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  • Oxford Prospect is a current affairs, lifestyle, art, culture, fashion, sport, entertainment, technology, geopolitics, policy and business news magazine based in Oxford.The Oxford region is famous for its universities, research, advanced technology and history.
  • Launched in July 2001, is a provider of comprehensive and reliable weather information across the UK. Covering 3,000+ postcodes in the UK and 16,000+ UK cities, also provides information on activities surrounding people’s lives and interests such as health, travel, or recreation. A wide-range of innovative weather maps are available on the site including radar (rain) and satellite (clouds) data. is partnered with, as well as with Yahoo! UK & Ireland. The mobile edition of is available at
  • Welcome to Oxontime! - the home of Real-Time Information for Oxfordshire's bus users. Our aim is to help improve your experience of using the bus network across and beyond the county. Many bus services are now equipped for automatic satellite-tracking and this is used to predict their arrival at stops along their route in 'real-time'.
  • Experienced Polish English and English Polish freelance translator, also available to translate Russian into Polish and English and vice versa. Oxford Translations has been been providing high quality, professional translation services to a wide range of satisfied clients from around Europe and throughout the world. High quality translations from English to Polish, Polish to English Quality translations for a wide range of document types. Specialisms include:- Business & financial translation - Literary translation - Marketing translation
  • Professional linguistic services for your company
  • AED ELECTRICAL SERVICES is a well established electrical contractor and proven leaders in the field of electrical installations. Our expert team of technicians and electrical installers can manage any project from small domestic installations to large commercial/industrial installations.
  • Oxford based event and potrait photographer.
  • Headington cycle repair Bob Williams Oxford Bob Williams Cycle Repairs in Headington - Company Profile, Phone Number, Address, Postcode, Map and more
  • Headington’s Coco Noir is Oxfordshire’s sole provider of fresh gourmet Belgium chocolate delights. Chocolate lovers of every preference find something to satisfy and excite their taste buds.
  • Copywritng: copywriter tamsin oxford High quality copywriting is essential to any business. Copy that delivers the right message to the right market is the ideal ...
  • For information of place to hire in and around the historic city of Oxford.all types of corporate and private occasions including lectures, presentations, drinks receptions, dinners and wedding. Venue Hire for Conferences, Meetings, Events and Exhibitions
  • PMS Oxford is a full-service custom builder located in the heart of Oxfordshire. Blending traditional high quality craftsmanship with the latest in technological advancements, we can renovate your home or even build you a new one to incorporate all your needs and wishes.
  • Nicholas Newman Professional freelance copy writing specialist for brochures, websites, company profiles and other business communications. Copy Writing and Editing or
  • Welcome to Handyman Oxford, We offer the following services: Bathroom & Kitchen Refurbs. Cupboards & Shelving Built Decking. Drive Ways & Paths Laid, Hedge Trimming Low Maintenance Garden Design. Artificial Lawns Laid. Painting & Decorating. Plumbing. UPVC Windows & Doors Fitted. Steamed up Double Glazed Units replaced. Sash Window Repairs.
  • Hinges - Handles - Keeps - Locks to BS3621 - Insurance approved) Locking cylinders / mechanisums - Patio door rollers - security upgrades - timber rot repairs - Broken - misted D.G.U.'s
  • Sole practitioner specialisng in minerals, waste and renewable energy projects throughout the U.K. Also providing personal advice on all other non-specialist planning matters.
  • The scheme aims to provide customers with details of responsible traders and businesses, who operate in a legal, fair and honest way .
  • MEZCZYZNI & KOBIETY 8 lat doswiadczenia w profesjonalnych zakladach fryzjerskich w krakowie MEZCZYZNI Strzyzenie £8 -£10 Koloryzacja £10 - £20 KOBIETY STRZYZENIE + MODELOWANIE Krotkie wlosy £15 - £20 Dlugie wlosy £20 - £25 Modelowanie £8 - £15 KOLORYZACJA (PASEMKA) Czesc glowy £20 -£30 Cala glowa £40 -£55 KOLORYZACJA (JEDEN KOLOR) Krotkie wlosy £20 - £30 Dlugie wlosy £35 -£45 OPINIA KLIENTKI: Pani iwona jest profesjonalna fryzjerka, ktora umie dobrac fryzure do ksztaltu twarzy i jednoczesnie spelnia wszelkie zyczenia klientek.bardzo dobrze obcina wlosy, modeluje i koloruje. Nigdy nie zawiodlam sie na jej radach w sprawie pielegnacji wlosow w domu. Polecam pania iwone wszystkim moim przyjaciolom! Jola r. Oxford,20.10.2012
  • Electrical services in Oxford, Oxfordshire D E C Oxford Ltd are an electrical services company with over 30 years of experience in the business.
  • Looking for a job in Oxford or the surrounding area, here is a list of over 30 job finding agencies.of Oxford Employment Agency.
  • Savvy builds strong, long lasting relationships, taking the time to ensure project planning is all encompassing prior to commencement on site, using our vast ...Savvy works in a wide range of properties including domestic, leisure, educational and commercial, as well as Oxfordshire’s leading businesses that entrust Savvy with beautiful historic buildings.
  • Our selection of products offers something for the whole family and all budgets, from gadgets, travel, fashion and music accessories, to interactive books.
  • Convenient for meeting friends and waiting for the coach to London, Heathrow, Stansted, Gatwick and the bus to Wheatley, Thame and Aylesbury.
  • Full service marketing agencies ... of marketing solutions and communication services including Advertising, PR, Direct
  • We provide a solution for those jobs in the home, garden or office that do require a builder or handyman.
