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indigo 11.12.12

indigo wishes you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!


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indigo

contents Page3: FEATURES: fresh from the Durham market, we travel to the Cologne Christmas market, and look at realistic ways to make 2013 the best year ever. Page 4: BOOKS: indigo helps you find the perfect books to give as gifts this festive season.

Page 5: STAGE: Panto season is here, and some of you have something to say about that... Pages 6&7: FASHION: indigo heads to Whisky River for some mulled wine and a festive photo shoot. Pages 8&9: FILM & TV: we think Home Alone is probably the best Christmas film ever, and we take a look at The Hobbit and what the prequel could mean.

Pages 10&11: MUSIC: we interview Willy Mason and look back at the year of music that was 2012.

Pages 12&13: FOOD & DRINK: if Christmas roasts aren’t quite your thing, then you’ve come to the right place as we look at cultural variations, and our expert chefs cook up some winter warmers. Page 14: VISUAL ARTS: indigo takes an art tour around the exciting new Palatine Centre.

Page 15: TRAVEL: if you want authentic Christmas without the gaudy commercialisation, head to Lapland, and we introduce you to the next big snowsport, ‘snow-kayaking’.

More articles on palatinate.org.uk. Front page photo: Donal Anand-Shaw

Tuesday 11th December 2012 | INDIGO

Indigo Editor: Alexandra Groom indigo@palatinate.org.uk

editor’s letter W

elcome to the last indigo of term! It’s the most wonderful time of the year... This is when Durham finally slows down, summatives are in, societies are enjoying their Christmas meals and everyone’s thoughts are turning to home and the holidays. Some of which, because it’s Christmas, will turn into disasters. The incomparable Victor Borge hits the nail on the head: ‘Santa Claus has the right idea - visit people only once a year’. This is a motto that my whole family have definitely taken to heart; my side of the family feel so strongly about this in fact that we don’t actually live in the same country as the rest of our clan. The great thing about Christmas though is that you forget about past squabbles, everyone is happy to see each other, it’s the season of forgiveness and good will - and then you walk through the front door. This is when you wish you’d just pulled a sickie and stayed home, much more so than for any monday morning 9am: you’ve suddenly remembered the last time you saw this many of your family at once. The only redeeming factor with my family is that we don’t have any young children as frankly that would just be dire. Unfortunately though, it means that at the grand old age of 21, I spent last year being treated like a 12 year old - even the family pets are older than me. I wouldn’t mind sitting at the kids table if I was allowed a stocking the size of my 12 year old self, but that’s ‘just ridiculous’ apparently. This child’s table isn’t however, even though it obviously doesn’t consist of children, but myself, my cousins (23 and 27, respectively, with ‘proper jobs’) and then any randomers under the age of 30. The hours before lunch at 1pm, (never ever actually eaten before 4pm) are spent anxiously investigating who has the most presents this year, and whether anyone has got grannie anything other than bath salts. Not that she ever minds, she’s too busy snoozing on the sofa with a glass of sherry, the only person that Uncle Hugo has remembered to serve a drink to. A merry (read: wine fuelled) lunch then follows, with thinly veiled grievances about the ridiculous presents we all received from each other last year being aired, fisticuffs only avoided due to the fact that everyone is beyond famished and cannot bear to drop their knives and forks. Great Aunty Mary loudly asks the inevitable questions across the tables: ‘how’s work, have you got a boyfriend, when are you getting married, what did you do last thursday’, whilst I try and stop the two terrible jack russels from clawing holes in my tights underneath the table as I feed them my sprouts. I forgot their names years ago, I just refer to them as Itchy and Scratchy now, probably because of the time one of them peed on Uncle Jamie’s trouser leg. And then, the most dangerous part: everyone in the drawing room at the same time for the annual game of Trivial Pursuit. There is no material prize, only honour, s omething far more precious in my family. Ahh Christmas, you couldn’t hate it if you tried, even though it does its best to kill you. Everyone can recall a disaster one, but they are the one we recall most fondly in the end. Even so, we here at indigo wish you a wonderful Christmas and very happy New Year. AG

they said what...?

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.”

- Abraham Lincoln, paraphrasing ‘Proverbs’ 17:28


INDIGO | Tuesday 11th December 2012

features 3

Features Editor: Sophia Chan Deputy: Emily Woodhouse feature@palatinate.org.uk

Ring in the NEW YEAR

Flickering lanterns at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay festival Photograph: pjhunter on flickr

Catherine Malpass We’ve all heard the cliché ‘new year, new start’ and are probably rather sick of it by now. But if you’re still finding yourself in a rut on the New Year’s Eve plans front, look no further for some inspiration to take you into 2013.

Get cultural Forget pulling an all-nighter to see in the New Year and beyond. Grab a (reasonably) early night and start the year as you mean to go on by paying some cultural

visits on New Year’s Day – a day which gets seriously neglected. London’s top cultural attractions are all open on 1 January 2013. Check out the Churchill War Rooms or the Horniman Museum. Start the year feeling enlightened rather than groggy, hungover and probably not knowing what year it even is. Theatre If you’ve hit the mulled wine over Christmas a little hard and fancy a quieter evening, why not visit the theatre? This experience is made all the better if you

come out of a performance and step out into the New Year cheer.

Food No celebration would be a celebration without food. For a special New Year’s, invite over your closest family and friends, sit around a fire outside under the stars and see the new year in with all your favourite food.

Travel I appreciate that unless you’re incredibly lucky, jetting off to warmer climates is not always feasible. However, why not visit

Cologne wrapped up

some of the most vibrant towns in the UK to celebrate? Edinburgh’s Hogmanay festival is a three day affair ranging from torchlight processions to live music, and Manchester also lives up to its reputation as the party capital of the North. If you can’t get to a major city, why not just pull your own Edinburgh event and extend your New Year’s celebrations to last a few days? You’ll get to see more people and it’s a good excuse to party. Dance Dancing is fun and that’s a fact. Whether you grace your local discotheque or somewhere a little more classy, just make sure you have fun with friends and pull your best shapes. For something a little different get involved in a ceilidh. Once you get past the initial surreal nature of this folk dance, and as long as you embrace its energetic nature, reeling into the new year is a fabulous option.

Star gaze This is probably something you’ve only ever seen in films, yet I bet it’s something you’ve always wanted to do. You don’t have to whip your telescope out, but why not lie/stand (depending on how chilly this New Year’s is) under the stars and gaze. Clouds or New Year’s firework smoke may render this a little difficult, but if you get the opportunity, give it a try.

Exercise This may sound a little strange, but an annual 5km run takes place in a place called Rhondda in Wales each New Year’s Eve. The Nos Galan Races are to commemorate Welsh runner Guto Nyth Brân. The evening includes street entertainment, fireworks and a mystery famous sportsperson who joins in the run. If being active is your thing, the night is over by 8.30pm, which still gives you plenty of time to paint the town red afterwards.

