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guardian weekend 10.11.


Robbie Coltrane I take no nonsense Criminal behaviour Meet the juveniles in jail Joshua Foer How I learned a language in 22 hours

Why Im having my first baby at 51

By Naomi Gryn


Contents 10.11.12



Mr Menace Robbie Coltrane talks to Decca Aitkenhead about Glaswegians, class and why he stopped eating Better late than never Naomi Gryn shares the hopes and fears of becoming a rst-time mother at 51 Children behind bars Photographer Richard Ross captures the lives of juveniles held inside American jails Congo speak Hes never been good with languages, so can Joshua Foer really hope to learn Lingala in a day? Bear attack, shark bite, shooting Survivors stories of life after near-death

18 24 34 44 53

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5 Tim Dowling Dont bug me 6 Your view Have your say. Plus Ask a grown-up, Twitter ction 8 Big picture Matchy-matchy couples, by George Maas 10 Lucy Mangan Texty Cameron 12 Q&A Pamela Stephenson Connolly, clinical psychologist 14 Experience My bra saved my life

62 New York, new look Introducing H&Ms Maison Martin Margiela range 66 Wish list What we like this week 68 All ages Mens tailoring 71 Jess Cartner-Morley Dont know what shoulder robing is? You will. Plus Get the look, The Measure 73 Beauty Sali Hughes on foaming cleansers. Plus What I see in the mirror: Rick Partt

77 Wine Portugals best bottles 79 Yotam Ottolenghi Roast squash with chilli yoghurt and coriander sauce. Plus mushroom bruschetta 81 Dan Lepard Sweet potato pecan buns. Plus soft honey seed bread. 83 Restaurants Marina OLoughlin weighs up food versus show-o crowd at Kitchen Table, London SE1

88 My, how youve grown The small at that became a family home 91 Wish list Interiors must-haves 92 Gardens All about cold frames 95 Alys Fowler Planting garlic 97 Lets move to Aberystwyth, Ceredigion. Plus Snooping around

61 Weekender Didi Kingsley, vintage dealer, 30


74 The big squeeze Why Hugh FearnleyWhittingstall loves squashes


85 This column will change your life Oliver Burkeman ponders harsh reality. Plus What Im really thinking: the atheist friend 87 Blind date Maddy meets Barney

99 On the road Ridiculous, but fun: Sam Wollaston nds the Vauxhall Astra VXR impossible not to like 101 Puzzles Crossword, quiz, Scrabble 102 Your pictures This week: Iced


The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 3


The secret to happiness is to have someone envy your

Tim Dowling
t is Saturday afternoon and I am stalking the kitchen in circles, squinting into the middle distance and occasionally clapping at the air. The dogs follow me and bark anxiously, because they dont understand what Im doing. Shut up, I say. Im killing fruit ies. For the past week theyve been everywhere, hovering stupidly in front of my eyeballs while Im watching TV and dropping into my wine to perish. Ive nally traced the source of the infestation a bag of rotting potatoes at the very back of the cupboard but Im trying to eliminate the remainder of the population by hand. My wife is upstairs concentrating on eas. A friend from America is coming to stay and we do not want her to think we live the way we actually do in cosy symbiosis with parasites. Our friend has known us for a long time she was there when my wife and I met more than 20 years ago and is therefore in a position to chart our decline into middleaged torpor. We were once young and wild, and now we sit on sofas covered in dog hair, watching TV while sipping from wine glasses laced with dead insects. On the morning of her arrival, my wife and I meet in the kitchen. You cant wear that shirt, my wife says. Why not? I say. Its covered in ink stains, she says. All over the back. I pull the material round under my chin to examine it. No, I suppose not, I say, realising that a ban on ink stains is going to cut my acceptable wardrobe in half. Our friend arrives at midday, trailing lots of luggage; one whole bag is devoted to boxes of a disgusting American breakfast cereal my children are unable to source in the UK. Your house is so nice! she says. Its not bad, I say, pinching a fruit y out of the air. The dogs leap up on her, leaving trails of white fur on her trousers. Your dogs are so cute! she says. I dont really like that one, I say, pointing to the little dog, which is standing on two legs like a meerkat. Oh my God, are you kidding? she says, scooping it up and letting it lick her face. Our friends approbation is relentless. Our children are repeatedly accused of being adorable, and under this onslaught

life a little

they begin, slowly, to rise to the occasion. They chat politely, run errands without questioning their necessity and allow themselves to be photographed smiling. I have long maintained that the secret to being a good husband and father is taking the time to point out to ones wife and children that they could do a whole lot worse. Over the course of our friends stay, I also come to think the secret to happiness is to have someone drop by occasionally and envy your life a little, to remind you that your setup is fairly ideal as long as youre not allergic to most things, and to email your phone with an endless stream of pictures of your children and dogs looking sweet. Sometimes we cannot see what we have; we miss the bigger picture because our vision is clouded by dozy little bugs. I also need a picture of you two, our friend says before supper. My wife and I oblige, shuing round the table to stand side by side. Closer, our friend says. And smiling. Maybe both smiling. Ready OK, were going to delete that one. Lets try a less awkward pose. How long is this going to take? my wife says. Dont worry, our friend says. Were gonna get there.

The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 5



Your view Letters, emails, comments

I feel sorry for Christine Benvenutos children (3 November), not because one parent is transsexual, but because the other came across as intolerant, closed-minded and more concerned with keeping up appearances than trying to understand what her spouse was going through. I wish Tom all the best in her new life, and hope she nds that other people are more accepting of her newly expressed gender identity than her ex-wife. Jo Tacon London E15 As a trans woman, I have a deep sympathy with Christine Benvenutos story. I was aware I had issues with gender from an early age but, like so many, learned to hide them and tried to construct an identity. The realisation that one is transsexual at a later age destroys so much. Being transsexual is not a choice; what you do with the realisation is. I have just managed to stave o divorce. When society nally catches up, and a child is allowed to grow as it instinctually feels, maybe these saddening stories will not be the norm. Gayle Jones Southampton, Hampshire I grew up in the same ats as Bradley Wiggins (3 November) and went to the same crappy comprehensive in Kilburn (10 years apart). His achievements are truly remarkable and he is a top bloke who never forgets where he came from. Arise Sir Wiggo of Kilburn (though the ats are technically in Maida Vale). Stephanie Roberts London W9 Dont know whether to cheer Bradley Wiggins or give him a wake-up slap round the sideburns! Winning the Tour and all those gold medals, earning shed loads, yet whinging on like that, it does rather remove the very last remnants of romance. Rosie Brown Burnham Market, Norfolk So, in 18 years hundreds of Simons children will be walking around whose paths may cross in one way or another and who dont know they are brother and sister. And Ole Schou sees nothing wrong in this? Deirdre King Dublin, Ireland Crawling (3 November) made me itch. Or could that be the red, lumpy bites from a recent bed bug infestation? It turns out my neighbours have had them for four or ve months. They decided not to get the professionals in. Thanks, guys. The bugs have spread through cracks in the brickwork and now Im scratching, not sleeping and vacuuming three times a day. Im contemplating moving. Name and address withheld Im afraid Marcus du Sautoys answer contains an error (Ask A Grown-Up, 3 November). The upper size limit of a sand grain is 2mm not 0.2mm, which is ne sand. Sorry to seem pedantic, but this is important to sedimentologists: the dimensions of dierent sediment grain sizes are the cornerstones of our world. Dr Matthew Watkinson School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Plymouth University Write to Guardian Weekend, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU (weekend@guardian.co.uk), or comment at guardian.co.uk. A full name and postal address (not for publication) must be supplied. For inclusion on Saturday, letters should reach us by midday on Tuesday, and may be edited.

Ask a grown-up
Monty Pythons Eric Idle replies: The answer is, What is the question, Kilian? If the question is, why is there intelligent life in a gigantic exploding universe, I would have to say that I asked Professor Brian Cox the same question, and he said it was something to do with temperature gradients in chemistry. He believes that life evolved on this planet a couple of billion years ago in the oceans beside the hydrothermal vents, which are gigantic geysers of hot minerals bringing heat and chemicals up from the molten core. These formed single-celled life, which, he says, inevitably led to multicellular life, and eventually all animals and plants. However, you could not become you without carbon, which is made out of the explosions of far-distant suns so, literally, parts of you have been around for billions of years in other parts of the galaxy. Pretty cool, huh? Of course, everyone knows the answer is 42. (See Douglas Adamss The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.) If youre 10 or under, and have a question that needs answering, email ask.a.grownup@guardian. co.uk, and well ask an expert for you.

Dont know whether to cheer Bradley Wiggins or give him a wake-up slap round the sideburns!
about how he cant get enough time with the wife and kids, and how the public wont leave him alone. Didnt you see that one coming, Brad? Whats wrong with Lance Armstrong having a chaueur anyway, and you hiring a nanny? Armstrong may have been a cheat, but he knows how to play the winner; and he has spent his cash on a foundation for others to overcome their problems. I dont know who to feel most sorry for: Armstrong the badass or Wiggo the sorryass! Stephen Cole Brighton, East Sussex If you have big balls, you have good sperm, says Mr Schou of the worlds biggest sperm bank (Inside The Worlds Biggest Sperm Bank, 3 November). Put

Twitter fiction
A short story in 140 characters or fewer. This week: Kate Mosse Blood on her hand. The wood, wet. A Christian memory or glimpse of what is to come? Wipe it away and wait

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Big picture Matchy-matchy couples, by George Maas

You can forgive the his-andhers wetsuits its hard to stamp your identity on head-to-toe black rubber but for the rest, theres no excuse. Wearing the same outt as your partner, at the same time, is a fashion no-no par excellence. Only identical twins under two can get away with this shocking sartorial behaviour just. Matchy-matchy, of course, was this summers in-the-know trend, but that meant co-ordinating the top of your Stella McCartney luxe pyjamas with the bottom. I think its safe to assume the look doesnt extend to matching weatherproof jackets on middle-aged couples. What drives them to do this? Is there a sense of comfort in welding your identity so closely to that of your partner an unequivocal message to the rest of the world to say hands o, theyre mine? Is it purely practical if you get separated in a crowd, youd know exactly what the other is wearing? A subconscious statement about contemporary lifes loss of individuality? Perhaps we are reading too much into it? Who knows, maybe the Netherlands, France and Germany where, somewhat unsurprisingly, most of these photographs were taken have regular two-for-one oers on sensible outerwear. Photographer George Maas spotted his rst identikit couple around ve years ago. As happens, once he had started noticing them, they were everywhere. At rst, it was a bit of a joke. Then he started to take it seriously. Today, he says, its a fullblown addiction. I feel like a hunter. And when I see a couple dressed the same, its as if Ive spotted a rare species of animal. Hes amassed nearly 60 pairs so far perhaps he could turn them into playing cards for a game of concentration. Hannah Booth
8 10 November 2012 | The Guardian Weekend

The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 9


Lucy Mangan Warning: Cameron texts Darth Vaders helmet-waxer

ather round, my friends, gather round. We have been alone with our pain long enough. The time has come for us to group-therapise our way to healing the psychical wounds caused by this latest unhappy event. I speak, of course, through vomit-clagged mouth, of the latest leaked text messages between David Cameron and Rebekah Brooks. Hers assuring him that she cried twice during his brilliant 2009 party conference speech, his telling her what a fast, unpredictable, hard to control but fun ride hed had on a horse Brookss husband had lent him. It is an exchange that disturbs on many levels. We may, on this little island, have mostly avoided for centuries the horrors of invasion, bloody revolution, civil war, social upheaval and devastating natural disaster, but now we pay the price in the sight of Cameron at pseudo-sexual play. First, we should note as a matter of urgency the need to put some

kind of public warning system arning in place for any story that breaks involving, however tenuously ver and at whatever distance, politicians and the carnal he arena. The lines in Alan Clarks diaries on the n sexual allure of Margaret Thatcher Im sure return e to many hapless readers in the dead of night. I am ght. still trying to scrub clean ub the rank oubliette in e my memory castle not le just of Edwina Currie urr and John Majors aair but her claim that he was t always a gentleman man because he sat at the tap end when they y took baths together. her. And I havent been in n a WHSmiths since e I went to buy Parker ker pen cartridges in July 1992 and was confronted by a wall of newspapers

blaring blarin more about David Mellor, Mello Antonia de Sancha and his Chelsea strip than any young, impressionable yo mind could happily bear. m The latest texts do not rate quite so highly on the dry boke-ometer (though I would be keen to hear what they score on the SamCam WTF-Do-You-ThinkYou-Are-Playing-AtY Dave? scale) but still, D the t spectre of Cameron irting moistly, meatily with anyone m is horrifying. When it is with the chief executive w of Rupert Murdochs News International (as Ne Brooks, Brooks former editor of the had Sun, ha just become), your may fears m justiably multiply. simply Not simp because it becomes clear that our PM ventures not without a step witho clearing it rst with those who should, in a free democratic country, have and democr

no power over him as a statesman, but because Cameron is not even cowering before the emperor himself. There is almost some kind of fractured dignity in bending the knee to Darth Vader none at all to doing so before his helmet-waxer. In Camerons texts you may also read the shallowness of his loyalties. Rebekah is married to Charlie Brooks, Daves friend from Eton. But in fact, would-be power brokers dont have friends at Eton they have contemporaries, allies and (literally) peers, who might be rst in line for jobs if the alternative is talented plebs, but can still be easily trumped by someone who oers a way into one of the few strongholds where OEs have yet to oreat properly. I nd it best to view these texts and others likely to follow as but part of a fable constructed for our edication. When all is played out it will be a tidy morality tale (Leveson and the Spam Man) where everyone gets their just deserts. Except us, the readers. We deserved rather better all along.

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Pamela Stephenson Connolly Cat or dog? Neither. Affection-stealing bastards

Pamela Stephenson Connolly was born in New Zealand in 1949 and grew up in Australia where she began acting. She moved to London in 1976 and was in the award-winning TV series Not The Nine OClock News. In 1996, she gained a PhD in clinical psychology and established her own practice. Shes married to comedian Billy Connolly, with whom she has three children. Her autobiography, The Varnished Untruth, is out now. When were you happiest? When I was pregnant. Licence to eat. What is your greatest fear? That the atheists have got it right. Which living person do you most admire and why? Stephen Hawking. Brainy sod. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? My narcissism. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Narcissism. What was your most embarrassing moment? A loud fart during sex with a TV star. Aside from a property, whats the most expensive thing youve bought? New tits. Where would you like to live? On a sailboat. What makes you unhappy? Being out of control. What do you most dislike about your appearance? My tendency to look over 30. Who would play you in the lm of your life? Scarlett Johansson or, according to my kids, Mickey Rourke in drag. What is the worst thing anyones ever said to you? No. Cat or dog? Neither. Aection-stealing bastards. Have you ever said I love you and not meant it? Yes. Erotic adventure was at stake.
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Is it better to give or to receive? Depends. With oral sex, Im 50/50. Which living person do you most despise and why? The part of myself thats capable of hatred, deception and stupidity. Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? A cook who can make 300 calories taste like 3,000. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? A grande, non-fat, bone-dry cappuccino with caramel drizzle. If you could edit your past, what would you change? Halve its length. If you could go back in time, where would you go? Ancient Greece Bacchanalian rites. When did you last cry, and why? When Ellie Simmonds won. How do you relax? Sex, dancing, scuba diving, music. How often do you have sex? In my mind, 2,000 times a day. What is the closest youve ever come to death? Petite mort. A car crash; diving; attempted boarding by pirates. What single thing would improve the quality of your life? Wings. What do you consider your greatest achievement? Surviving all my crazy risk-taking. What song would you like played at your funeral? Isnt She Lovely? by Stevie Wonder, as people le past my open con. What is the most important lesson life has taught you? Its never too late to have a happy childhood. What is your guiltiest pleasure? Light bondage and erotic spanking. Tell us a joke I just did. Tell us a secret I just did. Rosanna Greenstreet



Experience My bra saved my life

t was meant to be a relaxing break in the Bavarian Alps during a summer break from college. I was staying with a friends aunt, who ran a hotel. One Monday morning, I set out for a hike in the sunshine. But after an hour or so fog started to roll in and, as it thickened, I became lost in a web of trails. Each time I followed a track it led nowhere and the situation swiftly took on the sensation of a bad dream. I climbed on to a ledge overlooking a deep valley to peek over and orient myself, but could see nothing. I tried to scramble back up to the trail but slipped and fell 15ft back down again. I crashed against rock, barely stopping myself from rolling straight o the ledge into the valley below. Id broken four ribs, fractured my ankle and dislocated my shoulder the pain made this instantly obvious, and my arm hung limply at my side. I had no phone, water or food I had planned to be gone for only a few hours. I sat in the rain all night, calling for help, my neoprene top oering little protection against the cold. The ledge sloped up too steeply for me to climb out. But by dawn I had spotted a nearby waterfall, and above me a large cave. Leaning on a stick, I made my way carefully up the steep slope to the cave. Outside the entrance I could see a cable, typical of the looped systems used by logging companies in the area to haul wood up the mountain. I assumed it must be out of action, which is why half of it lay slack on the ground. The taut half of the pulley, heading back down the valley, was 30 feet above my head. Inside the cave I found an empty plastic bottle which I used to

collect water dripping from the roof. I spent the rest of the day sitting in front of the cave, hoping my yellow shirt would be bright enough to attract the attention of any potential rescuers I knew the alarm would have been raised when Id failed to return to the hotel by nightfall. Sure enough, I later heard helicopters whirring nearby. I tried to make myself as visible as possible, standing up and waving my good arm, but the sound receded into the distance and as

darkness fell I went back to the cave. During the second day, I was sitting outside again, waiting for the helicopters to return, when the cable lying along the ground suddenly jerked. Realising this might be my only opportunity to send a signal down into the valley, I did a quick stocktake. All I had was the clothes I stood up in and the item that seemed most expendable and likely to have the most impact was my bra. I quickly undid it and tied it to the cable. Seconds later, the whole

length rose into the air, way out of my reach, and my bra was swiftly carried away and out of sight. That night I heard helicopters again, but rushed out of the cave too late to attract their attention I later heard theyd been using infrared devices to try to detect body heat. By this time, Id eaten nothing for three days and the cave had produced only about a cup and a half of water. I carefully made my way down to the waterfall, drank my ll and washed the blood and dirt out of my clothes. Thats when I heard the helicopters again. Gripping the water bottle between my teeth, I used my stick to scramble back up to the plateau. It was about an hour later that I was spotted. My body had partly shut down, I think, blocking out most of the pain I should have been feeling. In hospital, though, I felt everything. I struggled to breathe, due to a partly deated lung, and walked with a stoop for weeks. I had also become host to 40 hungry ticks, each of which had to be carefully removed. It was a fortnight before I was well enough to leave the country and, four years on, Im still having operations to x my ankle. I learned that the rescue operation 80 people on foot, supported by ve helicopters would soon have been called o. Theyd been searching in the wrong area until the worker testing the pulley had discovered my bra and raised the alarm. After that, it was simply a case of following the cable up the mountain. I try not to dwell too much on the overwhelming coincidence that led to him testing the line that day and spotting my bra. Jessica Bruinsma Do you have an experience to share? Email experience@guardian.co.uk