  • Lorenz Design: Website Design & Production. Effective, stylish and affordable websites that will deliver growth to your business. Each website is created to ...
  • We at EU Commercial Agents Ltd are import/export agents. What we do is act as an intermediary between providers of domestic goods and services in one country who are seeking access to foreign markets for their goods and services. We act as matchmakers, finding on behalf of manufacturers and service providers in one country, buyers in another country and vice a versa. We act as your intermediary providing a solid connection, and business relationship between suppliers in one country, with customers in another.
  • This month, NS&I’s Agent Million, who is responsible for personally delivering the good news each month to the Premium Bonds jackpot winner, distributed the 280th £1 million prize to a man from Cumbria with £30,000 invested.
  • All the latest finance news, including what's happening in the economy, companies, share and money markets and how you can make the most of your personal ...
  • For the latest health related news and services in the Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire area.
  • Reading, 1 May 2013: Medicare Reading Clinic has just recruited Dr Bartłomiej Pasierbski, to its dental team. He is a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) and is accredited with the British General Dental Council. Dr Pasierbski will offer a comprehensive range of the latest dental treatments and services. These include dental fillings, x-rays, root canal work, dental implants, crowns and bridges, as well as cosmetic bridges in his modern family friendly clinic.
  • Przychodnia Medicare Reading - Polscy Lekarze, profesjonalna, nowoczesna obsługa medyczna oraz nowoczesna aparatura diagnostyczna w Reading! PEDIATRA, RODZINNY, GINEKOLOG, STOMATOLOG, DERMATOLOG, USG/ EKG Zakres naszych usług to podstawowa oraz specjalistyczna polska opieka medyczna, pełna diagnostyka medyczna, rehabilitacja, polski dentysta, polski pediatra, polski ginekolog, pełen zakres badań laboratoryjnych, USG 3D i EKG, jak i również wizyty domowe. With an office in Reading, Medicare Reading Ltd provides medical services to patients throughout Reading. Set up in 2011 the company has recent experience in the surgery market.
  • Many people could deal with far more minor health ailments at home, according to a survey of over 100 GPs undertaken for Self Care Week (12th-18th November 2012) by the Self Care Forum. In this (albeit limited) survey, 98% of GP respondents believe that patients could take more responsibility for their own health.
  • Injuries from sports, work, DIY, repetitive overuse, muscle pain, or arthritis can hinder ability to work and play for days, weeks, and even months. That is why, Medicare Reading Clinic, now offers the services of Stefan Borowy, an experienced and highly qualified Senior Physiotherapist who, with a combination of physiotherapy and rehabilitation exercises, seeks to speed up the process of healing, repair and recovery.
  • Medicare Reading’s Oxford Road Clinic was opened just over a year ago by four trained Doctors. This new private medical practice, employing the latest medical equipment and highly trained staff has proved a magnet for people from Berkshire and Oxfordshire looking for good quality, patient- focused affordable healthcare for themselves and their family
  • Much of this gardening will include strenuous physical activities, that an Olympic sports person would be familiar with. In a recent survey, 80% of Ontario chiropractors reported that working in the garden was one of the most common sources of neck and back pain.
  • If you are experiencing problems with your feet, then you will most likely need to see a Chiropodist /Podiatrist, Richard Barnes Chiropody is just that, with years of experience in foot health care. You may need routine foot care for hard and dry skin, corns callus, thickened nails or corrective surgery for ingrown nails.
  • Diabetes can limit the blood supply to the feet and cause a loss of feeling ( Neuropathy ). This can mean foot injuries do not heal well,and the lack of feeling means you may not notice your foot is sore or injured. If you have Diabetes, you’re 15 times more likely to have a limb amputated due to Gangrene.
  • Vicania Beauty are based in Abingdon, Oxfordshire and owned by Anna Jagus. Anna trained as a professional beauty therapist with Vellp Professional College in Poland, which specialises solely in beauty therapies and cosmetics and obtained their Certyfikacja Systemu Zarządzania Jakością. Besides providing most beauty treatments, Anna's aim is help you make the most of your physical appearance and more importantly help you feel less stressed and more confident about yourself. Any beauty treatment can be tailored specifically to your needs, whilst taking into account your skin type and condition, age and requirements. As professionally trained in the appliance of cosmetics and in skin diagnosis, Anna may frequently give advice and if required, sell skincare products to match your personal needs.
  • Hi, my name is Jolanta. I have been so impressed by the results of my last cosmetic treatment, where Bielenda cosmetics were used. I immediately contacted Bielenda Cosmetics Company and asked them to send me their products to review for this article. They sent me more samples than I could use in my every day routine.
  • Medicare Reading Celebrates yet another year of success
  • Medicare of Reading , announces the successful launch of a second clinic, in Slough. Since opening in May, Medicare Slough has provided a range of medical services to local Polish residents whose positive feedback has been most encouraging. The clinic’s aim is to provide affordable, quality private care, at times convenient for busy Polish families living and working in Slough and further afield in London .
  • Nicholas Newman Energy Journalist Nicholas Newman is an experienced freelance journalist, researcher, market analyst, consultant, editor and copywriter I am an experienced journalist, editor and copywriter. I write for magazines and websites as well as industry journals, company publications and international media. I cover many areas including energy, business, property, transport, research, innovationand clean technology. However, my specialist area is the energy sector where I havedeep expertise and experience in the related technology, geopolitics, markets, environmental issues and policies involved in the global energy industry business. Having worked as a writer and an editor, I have an extensive contacts book comprising experienced and professional journalists and top industry connections across a variety of sectors.No job is too big or too small and I consider both long-term and one-off projects. Do you need an energy journalist with an excellent track record of providing copy for the energy sector? Do you need relevant and engaging copy for your website? Nicholas Newman is a freelance journalist based in Oxford that can provide a in depth grounding in energy writing and a sound understanding of the current energy markets.