Amy Brawn experiences the delights and charms of the old-fashioned Christmas market in Germany Living in a society where Clinton Cards has replaced St. Nic as the true Christmas mogul, there’s nothing more welcome than the experience of a true bit of Christmas magic… and this came to me in the form of plane tickets to Cologne. I decided to take a trip to this magical city, and my experience there is one which I’m sure the inner child in me will never let me forget, and one which I would heartily recommend. The enchantment and charm of their traditional Christmas Markets casts more visitors under its spell each year. Cologne offers six diverse markets, and locations vary from AlterMarkt to the seasonally named Rudolfplatz, but they each share at least one feature: a clarion call for a return to the true seasonal spirit. The gifts they offer are craft-

works of true quality and character; from wood carvings and marionettes to lambskin footwear which keeps your tootsies warm in the winter weather. Out of the six, one was especially spectacular. Amidst the backdrop of the Cologne Cathedral under an ink black night sky, the market lay nestled under a latticed net of twinkling fairy lights. It’s the kind of idyllic, romantic ambience that you wish you could preserve in a jar to show off every year. The nostalgic, snowglobeesque scene of children’s roundabouts, puppet theatres, and of course Santa’s grotto, was certainly a sight to behold; the atmosphere being made increasingly inviting by the aromas of hot chestnuts and Gluwein. A few Deutsch delicacies can be found in the form of freshly

baked apples, cinnamon-spiced mulled wine, and lebkuchen warm scrumptious gingerbread treats. Another devilish indulgence impossible to resist is the German rote grütze, a sauce of seasonal ruby berries poured over warm waffles and lavishly finished with cream. Experience of German cuisine – or rather, excess of it – did not end there. Upon arrival at a German-style brasserie, and encountering a menu which comprised neither a translation in English or words of recognisable origins, we were faced with some serious improvisation (much to the amusement of our waitress who, despite all pretence, I am now entirely convinced spoke perfect English). Too tired and hungry to go elsewhere, we proceeded to order blindly, one choice for each of the three of us.

Delicious lebkuchen treats Charley1965 on flickr What we were faced with on its arrival was enough sustenance to feed a pack of hungry wolves. When the shock had subsided, it was only to have the waitress return with yet another tray of food and a smirk more prominent than before. We discovered that ordering three platters (each to be shared between three) might have been a little excessive. According to legend, the

Christmas splendour in Cologne owes itself to the ‘Heinzelmännchen’ gnomes, responsible for overseeing proceedings and for ensuring no mass produced goods are sold. So whether it’s to fill your boots with gourmet delicacies, your stockings with unique merchandise, or your imagination with a little wonder - an experience in this magical city has something for everyone.


Tuesday 11th December 2012 | INDIGO

4 books

Books Editor: Justina Crabtree books@palatinate.org.uk

Books are for giving This holiday season Nicola Todhunter solves your Christmas present dilemmas

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or me, Christmas is never complete without seeing at least one parcel of a book-shaped nature under the tree. There is a book out there for everyone. Whilst some people consider the latest bestseller a bit of a cop-out gift, I believe that if you look in the right places, giving a book to a loved one can be incredibly thoughtful. So without further ado, here are a few ideas. The books I’ve selected might make you laugh, teach you something new and are all excellent ways to pass the time after Christmas dinner.

Penguin by Design: A Cover Story 1935-2005, Phil Baines

This is one to give the graphic design or typography nerds close to you (though actually, I’m neither – but as a lover of art I thoroughly enjoy this kind of niche book.) The thought and history behind every element of these iconic covers is fascinating to read about, and you’ll enjoy

Penguin’s most famous images. I rarely come across a book so full of fascinating details on subjects I’d never have thought I would be absorbed by – the evolution of the Penguin logo, the positioning of the title on the cover, even the widths of those famous orange and white blocks on the old Penguin design.

The Dresden Files: Storm Front, Jim Butcher This is the first in a series of fantastic novels in which Butcher combines thrilling detective mysteries with a fresh take on fantasy. In fact, The Dresden Files will probably not be like anything you’ve read before. The concept – wizard detective solves magical mysteries in modern-day Chicago – might seem clichéd, but I assure you that the result will impress. This novel will often leave you crying with laughter – the protagonist Harry Dresden has a brilliantly dry wit. Only buying someone the first book is, in all honesty, a bit un-

fair – they’ll almost definitely become hooked and need to shell out for the other thirteen!

These books are all excellent ways to pass the time after Christmas dinner The Christmas Mystery, Jostein Gaarder I was given The Christmas Mystery aged nine in lieu of an advent calendar – the idea being that I would follow the structure of the book, reading a chapter a day instead of feasting on chocolate. Natu rally, as any other child

would do when left in control of a normal advent calendar, I stayed up all night on the first of December with a torch and gorged on Gaarder’s puzzlingly sweet story. It’d be hard to sum up the plot in a mere sentence, but believe me – this novel still inspires a sense of wonder when I re-read it, nine years after I was first converted. The Fry Chronicles, Stephen Fry

As a bit of a fan-girl I must admit some bias, but I recommend you buy this autobiographical gem for any loved ones that happen to like Mr Fry, especially his work on Blackadder or A Bit of Fry & Laurie. As his second autobiographical work – the first, Moab is my Washpot, is also excellent – Fry details his time at university and the formative years of his career as a comedian, presenterand writer. The book, of course, winds off on delicious little tangents about

anything and everything, all in delectable prose that reveals a genuine delight in words and language. The Fry Chronicles will make you laugh, smile, weep and dance for joy – and if that’s not enough, it’ll also change the way you watch QI. F in Exams: The Best Test Paper Blunders, Richard Benson

Encouragingly given to me by my parents just weeks after I’d received my rejection letter from Oxford, I took this gift in good humour – mainly because laughing at other people’s foolishness is an excellent ego-booster. Though GCSE-type questions feature, this book would make an amusing stocking filler for us older students and it’s bound to give your younger brother/sister/cousin a giggle too. (Tip: an alternative along the same lines is Universally Challenged by Wendy Roby.)

indigo’s gift guide will ensure that there are no nasty surprises under the tree this year Photograph: Alan Cleaver


INDIGO | Tuesday 11th December 2012

stage 5 Is Christmas panto still adored? Stage Editor: Victoria Ferguson Deputy: Gabriel Samuels stage@palatinate.org.uk

‘Oh yes it is’

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antomimes never go out of date because the basic storyline can be adapted to any audience or situation. For example, our college panto last year featured Snow White as a ‘rah’ Hatfield student, who joined D.W.A.R.F.S. (the Drinking, Wanking And Ravishing Freshers Society) for the university experience of a lifetime. When she found herself in a living nightmare (the poor girl was dumped in Stockton with no way of getting back since the X1 was out of service) she ended up spending the night on Prince Charming’s sofa…

You get to watch forgotten celebs channelling their inner panto dame

They’re also funny. They really are! Panto humour includes everything from the cheesiest one-liners to subtler sexual innuendo, the latter designed to go straight over the heads of the younger audience members! Panto humour is quite a British phenomenon. It turns out that people ‘just don’t get it’ outside of the UK. But how can: ‘What did Cinderella say when the chemist lost her photographs? Someday my prints will come!’ fail to make you chuckle… even a little bit?!