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If you write that down I will kill you

One minute hes avuncular, the next theres a hint of menace. Decca Aitkenhead feels very unrelaxed in the company of Robbie Coltrane. Portraits by Kate Peters
The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 19

Clockwise from left: In Great Expectations; Nuns On the Run (1990); GoldenEye (1995); Cracker (1994); The Young Ones (1984); Harry Potter And The Philosophers Stone (2001)

Robbie Coltrane has the most enormous feet, like two cross-Channel ferries moored at the bottom of his shins. Luckily, however, his son has excellent taste in trainers. He recommended these and they are the coolest, most comfortable shoes. My son used to be a skater boy and its great because I go down to these trendy kind of skater boy places and say: Id like a pair of Vans, please. If you havent got them, then Ill have the Circa 152s and they look at you as if to say: Are these for you, sir? and you say: They are, actually; they are, actually, so take your pimples over there and get me a box of them, why dont you, if you can do that without your spots bursting. He pauses. I take no nonsense. Hes probably joking about the spots bursting bit, but the last sentence was denitely unnecessary. Coltrane is great fun, itting between comedy voices and generous with laughter, but the no-nonsense edge is never very far from the surface and it takes only a clumsy question to provoke the sharp end of it. When I misunderstand a remark about Andrew Mitchell and ask if he felt sorry for the ex-chief whip for losing his job, I get a look of incredulity. No, I didnt, because he is a twat. Asked about his preference for television or lm, he snaps: Thats a kind of Daily Mail question, isnt it? Its all just acting. He tells me in his youth he used to worry about his lack of formal training as an actor, so I ask when that stopped. October the 17th 1978, he ashes back sarcastically. Come on, what a silly question. I cant remember. So though you laugh a lot in his company, you never quite relax. This hint of menace has electried all Coltranes best performances and in his latest role as Mr Jaggers, in the new lm adaptation of Great Expectations, its deployed to perfection. At once avuncular and sinister, Dickenss solicitor could have been written for Coltrane, and in fact the

whole lm feels uncannily well-suited to him. Adapted by David Nicholls, of One Day fame, the screenplay gives the novel a contemporary edge, with scenes of aristocratic excess that look exactly like the Bullingdon Club at play and for the actor once known as Red Robbie, there cant be many seams richer than class and social mobility. Coltrane wasnt exactly born on the wrong side of the tracks, but early skirmishes in a schoolboy class war began to kick o as soon as he started secondary school. Glenalmond College was Scotlands answer to Eton, and Coltrane hated it. I didnt accept the hierarchy, basically. He adopts a plummy, censorious voice: Youve crossed the quad and youve got your hands in your pockets. Thats not very good, is it? I used to think, do you know what? If we were in Sauchiehall Street [in central Glasgow] now, boy, itd be a very dierent story. Because Im a Glaswegian, you know? Despite his middle-class background he was born Anthony McMillan, the son of a doctor and a teacher Coltrane always identied with working-class Glasgow. And I still do. I can walk down the street and the hardest man in Glasgow would say, All right, big guy? I mean, I have respect Ive done something with my life, and people in Glasgow respect that, because Glaswegians, theyre like Liverpudlians, theres a rough edge to them, and they respect hard work. It sounds as if he rather enjoyed subverting the school orthodoxy. Yes, because it made no sense. What do you mean, you cant walk past a prefect with your fucking jacket undone? The posh drawl is back: Its just the way it is. Its just the way its done. He pulls an expression of disgust and shakes his head. Uh-uh. He and two friends were known as the three pseuds among the rest of the boys, who thought them too clever by half. Switching back into that plummy voice again: Yah, youre very, very clever, mate, but

theres more to life than being clever. Actually, there isnt. But Im very lucky because I was built like a brick shit-house as I am now, though much slimmer of course. I did look after myself, I was a big, strong boy, I didnt take any shit from anybody. Unlike some people, who eat an awful lot of shit and I did feel sorry for the weak ones. Its essentially survival of the ttest and I was one of the ttest, so I have no complaints. However, he adds, starting to chuckle, would I like to have spent ve years of my life when I was young doing something else? The answer would be yes. Like a school full of girls, for example? That would have been nice. By the end of term you used to nd yourself fancying the cleaners, who were all about 48, with moustaches. As soon as he could, Coltrane escaped to art school in Glasgow, where he had much more fun despite being teased for sounding posh but discovered he wasnt an artist. I went to my diploma exhibition and thought: This is nothing like what was going on in my head. It was a horrible feeling. The ideas were not there on the canvas at all. By then hed begun to wonder if he might in fact be an actor, so moved to a squat in London. There was my old mate from Edinburgh, one or two other people, a couple of junkies and a prostitute. It was a funny old life. And underneath we used to have a Jewish Italian deli, so you could have falafel and spaghetti it was fantastic. He tried some standup and slowly began to pick up acting parts, an early break coming in, of all things, Are You Being Served?. By the 1980s he was an established member of the alternative comedy movement, and appeared in The Comic Strip Presents , The Young Ones and Blackadder, and by the 90s he was everywhere. It was the darkly brilliant TV drama Cracker that mesmerised the critics, but cheesy British lm comedies such as
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Im certainly not in the ranks of the superrich. Lets get that one out of the way. I dont have that kind of money

Nuns On The Run and The Pope Must Die made Coltrane a global movie star, appearing in two consecutive James Bond lms (GoldenEye and The World Is Not Enough). Having toured the countrys class map pretty extensively middle-class family, posh private school, bohemian squats, thespian acclaim by the turn of the century Coltrane had graduated to the senior ranks of celebrity, which could be classied as a form of modern-day aristocracy. Im certainly not in the ranks of the super-rich, he says quickly. Lets get that one out of the way. I dont have that kind of money. Nevertheless, Dickenss preoccupation with class in Great Expectations strikes a chord with Coltrane, who gives a good idea of what it means to him when he recalls coming across a few Bullingdon Club types outside a restaurant in Soho one night. Hey, one shouted out, in a languid drawl. Youre that chap o the telly, arent you? Coltrane is suddenly very matter of fact. They were pushing me all over the car, so I had to sort one of them out. What did that involve? That involved saying: Stop it at once. Really? Deadpan, he repeats, Just like I said. Stop this at once. So they did. I get the feeling somethings missing from this anecdote. Coltrane raises a st, vast and doughy like a cottage loaf, and jabs the air hard. I said: Stop at once. Now its starting to sound more plausible, I say. He laughs quietly. There was a time when Coltrane was notorious for Soho rampages. He famously once said, Booze is my undoing. I can drink a gallon of beer and not feel the least bit drunk and on another occasion described his younger self as a bottleof-whisky-a-day-or-nothing man. Its possible that too much was made of these remarks, which would help explain his animosity towards the press (he once roared at Piers Morgan in the Ivy: Dont you fucking dare come near me if you
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know whats good for you, you cunt!), but even his friends have talked of a self-destructive streak, and by all accounts the 80s were a pretty boozy, promiscuous time. In the late 80s, and nearing 40, he met an 18-year-old student, Rhona Gemmel. The couple had a son, Spencer, now 19, and a daughter, Alice, 14, and withdrew to a remote farmhouse near Loch Lomond. You cant live the life of an existential hero and be a good father, Coltrane once observed, and in 1999 the couple married but four years later it was over. He doesnt want to say anything about his new girlfriend. Or, rather, he tells me something and then promptly bans me from writing it. He does this quite a lot, and even fairly banal details about his personal life are injuncted the moment theyre out of his mouth, which is frustrating but unsurprising, given his publicity-shy reputation. The injunctions are decidedly unambiguous. Normally an interviewee will say something like, Thats o the record, if you dont mind. Coltrane threatens: If you write that down I will kill you. He has a new reason to be cagey about his private life these days. Ever since being cast as Hagrid in the Harry Potter lms, he has had to adjust to the novelty of role model status. Kids come up to you and they go: Would you like to sign my book? with those big doe-eyes. And its a serious responsibility. Through the Harry Potter movies hes become friends with JK Rowling, and gets very upset about the general preoccupation with her wealth. They dont even say Joanne Rowling, whos done very well with books. Its always multimillionairess JK Rowling. It fucks me o wildly when they say multi-millionairess. You just think, shes so much more than that, and she deserves to be rich because you think of all the millions of children shes encouraged to read whod never have opened a book in their lives and how good the books were, and how good the lms were. It is

shocking. I cant believe how mean-spirited the British are sometimes. He is sanguine about the distinct lack of wealth in his industry these days. Mike Newell, who made Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, directed Great Expectations, but there was no big-budget largesse this time. Halfway through, Mike got us together and said: Chaps it was like something out of Dads Army. Chaps, Im afraid things have gone shit-shaped on the budget front. And we all went, Absolutely, sir because by that time wed bonded, because it was a good company feel. Coltrane talks a lot about the lms great company feel the cast couldnt be bothered to go all the way back to their trailers, so would hang out together on set so Im not surprised when he says he quite often gets involved in helping raise money for projects. He has a kind of proprietorial energy more common to a lm-maker than an actor. I like getting things o the ground, he agrees. The people who are involved in the development of making lms and television are not necessarily the most imaginative of people, to be honest. Well, theyre not! Im not being generically rude. But its just a fact. And does he enjoy it? Of course, because youve got to take the bigger picture, havent you? He pauses and chuckles. Nobodys going to employ me because of my cute legs any more, sadly. There turns out to be less of them than there used to be. I didnt think Coltrane would talk about his weight, having refused to in the past, but when I ask if its o limits today, he says, No, I just lost four and a half stone. Hes diabetic, he explains, and has a dodgy leg which needs an operation, only it cant take place until hes lost more weight. How did he lose four and a half stone? I just stopped eating for a while. Seriously, how did he manage it? All of a sudden, he seems to remember where he is. No, no, no! I dont want to talk about this in the press! Im not going to tell you. Great Expectations is released on 30 November.

24 10 November 2012 | The Guardian Weekend

It wasnt so much the eleventh hour as ve to midnight. We had two embryos left in the freezer of a fertility clinic and, by March, Id be too old to receive them. With two miscarriages and four previous attempts at IVF embryo transfers, it felt like a futile mission, but in February, my partner, Pete, and I decided to give the dice one last roll. We met in August 2002 on board a ight to Nice. He was on his way to a skydiving course while I was meeting a friend for a walk in the mountains. When I got back to London two weeks later, I emailed to see if hed landed safely and before long we were spending every weekend together. On paper we made an unlikely match. I was then 42 and Pete eight years younger. Hed been a soldier, a reman and a boxer; he does triathlons for fun. Im more inclined towards yoga and cafe culture, and Ill never convince him of the interconnectedness of everything. Pete wondered if hed stumbled into a parallel universe when he saw a copy of On Being A Jewish Feminist on my bookshelf. In terms of physiology and favourable maternal and foetal outcomes, the best age for childbearing is 20-35, but in my 20s I ran from any man who might clip my wings. I wasnt then ready to settle down, though Id probably have sneered at any woman in middle age who was still trying to have children. I assumed that I could travel the world, have a fullling career and still nd time to create a family, too. Romance, to my mind, was a path

to adventure rather than the prelude to marriage and children, yet at the same time I wanted to raise children in a stable relationship. I spent much of my 30s recovering from a nearfatal car crash. Thats when my two sisters and brother and many of my friends were making babies, but I didnt know if Id ever fully recover from a head injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, compounded in 1996 by the death of my father, to whom I was very close. I tried to make peace with childlessness, yet always hoped that it would somehow pan out. I was in my mid-40s before I felt ready for motherhood. Pete was at a dierent stage. I didnt dare risk unilateral action because I was sure it would end in disaster. But as our attachment grew, and as his own friends and then his younger brother began to procreate, Pete caught the baby bug, too. By then, however, my biological clock was on overtime and with each failed attempt, we became more conscious that we were losing direction and purpose, like two ships blown o course. Its not as if trying to make a baby was my only focus far from it but I was unsettled. I hadnt repainted my fourth oor studio at for eight years because it had been at the back of my mind that it wouldnt be suitable as a home if we had a baby. I found it dicult to complete any work and have, from those years, two unpublished books and several half-baked lms rotting in my le of Dead Projects. After

the second miscarriage, I was so distraught that I spent a year seeing a bereavement counsellor. As we navigated a confusing range of fertility treatments, Pete and I came up against various barriers, such as the consultant in St Marys hospital recurrent miscarriage clinic who refused to test Pete because of my age. Lets draw a line under this, she said to me. I left St Marys furious and frustrated at having been judged simply for my age, not my follicle-stimulating hormone levels. People asked if we would consider adoption. Id have been happy by that point to take care of a Cabbage Patch Kid, but this was a joint venture and Pete didnt feel the same way. I tried acupuncture and had my monthly cycles monitored before we turned to IVF. Unimpressed by the private clinics we visited in London, we looked at options overseas. We spent a small fortune on three stabs at fertility treatment at a clinic in Cape Town, but that produced nothing other than a suntan and buttocks like pincushions after daily injections of hormones. Back in London in time for my 50th birthday on New Years Eve, Pete and I accidentally got caught up with revellers in Trafalgar Square and were kettled by police on horseback: a suitable metaphor for my state of mind. Each time you get pregnant or have a cycle of fertility treatment, you imagine a bright future. Then your hopes are dashed and, once again, you have to reboot. Emotional snakes and ladders.

Over 50 and pregnant for the first time: Naomi Gryn on joining the growing tribe of late, late mothers. Portrait By Matthew Farrant

I decided to give the dice one last roll

I wanted to give in graciously. Pete wasnt willing to accept defeat so lightly. He found a clinic in Barcelona with a cut-o age of 51. Dreading further disappointment, I vacillated for months. Then, last November, with just one more menstrual cycle left before my next birthday, I could procrastinate no longer. We paid the clinics advance. Yet again it didnt work. The clinic extended their deadline by three months for us to use the remaining embryos. Im not sure why we bothered. It seemed like such a remote possibility, throwing good money after bad. My expectations couldnt have been lower. Pete was away on the date I was due to take a pregnancy test. I woke in the middle of the night to pee and thought I should use the opportunity to nd out. Nothing. I tried to blank out the disappointment and went back to sleep but when I woke again a few hours later and re-examined the white stick, there was a faint pink line where before Id seen none. I took this to a chemist and asked the pharmacist: Could I be a little bit pregnant? She took one look and laughed. One hundred per cent pregnant! I danced with joy. A scan showed that both embryos had implanted and we were expecting twins. Bingo! Then, at eight weeks, another scan showed that one of the twins had died. It felt as if history was repeating itself. The prospect of twins had been very exciting but maybe it was for the best. Having twins greatly increases your risk of pre-eclampsia a condition thought to be caused by a problem with the placenta, resulting in high blood pressure and protein in your urine, and which can lead to convulsions, even a stroke. Other potential complications of twin pregnancies include gestational diabetes, postpartum haemorrhage, stillbirth and caesarean section. Even among single pregnancies, if youre older than 40 the danger of pre-eclampsia increases from 3-4% to 5-10%, and rises to 35% if youre past 50. Theres also a 20% chance of diabetes among mothers over 50. One study of

539 deliveries found that the risks for low birth weight and preterm babies tripled and foetal mortality doubled among mothers over 50 compared with mothers aged 20-29. We think of women having babies later in life as a recent phenomenon, but in England and Wales, back in 1939, out of 614,479 births, 2,147 babies were born to women aged over 45. The number of older mothers decreased until 1977, when just 454 babies out of 569,259 were born to women over 45. Since then, gures have been rising steadily. Professor Susan Bewley, consultant obstetrician at Kings College London, notes that pregnancies in older mothers are more likely to be as a result of assisted reproductive technology (ART) and that women who conceive via ART have a higher chance of having pregnancy-induced hypertension, gestational diabetes, preterm birth and caesarean section. While her personal opinion is that the birth of a healthy baby is a joy at any age, she adds, My professional opinion is that Im very worried about the increasing health risks to mothers and babies, and Ive been around long enough to have seen all the complications associated with advanced age, including maternal and baby death and disability. Others are more positive. Bill Smith, consultant ultrasound specialist at Clinical Diagnostic Services in London, has been involved with infertility and obstetric screening for more than 30 years. He feels strongly that older patients are pushed too readily towards IVF. Theyre not given a chance to conceive with ultrasound monitoring of natural cycles. If nature allows women of 42, 43, to get pregnant, then why not allow them to be treated with their own eggs, the same as a 32-year-old? And the same applies to women in their late 40s and even early 50s. Yes, theres a greater chance of chromosome abnormalities in the foetus for older mothersto-be, but ultrasound scans during the rst trimester screening allow Downs syndrome and other anomalies to be picked up. When I look at the dozen or so pregnancies that come through

our unit each year with patients in their early 50s, Smith says, to my knowledge very few present problems. In 2010, out of 723,165 births, 1,758 babies were had by women over 45. Of those, 141 babies were born to 118 women aged 50 and over. And despite obstetric issues relating to ART, multiple gestations and middle-aged mums there has not been a single stillbirth in this age range since 2004. I never gave much thought to the health risks. Maybe Id have been more circumspect if I had looked at the small print. Fortunately, the worst of my pregnancy-related complaints have been acid reux and swollen feet, and claims Pete Ive started to snore.

gnes Mayall is 50 and, thanks to what she calls technical assistance, is due to have her rst baby in mid-November. Stylish and slim apart from her bump shes a lecturer in art history. I was aware of the health risks and though I thought that what I was doing was mad, what nally allowed me to go ahead was realising that there are moments in life when you do things that are mad. Mayall was ambivalent about parenthood. People assume that I wanted a baby above all. In my case thats just not true, but I am very excited to be having one. I used to be terried that I would be a crap mother and Im now more relaxed about it. Its not that I think Ill be a brilliant mother, Im just not afraid of it any more. Her husband, Ben, an engineer, is seven years younger: He was 23 when we met. Soon after, Mayall became pregnant. He was freaked out by it, so I had an abortion. I assumed he didnt want children. He thought that I didnt want children and so we never discussed it. And I began to see that there were other ways to lead a fullling life that didnt necessarily involve a family.