  • I am an Oxford based journalist, editor and copywriter. My customers include both corporate and media clients. Nicholas Newman is available for commissions on a wide variety of work. Nicholas is editor of Oxfordprospect magazine, a monthly regional business news magazine.
  • Nicholas is an Oxford based energy journalist, editor and copy writer. His customers include both corporate and media clients. Nicholas Newman is available for commissions on a wide variety of work. He also provides corporate journalism and editorial services for business.
  • A look at the latest theatre, drama, art, music,travel, interviews, exhibitions in and around Oxford.
  • Europe is facing an existential crisis with the integration project unravelling by the day. This seminar will discuss various aspects of the crisis focussing on geopolitics, democracy, ideology, economy, culture, institutions, governance and foreign policy. Although the issues to be tackled are of a broader intellectual nature, we will try to look for practical political solutions for addressing them through a series of seminars gathering academics and practitioners together.
  • The European Studies Centre at St Antony's College is dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of Europe. It has particular strengths in politics, history and international relations, but also brings together economists, sociologists, social anthropologists and students of culture. We see ourselves as a meeting place and intellectual laboratory for the whole community of those interested in European Studies at the University of Oxford.
  • Oxford-Institute-for-Energy-Studies-Seminars.html
  • Zapraszamy dzieci Polskiej Szkoły Sobotniej w Oksfordzie do udziału w Konkursie Recytatorskim . Będziemy recytować wiersze Jana Brzechwy. Oto trzy z nich, które podajemy dla zachęty. Przeczytajcie wybrane przez siebie wiersze, nauczcie się ich na pamięć i pięknie wyrecytujcie - najpierw przy klasie, potem w szkole, a następnie może w Londynie?
  • Reuters Institute seminars “The business and practice of journalism”
  • It is absolutely buzzing with excitement and the high quality of the speakers and range of books being publicized is better than ever before. You never know who you will meet. I have spotted a whole lot of famous writers and at one event I found myself sitting next to Margaret Drabble (who is talking on Friday).
  • This summer, Experience Oxfordshire launched a brand new campaign to celebrate Oxfordshire’s fantastic natural environment. As part of the campaign, Experience Oxfordshire has put together the Top 10 Outdoors Things to do in Oxfordshire - have a look and get inspired for your next weekend break!
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  • Millets are expecting a busy Christmas period, with their seasonal decorations and tableware department open in the garden centre, a Christmas craft fair and food marquee also opening in November.
  • Crosskase Fusion laptop bag offers 3-in-1 compact design with plenty of pockets and protection from the elements. Designed to protect and adapt for everyday life and commuting, the Crosskase Fusion bag is deceptively spacious, and boasts an inspired urban design which features three bag styles within one compact package.
  • New styles mingle with favourite pieces in the winter Lifestyle collection. Fits are feminine and flattering. Details are practical and ingenious, inspired by motorcycling, military or country pursuits. Barbour’s signature quilts and waxes are employed playfully, even unexpectedly. Popular jacket designs are reworked in new lengths and fabrics, beautifully complemented by a full range of shirts and knitwear.
  • Barbour, the clothing brand famed for its durable, protective and stylish outerwear, has introduced an exciting new selection of knitwear pieces to its Autumn Winter collection this season. The pieces, which feature across both Barbour’s Lifestyle and Heritage collections, offer stand-out layering options for the colder seasons ahead.
  • Barbour takes pleasure in the autumn and winter months, serving a vigorous retort to cold and wet and worse. The Lifestyle range comprises Barbour’s easy pieces. Signature fabrics, shapes and details are relaxed into a stylish collection loaded with favourites for country and town. Winter with a smile on its face. Lifestyle - Country Traveller A sleek and elegant line for the man on the move, internationally or closer to home. The Transport wax jacket uses classic Barbour fabric combinations, but with clean lines, its two side pockets almost invisible. Longer-line coats include the Coater, a winter wax that’s ideal for the office. For more cropped, the sleek and popular Chelsea is offered with a rib collar.
  • Barbour continues to provide must have items for the festival season. Come rain or shine, the Spring Summer 2012 collection offers items which both protect you from the elements and are stylish additions to your festival wardrobe.
  • A selection of Polish Christmas carols for the season. Polskie tradycyjne koledy - zapraszamy do wspolnego spiewania na przedstawieniu Polskiej Szkoly Sobotniej 26 stycznia 2013 roku przy Kosciele Corpus Christi na Headingtonie w Oxfordzie! Wiecej szczegolow
  • With so many different colours, fabrics and sizes, the Healthy Back Bag is versatile and looks fantastic. So, there really is a Healthy Back Bag for everyone...
  • ORGANISED One great feature of Healthy Back Bags is that they are designed to keep wearers organised. Exterior pockets are perfect for a travel card,
loose change, a slim book and umbrella. Inside there is room for a Kindle or a netbook; a magazine, water bottle, keys, purse, gloves, pens...
All conveniently distributed around the bag. All the classic ranges have: Identical pocket configurations, 4 on the outside and 5 or 6 on the inside A key hook and D-ring at the top of the bag Silver lining to make contents more visible SECURE Security is paramount to our HBB users, so we strive to ensure our designs make it difficult for anyone to get to the contents. All
Healthy Back Bags have: A full-length double zip which is always against the back, whichever way the back is worn. If the pulls for the zipper are towards the bottom of the bag then users can access the contents without removing the bag There are 4 or more separate compartments on the outside of the bag which are secured with a zip or velcro DURABLE We carefully select all our fabrics to ensure they will last against the test of time and all types of weather. Our fabrics are: Treated to be water resistant Resistant to general wear and tear
  • With the current proliferation of Zombie movies, it’s probably timely to consider what useful messages are hidden within Zombie movies as a cultural art-form and what we can usefully transfer into the way we lead and manage organizations.
