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September 9-15 2013 Issue 1567



A guide to adventure right on your doorstep BURLESQUE WITH BALLS ‘Intimate’ yo-yo? Meet Aussie troupe Briefs

RIVERSIDE LONDON Make the most of the September sun

ISSUE 1567 / £1.95


9 772051 605008


Become a myTNT VIP for access to fantastic freebies, huge discounts and heaps of benefits. For just £50, joining our new members club will give you the chance to do more in London and beyond for less. For full details see

New deals!

NEW! FREE membership to the exclusive Travel Club – worth £49 FREE VIP experience at TNT’s amazing Travel Shows – worth £30 NEW! FREE MedSailor voucher for September travel – worth £200 save 20% on all Hop-On Hop-Off passes with Busabout FREE! VIP experience at the TNT Travel Show – worth £30 Save £49



new! the Travel club Sign up to become a VIP and you’ll bag free entry to The Travel Club – worth £49. As well as offers and deals on fantastic trips, you’ll get a £100 travel voucher, airport lounge passes and 10% off trips booked with G Adventures.

free albelli photo book Get a professional, topquality photo book and remember your travels with a free, 24-page medium landscape album. All members will be able to design and create their bespoke album for free when they join myTNT VIP.

Save £24

free case of bondi beer Make sure your summer BBQ kicks off in style with a case of Bondi Beer. The first 50 VIPs will receive a case of 24 cans of premium lager. Because we all know summertime parties are thirsty work. You are very welcome.

Save £29.99

Save £140

Save £50

free annual cuisine card Take advantage of huge deals on London’s top restaurants with this discount card which boasts the likes of the Rainforest Cafe, Shaka Zulu and Tiger Tiger. The first 100 VIPs will bag an annual membership with Cuisine Card.

free 8th day adventure This sport, adventure and social club which hosts hundreds of events every year is offering the first 30 myTNT VIPs free annual membership worth £140. After that, VIPs will benefit from 2-4-1 savings on all membership prices.

£50 latedeals voucher Sign up to become a myTNT VIP and you’ll receive an exclusive £50 discount off your next holiday with Looking for a last-minute break, head to this site which boasts fivestart experiences without the price tag.

More at my.TNTMAGAZINE.COM/mytnt-vip


EDITOR’S LETTER Scotland might be one of the world’s most underrated destinations, offering everything from architecturally gorgeous cities to an outdoor scene comparable to Canada (snow-capped mountains, endless pine forests, mad folks happy to hurl themselves off pretty much anything). It’s the latter we’re focusing on this issue, giving you a guide to some truly one-off adventures, and all a short hop from the Smoke (P56). Enjoy!



























Photos:; Aquaplay/ Facebook; Getty


40-45 42








Grab your last moments of sunshine by the Thames with our pick of riverside haunts

BOYS IN BRIEFS Stripping, clowning and trapeze tricks with Aussie boylesque troupe Briefs














From scuba diving to skiing, there’s no end of adrenalin action up in Scotland








TNT gets up close to molten lava climbing an active volcano on the island of Stromboli







Who’s doing the victory dance and who’s uber-disappointed by the Oz election?





Have a go scaling the limestone karsts in the jungles of Thailand’s Chiang Mai




Editorial Group editor Carol Driver Editor Laura Chubb Content editors: Sub/ Sport Michael Gadd Entertainment Alasdair Morton Web Oliver Jones Social media Dan Thorne Contributor Caroline Garnar


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Meltdown: finance meets dairy … it’s about time

Design and production Head of design and production Lisa Ferron Design / picture editor Patricia Montenegro

Sales Sales manager Jaqui Ward Sales administrator Abby Nightingale marketing & events Jaqui Ward ACCOUNTS Margaret Roberts | Suzanne Welsh tnt MULTIMEDIA LTD CEO Kevin Ellis Chairman Ken Hurst Publisher TNT Multimedia Limited Distribution Emblem Direct Ltd Printed by Wyndeham Peterborough Limited News AAP Pictures Getty Images, TNT Images, Thinkstock TNT Magazine , 111 Cannon Street, London EC4N 5AR General enquiries Phone 020 3011 1066 Email sales enquiries

Phone 020 7989 0567 Email Where to get TNT

cover price: £1.95 where sold See for pick-up points or to read TNT online Subscriptions and Distribution Caroline Penn 01603 559004 All thieves of TNT bins will be prosecuted.

Shhh... SECRET LONDON cheese

oxford street The latest production from fanSHEN is totally weird and totally wonderful. Using cheese as a metaphor for money (of course) it sets out to investigate the behavioural causes of the 2009 financial crash. As if this wasn’t oddball enough, it will be staged in an unused office building off Oxford Street, and will be powered in part by the audience who can take a turn on one of a load of exercise bikes that will be hooked up to the performance. Put in the legwork and you get some money off your ticket price. Bonus. £15

Sep 10-28, Mon-Sat, 7.30pm 29-31 Oxford Street, W1D 2DR

00 4

briefs: the second coming

black market clash pop-up

eleanor catton: the luminaries

The celebrated Australian boylesque troupe bring their new show to town after storming the Edinburgh Fringe. With circus performances, drag acts and intimate yo-yo tricks, as well as a load of Aussie humour, the boys deliver a show that you are not going to forget in a hurry.

This two-week exhibition in honour of the about-to-be-released Hits Back and Sound System compilations brings a listening lounge, a Clash exhibition curated by the band themselves, and a store where you’ll be able to find all you could ever want to buy re: one of the best bands the UK ever produced.

Kiwi author Catton presents her second novel The Luminaries, an ambitious work combining murder mystery, historical adventure and astrological puzzle that’s been listed for the Booker prize. Exactly what you’d expect then from the young author whose debut, The Rehearsal, was published in 12 languages.

Sep 19-28, 9.15pm London Wonderground, SE1 8XX Waterloo

Until Sep 22, Mon-Sat, 12pm-8pm. Sun, 11am-5pm 75 Berwick Street, W1F 8TG Oxford Circus

Sep 10, 7pm Southbank Centre, SE1 8XX Waterloo


TNT Magazine is printed on paper from sustainable forests. There is no business connection between the proprietors of this magazine and TNT Ltd, the worldwide transportation group. Copyright here and abroad of all original materials is held by TNT Magazine. Reproduction in whole or part is forbidden, except with permission of the publishers. Registered as a newspaper at the Post Office.

Tottenham Court Road



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Capital designs: Endless Stair will be seen at Tate Modern


Represent your country


Awesome tours FREE There’s more than 300 exhibitions and events in this year’s festival, aiming to promote London as the design capital of the world. Some of the most eye-catching goings on you’ll not want to miss include the brain-warping Endless Stair (Sep 13-Oct 10, above), New York artist Gwyneth Leech’s 365 – A Year In Cups, with a shedload of her hand-designed paper cups, and Design Junction (Sep 18-22), showcasing the best furniture, lighting and product design. Some events are ticketed.

Weekend festivals

Sep 14-22, times vary Various



Need to improve your man skills? Look no further. If your dancing leaves a lot to be desired, you don’t know your merlot from your rosé and fashion is something that women do, this evening class – in association with Frank’s Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce – will put you right. FYI – there will be beers at ‘lunch break’.

Your fave magazine is going to be extra specially nice to you and make sure you catch every single piece of the action. TNT has teamed up with the Elk Bar to screen the AFL (Sep 28, 4.30am) and NRL (Oct 6, 7.30am) grand finals. Get decked out in your full footy regalia and you’ll be in with a chance of nabbing a £50 bar tab.

Sep 12, 7pm-10pm Hoxton Hotel, EC2A 3HY Old Street

Sep 28, 4.30am/ Oct 6, 7.30am SW6 5UA Fulham Broadway

Photos: Cityscape



Weekly after match socials

Spectacular: the Thames takes centre stage at this 10-day fest

River festivities The annual Mayor’s Thames Festival is upon us to celebrate the river at the heart of London through a programme of cultural, historical and sporting events. But this year promises something a little different to the usual weekend festival, too, as it grows from a two-day shindig to a full-on, 10-day cornucopia of surprises. “We’ve been very aware for some time that the Mayor’s Thames Festival should be more about the river than a party by the river,” festival director Adrian Evans tells us of this shift in size and ambition. “This year we worked hard at bringing in a programme of bespoke art, education, music and river-based events that are very focused on the Thames to make that vision a reality.” The festival will see everything from barge racing to giant shipencased artworks, by way of specially commissioned musical performances taking place on the river itself. The centrepiece event is without doubt 1513: A Ships’ Opera by double Turner Prize nominee Richard Wilson and artists Zatorski + Zatorski, who live on an 18th-century Dutch sailing clipper 6

moored on the river. Ships’ bells, horns, hooters and sirens – sounds that once identified the ships on the river – will be the voices in the opera. “Those sounds have all but disappeared since the river became more of a leisure destination than a workplace,” Evans explains. The opera has a specially composed score written by Wilson in collaboration with musician and artist Ansuman Biswas, who has previously worked with Bjork and Oasis. “Ansuman will conduct the final act of the opera at Tower Bridge by semaphore with the top of the Trinity Lightship, a lighthouse on top of a ship,” Evans adds of what is shaping up to be a very special show indeed, starting in the morning at sea before moving upriver towards London during the day. “It will culminate in a dazzling spectacular of light and sound at Tower Bridge that night. It will be performed only once and will be unforgettable!” There are all manner of other happenings on the chock-full agenda you won’t want to miss. The Artists Of The River Pageant is an exhibition of

artworks inspired by last year’s Thames Diamond Jubilee flotilla, for example. “I spent three years working on making the pageant a reality and this show reminds me of what a special day it was,” Evans recalls. Another event he is looking forward to is The Source To Sea River Relay, in which a bottle is filled with water from the Thames at its source and then transported by ramblers, swimmers, canoeists, paddle boarders and even a Dunkirk Little Ship to the sea. “It embodies what the new-look festival is all about – uniting people the length of the Thames through their love of the river and getting people who wouldn’t normally pay much attention to the river to connect with it again,” Evans says. “We want to inspire people to be re-inspired by the river and see it through new eyes.” With such a variety of grandstanding events for Londoners to take in, that aim should be successful. MORE THAMESIDE LONDON ›› Mayor’s Thames Festival. Sep 6-15. Prices vary Various

Photos: Barry Lewis; Jack Hardy; Ben Connolly

The Mayor’s Thames Festival brings 10 days of events to reconnect us with the waterway on which London was born Words alasdair morton

Flamin’ brilliant: a fiery artwork at last year’s fest

LONDON’S BIGGEST FREE TRAVEL SHOW Business Design Centre Islington | N1 0QH Saturday 28 September

REGISTER NOW Flotilla: the fun will be on the river, not just by it


Terribly British: Morris dancing on the South Bank

the deluxe river cruise westminster pier

the boat race putney to mortlake This university boat race has been going since 1829 and is a mustwatch from the bank of the river – unless you’re an Aussie protester that is, in which case best steer clear. Crews from Cambridge and Oxford universities battle it out over a 4.2-mile stretch of the Thames. It has always been a hotly contested event, with Cambridge having won it 81 times and Oxford 77. FREE

£10 American Doug Fishbone presents this multimedia live commentary tour of the capital and its sights, telling you all about the backstories you don’t normally hear. Surreal and hilarious. Sep 14 & 15, 1.30pm-4pm (tour lasts 45mins) SW1A 2JH Westminster

butler’s wharf blackout london bridge For the 10 days of the festival, Le Pont de La Tour, Cantina del Ponte, Blueprint Cafe and Butler’s Wharf Chophouse will be turning off the lights from 8.30pm every evening, allowing diners to enjoy the Thames-side venues by candlelight. There will be a special programme of events, too, including blind wine tasting, a blindfolded banquet and a starlit opera. £13+

Sun, Apr 6, 2014, 6pm Putney Bridge, SW15 Putney Bridge

Sep 6-15, from 8.30pm SE1 2YE London Bridge

hampton court river swim hampton court

great river race millwall riverside This annual event sees 300 crews of all abilities, from fancydress-wearing novices to pros who are in it to win it, race along a 21-mile stretch of the river from the Docklands to Ham in Surrey. There are a number of viewing points along the Thames, too, the first being at Millwall Riverside (11.40am) and the final at Richmond Bridge (2.30pm). FREE

It’s all well and good admiring the Thames from the bars and restaurants of its banks or from a boat floating upon it, but it is quite another to experience it from its salty depths. This annual event in support of Cancer Research UK sees 1000 competitors don wetsuits – gloves and booties are optional, but we’d certainly recommend them – and take to the water to race across its 2.25-mile course that snakes its way round the Tudor Hampton Court Palace. The official rules state that the race will not be cancelled even if the temperature drops below 11 degrees. So basically, only double hard bastards need apply!

A series of walks and talks unveil the history of rivers of London that are no more, such as south London’s Effra.

2013 date TBC Hampton Court KT8 9AU

Sep 8, 14 & 15, times vary Various



Sep 7, from 11.30am Various

thames walks: lost rivers various £7

great british carnival waterloo The UK’s top samba and soca bands along with carnival artists line this south of the river section for the weekend. FREE

Sep 7 & 8, 12pm-9.30pm Bernie Spain Gardens, SE1 9PH Southwark

floatart london butler’s wharf Mississippi-styled paddle steamer The Dixie Queen is converted into a floating gallery to exhibit some of the best work from the new and emerging artists to graduate from art college this year. You may very well catch sight of one of the stars of the future! FREE

Sep 14, 10.30am-9.30pm. Sep 15, 10.30am-6.30pm Butler’s Wharf Pier, SE1 2YE Tower Hill

get on the river various The festival is to focus Londoners’ attentions on the river at the city’s heart and encourage them to use and enjoy it more, and this is one of the most interactive of all the festival’s events. Entry-level enthusiasts can paddle a canoe under Tower Bridge or enjoy a trip on a Thames barge, while the more adventurous out there have the opportunity to take a speedboat trip, James Bond-style. London’s busiest lifeboat station is also opening its doors so you can see the work that goes on behind the scenes and there are opportunities to see the Royal Navy warship moored at West India Dock. FREE

Sep 6-15, times vary Various

St katherine docks classic boat fest east london

tamesis dock vauxhall Moored between Lambeth and Vauxhall Bridge, this Thirties Dutch barge (below) is a floating pub and live music venue that hosts regular gigs, has loads of beers, wines and spirits, and a full-on, fun-focused vibe. FREE

Classic vessels including the Queen’s rowbarge Gloriana and a selection of the Dunkirk Little Ships – the 700-odd private boats that were commandeered during World War II to sail from Ramsgate to France to rescue British and French soldiers who were trapped on the beaches at Dunkirk – feature in this two-day boat show. FREE

Mon-Thur, 12pm-12am. Fri, 12pm1am. Sat, 10.30am-1am. Sun, SE1 7TP 10.30am-12am Vauxhall

barge-driving races various What could also be known as the slowest river race ever, this barge-driving event comprises two competitions. The Dave Pope Challenge (12pm-12.30pm) is for friends and families of watermen, and the Steve Faldo Challenge (2pm-3pm) is the tougher ‘business’ race, in which barges crewed by modern watermen themselves will race using 18th- and 19th-century propulsion methods. FREE

Sep 7 & 8, 11am-6pm St Katherine Docks, E1W 1LA Tower Hill

Sep 15, 12pm-12.30pm & 2pm-3pm Waterloo Bridge, SE1 8XT Westminster Bridge, SE1 2UP Waterloo Westminster

secret arts present: yes various Just say yes! A giant mirrored sculpture that spells out this positive affirmation will be cropping up along and on the river for the duration of the festival, each day appearing in a new surprise location. The purpose of this positive thinking? Apart from making everyone think about saying yes to a new opportunity in life, it is to draw attention to the green spaces along the river, and to rally support for their continued nurture. Yes will be appearing in parks and gardens alongside the Thames, many of which are not widely known, highlighting these hidden green spots and how best to get out there and enjoy them to the full. Photos: Getty


Sep 6-15, during daylight hours Various

the ship wandsworth People have been watering themselves at this riverside tavern for more than 200 years, since 1785 when it went by the name of the Thameside Waterman’s Inn. It is now a celebrated riverside pub, famed for its great outdoors area which has undergone a fantastic renovation this year. It hosts regular BBQs, live music nights and a varied events programme. Upcoming hits include the return of the weekly quiz night on Wednesdays and the annual Scotch Egg Challenge (Sep 17, 7pm, £10), in which restaurants, pubs and businesses from across London compete to impress a judging panel and find who can make the very finest scotch egg in the city. FREE

Sun-Wed, 11am-11pm. Thur-Sat, 11am-12am SW18 1TB Wandsworth Town

cycle the length of the thames various It’s 215 miles long from its source in the Cotswolds to the sea, so you would have to be pretty fit to cycle it all. But if you just fancied a nice little afternoon ride, the Surrey cycle path through Richmond and Kingston is a good place to start (there’s lots of pubs!). FREE

adrift east london

This restaurant has multi-level terraces with perfect views of the river from which to enjoy its top Italian grub.