With one cycle left before my birthday, I could procrastinate no longer

The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 27

The subject of children came up again only when Mayall was in her mid-40s. That was when we rst started to talk about what kind of a life we wanted. Thats when we nally got around to asking whether we might want a child. I realised then that Ben was very keen, that this was an experience that he wanted to have, but Id had no idea before that. Mayall went to see her GP, assuming that she would be discouraged. Instead she said: Why dont you give it a go? Two months later I was pregnant. Even though it was something we had consciously decided to try for, I was terried. I xed on a fear of losing things that I called freedoms and that, in the process, I would lose my identity.

he had a miscarriage at 12 weeks and another not long afterwards. Devastated by the loss of these pregnancies, Mayall realised that she had spent many years blocking out regrets over the earlier abortion. She was slow to go public about her pregnancy, partly because I didnt expect it to work, and partly because I felt a bit embarrassed about being pregnant at my great age; but as I did tell people they were all really encouraging, so it became gradually easier, because every reaction was positive. And many of my friends have said how much they would now love to be having a child. At rst I, too, was coy about telling anyone that I was pregnant. Eventually, concern that people might think Id lost control over my waistline outweighed worries about frowns and raised eyebrows. A few curiosity-seekers have shown an unhealthy interest because of my age, but neither Pete nor I has ever been much bothered by convention and, besides, were hardly a freak show. For the people who matter to us, its been a cause for celebration and extraordinary kindness. My mother is an energetic octogenarian; shes anxious that she wont be

capable of much hands-on assistance, so has oered to pay for a doula instead. One neighbour insists on meeting me at Waitrose to carry my groceries. Others bring my laundry up three ights of stairs. And Ive taken pleasure in consulting women half my age about whether I should opt for an Ergo carrier or a Baby Bjorn, whether my feet will ever shrink back to their pre-pregnancy size and whether we really need a nappy bin? I stopped cycling soon after a grumpy van driver crushed me against a parked car when I was seven weeks pregnant. It was a week later that we discovered one of the twins had died. I was full of self-recrimination was I in any way responsible? and started travelling by public transport instead. While bus passengers arent particularly gallant, on the underground there hasnt been a single rushhour journey when someone hasnt stood up to oer me a seat. Strangers strike up conversations. Is it your rst? Whens it due? Do you know if its a boy or a girl? Do you have any food cravings? (Papaya with cottage cheese, chicken yakitori and cherry juice; Ive also developed an uncharacteristic appetite for romcoms starring Jennifer Lopez.) There are many young people in our lives, including seven nephews, two nieces and numerous godchildren. Id decided not to tell any of the kids that I was pregnant during the rst trimester in case it didnt work out, but I was having brunch one Sunday with Clio my 21-yearold niece when she went bright red and, shaping an imaginary bump around her own pancake-at stomach, blurted out: Naomi, I know about the baby! I felt a little churlish for not having told her sooner and registered in that moment that Clio has matured into an honorary sister. Family roles can be dynamic. All the other women in my family are magnicent matriarchs with beautiful, wellorganised homes, while the role Ive played until now has been peripatetic and undomesticated. My sisters are both full-time mothers, while I move from project to project, driven by ideas

and a deep-rooted streak of activism. I dont yet know how my new status will evolve, but the rest of my family seem almost as thrilled as Pete and I are. Plenty of my friends dont have children. I can think of only a few for whom this has been by conscious design. I wondered eetingly if there would be any resentment from those for whom it hasnt. However, for everyone who knows how tough a journey this has been for us, our news has been received as a collective triumph. Im as anxious as any rst-time mother and as I slide from a childless world in which discourse revolves mostly around work and politics into the camaraderie of parenthood, its reassuring to discover such a rich seam of wisdom, though my eyes do glaze over when experienced mothers oer unsolicited advice about sleep routines and whether to feed on demand. On the other hand, in the changing room at my gym, several women in their late 30s and early 40s, on learning my age, have wanted to discuss their own fertility issues, or relationships that are going nowhere, or how theyd like a baby but have no relationship at all. Its a terrible modern conundrum, and Im a little reluctant to be seen as a beacon of possibility because Pete and I have had so much heartache and were incredibly fortunate to have made it this far. (Im not alone in this. Another rst-time mother in her early 50s declined to be included in this piece because, she said, what we have is miraculous but we are in the minority to have healthy, normal babies... Nature is against us and Im not sure I want to be part of encouraging women to leave it so late.) Alastair Sutclie, consultant paediatrician at UCLH and Great Ormond Street hospital, puts it into context: When I was graduating from medical school in 1987, we were told that an elderly primip a rst-time mother was anyone over the age of 30. But now the peak age range for all births in this country is 30 to 34. Women have been caught in a feminist-driven trap. This country has tripled its economic output since the second world war by getting women working and into employment.

Could I be a little bit pregnant? She took one look and laughed
The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 29

Social norms have changed, says Irenee Daly at the Centre for Family Research in Cambridge. We dont expect women of typical university age to want to have children. We socialise them away from that. The 20s are now regarded as a time for exploration, before lifes enduring responsibilities take hold. Young men and women still expect to have settled down in a stable relationship and own their own home before starting a family. And since these things are all happening later, that pushes having children later. For her doctoral thesis, Daly looked at whether women in their late 20s and early 30s understood the degree to which fertility declined with age and whether they thought that IVF could compensate for the eects of ageing. There was a perception that it would work out in time. Most of the women I spoke to were shocked to learn that IVF is linked to age, that even in the youngest age group, were talking about only a 30% success rate. Then they were doubly shocked to see that by 44 it goes down to 5% using ones own eggs. Freezing eggs doesnt guarantee a viable pregnancy and, as Daly points out, You have to freeze young eggs, so a woman of 40 saying that shes decided to freeze her eggs well, what sort of quality are those eggs? Young women are not the only ones with a hazy grasp of medical possibilities. Its often assumed that infertility is on the womans side; and until youre in the market for ART, few people seem to know that it goes beyond IVF to include a wide menu of options such as intrauterine insemination (IUI), intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), gamete intra-fallopian transfer (Gift), pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), sperm donation, egg donation and more. Many of the women in Dalys study felt that since people are now living longer, parenting could be spread more evenly over the course of ones life, but while she acknowledges that that is technically true, she emphasises that our reproductive window has not increased in line with life expectancy: So whether or not you think you will be kicking around a football at 70 doesnt matter.

In Italy which has one of the lowest fertility rates in the western world Professor Brian Dale, director of the Centro Fecondazione Assistita, is used to working with older women. Women in Italy decide to have a family very late in life, on average well over 30, and it starts to become a little dicult over 35. Even though the number and quality of eggs decreases with age, Dale favours using womens own eggs whenever possible. If you get good embryos, were looking at 18-20% pregnancy rate per embryo transfer. That success rate doesnt vary much if the cycle is spontaneous or stimulated and the more embryos transferred, the higher the likelihood of a pregnancy. The oldest lady I remember getting pregnant with her own eggs was 46. But most people who come to us aged over 45 are already psychologically primed to go on the egg donor programme. Sutclie describes the rising age of rst-time mothers as an epidemic. According to him whose mother was 45 when she gave birth to his youngest sister older rst-time mothers tend to be university graduates and have higher socio-economic status than average. They are likely to live farther away from their extended families than younger women and rely more on friends for support. According to his research, we older mothers are more resilient and less dependent on others, we tend to have committed relationships with a partner and are nancially secure. Women who delay childbirth, Sutclie says, have satised their personal goals and dont feel they are missing anything. But while older women generally make good mothers, the one area where they are perhaps less able is to do with physical activity with their children, and there is a slight tendency for those children to be overweight. To Sutclies mind, of much greater concern than middle-aged women pursuing dreams of motherhood is maternal obesity. This country is the second most obese in the world, he says. Its so bad that the maternal mortality rate may even start to kick up. In relation

to older mothers, its a much bigger problem. He also acknowledges that there is a dierence between chronological and biological age (your age in years as opposed to your age at a cellular level). People dont look younger, he says, unless theyre biologically younger. Ive never looked my age. Once a cause for angst, this has now turned into a major advantage. Even so, people ask if Ill have enough energy to run around after a toddler. Often, hanging in the air, is an unspoken concern about whether Ill live long enough to see my child into adulthood. I worry not so much about longevity so far the genetic lottery has been good to me and my grandmother, at 104, is still going strong but about how much authority Ill have over a rebellious teenager when Im nearing 70. Ill face that challenge when it comes.

ur baby is due next week. My nesting hormones are running wild. Ive started rounding up muslins and moses baskets, and my hospital bag is already packed. I want to apologise in advance for being the oldest mum at the school gate and for any embarrassment this might cause her. Well be in good company. The photographer Annie Lebovitz was 51 when she gave birth to her daughter Sarah, while Martin Scorseses wife, Helen Morris, gave birth to Francesca when she was 52. And Sarah that prototype Jewish matriarch was allegedly 91 when she gave birth to Isaac. Our daughter will never need to worry about whether she was wanted. Even as a foetus, she has an enthusiastic fan club stretched across ve continents and as many generations, longing to meet her. And we, her grateful parents, will never forget how lucky weve been to take part in the creation of a new life Sadie Joy was born by elective caesarean section at UCLH at 09.14 on 31 October, weighing 7lb 3oz.

I want to apologise in advance for being the oldest mum at the school gate
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America locks up more of its children than any other developed nation. Only 12% of the nearly 150,000 annual admissions are for violent crimes. Photographer Richard Ross goes behind the barbed wire to capture the lives of prisoners as young as 10 years old

SP, 24 (below) I have two more days here [at the MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility, Oregon], then I go to the adult facility. I was convicted of killing one of my friends mothers. Im the only one out of the four kids involved that received life without parole. I want to apply for clemency, but cant nd an attorney that would take it pro bono. I dont have money for an appeal. We went to Canada and were at the border in a stolen car. I was brought back and interrogated. There was no one that advocated for me in

the room while I was being questioned. I can either give up or try and do something with my life My biological mother and stepdad were a very bad crowd. RT, 10 (previous page) Im waiting for my mum to come get me. Is she in there? Shes at work today. I want to go home, I got in trouble at school. [RT was brought into the Washoe County Detention Facility, Reno, Nevada, by a policeman. He stabbed a schoolmate, but it is unclear what the tool was: a pencil, knife, fork He is checked on every ve minutes.]

RT, 16 (below) There was a big raid at the packing plant lots of trucks and men with guns and helicopters. They deported most people, but kept some of us to go to court against

the owners. They had a lot of minors working here, from the same village in Guatemala. We live in houses [in Iowa] the company owns. I think they let me stay because of my baby.

Above: Young men at Orleans Parish Prison, Louisiana. There was a ght the night before, so TV, cards and dominoes have been taken away. It is August and the air conditioner is broken.

The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 37

AB, 14 Ive been here [at the Tulsa County Juvenile Detention Centre, Oklahoma] for three days. I was charged with running away from a home. And larceny and seven more runaway charges. I took my mums car, then tried to evade police. So I got an assault. My dad lives with my stepmum both are heavy drinkers. My dad is a construction worker. My stepmum takes all my dads attention. My mother gave up custody of me last year. She is schizo, bipolar with psychotic tendencies. The eye? I got into a ght with my girlfriend two weeks ago. She punched me so hard I went ying across the room and got a road rash on my shoulder. My eye looks a lot better now. She hit me because I have drug and alcohol problems. Before this incident I got Bs and Cs in school. It is pretty dicult being gay and Christian in a land of homophobes. Actually, its pretty impossible here.
The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 39

Below: The wall of shame at the MiamiDade Regional Juvenile Detention Centre, Florida: mug shots of kids who were released and killed expired by gunshot wounds.

GP, 14 (above) Ive been here [at the Southwest Idaho Juvenile Detention Centre] for a week. I dont like to read and there is no TV. I sort of sit here, eat here, you

know. I was supposed to go home today, but my aunt didnt come. I cant live with my mum or dad. Ive been here three times before. This is the longest. My aunt doesnt visit.

[GP, described as low functional, has been charged with battery against his aunt. The striped suits issued here were banned elsewhere as early as 1904 for being dehumanising.]

The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 41

AW, 16 (below) I have been here [at the Harrison County Juvenile Detention Centre, Mississippi] for three weeks, for violation of probation. Not much to do here. Mostly I write on the wall. I really dont want to talk to you. MG, 17 (below, right) I got three years at the Youth Oender System Facility, Colorado, and six years hanging. One count of vehicular homicide and four of vehicular assault. It was a fatal car accident. I was in a coma for two months, then I had to do drug rehab for a month. I had a bunch of priors.

Above: A female juvenile at the Warshoe County Detention Facility, Reno, Nevada, with the scars on her arms she got from cutting herself

All photographs and words taken from the book Juvenile In Justice, by Richard Ross. See the complete project and follow the blog at juvenile-injustice.com.

The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 43

44 10 November 2012 | The Guardian Weekend

Speak easy
Could Joshua Foer really learn a language from scratch in less than three months? Portraits by Christopher Lane
What do you know about where I come from? That was one of the rst questions I ever asked Bosco Mongousso, an Mbendjele pygmy who lives in the sparsely populated Ndoki forest at the far northern tip of the Republic of Congo. We were sitting on logs around a re one evening four years ago, eating a dinner of smoked river sh and koko, a vitamin-rich wild green harvested from the forest. Id come to this hard-to-reach corner of the Congo basin a spot at least 50km from the nearest village to report a story for National Geographic magazine about a population of chimpanzees who display the most sophisticated tool-use ever observed among non-humans. Mongousso, who makes his living, for the most part, by hunting wildlife and gathering forest produce such as nuts, fruits, mushrooms and leaves, had teeth that had been chiselled to sharp points as a child. He stood about 1.4m (4ft 7in) tall and had a wide, wonderful grin that he exercised prolically. He considered my question carefully. I dont know. Its far away, he told me nally, through a translator. According to Oxford anthropologist Jerome Lewis, the Mbendjele believe that the spirit world is inhabited by people with white skin. For them, the afterlife and Europe go by the same word, putu. Amu dua putu is a common euphemism for death literally, Hes gone to Europe. For me to have come all the way to the Ndoki forest was a journey of potentially metaphysical dimensions. Have you ever heard of the United States of America? I asked Mongousso. He shook his head. No. I didnt know where to begin. Well, the United States is like a really big village on the other side of the ocean, I told him. The translator conveyed my explanation, and then had a back-and-forth exchange with Mongousso. What did he say? I asked. He wanted to know, Whats the ocean? There was a brief moment this summer, a little over a year after the publication of my rst book, Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art And Science Of Remembering Everything, when I thought I had nally put the subject of my memory into my memory. No phone interview with an obscure midwestern talk radio station or lunchtime lecture in a corporate auditorium was going to prevent me from nally moving on to another topic and starting work on my next long-term project inspired by my encounter with Mongousso about the worlds last remaining hunter-gatherer societies and what they can teach us. As part of my research, I had begun planning a series of logistically complicated trips that would take me back to the same remote region where I had met Mongousso. My goal was to spend the summer living in the forest with him and his fellow Mbendjele pygmies. Its virtually impossible to nd pygmies in northern Congo who speak French, much less English, and so in order to embed to the degree I was hoping, I needed to learn Lingala, the trade language that emerged in the 19th century as the lingua franca of the Congo basin. Though it is not the rst language of the pygmies, Lingala is universally spoken across northern Congo not only by the pygmies, but by their Bantu neighbors as well. Today, the