Even better, audience participation is totally allowed. Heckling is positively encouraged. What’s more fun than yelling ‘he’s behind you!’ at the top of your voice and watching some poor squirming Dad in the front row getting chatted up by a fat man called Dame Wishy-Washy wearing a ridiculous dress?! There’s also a lot of food involved. No panto is complete without a half-empty box of Celebrations getting smuggled in under Nan’s jumper and then being passed around nosily while everyone complains that there’s only Snickers left. Then at some point near the end, sweets are usually hurled into the audience – in my experience this provides the best quality entertainment of the entire show. What could be more fun that watching eager-beaver parents dive across the laps of unsuspecting grannies so that they can grab a lolly from the hands of an innocent five-year-old? Such fun! And the best bit? You get to watch forgotten celebs attempt to resurrect their careers by channelling their inner panto dame. Gareth Gates getting paid £40,000 to play Widow Twanky at the Milton Keynes Theatre? TOWIE’s Harry as a lost boy in Peter Pan? That’s a theatre experience not to be missed. Rose Mortimer

‘Oh no it isn’t’

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alking through Market Square on recent evenings, seeing that enormous tree resurrected after another long year of patiently waiting for Durham to look like the front of a Christmas card again, I can feel that Christmas is coming. Filling up my basket in Tesco and pretending to be surprised that my feet have led me over to the mince pies and festive treats, I can’t help but imagine the veritable feast that my mum will cook up on Christmas Day. Hearing Christmas songs playing on the radio, I can’t help but sing

along and not care that the lady walking behind me clearly doesn’t think that I sound a bit like Mariah Carey, because in my head I sound incredible. Somehow though, when I walk past the poster for this year’s Gala pantomime, all the actors staring at me with fanatical Mickey Mouse smiles and dressed in costumes of such bright colour it makes my head hurt, I just don’t get that same festive buzz. I hope that doesn’t make me a spoilsport. After all, I’m the last person to say ‘bah, humbug!’ about anything to do with Christmas. It’s just that the pantomime has never been a part of my Christmas tradition and I can’t say that I feel that I’m missing out. I did go to a pantomime once. Admittedly, there was a real feeling of holiday spirit in the theatre with all the children having FINALLY

Illustrations: James Crosland-Mills broken up from school and a good number of dedicated audience members having donned tinsel and Santa hats for the occasion. But as soon as the show started, I felt as though I had been transported into an episode of The Tweenies.

It’s never been a part of my Christmas tradition and I can’t say that I feel that I’m missing out

Colours, patterns, loud patronising voices yelling ‘I can’t hear you! Now let’s try again: are you excited about Christmas?!’ It was an odd experience. All the children who had been so loud and

excitable five minutes before the show suddenly became very shy, which meant that it took the commitment of a good few offstage voices to produce a satisfactory ‘He’s behind you!’ So the children are too scared to take part, the teenagers are too cool and it is therefore left to the parents to save the evening. They clap and sing and do a fairly good job of pretending that they’re having the time of their lives until they are practically bound and gagged by their fifteen-year-old daughter, red in the face with embarrassment. Okay, so maybe I’m taking it all too seriously and should accept the pantomime for what it is: just a bit of fun. But, looking on as Cinderella’s fairy godmother gave her

beard a cheeky scratch with the tip of her wand when she thought that no one was looking, I couldn’t help but think that if I had wanted to see a middle-aged man in drag at Christmas, all I had to do was to wait for my uncle to hit the port on Christmas Eve. This Christmas is going to be as traditional as any other in my family. There’ll be a tree, there’ll be Christmas carols, there’ll be the same ridiculous notion that it might (it just might!) snow on Christmas Day this year, but there won’t be a Christmas pantomime. I think we’ll just save the terrible jokes for the Christmas crackers! Victoria Ferguson


6 fashion indigo’s festive photoshoot

This page, opposite page and front cover: Clothes on Katy from Sorella boutique, jewellery from Accessorize. Bow ties on Sam from M&S and Greenwoods and red tie from Next. Sam wore his own suit. Stylists: Lois Bryson-Edmett and Cordelia Yeung Models: Katy Quicke and Sam Horbye Photography: Donal Anand-Shaw Drink and location provided by Whisky River, visit now to sample their delicious Christmas menu.

Tuesday 11th December 2012 | INDIGO


INDIGO | Tuesday 11th December 2012

Fashion Editors: Lois Bryson-Edmett & Cordelia Yeung Deputy: Jess McGahan fashion@palatinate.org.uk

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Tuesday 11th December 2012 | INDIGO

8 film & tv

From Buddy the Elf saving the day to George Bailey wanting to live again, we are always treated to a diverse range of Christmas films. But this year, looking back over nearly a century of cinematic festivities, Laura Ryan has come to a shocking conclusion, making us ask...

Macaulay Culkin left alone at home in the absolute Christmas classic Photograph: 20th Century Fox

Is Home Alone the best Christmas film ever?

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et’s face it: Christmas is just not as magical as it once was. We no longer lie awake under our duvets on Christmas Eve, too excited to sleep. These days it’s just not acceptable for us to sit on some old man’s lap and tell him our Christmas wishes. As children we never questioned the plausibility of the nativity story and rejoiced to see neon reindeer and advent calendars appearing in mid-October, but now we find ourselves bemoaning the commercialisation of a religious celebration. On Christmas morning we wake up to historical novels, DVD box-sets and bath bombs instead of bikes, dolls’ houses and train sets. Indeed Christmas is the greatest reminder to many of us that our childhood, wonderful as it was, is just a fond memory slipping further and further away with every passing year. But fear not reader! ‘Tis still the season to be jolly; for certain things need never change at Christmas. We can still decorate the tree in our Christmas jumpers, eat mince pies and buy Cadbury’s advent cal-

endars, and we can still watch the festive films of our youth. We all have our favourites: the classics like It’s a Wonderful Life and White Christmas still never fail to charm, and more recently the likes of Love Actually and The Nightmare Before Christmas have become Christmas Eve staples in many households. But for me, as a ‘90s kid and a lover of unsophisticated comedy and cheesy endings, the true face of Christmas will always be that of Macaulay Culkin and his impression of Munch’s The Scream.

The true face of Christmas will always be Culkin’s inpression of Munch’s The Scream I am of course referring to that most beloved and successful of children’s Christmas films: Home

Alone (let’s forget about the sequels for now, or rather forever). For those of you who have never seen this film, and I sincerely hope that you are in a minority, it is the story of young Kevin McCallister (Culkin) who is mistakenly left at home when the rest of his family fly to Paris for the Christmas holidays. Having wished the night before for his family to disappear, he wakes to find that they have done just that, and initially he relishes his new-found independence, taking the opportunity to watch inappropriate movies, eat bowls full of junk food and raid his older brother’s room for cool stuff (well what eight-year-old wouldn’t). However it’s not all plain sailing for this plucky and surprisingly self-sufficient lad, as he soon discovers that two hapless burglars, thinking no one is home, are targeting his house. Naturally he must protect his home while his mother is still desperately trying to get back to him, and hilarity ensues as, on Christmas Eve, the unsuspecting bandits are confronted by

a series of booby traps and painful surprises: swinging paint cans, extremely icy stairs, hot irons flying towards them, strategically placed toys and Christmas baubles. And a tarantula.

It is a film full of good old-fashioned family values But it is not just the physical comedy, the implausible storyline or Culkin’s priceless little face that make this an enduring Christmas favourite. It must be said that writer John Hughes, also responsible for such ‘80s favourites as The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, does a sterling job of balancing sentimentality and slapstick comedy. Because Home Alone is also a film full of good old-fashioned family values: Kevin’s siblings may mock and tease him and

his mildly negligent parents may forget him completely until they’re flying across the Atlantic sipping champagne, but they all love each other, and of course in the final minutes of the film his family arrive back on Christmas morning to a heart-warming reunion. Perhaps most importantly Home Alone is a film which allows us to see Christmas, and the magical aura surrounding it, through the eyes of a child. It reminds us all of how it felt to be an excited, wideeyed child on Christmas morning, which must be one of the most amazing feelings possible. No wonder it grossed $533 million at the box office and remains one of the most successful films of all time. Home Alone (and its vastly inferior sequels) are available on DVD.

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For more on Christmas Film & TV, visit palatinate.org.uk


INDIGO | Tuesday 11th December 2012

Film & TV Editor: Alex Leadbeater film@palatinate.org.uk

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The Hobbit - a prequel too far? Helen Sandford questions the potential of Peter Jackson’s groundbreaking return to Middle Earth

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here is always an uneasy anticipation when a much loved story is dragged back from its peaceful resting place. Delving into a story’s past seems an ingenious tactic to revisit these popular tales, but films such as Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd have made us question: where should the line be drawn? Prequels do not have a huge success record and yet now Oscar winning director Peter Jackson is set to join the bandwagon with the soon to be released The Hobbit. The inevitable question now hangs in the air: will the film live up to its blockbuster predecessors?