  • It takes less than 30 minutes to get to Watlington from Oxford city centre. You need to catch an express coach to London and get off at the intermediate Lewknor coach stop. Before you arrive at Lewknor it is best book a taxi to pick you up at the Lewknor stop and take you onwards to Watlington. The same applies to London visitors to Watlington The Watlington area is likely to have been settled at an early date, encouraged by the proximity of the Icknield Way. The toponym means "settlement of Waecel's people" and indicates occupation from around the 6th century. A 9th-century charter by Æthelred of Mercia mentions eight 'manses' or major dwellings in Watlington.[2] The Domesday Book of 1086 identified the area as an agricultural community valued at £610.[citation needed] Medieval documents indicate that the modern street plan was in existence in the 14th century, if not earlier. Cochynes-lane (Couching Street), and Brook Street are recorded and the High Street must have had houses.[2]
  • Graham Lowes, marketing director, Oki Systems UK discusses how SMBs can reduce energy consumption, meet green legislations and cut costs, simply by reassessing their print approach - it can be done
  • A team of ten from the retirement planning specialists are aiming to scale 150-metre-long monkey bars, climb over horse jumps and tackle water challenges on ‘the world’s biggest obstacle course’.
  • In my financial career one of the most frequent questions I have been asked by business owners is “where is the cash?” They’ve been trading profitably for a long period but still have a large overdraft! Why?
  • We deliver all the expertise and value of a financial director, with the flexibility and affordability that small/medium businesses need.
  • “I’ve been trading for two years but I don’t know if I’ve made a profit. I’d rather not know.”
  • is pleased to announce that his bespoke and innovative journalism, business research, marketing and copywriting enterprise has attracted new clients this year, including the Economist Intelligence Unit, Achilles, Datamonitor and Alan Charles publishing.
  • Called Discover Eynsham, the community’s first-ever business and retail show is being organised to highlight the wide range of goods, trades and services available in and around the village.
  • Situated in the centre of the medieval city of Oxford, the Grade II listed Examination Schools offers a unique setting for conferences and events of all sizes. With accommodation available in Oxford, including at nearby colleges, and easy access to tourist attractions, restaurants and local public transport links, the Examination Schools is a truly unique conference venue and a fabulous setting for our second B4 Oxfordshire event of 2013
  • Many B2B business owners are passionate about their product or service. They often work extremely hard, but find they don’t get the results they want, need or deserve.
  • I did not know 15 years or so ago when I started to travel the world with my work that I would make so many wonderful friends and learn so much about other cultures and religions. Least of all to find myself a beautiful Indonesian wife. During my travels, the most important thing I have learnt is that despite our different languages, cultures and religions, we all have similar fears, insecurities, hopes and aspirations. It's what it means to be human and I have learnt to respect all people.
  • ICAEW is a world leading professional membership organisation that promotes, develops and supports over 140,000 chartered accountants worldwide. We provide qualifications and professional development, share our knowledge, insight and technical expertise, and protect the quality and integrity of the accountancy and finance profession. As leaders in accountancy, finance and business our members have the knowledge, skills and commitment to maintain the highest professional standards and integrity. Together we contribute to the success of individuals, organisations, communities and economies around the world
  • B4-Members-at-North-Oxford-Garage.html
  • New independent broadcasting, film and television production company launched in Headington Oxford. Aimed to meet the needs of local business in the region. We are known for our flair, originality and attention to detail we bring to our productions.
  • Thank you for joining B4 at the fabulous Bodleian Library last night, we do hope you all enjoyed your evening. For those of you who didn't get the opportuntity to meet Alice Ogilvie or one of the Bodleian Library team and you would like to enquire about hiring the venue for your own events, wedding etc.. Please contact: Bryony McFarlane - Bodleian Libraries - 01865 277 224 or For those of you who wish to become a B4 member or simply upgrade your membership. Please contact: Richard Rosser - B4 Business Magazine - 01865 742 211 or
  • Oxfordshire green business in running for national award 24 April Written by: Agnes Stephens Hemcrete Projects in running for Award of up to £20,000 on 22 May Agnes Stephens Didcot-based green building business Hemcrete Projects has been named as a finalist for the 2014 Ashden Awards, the UK’s leading green energy prize. The winner of the Weston Ashden Award for Sustainable Buildings will be announced at a ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society on 22 May 2014, receiving an award worth up to £20,000.
  • Oxford Polish Association held on 27 April its annual trade fair to promote local businesses in the Oxford region.
  • Victor Newman and Simon Evans led a workshop on acquiring opportunities to acquire and experience a wide repertoire of robust tools and concepts essential to developing building innovation agility in leaders.
  • Corndell-Furniture-Company-Ltd-enters-administration.html
  • Leading-Oxford-law-firms-merge-to-create-Blake-Morgan.html
  • Beim diesjährigen Hamburger Fachforum werden neben Lösungen für einzelne Gebäude auch die Nutzung von nachbarschaftlichen Synergieeffekten und der Aufbau von Versorgungsstrukturen betrachtet
  • The Small Business Butterfly Effect
  • A fifth of UK based businesses regard catalogues as out-dated, despite a third of those that use them crediting 40% of their overall sales as a direct result of them. According to a new report, recently released by a direct marketing specialist, one in five businesses believe catalogues to be out-dated, despite those that used catalogues seeing two fifths of their sales driven via the channel.