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language has about two million native speakers in both the Congos and in parts of Angola, and another seven million, including the Mbendjele pygmies, who use it as a second tongue. You might think that learning a language with so many speakers would be an easy task in our global, interconnected age. And yet when I went online in search of Lingala resources, the only textbook I could nd was a US Foreign Service Institute handbook printed in 1963 when central Africa was still a front of the cold war and a scanned copy of a 1,109-word Lingala-English dictionary. Which is how I ended up getting drawn back into the world of hard-core memorising that I had written about in Moonwalking. Readers of that book (or the extract that ran last year in this magazine) will remember the brilliant, if slightly eccentric, British memory champion named Ed Cooke who took me under his wing and taught me a set of ancient mnemonic techniques, developed in Greece around the fth century BC, that can be used to cram loads of random information into a skull in a relatively short amount of time. Ed showed me how to use those ancient tricks to perform seemingly impossible feats, such as memorising entire poems, strings of hundreds of random numbers, and even the order of a shued pack of playing cards in less than two minutes. Since my book was published, Ed had moved on to other things and co-founded an online learning company called Memrise with a Princeton University neuroscience PhD named Greg Detre. Their goal: to take all of cognitive sciences knowhow about what makes information memorable, and combine it with all the knowhow from social gaming about what makes an activity fun and addictive, and develop a web app that can help anyone memorise anything from the names of obscure cheeses, to the members of the British cabinet, to the vocabulary of an African language as eciently and eectively as possible. Since launching, the site has achieved a cult following among language enthusiasts and picked up more than a quarter of a million users. The idea of Memrise is to make learning properly fun, Ed told me over coee on a recent

visit to New York to meet with investors. Normally people stop learning things because of a bunch of negative feedback, such as worries about whether theyll actually get anywhere, insecurities about their own intelligence, and a sense of it being eortful. With Memrise, were trying to invert that and create a form of learning experience that is so fun, so secure, so well directed and so mischievously eortless that its more like a game something youd want to do instead of watching TV. I have never been particularly good with languages. Despite a dozen years of Hebrew school and a lifetime of praying in the language, Im ashamed to admit that I still cant read an Israeli newspaper. Besides English, the only language I speak with any degree of uency is Spanish, and that came only after ve years of intense classroom study and more than half a dozen trips to Latin America. Still, I was determined to master Lingala before leaving for the Congo. And I had just under two and a half months to do it. When I asked Ed if he thought it would be possible to learn an entire language in such a minuscule amount of time using Memrise, his response was matter-of-fact: Itll be a cinch. Memrise takes advantage of a couple of basic, well-established principles. The rst is whats

known as elaborative encoding. The more context and meaning you can attach to a piece of information, the likelier it is that youll be able to sh it out of your memory at some point in the future. And the more eort you put into creating the memory, the more durable it will be. One of the best ways to elaborate a memory is to try visually to imagine it in your minds eye. If you can link the sound of a word to a picture representing its meaning, itll be far more memorable than simply learning the word by rote. Memrise encourages you to create a mnemonic, which it calls a mem, for every word you want to learn. A mem could be a rhyme, an image, a video or just a note about the words etymology, or something striking about its pronunciation. In the case of languages such as French and Chinese, where there are thousands of people learning it at any one time, you can browse through a catalogue of mems created by other members of the Memrise community. This is especially fun for Chinese, where users have uploaded videos of various logographic characters morphing into cartoons of the words they represent. As I was the only user trying to learn Lingala at the time, it was up to me to come up with my own mems for each word in the dictionary. This required a good deal of work, but it was fun and engaging work. For example, engine is motele in

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Lingala. When I learned that word, I took a second to visualise a rusty engine revving in a motel room. Its a specic motel room I stayed in once upon on a time on a cross-country road trip the cheapest room I ever paid to occupy. Twenty dollars a night, as I recall, somewhere in central Nevada. I made an eort to see, hear and even smell that oily machine revving and rattling on the stained carpet oor. All of those extra details are associational hooks that will lead my mind back to motele the next time I need to nd the Lingala word for engine. Likewise, for motema, which means heart, I visualised a beating organ dripping blood on a blinking and purring computer modem. To remember that bondoki means gun, I saw James Bond pointing a gun at Dr No, and saying, Okey-dokey. If this all sounds a little silly, it is. But thats also the point. Studies have conrmed what Cicero and the other ancient writers on memory knew well: the stranger the imagery, the more markedly memorable.

emrise is built to discourage cramming. Its easy to spend ve minutes learning vocabulary with the app, but hard to spend 50. That is by design. One of the bestdemonstrated principles of memory proven both in the controlled setting of the laboratory and in studies conducted in the wilds of the classroom is the value of whats known as spaced repetition. Cognitive scientists have known for more than a century that the best way to secure memories for the long term is to impart them in repeated sessions, distributed across time, with other material interleaved in between. If you want to make information stick, its best to learn it, go away from it for a while, come back to it later, leave it behind again, and once again return to it to engage with it deeply across time. Our memories naturally degrade, but each time you return to a memory, you reactivate its neural network and help to lock it in. The eect on retention of learning in this manner is staggering. One study found that students studying foreign language vocabulary can get just as good long-

term retention from having learning sessions spaced out every two months as from having twice as many learning sessions spaced every two weeks. To put that another way: you can learn the same material in half the total time if you dont try to cram. One of the great challenges of our age, in which the tools of our productivity are also the tools of our leisure, is to gure out how to make more useful those moments of procrastination when were idling in front of our computer screens. What if instead of tabbing over to the web browser in search of some nugget of gossip or news, or opening up a mindless game such as Angry Birds, we could instead scratch the itch by engaging in a meaningful activity, such as learning a foreign language? If ve million people can be convinced to log into Zyngas Facebook game Farmville each day to water a virtual garden and literally watch the grass grow on their computer screens, surely, Ed believes, there must be a way to co-opt those same neural circuits that reward mindless gaming to make learning more addictive and enjoyable. Thats the great ambition of Memrise, and it points towards a future where were constantly learning in tiny chunks of our downtime. The secret of Zyngas success has been endless iteration of its product through A/B testing. Show two groups of users two slightly dierent versions of the same game, and see which group sticks around longer. Then change another variable and re-run the experiment. Memrise is beginning to use the same aggressive empirical testing to gure out not just how to make learning appealing, but also how to make it more eective. If it turns out that users remember 0.5% better when words are shown in one font versus another, or that their memories are 2% more durable when prodded at 7am versus 11am, those changes will be logged in Memrises servers and aect the next days updates to the app. The software is beginning to act as a massively distributed psychology experiment, discovering on a daily basis how to optimise human memory. In a nod to Farmville, Memrise refers to the words youre trying to learn as seeds. Each time you revise a given word, you water it in your

greenhouse until it has fully sprouted and been consolidated in your long-term memory garden. When youve been away from Memrise for too long, you receive an email letting you know that the words youve memorised have begun to wilt and need to be watered. Because Memrise knows what words you already know plus exactly how well you know them and what words you havent yet got a handle on, its algorithm tests you only on the information just at the edge of your knowledge and doesnt waste time forcing you to overlearn memories that youve already banked in your long-term garden. My own pattern of using the app worked like this: each morning there would be a message waiting in my inbox, prodding me to water a few of my memories that were in danger of wilting, and so I would dutifully log in and spend a few minutes revising words I had learned days or sometimes weeks earlier. Sometime midmorning, when I was ready for my rst break from work, Id log back in and get a new bundle of seeds to start watering. Two or three times after lunch, just after checking email and Facebook, Id go back and do some more watering of whichever plants Memrise told me needed the most attention. All the while, I kept a close eye on all the points I was accumulating, and took meaningless satisfaction in watching my ranking among Memrise users inch up day by day. After two and a half months, Id not only planted my way through the entire Lingala dictionary, but also watered all of my mems to the point where they were secure in my long-term memory garden. You could pick any word in the dictionary and I could translate it into Lingala. Still, even after memorising an entire dictionary, I was only the 2,305th highest-ranked Memrise user. I asked Ed if one of his software engineers could mine the data stored on Memrises servers and put together a report on how much time I ended up whiling away with the software. When the gures were nally tallied, I had clocked 22 hours and 15 minutes learning vocabulary on Memrise, spread out over 10 weeks. The longest single uninterrupted burst that I spent learning was 20 minutes, and my average session lasted just

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four minutes. In other words, it took a little less than one full day, spread out over two and a half months, devoting bite-sized chunks of time, to memorise the entire dictionary. But did it work? It took me almost a week by plane, truck and ferry to get back to the Ndoki forest and Mongoussos village of Makao, the last small outpost on the Motaba river before you reach the uninhabited wilderness of Nouabal-Ndoki National Park. For several days, I was stuck 120km west of Makao in a village called Bomassa, while I waited for a truck. It was a frustrating experience, but it gave me an opportunity to begin to test my Lingala with the locals. On my third day in town, a pygmy named Makoti came to visit me early in the morning. I couldnt tell within a decade in either direction how old he was, but he had a long, intimidating scar down his left cheek and an intense demeanor. Yo na ngai, totambola na zamba You and me, lets walk in the forest, he said. He pointed at me and pointed at himself, and then held his index and middle nger together to suggest it should be just the two of us. I had brought with me a translator from Brazzaville, who spoke not only English, French and Lingala, but also a little bit of Mbendjele and four other tribal languages to boot. Though he was helpful in getting me settled, we quickly ran into a problem. The pygmies have a complicated relationship with their Bantu neighbours, one that in some ways resembles medieval serfdom. Pygmies are relentlessly discriminated against by the Bantu, who refer to them as subhuman and often refuse even to touch them. Each pygmy has an inherited Bantu proprietor for whom he does menial labour, often in return for little more than cigarettes or alcohol. The pygmies in turn put on a completely dierent face among the village Bantu to whom they refer as gorillas behind their backs than they do when theyre alone out in the forest. Even the presence of an aable, urban, educated outsider such as my translator immediately caused the pygmies to tighten up. I followed Makoti out of the village and on to an elephant trail, where we found a comfortable log on which to sit, smoke a cigarette and talk in

kosala. The noun for work is mosala. A tool is esaleli. A workshop is an esalelo. At rst, this was all white noise to me. But as I packed my memory with more and more words, these connections started to make sense and I began to notice the same grammatical formulas elsewhere and could even pick them up in conversation. This sort of pattern recognition happens organically over time when a child learns a language, but giving myself all the data points to work with at once certainly made the job easier, and faster. Makoti, who had worked with European foresters, American primatologists and even for a brief spell with the Oxford anthropologist Lewis, seemed to understand what I was after, and why I had come such a long way to spend time with his family and friends. As he stubbed out the last ashes of his cigarette, he suggested, in Lingala sentences that had to be repeated three or four times before I fully grasped them, that I abandon my Bantu translator and make him my assistant instead. It was a tremendous, if perhaps unwarranted, statement of condence in my Lingala. Nakokende na ya na Makao Ill come with you to Makao. It was only a four-hour truck ride away, but the farthest hed been from home in his entire life. I told him, Omona, nayoka Lingala malamu mingi te. Nasengeli kozala na mosalisi koloba Anglais Look, I dont understand Lingala very well. I need to have a helper who speaks English. He shook his head. Te, te, oyoka malamu No, no, you understand well. Then a thought occurred to him, which I was surprised it had taken him so long to express. Wapi oyekolaka Lingala? Where did you learn Lingala? I thought about trying to tell him about the internet, about my computer, about this web app developed over in putu but once again I didnt know where to begin. Instead, I held out my hand to shake his and told him he should let his wife know that hed be travelling with me to Makao. As for explaining Memrise, that conversation would have to wait for a little more uency Could you learn Chinese in a weekend? Take our test at memrise.com/guardian

hushed tones about relationships between the Bantu and the pygmies. Bantu, mondele, babendjele: makila ya ndenge moko The Bantu, the whites, the pygmies: we all have the same blood. He pinched the skin of his forearm. Kasi, bayebi te, he told me. But they dont know that. He meant the Bantu. This was my rst conversation in Lingala without a translator at my side. Even though I had to keep telling him, Malembe, malembe Slow down, slow down I realised I was understanding quite a bit of what he was telling me and that my drilling with Memrise had given me a far better grounding than I had thought possible. It goes without saying that memorising the 1,000 most common words in Lingala, French or Chinese is not going to make anyone a uent speaker. That would have been an unrealistic goal. But it turns out to be just enough vocabulary to let you hit the ground running once youre authentically immersed in a language. And, more importantly, that basic vocabulary gives you a scaolding to which you can attach other words as you hear them. It also lays down the raw data from which you can begin to detect the patterns that dene a languages grammar. As I memorised words in Lingala, I started to notice that there were relationships between them. The verb to work is

50 10 November 2012 | The Guardian Weekend

The aftermath
Guilt, nightmares, post-traumatic stress: sometimes surviving is only the beginning. Laurence Gonzales on life after near-death. Illustration by Geoff Grandfield

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The bear charged Patricia so fast she could scarcely take it in. Their eyes met for a moment. Then it took her head in its mouth and began chewing

t was autumn, and Patricia van Tighem and her husband, Trevor Janz, were hiking in Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada. As they passed into a dense pine forest, Patricia had a sense of foreboding. Something was not right. Trevor called her paranoid, and they resumed their climb. It was a popular trail. There seemed no reason for concern. Yet as they came into view of a waterfall, Patricia stopped again. An awful smell hit her, but Trevor dismissed it. A bighorn sheep had died just o the trail and though she didnt know it, she could smell its decomposing body. Patricia worried aloud about bears, but Trevors enthusiasm won out and they pressed on up the trail. Trevor rushed ahead, eager as always to plunge onward. He disappeared round a bend and Patricia hurried to follow. But as she came within sight of him, something was out of place. It took a moment before she could comprehend what she was seeing. Trevor was down and a bears jaws were around his leg. The bear charged Patricia so fast that she could scarcely take it in. Their eyes met for a moment. Then the bear took her head in its mouth and began chewing. She could feel its teeth scraping across her skull, ripping away her eye and half of her face. Patricia thought of her mother and of all the people who would be destroyed by her death, and she reached up and twisted the huge black nose before her. The bear barked and stood aside. It began pacing in front of her. Patricia played dead. Silence fell at last. Patricia began to stand and felt that something was wrong with her head. She was in the snow, hypothermic and near death, when hikers came to her aid. Somehow they managed to get her down the trail and to nd a search-and-rescue team. Not until she reached the hospital did she learn that Trevor was expected to live. Her stay in the hospital was a torture of surgical procedures interrupted by hallucinations, ashbacks and nightmares. The bear was in the hall, stalking Patricia in her dreams. For weeks of that autumn, in 1983, she was completely blind, adding to her disorientation. The bear took not only her skin and scalp but the muscles of the neck that held up her head. The surgeons took part of her back muscle and grafted it in place as a substitute. Skin from her buttocks was taken to cover her neck and head. That procedure alone took 12 hours. She was informed that her left eye,

where the bear had eaten away the cheekbone, would never see or move again. Patricia was 24. She had been working as a hospital nurse, and Trevor was a third-year medical student. A month after the attack, they were able to leave the hospital, to visit her parents. On that outing, it rst became clear that Patricia and Trevor were about to take radically divergent courses. Patricias response was terror and shame at her disgurement. She felt weak and vulnerable, apprehensive that the car would crash on the way home. She now experienced the world around her as an intensely hazardous place. Arriving at the home where she had grown up, she felt overwhelmed. I am a stranger in some way, she said, echoing many who survive severe trauma. Trevor was disgured, too, his head and face crisscrossed with stitches, his jaw broken, his leg ripped open and sewn back together. And yet, as they left the hospital that day, he was singing, despite the fact that his jaw was wired shut. Again and again, he said he felt lucky and grateful to be alive. One evening, he smuggled a wheelchair to Patricias room and sneaked her out of the ward to see the beautiful view. That night he said he wanted to get out of the hospital and go ice climbing. In his mind, he was rapidly moving on from the experience. Although they had survived almost the same experience, the dierences in their responses grew greater over time. Patricia simply longed for the return of a normal life. Trevors response seemed to be: Im a new man. Lets see what I can do. Neither Patricia nor Trevor could eat solid food at rst. But while Patricia grew thinner, Trevor took a blender to the hospital and put in ice-cream and lasagne, so he could ingest enough calories to gain weight. By the time they were able to leave the hospital, Trevor was losing patience with Patricia for reliving the incident. They stayed at Patricias parents house at rst, and she would sit in the living room looking out of the window, vigilant, expecting at any moment to see a grizzly bear heaving into view. Trevor and her parents went out for walks, but Patricia was too afraid to join them. Exasperated, alone in the house, she would shout out loud at herself, There is nothing out there! Stop it. Stop looking! She and Trevor sought help from a psychotherapist. Trevor voiced his frustration

with his wife. They had tried to go on a hike together, but after 15 minutes Patricia was ill with trepidation and had to turn back. That night, she had terrifying dreams. Trevor had nightmares sometimes, too, but his response was not to think about it. He just put it out of his mind. Psychiatrist George Vaillant, in his Study Of Adult Development, found that this type of suppression was straightforward, practical, and it worked. Of all the coping mechanisms, he wrote, suppression alters the world the least and best accepts the terms life oers. Contrary to what many psychologists would have you believe, he says, simply suppressing a traumatic experience and getting on with business is the defensive style most closely associated with successful adaptation. Trevor forced this hard-nosed logic to dominate over emotion, telling his wife, We wont be attacked again, Trish. Were predisastered. (In quoting from the movie The World According To Garp, he was employing one of the best strategies for successful adaptation: humour.) In the midst of the attack, Trevor recalled feeling distant and philosophical about it. He had seen the bear attack Patricia and was under the impression that she had been killed. When the bear returned to attack Trevor for a second time, he later told his wife that he was convinced hed die, but his only reaction was curiosity. He thought: So this is how I die. Patricias response to the bear was pure panic and terror.

atricia had been more severely injured than her husband, which may explain to some extent the dierences in their responses. Because the bear bit into her face, she had repeated operations on her sinuses. Within weeks of each surgery, infection would set in again. More surgery would follow. Her head and face ached all the time. Patricia needed to experience her body healing in order to make progress, and that just wasnt happening. Also, their experiences of the attack had been dierent in one crucial way. Trevor had had no premonition about the bear. Patricia had ignored the clear warning she had felt.

