Hollywood-worthy gems in the UK – from medieval forts to Harry Potter beaches

AS the UK continues to sizzle in the sun, it’s the perfect time to take a well-earned staycation – but where to start?

Award-winning British movie location expert Tom Howard has shared what he believes are some of the country’s most exciting ‘hidden treasures’.

Tom has years of expertise in the world of film and TV, on movies and shows like The Night Manager and A Monster Calls, where his 9-5 involves locating the most breath-taking and beautiful parts of the British Isles.Exclusively for Premier Inn, Tom has opened up his professional notebooks to create a list of ten less well-known locations that he believes are perfect for a 2018 summer staycation.He said: “The primary duty of a location manager is to discover places to film which are interesting, unique and not often in the public eye – from a castle on a hill in the middle of Scotland to a heritage railway in eastern Lancashire.”These really wonderful destinations may not be the first place that travellers think of but, trust me, they are well worth a visit.” [ . . . ]

Continue at THE SUN: Hollywood-worthy gems in the UK – from medieval forts to Harry Potter beaches

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Interview: Nicola Walker

Divorce drama The Split, cold case crime series Unforgotten, Spooks, Last Tango in Halifax and The River, how Nicola Walker became everyone’s favourite actorNicola Walker is unemployed. Not something you hear very often from a woman with an industrial work ethic who is currently one of the most employed actors on our screens and airwaves, having just wrapped the third series of ITV’s hit crime drama Unforgotten just as her hit BBC divorce drama The Split is recommissioned.

Yet “as of Friday afternoon last week, I’m unemployed,” confirms the Olivier award winning, Bafta nominated actor when we talk. “So I’ll be doing the school run and putting the correct sports gear in my son’s rucksack for a bit.” When she says ‘unemployed’, it’s more of a between jobs kind of thing, what the less industrious among us might regard as a well-deserved break. And Walker is pleased about the immediate work life balance for the next few weeks with her 11-year-old son Harry to look after while her actor husband Barnaby Kay appears in Home, I’m Darling, with Catherine Parkinson at The National Theatre in London. “It’s worked out very nicely. I finished and Barnaby’s got this play. If I had been still working we would have to juggle the basics, who’s going to pick our child up and things… So I’m happy doing that, but also looking forward to the next thing.” Walker talks quickly, then halts, then talks quickly again and in between you can almost hear the quick flash of her blinding smile down the phone as she modestly ascribes her success to “being lucky.” In fact she has worked consistently for the past two decades and her CV is prodigious [ . . . ]

CONTINUE ARTICLE  at THE SCOTSMAN: Interview: Nicola Walker – The Scotsman



Read more stories about NICOLA WALKER on The Hobbledehoy


The World Outdoors: Boost your Vitamin N intake with nature activites

I was reading recently about research done at the University of Exeter in England on the links between people’s health and bird watching in the natural world.Dr. Daniel Cox concluded that “experiences of nature provide many mental-health benefits, particularly for people living in urban areas.” Abundance of birds was one of the important characteristics that was controlled for.

Naturalists in the state of Victoria in Australia recognized this years ago and the concept gained traction quickly in the spring of 2010 at a “Healthy Parks Healthy People” congress. Their movement is now worldwide.

From the U.S. National Parks Service to Finland and from South Korea to Scotland, the take-up has been impressive. Ontario Parks started promoting Healthy Parks Healthy People in 2015.

Sarah McMichael, a coordinator with Ontario Parks, said that Healthy Parks Healthy People continues to showcase the important role that healthy green space plays in human health across the province: “We promote time in the outdoors as a means to a healthier lifestyle.”

“Ontario parks are the place for you to get outside and get your dose of nature!” she explained. “In honour of HPHP, we are opening our doors and offering free day-use at all provincial parks on Friday, July 20. It’s a great opportunity to bring your friends and family out to a provincial park and enjoy one of the many outdoor activities at Ontario Parks, whether it’s hiking, cycling, swimming, paddling, or birding.”

Dozens of parks have planned special programming for July 20. It is also just a good opportunity to explore a new park or a local provincial park on your own. Last week by the Gideon Dr. entrance to Komoka Provincial Park I did well with grassland species including grasshopper sparrow and Eastern meadowlark.

Whether you visit a provincial park, a conservation area, or a municipal Environmentally Significant Area, the point is to enjoy all of the benefits of the world outdoors [ . . . ]

 

Continue at LONDON FREE PRESS: The World Outdoors: Boost your Vitamin N intake with nature activites | The London Free Press

Gwenifer Raymond: You Were Never Much of a Dancer review – an immersive debut

Gwenifer Raymond has a PhD in astrophysics, lives in Brighton and designs video games for a living. No ordinary human, she also has mercury in her fingertips. You can just about see it glisten as she plays guitar on There Will Be Blood for an introductory 2016 acoustic session. By early 2018, the song had evolved into Sometimes There’s Blood, and a video treatment with creepy Victoriana and taxidermy. Such is the Welsh-born Raymond’s very British take on a niche form known as the American primitive style, where guitars embark on flowing instrumental extemporisations, often ending up somewhere very eastern, sometimes sounding like Indian ragas.