  • The latest Oxford sport news from the Oxfordshire area, Oxford United, Rugby, Cricket, Results & Fixtures.
  • For the latest events at museums and galleries in and around Oxford
  • Sandy Nairne, Director, National Portrait Gallery, London, says: ‘I am very pleased that the Churchill family has agreed that this outstanding portrait by William Orpen of Winston Churchill, the nation's greatest 20th century statesman, should now be on public display.’ The National Portrait Gallery has been lent a major portrait of Winston Churchill, a rarely seen life-size painting by William Orpen, one of Britain’s most significant portrait painters and war artists. It goes on display at the Gallery from tomorrow, Thursday 1 November 2012.
  • A striking new portrait of Kevin Spacey as Richard III will be one of several new works by Jonathan Yeo to be included in a major display of the artist’s work at the National Portrait Gallery this September, it was announced today (Wednesday 29 May.)
  • Eurostar, the high-speed passenger service linking the UK with mainland Europe, is renewing its partnership with 22 major museums and galleries across Paris, Brussels, Lille and London to offer Eurostar passengers ‘2 FOR 1’ entry.
  • The British Museum presents its first major exhibition on Vikings in over 30 years, supported by BP, which will open the Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery. The exhibition has been developed with the National Museum of Denmark and the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (National Museums in Berlin) and focuses on the core period of the Viking Age from the late 8th century to the early 11th century.
  • For the latest in music related events including, jazz, classical, pop etc in and around Oxford
  • In 2014 Oxford Lieder presents the UK’s first complete performance of Schubert songs in a unique festival featuring a stellar array of the world’s great singers. During his short life - just 31 years - Schubert created a remarkable body of work in his 650 songs and these will form the heart of the Schubert Project. Around this, the city of Oxford will be buzzing with other music and events that will further illuminate the songs and bring to life the world that Schubert himself inhabited.
  • Stratford Jazz Gig List News March to June 2014
  • Travel and Transport: Latest news, comment and analysis on travel and transport
  • Three key logistics projects will make Calais the number one communications point in Europe, according to officials in the town.
  • “Too many trucks on Europe's roads!” That's the view, albeit a subjective one, held by many car drivers. It is a view backed by the European Commission, which says that a cargo truck plying Europe's roads will currently spend around half of its working life empty - returning from a delivery or travelling to pick up its next shipment.[1]
  • Calais/Leipzig, 26 October 2012 - The start of CargoBeamer’s commercial operations in Europe was marked by a successful test drive from Leipzig (Germany) to Calais (France) today, completing a series of tests proving that CargoBeamer fulfills all technical and operational requirements to run on the European rail network. CargoBeamer is a European transport system consisting of special wagons and terminals with revolutionary cargo handling that allows all non-craneable semi-trailers to be shifted from road to rail. “Freight traffic on European roads is forecasted to grow by 75 percent until 2025, threatening to take the continent’s roads infrastructure on the verge of traffic collapse,” said Hans-Juergen Weidemann, CEO of CargoBeamer. “CargoBeamer anticipates this development and has the potential to counter the situation by shifting cargo traffic efficiently and environmentally-friendly from road to rail.” Today, only 15 percent of the entire cargo transport on road can participate in combined transport due to technical constraints. CargoBeamer changes this profoundly as the technology allows transshipment of all semi-trailers without previous modifications for craning.
  • Strangely, the government’s proposals to construct High Speed Two has been met by a storm of opposition, largely by a group of people who fear for their way of life will be threatened.
  • American Express Foreign Exchange Services announces today that it has agreed a partnership with the British Airport Authority (BAA) to provide foreign exchange bureaus at London Heathrow’s Terminal 5, starting from 01 March, 2012. The partnership will see American Express open nine new bureaus in Terminal 5, expanding its presence at Heathrow into every terminal and bringing its network of airport sites around the world to 65. A full foreign exchange service and collection point for online currency orders made through, will be available through the six airside and three landside currency exchange locations.
  • A recent fatality at a level crossing has led to a renewed call for seatbelts to be fitted to trains, but local rail campaigners oppose the idea. The Thames Valley Branch of Railfuture says A recent fatality at a level crossing has led to a renewed call for seatbelts to be fitted to trains, but local rail campaigners oppose the idea. The Thames Valley Branch of Railfuture says Wokingham MP John Redwood’s proposal would waste many millions of pounds that could be better spent.’s proposal would waste many millions of pounds that could be better spent.
  • Despite a stated aim to reduce carbon emissions from transport the Government is still pursuing policies that favour car use over public transport use. On 26 June the Chancellor announced that the 2012 fuel duty increase, originally planned to be 5p per litre, later reduced to 3p per litre, would be scrapped altogether. Yet only in April it effectively increased the fuel duty for buses by a massive 20%. Bus Services Operators Grant, which used to be called Fuel Duty Rebate, effectively reduces the duty bus companies pay for their fuel and therefore reduces the cost of bus travel. In April the rebate was slashed from 80% to 64%, leading to widespread fares rises for bus passengers.
  • Despite a recent fatality at a level crossing in Berkshire, level crossings continue to become safer, says the Thames Valley Branch of Railfuture, the independent national campaign for better railways. The incident was between an express train and a motor scooter on 22nd May 2012 at Ufton Nervet crossing, on the Reading - Newbury main line between Theale and Aldermaston. Richard Stow, Chairman of Railfuture Thames Valley Branch, says “This is a tragedy for the scooterist’s loved ones and a trauma for the train driver. We extend our sympathy to all who are are affected by it. The investigation is just beginning and I will not prejudge its findings.