Lisette duPr Brieger had premonitions, too. She and Marshall Johnson worked in the same oce. At the annual Christmas party, she saw him
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Face time: Micki Glenns screensaver of the shark that attacked her sharpening an axe. She thought it odd, but they worked for an oil company that owned a 400-acre farm in the Virginia countryside. Maybe the axe was for chopping rewood out there. Lisette liked Marshall. A friend had driven her to the party, but when Marshall oered her a ride home, Lisette accepted. As they drove, Marshall asked if shed ever been out to the farm. She had not. Marshall drove out into the countryside, parking by the farm, then reached into the back seat for the axe. Without having to think about it, Lisette threw open the door and began running across the snow-covered ground in her high heels. She was struggling towards the farmhouse when she glanced back and saw Marshall standing in the illumination from the headlights, looking puzzled. What are you doing? he called out. She hesitated. What was that in his hands? Not the axe. A little box. Lisette walked back, now conscious of how wet her feet were, how terried she had been. Open it, he said. What were you doing? I thought you might be about to murder me with that axe. Im hardly an axe murderer, he said with a chuckle. All at once it was a joke. And the icker of something sinister that she had seen in the car subsided beneath the surface once again. The box contained a necklace. She was the administrative assistant at the company, and he was technically one of her bosses, so this was in keeping with the Christmas tradition. Even so, Lisette was touched. How silly of me, she thought. And what an odd thing to think, that he wanted to kill me. Where had that come from? By October 4 2009, Lisette and Marshall had been married for 21 years. They had two children, Graham, just turned 10, and Natalie, 11. The psychological and verbal abuse had become extreme. Lisette had told Marshall she was leaving. Lisette had felt a sense of foreboding the day before. She had celebrated their son Grahams birthday with eight of his friends. There had been Toy Story at the cinema and birthday cake at home. That evening, Marshall was acting strange. He had been threatening her, rst saying that hed never see the children again if she left and then that shed never get custody because she was crazy. The next morning was Sunday. She had plans to meet her friend Gretchen, but found her husband sitting on the bed in the guest room looking upset. Lisette turned and went to her bedroom. Marshall followed, saying, I want to know how you are going to live when you leave here. What are you going to live on? He stormed out. Lisette sat to check her email. Then Marshall returned with a towel over his hand. Lisette stood immediately, suddenly knowing. She stood at the exact moment he pulled the trigger, ring point blank at her head. And because she stood, instead of sitting there in disbelief, the bullet struck her not in the head but halfway between her collarbone and her right breast. She bolted for the open door and he red a second time, hitting her in the abdomen. As she ran across the yard, she screamed for the children. He red again, hitting her in the back. She could hear her daughter screaming, Whats wrong? Whats happened? Lisette managed to call out, Daddy shot me! She heard another shot but felt nothing: that last shot had been for him. She collapsed in a pile of leaves. marvelling at how the bullet could have passed through her husbands brain and then through the bedroom wall and through this wall as well. She felt a new sense of peace and detachment. Lisette began giving talks for the police at the domestic violence task force. Talking, helping others, gave her strength. Her emotions were still just below the surface, but she gradually began to feel grateful for having any feelings at all. She began to realise how long she had been completely numb in her marriage. She used to feel lonely all the time. Now that she was really alone, she rarely felt true loneliness. Then something remarkable happened. Lisette was sitting in the waiting room while Graham was in therapy. An 11-year-old girl named Betty struck up a conversation. Betty told Lisette that she had been shot in the neck and that the bullet was still there. Lisette told her that she, too, had a bullet in her abdomen. Betty said that her mother had been shot twice and her brother was shot four times. Her father had done the shooting. Her brother, aged 10, was in the hospital on a ventilator. Lisette was trying to hold it together as she listened to this. She told Betty and her sister Ruth that they would be happy one day, because she was happy. They exchanged phone numbers and, since their mother couldnt drive a car yet, Lisette promised to take the girls to their appointments. She had found something apart from herself to care about. She struggled on, both for the sake of her children and for Betty and Ruth. In that way, she became a rescuer, and left behind the persona of the victim. For Micki Glenn, confronting the trauma she survived became the key to recovery. She had been on an expedition to scuba dive and photograph sharks o Caicos Bank in the West Indies. Micki managed her husbands practice as a trauma surgeon. Among the others on the boat were a vascular surgeon and a nurse in an intensive care unit. Micki was snorkelling, while her husband Mike was in scuba gear, photographing beneath the surface. Looking down, she was not surprised to see a 7ft-long female shark just beneath her ns. It was their fth day of diving and Micki and her companions had become accustomed to having sharks nearby. The female shark stopped beneath Mickis
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isette was given 10 units of blood in the emergency room. Both of her lungs had collapsed. She still has one of the bullets in her liver. But she got up by herself in the rst week. She returned to work, took care of the children. She functioned. She took the children to visit her family for New Year and, like Patricia, Lisette began to feel how such extreme survival sets you apart. I was surrounded by love, she said, but I had this odd sense of isolation. Dierence. Like I knew something they didnt. The children experienced hysterical crying jags. Lisette had to stand in the middle of it, trying to calm them when she, too, felt like curling up in a ball and falling apart. Back at home during the rst week of 2010, she went through the motions. She took Graham and Natalie to school, had a shower, made a business call. Then hung up and burst into tears. This is part of me now, she thought. Part of who I am. You have to be all right, she told herself, because you have to take care of the children. Spring came. The woods that surrounded the house were exploding with life. Lisette was cleaning out the linen closet when she discovered the bullet hole in the wall. She stared at it,


The new fearful, injured, careful, timid person emerged as the dominant me and, to my dismay, she controlled my actions, my body
ns and changed direction. Then the animal moved slowly upright, aligning its body with Mickis until the two were staring at each other. I was looking right into her eye, just inches away. I saw the slit of her mouth, and the hair was standing up on the back of my neck. I thought I was the luckiest person ever. Micki held her breath as the shark moved slowly against her, then glided away. mantra carried her through the excruciating journey to the hospital, by dinghy, police boat, helicopter, ambulance and, at last, a Coast Guard jet. When they reached the hospital, a surgeon reconstructed her arm. She underwent six operations over the next two weeks. But the more profound drama, the ordeal of trying to re-enter the world, began while she was still in hospital. If I didnt focus on something every minute, as soon as I relaxed, it was like the wall in the hospital would turn into the sea again, and I relived the shark attack over and over and over. To take her mind o the shark, she returned to work just 16 days after the attack, still wearing bandages and plaster. The Micki I loved was loud and clear in my head, she told me. But the new fearful, injured, careful, timid person emerged as the dominant me and, to my dismay, she controlled my actions, my body. The old familiar me had a strong voice and sense of who I should be, but she had no control. She was a ghost. I aligned myself with her, and we hated the alien Micki. Mike had managed to photograph the shark just before it attacked Micki. Now he put a close-up image of that very shark on her computer, as her screensaver. Every time I walked in, I had to look at her again, she said. It took a week or two, but I was gradually desensitised. After the accident, Micki had told her husband to get rid of her scuba gear. She never wanted to see it again. He kept it anyway. Two years passed. Then a friend coaxed Micki into taking a trip to Dominica in the Caribbean and for two days sat holding Mickis hand at the edge of the water. The rst day I actually went to dive, I threw up my breakfast. When she was 80ft down, a big barracuda surprised her. All I saw were teeth. I came completely unglued and crashed into the wall and cried into my mask and got all snotty. She forced herself to stay in the water and work through it. After Dominica, I felt that I was whole again, she told me. A decade after their bear attack, Patricia still had not moved on. She and Trevor had children but, while he was working as a doctor, for many days she lay curled up in her room with a blanket over her head, unable to function. Trevor had attacked the world in much the same way as Micki, by seeking new pursuits. When he was in hospital, Trevor had sustained himself in part by dreaming that he would one day go ice climbing. He made that dream a reality. He went mountaineering. He bought a sailboard and went windsurng. He built a house to live in and built the furniture for it. And he became, in eect, a single parent. Patricia, who had been perfectly welladjusted before setting out for that hike at the age of 24, now began her passage through a series of psychiatric hospitals, through electroconvulsive therapy, through drugs and therapy and more surgery, through more and more pain and depression. Fifteen years passed after the attack, yet still Patricia read obsessively about bears and people being attacked by bears, and wrote compulsively about her experience. She had a big family and good social support from her many siblings and friends. But their wellmeaning attempts to cheer her up (At least youre alive) merely sent her into a rage again. When her book The Bears Embrace was published, it became a bestseller. Yet nothing seemed to help her get over the attack.

s she let out her breath, Micki felt a powerful surge of water hit her side, as the shark ipped around and took Mickis arm in its mouth. The sharks upper rows of teeth were across Mickis back all the way to the spine. She felt no pain, only pressure like I was in a vice. Like many people caught in a life-threatening emergency, Micki described time slowing down so that I could perceive the most minute details. Like a razor, the lower jaw sliced her breast. The upper jaw took half her armpit. Then the shark began thrashing with such force that Micki suered whiplash. At the same time, she was trying to power her left hand around to strike the shark and drive it away. At last the shark slid beneath the boat, taking a huge chunk of meat with it. It was about eight in the morning, a beautiful sunny day, on November 14 2002. Micki looked around and saw four other sharks. The water all around her was not just red but deep crimson. She saw the ragged esh and the bone of her arm. The rest of my arm was in the water. I was beyond terror. She began kicking as hard as she could toward the boat, paddling with her uninjured left arm. On the boat, Mike, the vascular surgeon and the ICU nurse were on hand with their medical equipment, brought along as a precaution against just such an emergency. Mike groped for the torn end of Mickis brachial artery, which was ejecting a fountain of blood. Thats when the pain hit, Micki said. It was surgery without anaesthesia. I started screaming so loud that I couldnt hear. They put her on an IV. I still didnt think I was going to live through it. I refused pain meds because I didnt want to relax and lose the ability to ght and stay alive. Micki knew it was important to stay awake and that the pain could help her accomplish that. She developed a mantra: pain is my friend. Mickis

atricias temperament actually might have prevented the accident. When they were going up the trail, she had sensed something. She smelled the dead sheep and knew it was a warning signal. She was consciously afraid of bears at that moment. (The grizzly was feeding on the dead sheep and attacked them in an attempt to protect its nd.) Left to her own devices, she might well have turned back. Instead, Trevors boldness won out. His personality proved much more resilient in the aftermath. And Patricias apprehension, the very sensitivity that might have saved them, became her greatest liability in the years to come. On December 14 2005, Patricia van Tighem checked into a hotel in Kelowna, British Columbia, and took her own life, leaving behind Trevor and four children. She had fought the bear for 22 years Extracted from Surviving Survival: The Art And Science of Resilience by Laurence Gonzales, published by WW Norton on 9 November at 18.99. To order a copy for 15.19, with free UK p&p, go to guardian.co.uk/ bookshop or call 0330 333 6846.
The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 59

fashion beauty food & drink mind relationships homes gardens property cars puzzles

Didi Kingsley
I live in a very small at. Its so frustrating I adore design, but my home is also my oce, so it has to be uncluttered. I would love to be able to display all my beautiful things, but theres no room. The answer is boxes, bags and suitcases full of our stu. I am almost obsessive about putting things away. I would never shop in Ikea. I just couldnt! I love vintage items the quality, the design. It would be very hard for me to buy something there when I know I could nd it in a ea market or on eBay if I just look. Im a big fan of 50s/60s Tomado shelving units. They clip together, so you can ll a whole wall with them and theyre dierent colours so they look really pretty. Style is important to me. I tend not to wear anything too trendy, and I try not to dress to oend. I like a classic look that shows air. I like people to notice that my shirt is dierent from every other shirt that it has a certain je ne sais quoi. This is a Hawaiian skirt from the 50s, which Ive paired with a Valentino Couture silk shirt and a 70s Lanvin silk headscarf. I sell beautiful vintage pieces like this on eBay, but my dream is to have a shop in Chelsea or Knightsbridge. Somewhere I dont want to say expensive but a place where people understand what Im selling. Interview by Becky Barnicoat

Are you a Weekender? Email a photo and a brief description of how you spend your weekends to weekender@ guardian.co.uk.

The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 61


Walk on the wild side

Take high-street store H&M, add avant-garde fashion label Maison Martin Margiela, and what do you get? Photographs by Paul Gore. Styling by Simon Chilvers

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Dog days Jen wears shirt (left), 49.95, and jeans, 59.99, by MMM for H&M, hm.com. Mens cardigan, 210, by Acne, acnestudios. com. Boots, Jens own. Austin wears poloneck, 59, and trousers, 69, by Cos, cosstores.com. Coat, 149.99, by MMM for H&M, as before. Shoes, 515, by Maison Martin Margiela, maisonmartinmargiela.com.

State of mind Jen wears top (above left), 49, by Cos, as before. Skirt, 59.99, and boots, 199.99, by MMM for H&M, as before. Beanie, 100, by Acne, from Matches, matchesfashion.com. Mens cardigan, 210, by Acne, as before.

Hang loose Jen wears jumper (above), 595, by JW Anderson, from Matches, as before. Dress, 59.99, by MMM for H&M, as before. Austin wears poloneck, 55, by Cos, as before. Jacket, 79.99, waistcoat, 34.99, and jeans, 79.95, by MMM for H&M, as before.

The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 63

To the wire Jen wears blouse (top left), 240, by Acne, from Matches, as before. Jeans, from 20, by Beyond Retro, beyondretro.com. Shoes, 577, and ring, 200, by Maison Martin Margiela, as before. Necklace, 7.99, by MMM for H&M, as before.

Holding court Austin wears sweatshirt (top right), 39, by American Apparel, americanapparel.co.uk. Trousers, 59.99, by MMM for H&M, as before. Jen wears top, 59, by Cos, as before. Jeans, 39.99, and bag, 34.99, by MMM for H&M, as before.

High line Jen wears mens suit jacket (above), 79.99, shirt, 49.95, and jeans, 59.99, by MMM for H&M, as before. Austin wears top, 59, and trousers, 69, by Cos, as before. Waistcoat, 34.99, by MMM for H&M, as before.

Red light Austin (above right) wears top, 29.99, by MMM for H&M, as before. Jogging bottoms, 160, by Acne, from Matches, as before.

The MMM for H&M collection is available in stores and online from 15 November. Stylists assistant: Sara Ilyas. Hair, makeup and grooming: Berta Camal at Jed Root using Tom Ford, Burts Bees and Oribe. Models: Austin Hall and Jen Dau at New York Models, and Teddy the afghan hound, bustedlovedogblog. blogspot.com.

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Wish list What we like this week

1 2

5 4
1 Jumper, 69, boden.co.uk. 2 Necklace, 189, by Alex Monroe from my-wardrobe.com. 3 Cashmere gloves, 65, by Michael van der Ham for Brora, brora.co.uk. 4 Purse, 16, topshop.com. 5 Ankle boots, 169, jigsaw-online.com.

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All ages Hello, tailor

1 2 3 4 5

Matthew wears suit, 330, by Topman Design, topman.com. Shirt, 59, and polo-neck, 59, both by Cos, cosstores.com. Trainers, 78, by Nike, nikesportswear.com. Dylan wears padded blazer, 59.99, by Zara, zara.com. Polo shirt, 14.90, by Uniqlo, uniqlo.com. Trousers, 34, by Topman, topman.com. Suede plimsolls, 25, by Blue Harbour, marksandspencer.com. Hugo wears suit jacket, 175, and trousers, 79, by Cos, as before. Polo-neck, 19.90, by Uniqlo, as before. Shoes, 245, by Russell & Bromley, russellandbromley.co.uk. Giovanni wears shirt, 65, by Jaeger, jaeger.co.uk. Coat, 180, by Banana Republic, bananarepublic. eu. Trousers, part of a suit, 495, by Reiss, reiss.com. Boots, 69, by M&S Sartorial, marksandspencer.com. Glasses, Giovannis own. Andy wears jacket, 215, by Jigsaw, jigsaw-online.com. Shirt, 85, by Toast, toast.co.uk. Polo-neck, 9.90, by Uniqlo, as before. Trousers, 79, by Cos, as before. Shoes, 69.99, by Zara, zara.com. Portfolio, 89, by Reiss, as before. Glasses, 270, by Hardy Amies, hardyamies.com. Photographs: David Newby. Styling: Simon Chilvers. Stylists assistant: Sara Ilyas. Hair: Jamie McCormick using Kiehls. Grooming: Stef Arron using Kiehls. Models: Giovanni at Ugly, Hugo at Nevs, Matthew and Dylan at Elite, Andy at Storm. Shot at the Old Shoe Factory.