British sculptor Hew Locke’s large-scale installation (above) at All Hallows by the Tower Church is a boat, only not as you usually see one sitting in the water. This boat, rather, is decorated with flowers, foliage and trinkets galore and is a memorial to the unknown sailor, a seafarer who was murdered in Hindhead, Surrey, in 1786.

Mon-Thur, 12pm-11pm. Fri & Sat, 12pm-11.30pm. Sun, 12pm10.30pm Riverside Quarter, Wandsworth Town SW18 1LP

Until Sep 29, Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm. Sat, 10am-5pm. Sun, 10am-1pm Byward Street, EC3R 5BJ Tower Hill

Various Various

marco polo wandsworth £8.95+



Become a myTNT V for access to fantastic fre huge discounts and heaps o For just £50, joining our new club will give you the chan more in London and beyond For the full list of details an see NEW! FREE membership to the exclusive Travel Club – worth £49 NEW! FREE MedSailor voucher for September travel – worth £200 FREE 8th Day Adventure membership for 30 VIPs – worth £140 FREE My Living London discount card for all VIPs – worth £60 FREE Cuisine Card membership for first 100 VIPs – worth £29.99 £50 LATEDEALS VOUCHER

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Sign up to become a myTNT VIP and you’ll receive an exclusive £50 discount off your next holiday with Looking for a last-minute break, head to this site which boasts fivestart experiences without the price tag.




Get a professional, topquality photo book and remember your travels with a free, 24-page medium landscape album. All members will be able to design and create their bespoke album for free when they join myTNT VIP.

Save £200

NEW! £200 WITH MEDSAILORS The first 35 VIPs will get their hands on a FREE £200 voucher to spend with MedSailors for travel in September. Take in the breathtaking sights of Croatia, Greece or Turkey on the perfect holiday onboard your very own yacht



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FREE ANNUAL CUISINE CARD Take advantage of huge deals on London’s top restaurants with this discount card which boasts the likes of the Rainforest Cafe, Shaka Zulu and Tiger Tiger. The first 100 VIPs will bag an annual membership with Cuisine Card.

FREE 8TH DAY ADVENTURE This sport, adventure and social club which hosts hundreds of events every year is offering the first 30 myTNT VIPs free annual membership worth £140. After that, VIPs will benefit from 2-4-1 savings on all membership prices.

WANDERING DUCK TRIPS Lucky VIPs can take advantage of a fantastic 15% discount on all of Wandering Duck’s Canal Boat Experiences. Get ready for a completely unique experience on 2000 miles of man-made canals. See online for more info.

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FREE entry to TNT social events in the next year – worth £75 FREE VIP experience at the TNT Travel Shows – worth £30 FREE home delivery of TNT for first 200 VIPs – worth £50 FREE case of Bondi Beer for first 50 VIPS – worth £24 FREE 24-page Albelli photo album for all VIPs – worth £15.95 Save 20%

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BUSABOUT HOPSave ON HOP-OFF Book a hop-on hop-off tour with Busabout, and you’ll be able to tailor your trip around Europe to take in all the must-see sights at your own pace. What’s more, all myTNT VIPs will benefit from an extra 20% off when booking. Sorted!

NEW! THE TRAVEL CLUB Sign up to become a VIP and you’ll bag free entry to The Travel Club – worth £49. As well as offers and deals on fantastic trips, you’ll get a £100 travel voucher, airport lounge passes and 10% off trips booked with G Adventures.

FREE CASE OF BONDI BEER Make sure your summer BBQ kicks off in style with a case of Bondi Beer. The first 50 VIPs will receive a case of 24 cans of premium lager. Because we all know summertime parties are thirsty work. You are very welcome.


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5% OFF WITH TRAVEL TALK Whether you’re looking to explore Egypt, Morocco, Turkey and Jordan or Russia, or want to sail around Greece or Croatia, VIP myTNTers can get an extra 5 per cent off advertised prices with an exclusive discount code.

TNT SOCIAL EVENTS TNT knows how to throw a good party. And now you’re invited – for free! Whether it’s a BBQ on Australia Day, or a fancy dress party at Halloween, we’ve got your social calendar sorted. All VIPs get entry to TNT events.

2-4-1 BURGERS AT THE ELK BAR We all know how expensive food can be in London, so we’ve got your backs covered. Chow down on a succulent burger at the Elk Bar in Fulham before 6pm each day, and all myTNT VIPs will be able to bag a top 2-4-1 deal. TNTMAGAZINE.COM



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Take flight: a tribute to gin

BAR THE SCENE This dark and brooding basement bar beneath Italian restaurant Antico just south of the river is all about one thing – gin. Small and cosy, with low-level lighting, subtle candlelit ambience and mood-enhancing music that doesn’t drown out conversation, it is a cracking venue to acquaint yourself with the mother’s ruin. THE GRUB They do handsome fresh pasta which you can order at the bar.

Celebrating the spirit that’s enjoying something of a resurgence, there are about 50 different types behind its impressively stocked bar, from down the road (Jensen’s dry Bermondsey gin) to further afield (Californian Junipers). There are tasting notes to help you identify all of the botanicals in each variety and an extensive gin lovers’ cocktail list. We tried The Aviation, a delicious mix of maraschino liqueur, lemon juice, Creme De Violette and a gin made especially for this creation. The confident can take their ‘gin flight’ test, in which three gins are served up with their own-made tonic – pick which is which before opening an envelope to see how you got on. We’ll just say it is tougher than it sounds. BILL PLEASE Cocktails from £7; gin flights from £12; beers from £2.75; wine from £4 per glass/ £18 per bottle. VERDICT The staff know their gin, the choice is incredible and with their stunning home-made tonic, you’ll taste gin in a way you never have before. A winner. AM BEHIND THE BAR

214 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3TQ





This new venture from the Aussie restaurateur behind rock ‘n’ roll ramen spot Bone Daddies is getting rave reviews. It offers sweet hirata buns for you to fill with fleshy treats (pulled pork and pickled apple for one).

Refreshingly cheap and cheerful udon specialist in Soho, serving handmade noodles hot or cold with choices of hot broth and cold dipping sauces. Fast food with class – expect to queue out the door for a taste.

Bare bones Japanese tapas and ramen eatery just around the corner from Bone Daddies; no bells and whistles, just top-quality ingredients and, therefore, flavours. We defy you not to order waaaay too much.



Saturday 28 September 12


Photos: Facebook


London Bridge

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Visits 8 countries including France, Italy, Austria & Germany




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Jordan & Israel

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Make your own way - Munich

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20-23 Sep, 27-30 Sep, 3-6 Oct


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Oktoberfest 4 DAY

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Greek Island Hopper

European Wonder 12 September 2013

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12 DAY

Southwest States 21 September 2013


WAS £1185


Visits Austin, Momument Valley & Vegas







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*Terms and conditions apply. Prices quoted are for specific departures only. All trips subject to availability. Discounts are off the base trip price only, and do not apply to food funds and local payments. Flights not included. For full terms and conditions please visit

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Red hot: Brigade gives apprenticeships to London’s vulnerable young people

egg ’em on Ah, the Scotch egg. Mocked by many, misjudged by most. But the accomplishment that is a boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat and breadcrumbs gets due attention next week when the third Scotch Egg Challenge commences at The Ship in Wandsworth. The UK’s leading restaurants and pubs are submitting entries in the hopes of being crowned king of eggy goodness, and everything from gull to quail eggs and smoked venison to wild boar meat will be in contention. Pop along to The Ship to find out who wins (and, better, to be in with a chance of tasting the entries).


Egg-static: top-notch Scotch

bACK TO SCHOOL New Covent Garden joint Chuck’s Clubhouse is all set to soft launch before officially opening in October, recreating Nineties American college culture cool (now there’s a convoluted concept) with frat-style decor (sporting memorabilia, preppy-attired staff) and the student diet of pizza and beer. Also expect a phone on every table so you can call and flirt with hot guys and gals on the other tables. Here’s hoping they’re as good-looking as everyone is in American college movies. 35 Earlham St, WC2H 9LD

Photos: Danny Kinston

BOOZY BREAKFAST How do you make the formula for brunch even better? Make it a rum brunch. Notting Hill’s The Rum Kitchen is now serving bottomless rum Bloody Marys and BYO vinyl along with its traditional West Indian brunch menu every day, 12pm-4pm. This is breakfast, Jamaica-style.

The striking red-brick fire station on Tooley Street (circa 1879) has been turned into a bistro you can feel good about bingeing in, as London’s vulnerable young folk are being offered a chance at a new beginning with apprenticeships to cook in Brigade’s kitchen. Don’t expect the place to look like a community centre or serve simple staples as a result, however: this is a smart venture that’s every bit as unpretentious as it is stylish. Leather, long-backed chairs, an open kitchen showing off all the action and statement walls of block colours give it a modern, up-to-the-minute feel, while the menu offers more complex mains alongside British classics done with panache. The grub A quick appetiser of homemade breads is a far more involved affair than my date and I could have imagined: there’s one stuffed with olive and tomato tapenade, one flavoured with fennel and the standout is heavy with black treacle. Already impressed, we move onto starters of Scotch egg and potted pork belly with apple chutney and crackling (the egg is near perfection, with the outer coating impeccably crisp and the yolk just the right side of runny, though the crackling is too tough for human teeth) and a hoity-toity twist on beans on toast (white cannellini beans, a rustic tomato sauce, soft egg and slightly tough cubes of pork belly that would benefit from more fat). The flavours are competent and the invention admirable, so I’m buoyed enough to plump for an ‘apprentice special’ of duck two ways with carrot and ginger mash. Honey-glazed breast and fat-rimmed slices of confit are suitably juicy and go great with accompanying baby fennel, but the mash is a drab disappointment. My date goes for the steak and oxtail burger with cheesy chips which, though excellent, is so rich she can only manage half. A side of deepfried broccoli gives us the unnerving impression of eating vegetable doughnuts. Behind the bar Pints from £4.20; wine from £4.80/ £18 per glass/ bottle; cocktails £7.95. Bill please Starters from £5.95; mains from £10.95; desserts from £5.50. verdict Not faultless, but nice ideas done well and with a few moments of brilliance. LC THE SCENE 139 Tooley Street, SE1 2HZ

London Bridge



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Twerking and Selfie have been added to the dictionary. that means Future and Optimism have been removed


cheryl cole sang her way through 55-hour tattoo. by sang she means mimed


No beer for me: Fawad Ahmed Liverpool trio injured for england duty – said to be suffering altitude sickness after hitting top of the Premier League


the japanese flag is a pie chart of how much of japan is japan


I asked my iPhone Where the best place is to buy chemical weapons? i think it’s broken. It just kept telling me its name


This vodka tastes a lot like I’m not going into work tomorrow


I feel sorry for people who don’t drink, they’ll never appreciate the coolness of their bathroom floor



wonga announced 63m pound profits - send letter of thanks to the little old lady who missed a 50 quid payment



Re: TNT is 30 (TNT 1566): Loved your 30th edition and looking back at how things have changed in Oz and London in the past three decades, but it seriously made me feel old. Seems like only yesterday that I thought a perm was a great idea thanks to Nicole Kidman riding with the boys in BMX Bandits. Yes, I was old enough to make such decisions. Only as old as how you live – so keep having a blast TNT. Carolyn Jones, via email


Re: Tony Abbott tells Big Brother housemates to vote for ‘the guy with the not bad looking daughters’ ( For a man with this many gaffes to win an election [note: written before the election] just tells you how unappealing Labor is. Let’s say Abbott is going to be the Aussie George W Bush/ Silvio Berlusconi rolled into one, so sit back for a few

years of entertainment. Matthew Lao, via Facebook

BRAINWASHED OZ Re: Above: It’s not about how unappealing Labor is. It says how uneducated and brainwashed the Australian public are, a problem that will only get worse under the Liberals. Yasoda Gonzalez, via Facebook


Re: Boris Johnson says stop kicking Aussies out ( I didn’t vote for Boris but he’s right about people like Sally Roycroft. Britain and Australia should have the same immigration policy – only admit those able to read, write and speak fluent English, and offer something to the country. Mark Taha, via email JOIN A SOCIAL CLUB /32 STROMBOLI /64

Re: Doug Walters slams cricketer Fawad Ahmed for refusing to wear VB badge (tntmagazine. com): While cigarette brand sponsorship has been banned for a long time in Australia it’s surprising another age-restricted substance gets away with it. I think Walters’ interesting point is that sport’s evolved to the point where one’s desire to play at a professional level is dictated by sponsors. Newdisposejones, via LOW wins a three-day tour of Ireland with Shamrocker


Tweet us @tntmagazine @DJstewartwho Re: Brazilian man set to marry his pet goat: Maybe he just wants a live-athome nanny @TweetGrownUp Were there any sore heads in the office following the 30th celebrations? You know how to have a good time! @IzabelaRN Just registered for the @TNTTravelShow. Really looking forward to that

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KIWIS IN LONDON KILTOBERFEST Octoberfest Pub, Fulham. Friday, August 30, 2013 Photos by: Simona Dalla Valle/ TNT More pics and tag yourself at



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Too long gone: Soundgarden are back cranking out rock classics




soundgarden Brixton Academy, SW9 9SL sep 18 & 19 | Doors at 7pm | £40+

This West Country festival comes at the end of the season, but last doesn’t mean least. Featuring Primal Scream (below), Toddla T Sound and Yes Sir Boss on the main stage, there are also alternative, roots, world music and underground dance tents, plus an acoustic garden. The not-for-profit festival places a big emphasis on acts from the southwest, too, with 200-plus local bands appearing. Ashton Court, Bristol, BS41 9JN. Sep 21-22. £35+ Bristol Temple Meads

The grunge titans who emerged from rainy Seattle back in the Eighties called it a day in 1997, going their separate ways for more than a decade. But in 2010 they reconvened, put their differences behind them and returned better than ever. Early releases on legendary label Sub Pop Screaming Life and Fopp saw the band gain notoriety before they signed with indie label SST in the late Eighties and released their debut long-player, Ultramega OK, fusing elements of psychedelia, classic rock and punk. They moved to A&M records for followup Louder Than Love and then Badmotorfinger in 1991, but it wasn’t until their fourth album three years later that they really hit paydirt. Superunknown saw the band crash land into the mainstream, scoring great commercial success as they sailed to the top of the US Billboard charts. Their most radio friendly album to date, it had a great pop sensibility but did not lose their hard rock leanings and integrity. Singles Black Hole Sun and Spoonman picked up Grammy awards apiece, but this high point would not last. Follow-up Down On The Upside came in 1997 but behind the scenes there was disharmony brewing. The band split with members cropping up in the likes of Audioslave and Pearl Jam. It took 12 years for the band to reunite, and last year’s sixth album King Animal saw them serve up one of their best yet, fused with their distinctive sound and influences with a 10-strong collection of cracking rock classics. Been Away Too Long opened the album, and they were not wrong. Brixton

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babyshambles GIG sat, sep 14. 7pm £30

When he is not courting controversy by being the tabloids’ favourite drug-bin, Peter Doherty is also the frontman of this ace indie-rock band. Their third LP Sequel To The Prequel was out last week, and they always play a barnstorming live show, too, so make sure you catch them at this hometown gig.

Photos: Getty

Brixton Academy 211 Stockwell Road, SW9 9SL Brixton

the christmas club

craig richards & seth troxler



sat, sep 14. 11pm-4am £5+

sat, sep 14. 11pm-8am £19+

This every Saturday night club get together is London’s longest running indie night – it has been going for a whopping 24 years now. You can expect to hear all the greatest indie floorfillers from the current big hitters through to the Britpop classics and the rest. A truly eclectic and hugely popular night out.

Tech-house resident Craig Richards and Detroit tech guru Seth Troxler – who worked together on the Heel to Steel project – will be leading the charge at this Saturday night sesh. Joining them this week at the clubbing institution will be Eduardo de la Calle, Terry Francis, Blawan, Marcel Fengler and loads more.

The Borderline Orange Yard, W1D 4JB Tott Crt Road

Fabric 77A Charterhouse Street, EC1M 6HJ Farringdon

the strypes

simian mobile disco





thur, sep 12. 7.30pm £11.50

fri, sep 13. 8pm-2am £5

sep 17-19. 7.30pm £8

The Northern Ireland-bred boys are in love with the blues-rock of the Sixties, The Beatles especially, and their debut Snapshot is loaded with tunes that sound like they’d been around decades before the teenagers’ parents probably even met. They pull it off with such energy and verve it’s impossible not to be swept along.

Jas Shaw and James Ford, the DJ and production duo birthed on the London dance scene in 2005, return to the venue they first played at. They’ve worked with the likes of The Gossip, Hot Chip and Yeasayer and will be performing a mammoth four-hour set that journeys through dance music in all its guises.