Going by the cast, there should be no question over the film’s success

Martin Freeman debuts as titular hero Bilbo (main) while Andy Serkis returns as an old enemy (inset) Photographs: Warner Bros.

Some might question this decision, but he managed to produce three amazing films that have gone down in movie history and there seems no reason why he cannot do the same again. Instead of basic retreads like so many a franchise, The Hobbit instead visits unchartered lands in Middle Earth. The perfect balance seems to be struck between beloved characters and new exciting additions to the plot; whilst there may be no more banter between Legolas and Gimli, there are thirteen feisty dwarves to entertain and enchant us. The cast is certainly star studded; Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood and the awesome Andy

Not just one film to rule them* all

*(the box office)

Serkis all reappear, while Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch take a break from the bleak London of Sherlock to submerge themselves in fantasy, set in the beautiful landscapes of New Zealand. Going by the cast, also including Richard Armitage in black leather once more after the BBC’s rather tame Robin Hood, there should be little question over the film’s success. Excitingly The Hobbit will have two 3D options as the new 48 frames per second (fps) 3D technology is being showcased. Although this new technology is seen by many as a new landmark in filmmaking, the audience of an early preview were left less than impressed by the experience. It seems sensible then that Warner Brothers have advised against an extra charge for the 48 fps 3D tickets, which would have been expected since it requires a different type of projection. Perhaps this is due to the limited 48 fps 3D showings, or an attempt to promote the technology’s potential to the public. Either way, many are still divided over the benefits, but if we are to believe Imax’s assurances that we will feel as if we are “in the movie”, what viewer would complain about being submerged in the glory and action of the battle scenes? And what woman would argue against being surrounded by fifteen or so enchanting men, wielding swords? Prequels are not the only way forward, but considering the wreckage of Indiana Jones, Rambo and Shrek, reviving a franchise does

not always seem such a good idea. However with regards The Hobbit, it is less a case of trying to drag on an exhausted storyline, since JRR Tolkien wrote it before the Lord of the Rings trilogy, so the plot works specifically into the subsequent sequels. One needs only to remember the success of the Star Wars prequels to know that a planned, intended prequel is a successful way to carry on a loved franchise. Though now that Disney have taken over Lucasfilm the jury is out again over the resuscitation of the Star Wars franchise; it now seems inevitable that the films will follow the newly trodden path of the Bourne series, with new characters tenuously linked back to exhausted plotlines. While The Hobbit is unlikely to have that problem, Peter Jackson has played with the plot, shifting focus onto Sauron and potentially over shadowing the main villain Smaug. Since few manage to struggle all the way through the LOTR books, changes to the plots in the films were hardly noticed, but The Hobbit is more widely read and audiences might take umbrage at this change in focus. Nevertheless the technicalities of the script are unlikely to change the overall success of the film and with such a brilliant cast and setting, everything is pointing to it being an absolutely cracking Christmas blockbuster. The Hobbit will be in cinemas from December 14th.

Looking beyond The Hobbit, Sam Courtney-Guy rounds up the other films hitting cinemas this winter

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ith deadlines crossed and hangovers nursed as the end of term approaches, you may not have noticed the wealth of quality cinema on the horizon for this holida. Films already released by the time students find themselves booking tickets home include Seven Psychopaths, with director Martin McDonagh returning after his acclaimed debut In Bruges, with Colin Farrell in the starring role again. Sam Rockwell (Moon)

and Christopher Walken (that cool-redefining Fatboy Slim video) join Farrell’s struggling drunken screenwriter Marty as he finds himself embroiled in the very sort of gangster-fuelled escapades that he hoped to one day realise on the Hollywood screen. With any season comes a selection of lighter entertainment (or ‘cheesy’ films to the cynic). The WuTang Clan’s RZA directs The Man With the Iron Fist, a bombastic martial arts action pic in which he

and Russell Crowe (Gladiator, Master and Commander) must defend a small Chinese village. Your funny-bone may be tickled or aggravated by Parental Guidance in which Billy Crystal (When Harry Met Sally, Monsters Inc.) plays an old-school grandfather learning to deal with his 21st century grandchildren, and musical comedy lovers might appreciate Pitch Perfect.

Its tagline, ‘Get Pitch Slapped’, says enough about it for me. Finally, you might be relieved to finally see an Indian main character in a Hollywood film played by someone other than Dev Patel in Life of Pi, to be released on 14th December. Ang Lee returns to direct after successes such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Brokeback

Mountain and will face a challenge in recreating Yann Martel’s vivid prose from his Booker prize winning novel on screen. Suraj Sharma stars as Piscine Molitor ‘Pi’ Patel, the only human survivor of a shipwreck in the Pacific who finds himself on a small lifeboat with animals from his father’s zoo. With reviews already raving, this looks set to be a masterful example of the visual power of film – so dust off your 3D glasses if you can and make this the film you see later in the holiday.


Tuesday 11th December 2012 | INDIGO

10 music

Interviewed: Willy Mason Willy Mason has spent the best part of ten years on the road and in the studio. Patrick Bernard talks Kevin Costner, chicken korma and King George III with the singer-songwriter ahead of the release of his third full-length album

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illy Mason was only just out of adolescence when his first full-length album Where the Humans Eat was released in 2004. Now with eight more years under his belt and two more albums, Mason is coming of age. Suited and booted but perhaps a little rougher around the edges, it might now be easier to cast him within the tradition of the world-weary troubadour type, but age is becoming of the precocious singer-songwriter whose voice and talent had always belied his years. Back in the UK in support of Ben Howard I catch up with him as he grabs a breather after his Newcastle Academy date. Technical difficulties beleaguered his set and our interview slot had to compete with multiple setbacks. “My amp decided to break right in the middle of my five minute sound-check. I just started playing electric guitar about a year and a half ago, it’s slightly less dynamic than an acoustic but in a big concert setting you have much more control and if you put a bit of reverb on it it makes up for the fact that it’s not an acoustic instrument somewhat— it’s way more consistent.” Mason is a formidable presence on stage, even without a band or a crowd (who were still at this point waiting in the wings and at the bar for Ben Howard) he is able to command the attention of his audience. Does he always tour without his band? “Not consistently— I just don’t have the money for it, [Sam — his brother and occasional tour companion on drums] comes out when he can…but he’s got a real job now.” The perfect support act in many respects, with his small entourage and basic gear, he has only just come back from his tour of Australia with Mumford and Sons and is up and down the country on a tight schedule. “Ben’s been nice enough to let us hitch a ride on the bus so that makes it about ten times easier — we did the last tour in a Ford Fiesta.” The tours are big and the venues are getting bigger. “I think the biggest one was about 12,000… I’m getting used to it.” But a challenge to face singlehanded? “I mean small ones,

A world-weary troubadour? Willy Mason was supporting Ben Howard at the Newcastle Academy last week especially solo, are almost always better, it’s just easier to create something palpable in the room, but sound-systems are getting pretty good, so it’s something that I think you can learn, to make a big room work, it’s a separate skill but it’s an unusual feeling to have that many people paying attention.”