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The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 69


How to dress The hot shoulder



t fashion week, anyone who is anyone ne shoulder robes. Yes, they shoulder robe. Its a verb, and is what Im doing here, wearing a jacket without putting my arms in the sleeves. I am shoulder robing the jacket. This is important. This style has been around for a while, but until recently it was called wearing your r coat like a cape or pretending to be a superhero, neither of which sounds like a true-blue fashion trend. Shoulder robing has a good solid garment-industry ring to it. Shoulder robing is a challenge. You have to stand up straight, so it looks deliberate, and resist the urge to hunch forward to stop the jacket falling o, or youll look as if someone has thrown a blanket over r you, like a criminal being protected d from rotten tomatoes, which is not the energy we are channelling here at all. You also have to think what you are going to do with your stu, because you cant carry a shoulder bag in the normal way. The fashionweek standard is to hold your bag clamped between body and forearm, m, as if it were a clutch bag. Its tricky. Which is precisely why

it is the alpha fashion manoeuvre t of th moment. The fashion week the in-crowd love nothing more than in-c pulling o a look normal people pull nd puzzling. Wearing sunglasses was once the alpha fashion wa manoeuvre, until it started ma to l look post-surgery. Wearing ridiculously high heels at 10am rid was one, but these days well, wa lets just say the Ryder Cup golf let Wags are on to this now, and Wa move swiftly on. mov Successful shoulder robing Su makes you look both terrically make busy and glamorous, a bit like a bulg bulging, glossy Filofax did in the 1980s. To pull it o, you have to 1980s look a if your schedule is so tight, as you simply dont have time to put si your a arms in your sleeves between high-powered meetings, but must high-p simply charge through the day with the wind in your sails like an urban wi matador. And now that we fetishise matad being busy ask someone how they are an the answer is likely to be, and So beyond manic its ridiculous be shoulder robing is about as now as shou fashion statements get. fashio Jacket, 89.99, and shoes, 49.99, Jacket Zara, z zara.com. Top, 18, Topshop, topshop.com. Trousers, 69, Cos, topsho cosstores.com. cossto

The Measure
Michelle Obama For not putting a single foot wrong during a awless sartorial campaign. Respect. Temperley travel The tiger-striped weekend bag (150) is top of our Christmas list this year. Malin + Goetz rum-scented handwash Adding a decadent touch to our anti-u hygiene strategy. Posh puas Dream: Pyrenexs gold-panelled bombers. Reality: Penelds chic down-lled jackets. Ruby + Ed The best place for faux fur. The Long Fur Coat in Bear is a tiny bit Gwyneth in The Royal Tenenbaums, in a good way.

British reality shows Our current wrong-but-right x is Gallery Girls, a show about entitled brats interning in the New York art world. Has to be seen to be believed.


1 Bird print, 50, topshop.com. 2 Floral print, 180, jaeger.co.uk. 3 Geo print, 70, warehouse.co.uk. 4 Drape pocket, 56, oasis-stores.com.

Black sunglasses Were feeling l winter white shades. See Kurt Cobain/90s revival/Cutler and Gross/ next season Dries womenswear. Hi-tech public bathrooms The hand-sensitive-water thing. The timed air freshener. The deafening dryers. Its all a bit of a drama, no? Complaining about the weather This year, can we try to make winter more fun? Start with the Markus Lupfer for Whistles bobble hats proclaiming Brrrrr.


Get the look Sali Hughes on foaming cleansers

owever much I quack on about my preferred method of cleansing with cream and hot cloth I know many of you will always prefer a face wash. I understand the convenience of covering all ablutions in your shower, and also that one might feel cleaner with a rinse-o cleanser. So I decided to see how face washes had come on since I last used them as a teen. My ndings were these: washes are for mornings only when I used one at night, I found some makeup on the towel as I dried my face. Theyre just not as thorough as a cream or milk. But I also found that foaming cleansers are milder and feel more luxurious than I remember (I maintain 1980s versions could have stripped paint). You may want to give sodium laureth sulphate a wide berth. Its the detergent used in Fairy Liquid and a number of cleansers (dont think masses of foam equals clean). Uncharacteristically, I recommend avoiding alcohol it robs skin of moisture. These six left my skin soft and peachy though I cannot end any cleansing column without begging you to buy a cream cleanser and a annel for night-time use. Youd be suspicious if I didnt. Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser, 6.75, feelunique.com (main image) An abundant, luxurious foam: smells heavenly and feels gentle and kind on all skin types. Jurlique Balancing Foaming Cleanser, 27.50, jurlique.co.uk This is aimed at combination and oily skin, kin, kin, but my dry, y, dehydrated d face loved it. it.

What I see in the mirror

Occasionally I look in the mirror in the morning and think, You look all right today but the rest of the time I stare at what looks like a half-sucked mango. Im 64 and Ive got four-year-old twins, so its not unusual for me to look jaded, especially if theyve woken each other up during the night. The biggest dierence to my appearance these days is my hair. After 47 years of wearing it long, I got it cut short ve months ago and its been a shock. I do feel rather exposed without my thatched roof but its actually far less trouble and I wouldnt go back. Its all very well when youre on stage and youre rockin, but when you want to put a suit on and go out but your hair looks too long, its a pain. I dont like to think Im vain but the truth is you have to be in this business. Youre up in front of thousands of people, so when you walk on to that stage, you want to go out there feeling and looking good, and facially I think I look OK for my age. My problems always been whats below my neck Im not a big fan of looking at myself naked in the mirror. The issue is my stomach and my tits, which always return, however much I diet. When I do catch the occasional glimpse of myself in a full-length mirror, I tell myself, Look, Partt, youre 64 years old, your stage jeans still t, youve lived a little, you dont look too bad. Hello Quo! is out now on DVD. Status Quo will tour the UK in December.


Naked Skin Bare Faced Cheek Softening Face Wash, 4.49, nakedbodycare. co.uk Ideal for sensitive skin. sens sens Uses softening Uses rose oil and rose no no nasties.

Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Cottonseed, 17.50, clarins.co.uk Rinses o thoroughly without stripping moisture or leaving residue.

Chantecaille Rice and Geranium Foaming Cleanser, 49, liberty.co.uk Expensive, but extremely rich. Left my skin balanced, clear, soft.

BareMinerals Purifying Facial Cleanser, 15, bareminerals. co.uk Gentle cleanser that controls oil in oily and combination skin without making it dry.

The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 73


Fall for squash

Look beyond butternut for rich autumn flavour, says Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

f theres an autumn vegetable guaranteed to make me behave like a child in a sweetshop, its squash. (OK, its technically a fruit, but bear with me.) Present me with even a modest display of dierent varieties, with their panoply of oranges, blue-greys and muted mottled greens, as well as their variously lovely forms, and my eyes start gleaming. Whenever I nd squashes for sale, I tend to buy far more than I need, but their amazing staying power (theyll keep happily for weeks, if not months) is just one of their many charms. As autumn progresses, these glowing members of the cucurbit family (theyre cousins of cucumbers and melons) become increasingly abundant. I never tire of them, and Ill cook with them several times a week until the supply runs out in early spring. Ill be rustling up old favourites whole pumpkin baked with cream; squash and sage risotto and trying out new ones too, be that baking squash in a cake, making it the star turn in a tart or crushing it into a herby, buttery pure. Squashes and pumpkins do need a bit of work sometimes the force required to make the initial breach through that thick skin is frankly brutal; and after that theres a fair bit of seed-scooping and chopping but that doesnt put me o. Id happily expend twice the time and energy needed to get to my goal: the incomparable avour of roasted, caramelised squash esh developing on my tongue. Or velvety, sage-andgarlicky squash soup cosseting my throat. Or parmesan-dusted squash

ravioli yielding beneath my fork The distinction between a squash and a pumpkin is not entirely clear, but, to quote my friend and veg patch expert Mark Diacono, Squash are almost always delicious... pumpkins are generally orange. Id have no compunction about sampling any squash you put in front of me, but Id want to know more about a pumpkin, because many are developed for size, not avour. As a general rule, be suspicious of anything larger than a melon, particularly in the run-up to Halloween. The larger the pumpkin, the more likely it will be avourless, brous and watery. Bell-shaped, parchment-coloured butternuts are the ubiquitous squashes in the UK, but for most of the year theyll be imported. To me, eating squash in summer feels wrong even before I start thinking about food miles, so I stick to the native season: theyre harvested from September to November and can last through to February or March. Dont limit yourself to butternuts, though. I love the beautifully uted, dark green acorn squash, the sweet and delicious onion or uchiki kuri squash and the round kabocha. The ghostly, blue/grey-skinned crown prince is a real favourite and a great all-rounder, while sweet mama lives up to its name. And small, round gem squashes are perfect for baking whole, the middles hollowed out and lled with bacon or cheese with nuts and herbs. Squashes are easy to grow though they take up a fair bit of space and seeds are easy to save, so if you ever nd yourself eating a squash that makes you think, Yes,

74 10 November 2012 | The Guardian Weekend


this is the squash for me, its time to start rummaging in the bin or compost for its seeds. Just let them dry out in a warm place and save for sowing in May the next year. Varieties dier in avour and texture, but Im not one for specifying particular varieties for particular recipes you can make a superb soup or pasta dish with any variety (with the exception of spaghetti squash, which breaks up into noodle-like strands when cooked). They can all be roasted, too, cut into wedges, skin-on, sloshed generously with olive oil, partnered with a few bashed garlic cloves, and sprinkled with salt, pepper, chilli akes and a few herbs such as bay, sage or thyme. Regardless of the squash you started with, take this approach and it will be hard not to produce a dish of glorious colour and deep avours that will partner anything from pork chops or grilled sh to a bowl of salad leaves and a dish of lentils. Squashes are luscious, so grab em while you can.

Heat the oven to 170C/335F/gas mark 3 and line a 10cm x 20cm loaf tin with baking parchment. Use an electric whisk to beat the sugar and egg yolks for two to three minutes, until pale and creamy. Lightly stir in the pumpkin, lemon zest and juice, raisins and almonds. Combine the our, salt and spices, sift these in, then fold them in. Beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Beat a heaped tablespoonful of egg white into the batter to loosen it, then fold in the rest as gently as you can. Tip into the prepared tin and level the top. Bake for about an hour, until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, than transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.


This glorious, golden, autumnal supper is very easy to put together. If you dont want to take the pastry route, give the roast squash, shallot and mushroom mix a little longer in the oven and serve on a bed of leaves as a delicious salad, dressed with a little more oil and a trickle of good balsamic vinegar. Serves four.
350g peeled, deseeded squash esh, cut into 1cm-thick chunky slices 175g shallots, peeled and cut into halves or quarters 2 tbsp olive oil Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper A few rosemary and/or thyme sprigs 150g large, rm mushrooms, thickly sliced 1 sheet ready-rolled all-butter pu pastry 100g washed-rind cheese (stinking bishop, ogleshield or taleggio)


Grated pumpkin or squash works just as well as carrot in a cake, making for a sweet, moist result. This delicious loaf is also made without any oil or butter. Makes 12 generous slices.
200g light muscovado sugar 4 large eggs, separated 200g nely grated raw squash esh Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon 100g raisins 100g ground almonds 200g self-raising our Pinch of salt 1 tsp ground cinnamon Generous grating of fresh nutmeg

Heat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Put the squash and shallots on
The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 75


Wine Portugals wine deserves respect, says Fiona Beckett

As I stagger towards the end of the autumn tasting season (I dont expect you to feel sympathetic but 15-plus supermarket wines are not a bundle of laughs), one country stands out for oering characterful wines at a fair price: Portugal. Its partly because they have the weird and wonderful grape varieties I touched on the other week, but also they mercifully dont have a long-established ne wine culture, Jos Mourinhos favourite Barca Velha aside. The exuberant, brambly Marco de Peges Terras do Sado Tinto 2010 (13.5% abv), for example, is an absolutely cracking deal from Majestic at 6.49 if you buy two or more bottles. I love the label and the screwcap (very un-PC in Portugal), too. It would go well with gutsy gastropub dishes, spicy stews or even, I suspect, rogan josh Portuguese reds can usefully take a bit of spice. Waitrose has the more expensive FOZ (9.99; 14% abv), from Alentejo, coming into 121 branches midweek, a supple, sexy blend of aragonez, trincadeira and castelo that tastes a good ver more (but not, as the name might suggest, of Australian wine). Independents also tend to do Portugal well. Tanners has a handsomely labelled, juicy Douro Red (7.90; 13% abv) under its own label that would make excellent cold-weather drinking. They reckon its a natural for chicken peri peri, but Id fancy cracking it open with some braised ox cheek. The Real Wine Company has a notably good selection, including Quinta de Santanas Santana Tinto 2011 (7.99; 14% abv), an attractive blend of touriga nacional and aragonez. It reminds me of an Italian red, but youd be lucky to nd one as good for the price. One for hearty pasta bakes or sausages and polenta. I also like the same outts Boas Dao Branco 2011 (7.99; 7.95 at the Halifax Wine Company; 13% abv), a dry, full-bodied white made from encruzado and cercial that would go really well with pokey Iberian sh dishes with pimentn and garlic and even with pork or veal. And now that Spanish albario has become so pricey, look over the border to the Vinho Verde region, where you frequently nd the same variety, alvarinho, a couple of quid cheaper. Take advantage of the last two days of Marks & Spencers current 25% o six bottles oer to snap up some delicious crisp, citrussy Tercius Alvarinho 2011 at 7.49 instead of 9.99 its the ideal seafood white. Portugal is denitely one to watch in 2013. matchingfoodandwine.com


The classic Italian combo of squash, sage and pasta is very hard to beat, but the crunch of walnuts is a lovely addition. Serves four.
About 750g squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2-3cm cubes 4-6 fat garlic cloves, skin on, lightly squashed Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 4 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil 75g walnuts, very roughly chopped (optional)

Berger & Wyse


The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 77


a large baking tray. Pour over the oil, season and scatter on the herbs. Roast for 30 minutes, stir in the mushrooms and cook for 20 minutes more, until everything is cooked and starting to caramelise (dont let it colour too much, because it will be cooked further later on). Turn up the oven to 200C/400F/ gas mark 6. Tip the veg into a dish. Lay the pastry sheet on the tray and score a border 2cm in all around the edge; dont cut right through. Spread the veg over the pastry, leaving the border clear. Slice the cheese thickly and arrange on top. Add more herbs and seasoning, and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling. Serve with a salad of bitter or peppery leaves to balance the sweet squash and shallots.

250g pappardelle (or other pasta) 50g unsalted butter 15-20 sage leaves, cut into ribbons Finely grated parmesan or hard goats cheese, to serve

Heat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Put the squash in a roasting tin, add the garlic and some salt and pepper, trickle over the oil and toss together. Roast for 45 minutes, stirring once or twice during cooking, until the squash is completely soft and starting to caramelise. Add the nuts for the last 10 minutes, taking care they dont burn. When the squash is about halfway cooked, bring a large pan of water to a boil, salt it well and add the pasta. Cook for the time suggested on the packet, then drain. While the pasta is cooking, heat the butter very gently in a small pan. When foaming, add the sage and cook over a low heat, without letting the butter brown, for three minutes. Turn o the heat. Toss the sage butter, the hot squash and walnuts into the pasta add any pan juices, too, as well as the garlic, provided its not too burned. Season to taste and transfer to warmed dishes. Finish with more pepper and serve with parmesan for people to help themselves guardian.co.uk/ hughfearnleywhittingstall For the latest news from River Cottage HQ, go to rivercottage.net.


Yotam Ottolenghi A taste of Turkey, plus a bruschetta for a cold day

5g fresh thyme sprigs 3 cinnamon sticks 50g unsalted butter 400g Portobello mushrooms, halved or quartered and stalks trimmed 400g chestnut mushrooms, halved 1 tbsp lime juice 12g celery leaves, torn 4 thick slices sourdough bread 1 pinch cayenne pepper


In one show in my new TV series, I head to Turkey, the country that gave us yoghurt, or at least the name, and some of the worlds great chillies. This combines both. It can all be prepared in advance. Serves four.
1 small coquina or 1 large butternut squash (1.4kg gross weight) 1 tsp ground cinnamon 90ml olive oil Salt and black pepper 50g coriander, leaves and stalks, plus extra leaves for garnish 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed 20g pumpkin seeds 200g Greek yoghurt 1 tsp sriracha (or other chilli sauce)

Heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Cut the squash in half lengthways, remove and discard the seeds, then cut it skin and all into 7cm-long and 2cm-thick wedges. Put these in a large bowl with the cinnamon, two tablespoons of olive oil, three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of pepper, and rub evenly into the squash. Lay the squash skin side down on two oven trays and roast for 25-30 minutes, until soft and starting to colour. Remove and leave to cool. Meanwhile, put the coriander, garlic, remaining oil and a generous pinch of salt in a small food processor and blitz to a ne paste. Lower the oven temperature to 160C/320F/gas mark 2. Lay the pumpkin seeds on an oven tray and roast for six to eight minutes. The skins will pop open and theyll go light and crisp. Remove and set aside.

To serve, mix the yoghurt and chilli sauce. Lay the squash wedges on a platter, drizzle over the yoghurt sauce and then the herb paste (you can also swirl them together). Scatter the seeds on top, followed by a few coriander leaves, and serve.


Celery gives this wintery bruschetta a special edge the leaves are crucial, so make sure you get a head with those still attached. Serves four.
1 large head garlic, plus 4 extra cloves, peeled and crushed 3 tbsp olive oil Salt and black pepper 1 small onion, peeled and nely diced 2 celery stalks, cut on an angle into 1cm slices

Heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Cut the top quarter o the garlic head to expose the cloves, place cut side up on a large sheet of aluminium foil and pour over a tablespoon of oil and a pinch of salt. Wrap up in the foil, sealing it well, and roast for 30 minutes until the cloves are golden-brown and completely soft. Set aside. Meanwhile, put a large saut pan on medium to high heat. Pour in the remaining oil and add the onion, the extra four cloves of garlic, celery, thyme and cinnamon. Saut for eight minutes, until the onions are soft, then add the butter, mushrooms, a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of pepper. Cook for a further 15 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft and there is hardly any liquid left in the pan (add water while cooking, or reduce at the end, as necessary). Remove from the heat, mix in the lime juice and leave somewhere warm. Once the garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze out the esh. Lightly toast the sourdough and spread with the garlic. Place on individual plates or a platter. Stir the celery leaves into the mushroom mix, then spoon over the toast and sprinkle with cayenne. Serve warm. Yotam Ottolenghi is chef/patron of Ottolenghi and Nopi in London. Ottolenghis Mediterranean Feast starts on More 4 on Monday at 9pm.