The London-based, alt-rock stars who made a big splash with their self-titled debut two years ago line up this three-night residency just a couple of weeks ahead of their hotly anticipated follow up, Glow & Behold. It’ll also be their first show with new guitarist Ed Hayes who, coincidentally, used to work in The Macbeth where they’ll be playing.

Electric Ballroom 184 Camden High Street, NW1 8QP Camden Town

The Old Queens Head 44 Essex Road, Islington, N1 8LN Angel

The Macbeth 70 Hoxton Street, Shoreditch, N1 6LP Hoxton

sunset graves The buzz so far One man band Andy Fosberry draws his inspirations from far and wide on his debut Variant, pulling in everything from Massive Attack-styled soundscapes on Safe And Empty to Oceansizeesque post-rock on Sixty Minutes Sixty Seconds. It’s a fusing of attitudes and sounds that combines sample-based and performed music, and draws on influences as varied as numetal’s Deftones and electro duo Boards Of Canada. Writing, performing and recording the LP himself at his own studio – ominously titled The Graveyard – Variant is something pretty special. The Critics say“Something very unique and exciting” Artrocker the plug Variant is out Sep 23 through 3rd and Debut Records


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21 September – 8 December 2013 Friends of the RA go free Organised with

Sidney Nolan, Ned Kelly (detail), 1946. Enamel paint on composition board, 90.8 x 121.5 cm. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Gift of Sunday Reed 1977. Organised with the National Gallery of Australia

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21/08/2013 13:30

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Andy Zaltzman

The stand-up on his new show Satirist For Hire, Gareth Bale, childbirth and why politicians are tough to make fun of INTERVIEW alasdair morton

You’re calling on the punters to suggest topics for new show Satirist For Hire – what have been some of the strangest requests they’ve submitted so far? One man asked for a “shout-out” for his wife’s 30th birthday and another wrote a passionately worded request for me to address the issue of Gareth Bale’s transfer to Real Madrid. I have also been asked to deal with the social timebomb that is spray-painted street performers who stand still for money. Clearly, all issues that are of infinite political import. What is the most difficult target to satirise? Education can be quite difficult, as the results of any political machinations relating to it will not be visible for years. At which point, it would be a little late to satirise it. What topics have been grabbing your attention recently and why? Syria, for obvious and depressing reasons. The Ashes, because I am obsessed with cricket. And the idea of Britishness and what it really entails, because lots of people bang on about it but no one seems to agree on it. Is it difficult to satirise politicians, as they often do such a good job of making themselves look ridiculous all on their own? It can be. I think the natural reaction to watching PMQs [Prime Minister’s Questions], for example, is a kind of disappointed nausea, as if you have just been served a still-twitching, lukewarm rat in a supposedly excellent restaurant.

Photos: David Bebber

What is it specifically about politicians that makes them so difficult to satirise? It can be hard to wade through the swamp of half-truths, half-lies, willful delusions and the opportunistic grandstanding that forms much of our political discourse to work out exactly what is going on. If you had to choose three people to satirise who would they be and why? [Fifties British female vocal trio] The Beverley Sisters. It’s time someone took them down a peg or two.

Satirise this: Zaltzman lets you choose the topics Do you think there is a dearth of political comedy these days? A lot of emerging stand-up seems to involve daftness and whimsy. Stand-up is an increasingly broad medium, with room for all different styles. There is not a great deal of political stand-up, perhaps in part because of the lack of political comedy on mainstream television [but] daftness, whimsy and politics can co-exist in the same joke. Has anyone you’ve mentioned in your comedy ever confronted you about it? No. Other than my wife, who found parts of my routine about delivering our second child in the bathroom “unnecessarily detailed”. What advice would you give to any budding satirists out there taking to the stage? Be funny. Or try to be, at least. Points without jokes don’t really count. How do you approach the writing process: do you seek inspiration or do you have to be disciplined and sit yourself down to write? It is largely a process of stumbling from one deadline to the next, for my podcast, The Bugle, a radio show, or for a new stand-up show. If necessity is the mother of invention, then

deadlines are the rogue, stick-wielding aunt of the writing process. Where and when was your first gig as a stand-up? I hosted a comedy night in my college at university. The main act didn’t show up and so the organiser asked me to fill in for as long as possible. How did it go? I spent half an hour drinking whiskey and Guinness before going on stage and as a result, I have no idea what the set was about, but it went well enough for me to try doing it again, more sober. Your co-host on The Bugle John Oliver had a stint presenting on The Daily Show – should regular host Jon Stewart be worried? It was excellent. So good, in fact, that it raised the possibility that one day, he might be ready to host The Bugle. I think Jon Stewart is big enough and old enough, in comedic terms, not to worry about much. Other than the Syrian crisis spilling over into global armageddon. Satirist For Hire. Sep 9-21. £10 Soho Theatre, 41 Dean Street, W1D 3NE Tott Court Road



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Boo!: chills without the gore in this horror sequel

insidious chapter 2 FILM review by Alasdair Morton Starring: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne | 15 | 105mins | Out Sep 13

rush FILM Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl | 15 | 122mins | Out Sep 13

Thor himself (Aussie Chris Hemsworth) stars as British racing driver James Hunt in Ron Howard’s (A Beautiful Mind) biographical film about the 1976 Formula One season, in particular Hunt’s rivalry with Austrian driver Niki Lauda (played here by Daniel Brühl). An uplifting racing drama that has some stunning track sequences but is not just for the petrol heads either. On general release September 13


This horror sequel delivers its chills with fantastic efficiency but most of all shows that you don’t need to slice every limb going and splatter the screen with blood to make an effective shocker. Which is all the more surprising when the writerdirector team behind it also introduced the Saw franchise to the world. Director James Wan and screenwriter Leigh Whannell were the minds that created the Saw series, that annual horror movie offering that embodied more and more the torture porn sub-genre that came with it. The Oz pairing’s 2010 Insidious junked this approach in favour of creeps and chills, and it pays dividends again here. Following on straight from the initial movie, in which Patrick Wilson’s Josh ventured to ‘the Further’ to rescue his son from another astral plane filled with possession-eager demons and the like, it seems all is not well and good, and that ‘something’ has come back with him. Cue loads more creepiness, things going bump in the night and jump-out-of-your-seat moments that will have you peeking at the screen through firmly held together fingers. They inject a healthy dose of humour into it all, particularly in the shape of the two bungling ghostbusters, Specs (Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson), but it does lack the subtlety of the first movie, which itself, particularly with its dreamland finale, could hardly be described as shooting for gritty realism. But it is great fun if you’re prepared to jump on board with its preposterousness and has enough scares to keep genre hounds well entertained. Good for: Showing how horror and humour can go hand in hand.

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laurence clark: Inspired



Laurence Clark is a comedian and presenter with cerebral palsy, and in this properly ace show he sets out to smash the ill-informed presumptions about disability. All his life he has been told he is inspiring just for performing everyday tasks, so Clark is out to set the record straight. Hilarious and thought-provoking. Canada Water Culture Space SE16 7AR. Sep 21. £10 Canada Water


bonnie and clyde



In the eastern ice well beneath the London Canal Museum is this contemporary art installation collaboration between artist Lyndall Phelps and physicist Dr Ben Still. Just as impressive as the work is the 19th-century venue – which was once used by an enterprising Swiss immigrant to store ice for sale – in which it is housed.

Put together by the team who added songs to The Great Gatsby last year, this musical adds little to the story of the infamous Thirties outlaws. Although some attempt has been made to get inside their heads, we never get a sense of Bonnie and Clyde’s life on the road and the only casualties we see are their gang members. LK

London Canal Museum N1 9RT. Until Oct 24. £4 King’s Cross

King’s Head Theatre Upper Street, N1 1QN. Until Sep 21. £10+ Angel

Carly smallman What’s the show this week about? It’s a new material night. For me this means frantically writing new jokes and testing them on an unsuspecting audience! Hopefully most of them will be funny. Who inspired you to pick up a mic? A few years ago I was improvising with a fantastic comic called Rob Broderick. He’d come up with brilliant new act Abandoman in which he incorporated freestyle rap with audience suggestions. He gave me the confidence to get on stage by myself and give stand-up a go!

Photos: Manuel Harlan

What’s the most tricky thing about musical comedy? Finding a concept for a song that is funny enough to last for three (ish) minutes! If it’s not got legs those few minutes can feel like hours.

white house down

blue stockings



Hollywood has a tendency to double up: A Bug’s Life and Antz, Deep Impact and Armageddon – each pairing came out within touching distance of each other. This year it is rival terrorists-takethe-White-House movies. First up was Olympus Has Fallen, and now it is Roland Emmerich’s (Independence Day) turn with Channing Tatum saving Jamie Foxx’s president.

This new play tells of four female students at Cambridge University in 1897. Although allowed to attend lectures, women couldn’t graduate and it took considerable determination to complete the courses without the reward of a degree. Mixing historical figures with the fictional quartet, it’s an engaging and informative evening. LK

On general release September 13

Shakespeare’s Globe New Globe Walk, SE1 9DT. Until Oct 11. £5+ Blackfriars

What is the funniest thing you have seen this week? A really trippy cartoon about wolves that my niece was watching, in which the wolves did a Bollywood dance. I don’t think it was meant to be funny though. Backyard Comedy Club. Sep 12. £5 Cambridge Heath E2 0EL


Briefs encounter: the boys, with Fez Fa’anana striking a pose at the front 26

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Ballsy burlesque Aussie boys Briefs bring their freakshow of acrobatics, comedy and smut to London, putting some flash into trash Words LAURA CHUBB ‘Cock sock twirling’, ‘intimate yo-yo’ and ‘sexy dog show’ are all phrases that have cropped up in the glowing five-star reviews around Briefs: The Second Coming, an unabashedly perverted tram-smash of a production taking up residence at London Wonderground next week, brought to us all the way from Brisbane. It’s the second outing from Aussie ‘burlesque with balls’ troupe Briefs, an assemblage of gender-bending acrobats and strippers intent on giving audiences an evening out they won’t soon forget. “I think someone went to work drunk and approved our grant application,” laughs Briefs’ Fez Fa’anana, an impossibly beautiful Samoan-Australian with the rare skill of making strutting around in size 16 stilettos look elegant. He’s telling TNT why The Second Coming is a much bigger, flashier and more ambitious production than their first raucous rumblings at the Edinburgh Fringe last year – it comes down to one simple word: “Funding.” “For the first time in Briefs history we received state government arts funding in Queensland,” he tells us. “This is a massive feat because as progressive as Australia thinks it is, our state is very backward and pig-headed. Funding a circus, burlesque, drag show riddled with queers, carnies, bearded ladies and immigrants is unheard of!” Injecting a decent wedge of cash into the mix seems to have let the Briefs boys’ imaginations run wild and created a ‘Frankenshow’ that defies description. Critics have struggled to pin down its breathless blend of circus, cabaret, comedy, drag, striptease, ballet and high-flying acrobatics (performed in sequin thongs, no less), with one review’s conclusion of “gloriously perverted fun” perhaps encapsulating it best. Even Fa’anana isn’t quite certain of what he’s created. “We’re not exactly sure what it makes when it is all slammed together,” he admits. “It started out as a club night and we had no idea it would turn into the ridiculous beast that is taking over our lives. We have trouble trying to define where and how we fit. But we like that we are confusing.” The Second Coming isn’t the only Aussie spectacular to wow audiences at the Wonderground this year. Headline show Limbo has been rocking the spiegeltent since May, a sexy circus parade of fire breathing, sword swallowing, jolting pyrotechnics and taut bodies performing “ooh”producing stunts. Then there was Casus, a quartet from Oz who use each other’s bodies to produce credulity-stretching scenes, one moment becoming a human trapeze, while at another seeing female member Emma Serjeant suspend all

three male counterparts from her slight physique. So what’s with this spike in impressive Aussie circus? Is Australia where it’s at for circus and cabaret nowadays? Fa’anana ain’t convinced. “Circus and cabaret is for everyone and comes from everywhere,” he reckons. “Australia just seems to be sorting its shit out at the moment.”

Queensland is backward and pig-headed

It’s certainly a departure from the lazy stereotype of folk Down Under, though. Consider that Oz’s most enduring icon is Crocodile Dundee, a beer-drinking, croc-wrestling alpha male who strangles snakes one-handed; then take a look at Fa’anana, a bearded hulk of muscle resplendent in high heels and a tight, sparkly, Oz-flag-decorated leotard. “Australia is a ridiculously diverse country that is so often represented and misrepresented with images that will never ››

Who’s a pretty boy, then? Fa’anana rocks androgyny


Squeaky clean: the lads scrub up nice truly acknowledge what happens on a grass roots level,” Fa’anana argues. “Iconic images of any nation are quite often misrepresented and so often aren’t [representative of] the realistic world that drives and diversifies a country.” Right on. And it seems Australia was ready for the Briefs boys’ act, going by how quickly it grew from its humble beginnings in the back of a Brisbane book shop to this year’s five-star run at the Edinburgh Fringe. The lads put their success down to “saying yes to everything” and touring incessantly, growing a buzz from shows that were “sticky taped together”. “[We had] humble and dysfunctional beginnings,” Fa’anana laughs, admitting the initial shows had “no

production values, shit quality alcohol, rough and tumble acts ... [but] cheap entry and the promise of a raucous and ridiculous time.” The new production is nothing short of astonishing, from audience members being invited to drink shots off naked bodies, to a wet and wild dance in a giant champagne glass

Australia seems to be sorting its shit out

Macho man: Briefs’ muscle, Louis Biggs


Briefs: The Second Coming. London Wonderground. Thames Walk, next to Hungerford Bridge, SE1 8XX Waterloo


where the performer is half-suspended from a trapeze. And while the word ‘boylesque’, so often associated with these guys, might be off-putting for some, it’s been widely agreed in the press that The Second Coming isn’t all camp, but rather a freaky, funny and at times genuinely astounding presentation of masculinity. “I think we found the right balance of idiotic behaviour, artistry, high skill and physical theatre,” Fa’anana decides. Of the Edinburgh run, he adds: “That festival can either crush you or celebrate you. You can get lost in her or stick out like a juicy bum. She can leave you for dead or breathe life into you. I think we managed to get a taste of most of those things.” And so on to London, where Briefs will light up the spiegeltent for seven glorious, bonkers and breathtaking days. “The show may not seem to be for everyone, but everyone is more than welcome,” Fa’anana offers as a parting shot. Anyone who should stay away? “Kids and bogans,” he replies. Then: “No, actually, we do a kids show.” No one is safe. You might as well give in. ❚

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WIN TICKETS TO SEE BRIEFS: THE SECOND COMING IN LONDON TNT is offering five lucky readers the chance to win a pair of tickets to Briefs: The Second Coming at London Wonderground at Southbank in September. The second show from the Briefs troupe is a blend of acrobatics, dance, stand-up and more. See P26 for the lowdown on this incredible production, birthed in Brisbane. Tickets are valid for shows on September 21, 25 and 26. Please note that over 18s only will be admitted to the show as it contains male nudity and coarse language. Enter at



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get amongst it Sport

Join a sports team and you can get fit, get outside, meet new people and then whup their arses. And with that in mind, here’s our pick of social sports clubs in London to join in with for a run around, followed by a wellearned pint.

Italian itinerary

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This week’s living feature takes in the delights of Queen’s Park, a gem of a neighbourhood in north London. But what’s a ‘hood without a pub? So here’s a guide to the best watering holes for slurping a post-work pint.

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Big Brit Shark

Huge shark drags English fishermen four miles out to sea


Croc prediction

Psychic croc predicts Australia’s election results

Queen’s Park’s Best pubs

defined lines

Kiwi students’ Robin Thicke Blurred Lines parody


Enjoy reading about trekking the active volcano on Stromboli island? No need to stop there – find a whole host of Italian inspiration on our website, from kayaking Venice’s canals to gladiator school in Rome and going truffle hunting in the north.



Instant justice

Thief gets beaten up by women at cashpoint in south London

most comments Tony Abbott on Big Brother

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Seven years ago, the world lost a great bloke. Nature lover Steve Irwin, nicknamed ‘The Crocodile Hunter’, died doing what he loved back in September 2006.

most shared Kiwi bloke’s homemade twerking

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Photos: Thinkstock; Getty; Rene Seindal;; Imgur; Great Welsh Beer and Cider Festival;; TNT

A PINT OF HISTORY With the world’s largest concentration of banks in a single area, the ‘Square Mile’ has seen its fortress walls replaced with modern skyscrapers of glass and steel. In the midst of all this change, one establishment however seems to remain untouched by the hands of time: The Great English Pub. “The best thing about pubs in London is that the change has happened around the pubs,” Vic Norman of Dragon and Flagon, a small-sized tour company specialising in historical tours of London’s free houses and drinking establishments, tells me. Joining me on the tour are a mixed bunch of Brits, Aussies and Kiwis. Starting at the bustling Liverpool Street station on a Friday evening, we pass through Wormwood Street where the great London Wall once stood protecting its city. As I sit on my high-chair with a pint of ale in my hand, spellbound by the surrounding beauty, I can’t help but recall that with each venue we visit, the customers filling these pubs are oblivious to their surroundings; only interested in enjoying themselves after a hard week of work. London, it seems, is whispering its story through its pubs; whispers which are sadly being ignored. But in fairness, it’s actually better this way because I find solace in the fact that on that night, London was sharing her stories, her secrets and her beauty with only me. Read more at:

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Go to Hed Kandi’s closing party

Hit the road in Tanzania

Four tickets are up for grabs for one of Ibiza’s leading club’s soirées. Be at Hed Kandi’s closing party on Saturday September 28.