With the first album I sort of got myself into a lot of trouble and it’s taken me two albums to get out of it His set was short and intimate, conversational and at ease with his audience. Mason is clearly a professional. Beside Ben Howard, who threw a temper tantrum in the middle of his set and went as far as to slash songs off his list in disapproval of the inattentive Newcastle crowd, Mason came off as the more collected and cool-headed. In between a few of his ‘hits’

(his anthemic ‘Oxygen’ and the rallying ‘We Can Be Strong’, for example) was a choice selection from his forthcoming album Carry On. Among our favourites was a song about cats, something of a revelation. “Well cats and war. I mean, it could go a number of ways.” An agenda? I had conjectured Mitt Romney. “I actually wrote it before the rising star of Mitt Romney… it was in the era of George III.” Not to be taken at face value I think. “I’ve never had a dog. I grew up with two cats, but they passed away.” Default cat-person? “Yeah, I was raised by cats” — in the era of George III? I hold him to his word. “Yeah that’s pretty good, raised by cats in the era of George III.” This most recent album will have been five years in the making, during which he decamped at his childhood home of Martha’s Vineyard. Has it been a labour of love? “I got a little distracted… so I didn’t spend all my time on the album. I spent a couple years on the road before I recorded it, trying out the songs and trying to meet people to help me record it.” Dan Carey, the producer, numbers among those people, a curious choice for Mason’s folk

sensibilities. “Well the album is quite different from how I perform by myself, a lot of the songs were written in a traditional style and then the album adds some more modern sonic elements to it so I’ve been doing them in all different styles depending on the musicians that are with me, which is pretty fun actually because the songs lend themselves to a couple different styles.” The ‘final chapter’ of a particular narrative is what Mason considers of this album, but of anything in particular? “I thought about why I said that, I think the thing is really with the first album I sort of got myself into a lot of trouble and it’s taken me two albums to get out of it.” Now in the clear? “God willing, we’ll see. I feel like a weight has been lifted with this album.” Carry On appears to look to the future, so what can we expect of Willy Mason? “Well, I just got offered a job driving a cab back home… one of those jobs you can take and leave. I imagine I’ll be getting some good stories.” Your ride for the next tour? “It’s pretty similar to being a touring musician really,

its just the roles are reversed… I’ve been writing songs also at the same time for a new album so I’m gonna try and get another one out pretty quickly after this one” — another five years? — “I don’t think so, and I’m going to record an album with my mom back home. I sing with her sometimes and I play a lot of her songs live so I’m excited she’s going to do another one, the last one was maybe ten years ago.” As we draw to a close, favourite thing about being in the UK? Chicken Korma (of which he appears to be a fan)? “I like the landscape — it’s a little bit more ghostly… sort of ghosts of… I dunno, ghosts of industry and… sheep.” And, just to satisfy the curiosity of myself and my (female) companions, Kevin Costner or Matthew Mcconaughey (whose looks he had been attributed)? “Well, Kevin Costner had gills in Water World, which I admire,” and a man of action, “Yeah he’s a handy man, a survivor, he adapts to his environment.” I still don’t see it. Willy Mason’s third studio album Carry On is out now on Fiction Records.


INDIGO | Tuesday 11th December 2012

11 Looking back at the music of 2012 If years could play guitar, then 2012 would have been a Hendrix-filled lick of gold-sheathed Olympians and African American presidents, congested and significant enough to be considered memorable, at least from a British point of view. Indeed, the beacon of success that became the Olympic Opening Ceremony of whose music would make even the most ignorant proud of our small and shrinking island, arguably embodies the long 12 months in the British musical industry. It is not however, the quality of said performance that reflects the musical direction of 2012, but rather the relevance of the era to which its content belongs. Songs from a collection of over 50 artists resonated around the £537 million stadium on that hopeful Friday evening in July; paradoxically, however, the modern age of British music was best represented by its absence from the spectacle. Comfortably less than a dozen acts of whose music was used, boasted a 21st Century album and those that could

Music Editors: Patrick Bernard & Alex Denby Deputy: Robin Marshall music@palatinate.org.uk

- Rizzle Kicks and Sugababes, to highlight the highlights – would struggle to spell originality on a good day. Thus on the night, even the sore-throated McCartney put a generation to shame. “What happens next?” He seemed to croak as he brought ‘Hey Jude’ to a conclusion for the two hundredth time in a month and the Closing Ceremony then replied with two chillingly common syllables. Coldplay. Perhaps the biggest band in the world - more by default than actually having a raw and revolutionary sound - it should be a relief that they claim to be British. But let’s be honest, they’re hardly going to inspire a twelve-yearold to pick up a guitar. The same goes for the 2012 Brit Awards’ respective King and Queen: Ed Sheeran and Adele. Talented musicians but nevertheless critically worshipped because they write their own songs, as if this is something we shouldn’t expect in an age where auto-tune rules the charts.

Then, all of a sudden, The Vaccines, hailed as the saviours of rock and roll offered a number one album full of 3-chord choruses and pleasant love songs and the year relaxed. Something slightly exciting - somewhere in between interesting and important - had finally arrived whilst Muse prepared to release a dubstep-inspired record about

aliens, and Two Door Cinema Club re-released their debut under a new title. Then Mumford conquered America with Babel surreally equalling The Beatles’ record for the greatest number of songs (six) in the Billboard Top 100 and the marginalised became mainstream once again. Even The Maccabees managed a chart-topper with the Mercury Prize nominated Given to the Wild, arguably the most creative album of the year, beaten to the prize only by the intellectual swagger of Leeds-based Alt-J with An Awesome Wave. Despite the poetry of Alt-J and the similarly ambient beauty of The xx’s Coexist, released in September, there remains a distinct lack of grit to their sound. “Where’s the modern-day Mick Jagger?” Maroon 5 fail to answer, and the void continues to grow with only The Black Keys and Kasabian actively endeavouring in 2012 to bridge the gap between popularity and rock and roll. Reading & Leeds had a lot resting upon its already-la-

boured shoulders with Glastonbury still dormant and it didn’t fail to disappoint with a victorious Dave Grohl and his Foo Fighters dominating the Sunday with a 150 minute set whilst Florence and her machine sung across the rain on the Saturday evening. The Cure too provided a sense of 80s nostalgia but their presence as headliners alongside The Foo Fighters begs the question: who’s going to replace Robert Smith et al once the world’s sick of his greatest hits? Enter eighteen-year-old Jake Bugg, the Ed Sheeran for boys, brandishing an electric guitar and lines borrowed from reality. He has to hold the hope for 2013 because I for one will struggle to pretend to be excited if The Stone Roses or any of their friends from the past re-reform simply because the industry needs them. No. What 2013 really needs is a new flame, but unfortunately for music as it stands Simon Cowell seems to hold all the matches. Roy Manuel

Albums of the year - the editors’ picks

Frank Ocean channel ORANGE

“Frank Ocean’s first full-length album confirms the hype and cements him as one of 2012’s greatest emerging stars. His trademark swoons are evident throughout, most pertinently in the bittersweet ‘Bad Religion’ and album highlight ‘Forrest Gump’. Channel ORANGE has incredible variety; ‘Pyramids’ is a nine-minute hip-hop homage to rave, ‘Fertilizer’ is a song so poppy you can taste the bubblegum. It’s an album of incredible scope, excelling in nearly all that it attempts, which is impressive given the weight of expectation facing Ocean before its release. If nothing else, kids raised in the Playstation era will appreciate the Pandora’s Box of nostalgia that is ‘Start’.” AD

Purity Ring Shrines

“Purity Ring – double-act Megan James and Corin Roddick from Canada – have certainly pandered well to 2012’s insatiable desire for loud, synth-driven electronic music. Signed to 4AD in April, the duo released their debut album, Shrines, in July, and proceeded to tour the US, Europe and the UK shortly after. The speed of their success is undoubtedly due to their catchy, bass-heavy rhythms and a distinctively tinny sound that absorbs and reflects James’ heavily, hauntingly autotuned vocals superbly. The debut single from the album, ‘Obedear’, is a clever arrangement of creative synth-pop that works well against slower, bassier ‘Cartographist’ and ‘Crawlersout’.” RM

Actress R.I.P.