  • Operation of the first phase of HS2, a new line between London and the West Midlands, delivers carbon savings of 1.8 million tonnes of CO2 over sixty years, more than offsetting the impacts of constructing the line. But when HS2 is extended to Manchester and Leeds, the savings quadruple to over 7 million tonnes of CO2
  • It is not marketed properly, nor properly promoted, in fact, there is not enough investment in the service. It is time local authorities’ work together. We need a proper passenger transport executive for the upper Thames Valley, which is the area to the west of London, including Reading and Oxford. Such a dedicated body would promote coordinate and invest in bus and rail services to meet not just London commuters, but also local travel needs. For public transport users, the situation is chaos, many villages and market towns do not have adequate and reliable bus and rail services to major centres of employment, such as Oxford, Slough, Banbury, Swindon or Reading.
  • Today the Department for Transport announced it will spread £11.6m between bus 12 operators to help them buy 213 new ultra-low-emission buses. Nearly all will be diesel-electric hybrids, which cut fuel use and poisonous emissions by 30%. A few others may be all-electric or use alternative fuels such as biogas or fuel cells.
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  • Eurostar’s new uniforms make a BIG impression at St Pancras International
  • For the first time, travellers are now able to purchase via one single ticket valid for their entire journey for travel to the six German cities. Tickets are available from only £49.50 for a one-way ticket to Aachen, Cologne, Bonn and Düsseldorf and from £79.50 to Frankfurt and from £97.50 to Munich.
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  • Oxford Parkway station plans unveiled Oxford Parkway By: Chiltern Railways Chiltern Railways has revealed designs for Oxford Parkway which will be the first station to be opened in Oxfordshire since 1935 when it opens next summer as part of Chiltern’s innovative new Oxford to London Marylebone rail link.
  • A message of reassurance has been sent out from those promoting the re-opening of the disused railway between Cheltenham and Kingham, on the North Cotswold railway line from Worcester to Oxford.
  • Eurostar is set for a bumper bank holiday this weekend, as over 120,000 people are expected to travel with the high-speed rail operator - a 3% rise in passengers compared with the equivalent August bank holiday weekend in 2013*.
  • Oxford and Oxfordshire news coverage. Comprehensive local Oxfordshire news stories and headlines with regular updates
  • Oxford station, East West Rail, Cotswold Line upgrade and Witney tram proposal Railfuture wants Evergreen 3 to prompt more rail investment in the Thames Valley. Hugh said “The most pressing need is to give Oxford a bigger station with room for more trains, more bus links and more passengers. The current station is not big enough for present needs, let alone future growth. “Evergreen 3 has already boosted the East West Rail proposal to reopen the railway from Bicester Town to Winslow, Bletchley, Milton Keynes and Bedford, with a link from Winslow to Aylesbury. The Department for Transport now not only supports East West Rail but wants to electrify Oxford – Bedford as part of its proposed “electric spine” north-south freight and passenger rail route. “In 2011 Network Rail restored double track to the section of the Cotswold Line between Charlbury and Ascott-under-Wychwood, enabling services to be increased and made more reliable. Railfuture awaits a DfT decision on whether to restore double track to the section between Wolvercote and Charlbury, so that Cotswold trains could be increased to an easy and simpler hourly service. “Witney's passenger rail service was ended in 1962. Reopening the Witney Railway was considered by Oxfordshire County Council in the early 2000s and by the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) in 2009. Railfuture wants the Oxford – Eynsham – Witney line reopened as a tramway and extended on a new route to Carterton and RAF Brize Norton. This would relieve the A40 west of Oxford, which has long been Oxfordshire's most congested main road.” Chiltern Railways' news link
  • Central London Fabian Society Wednesday 20 June, 7.30 pm Marcus Roberts (Deputy General Secretary of the Fabian Society) “Labour’s Next Majority” Cole Room, Fabian Society, 11 Dartmouth Street, SW1H 9BN Nearest tube: St James’s Park. All welcome Details from Giles Wright on 0207 227 4904 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0207 227 4904end_of_the_skype_highlighting,
  • In these times of meritocracy, it is surprising that there are still western parliamentary democracies that still hold on to the concept of monarchy. After all, you would not choose your dentist on the hereditary principle - yet many parliamentary democracies continue to cling on to this - perhaps anachronistic tradition.
  • Sobotnia Polska Szkola w Oxford. Uczymy jezyka polskiego i historii. The Polish Saturday School in Oxford. We prepare students for GCSE exams in the polish language.
  • (29 April 2013) Oxford's 1st Polish Business Fair was opened by Oxford’s Polish Association chair Ewa Gluza. This business fair is dedicated to the growing numbers of successful Polish run enterprises based in the county. Oxford’s Polish Association chair Ewa Gluza announced “it was a great success!”
  • I spend a lot of my time in France and have the opportunity to observe public life and politics there at close quarters. It is interesting that such a proud, indeed, sometimes overly patriotic country, sees absolutely no contradiction between its own direct interests and those of the European Union. It considers them intimately connected and pursues one as an expression of the other. As in Berlin and Madrid, and most other EU
  • Wiersze Jana Brzechwy to klasyka literatury dziecięcej. Tutaj znajdują się tylko niektóre wierszyki poety. Jego dorobek w poezji dziecięcej jest znacznie większy. Wierszowane historyjki poety są lubiane zarówno przez dzieci, jak i dorosłych.