Acacia Africa gives one lucky reader the chance to win a seat on its 11day Highlights of Tanzania Overland Safari. Be in it to win it! TNTMAGAZINE.COM



tree climbing I loved climbing trees as a kid, but my sensible/ boring adult brain tells me it’s too dangerous now. Fortunately, the aptly named Big Tree Climbing Company enables adults and kids alike to climb trees using a safety harness to prevent any broken bones – plus it means you can get really high. Indeed, on my climb, the first tree branch was at least 20ft above us and so we used ropes to reach it – we had to step into a loop and push up with our legs before moving the loop up the rope to step up again. It was tiring work and enough to make me break into a sweat (although it doesn’t take much). Once up there you can walk along the sturdy branches, playing monkey for a few minutes. I confess, though, that while the younger climbers did this, I clung desperately to the lowest branch – it feels even higher than when you look up from the ground. The only way is down, though, so I was strapped into a zip wire by one of the pros looking after us and whizzed my way back down to the bottom with a not-so-ladylike bump. It’s not quite as much fun as when I was a kid, but at least now I get to calm my nerves with an alcoholic drink afterwards. £15, keep an eye on the website for the next London-based session. CG Alexandra Alexandra Park Palace


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Join our club Sign up to a social group to make new friends and do fun stuff. It’s as simple as that Words caroline garnar

Time by yourself is important, but not when you’re out getting drunk or playing a team sport. That’s just sad and impossible, respectively. Join a social club to find likeminded peers before it gets weird.

Best for ... Adventure “If you had an eighth day, what would you do with it?” asks social club, 8th Day Adventure. Whatever your answer, this group encourages you to squeeze it into your seven-day allowance, with activities ranging from climbing, running, hiking and biking to Ultimate Frisbee, surfing, skiing, wing-walking, fencing, jousting, coasteering and more. Founder Ross Williams tells us: “The club has events on a daily basis and covers just about everything – and it has a very prominent social element.” INFO: £25 for annual silver membership, £60 for gold, which includes free weekly activities. If you’re one of the first 30 to join myTNT’s VIP club (,

Stevo: Aussie Expats in London’s leader

you will receive membership for free.

Best for ... Art lovers Promising to “blow a tornado through your weeknight social life”, Love Art London arranges behind-the-scenes gallery tours, chats over tea with famous artists, sneak previews and even the chance to be part of a flash mob. Now that’s just cool. INFO: £15 for one event, £25 for unlimited events each month.

Best for ... Sporty types Go Mammoth is a club after our own hearts – it combines sports and drinking. “Go Mammoth is the UK’s ultimate sport and social club and simply exists to make your life more fun,” says the club’s Emma Saunders. “All you have to do is sign up for the sport or class of your choice and away you go.” They offer weekly boxfit, pilates, fitcamp and zumba classes and run competitions for

Unfair advantage: a super Go Mammoth dodgeball team

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Skin Omegas, 60 capsules Dry skin? Solved. £24.45

On your boat: 8th Day Adventure promises action and silly poses all levels of volleyball, dodgeball, softball and more – join as a team or as an individual (teams are always looking for extras). Just as important are the party nights on the last Friday of each month. This is when the Mammoths of all sports get messy with twofor-one drinks. INFO: Classes from £28 per month. Sports £65-£95pp each season (8-12 weeks long).

Best for ... Social butterflies If you just want to meet people and have fun doing it, CitySocializer is an online social club where members in your area suggest meetups, from barbies in the park and after-work drinks to last-minute holidays. Or you can suggest your own event. INFO: Standard membership from £7.99 per month, premium from £9.99 per month.

Best for ... Aussies Anzac and Australia Day. Ashes. Grand Finals. State of Origin. These are moments we need our fellow countrymen. “We are a fun and exciting group of like-minded Aussies who enjoy getting together in a show of camaraderie and patriotism,” says Stephen Atkinson, or Stevo, founder of the Australian Expats in London Meet-Up group. Yeah, take that Brits. We might live in your country but it doesn’t mean we have to hang out with you. NEXT WEEK INFO: £1 annual Stay in touch: Cool membership fee. ways to connect with rellies Australian-Expat

Cleanse My Face, 100ml This does what it’s told £39

Against Breast Cancer compact Support charity with shadows £29.95


Photos: Thinkstock

top treatment: smile on the run If you hate going to the dentist, SmilePod is a great solution. Dotted around central London, you can pop in at your lunch break to get a 20-minute clean and polish, plus a check-up to see if you need any fillings etc, which the fully trained dentists can also do for you. This is the cheapest cleaning option at £49, but to really get your gnashers to their natural whiteness, upgrade to the £89 diamond polish. I practically ‘ting’ every time I smile now. CG


Bank and various locations


Flawless finish foundation Oil-free for matte skin £5.99


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Words caroline garnar

Royal Worcester cake set Serve up your slices in style

You may not know much about Queen’s Park, but we bet you know about Hampstead. The heath, the character, the cemetery (Brits, weirdly, love their cemeteries). Why are we banging on about Hampstead? Because it’s right next door. But Queen’s Park is cheaper, and has a lot to offer in itself.

Why Queen’s Park?



Owl candle Make playing with fire a hoot




Park your arse here Queen’s Park, NW6



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“Salusbury Road is the hub of Queen’s Park and there are now restaurants and boutiques similar to what you would find in Primrose Hill or Hampstead,” Marc von Grundherr, director at Benham & Reeves Residential Lettings, tells us. “Plus the Queen’s Park Farmers’ Market on Sunday mornings draws people from across northwest London to stock up on local produce.” There are also the annual festivals: Queen’s Park Day, coming up on September 15, showcases local bands and singers, and a book festival brings together writing groups and local authors. “You can get a similar lifestyle to the more expensive areas but with far lower housing costs,” adds von Grundherr. “Plus it is very close to town, but feels rural.”

Fresh greens: Queen’s Park Farmers’ Market on Sundays the start of the summer, but as we approach September demand has dramatically overtaken supply,” reveals Archie Orr-Ewing, senior lettings manager at Marsh & Parsons. “The next month should be the busiest of the year and tenants will experience a lot of competition for the best flats and houses.” If you do find a place, check what borough it falls under. Queen’s Park is covered by both Brent – which charges one of the highest council taxes – and Westminster, which has one of the lowest.

The connections Queen’s Park has Overground, Underground and National Rail stations, meaning you can get just about anywhere. The Bakerloo line is great for getting into central London, while the Overground joins you to the east. Buses will take you to Shepherd’s Bush,

Cosy corner: The Alice House

Who lives there

AeroPress coffee maker Make the perfect cup of Joe


The flats are mainly taken up by young professionals, while the Edwardian and Victorian houses are homes to families, particularly in the conservation area surrounding Queen’s Park itself. One thing’s for sure, though, demand is on the up. “We had a lot of available property at

Wembley and Finchley, while two night buses run from Aldwych and New Cross.

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Justified name: without this green space it’d be Queen’s


talukdar Operations

and logistics manager, 27 “It’s the best! It’s so close to everything, and full of nice people and houses.”


serradell Bar tender,


Don’t move here if… You’re looking to pinch pennies. Queen’s Park might be cheaper than surrounding areas, which in all honesty isn’t that hard to do, but that doesn’t mean it’s cheap. One beds rent from £300 per week, two beds from £400-500, three beds from £600-700 and houses from £900.

Where to hang out On the main strip of Salusbury Road stop by the distinguished Salusbury Pub (, which serves a legendary pappardelle with duck ragu, enjoy

craft beer and sustainable fare at homely The Alice House ( or help yourself at the The Salusbury Winestore (, which has a self-service vino dispensing machine. Hell yes. Elsewhere, The Chamberlayne Pub ( offers gorgeous slabs of meat and sips of whiskey, while Orr-Ewing adds: “Paradise By Way Of Kensal Green is on the border with Kensal Green, but it does serve great food.” TOP FIVE PUBS IN QUEEN’S PARK

“I like living here because it’s a nice and quiet area.”


boli Assistant bar

manager, 22 “It’s a quiet area, and it’s quite cheap considering how close to everything I am.”

NW6 INFO Borough

Brent & Westminster Council Tax

£1650 & £850 respectively

Photos: TNT; Thinkstock

Travel time to London

1-bedroom £1127pcm

2-bedroom £1950pcm

3-bedroom £2383pcm

On a residential road close to the Salusbury strip, this refurbished top-floor flat with large bedroom and separate kitchen and lounge is up for rent. Grab it while it’s hot!

This modern flat with two double bedrooms overlooks the park and is steps away from the stations. The exposed brickwork and Victorian features help retain character.

This gorgeous property offers a lot for your money with two double bedrooms, a spacious loft room, a private garden, and all within Queen’s Park’s conservation area.

15mins Tube

Bakerloo Average rental 1 bed

£1450 Average rental 2 bed

£1850 Average rental 3 bed



Become a myTNT VIP for access to fantastic freebies, huge discounts and heaps of benefits. For just £50, joining our new members club will give you the chance to do more in London and beyond for less. For full details see

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NEW! FREE membership to the exclusive Travel Club – worth £49 FREE VIP experience at TNT’s amazing Travel Shows – worth £30 NEW! FREE MedSailor voucher for September travel – worth £200 SaVE 20% on all Hop-On Hop-Off passes with Busabout FREE! VIP experience at the TNT Travel Show – worth £30 Save £49



New! the travel Club Sign up to become a VIP and you’ll bag free entry to The Travel Club – worth £49. As well as offers and deals on fantastic trips, you’ll get a £100 travel voucher, airport lounge passes and 10% off trips booked with G Adventures.

free albellI photo book Get a professional, topquality photo book and remember your travels with a free, 24-page medium landscape album. All members will be able to design and create their bespoke album for free when they join myTNT VIP.

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free Case of boNdI beer Make sure your summer BBQ kicks off in style with a case of Bondi Beer. The first 50 VIPs will receive a case of 24 cans of premium lager. Because we all know summertime parties are thirsty work. You are very welcome.

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free aNNual CuIsINe Card Take advantage of huge deals on London’s top restaurants with this discount card which boasts the likes of the Rainforest Cafe, Shaka Zulu and Tiger Tiger. The first 100 VIPs will bag an annual membership with Cuisine Card.

free 8th day adveNture This sport, adventure and social club which hosts hundreds of events every year is offering the first 30 myTNT VIPs free annual membership worth £140. After that, VIPs will benefit from 2-4-1 savings on all membership prices.

£50 latedeals vouCher Sign up to become a myTNT VIP and you’ll receive an exclusive £50 discount off your next holiday with Looking for a last-minute break, head to this site which boasts fivestart experiences without the price tag.

More at my.tNtMaGaZINe.CoM/MytNt-vIp

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how you spend it!


Jeremiah Clark, 21

BARGAIN BERTHS Want to take a trip to Scotland but can’t afford the crazy train fare or xxxxxxxxx the plane? Well, you can have yourself a little Xxxxxxxxxxx adventure and save cash if you check out Scotrail’s ‘Bargain Berths’ section, where a single fare on xxxxxxxxx the Caledonian Sleeper train starts from as little Xxxxxxxxxxx as £19 if you book well in advance. The train cabins are cosy and the bar car does a great line xxxxxxxxx in Scotch whisky. This is a plan with no flaws. Log on Xxxxxxxxxxx to caledonian-sleeperbargain-berths.

Photos: Getty; TNT Interview: Brett Murphy Research: Esin Huseyin


CUT-PRICE PITCHERS A cocktail pitcher for a Xxxxxxxxxxx quid? Yep, O’Neill’s can make all your dreams come true (or, you know, that one about a cocktail pitcher for a quid) on Friday and Saturday nights, when buying one pitcher automatically gets you a second for £1. The times at which the deal is valid vary from pub to pub, so check at your local. CHEAP PIZZA & PASTA Scoff a 2-4-1 Italian feast at Azzurro simply by entering your deets online and printing off a voucher at offers. Venues at Waterloo and London Bridge.


Job Student From Philadelphia, US Lives Kentish Town How do you budget? I buy in bulk, always essentials first. Also, since I’ve been in London, I’ve never taken a cab once. Public transportation all the way. Do you have any tips for saving money in London? Go to the food markets around closing time. If you go to Camden’s markets around closing on Sunday, they pretty much just throw food at you. What was your last big blowout? I went to York last week. It cost about £90. What non-essential items do you spend money on? I buy higher-end beer. I have my favourites and I feel like I’m cheating on them when I downgrade.

how THEY spend it! Bringing the party Kanye West is reported to have raked in £1.9m for playing a set at the wedding of Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev’s grandson. What’s wrong with a cheesy DJ?

Kanye West: da wedding singer

❚ In 2009, relatives of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi shelled out £1.2m for Beyoncé to perform at a New Year’s Eve party thrown by Muammar’s son, Hannibal. The singer says she donated the fee to a charity in Haiti.

❚ Investment banker Charles Brandes is reported to have paid Christina Aguilera £642,000 for an hour’s work at his Halloween party – that’s £10,700 per minute.

❚ It’s alleged that US businessman David Brooks paid ageing rockers Aerosmith £1.3m to play his daughter’s bat mitzvah.

❚ Nelly Furtado also performed at a Gaddafi family shindig, to the tune of £600,000. She also promised to donate the money.

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He has since been tried for multi-million-dollar fraud.

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37 GALLOWGLASS Gallowglass is Europe’s leading crewing company to the events industry working for TV, Theatre, Live Events, Sports Events and Outdoor Productions amongst others.

Silverback Events T: 0844 5617939 T: 07595021939 Silverback is a provider of premium support crew to production and AV companies within the event sector.

Job of the WeeK: Crew Location: London Salary: Starting at £8.00 per hour + skills payments Gallowglass has vacancies for friendly enthusiastic and outgoing people to join our crew. You will need to be physically fit, have excellent spoken English, be adaptable, happy to work anti-social hours and have a can-do attitude. CVs to or complete our on line form at

Job of the WeeK: Crew Member Location: London (All Areas) Salary: £8.00 -15.00 per hour Silverback is looking for fit, intelligent, good communicators who can take direction from senior crewmen and clients. You need good social skills and impeccable punctuality and be prepared to work long & sometimes unsocial hours, Applicants must speak fluent English. Typical Duties: Loading / Unloading of vehicles, Rigging of AV equipment, Setting up and dismantling stage and set, Ensuring health & safety requirements are met, Liaising with clients in a professional manner. | 07712 829348

Origin T: 020 7617 7894 Live-in roles typically of 2 weeks on and 1 week off. Free specialist training provided with Origin, a dedicated company established over 10 years.

Job of the WeeK: Live-In Carers Location: London & South East Salary: up to £630pw Our clients are young adults with a spinal injury. We need positive people to help them live independently. Free accommodation, food and refunded travel expenses! Promotional prospects and higher rates of pay available. A Driving licence is essential. John Hardy | 020 7617 7894 |

T: 02073971262

Job of the WeeK: Temporary Waiting Staff (full time hours available) Location: Zones 1 and 2 In London Salary: up to £8.55 hourly

Evolve Hospitality are the number one agency for the best events in London. We supply staff for celebrity parties, royal functions and at the most VIP venues. Evolve Hospitality train all their staff.

Evolve Hospitality are seeking some smiley staff with excellent customer service skills to work with us at the best celebrity and VIP events In London! If you’re hard working, fun and smiley then we want to hear from you! Natalie Player | 020 7397 1266 |

Auravita Ltd.

Job of the WeeK: Telesales executive Location: London NW2 Salary: £15,000 to £40,000 according to candidate’s qualifications.

Evolve Hospitality Auravita is a leading uk e-retailer successfully operating since 1999.

A leading UK e-retailer, in operation successfully for 15 years is looking for a Telesales personnel to recruit selected SME sellers to sell on our e-retail platform. • Research target TPS to identify the decision makers • Make cold contact • Present proposition & follow through to registration of the TPS as a seller on Auravita. Louise Taylor |

Savanna Staff Solutions Ltd. T: 0203-086-8092 / 07515-471-801 Recruitment and Training Specialists Transport and Logistics Industry. Recruitment: Drivers / Warehouse / Office Staff. Training: Forklift training courses / Drivers CPC Training

Kathmandu Pty Ltd. Kathmandu is an adventure passionate multinational chain of retail stores, specializing in outdoor clothing and equipment.