The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 79


Dan Lepard Flour power: your way to perfect baking

slice into 12 wheels and sit them three-by-four on a large tray lined with nonstick baking paper. Leave to rise for an hour, then bake at 200C (180C fan-assisted)/390F/gas mark 6 for about 30 minutes, until golden.


You can also bake this as a tin loaf, or as two small long loaves, depending on the size of sandwich youre after.
75g pumpkin seeds

75g sunower seeds 400g extra-strong white our 100g wholemeal or spelt our 25g cornour 2 tsp salt 7g sachet fast-action yeast 275ml warm water 50g honey 100g natural yoghurt 25ml sunower oil

All our is suitable for breadmaking of some sort, but British recipes typically stipulate strong white our. By strong, the millers mean that the type of proteins in the our will, when wet, form a fairly stretchy and resilient dough that will tolerate a little abuse at the hands of bakers. Out of this has grown a market for extra-strong our, which does even more of the same you can mix it with tricky ours such as rye or wholemeal, and still get an extralight and soft loaf; or add ingredients such as grated vegetables or fats, and maintain a good stretchiness in the dough, making it ideal for easy-to-shape Chelsea buns, say. Theres a good one available right now from spingour.com, but your nearest supermarket should have many more to choose from.


Theres lots of dough here, so use a big tray or two smaller ones. The sweet potato adds an intense golden colour to the crumb and helps the buns stay extra-soft.
400g sweet potato, peeled 375ml boiling milk 75g unsalted butter 2 oranges, zest nely grated, plus 125ml juice 30g caster sugar 7g sachet fast-action yeast 1kg extra-strong our 2 tsp salt A little oil, for kneading For the lling 150g shelled pecans 150g brown sugar

3 tsp cinnamon 2 tsp cornour Melted butter, to nish

Grate the sweet potato into a bowl and pour on the boiling milk. Add the butter in pieces, then the zest, juice and sugar. Stir, leave until barely warm, then stir in the yeast, our and salt. Mix everything to a soft dough, cover the bowl and leave for 10 minutes. Lightly knead the dough on an oiled worktop for 10 seconds, return it to the bowl, cover and leave for an hour, giving it one or two more light kneads in that time, if you can. Wipe clean and dry the worktop, lightly our it, and tip out the dough. Roll it to about 1cm thick. Finely grind the pecans, sugar, cinnamon and cornour, spread this mix over the dough and drizzle with a little melted butter. Roll up the dough into a tight scroll,

If you have time, toast the seeds for 10-15 minutes in an oven set to 180C (160C fan-assisted)/350F/gas mark 4. Leave to cool, then mix in a bowl with the three ours and salt. In another bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water, honey and yoghurt, then pour into the our bowl with the oil. Mix to a shaggy rough dough add a touch more water or our as you prefer cover and leave for 10 minutes. Gently knead the dough on a lightly oiled worktop for about 10 seconds, return to the bowl, cover and leave for about an hour, giving the dough a few more light kneads during that time. Shape the dough into a ball and place on a tray lined with nonstick paper. Leave for about an hour, or until risen by half. Heat the oven to 200C (180C fanassisted)/390F/gas mark 6, cut a single slash down the centre of the loaf and bake for 40-50 minutes. danlepard.com/guardian

The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 81


Marina OLoughlin The meal is something special, but the poor chef has to perform for a selfobsessed, show-off crowd

his meal is something special. Each of the 11 little courses delivers eyebrow-raising surprises or sheer, sensual gratication, frequently both. They resonate and haunt for days afterwards, pleasure-bombs the lot of them. A few highlights: a strip of awless mackerel, so fresh its esh cuts like fondant scattered around are weeny dice of salted, pressed cucumber and dots of Pacojet-ed lemon, the peel and esh exhilaratingly sherbety-sour. Theres balmy oyster cream for contrast, and one perfect, ozone-peachy oyster. A fat, caramelised scallop its buttery, pillowy meat contrasting with the Dayglo emerald of celeriac and lemon verbena sauce pairs luxury with extraordinary brightness of avour. And rosy-pink roe deer packed with sweet minerality and sheer meatiness sits on a tangle of onions, astringent from their slow bath of yoghurt whey. Texture comes from paper-thin slices of raw chestnut and salty sweetness from elderberry capers. Its so deliriously autumnal, it makes me want to put on wellies and stomp through piles of rustling leaves. Puddings: the milkiest, purest burrata with a blob of intense, foraged damson; and pear sponge of cloud-like lightness given a hit of liquorice by its silky ice. There are even jokes: chocolate-coated blackberry jelly and crisped base is


70 Charlotte Street, London W1, 0207637 7770. Open Tues-Sat, dinner only (two sittings, 6pm & 8.30pm). Set menu 68, plus drinks and service. described as a Tunnocks Teacake, while caramelised white chocolate with a baked, honeyed black g tastes like celestial Caramac. Sorry, did I get carried away? Its the fault of this secret restaurant behind the wildly popular gourmet hotdog and champagne joint, Bubbledogs&. This is the & bit, Kitchen Table, a mini amphitheatre for cheery as spectator sport, a labour of love nanced by shadowy backers and hotdog queues. You reach it, as in some kind of

computer game, by enraging that lengthy, agitated queue and parting heavy leather curtains to the twinkly, lament-bulbed space beyond. You perch on cumbersome leather stools at the counter well, the pass while young chefs scuttle hither and thither, piping tiny dots, sizzling butter and strewing foraged chickweed. After braving this and a permanently engaged booking line, you sure as hell deserve a push up to the next level. The owners are husband and wife James Knappett and Sandia Chang: between them they have CVs to make the spoddiest of restaurant spods tumesce on the spot: Per Se, Noma, Roganic, The Ledbury. So its all excitement, rosiness and loveliness? Hmm. There are people who enjoy the whole chefs table phenomenon,

but Im not one of them. It reminds me of rich Victorians peering at Bedlam inmates for sport jammed among these people in a horseshoe of no escape is not my idea of fun. On one side of me is a man with BMW keys placed in front of him like the prelude to a spot of wife-swapping. He licks his plates, putting them up to his face and scouring them with a large tongue. Along from him is a trio of young, beautiful people who are almost entirely silent apart from the click and whirr of their cameras. To my left is a chap who orders a vast takeaway of hotdogs, For dessert. The air reverberates with screeches of Mugaritz and Brooklyn Fare and best scallops are from a little asador outside Bilbao. This circlejerk of oneupmanship makes me wish I could pull a battered black pudding out of my bag and poke it in their eyes. I feel sorry for Knappett, who introduces each course with bushy-tailed enthusiasm and real knowledge, having to perform for this self-obsessed, show-o audience of conspicuous consumers. When he and Chang get a place with actual tables, Ill be biting o hands for a booking. His cooking and her charm are a potent combination (although I wish shed told me, when recommending a blissful, dry Szepsy Estate Furmint Tokaj, that it was 61). But until then, divine cooking or not, Im out. Expensive, high-end food will always attract the tosserati, but this lot really are the sous-vided, thermomixed crme de la crme.

Quiz 1 The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth. 2 Arsenal Ladies. 3 Cancer or Leo. 4 Chemical Ali. 5 Modern Toss. 6 Ferrari. 7 Swahili. 8 Jean-Pierre Laud. 9 Literary works featuring cannibalism. 10 US presidential order of succession. 11 Freezing point of water: fahrenheit; kelvin; celsius. 12 East Asian monarchs: king of Cambodia; Thai king; Japanese emperor. 13 Ian Bothams cricket teams. 14 Fictional milkmen in: Fiddler On The Roof; Calcium Kid lm; Fastest Milkman In The West. 15 Works of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. Scrabble See board right. Answer: INGLENOOK. Crossword See board far right.


The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 83


84 10 November 2012 | The Guardian Weekend


This column will change your life Is reality always harsh, Oliver Burkeman asks

an men and women ever be just friends? The correct answer is: Yes, obviously, so why in Gods name do magazine editors, authors of dating books and headlineseeking psychologists keep asking? My evidence is as follows: one, Im male (and heterosexual, as the question implies); two, a majority of my oldest and closest friends are female; three, the prospect of romantic involvement with them strikes me, in most cases, as absurd. Yet the debate rages on. The latest round came a few weeks back, following a study from the University of Wisconsin that showed, even Scientic American claimed, that men and women cant be just friends. What it really showed was that men specically undergrads, which seems relevant were likelier than women to feel attracted to oppositesex friends, and that this might have potential negative consequence[s]. The death knell for platonic crosssex friendships? Not even close. Whats striking about the just friends debate is how useless it is. If you believe such friendships are common, its meaningless to be told youre deluded. (Maybe I am but if so, its a delusion that contributes to my quality of life.) Conversely, if you are a man tortured by unrequited love for a female friend, its little use to learn that some other men and women dont feel that way: you still have an issue that needs addressing. The real reason some people continue to deny the possibility of such friendships, I believe, is that they subscribe to what you might call the Harsh Realities school of relationships. Not, lets be clear, because theyre more in touch with reality, but because they derive such enormous satisfaction from believing they are. Just as the Harsh Realities position

What Im really thinking

Ive always admired your faith. Youre so sure of yourself, of your God. Ive never managed to truly believe in any higher being, although not due to lack of trying. You dont know it but Ive actually read the Bible as well as passages of the Guru Granth Sahib, the Torah and the Quran, and I even attended a church for a period of time. But now Id never dare tell you that I hope he doesnt exist. And that if he does, I hope hes nowhere near as petty as you make out. I havent explained that, for me, the world isnt divided into bad people and Christians. Ill never tell you that I think your beliefs are just a postcode lottery, because you believe exactly the same as your parents. Id love to know how youd react if I actually told you what Im really thinking, but I dont think its worth the risk. Talking to you about religion is something I gave up on long ago. I can never argue back because oending someones religion is a huge taboo. It makes me wonder if our friendship would be stronger if I believed exactly the same as you; Im sure I would get more respect. But I try not to think about your beliefs if I can help it because in the end it comes down to this: youve known me for years and weve always been good friends. You know I always try to do what I think is right, yet the God you believe in says I deserve to go to hell, and you still sing his praises. Tell us what youre really thinking at mind@guardian.co.uk


on male-female friendships is that sex always gets in the way, the Harsh Realities take on dating is that its a battleeld, where playing mindgames is essential; relationships, meanwhile, are mutually manipulative power struggles. The US megaseller Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man, which urges women to impose a 90-day no-sex vetting period on prospective boyfriends, is the Harsh Realities dating book of the moment, though its forerunner, The Rules, is the canonical text. The worst proponents come armed with a half-grasp of evolutionary psychology which, they seem to imagine, proves that everyones motivated, all the time, by sex. Their arguments follow a standard structure: Do you really believe human relations are about X? Get real! Deep down, theyre all about Y. The problem isnt that this is always wrong it isnt but that

its claim to insight is unearned: if you always pick the most cynical explanation, youll sound brutally honest every time. The tips in The Rules (dont call men, let them call you) or its male equivalent, The Game (subtly insult women, so they will try to prove themselves), might work, in a narrow sense. But so might approaching strangers and asking them to sleep with you, as per the old Russian joke. (But youll get slapped if you do that! Yes, most of them slap me, but some of them) Just because a strategy works as a numbers game doesnt mean it gets at anything true about human nature. The Wisconsin study and others suggest that some crosssex friendships are more platonic, others less so. Some people are more manipulative, others less so. And so, boringly, on. The real harsh reality is that reality isnt always harsh. oliver.burkeman@guardian.co.uk

The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 85




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Blind date Maddy Hamey, 24, MA film studies graduate, meets Barney Price, 24, sponsorship executive
Maddy on Barney What were you hoping for? Tasty grub, a bit of a lark, and to get through it without doing anything too embarrassing. First impressions? I thought, I hope its that guy sitting by himself hes attractive. What did you talk about? University, the man with the leather trousers doing a bad Simon & Garfunkel cover among other travesties, whether Synecdoche, New York was smarmy, family bloopers, unhinged friends, his issue with cheese. Any awkward moments? I tried to dance to music of miscellaneous genres in the bar down the road. I dont think I did that well. Good table manners? Yes. Best thing about him? Sarcastic sense of humour. Would you introduce him to your friends? Yes, as another friend, of course. And the parents? That would be a little weird. Did you go on somewhere? Yes, for a couple of drinks. And did you kiss? No. If you could change one thing about the evening, what would it be? I wouldnt have had a second cocktail with such a dangerous title. Marks out of 10? 7. Would you meet again? Yes, hes a lovely guy. Barney on Maddy What were you hoping for? Anne Hathaway. First impressions? Thats not Anne Hathaway. What did you talk about? Psychopaths, deep, dark family secrets and the perils of double denim. Any awkward moments? I was going on about how sexy I nd Twin Shadow. I regret that. Good table manners? As awful as mine. I remember us making a scene with the desserts, but things were quite hazy by then. Best thing about her? She was great fun, and as keen as I was to get utterly ruined and disgrace ourselves in the national press. Also bonus point for knowing the theme tune to Barney. Would you introduce her to your friends? Yes, especially Barry. And the parents? Not if I told Mum Id met her through the Guardian Did you go on somewhere? Yes. And... did you kiss? No. If you could change one thing about the evening, what would it be? The awful guitarist butchering the Beatles and the Cure. Marks out of 10? B+. Would you meet again? Were getting married in the spring. Maddy and Barney ate at B-Soho, London W1, b-soho.co.uk. Fancy a blind date? Email blind.date@guardian.co.uk


The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 87


Room for one more?

Stairs that double as drawers and a soundproofed floor: how one couple turned their small flat into a family home. By Trish Lorenz. Photographs by Lee Garland

hen Claire Curran and Warren Johnson moved into their two-bedroom at in Little Venice, west London, four years ago, they were a young, footloose couple with a busy social life. But it was only a matter of weeks before they discovered they were expecting their rst child. No matter, the apartment overlooking a vast communal garden in a Grade II-listed mansion terrace was big enough for three, they decided. So they hired an architect and created the home they had always wanted: new parquet oors, tumbled to look aged (try naturallywood.net); an open-plan living/dining room; a grand master bedroom with an ensuite bathroom; a shabby-chic guestroom with a freestanding tub; and a cloakroom that channelled a nightclub vibe all black tiles and mirrored walls. Oh, and plenty of space to hang their art collection (yes, that is a Damien Hirst spot painting in the living room). With the birth of Charlie, now aged three, little changed. He slept in the guestroom but when their second son, Jake, followed a year later, they realised that they would have to turn it into a boys room. It is now a colourful bedroom and playroom with a mezzanine where the pair sleep accessed

via rainbow-coloured stairs, which double as storage. Surprisingly, the rest of the at hasnt needed a major makeover to accommodate children. Architect Andy Martin (andymartinstudio. com) had already created plenty of storage, handle-free kitchen units and plug sockets hidden from small ngers, so the apartment was relatively child-friendly from the outset. All that was added was soundproong in the boys room, and the result is a home that suits both adults and kids. By the end of winter, we always say we have to move, the at feels too small for the four of us, Curran says. But then summer comes, we have the garden, and it works for us again.

The shabby-chic guestroom has long gone. Today it has a mezzanine sleeping area that makes the most of the 4.5m height, leaving the lower oor free for play. Each step doubles as a drawer. An acoustic mat has been installed to ensure the downstairs neighbour isnt disturbed by the noise of feet, and rubber ooring (from Dalsouple, dalsouple.com) is soft to play on. Safety netting, like that around trampolines, is used instead of stair rails. Its perfect for small hands. When I rst saw the design, I thought it looked unsafe, Curran says. But the kids can just grab the netting its actually taught them how to climb stairs.

88 10 November 2012 | The Guardian Weekend

Floor-toceiling windows make the most of the sunny, southfacing aspect

This elegant, high-ceilinged room was once two poky bedrooms. Floor-to-ceiling windows make the most of the sunny, south-facing aspect and view over the garden. Martin widened the chimney breast to t the Hirst painting. At the other end of the room, he clad the corner in walnut, marking out a dining space. A bespoke bench, which doubles as storage space, runs along the table try Karting Pink from deckchairstripes.com along with Eames DSR chairs (217 each from John Lewis, johnlewis.com). The magnicent chandelier, originally designed by Martin for a restaurant, hovers over the table like a UFO. We often see people outside in the evening staring in at it, Curran says. For more images, visit guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/homes.
The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 89


Wish list What we like this week


1 Onions enamel colander, 31.20, by Muurla, from amazon.co.uk. 2 Baby alpaca garland by Oeuf NYC, 60, from Little Fashion Gallery, littlefashiongallery.com. 3 World map photo frame, 22, from Heals, heals.co.uk. 4 Overlay circle rug, from 125, from M&S, marksandspencer.com. 5 Cori two-seat sofa, 950, from Habitat, habitat.co.uk.