Having discovered the guitar aged eight, when her mother gave her a cassette of Nirvana’s Nevermind, Raymond traced the idols of her idols back to the Delta blues, and then sideways into this folk form. Her immersive debut album pays tribute to the Delta and Appalachia at the same time, on the banjo workouts Bleeding Finger Blues and Idumea, and raises a battered hat to the godfather of the primitive scene on Requiem for John Fahey. Throughout, Raymond takes this roiling, rhythmic traditional sound and stamps her own imprimatur on it.

Source: Gwenifer Raymond: You Were Never Much of a Dancer review – an immersive debut | Music | The Guardian

Fintan O’Toole: Trial runs for fascism are in full flow

Babies in cages were no ‘mistake’ by Trump but test-marketing for barbarism

Fintan O’Toole | THE IRISH TIMES

Fascism doesn’t arise suddenly in an existing democracy. It is not easy to get people to give up their ideas of freedom and civility. You have to do trial runs that, if they are done well, serve two purposes. They get people used to something they may initially recoil from; and they allow you to refine and calibrate. This is what is happening now and we would be fools not to see it.

One of the basic tools of fascism is the rigging of elections – we’ve seen that trialled in the election of Trump, in the Brexit referendum and (less successfully) in the French presidential elections. Another is the generation of tribal identities, the division of society into mutually exclusive polarities. Fascism does not need a majority – it typically comes to power with about 40 per cent support and then uses control and intimidation to consolidate that power. So it doesn’t matter if most people hate you, as long as your 40 per cent is fanatically committed. That’s been tested out too. And fascism of course needs a propaganda machine so effective that it creates for its followers a universe of “alternative facts” impervious to unwanted realities. Again, the testing for this is very far advanced.

Moral boundaries

But when you’ve done all this, there is a crucial next step, usually the trickiest of all. You have to undermine moral boundaries, inure people to the acceptance of acts of extreme cruelty. Like hounds, people have to be blooded. They have to be given the taste for savagery. Fascism does this by building up the sense of threat from a despised out-group. This allows the members of that group to be dehumanised. Once that has been achieved, you can gradually up the ante, working through the stages from breaking windows to extermination.

t is this next step that is being test-marketed now. It is being done in Italy by the far-right leader and minister for the interior Matteo Salvini. How would it go down if we turn away boatloads of refugees? Let’s do a screening of the rough-cut of registering all the Roma and see what buttons the audience will press. And it has been trialled by Trump: let’s see how my fans feel about crying babies in cages. I wonder how it will go down with Rupert Murdoch.

To see, as most commentary has done, the deliberate traumatisation of migrant children as a “mistake” by Trump is culpable naivety. It is a trial run – and the trial has been a huge success. Trump’s claim last week that immigrants “infest” the US is a test-marketing of whether his fans are ready for the next step-up in language, which is of course “vermin”. And the generation of images of toddlers being dragged from their parents is a test of whether those words can be turned into sounds and pictures. It was always an experiment – it ended (but only in part) because the results were in.

‘Devious’ infants

And the results are quite satisfactory. There is good news on two fronts. First, Rupert Murdoch is happy with it – his Fox News mouthpieces outdid themselves in barbaric crassness: making animal noises at the mention of a Down syndrome child, describing crying children as actors. They went the whole swinish hog: even the brown babies are liars. Those sobs of anguish are typical of the manipulative behaviour of the strangers coming to infest us – should we not fear a race whose very infants can be so devious? Second, the hardcore fans loved it: 58 per cent of Republicans are in favour of this brutality. Trump’s overall approval ratings are up to 42.5 per cent.

Fox News mouthpieces outdid themselves in barbaric crassness: making animal noises at the mention of a Down syndrome child, describing crying children as actors

Fox News mouthpieces outdid themselves in barbaric crassness: making animal noises at the mention of a Down syndrome child, describing crying children as actors

This is greatly encouraging for the pre-fascist agenda. The blooding process has begun within the democratic world. The muscles that the propaganda machines need for defending the indefensible are being toned up. Millions and millions of Europeans and Americans are learning to think the unthinkable. So what if those black people drown in the sea? So what if those brown toddlers are scarred for life? They have already, in their minds, crossed the boundaries of morality. They are, like Macbeth, “yet but young in deed”. But the tests will be refined, the results analysed, the methods perfected, the messages sharpened. And then the deeds can follow.

Source THE IRISH TIMES: Fintan O’Toole: Trial runs for fascism are in full flow