan at the London Olympics.

Saturday 24 September
The first major exhibition of the work of artist Ford Madox Brown for half a century opens at the Manchester Art Gallery. Climate change could render the climb to the summit of Everest an ice-free challenge, says the Mountain Institute. It seems fewer than one third of state schools have signed up for the government’s ‘school Olympics’.

Sunday 25 September
It seems the cost to Britain of bombing Libya could reach £1.75 billion, somewhat at odds with earlier estimates coming from the government benches [see WoL passim]. The Bodleian in Oxford is to exhibit some of its treasures while it prepares a new gallery for their display. Park Hill in Sheffield, the once-notorious housing development that has been regenerated by Urban Splash, is proving popular with potential tenants ahead of the release of the first flats. Barcelona holds its last bullfight. Mark Cavendish becomes the first winner of the men’s road race world championship since Tommy Simpson in 1965; the British Cycling team has won six medals in total during this year’s Worlds. In Berlin Patrick Makau lowers the men’s marathon world record to 2 hours 3 mins and 38 seconds and American astronomers have calculated the precise time at which the moon would have shone through Mary Shelley’s blinds in Geneva during the night on which she had been challenged by Byron and Shelley to come up with a ghost story: 2am on 16 June.

Monday 26 September
The pig was briefly back over Battersea power station to mark re-releases of the Pink Floyd back catalogue. The six novels on the Man Booker shortlist are selling like no other Booker Prize contenders before, possibly as a result of the judges including ‘readability’ on the list of criteria. The White Cube is planning to open its third gallery, White Cube Bermondsey, shortly, only a stone’s throw from Tate Modern. London 2012 organisers are “very happy” with the ticket sales for the Paralympics. Barcelona players have been moaning about their new Nike shirts; apparently they hold moisture by the pint, making for heavy mantles by the end of a half. And Alex ‘Sir Alex’ Ferguson reckons football has sold its soul to the devil of television to the detriment of the game.

Tuesday 27 September
Gloucestershire and Somerset county councils are in court defending a case following their decision to remove funding from libraries. The chief exec of the New Zealand RFU says the All Blacks cannot afford to play in the World Cup in 2015; they are reckoning on losing nearly £20 million on hosting the current competition. David Croft, writer of Dad’s Army [Surely ‘Dads’ Army’? Ed] and many other celebrated television comedies, dies at the age of 89.

Wednesday 28 September
Bloomsbury, the publishers of Harry Potter, announce a digital imprint to republish some forgotten classics. The UK has been ranked last in some quality of life survey or other. Meanwhile, Natural England has approved the extension of the boundaries of the Yorkshire Dales national park to include a big chunk of Lancashire. In the US Reebok are forced to pay out large chunks of moolah to people who bought their EasyTone shoes, which promised no-effort result in fitness goals; this follows the ban in UK on adverts making similar claims a little while ago. Manchester City suspend Carlos Tevez for refusing to play football, which is a bit of a problem for a footballer paid some quarter of million quid a week to play football. Accompanied by the tell-tale squeaking sound of a bandwagon in motion, the Australians have echoed the Kiwis’ complaints about the cost of playing in the rugby World Cup.

Thursday 29 September
In Manchester a movement of a Beethoven string quartet lost in 1799 is performed in public for the first time in more than 200 years. The government’s good ideas department has come up with raising the motorway speed limit to 80mph, largely on the grounds that the 70mph limit is widely flouted. In New Zealand the trouble magnet that is the England rugby squad has admitted swapping the ball used to take conversions in contravention of the rules. Record temperatures across the UK as summer finally arrives and, in what appears to be a wealth-drenched, tax-free version of big boys’ Monopoly, the secretive [And highly litigious. Ed] Barclay brothers add Claridge’s to their collection of hotels. Back on Planet Football Sunderland suspend Titus Bramble after his arrest on suspicion of sexual assault and possession of a class A substance, a situation notable for enabling the words ‘Titus’, ‘Bramble’ and ‘class’ to be put in the same sentence.

Friday 30 September
The two co-directors of the Notting Hill Carnival resign, citing lack of funding, internal disputes and disagreements over the level of policing for their decision. The Design Museum will stage an exhibition of the work of Christian Louboutin later this year. Still in the central zone on the tube map, Central St Martin’s College of Art has a new home in King’s Cross, having moved from its long-term Soho berth to a purpose-built site; but can it retain the vibe, ask a number of noted alumni. The FA’s most recent accounts show turnover in excess of £300 million and an operating profit of £37 million. In Turkey the celebrated and, let’s face it, notorious football club Fenerbahce are to set up a women-only area of their ground following the huge popularity of a recent game attended only by women and children [See WoL passim].


the world of leisure
September 2011

Friday 2 September:
The prime minister says that there is no similarity between Oxford University’s Bullingdon Club (throwing things in the street, breaking windows of restaurants) and the recent riots (throwing things in the street, breaking windows of shops).

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