“Supposedly in parts a response to Paradise Lost among other works of fiction and music, R.I.P. is quite the journey to say the least. I have a bone to pick with Darren Cunningham (Actress), because I have read Paradise Lost, and it didn’t sound anything like this album, but I wish it did. Throughout I am reminded of parts of my brain which I forgot I had. Milton is sure to be turning in his grave, but much of that I think is for lack of space. Actress nods only very briefly to the dancefloor, however, on this album which skirts the extremities of ambient, electronic and techno music to plot a course of its own distinction.” PB

Lana del Rey Born to Die

“Way back in January, Lana Del Rey finally followed up on the hype of viral hit ‘Video Games’ with debut album Born To Die. The ‘gangster Nancy Sinatra’ evokes a time gone by with the sweeping, nihilistic melodrama of title track.‘Without You’, highlighs ‘the dark side of the American dream’; ‘Off To The Races’, a high-speed piece of musical foreplay; and ‘Blue Jeans’ underlines the magnetic pull of Del Rey’s voice perfectly and matches her ill-fated attraction to the antihero. It’s an album of a breaking woman rather than a broken one, and it’s this faint glimmer of hope that deepens the dramatic irony and makes the album so compelling.” SSG

Kendrick Lamar good kid, m.A.A.d city

“With good kid, m.A.A.d city, Lamar has looked at the expectations placed upon him by pretty much everyone within the industry and surpassed them. His compelling storytelling ability mixed with the extremely competent selection of producers who have brought in an array of sounds and samples ranging from coastto-coast and back to the 80s and 90s for inspiration combine to produce perhaps the most important hip-hop album of the year. It might take a few listens to fully absorb the intensity of Lamar’s multi-layered lyrics, but the stories of Kendrick’s childhood, as they become more complex, become even more compelling.” JC


Tuesday 11th December 2012 | INDIGO

12 food & drink

Perfect Winter Warmers If the combination of summative deadlines and icy weather has got you googling hibernation techniques, stop right there. Joe Thomas and Alex Yandell offer you an indulgent selection of seasonal dishes to see you through the end-of-term blues Shredded duck and roast plum salad with a sesame, soy and pomegranate dressing Ingredients: For the salad: 2 large or 4 small duck legs, skin on 1 tbsp. sunflower oil 8 large plums, quartered 2 tbsp. light brown sugar 2 tbsp. dark soy sauce 120g mixed peppery salad leaves (rocket, watercress, tatsoi etc.) 2 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds Sea salt and black pepper For the dressing: 2 tbsp. dark soy sauce 1 tbsp. runny honey 2 tbsp. sesame oil 1 lime, juiced 1 large pomegranate, fleshy seeds only 1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely

sliced

Instructions: 1. Preheat the oven to 170˚C. 2. Score the duck legs, and season generously. 3. Sear in the oil, skin side down, over a medium-high heat to render the fat. 4. Turn over after 5 minutes and sear the other side for about 3 minutes. 5. Meanwhile, mix together the plums, sugar and soy sauce. 6. Place the plum mixture into a foil-lined tray. Lay the duck legs on top. 7. Cook for 1.5-2 hours in the oven, until the duck is falling away from the bone. 8. Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients for it. 9. Once the duck is cooked, shred it with two forks. 10. Gently mix together the salad leaves and the shredded duck. 11. Serve with the roasted

plums and a few spoonfuls of their juices. 12. Spoon over the dressing and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. AY

Celeriac dauphinoise with gruyere and thyme Ingredients: 1 large (800g) celeriac, peeled and chopped into quarters 450ml double cream 150ml whole milk 2 tbsp. thyme leaves 2 tbsp. butter 200g mature gruyere cheese, coarsely grated 1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg Sea salt and black pepper Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C. 2. Slice the celeriac very thinly (ideally 2-3mm) and set it aside. 3. Pour the cream, milk, and 1 tbsp. thyme into a bowl.

4. Mix together well and season generously with sea salt and black pepper. 5. Spread layers of the celeriac into a large, buttered, ovenproof baking dish. 6. Sprinkle 130g gruyere between each layer then, finally, pour over the cream and milk mixture. 7. Press the celeriac down. It should just be showing about the milk and cream. 8. Spread the remaining gruyere on top and bake for 1 hour, or until tender. 9. Serve sprinkled with nutmeg and the remaining thyme. AY

Chocolate Chip Cranberry Muffins Ingredients: 1 egg 125g Plain Flour 25g Coco powder

1tsp baking powder 60g sugar 2 table spoons of oil 100 ml of milk (I prefer cream) Bar of Chocolate 1 ½ cup of chopped Cranberries Instructions:

1. Heat oven to 160C 2. Mix flour, coco powder and baking powder together in a bowl 3. Mix eggs, milk, oil and sugar together in a separate bowl 4. Add the bowl of milk etc to the bowl of four and mixthoroughly (is okay if still lumpy) 5. Add chocolate chunks and cranberries 6. Place mixture into muffin shaped cake tines in the oven at 160C for 20 minutes or until the mixture has risen and cracked 7. Enjoy JT Photographs: Alex Yandell and Joe Thomas


INDIGO | Tuesday 11th December 2012

Festive cheer: Mulled Buckfast By Joe Thomas

Buckfast Tonic Wine is a drink which has gained some notoriety within Durham over the last few years, since one St Mary’s student requested Dunelm food stores to order it especially. For those who don’t know, Buckfast Tonic Wine is a thick rich fortified red wine filled with caffeine (drop for drop more than RedBull). The wine is brewed by Benedictine monks following a formula, which has remained largely unchanged for the better part of 150 years. This recipe is a simple way to make your Buckfast that little bit more festive, perfect for those evenings before you brave the long, cold walk to Klute. (This recipe can be used on red wine as well) Ingredients: One bottle of Buckfast 60g of demerara sugar Cinnamon (either a stick, or half a tea spoon of powder) Grated nutmeg Half an orange Instructions: 1) Place a pan on the stove over a low heat, add the Buckfast, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange. 2) Leave on a low heat until sugar has dissolved and wine is warm, but drinkable. 3) Add more sugar to taste and pour through a sieve into mugs.