The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 91


Youve been framed

Want an economical solution to protecting plants all year round? A cold frame

t is often seen as the poor relation to a greenhouse, but if you think that a cold frame wont earn its place in your garden, think again. Even the smallest of gardens can accommodate one, giving protection to a succession of seedlings, young plants, succulents, alpines and herbs throughout the year, and extending the growing season by a few valuable weeks. Its a simple idea: a cold frame is a box with a sloping lid that can be lifted and lets light in. You can knock one together yourself, or spend anything from 30 to 1,000 buying one ready-made. In spring, use a cold frame for early sowings of broad beans, sweet peas and lettuce in February and March, then from April to June ll it with hardy annuals, half-hardies, plants for the veg patch and tender bedding. Seedlings started o indoors can be weaned o the warmer, protected conditions of the windowsill in a cold frame, too. During summer, most cold frames fall empty, but this is the perfect time to sow biennials such as stocks and sweet williams for next spring. Sow into seed trays in your cold

frame and theyll be protected from downpours and out of reach of curious pets and wayward footballs. By September, with biennials planted out, the cold frame can become home to autumn-sown hardy annuals which will happily overwinter here. Try an autumn sowing of winter lettuce, pea shoots and oriental leaves in planters to provide salads up to Christmas. Plants that dont like sitting in wet compost over winter, such as succulents, alpines and some herbs, can be kept dry in the cold frame. And if youre into propagating plants, a cold frame is a viable alternative to a greenhouse for storing cuttings through the year.


Place your cold frame somewhere sunny and sheltered, so plants and seedlings get as much light and warmth as possible. A patio provides a stable surface; at an allotment, a few agstones will do the trick. Or position it on top of the soil, using it as a large cloche when sowing or planting directly into the ground. Placed next to the house, a cold frame will benet from the warmth of the building. Check your cold frame every day or so, especially when its warm and sunny, to see if anything needs watering. Hunt out pests, such as slugs lurking under pots or greeny on leaves, which can cause havoc if left unchecked in a small space. Ventilation is important: even in early spring, heat can build up quickly, causing young plants to wilt. Opening the frame occasionally in autumn and winter will help prevent damp, stagnant air building up the perfect breeding ground for fungal diseases. Remember to close


92 10 November 2012 | The Guardian Weekend

adds weeks to the growing season. Louise Curley reports

the frame at night to protect from frost. Every so often, clean the lid; its surprising how much dirt builds up and blocks valuable light. In very cold winters, place old blankets, bubble wrap or layers of newspaper on top of the lid overnight.

Plant of the week

What is it? Leathery, evergreen leaves; peeling, cinnamon-brown bark; clusters of small, white, urnshaped owers in autumn followed by knobbly scarlet fruits: Arbutus unedo Compacta is a shrub that lives up to its four seasons of interest tag line. Strawberry trees can grow large but this variety has a shrubs habit, with an expected height and spread of 150cm (5ft). Plant it with? It looks good against the foliage of the smoke bush, Cotinus coggygria Royal Purple, or the glossy palmate leaves of Mexican orange blossom, Choisya ternata. And where? Full sun and a sheltered spot will reduce the risk of damage from cold winters. Needs humusrich but well-drained soil. Any drawbacks? You may nd the debris of the fallen fruits troublesome. Although its hardy once mature, this shrub will appreciate a layer of eece for winter protection when young. What else does it do? The fruits are edible, but and heres an example of the usefulness of Latin names unedo is from unum edo, or I eat one: in other words, you may eat one but you probably wont fancy another. You can, however, make them into jam. Buy it Order one plant for 12.99, or buy two for 25.98 and get another one free. All orders include free p&p. Call 0330 333 6856, quoting ref GUA700. Or shop online at guardian. co.uk/oers/plants. Supplied as 9cm potted plants. Delivery from November. Jane Perrone

For a rustic-looking and inexpensive option, its easy to create a cold frame from bricks or wooden pallets and salvaged windows. Look in skips, salvage yards and on Freecycle (freecycle.org). There is a wide range of cold frames for sale, made from aluminium or wood with glass, polycarbonate or plastic for the lids. It pays to buy the best you can aord. Aluminium frames are lighter, cheaper, require no maintenance and should last a lifetime. Wooden frames are sturdier, provide better insulation and look more attractive, but are more expensive. Glass is best for allowing maximum light in and retaining heat, but if you have young children or pets, a polycarbonate lid is a safe alternative and provides more insulation than plastic. The Greenhouse People (greenhousepeople.co.uk) has basic cold frames made from aluminium and polycarbonate for as little as 35. A good mid-range option is its 3ft x 5ft (91cm x 152cm) treated wooden frame with glass for 250. Or go for a tiered model, such as Gabriel Ashs Upright (height 1.4m; 822, gabrielash.com) or Harrod Horticulturals Hardwood Plant House (height 1m; 179.95, harrodhorticultural.com). Both come with adjustable shelving and allow you to grow taller plants.

The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 93


Alys Fowler Plant garlic now to reap the rewards next season

ently pushing fat garlic cloves into the soft autumn earth marks the passing of one growing season and a wave of optimism for the next. It is such a joy that I have to persuade myself planting the entire allotment with cloves is not a sensible option. Garlic will grow on any soil other than the perpetually dank and wet, but its a mistake not to understand how hungry it is. It does best on rich, well-drained soil. Aim for 18-25cm between cloves, depending on their size and the quality of the soil. Anything closer leads to poor air circulation, which brings on leek rust, which causes yellow to orange spots on the leaves, reduces bulb size and can even kill the plant. If you have had leek rust on any of your alliums, dont replant in the same spot for three years. Before planting, add a layer of homemade compost or well-rotted horse manure mixed with leaf mould. If your soil is heavy, planting on a ridge will help to draw water away from the cloves. If you do not have compost to hand, rake in organic fertiliser such as wormcasts or concentrated granular food. Dont damage the at base plate of the clove, as this is where the young roots appear. Use a dibber or trowel to nudge the soil apart and push the

cloves in 5cm deep. If the tips are visible, birds will play toss-the-garlic just as the young roots appear. Pea sticks or netting loosely placed over your patch will deter them. Plant garlic now, and again at the end of January, making up for any losses a wet winter may bring. There are numerous options, but you cant go wrong with the softneck varieties Cristo or Solent Wight (the latter planted in January). Early Wight, another soft-neck garlic, can be harvested as early as May, when your supplies from the previous season start to dry up. As for hard-necks (meaning they are likely to ower, so you can harvest the edible garlic scapes the unopened ower buds), I use Music, which has tasty, fat cloves. Garlic bulbs are not cheap, but are guaranteed disease- and virus-free. You can replant the fattest cloves of your own garlic, provided it was disease-free, but replenish your crop with clean material every two or three years. You can also plant supermarket garlic: its a gamble as they tend to stock varieties suited to warmer climates, but Ive had great success in the past. Alys will be live online to answer your gardening questions on Wednesday 14 November, from 12.30pm-1.30pm. Post your queries now at guardian.co.uk/gardening-blog

How do I prune a year-old blueberry plant in a container? I would like to encourage it to bush out. It produced only a few fruits this year and I spotted caterpillars on the leaves. Blueberries dont need much pruning. Some varieties have an upright growth habit and if you prune to encourage bushiness, it may come at the expense of fruit. Generally, you leave blueberries alone for the rst two years, pruning out only dead, damaged or diseased material. In a mature bush, you want roughly equal parts of old, middleaged and young growth. In February, prune out the oldest wood, plus any branches that are misplaced or touching the ground. You need to distinguish between fruiting buds, which are fatter, more pronounced and the ones you want to keep, and leaf buds, which are atter and smaller. To get more fruit, get it a partner. Blueberries like another bush to cross-pollinate. I dont know of any caterpillars that target blueberries, and they are known to be generally free of pests and diseases. Just in case that caterpillar turns out to be a very pretty (or rare) buttery, its probably best not to spray. Got a question for Alys? Email askalys@guardian.co.uk

The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 95



96 10 November 2012 | The Guardian Weekend


Lets move to Aberystwyth, Ceredigion it has all you could want in a seaside town
Whats going for it? The Victorians called Aberystwyth the Biarritz of Wales. Dont snort over your cornakes theres a grain of truth to such exoticism. It may not have the temperature of its southern cousin, but its a warm, equatorial (if damp) air that comes in o the gulf stream into Cardigan Bay. And this little city has long had a cosmopolitan air that sets it apart from its more provincial neighbours. The place has all youd expect in a Welsh seaside town: two sweeping bays around a headland; rock pools (oh, to go rock pooling after a hard days graft); a cli railway; gaily painted cottages beneath a castle; lovely old shops from Enid Blyton-land. But theres extra grandeur to its setting in a ring of steep hills that promise Snowdonia up the road. The Victorians matched it with soaring gothic architecture and cultural jewels such as the university and the National Library. The case against Far, far away: the nearest towns of any size, Shrewsbury and Swansea, are almost a two-hour drive. Wet, wet, wet: a direct hit for prevailing winds. Students mean the town doubles in size in term time. Well connected? In a remote kind of way. Plenty of buses, which is good, since the railway is scenic but slow: every two hours to Machynlleth (30 mins) and beyond up the coast to North Wales; Newtown (75 mins). Schools Primaries: St Padarns RC, Plascrug, Cwmpadarn and Llwyn Yr Eos are all good. Secondaries: Gyfun Penweddig is good with Penglais very good with some outstanding features. Hang out at... The Penguin Cafe in a fug of steamy tea and bara brith; or two great cafe-restaurants with delis, Treehouse for brilliant organic food, and Ultracomida for tapas. Where to buy The pretty, higgledy streets around the High Street and the castle ruins; super painted

Snooping around
Wetherden, Stowmarket, Suolk. 325,000, Jackson-Stops & Sta (jackson-stops.co.uk). Because... Elegant modern grooming has enhanced its 17th-century origins. Open studwork separates two study areas, there are vaulted ceilings and large, beamed living areas. Its a shame that... Although the three beds share an upstairs shower room, the only bath is o the kitchen.

Castle Road, Colchester, Essex. 380,000, Fenn Wright (fennwright.co.uk). Because... The third bedroom of this detached has a balcony overlooking a park. Its close to the town centre, with rare o-street parking. Its a shame that... The decor could do with freshening and the garden cries out for green ngers.



Jessica Houston The Arts Centre is the vibrant epicentre of Aberystwyth: plays, lms, concerts, and lounging in the splendid bars and cafes. There are also some intriguingly futuristic, crinkly artists studios outside designed by Thomas Heatherwick! Ann Llewellyn The funicular railway up to the camera obscura is wonderful on a good day. Ultracomida serves great tapas. Lovely stone houses with wrought-iron porches and gingerbread bargeboards. Downside: seagull droppings everywhere, and no O2 reception or parking. Do you live in Fakenham, Norfolk? Have a favourite haunt or a pet hate? If so, please email lets.move@ guardian.co.uk by next Tuesday.

seasidey terraces. Try Prospect Street and Custom House Street. Georgian town houses around North Parade. Up by the university and the hospital for you intellectual types: Llanbadarn Road, Iorwerth Avenue, Caradoc Road. The inner suburbs specialise in big gothic Victorian semis, terraces and villas: poshest up around Cli Terrace, Marine Terrace and the golf course. Market values Town houses, 400,000- 550,000. Detacheds, 200,000-400,000. Semis, 175,000400,000. Terraces, 150,000250,000. Flats 95,000-250,000. Bargain of the week The impressive but improbably named The Chateau, a large, four-bedroom period detached overlooking the bay, needing modernisation, 350,000, Jim Raw-Rees & Co (raw-rees.co.uk). Tom Dyckho Live in Aberystwyth? Join the debate at guardian.co.uk/letsmoveto


Chatton, Alnwick, Northumberland. 120,000, Sale & Partners (saleand partners.co.uk). What? One of a row of four threebedroom cottages, all for sale. Condition Each needs around 40,000 of rejuvenation. Why you should Theyre in a hamlet with views over the Cheviot hills. Why you shouldnt Its four miles to the nearest shop. Farm vehicles use the track in front. Anna Tims

The Guardian Weekend | 10 November 2012 97


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98 10 November 2012 | The Guardian Weekend


Sam Wollaston Fire this baby up and it comes to life with a lovely roar

arning! Spoiler alert! If you dont want to know what this car has on the roof, read no further. Dont look at the picture, either. I said dont Right then. Ive never really liked Vauxhalls; theres always been a joyless middle-of-theroadness about them. A Vauxhall is not an honest working-class motor, like a Ford, with an honest working-class blue oval badge and an honest working-class driver behind the wheel. Ive always felt theres something pretentious and aspirational about them. Brand prejudice, thats all it is, but that silly grin doesnt help. Every so often, though, along comes one its impossible not to like. Like this one. Look at it, you would, wouldnt you? Its the regular GTC three-door


Price From 26,995 Top speed 155mph Acceleration 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds Combined consumption 34.9mpg CO2 emissions 189g/km Eco rating 3/10 Cool rating 7/10

Astra, already a nice-looking car, but now on steroids with bigger alloy wheels, extra muscly bumps and bulges, triangular air intakes. Whoar. Oh, and the aforementioned roof spoiler which doesnt spoil anything, it makes it better. Its not rened or subtle; its loud and brash and vulgar, especially in red. A proper hoon car. (No, not as in Geo, as in the antipodean term for people who indulge in loutish, antisocial behaviour, often in cars.) Fire this baby up and it comes to life with a lovely roar, a 276bhp roar, more power than its rival hot hatches from Renault, Ford and VW. Brrrrmm. Im sorry, but this is a car that does bring out the hoon in a chap. Id rather be a hoon, though, than a pretentious ponce following a silver grin down the middle of the road. Actually, the VXR can be quite rened if you want it to be; you can pootle home down the MOR to your mock-Tudor semi in Surbiton or

wherever. But when you want it to, it will go like shit o a shovel, too. Ride a little soft? Throttle response not sharp enough? No problem: there are buttons to put it into sport mode or, better still, VXR mode. Obviously Ive got it in the latter the whole time, because Im a hoon. And because in VXR mode the instruments glow red. I look in the rear-view mirror no, not to see whats in the past, who cares about that? To see whether, in VXR mode, my eyes glow red, too. And Im happy to report they do. Obviously its ridiculous, he says, suddenly remembering this is the Guardian, not Jizz Wizz Motors magazine for boys. You dont need 276bph, its not clean enough, or green enough, or cheap enough. (Twenty-seven grand! For a hatchback, and that doesnt even include the spoiler which is extra.) But ridiculousness doesnt get much more fun.

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Crossword, Scrabble and the Quiz Answers on page 83

1 8 2 3 4 9 5 6 7


1 Which animal shelter was established by Elisabeth Svendsen? 2 Which side has won the last nine womens football league titles? 3 Someone born in July could have which birth signs? 4 Hanged in 2010, Ali Hassan al-Majid had what nickname? 5 Mick Bunnage and Jon Link created which cartoon strip? 6 Maranello is the home of which motor manufacturer? 7 What is the most widely spoken African language? 8 Franois Truaut made seven lms with which actor? What links: 9 Titus Andronicus; Waughs Black Mischief; McCarthys The Road; Harriss Hannibal? 10 Biden; Boehner; Inouye; Clinton; Geithner (in that order)? 11 32 degrees; 273 degrees; 0 degrees? 12 Norodom Sihamoni; Bhumibol Adulyadej; Akihito? 13 Somerset; England; Queensland; Worcestershire; Durham? 14 Tevye; Orlando Blooms Jimmy Connelly; Ernie, in song? 15 Template; Fountain of Light; Sunower Seeds; Beijing National Stadium?













Across 8 Alfred ....., pioneer with Freud of psychoanalysis (5) 9 African country, capital Asmara (7) 10 University city in central Portugal (7) 11 ..... & Young, one of the Big Four accounting rms (5) 12 US reality TV star (3,10) 14 Pop singer whose name is an anagram of Presbyterians (7,6) 17 ..... Came A Spider, James Pattersons rst Alex Cross novel (5) 18 The ....... Hills, which straddle the border between Scotland and England (7)

20 Spielberg movie based on the story of a slave uprising in 1839 (7) 21 ..... Gay, B-29 bomber that dropped atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945 (5) Down 1 Hydrated magnesium silicate, often used in powdered form (4) 2 Genus of plants including onions, garlic and chives (6) 3 Popular name for a collection of stories dating from the Islamic Golden Age (7,6) 4 .... Drake, 2004 Mike Leigh lm (4) 5 Version for general readers of the 1964 Feynman Lectures

on Physics (3,4,6) 6 Sovereign state on Borneos north coast (6) 7 Sir Max ........, journalist and author (8) 12 Religious teachings drawing on Judaism and Christianity; its adherents have included Madonna (8) 13 Sir Robin ..., television journalist (3) 15 1996 Alanis Morissette song (6) 16 Isaac ....., sciencection author whose works include the Foundation Series (6) 18 The Da Vinci ...., bestselling novel (4) 19 Common name for tropical hardwood tree Tectona grandis (4)


1 3 1








With the rack of letters (right), nd a way to score 62 points in one move Triple word Double word

5 3

Triple letter

Double letter

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Your pictures This weeks theme: Iced

1 Valerie Haynes Frost patterns on our window in January. 2 Craig Mottram Husky sledding on our honeymoon. 3 Mike Finn English winter at its icy best.

To see this weeks winners online, together with a selection of other readers entries, go to guardian.co.uk/ weekendinpictures. For your chance to win a Guardian masterclass in photography, dont miss your 84-page Guardian photography guide, free with the paper on Saturday 17 November. Next topic: Colour (to appear 24 November). Email a hi-res image (one per entry; all submissions must be your own work), plus a sentence describing your photo and a daytime phone number, to in.pictures@ guardian.co.uk by noon on Wednesday 14 November (conditions apply see guardian.co.uk/ theguardian/ weekend/in-picturesterms-and-conditions). To suggest a future theme, email in.pictures.themes@ guardian.co.uk

102 10 November 2012 | The Guardian Weekend