  • In Image from left to right: 3rd Year Teacher Jolanta Ryba, Clr. Jean Fooks, Former Headteacher Hanna Darowska, Headteacher Marzena Henry, Editor Nicholas Newman, Mohammed Abbasi Lord Mayor of Oxford, Clr. Van Coulter, Chair Oxford Polish Society Eva Gluza and Retired Oxford Polish School Teacher.
  • New railway services to Oxford planned Chiltern Evergreen will link the Bicester line to the Banbury to London line to provide a through service from Oxford via Chilterns by 2015. East West Rail aims to provide through rail services between Oxford and Aylesbury to Milton Keynes and Bedford by 2018.
  • Oxford-Polish-Priest-Celebrates-His-20-Anniversary.html
  • Bournemouth is a large coastal resort town in the ceremonial county of Dorset, England. According to the mid-year estimates for 2010 from the Office for National Statistics, the town has a population of 168,100, making it the largest settlement in Dorset. It is also the largest settlement between Southampton and Plymouth. With Poole and Christchurch, Bournemouth forms the South East Dorset conurbation, which has a total population of approximately 400,000. Founded in 1810 by Lewis Tregonwell, Bournemouth's growth accelerated with the arrival of the railway, becoming a recognised town in 1870. Historically part of Hampshire, it joined Dorset with the reorganisation of local government in 1974. Since 1997, the town has been administered by a unitary authority, giving it autonomy from Dorset County Council. The local authority is Bournemouth Borough Council. Bournemouth's location on the south coast of England has made it a popular destination for tourists. The town is a regional centre of business, home of the Bournemouth International Centre and financial companies that include Liverpool Victoria and PruHealth. In a 2007 survey by First Direct, Bournemouth was found to be the happiest place in the UK, with 82% of people questioned saying they were happy with their lives.[2] In 2012, Bournemouth was unsuccessful in its bid for city status, losing out to Chelmsford in a competition with 26 other towns to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee
  • I should perhaps start by admitting that my interest in the EU project is as much personal as it is commercial. I have lived and worked in Britain, France, Germany and Luxembourg and my 3 children and 4 grandchildren have been born in 3 different European countries.
  • Oxford-Polish-Saturday-School-End-of-School-Year-Event-2013.html
  • Oxford writers group launch their latest series of short stories at the Oxford branch of Waterstones with Colin Dexter as guest of honour.
  • HS2 will take a major step forward today with publication of the Bill for phase one of the country’s new railway between London and Birmingham.
  • This new service will provide added competition to the existing express train and coach services to London. At present, express bus or train services leave Oxford for London every 12 minutes. Hopefully, this new service should provide increased competition and new capacity to the existing services operated by Oxford Bus Company, Stagecoach and First Great Western. For those London commuters living outside Oxford, the new station at Water Eaton should mean they can avoid driving through congested Oxford city centre.
  • Work on different aspects of the energy challenge, which must be addressed holistically, is linked up through the Oxford Energy Network.
  • Library and platform Library and platform A light and airy new home for all your library resources Flexible learning spaces to meet the needs of all our students 24 hour semester opening to ensure you have access at a time that suits you It has been an amazing opportunity working with the architects, colleagues and the student redevelopment panel over the last few years to design such wonderful spaces. I can't wait for the opening. Dr Helen Workman, Director of Learning Resources. The Library in the John Henry Brookes Building will be an inspiring place for students to study, with lots of light, airy spaces, new book stacks and reading rooms with fantastic views. In addition to banks of PCs, study spaces will all have power sockets and WiFi will be available throughout, enabling users to be connected to the resources of the e-library as well as to the internet. Over the last two years the library has been testing a number of services that are set to make the library such a special place for learning. These services include: 24 hour opening during semesters Self-service book loans Chromebook hire Online payments Varied learning spaces There will be a range of spaces designed to match your preferred working style: silent areas for reflection and study quiet spaces where you’ll be able to work – maybe with a friend if you want to busier zones for when you need more stimulation group presentation practice rooms a graphics studio with computers and facilities dedicated to design. There will be a main Help Zone which will include a coaching area with AV equipment and a dedicated team of librarians to ensure you will receive a high quality service. There will also be roving librarians to help with queries around the library. Collaborative working in the Platform With group work likely to play a key role in your studies, we have created a space especially for this function. Complementing the quiet and silent spaces in the Library, the Platform will be a more informal area. It will have specially designed furniture for working together around computer screens, informal seating with views across the Forum and vending machines. You’ll also be able to use big screen monitors, with either your own laptop or one of the library’s Chromebooks, to bring your presentation ideas to life. A new home for special collections Oxford Brookes University houses a number of special collections. These collections will be moved into the temperature-controlled basement of the new library, and will be accessible to all our students. To find out how you can access these fantastic resources, visit the library’s special selection webpage. Full details are available on Oxford Brookes Library services webpages.
  • Once upon a time young boys wanted to be train drivers - it was perceived as being glamorous and exciting, and a way to travel (drive) fast. Nowadays young people want to be F1 racing drivers, for the same reasons...
  • The litter blighting England's motorways costs at least £6m a year to collect and could fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool four times over, latest figures from the Highways Agency show. The Agency collects more than 7,500 tonnes of litter from its roads each year, and is now urging motorists to help tackle the problem by bagging and binning their rubbish.
  • Chaired by Bill Heine, panellists will include Jenny Lewis, Reverend Charlotte Bannister-Parker, Euton Daley and Dai Richards, just some of the fascinating people that have been interviewed over the years by Sylvia Vetta for the Castaways column which appears in Oxfordshire Limited Edition each month in the Oxford Times.
  • Eight-questions-for-your-prospective-MEP.html
  • Oxford Polish School Celebrates Polands Constitution Day and 10 years since Poland Join the EU.