Food & Drink Editor: Kirsten Riddick food@palatinate.org.uk

13

Christmas, carp and KFC Does the traditional turkey dinner leave you uninspired? indigo explores Christmas traditions abroad, and there’s not a sprout in sight JAPAN by Kirsten Riddick

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hat springs to mind when you think of Japanese food? Raw fish? Edamame beans? Yo Sushi Blue Mondays? Either way, it probably isn’t chicken popcorn. Yet that’s where we’ve got it all wrong. If you want an authentic taste of Asian cuisine this Christmas, abandon Itsu and head straight down to your nearest KFC. When it comes to festive BNOCS, Colonel Sanders beats Rudolph every time in Japan. Deep fried poultry has been an intrinsic part of the Japanese festive spread since the 1970s, when a Westerner residing in Tokyo was left empty-handed after a search to find a Christmas turkey. In a nostalgic attempt to replicate the dinner of his childhood, he set off to his nearest fast food

POLAND by Joanna Biernat

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here are many things about my Polish heritage that have caused me anguish throughout my life. Most notably thirteen years spent waking up early on Saturdays to go to Polish school, and a surname that when mispronounced sounds almost exactly like ‘beermat’ Yet, one thing I can never thank my grandparents and their arduous journey to Britain after WWII enough for is the wonderful experience of a Polish Christmas. Most of you, I imagine, will be totally unfamiliar with the tastes and traditions of an Anglo-Polish household at this festive time of year,. As such, here is my brief guide to:

Wigilia, objadanie sie, i karp*

*Christmas Eve, over-eating and carp. • Fasting and Feasting

Wigilia, (pronounced Veeghee-lya) or the Polish Christ-

chain and ordered a chicken bucket. It’s hard to say whether a Boneless Banquet for One conjured up the home-cooked meal he remembered. It seems unlikely. Nonetheless, his actions triggered a country-wide marketing campaign to make chicken synonymous with Christmas. Since then, high demand for KFC over the festive period has seen customers queue round the block to get their Big Daddy or Wicked Zinger Meal. The franchise sees sales soar in December, and the company have been forced to use order-sheets to cope with the sheer number of chicken-loving customers. This year, the craze has gone a step further, with Japan Airlines and KFC collaborating on an in-flight catering promotion. According to the press release, from 1st December to 28th February lucky fliers will be able to enjoy a boneless breast, drumstick, flatbread, cup of coleslaw and lettuce leaves whilst crusing

mas Eve, is traditionally a very family and food orientated day. You’re supposed to spend the day fasting and meat is strictly forbidden. However, when the first star is spotted in the sky at around 5pm (or when everyone is starving) the feasting begins. Don’t let the lack of meat throw you off; there is so much you can do with fish. At the traditional table you can find pickled herring, pike, trout, whitefish or carp; fried, steamed, breaded or baked.

• Twelve Courses

Traditionally a polish Christmas should include 12 courses to represent the 12 apostles. In my house that was long dismissed as too much work. There’s about as many possible dishes as there are consonants in their names so it’s often difficult to narrow it down. There’s the classic Barszcz or beetroot soup which is great because each family’s recipe is different. Then of course Pierogi (dumplings of unleavened dough with three traditional fillings). Poles love sauerkraut and cabbage and these are the main ingredients of dishes such as Bigos (hunter’s stew) and Gołąbki

at 30,000 feet (I’ve always found there’s nothing like a cup of coleslaw to make turbulence more bearable.) KFC also release a Christmas ad campaign every year to promote their celebratory offering. This year actress Haruka Ayase (whose fame has clearly yet to arrive in Britain) has been signed to star in the “Party Barrel” commercials. They’re worth a watch: a beaming Haruka, dressed up as Santa Claus, gnaws chicken whilst bouncing on something resembling a space hopper. There is clearly profound meaning to this advert, but I’m struggling to decipher it. In search of a more rounded and coherent explanation, I spoke to some of Durham’s own Japanese students about the craze. They informed me that the adverts run from the 1st December every year, and the campaign is widely established across the country.

(cabbage rolls). For dessert, if you can handle it, you may find Makowiec (poppy seed roll), Piernik (honey spiced cake) or a fruit compote. • Carp.

Ahh carp. Wigilia just wouldn’t be Wigilia without it. Unfortunately, following a particularly traumatic Christmas in 1998 when my mother almost choked on a huge carp bone lodged in her throat, this has been a new

Of the eight Teikyo students I spoke to, only two ordered KFC at Christmas every year. The meal is apparently more expensive than the usual bucket selection, but they consider it a special treat and essential to their festivities. Interestingly, the group also commented on how Christmas is considered a real celebration for couples in Japan; whilst the festive craze is nowhere near UK standards, Christmas is considered an event to spend with your partner. This may explain why KFC began selling a two-person meal set a couple of years ago, which has now proved to be a big hit. Even if you fail to see the gastronomic appeal of a Big Daddy burger, it would be hard to knock the success of the KFC marketing strategy. And if the thought of brussel sprouts and bread sauce turns you cold, a flight to Tokyo could just be the answer. addition to the Biernat family table in recent years. Some of my favourite recipes include baked carp in aspic or ‘Ryba w Galarecie’, and ‘Karp na szaro’ (Carp in a spiced sauce of raisins, red wine and much more.) After all of this, presents are hastily unwrapped and it is traditional to set off full-bellied to ‘Pasterka’ (midnight mass) at the local church to commemorate the arrival of the Three Wise Men to Bethlehem.


INDIGO | Tuesday 11th December 2012

14

visual arts

Visual Arts Editor: Lucy Edwardes Jones visual.arts@palatinate.org.uk

Palatine Centre: art and academia Lucy Edwardes Jones takes a look at the Palatine Centre’s new modern art collection following a guided tour with its curator, Professor Henry Dyson

‘Elvet Colliery’ in the café Photograph: Durham University

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lunchtime visit to the Palatine Centre café had me wading my way through throngs of hungry students in search of their pre-lecture pizza fix. I, however, had come to see the imposing relief sculpture hung on the café’s wall. The work is titled ‘Elvet Colliery’, after the coal mine which occupied the site of the Palatine Centre in

previous centuries. Peter Sales, an artist local to Durham, intended to depict the mining process which was so important in shaping his county’s history. The huge scale and metallic forms of the sculpture reinforce this message by creating a mechanic, industrial feel. Henry Dyson, the curator of the art collection and my tour guide for the afternoon, explained that

key pieces such as this mural had been commissioned especially for the new Palatine Centre. After navigating past the pizza queues to the calm of reception, we paused in front of the huge colourful mural. This piece is also a commission from a local artist, David Vennables. Professor Dyson explained that its swirling abstract forms are actually inspired by crystallography. The mural’s expanse of vivid colours certainly adds impact to the clean white lines of the centre’s reception. Fay Pomerance’s ‘Sphere of Redemption’ (1965) also dominates the reception area. This innovative sculpture uses acrylic paint upon a fibreglass globe to explore theological issue of redemption, inspired by Pomerance’s Jewish beliefs. The beguiling swirling colours are intended to represent carnage and destruction upon earth. The sphere exemplifies Henry Dyson’s philosophy that the Palatine Centre’s art should be ‘beautiful yet challenging’. As well as enhancing the aesthetics of the building, the pieces are intended to engage and provoke. I did feel

that this could be better achieved with more detailed labelling of the works, which would allow students, staff and visitors to fully understand the themes behind the pieces. Within the law building, Fenwick Lawson’s sculpture ‘Cry for Freedom: The Hostage’ definitely fulfils this challenging philosophy. A dark figure lies contorted in pain, somewhat incongruously situated in the middle of the light airy corridor. The sculpture is based upon the Lebanon Hostage Crisis. Lawson shaped the bronze using a chainsaw to capture the brutality of his subject within its textured surface. Once its subject is understood, it is clear that the sculpture’s themes of injustice and freedom make it an appropriate addition to the law school. Throughout the building, every public space is filled with engaging works such as these. I was surprised to learn that almost the entirety of the University’s art collection is on display. Professor Dyson explained his aim to make it fully accessible, rather than hidden away gathering dust.