Job of the WeeK: HGV Class 2 Drivers Required Location: Greenford, West London Salary: £9 per hour We are urgently looking to recruit Class 2 drivers. Top performers have a good chance of getting permanent work, as my customer is looking to take on 6 Class 2 drivers. Discounted training available in Drivers CPC and Forklift training courses. Willem Smith | 0203-086-8092 | email

Job of the WeeK: Store Managers, Assistant Store Managers, 3ICs and Sale Advisors Location: Australia and New Zealand Salary: Advised upon request Kathmandu is looking for new retail enthusiasts that are looking to take their next adventure to our Australian and New Zealand Stores. Full time and part time opportunities available must have valid visa or permanent residency Quote Kathmandu TNT | or

Looking for your next job? New jobs online every day To advertise your job of the week contact 38 Jaqui Ward | 020 3137 5950 |


Check out TNT online for the latest news, gossip, gigs, bizarre headlines and awesome features

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What a catch: thresher shark


One of the biggest sharks caught in British waters dragged two fishermen in their small dinghy four miles out to sea as they attempted to reel it in. Graeme Pullen and Wayne Comben were in waters south of the Isle Of Wight on 17ft boat Taryn when they caught a giant thresher weighing about 550lbs. Only the shark wasn’t too keen on being netted, and a two-hour battle began, during which the fishermen were dragged four miles into the English Channel. In footage shot for the Totally Awesome Fishing Show Comben says: “All I can tell you is this fish is game.” TWEETS OF THE WEEK @benrossmackay Best Aussie election headline: “Abbott creeps out Big Brother” @TheSunNewspaper The Real deal has been done. Official confirmation that Christian Bale is off to Madrid. @Njerez90 Yes, let’s vote for the guy who needs to sexualise his own daughters to get votes.


A Vietnamese man was caught trying to smuggle fish through Auckland airport after officials noticed water leaking from his pockets. New Zealand customs netted an interesting haul after questioning the man when they noticed the bulging pockets of his cargo pants. He initially said the dripping was from a bottle of water he’d taken off the plane. His pathetic excuse didn’t hold up for long, 40


Censored: Facebook last week took offence over this too-cute endangered Booby bird found on Christmas Island after the island’s tourism chiefs posted about “gorgeous shots of juvenile boobies” on the social networking site. FB removed the picture, claiming the post breached decency guidelines. How very silly

and the marine animals in his pockets were soon discovered. Having been caught, the man – who had flown in from Australia – admitted he had been trying to bring the fish into the country for a friend. Craig Hughes, a spokesman for the Ministry of Primary Industries, said the man will face charges under the Biosecurity Act which could see him jailed for up to five years or face a £500,000 fine if found guilty, adding: “That’s something we take very seriously.”


In a case that’s ruffling feathers in Egypt, authorities have detained a

swan that a citizen suspected of being a spy. Officials say a man brought the suspected winged infiltrator to a police station, telling officers he had a hunch the bird was an undercover agent because it carried an electronic device. Mohammed Kamal, head of security in Qena, said officials examined the bird and the device and concluded it was neither an explosive nor a spying tool. It likely could, however, be a wildlife tracker. Earlier this year in Egypt, a security guard filed a report after capturing a pigeon he said carried microfilm.

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Time, in months, Daniel Clavin, 37, from Ireland has spent hiccuping – an estimated 5.25 million times

Weight, in kilograms, of record-breaking four-metre alligator caught by hunters in Mississippi

Prank: Blake Johnston




Value, in pounds, of new coin which has been announced by the Royal Mint, featuring St George and the Dragon


St Kilda midfielder Clinton Jones has apologised and received a £1800 fine for his Mad Monday prank gone horribly wrong. Jones set fire to dwarf entertainer Blake Johnston at a Melbourne pub a day after the team’s AFL season ended. Johnston wasn’t seriously hurt in the incident and has decided not to press charges. Jones said in a statement: “I made an error of judgement in including Mr Johnston in the activity.” AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou also made an apology after breaking into laughter in an interview on TV’s Talking Footy. “I thought it was a joke,” Demetriou said on radio 3AW. “I was actually giggling in the beginning because I had been told by the producer during the break, before we went onto the next segment, and I thought they were having me on.”


Photos: AAP; Getty


It was something of a snap decision, but a psychic crocodile in the Northern Territory last week chose Tony Abbott to be Australia’s next PM. Big Wendell – a 5.5-metre, 800kg saltie – was given a choice between two poles, one with a photo of Kevin Rudd, and the other with a pic of Abbott.

Number of times UK Houses of Parliament’s computers were used to log on to porn websites in past year

Scaly reptile – and a croc Wendell eventually took a chunk out of the Opposition leader. By the time you’re reading this, you’ll know whether his prediction was right. His psychic croc predecessor Harry predicted Julia Gillard to defeat Abbott in the 2010 election.


Ever wanted to quit your job and make a statement? That’s what shop workers in a shopping mall did – posting a public notice that’s gone viral. The sign, stuck to the security grill of the locked store in Rochester, New York, read: “Dear Jamie. Since you decided to say ‘cancer is not an excuse’ and think it’s OK to swear at your employees like you do ALL the time WE QUIT. THIS is why you can’t keep a store manager longer than a year. You abuse your roll (sic) and staff.” A shop spokesman said: “We take situations like this seriously.”


QUOTE OF THE WEEK She seemed a tad uncomfortable with the questions. Shame Host Simon Mayo tweets after upsetting Aussie actress Naomi Watts during an interview promoting her new movie Diana

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Go to See webpage for terms and conditions. Winners will be selected at random.

WIN VIP TICKETS TO SEE ELECTRO [TITLE] [ADDITIONAL] LEGENDS THE ORB LIVE IN LONDON TNT is giving away a pair of VIP tickets to see The Orb live in London at The Forum in Kentish Town on Saturday, October 19, as part of the duo’s 25th Anniversary tour, plus a bunch more goodies. In addition to the major prize of VIP tickets, the winner will receive signed artwork from the legendary ambient dance group. Runners up will get one of five pairs of standard tickets to the show and an artwork, while 10 lucky readers are also set to win a copy of their More Tales From The Orbservatory record, their twelfth studio album. This is a truly unique prize,

and with System 7 as special guests in support, it’s sure to be a show you can’t miss. 1st prize: A pair of VIP tickets + a piece of signed artwork. 2nd prize: 1 of 5 pairs of standard tickets + a piece of signed artwork. 3rd prize: 1 of 10 copies of More Tales From The Orbservatory. Competition opens: September 9 Competition closes: October 10 Enter at
















TNT puts the world to rights



The Office: based on fact

Dance the company dance – and get used to it

Photo: YouTube

Because there are worse things to come than feeling Daft (Punk) I’ve a confession to make. When I interviewed Oli Jones for the position of web editor at TNT, the interview didn’t go according to plan. Sitting in a tiny room with his predecessor trying to be professional, mid-question, her stomach started to rumble. It wasn’t a tiny grumble, it was a bubble of trapped wind, a loud-but-squeaky kind of sound which didn’t go away. She apologised, which made it better as we all could then acknowledge the noise. However, she then got the giggles, and I quickly followed suit – it was reminiscent of sitting at the back of class in school; laughing when you know you shouldn’t. It quickly got uncontrollable and turned into tears – so much so, I had to draw the interview to a close. Jones reacted calmly, coping with it in his stride, saying something like: “Shall I just fart and take the attention away from you?” Needless to say, he got the job – not just based on this comment, obviously. He had his own computer as well. I mention it because this week in the news, a guy called Alan Bacon told of his horror at being asked to perform a dance-off during an interview for superstore Currys. The 21-year-old was apparently part of a group of people that was split into two, then told to perform moves to a Daft Punk song. Bacon said he was left “degraded, humiliated and mostly disappointed” at being asked to take part in The Office-style task. “But I am desperate for work, so I just smiled and got on with it,” he added. My heart bleeds. You were asked to do a dance-off, not run around naked with your dangly bits hanging out. Jobs are scarce and, more than anything, employers want to see how you’ll react to various situations – and how you’ll cope doing things that you don’t really want to do. And it’s in your interest to comply. My advice? Suck it up, wannabe workers. Because once you’re in a job, you’ll find yourself in more testing situations than a dance-off. » Agree or disagree? Was Bacon degraded?

WATTS IS HIGH VOLTAGE! Good on Naomi Watts for storming out during an interview with the BBC’s Simon Mayo. The actress was chatting to the journalist about the upcoming biopic Diana about the late Princess of Wales, when the questions apparently left her feeling “uncomfortable”. Mayo said it was a “first for me” and that it was a “shame” – yep, a shame for him that he didn’t get the answers he wanted. The problem with some writers (not any at TNT, obvs) is that when they get a celebrity in front of them, they think it’s fair dinkum to ask them about anything and everything. I’m sure if Mayo had kept

She’s a true-blue Aussie all the way

the questions relevant to the topic, Watts wouldn’t have felt uncomfortable enough to leave the interview. There have always been arguments about whether Watts is an Antipodean or Brit – having been born in the UK. I’d say after this outburst, she’s a true-blue Aussie all the way. TNTMAGAZINE.COM


Who won your vote?

We now know the winner, but is it who you wanted? WORDS CAROLINE GARNAR

The winner of Australia’s 2013 election was announced on Saturday, after TNT went to press. But, troopers that we are, we headed down to Australia House to find out who voted for who. So now we know who’s going to be celebrating or commiserating ...

Matthew Hyde 25, radiographer, from Sunshine Coast Who did you vote for and why? I voted for Kevin Rudd. The choices are pretty limited because they’re both as bad as each other, but I’ve always voted Labor because it’s been a family thing. They look after the lower-middle class instead of being all about business. Any particular policies that swayed you? I’m OK about the whole same-sex marriage thing and I think Kevin Rudd will bring that in – well, he said he would. What do you think of the opposition, Tony Abbott? I don’t think too highly of him. He was previously a religious man, and I think Christianity is just very outdated, it’s not very liberal. Although if he came to power I don’t think there would be any difference, I just prefer Kevin Rudd. I think he’s a bit more down to earth, even though I hear that behind the scenes he’s a bit of a wanker. What will be the main issues the next government will face? I would hope something to do with the carbon taxes, as global warming is an issue. I strongly believe in euthanasia and I hope that’s something they’re going to bring in over the next 10 years. I believe Australia’s economy is pretty solid. I don’t know if it’s in a deficit because of Labor, but you’ve got to spend money to make money. Why do you think it’s important to vote even though you don’t live in Australia? To be honest, I don’t. It’s a democracy, so I guess it’s important I have my say, but at the same time it’s just one vote so I’m not sure I need to do it. 44


Jaime Clowe 32, brewer, from Emerald Who did you vote for and why? I voted for the Greens – to be honest I have no idea who the candidate is [it’s Christine Milne]. I’ve previously been a Labor voter, but I can’t support their views and policies, especially the immigration policy that’s floating around at the moment – we’re talking about humans, not cattle – so I decided that the Greens are probably the best match for me. What do you think of the Liberal Party? This is a personal thing, but I think Tony Abbot’s a wanker. He comes across as a wanker, I don’t want him representing Australia and his views are archaic; I fear for what Australia will become if he gets to be in charge. What will be the main issues the next government will face? I haven’t a clue to be honest because I haven’t lived in Australia for four years. So why do you think it’s still important to vote? That’s a good question – I’ve actually been hounded about that by my friends in Australia who don’t necessarily think I should vote. But it’s my responsibility, as an enrolled Australian citizen, to vote. I don’t plan to live here for the rest of my life and I want to go back to a country intact and not run by wankers.

Zac Eldridge 25, fitter machinist, from Narrandera Who did you vote for and why? I voted for Tony Abbot, the Liberal Party, because the Labor Party’s changed hands twice now, so I think the party itself is not very co-ordinated. I think we should give the Liberals a go. They were pretty good when Johnny Howard was in, so I think they’ll be alright. Any particular policies that swayed you? Not really, I just






Photos: Getty; TNT




Mia Chicco 27, jewellery designer, from Sydney Who did you vote for and why? I went for the Greens, because I’m all about the environment. I think we need to look after the earth so that we can have a future for our children and their children. Plus I wouldn’t be happy with the leaders of either Labor or Liberal being in charge. What don’t you like about the leaders? I would have voted Labor usually but I’m not a fan of Kevin Rudd. I think they both make it really difficult for small businesses, it’s all about big corporations. What will be the main issues the next government will face? I guess carbon tax and probably the education system as well, and I think the Green party have got the best policies for those issues. Why do you think it’s important to vote even though you don’t live in Australia? I’d still like to have a say and for my voice to be heard.

TNT has been campaigning with your help against the UK Border Agency and the service it offers to visa applicants. We’ve revealed horror stories, gained press coverage in the UK, New Zealand and Australia, and attracted support from high-profile MPs. To read our coverage so far, visit tntmagazine. com/ukba. In March 2013, it was announced the UK Border Agency will be split into two organisations – one dealing with visas. In true shambolic style, a name for the office, and how it’s going to work, is yet to be decided. So far, all that’s clear is that it’s going to be the same staff, reporting to the same bosses, in the same building, operating within the same budgets. Therefore, our demands for this new entity remain the same. Add your voice to TNT Magazine’s UKBA Balls-Up campaign to demand the new office changes its policies so that:


don’t like the Greens! And I think the current government isn’t handling the immigration system as well as they could. Have you always voted Liberal? I voted Liberal when Kevin Rudd was first in – Kevin ‘07 – so yeah, I’m not a Ruddy fan. What will be the main issues the next government will face? Maybe this global financial crisis thing, I don’t know whether that’s over and done with. Why do you think it’s important to vote even though you don’t live in Australia? I will always go back to Australia to settle down. I think it’s a good thing that we make it compulsory to vote, so everyone has their say. If you don’t you get a fine – my housemate said they cancelled his driver’s licence and tried to fine him AU$400 – that’s why I’m here, I wouldn’t be if he hadn’t told me that!


Left to right: main contenders Tony Abbott, Kevin Rudd and Christine Milne


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✔ Every applicant receives correspondence when an application has been received ✔ Advice is then sent to all applicants detailing the process system and what it means for those wanting to work or travel ✔ Every applicant gets access to an emergency helpline which they can call for updates at any time, not only after six months ✔ The target for processing visas for those based in the UK who are eligible to work is reduced to three months ✔ A full refund is offered to applicants if their application takes longer than the target time if it is due to UKBA incompetency ✔ The amount of premium service appointments is increased – and a full refund is offered to applicants if the UKBA doesn’t adhere to the allotted 24-hour timescale ✔ Applicants wishing to extend visas to stay in the UK can do so before the ‘28 days before expiry’ deadline Add your name to our government epetition. Follow the link from



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While Twenty20 teams from all over the world played for £10k in prizes in the Last Man Stands tournament at the Lord’s Nursery Ground, the Maasai Warriors team added a huge splash of colour to the fun format – but we’re not sure how they handled sandshoe crushers


Come on!: Wolves’ Michael Monaghan


After finishing one and two at the end of the season, Huddersfield and Warrington host qualifying finals this weekend against Wigan and Leeds. The winners will get a hard-earned rest, while the losers will take on whichever two sides from places five to eight – St Helens, Hull FC, Catalan Dragons and Hull KR – won their elimination final. From then on, the Super League is a sudden death shootout for a place in the October 5 grand final at Old Trafford. Check Sky Sports guides for times. 46


After opening the Premiership Rugby season at Twickenham with the London double-header last week, Harlequins and Saracens will both be on home turf this weekend. Quins take on dangerous 2012 grand final losers Northampton on Friday night at the Stoop, with the visitors bolstered by new signings of George North, the giant Welshman fresh from his destructive performance for the Lions in Australia, and England international Alex Corbisiero. Sarries begin their first full season on the reliably firm and fast (artificial) surface of Allianz Park on Saturday against the slightly less fancied but no less troublesome Gloucester, whose fifth place finish last year sees them back into the Heineken Cup this season as well. Gloucester don’t have the stars to match Saracens almost totally international line-up, but in Freddie Burns and Billy Twelvetrees they have talent to upset.

They may be in the same league but Manchester United and Crystal Palace are in different leagues, no better illustrated than by Wilfried Zaha, the speedster who starred as the Londoners got promoted but is yet to play for his new club this year. After featuring in pre-season matches, Zaha hasn’t made David Moyes’ Premier League match day squad yet, although he was included in Man U’s squad to play in the Champions League group stages. This week (Saturday, 12.45pm on BT Sport) the England international’s Red Devils line up against his beloved Eagles at Old Trafford. In their last start Ian Holloway’s much-lesspaid charges notched up their first win of the year against Sunderland, but this will be a whole other proposition. Will Zaha get a chance to show Palace what they’ve lost and Moyes what he’s got?

