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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PROJECT FRONT FOOT / Sky Sports Clip

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A message from Vic Mills at Project Front Foot:

“Dear Friends & Project Supporters,

Apologies for the generic nature of this email, but we may be limited in just how long the Sky Sports report on our work in Mumbai will remain on their website. To access the report please click on the following link:

http://www.skysports.com/watch/video/sports/cricket/10205939/cricket-to-the-rescue

Thanks so much for your continued support in making this possible and to the Sky Sports team for producing such a slick presentation.

With all good wishes

Vic”  

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Project Front Foot’s February newsletter

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A message from my friend Vic Mills:

“More tales from the far pavilions in Project Front Foot’s February newsletter. A nice mix of pictures, prose and play for a Sunday morning.

In the Front Foot Forum section there’s a small mention of SKY Sports News. They’re spending a day with the project this coming Thursday: filming around the slum in the morning and then at our afternoon coaching session at the Gymkhana. At some point thereafter PFF should make its TV debut. Not bad for a project from the sticks.”

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Dinner at Vintners’ Hall

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Last night (Wednesday) I had an unexpected treat when I was invited to dinner at Vintners’ Hall courtesy of St Aubyn Leschallas Wines. I went to taste their portfolio and planned to come home, have dinner and listen to football commentary on the radio. But I ended up at a three-course dinner in the Livery Hall, which dates from 1671.

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Pre-dinner drinks were in the the Court Room, which contains some historic paintings, including a portrait of Charles II that I recognised from David Piper’s book Kings & Queens of England and Scotland, owned by my parents from its publication in 1980 and which I retain in my own library. A nice feeling to see a painting that I have known for 36 years.

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The starter was potted haddock with salad gribiche, paired with Vondeling Babiana 2013, a blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Grenache Blanc, and Viognier. I thought that it had more stuffing and interest than the 2014 at the tasting.

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The main course of corn-fed chicken with confit potatoes was simple but delicious. I stayed with the Babiana for this but there was also a Malbec-Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 from Familia Otero Ramos of Argentina. A bit punchy for chicken but good with the hard cheeses at the end of the dinner.

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As for the football… I just want the season to finish so that this lifelong Aston Villa fan can adjust to life in the Championship. Sob. 

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