Project Front Foot: July Newsletter

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A message from my friend Vic Mills:

“Hi Stuart,

More tales from the far pavilions with the Project Front Foot July Newsletter.

With Mumbai currently awash with all things monsoonal, we concentrate on events in the UK where our work is fast approaching the business end.

I’m delighted to report that, in a project first, we’ll be taking the bulk of our kit to Mumbai this autumn by container ship. And, in the first of a two-part special, we take a look at some of the images that made PFF VII our most successful season yet.

Cheers

Vic”

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My TLS review of Simon Barnes’ “Losing It” published

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The title of Simon Barnes’s de facto autobiography is slightly misleading. As good (and immodest) a writer as he is, this book reveals that he’s not a great sportsman. But his lament about being a failure at sport is what makes him such an effective sportswriter.

Barnes understands and appreciates greatness when he sees it, even more so because he was, as he puts it, “a trifle short on natural talent”.

The full review can be seen here.

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Dinosaur food in Vauxhall

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Having lived most of the past 11 years in sunny SW8, I was pleased to discover recently that Vauxhall is home to a couple of Ginkgo trees, which have survived on Earth for at least 240 million years, since before the dinosaurs. 

Ginkgo’s longevity is due to its ability to survive the most hostile of environments, including whatever wiped out the dinosaurs, and – in the case of a tree in Nagasaki, Japan – an atomic bomb blast.

fentimangingko

 

 

 

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Project Front Foot and the Lord’s Taverners

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A message from Vic Mills:

“Last summer Project Front Foot received a swag of kit from the high-profile UK charity the Lord’s Taverners. In return we supplied monthly pictures of the kit in action. A selection of these now feature in a kit recycling article in the Lord’s Taverners’ summer publication The Long Room. Project Front Foot is listed in the article as a delivery partner along with, among others, the International Cricket Council. To read the feature and view the pictures from both the Dharavi Cricket Academy and our Rural Schools Initiative please click on the attachment. This week the Lord’s Taverners donated further kit for our projects in and around Mumbai.”

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Project Front Foot June Newsletter

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A message from Vic Mills:

Please find attached the Project Front Foot June Newsletter including several snaps from the End of Season bash in Dharavi.  

Heading to Southampton this lunchtime to see a man(aging director) about, of all things, a container ship! Or, to be more precise, a very very very small part of a container ship.

These fellows – ECU-LINE – the subsidiary of Allcargo in Mumbai. You can only but ask.

Cheers

Vic”

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Project Front Foot May Newsletter

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A message from my friend Vic Mills:

More tales from the far pavilions with the PFF May newsletter. The final month of our seventh season in Mumbai and marked in some style with a guest appearance by His Holiness The Dalai Lama! Busy as ever here in the UK with preparations for an autumn return to India already well advanced.

Cheers

Vic”

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PROJECT FRONT FOOT: APRIL NEWSLETTER

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A message from my friend Vic Mills:

More tales from the far pavilions with PFF’s April Newsletter.

Another all-action month on the project front including a guest appearance by Hobbs (or is it Sutcliffe?) the pavilion cat and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.   

Cheers

Vic”

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Off the rails: London & North Eastern Railway wine list from 1936

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I love railways. I’m always looking for excuses to go and watch trains somewhere.

A statue of Sir Nigel Gresley was unveiled at King’s cross recently – a perfect excuse to visit the station.

IMG_0140As part of the unveiling celebration, a lovely old London & North Eastern Railway train and carriage was at Platform 1. The beautiful teak dining carriage contained two LNER menus from 1936, one for First Class Dining on all trains and the other for dining on “The Silver Jubilee”, the crack express between King’s Cross and Newcastle.

The quality and depth of the wine list is remarkable by comparison to today’s anodyne offering. I guess that Virgin Trains would use Virgin Wines, which is not a pleasing prospect.

IMG_0136I doubt that Virgin or any other train company would list Mendoza’s 1863 Brown Sherry at one shilling (5 pence) per glass.

The Mosel wines are twice as expensive as the Medoc and St-Estèphe wines, which would be unthinkable now. Niersteiner costs the same as Sauternes.

“Empire Wines” would now be called “New World”. (“Commonwealth Wines” wouldn’t go down well with Australasian republicans.) To aid neophyte drinkers, an Australian wine is described as “Hock type” and a South African wine as “Burgundy type”. I can’t think of a contemporary “Hock type” of wine made in Australia, though Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Elgin could be described passably as “Burgundy type”.

IMG_0139The Champagne offering is outstanding. Pol Roger 1926 is priced higher than the great Krug 1928. The renowned Pol Roger 1921 is available in an Imperial Pint bottle for 19 shillings (95 pence). One can estimate a price of £2,000+ for a bottle of this nowadays.

 

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Project Front Foot March 2016 Newsletter – just in time for the start of the cricket season

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On the day that the 2016 Wisden Cricketers’ Almanac landed on my doormat, here’s a message from my friend Vic Mills:

“More news from deepest Mumbai. Turning just a tad sticky there now. Away from the hype and hoopla of the World Cup and IPL we continue to battle the heat and dust at the Gymkhana. Another busy month on the project front including the visit of Sky Sports.

Cheers

Vic” 

The full newsletter can be downloaded here.

Well done Vic – keep up the good work.

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Ever Wondered What It’s Like To Be…a Wine Consultant? Launch of Versopolis: The European Review of Books, Poetry and Culture

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My friend and colleague Noah Charney has just launched an exciting new online literary magazine: Versopolis: European Review of Books, Poetry and Culture.

Funded by the European Union, it aims to provide an Anglophone publication, in the vein of the New York Review of Books, the London Review of Books, and the Guardian Review section, but focused on continental Europe.

Publishing multiple new articles every weekday, its scope is pan-European, with great new writing on books, poetry, art, film, music, thought, travel, opinion, and more.

My article “Ever Wondered What It’s Like To Be…a Wine Consultant?” is in the inaugural batch to be published.

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