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QUOTES OF THE WEEK At least reach the semifinals of the Euro Championship in 2020 and … to win the World Cup in 2022 (Qatar) New FA chairman Greg Dyke set two targets for English football, one of them to win a tournie in a Middle East sauna

Freedom Cup: Richie McCaw holds New Zealand and South Africa rugby’s answer to the Bledisloe


SAT, 8.35AM, SKY SPORTS 3 The largely irrelevant trophy up for grabs when New Zealand and South Africa meet in matches across The Rugby Championship is the Freedom Cup, a piece of silverware first given in 2004 to mark 10 years of Saffa democracy. That’s all well and good, and will be decided after the sides meet at Eden Park this week and in Johannesburg on October 5 (if they win a game apiece, holders New Zealand will keep the Boks’ Freedom for

another year). But this and every clash in the unimaginatively named Championship is all about points, and the way the All Blacks have started their campaign, bonus points will be important in the race for second between the Boks and Australia. An extra point goes to teams if they lose by less than seven points (as likely spooners Argentina did against South Africa in an impressive comeback from a 73-13 flogging the week before) or by scoring four or more tries. In all likelihood, the Blacks could go undefeated again, so not getting pumped could be a winner of sorts.

THE CHAT | Don’t do drugs: Ben Johnson

It’s been a pretty long trip in the UK, so it’d be nice for us to go home on a high with winning the series Understatement from Aussie cricket captain Michael Clarke ahead of the ODIs

I told him everything that was good about the code and how well his skills would fit Quade Cooper, who called the Wallabies “toxic”, was a surprise ally for the ARU in recruiting new star Israel Folau

TV HIGHLIGHTS CRICKET ODI: England v Australia Games three and four in best of five Wed, 2pm, Sky Sports 1 Sat, 10.15am, Sky Sports 2

Photos: Getty

RUGBY UNION Mm’kay … is disgraced Canadian sprinter Q Ben Johnson seriously on the campaign trail talking about drugs in sport? Yep. He’ll be in Australia this week as part of a global tour A for compression clothing company SKINS to support their marketing exercise petition to reduce doping in sport. Johnson told journos in New York that he’s speaking out “to help make changes in today’s society about drugs in sports”. He also said: “I want to set the record straight that I’m a small part of a problem.” Hmm. At a time when Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell have been axed from the event he was stripped of the 1988 Olympic gold for, and cycling, AFL, NRL, baseball and other sports are embroiled in drug scandals, surely there’s a better ambassador.

Australia v Argentina The Rugby Championship from Perth Sat, 11.05am, Sky Sports 3

FOOTBALL Everton v Chelsea Live English Premier League action Sat, 5.30pm, Sky Sports 1

AFL & NRL Finals Cheat: Ben Johnson in ‘88

Watch AFL finals week two on ESPN See NRL finals week one on Premier Sports TNTMAGAZINE.COM


Into the fast lane Aussie Daniel Ricciardo has been handed his dream drive with the big boys at Red Bull WORDS MICHAEL GADD

Big names were bandied about as to who would become the other Red Bull Racing driver next year when Australian Mark Webber left – Kimi Räikkönen (2007 World Champion) would have been popular with fans and Fernando Alonso (World Champion the two years before the Finn) was also rumoured – but there was already a chosen one. Perth-born 24-year-old Daniel Ricciardo was last week announced to take the Renault hot-seat Webber, 37, had occupied since 2007. While those outside the sport may be surprised at his promotion over more fancied options, a look at his steady yet swift rise through the motorsport ranks, and the words of Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, explain how Ricciardo’s found himself in this position. “In the end it was a very logical choice,” Horner says. His success story started at age 11, when he won the Wanneroo Tiger Kart Club’s midget division in 2000, just two years after a compromise with his parents saw him into the mini four-wheelers instead of the motorbikes of his hero Valentino Rossi. After having a crack at Formula Ford in Western Australia, the talented teen went to Asia to take on the Formula BMW series aged just 16. He was soon at the Formula Medicine clinic in Viareggio, Italy, then racing in the Formula Renault and winning his first European title in 2008’s Western European Cup as a Red Bull driver. His blistering times at the 2009 Young Drivers Test – 1.3 seconds faster than the next – caught the attention of those not already in the know, then he became the first Aussie since David Brabham in 1989 to win the British Formula Three title. When he got an F1 drive with the lowly Hispania Racing Team in 2011, his tyres were marked. “We’ll certainly be keeping a very close eye on him,” said Horner, before he was put with Red Bull’s junior F1 team Toro Rosso-Ferrari for the 2012 season. “This is the first step on the ladder for him. He’s still very young, but it’s an opportunity that has been presented to him and it’s down to him to grab it.” 48


DANIEL RICCIARDO • Born Perth, July 1, 1989 • Started karting aged 9 • Won British Formula 3 Championship 2009 • Formula 1 debut: British Grand Prix 2011 • Formula 1 starts: 43 • Best: 7th, China GP, 2013

People will be surprised at how quick Daniel is

Earlier ear-marked by Sir Frank Williams (of the Williams team fame) as the sport’s next star, he’s now got a shot at making it a reality. But his move from Toro-Rosso to Red Bull is significant – he’s going from a team for which a top 10 finish is as good as what a win (or at very least a podium finish) would be for Webber and his new teammate, threetime World Champion Sebastian Vettel. “We know Daniel is very quick and Sebastian is the best in the business at the moment, but I think people will be surprised at how quick Daniel is,” Horner said. “It’s going to be very surprising to see what he is capable of next year.” Webber, who goes to drive a Porsche in sportscar racing next season, has backed his countryman to replace him from the outset, despite his at times prickly relationship with the team and his younger, more successful teammate. Many pundits say Ricciardo’s perceived willingness to play second fiddle to Vettel gave him the edge over Räikkönen, but the driver with the cheeky grin doesn’t see it that way.

Laid-back: insiders say Daniel’s personality and professionalism are his greatest assets

Photos: Getty

World Champ: teammate Seb Vettel

“Next year I’ll be with a championship-winning team, arguably the best team, and will be expected to deliver,” he said. “I’m ready for that. I’m not here to run around in 10th place, I want to get the best results for myself and the team. “It will be a great challenge to be up against Sebastian Vettel; I’m looking forward to that. My aim is to finish this season as strong as possible, for myself and Scuderia Toro Rosso. Then, once the off-season is here, I’ll be fully focused on next year and the next stage of my career.” Before the weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, Ricciardo was in 14th for the driver’s championship with seven races to go, one behind his French teammate Jean-Eric Vergne, although he’s managed four top 10 finishes (one more than Vergne). At Red Bull, Vettel is looking at his fourth title in a row having won five of the season’s 11 races and finishing out of the top three just three times (twice fourth and once retired). Webber was in fifth with three podium finishes but just one drive outside the top five. How much this gap in results has to do with Ricciardo’s equipment, we’ll soon find out. Horner clearly thinks the Aussie has the chops to build on the work of Webber and Vettel, signing him to what’s been called a “multi-year agreement”. “He’s got all the attributes that are required to drive for our team,” Horners said. “He’s got a great natural ability, he’s a good personality and a great guy to work with. “Daniel knows what the team expects. He’ll learn quickly and it’s very much a medium- to long-term view that we’re taking in developing him. I think he’s going to be a big star.” The team supremo also insists Ricciardo will be given the “identical opportunity and equipment” to Vettel. “From what I hear the team is very much interested in equality,” Ricciardo said. “I am definitely aware that if I do get the opportunity to race alongside [Vettel], it is not going to be easy. If I can’t, well, at least I can say I tried. But I believe I can.”

Next start: Singapore

F1 2013: seven to go Seven races remain in this year’s Formula 1 season – can the pack catch Vettel or will it be four in a row? SINGAPORE, Sep 20-22, Marina Bay Street Circuit Qualifying Sep 21, 2pm; GP, Sep 22, 1pm KOREA, Oct 4-6, Korea International Circuit, Seoul Qualifying Oct 5, 6am; GP, Oct 6, 7am JAPAN, Oct 11-13, Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka City Qualifying Oct 12, 6am; GP, Oct 13, 7am INDIA, Oct 25-27, Buddh Int. Circuit, New Delhi Qualifying Oct 26, 9.30am; GP, Oct 27, 9.30am ABU DHABI Nov 1-3, Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island Qualifying Nov 2, 1pm; GP, Nov 3, 1pm US, Nov 15-17, Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas Qualifying Nov 16, 6pm; GP, Nov 17, 7pm BRAZIL, Nov 22-24, Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Sao Paulo Qualifying Nov 23, 4pm; GP, Nov 24, 4pm Start times listed. Live coverage earlier on Sky Sports F1 and BBC.



TNT puts the world to rights


Lost grip: David Warner was picked for Tests and T20s but is not in good enough nick for the ODIs

Cricket gives headspin right when it should be party time ‘Resting’ ODI stars and prepping for Tests in Oz in India. WTF?

» Agree or disagree? Is cricket’s greed ruining the game? 50


I’m all for Mad Monday, the annual ritual of AFL and NRL teams to dress in drag, drink like they’re not allowed to during the season and make some mistakes. But don’t set people on fire. There’s even an element of responsibility in having the yearly boozefest on a Monday, the least attractive of the going out days so the most likely to offend the least of the general public. But don’t set people on fire. A St Kilda player, however, during his club’s Mad Monday ‘celebrations’ – a loosely used term given they finished the season a limp third last – set a person on fire. Seriously man, you had one job to do.

Seriously man, you had one job to do

Blow off some steam, be a fool with your mates and don’t set anyone on fire! That the person was a dwarf for some absurd reason made it a bigger story and worthy of AFL supremo Andrew Demetriou pissing himself laughing on TV (he’s sorry though). But the rule should apply to all players – don’t set people on fire.

Photo: Getty

Alright cricket, you’ve just had a cracking Ashes series – not so much for the Aussies in its end result, but entertaining on many levels across the five matches. But now you, Australia and England in particular, have delivered a total headspin. Let’s start with who’s playing in this current ODI series, which started with a rain delay on Friday. England’s regular ODI players who played the Tests – Alastair Cook, James Anderson, Ian Bell, Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad were all left out. Anderson and Bell make sense, as they’re both on fire and had a heavy Ashes workload. Same with Swann. But Cook, the captain of the Champions Trophy final losers, is way out of form and could use a hit. England instead is captained by an Irishman, obviously. Meanwhile, Broad captains the Twenty20 side, but doesn’t play ODIs. Chris Woakes, a limited overs specialist bizarrely picked for the Oval was sent back to county cricket. What the ... ? Most Test players in the ODI side for Australia – Phillip Hughes, James Faulkner and Matthew Wade – weren’t fixtures in the Test side or in Wade’s case didn’t play at all. They also dumped David Warner due to form in the short form after his Test series. Nonsense. But they have named Michael Clarke and Shane Watson. They’re two of the world’s great ODI players, but being central to Test hopes their chronic injury problems call for cotton wool. After these five games are done, it gets even more stupid. Australia go to play an eightmatch series against India. At least this can be explained. India’s BCCI are the biggest bucks in cricket and Aussies mean ratings. It’s a cynical view but true, and it sucks. There couldn’t be a worse preparation for any of the blokes who double up on the bouncy Australian wickets for the next Ashes (an exercise in overscheduling greed in itself). England actually start their Ashes tour on October 31 with a three-day game in Perth. The Aussie ODI side doesn’t finish in India until November 2 (the first Test is on November 21). It’s all good for someone, but it’s certainly not fans, players or anyone else who likes things to make sense.


£10 ONLY

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ES PR ES BU SO ND MA ER RT 3 BE INI JA RG SGE £3 RU .50 R M BO & CO M BS KE -£ -£ 2. 12 95










Photos: Aquaplay; Facebook; Thinkstock; Lucy Winstanley Norris; Getty

Elephants and polo players take part in the quarter final of the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament in Hua Hin, Thailand. Tournament proceeds help to rehabilitate animals rescued from abuse.





Do the Highland fling-yourself-off-a-cliff and other off-kilt-er activities with an adventure holiday in, you guessed it, Scotland.

Try trekking an active volcano and coming face-to-face with molten lava on the Mediterranean’s remote island of Stromboli.

Forget relaxing on Thailand’s beaches. We go and get the adrenalin pumping with a rock climbing break in the north’s tangled jungles. TNTMAGAZINE.COM



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Laura Chubb EDITOR


Do you buy souvenirs? Write and tell us about it:

“You’re turning who into gravy?!”

ROADKILL COOK-OFF Marlinton, West Virginia The sister festival of the Autumn Harvest Festival set in Pocahontas County celebrates its rural setting and does what it says on the tin 28 – encourages the cooking and tasting of dishes made from animals found dead on the side of the road. A chance to sample possum, squirrel, groundhog, and menu items such as ‘Sloppy Does’ and bear sausage pizza. SEP

WHY: The festival started in 1991, and was originally used as a means of gaining more popularity for the Autumn Harvest Festival. And it certainly garnered the coverage it was hoping for – 20 years later, it’s been featured by Food Network, the Travel Channel and the Discovery Channel.




Ibiza, Spain

Bacolod City, Philippines

Be a part of the final send off for 2013’s clubbing season on 8 the White Isle with the likes of Tiesto, Calvin Harris, Benny Benassi, and even Knife Party – something for everyone. You can plan your nights at…

Bacolod is known as the ‘City of Smiles’, so you can 19-20 expect this to be a rather upbeat celebration, including pigcatching sessions and disco king and queen competitions – it all makes for a mighty spectacle.



Uncia, Bolivia

This festival combines Spanish conquistador and 29 local Indian beliefs alongside parades brought alive by traditional El Tinku dances. These performances are a re-enactment between good and evil and the locals get pretty wild as they act them out. A colourful carnival unlike any other – with beer. SEP


DO IT BECAUSE: Naysayers will be won over by the inventive dishes (squirrel gravy with biscuits?) and adventurous types will be in their element, with all manner of crazy dishes and ingredients to get down your gullet. May the cook-off commence!



Little Italy, New York, US Held on Mulberry Street, where the first immigrant 12-22 Italians resided, this 87th annual feast celebrates with parades, free music performances and a variety of delicacies – plus the famous cannoli eating competition. SEP

Photo: Getty. Additional words: Esin Huseyin

My long-held conviction that travel souvenirs are utterly pointless gathered more traction last week when it emerged that 69 per cent of (ungrateful?) folks admitted they’d rather not receive souvenirs as gifts from well-meaning, well-travelled friends and family. The survey by Skyscanner revealed just four per cent of 2000 respondents found such gifts any use. Top of people’s lists of most unwanted items brought back to them were ornaments and comedy T-shirts. Also high on the ‘er, no ta’ table were bargain jewellery, key rings and fridge magnets. Aside from a shirt showing Friday The 13th’s Jason Voorhees looking despondent next to a calendar reading ‘Friday 14th’ (cheers, Chiang Mai night market), I can confirm that all above items have been kindly presented to me in the past and promptly left to gather dust. And yet I’m always lumbered with a faint mixture of guilt and meanspiritedness when trawling tat stores with travel buddies who are loading up on prezzies, while I sigh the deep, pointed sigh of a person who really, really resents being taken shopping. Then there’s the aghast looks I get when it sinks in to said travel buddy that I’m not buying myself any souvenirs either, as they stagger from stall to stall under the weight of decorated umbrellas, naff paintings, cheap pottery and chess sets they will never, ever look at again. I’ve already got more crap than I can deal with piled up in cupboards I wish would just go away in my flat. I like to travel light. I don’t want to spend my precious holiday time shopping. Photos and memories are the best souvenirs you could ask for. And I don’t want my friends to freeze me out in protest at their ever-growing crappy key ring collection. Souvenirs: just say no.

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Exhausted: not how you want your pilot to look

A report by the US edition of Reader’s Digest entitled ‘13 Things Airline Pilots Won’t Tell You’ revealed that some feel they have to fly with less fuel than they are “comfortable” with and that passengers are unlikely to receive much warning if something goes wrong mid-flight. Along with those fun facts, one captain at a major airline also said: “The truth is, we’re exhausted. Our work rules allow us to be on duty 16 hours without a break. That’s many more hours than a truck driver. And unlike a truck driver, who can pull over at the next rest stop, we can’t pull over at the next cloud.” Afraid of flying? Well, you should be…

Photo: Thinkstock

advert: don’t fly ba A disgruntled British Airways passenger paid for a promoted tweet to vent his anger at the carrier to as many people as possible on Twitter. Promoted tweets are designed for use by advertisers who want to reach a large group of users. Hasan Syed wrote: “Don’t fly @BritishAirways. Their customer service is horrendous.” Within six hours, the post had collected over 25,000 page impressions on the microblogging site. Syed, who was annoyed at the loss of his father’s luggage and the delayed response to his enquiries, subsequently received an apology from BA, also on Twitter.

smelly carpet crisis A Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt was diverted to Copenhagen over concerns about a smelly carpet. The Airbus A320-200 service was forced to divert after concerned passengers reported a “strong odour” on board. However, after landing and getting passengers booked onto alternative flights, maintenance staff discovered the stink had originated from a recently installed carpet. Lufthansa has not commented on the incident, but the offending carpeting resulted in two-and-a-half hours on the tarmac in Copenhagen and a Frankfurt landing that was almost three hours behind schedule.