The 20th century focus of the Palatine collection is undeniable; an attempt to reflect the modernity of this impressive building. Yet within this narrow time span, there is still huge artistic variation. Lesser known local artists exhibited alongside giants of the art world. The Law School’s reception is adorned with Warhol’s colourful silk prints. Throughout the corridors you can admire Picasso’s lithograph portraits, which ingeniously capture the personality of their subjects with just a few lines Female artists are fairly represented with works by Fay Pomerance, Sonya Delaunay and Barbara Hepworth to name a few. African art is also recognised for its key influence upon the development of modern art. Durham University holds one of the larges modern art collections of all British universities. You need not pay a gallery entrance fee, nor go out of your way to see it. So, next time you’re milling around the Science site in between lectures, why not head to the Palatine Centre to take a look at this thought-provoking collection of modern art.

exhibition guide

Keep checking the Visual Arts section online over the holidays. If you see an exhibition that you would like to review, please email visual.arts@palatinate.org.uk LONDON National Gallery / Richard Hamilton: The Late Works

Royal Academy / Constable, Gainsborough, Turner BIRMINGHAM Birmingham Museum / Revealed: Government Art Collection

MANCHESTER Whitworth Gallery / Hockney to Hogarth

David Vennables’ ‘Crystal Forms’ mural greets visitors to the new Palatine Centre Photograph: Lucy Edwardes Jones


INDIGO | Tuesday 11th December 2012

travel 15

Travel Editor: Dan Hunt travel@palatinate.org.uk

A true winter wonderland experience And for something completely different, Michelle Wray takes indigo snow kayaking

Photograph: Karaian on flickr

Amy Brawn goes in search of St Nick in Lapland

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oarding the plane to Saariselkä, a village nestled within a Christmas tree-enveloped area of Finland, a cascade of winter wonderland images flurried through my mind: the comforting glow of the log cabin, the smell of freshly baked gingerbread, and reindeer frolicking under a twinkling night sky, vibrantly brought to life by the aurora borealis. Admittedly, these expectations may have been somewhat sensational. Suffice it to say, these, and the reality I encountered were, pardon the pun, poles apart. On arrival I was greeted by a brisk, straight-talking Finnish woman and her petrified helper. Needless to say, the unconventional pair weren’t exactly the Santa’s little helpers I had in mind when I requested a guide. Instead of my thoughts of hot cocoa and a silk coat from Santa’s workshop, they plonked me and my equally terrified sibling on a rickety wooden bench, suggesting it may be time

for Father Christmas to make some redundancies in the furniture department, and requested our shoe and clothing sizes so they could kit us out ‘appropriately’. Whether this was weather appropriate or simply appropriate for their amusement remains an enigma, because when we emerged in our not-sobody-flattering snow suits, we both looked like prime candidates for the TV show ‘The Biggest Loser’. The journey to the village was refuelled when a visit to one of the Lappish eateries was deemed necessary. Under the illusion that I was tucking into a typical, unassuming burger, I now regret that it was one which I heartily relished. Only after my plate was clean did I discover the truth that what I’d just consumed was a reindeer burger. I’d eaten Rudolph! My first impression on arrival at Saariselkä was how eye-wateringly beautiful the village landscape was, though I trust this was not just because of the fumes from the outside barbecue. Snow-capped spruces, roaring campfires, and winter walkways ornamented with lanterns, all amidst the backdrop of a polar night, are visions with more than enough charm to melt any Scrooge’s heart. Only adding

to this captivating scene were the cherub-faced children on the mini toboggans and the eager huskies emerging from the forest in the distance, sleds in tow. For me, the only thing which marginally ruined the effect was the emergence of a snowmobile; personally I always imagined Saint Nick as a bit of a technophobe.

The aurora borealis is something which simply cannot be described This feeling of disillusionment was only amplified upon hearing a small girl, fresh from her visit to the ‘real’ Santa Claus, proclaim that not only was his beard decidedly fake, but that he was moreover far too ‘skinny’ to be a plausible representation of the jolly old Saint Nicholas we all know and love. Clearly the “broad face and little round belly,

that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly” was not so applicable in this case. Thus, for me, what this part of Lapland lacked was a true sense of authenticity. But, what it did lack was wholly compensated for both in its scenic beauty, and ironically on my return journey. As my trip drew to a close, something I had hoped to see, or perhaps a more appropriate term would be – experience, actually found its way to me. En route back to the UK, the northern lights became visible from my small, undeserving aeroplane window. In northern latitudes, the effect is known as the aurora borealis, caused by the collision of charged particles in the high altitude thermosphere. My description is less than satisfactory; the aurora borealis is something which simply cannot be described in purely scientific terms. It bears a kind of beauty, striking but at the same time delicate, that is tangible to the naked eye, and the only way to experience it. It bears a splendour which has a physical effect, a breathlessness which ingrains itself in your memory. It was only upon witnessing this, that I began to understand Lapland’s true value.

I’ve never snowboarded or skied, but I have done something which is arguably more fun. I’ve snow kayaked. I love snow, and whenever we get any snow down south (which isn’t often) my brothers and I pack up a kayak on the car, wrap ourselves up in coats and hats, and go looking for a hill. Snow kayaking in the UK is fairly uncommon; you get a lot of odd looks from parents as they drag their kids along on sledges, while the children stare enviously at the kayak. If you can find a hill you can get some speed and even a bit of air if you find a jump! One day, I want to snow kayak properly, in deep snow. The snow kayaking scene is pretty small compared to other winter sports, but there have been world championships held before and Red Bull have sponsored big events. If you Google ‘snow kayaking’ you will find some great videos of people doing jumps, going down ski slopes in kayaks (generally the shorter playboats for tricks) and even racing each other down steep, snowy courses! You can definitely spend an entertaining hour or two on YouTube watching kayaks skidding around corners and piling up on top of each other in the inevitable crashes. Snow kayaking is a great sport that I hope to see grow and develop even more in the coming years. It’s a sport that anyone can do when you hit the slopes this Christmas and new year, give it a go! Photograph: Michelle Wray


Tuesday 11th December 2012 | INDIGO

the back page crossword ACROSS

All crosswords featured this term are by Emily Woodhouse

photography competition

1 Cinder’s before pot, say, and cleaning beneath the grate (3,3) 4 Prepared Christmas pudding: shed edges and eat me cooked! (7) 9 Stole to cover the present (4) 10 Farmers hide her record first in empty outbuildings (9) 12 Grief second or argument (6) 13 Ten to twelve in 8 are true pros dancing (8) 14 Female foreigner in 8 (3) 15 Boomerang elevated insightfully from heaven (5) 16 Begrudge north east return by one cut from ivy (4) 18 Prompts vocal lines of some people (4) 19 Night ends after the night before gala (5) 21 Little Joanna’s first yule is a happy one (3) 25 Knight behind, two of a kind showed the way like a star (8) 26 Sit in is against prior outings (6) 27 Choppy wave’s behind girl cut short by brief interjections going for free (9)

28 Take bravo from prestigious prize this Christmas (4) 29 Little time mistakes find coal in stockings (7) 30 Steady place for a crib (6) DOWN

2 Humbug begins scrounge with elevated ego (7) 3 Nearly three each makes one of 8 (5) 5 Step cautiously though tie top carelessly (6) 6 Drink a press top note as lords do in 8 (1-7) 7 Code red yell at end of days (7) 8 Christmas countdown of advent, he sweetly organised taking top and right points (3,6,4) 11 Cross was new for swimmer of 8 (4) 17 Sounds like rain close to helpers of 25 (8) 18 Where to get your bovine back? (7) 20 Evan backs into part of church (4) 22 Coat trimmed with metal no time for ground cereal (7) 23 River blossom? (6) 24 Seen in pleasant arrival down the chimney (5)

sudoku

Sudoku Puzzle - Hard

This edition’s winning entry: Tree decorations, by Peter Swan

www.sudoku-puzzles.net

Difficulty level: hard

Indigo 746  

Fresh from the Durham market, we travel to the Cologne Christmas market, and look at realistic ways to make 2013 the best year ever.indigo h...

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