CYPRUS STILL SAFE? The foreign minister for Cyprus has reassured tourists that it’s still safe to visit the island, despite the escalating situation in Syria. Cyprus, which lies off the coast of Lebanon, is wellpositioned to launch attacks on Assad’s regime should there be an international intervention, but Ioannis Kasoulides said the island’s military bases would not play a significant part in any action. “We have received assurances that [Cyprus’] territory will not be used as a launching pad,“ he said. Current FCO advice for Cyprus warns of an “increased risk of demonstrations” and urges visitors to be “vigilant”.


[Caption] Coast with the most: abandon yourself to the sea off Scotland


Adventure holidays

Aviemore Bunkhouse Pretty much every activity you can do in Scotland you can do in Cairngorms National Park, and this bunkhouse is located at its mouth. From £19pppn.


Hold on: zip-lining GETTING THERE Catch the Caledonian Sleeper train from London Euston to Scotland with Scotrail from £127.60 return when booked before 6pm the day before travel.

Loch ness cairngorms

scotland EDINBURGH

Burn rubber: see the Highlands by bicycle

Raasay House This grand B&B is on Raasay Island, near the Isle of Skye, and offers kayaking, coasteering, and abseiling. From £45pppn.

Craggan Outdoors This Cairngorms company offers pony trekking, high ropes, shooting, quad biking and more. It has on-site accommodation, from bunkhouses to a cottage and a bothy. Cottage from £340pw.

Fingal of Caledonia Take a three-night Great Glen cruise, stopping to canoe, cycle and hike. From £425pp.

Multi-tasking: bike rafting (and above right) takes you over land and scenic lochs

Take your pick: climb or (left) ski the mountains of the Cairngorms 56


Great Scot! Do the Highland fling-yourself-off-a-cliff and other off-kilt-er activities with an adventure holiday in, you guessed it, Scotland WORDS CAROLINE GARNAR

You don’t need to cross oceans for an adventure. Simply point your compass due north for a veritable playground of mountains, clifftops, river rapids and more. Go coastal COASTEERING: You may look like a knob doing this thanks to the wetsuit, life jacket and helmet combo, but then so will everyone else. Plus you can regain your kudos when you jump off a scarily high cliff face into the dark (and bloody cold) waters below. It’s a great way to discover the nooks and crannies of Scotland’s craggy coastline around Oban, as well as get your adrenalin fix as you scramble, swim and jump your way along. £35 for a half-day trip DIVING: This is not the first country to spring to mind when you want to go scuba diving. However, although you won’t find anything tropical in the water around Berwickshire, you will find sunken ships and boats, and cliff walls teeming with marine life. Plus you can spot dolphins and basking sharks as well as seals huddled on the rocks. £37 for a day trip, plus equipment hire cost if needed Snow business

Photos: Thinkstock; Facebook

SKIING & BOARDING: From around December to April, the Scottish Highlands are ripe for snow sports. The highest and most popular resort is Cairngorm Mountain. With 30km of runs – the longest is 3.3km – there is also a freestyle park for those looking to perfect their skills. £32.50 day pass, £23.25 ski or board hire ICE CLIMBING: Make your way up walls of ice with the aid of axes and crampons. You can practice all year round at Ice Factor’s indoor 50ft ice wall, near Fort William, or join them for a winter climbing course in the mountains. £48 for 2.5 hours on the ice wall; from £42pp (group of 6) for a one-day climbing course to £200pp (group of 6) for a five-day course. Up the river RIVER BUGGING: Most easily described as white water rafting but in the ‘comfort’ of your own inflatable armchair; your oars are replaced with webbed gloves, so you can steer yourself by dipping your hands in the water. It’s as fun as it is ridiculous. Available in Pitlochry and Aberfeldy.

£60 BIKERAFTING: The Cairngorms’ rivers and lakes need not be an obstacle when cross-country biking. Simply unfurl your backpack-style packraft – a lightweight inflatable boat with collapsible oars – dismantle your bike, tie it to the bow of your craft and paddle your way across. Genius, no? £245 for a two-day bike raft course On dry land OFF-ROADING: The closest we get to off-roading in London is when our Boris bike splashes through a puddle. In Scotland, the land is ripe for tearing around in a 4x4 – and there’s nothing like revving yourself out of a mud hole or careering down a steep bank. Far x Four have a purpose-built off-road course in Hawick where you can take a spin in one of their vehicles. £130 for two hours’ tuition ZIP-LINING: View the country’s stunning scenery from up high – although it might be a bit of a blur as you whiz your way down 1km-worth of wires. Taking you over forests and gorges in the beautiful Aviemore, it may be a quick look, but it’s simply breathtaking (quite literally if you’re scared of heights). £25 Mix it up If you want to do a whole host of activities, there are a number of companies that offer package trips. Try the four-day £399 ‘Great Glen’ trip with Haggis Adventures for hiking, biking, canoeing and kayaking (on Loch Ness no less). For climbing, abseiling, biking and archery try the five-day Boots and Paddles activity week (activities only). Wilderness Scotland will have you kayaking, orienteering and learning about bushcraft Art up north: in the ‘Treasure Highlands’ Discover culture six-day trip for £775. in Yorkshire






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Spend New Year at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay in Scotland for just £299pp with Travel Talk



An eight-day sailing tour with Travel Talk (; 020 8099 9596). Excludes port tax, local payment and flights. Book by September 21; departs September 22.

< £250


ALGARVE A seven-night trip is £258pp with easyJet Holidays (0843 104 1000; Includes five-star, B&B accommodation at Agua Hotels Vale da Lapa and return flights from London Gatwick. Departs on October 8. HOGMANAY A four-day Hogmanay New Year tour is now £299pp (21 per cent off) with Travel Talk (020 8099 9596; Includes return coach from London, three nights in a centrally located hotel, breakfasts, Hogmanay Street Party ticket, coach transfers to Loony Dook and Stirling Castle. Book by September 30; departs December 30. VENICE A two-night trip to Venice is £285pp with (0800 111 6271). Includes four-star, B&B accommodation at Hotel Continental and return flights from London Stansted. Trip departs on September 30.

> £500 SOUTH AFRICA A 13-day Trek South Africa tour is now £950pp (save 12.5 per cent) with Acacia Africa (; 020 7706 4700). Includes accommodation and some meals. Excludes international flights and local payment of £403pp. Departs Johannesburg September 14 and October 12. MEXICO Seven nights is £792pp with (0800 111 6271). Includes four-star, allinclusive accommodation at Hotel Occidental Allegro Playacar and return flights from London Gatwick. Departs September 26. NAMIBIA A 13-day Desert & Delta Express tour is now £447pp (save 15 per cent) with Acacia Africa (; 020 7706 4700). Also visits Botswana and Victoria Falls. Excludes international flights and local payment of £297pp. Departs September 18 and 25.

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VERONA A two-night trip is £152pp with easyJet Holidays (0843 104 1000; Includes four-star, B&B accommodation at San Marco Hotel and return flights from London Gatwick. Departs on Oct 1. BARCELONA Two nights is £170pp with (0800 111 6271). Includes three-star, roomonly accommodation at Barcelona House and return flights from London Southend. Departs September 30. SAILING CROATIA An eight-day Split to Dubrovnik sailing tour is now £185pp (50 per cent off) with Travel Talk (020 8099 9596; Includes seven nights in an ‘A’ category private boat, seven breakfasts and lunches, tour leader, captain and crew. Excludes flights, local payment and port tax. Book by September 14; departs September 15. PRAGUE A two-night trip to Prague is £156pp with easyJet Holidays (0843 104 1000; Includes four-star, B&B accommodation at Jurys Inn hotel and return flights from London Gatwick. Departs on October 1. IBIZA Seven nights is £113pp with (0800 111 6271). Includes three-star, self-catering accommodation at THB Ibiza Mar Aparthotel in San Miguel and return flights from London Stansted. Departs October 10.

£250 – £500

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european clubbing cities


ibiza town, IBIZA

Sunsets? Pah. Sunrises are where it’s at and there’s no better time to enjoy one than when sweat-soaked, muscle-drained and more than a little demented after dancing the night away in a top club. That’s especially the case when abroad. Sure, there’s museums and galleries and all those other things that day walkers go on about, but is there really a more beautiful time to experience a new city than at dawn, when only your wide-eyed mates and the milkman are knocking about? There’s no shortage of European cities that do clubbing well. The undisputed champion, however, has not changed for a long, long time. A yearsold cliche for coming-of-age Brits ‘going large’, the Balearics’ party capital Ibiza has endured and evolved, all the while proving why it’s the basis for clubbing stereotypes the world over. Nowhere pulls an all-nighter better. The town of Ibiza, on the south-east coast of the Spanish island of the same name, might have a population of just 50,000 people, but it’s a bona fide 60 00

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metropolis in the world of turntable, lights shows and bugger-all attire. The readers of DJ Mag certainly think so. According to them, two of the world’s five best clubs are to be found in Ibiza Town (that’s Space and Pacha), with four in the top 30, then rises further, to six, when including the rest of Ibiza island and looking at the magazine’s whole list of the world’s top 100 venues. That’s easily more than any other place on the planet, including superclub heavyweights such as London, Miami and Las Vegas. The major players are found either by Ibiza Marina (Pacha and Booom!) or at the Playa d’en Bossa resort area a bit outside town (Sankeys, Space and Ushuaïa). But don’t just tick off the famous brands, give your bank balance a breather by trying out some of the many smaller – well, less massive – venues. Head for Bora Bora, Grial and Lío, for starters. ‘Ave it!


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european clubbing cities

top five checking in


berlin, GERMANY

Look no further, techno fans. Forget Detroit, this is your new home. A match for any city in the sleep avoidance stakes, the German capital certainly caters to all musical tastes, but there’s no denying that techno is still where Berlin’s real love lies. Berghain, often topping ‘world’s best club’ lists, is the obligatory first stop. Also head for the Watergate Club, and don’t miss Weekend for the sensational sunrise views.

Photos: Facebook; Getty


barcelona, spain

Like everything else about the Catalan city, Barcelona’s clubbing scene is proud of doing things its own way. Oh, and going to bed late. Really late. Venues vary from Balearic-style beach clubs to basement caverns more humid than the Amazon. Top picks include the industrial-style warehouse Razzmatazz, open-air glamour at La Terrrazza and underground sweatbox the Macarena Club. Be prepared to only get started around 2am. Prepare like a local and get your siesta in.


belgrade, SERBIA

Seeing red in Lima

Always cosmopolitan despite its troubled past, Belgrade has really come of age in recent years, becoming a city that’s not just the Serb capital, but what many consider Europe’s capital of cool. With cheap drinks, a dance-crazy population brought up on illegal raves and a genuine live for the moment attitude that’s a hangover from the war days, fun is not hard to find here. Try to check out one of the floating river clubs, or ‘splavs’, such as Sound or Klub 20/44.


amsterdam, netherlands

The ‘Dam isn’t just about hanging out with your bud Mary-Jane. If you can escape the coffee shops, you’ll find a vibrant, varied and wild clubbing scene. In a country that produced the likes of Tiësto and Armin van Buuren, trance is understandably massive, but you’ll also hear plenty of techno, deep house and hip-hop. Find out if God is a DJ at former church Paradiso, discover what’s big at one-time newspaper printers Trouw or catch the superstars play a set at Escape. AIR and Bitterzoet are also worth a look.

flying dog overview Having started out with one small Lima hostel at the turn of the century, the Flying Dog crew, now with a mini-empire of budget accommodation spread across four Peruvian cities, are clearly doing something right. The capital, Lima, remains their heartland and a trio of Flying Dog properties can be found surrounding Lima’s atmospheric Kennedy Park, in the upmarket, central suburb of Miraflores. The beach is just a few blocks away, while stacks of bars, cafés and shops are right on your doorstep. Brilliantly run, the Dogs’ have extra friendly staff, and even throw in a decent (if small) free breakfast at a café overlooking the park. Book into their Hostel B&B if you’re looking for a party, while their Backpackers Hostel is probably the quietest option. rooms Modern and clean with plenty to please those with a keen eye for design. If the budget isn’t too tight, go for the £27 premium double en suite rooms which have fantastic park views. bill please Dorm beds cost from £7pn, doubles £17pn.

Diez Canseco 117, Miraflores, Lima, Peru



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Top draw: the Atacama desert is Chile's main tourist attraction

JAMES INGHAM Senior Marketing Manager Intrepid Travel


Q I fly into Santiago on October 29 and am looking to go from Santiago to Cusco (to do the Inca Trail) before flying out of Lima on November 25. I want to see as much as possible on the way to Cusco and perhaps get a beach break for a few days. Where do you recommend? Julie, via email A On the route from Santiago to Cusco you will

READERS’ TIPS ON THAILAND ... AND RELAX A Thai massage is a must and they will still massage your neck if you ask for a foot massage ;) And no, two chillis does not make it a mild dish. Gina McCormack, via email



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pass some of the most stellar attractions both Chile and Peru have to offer. Firstly, I would recommend spending a few days in Santiago, where you can indulge in world-class seafood and cultural highlights such as the 18th-century cathedral Metropolitana. Next, head towards Chile’s rugged coastline. Just two hours by bus will bring you to the bohemian city of Valparaíso, where you'll find cobbled

squares and quirky buildings, much like a South American version of Lisbon. Continue your journey by bus along the Chilean coastline. Stop off at the laidback beach town of La Serena, and nearby Coquimbo for a great coastal nightlife spot. Further north, you’ll find Bahia Inglesa. With a long white sand beach and clear turquoise waters, it's easy to see why this is one of Chile’s most popular beaches. Finish by heading inland to the Atacama Desert, where you can try biking, sand boarding and horse riding in the out-of-this-world landscape. Then hop on a bus from San Pedro (the closest settlement to Atacama) to Iquique where you can sample some great surf breaks before crossing the Peruvian border. Once you've crossed into Peru, if you have time, visit the world’s largest high altitude lake, Titicaca.

What's the one piece of kit you couldn't do without, whatever the trek? A pair of comfortable, worn-in boots. Wear them on the plane, because everything else is replaceable if your luggage goes missing, but worn-in boots are not. Must-do trek that's off the beaten path? Mount Toubkal in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. Trekking Toubkal in winter, when the mountains are snow-capped, is challenging but you’ll be rewarded with stunning views from the summit, stretching from the Sahara to the Atlantic Ocean. Most common mistake when trekking? There’s nothing to be gained by trying to rush ahead of the group. Just pace yourself and enjoy it.

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Fountain of fire: watch Mount Stromboli erupt


Stromboli italy

Remote: the island’s white-wash villages and (below) narrow roads


GETTING GETTINGTHERE THERE Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx You can reach Stromboli by ferry from Sicily or Naples. The easiest point of departure is from Milazzo on Sicily, where ferries or hydrofoils get you there in between three and six hours. Prices from around £35 return.


Active: the vantage point after (left) a long hike up

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Into the inferno Try trekking an active volcano and coming face-to-face with molten lava on the Mediterranean’s remote island of Stromboli Words ANDREW TAYLOR

A thin trail of smoke rises in silence from the crater. I’m on my back, floating on the warm Mediterranean tide just off the island of Stromboli. While it’s peaceful down here, up there unseen molten lava is bursting skywards. I’ve only seen lava on documentaries and disaster films before, so I can safely say I’m pretty nervous about the prospect of coming face-to-face with the stuff. Looking back at the island while swimming offshore, however, is magical. Mount Stromboli, one of Italy’s three active volcanoes, sticks up on the horizon in the shape of an incisor. It’s a perfectly volcano-shaped volcano. It’s also one of the most active in the world. In fact, every night on this island off the northern coast of Sicily, you’re basically guaranteed a spectacular light show of burning orange. These continual eruptions give the island its nickname, ‘Lighthouse of the Mediterranean’. I’m staying in the main village – also called Stromboli. Unsurprisingly, for a village clinging to the edge of a volcano, the streets are steep – real steep. The hodgepodge of white-washed buildings means that roads are just wide enough for the rusty three-wheeled electric carts that trundle up and down packed with daily supplies (and with local kids hitching a ride on the back). Eventually, I’m forced to haul myself out of the warm sea and head towards the offices of Magmatrek, where I’ve booked a tour to Stromboli’s summit, knowing full well it will bring me up close with the blistering lava. As I stroll along, I realise that even though this tiny island is remote, it’s still very much Italian. I see impeccably dressed waiters dishing out perfect espressos and sugary Sicilian treats, such as sweet ricotta and pistachio-stuffed cannoli. But, alas, there is no time for me to indulge – the group of hikers is gathering. A young Canadian guy, Jamie, is getting ready for the walk as well. He peers upwards at the monster we’re preparing to conquer. “Look at that…” he says, pointing at the tiny figures making their way up the steep mountain trail, “…that’s going to be us.” Our Magmatrek guide lives and breathes the volcano and respects it accordingly, taking eager travellers up every day of the week. He hands out yellow and red hard hats to everyone. Yellow helmets are for the group that will trek up first – the people he has deemed to be the fittest and most able.

I look down and in my hands is a bright yellow helmet. This is momentarily flattering, but also means I will have to keep up with some pretty serious, seasoned-looking climbers. Our yellow-helmeted group departs first, snaking up the small path away from the town. The incline of the dusty, rocky track increases the further up we go. As we climb, the detail of the land beneath becomes harder to make out, until the waves on the sea are no longer visible and the ocean looks like a perfectly flat slate of marble.

A demonic fountain of red-hot liquid erupts

Before we even reach the crater, we can hear it – eruptions booming like waves crashing against rocks. In total it takes about five hours to reach the summit. ››

Bird’s eye view: the smoking volcano


The guided treks are perfectly timed to reach the top at sunset. The sky steadily turns orange and an evening mist settles over the sea below. Other Aeolian islands, Vulcano and Lipari, peek up through said mist in the distance. We are looking down upon the volcanic crater from our safe vantage point on the summit. Plumes of dirty smoke explode upwards every few minutes. I feel the rumbling first – frightening and incredibly loud, like a jet engine roar. Members of my group look at each other nervously. We can’t tell which of the many vents below is getting ready to explode. Suddenly, from the black crater, a demonic fountain of redhot liquid earth erupts. The other hikers and I gasp in awe – then, after a moment, break into applause and cheers. There is a familiar hiss and more red molten earth bursts from another vent on Stromboli’s charred crater – it sprays into the air, met with the camera flashes of our group. It’s an exhilarating, impressive sight. There aren’t many places where eruptions such as these can be witnessed in

relative safety. All the same, I check that my yellow helmet is fixed properly, just to be sure. We then descend in the dark of night, guided by the flashlights attached to our helmets. Sliding down scree fields, we arrive back in Piazza San Vincenzo in the village in no time. I grab a beer in the piazza with Canadian Jamie. We share a certain look on our faces – a look that has been plastered on us since reaching the summit. It is dumb-struck awe mixed with the trace of a budding addiction – a desire to head back up the volcano and experience the raw power of nature again as soon as possible. ❚ You can only reach the summit of the volcano if accompanied by a professional guide. Magmatrek runs group tours from around £23pp. Must be booked one week in advance. A good level of fitness is recommended.


NEXT WEEK Plovdiv: TNT explores Bulgaria’s undiscovered second city




With jaw dropping views out over the sea, Ritrovo Ingrid is a great spot to grab a cheap bite to eat or drink before heading on a guided mountain trek. Pizzas from around £8. (Piazza San Vincenzo)

It’s a steep trek up the side of the island, but L’Osservatorio (above right) is worth it for the views and the pizza: you can see erupting lava glowing at night. Bring a flashlight for the dark walk back down an old goat path – there are no streetlights. Affordable meals at around £20 for a main and wine. (Salvatore De Losa, tel. 0039 90 98 63 60)

A pricier option, Ristorante Punta Lena offers a wide selection of local seafood. Find it along the waterfront from the ferry terminal. Main courses range from around £25-£35 and it’s recommended you book ahead. (Via Marina Ficogrande, tel. 0039 90 98 62 04)


Pardes Wine Bar is located in a peaceful garden with a great view of the volcano. Perfect for a happy hour glass of wine. (Via Vittorio Emanuele 81)

Bar Ingrid is an open-air affair that’s always buzzing and comes with gorgeous views out to sea. (Via Cincotta Mario, tel. 0039 90 98 60 83)

La Tartana ramps it up in the evening with dancing out on the terrace. If you’ve been hiking, make sure you scrub up nice, as the crowd makes an effort. The place to go for a cocktail. (Via Marina, tel. 0039 90 98 60 25)


On an island known for vacationing movie stars, reasonably priced accommodation isn’t easy to find. Hotel Ossidiana is one of the more affordable options. It’s also conveniently located near the ferry terminal. Double rooms start at around £60pn.

Il Giardino Segreto (above left) is a small, six-bedroom B&B that promises either mountain or sea views from every room. Average room price is around £104pn.

On a more secluded side of the island, Hotel Villagio Stromboli (left) is blessed with serene sea views. Picture a grand white-washed building and gorgeous sunrises in a quiet location. Average nightly price (high season) for a double room with sea-view is £120pn.

Photos: Thinkstock; Flkr: Ginger Phil, Johannes Zielcke, Simone Pelliconi, Rita Alexandrea, Navnetmitt, Luigi Strano




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Rock steady: get to grips with the limestone crags of Mae On Valley


Chiang Mai



GETTING THERE Return flights from London Heathrow to Chiang Mai, via Bangkok, cost from ÂŁ640 with EVA Air.

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Cliff hanger Forget relaxing on Thailand’s beaches. We go and get the adrenalin pumping with a rock climbing break in the north’s tangled jungles Words lucy winstanley norris

WHEN TO GO: November to February is the best time to avoid The view across the Mae On Valley is potential places where I can re-position my the rains or baking heat, but June spectacular, even for northern Thailand, fingers and feet: like magic, ledges and small and July – the beginning of the where waves of lush tropical jungle rising protuberances emerge from the cliff, which rainy season – can be a great time into misty hills are an everyday sight. But I grab gratefully. to visit the north, and August to there’s something about this vista that is I’m just starting to think I’m getting the September is blissfully quiet. especially knee-trembling: the fact that I hang of it when, after about 20 minutes’ climbing, I realise I’m at the top of the am 40ft up, clinging to a sheer rock face with CURRENCY: £1 = THB50 route. Satisfaction soaks in and I pause for a (Thai baht). nothing but a rope for reassurance should minute, hugging the rock with my forearms my fingertips fail me. ACCOMMODATION: Aoi More significant than the rope, it suddenly Garden Home is within the Old City, for balance, and turn my head to look down. I can see two small blobs at the foot of the occurs to me, is the knot, which begins to equally convenient for backpacker rock – the turquoise one holding the end gnaw at my mind – did I fasten it tightly bars and Chiang Mai’s ancient of the rope must be my husband. I silently enough? Will it hold me if I fall? wats. The colourful garden is a thank him for not letting go. Truth be told, at the beginning of the day great place to enjoy breakfast. I’m also grateful for the season: coming to I had not expected to be supported at such Dorm beds start from £3pn. Thailand in August – their monsoon season heights by a rope I had tied myself. Enrolling – means fewer tourists. Instead of up to six for a day’s beginner rock climbing course in SEE: people per course, there is just the two of us, the northern city of Chiang Mai, I anticipated which feels more like private tuition. much in the way of balancing exercises and rope-tying It’s not the first time this trip I’ve been glad to have practice, with a little climbing in the afternoon, if I was good missed peak season. In the south, we’d stayed on an island and impressed the instructor with my figure-of-eights. called Koh Hai where, for most of the week, we’d been the In fact, once we’d been shown our way around a rope only visitors to a quiet resort on the western coast. As a and harness and taught how to belay a climber, we found result, the beach was deserted and our bungalow was hugely ourselves at the foot of what appeared to be a mighty tall discounted. Although the sun sets earlier and there were cliff, squinting against the sun at the faraway summit. periodic tropical storms, it was a price we were more than This brevity is essential, I later realise: there’s very little happy to pay for the relative peace and quiet. you can learn about rock climbing from ground level. To Coming to the north, the weather is less dramatic than progress at all, there’s nothing for it but to put feet and in the south, or in Bangkok, where mid-afternoon brought hands on solid rock and start upwards. torrential rainstorms that thundered down suddenly between And so, after stepping forward (well, being shoved by my bouts of glorious sunshine. With its mountainous topography, husband when the instructor asked who wants to go first), the north is fresher, greener, and generally cooler. I gingerly grasp an outlying lump of rock that appears to This is one of the things that makes Mae On such a perfect be firmly attached to the rest of the cliff face. Jabbing the spot for climbing. While many enthusiasts head to the south opposite foot at a narrow shelf about three inches high, – to Railay or Tonsai in Krabi, where white karsts rise out of I step off the ground. a clear aquamarine sea – for me, the vast expanse of Our instructor, Mario, shouts words of encouragement as untamed forest is unbeatable. I scramble for purchase on the craggy rock. “Good job!” he Rising out of the foothills of the Himalayan mountains, calls up enthusiastically when I stretch beyond my comfort Mae On’s limestone crags loom out of the foliage somewhat zone to clip in a carabiner. abruptly. Known as Crazy Horse Buttress (we’re told the rock As I reach higher, and the hand-holds become shallower formation resembles a horse’s head, though I can’t see the ›› and seemingly invisible to the naked eye, he calls out


likeness), the site we’re at is home to a vibrant community of Thais, expats and travellers of all ages – as well as Buddhist monks who come here to meditate in the caves in peace. But unlike many other places we’ve visited in Thailand, the division between tourists and Thais seems not to matter – rather than foreigners, here we are simply novices. As we make our way higher up the buttress, towards a massive cave we are planning to rappel (abseil) into, we pass a young Thai woman. “Where’re you going?” she asks, smiling. When we tell her, she looks genuinely excited. “You’ll have a great time!” she promises, although looking at the route she’s just scaled, I suspect the drop is nothing to her. When we arrive at the precipice of the cave, I’m slightly disappointed. The mouth is a small opening between a handful of scattered rocks and I can barely see into the darkness from the bright sunshine outside. But by now I’m more confident with the rope – and with my ability to control it. I lower myself down just the way Mario has told me. “That stuff you see in movies, when they just whiz down the rope, that’s just for the movies,” he says, when I ask about the dramatic ‘commando’ drops in action films. “It’s just irresponsible in real life.” When there’s no more rock to walk down, just vast echoey space beneath me, I ease into the harness and observe my surroundings. The size of the cave alone is awe-inspiring – at least 80ft tall and wider than I can see. A larger mouth, higher than the ingress we used, lets in light that illuminates the dripping roof and crystal pools below. There is a sense of being entirely alone here, though many climbers must have passed through. In part, this is due to the ‘leave no trace’ mantra that is keenly observed throughout the entire site. 70

It’s an aspect of the wider current of ethical responsibility at Crazy Horse. The company running our course, Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures, has spearheaded a ‘green’ movement. The toilets are compostable, and plastic is frowned upon. The company is also on the warpath against the ubiquitous water bottles that blight many of Thailand’s beauty spots. Instead, they have installed water stations throughout Chiang Mai which, for a few pence, will refill empty bottles.

Take a break: you can also relax in the jungle around Chiang Mai

Photos: Thinkstock; Flkr: Gina & Kiki, Richard Pluck, Adventure Center Chiang Mai; TNT; Lucy Winstanley Norris, Mikkelz

Clockwise: monks at a temple in Chiang Mai; the writer on the rocks; check out Chiang Mai’s wats; hanging in Mae On

It’s the first time we’ve encountered such environmental awareness in Thailand but, in a way, it’s a natural place for such a movement to start. The climbers at Crazy Horse have a deep-rooted concern for the site and its natural beauty. One man more than any other embodies this sentiment. Loung Nan, known locally as Uncle Loon, is the informal caretaker of the site. From trimming unruly foliage to assembling thatched bamboo platforms where climbers can shelter from the sun, he is behind much of the site’s ‘landscaping’: the ladders, bridges and scaffolds that lead between the different areas of Crazy Horse. As a result, there is no sense here, as there is elsewhere in the north, that some fundamental element of Thai culture is being co-opted or exploited for the sake of tourist coffers. By the final climb, we’ve learned to stay close to the rock; that with careful balancing, the smallest of mantles will

I’m physically and mentally exhausted

suffice to leverage our weight towards a better grip. The distance between hand-holds is greater on the later routes and I have to stretch further, with less to grip onto. At times only the very tips of my toes are touching the wall as I lean towards ever scarcer, and ever smaller, ledges and outcrops. My fingers and forearms scream with the strain, so rarely put on them. By the time I reach the top, I am physically and mentally exhausted. But looking out makes it all worthwhile. The miles of bamboo forest roll out beneath me like an emerald carpet, broken only by the sky in the distance. Unlike some of the other spectacular vistas I’ve seen in Thailand, this view I feel I’ve earned. ❚ Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures offers one-day courses from £56pp. Also offers caving and bouldering courses of varying lengths

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Post your message at or email from somewhere else with two fuckwit political sides. Hi, I’m Rick from Syria (not Straya). WRONG ANSWER: Andrew, the casual touching has to stop. Trivia the other night was pure awkward for me with your constant need for body contact when we looked at the same picture sheet. Totally unnecessary. I want to be your friend but this has to stop, or I’ll have to tell you the truth about romance in our little group (clue, it

I’LL BE MISSING YOU: I don’t have a funny story to post, just a soppy one. Going to miss this great city of London. Nearly seven great years have come to an end but I’m sure Canberra has remained the nerve centre of action and I’ll slot back in nicely. What, with the massive shopping malls, roundabouts galore and £35 for a schooner, get in! It’s not all doom and gloom though as my beautiful wife will be joining me in

Things the Queen should do before she dies

#546 Break records by signing to Real Madrid for £1bn. She’s got mad skills

involves your sister). Sandra TO CONFUSED: Marty, I know exactly why you’re here. You were doing sweet FA back home and rather than get off your arse and make something happen you thought you’d hide over the other side of the world. Here you can tell them whatever you want, and even the truth sounds more impressive because of where you are. Failing that, you can leave Skype off if you’re in a particularly shitty mood. That or you got jilted by a chick. Or both. Just enjoy the pints and roll with it. Other Marty

six weeks. Hands off ‘Hairy Dave’ and ‘right hole’ bloke. You too, gonorrhoea guy from Clapham. Me no likey itchy pecker! Sweetor FAG DRAG: Cheers Dag for being the most conspicuous ‘non smoker’ out there. Just because you choose not to smoke in front of anyone, but close your door slightly, doesn’t mean you are fooling anyone. We all know you haven’t quit. Jase SOILING MYSELF: Gardening is the new rock ‘n’ roll, totally. There is no greater expression than cultivating your own food. Even if it has to be in a little shelf trough

hanging out the window. Any other newly found green fingers out there? Aidan TRENDOID INVASION: Hipster chic has come to Wimbledon, god help us all. To the guy who I spotted outside the flower stall at the station last week, with cut off trousers, a beard that would make Abe Lincoln jealous and a pork pie hat – you had strayed too far south and too far west! Back to Shoreditch please! Grace FAMILY AFFAIRS: Kat, I cannot believe your behaviour at the She Bu reunion. You are married with three children. Rick is married with two children. And yet you were throwing yourself at him before even the first pint was sunk. To go on about the good times you had on the pool table in his basement 10 YEARS AGO in front of everyone was just desperate. He texted me to say he left early cos you were pissing him off. Think of the children! Lazza LAWFUL IMPEDIMENT?: Mary, I think you might not want to be getting married. Namely because your groom-to-be spent Lisa’s wedding telling my girlfriend that he wants to explore his feelings for the guy he wrote a song about last summer and he’s fed up of only doing it in one position with you. And then he tried it on with my girlfriend. There are clearly some issues here. Tad UNLUCKY 2013: Matt, I would just like you to know that you ruined MY ENTIRE FUCKING YEAR. I’m going to tell Jack what we did on NYE. Phil

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MAN IN THE MANKINI: You were wearing one of those Boratstyle, all-over lycra thong suits in fetching lime green and a big curly mullet wig. We had a snog in Clapham whilst waiting for a taxi. I wasn’t nearly drunk enough for such an encounter and I don’t think you were either. See you at the Grand next weekend? Meet me by the bar downstairs at about 10pm for more of the same. Maggie FAREWELL, FRIEND: Thanks for being a great housemate Andy, and doing the washing up even when all the the coffee cups went mouldy and the leftovers grew legs and started making a break for it. We’ll miss you loads, even your bonkers string of ‘girlfriends’. Hopefully we’ll see you next time you fly back to London town for a visit. Love from the Hammersmith Goldhawk Massive SEXY SNORTER: To the girl I met in Hoxton on Friday after work – snorting tequila from a teaspoon is probably pretty dumb but I’ve gotta say you deserve respect for giving it a go several times. I didn’t get your number but hope to see you at The Queen up on the roof again next weekend. Charlie B NEW CITIZEN: It was nice being one of you Aussies, but after this weekend I’m pretty sure I’m going to be too embarrassed to admit it – the choice of two such epic twats as PM makes me feel like someone’s chopped off our heads and shat down our throat (cheers FMJ). So instead of admitting I’m Aussie, I’m perfecting a new accent that will bring pity for me being



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