  • On Thursday 5 June 2014, Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, unveiled a plaque at St Pancras International station to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Channel Tunnel and the launch of international high speed rail services between the UK and mainland Europe.
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  • Oxford's-first-Low-Carbon-Oxford-Week.html
  • Headington Summer Fair 2014 in the grounds of Bury Knowle Park, Oxford.
  • Oxfordshire-business-hopeful-of-taking-crown-at-RHS-Hampton-Court-Palace-Flower-Show.html
  • Nicola-Blackwood-MP-at-Oxford-First-Tuesday.html
  • Forbury Gardens became the Thames Valley’s first ‘pyjamming’ site when business leaders from Reading took on the challenge of snapping themselves on the popular landmark wearing just their jammies.
  • One for all: the astonishingly versatile new Vito The new Vito offers a broad product range, encompassing the Vito panel van, the Vito Crew and the Vito Tourer family For the first time in this segment: front and rear-wheel drive Two turbodiesel engines in five power ratings Low on costs: systematically configured for efficiency Up to eight airbags on the Vito Tourer, new assistance systems Stuttgart/Berlin- Offering tangible external strengths, great intrinsic values, maximum benefit and low costs, the new Mercedes-Benz Vito is the versatile and real professional among mid-size vans with a permissible gross vehicle weight between 2.8 and 3.2 tonnes.
  • Britain’s best boutique festival today announced the line-up for its 2014 event. Taking place in the magnificent surroundings of Blenheim Palace and Woodstock from Thursday 25th – Sunday 28th September, the Blenheim Palace Literary Festival will feature writers and public figures from the fields of music, history, food and drink, politics and literature.
  • The kit was modelled by team captain Tom May, club captain Matt Corker, Olly Barkley and Seb Jewell at the Club’s pre-season media day this afternoon. The shirts, shorts and socks were all manufactured in the UK and like all of RHINO Teamwear’s PRO playing kit in the UK, was delivered within two weeks. RHINO Teamwear’s fabrics use the latest technology to ensure maximum comfort, performance and endurance for the players. The new jerseys will be 96% polyester / 4% spandex, Engineered Weft Stretch, 250gsm, High Tencil Strength, Endurance Fit, Breathable and benefit from Wicking – Moisture Management.
  • Schulz-on-Tusk's-election-and-Mogherini's-appointment.html
  • Speech-by-Martin-Schulz,-President-of-the-European-Parliament-at-the-special-meeting-of-the-European-Council.html
  • Houses and properties for sale and rent in Oxfordshire, flats, apartments, bedsits, rooms, homes from
  • Factors determining rent prices in Headington.
  • House Search Criteria As of 22 August 2014 1. No more than £250,00 2. As new as possible at least post 1980 3. Good public transport Links – if I have to go outside Oxford – close to express bus or rail stop to London or Oxford.
  • THE ARTIST'S PROOFS A selection of prints by David Farrar 7-9 pm, Friday 6th December 2013 The Coach House, Quarry Road, Oxford OX3 8NU FREE ADMISSION
  • Latest travel news and reviews on UK and world holidays, travel guides to global destinations, city breaks, hotels and restaurant information from Oxfprdprospect
  • JB Hotel ### 31-752 Kraków, Nowa Huta ul.Ujastek Mogilski 7 phone: + 48 609709833 fax: + 48 12 68 07 154 e-mail: Novohotel Warsaw Centrum ul Marszalkowska 94/98 00-510 WARSAW POLAND Tel (+48)22/5960000 Fax (+48)22/5960647 E-mail Hotel Manager : Mr. Mario von Hoesslin Hotel ** JANTA 83-425 Dziemiany, ul. Wyzwolenia 29 tel. +48 58 688 01 47 tel. +48 58 688 06 00 tel./fax +48 58 688 05 47 e-mail: Trains Connects all major towns and cities in Poland and neighbouring countries For trains between London and Poland Things to see Wieliczka Salt Mine near Krakow Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow Poland is full of history, from London it is only two hours away by plane, not counting tiresome airport procedures and just sixteen hours by direct intercity train via Berlin. There is much to see and do in Poland including sailing along its Baltic coast, canoeing along its extensive river and lake system and visiting its extensive network of historic monuments, museums, castles and forests. Warsaw Royal Castle in Warsaw Malbork Castle in Malbork
  • One of the entertaining things you can do in Istanbul is to sit in a street café and count the number of different things people come along trying to sell you while you sip your cup of “chai”. They peddle postcards, umbrellas, even socks. No socks, please, we’re British! I lived to regret saying no to the enterprising sock vendor. A couple of days after we arrived in Istanbul, it started snowing. I ended up having to buy some thermal socks in a shop.
  • If someone suggested going on a Spring break somewhere relaxing, where you could enjoy, sunshine, fresh air, flowers, picturesque towns, green mountains and quality local wines, what destination would come into your mind? France, Spain, Greece? Madeira, Majorca? Turkey? Maybe Germany would not be your first answer, yet all of those things can be enjoyed in Western Germany, which is closer to us than the Costa Brava. South of the industrial area, there is a spacious rural and wine-growing country, through which wind the rivers Rhine, Moselle and their tributaries. It’s a great place to relax without getting bored.
  • From my own experience, Ross Clark’s description in this week’s (7 August 2010) Spectator ‘Train a Grande Vexation’ of her travels across France by rail sleeper from Paris to Bourg St Maurice are not typical for most travellers. Her argument that France’s investment in its growing TGV network is some enormous vanity project does not bear up to scrutiny. Countries throughout the world, including Britain have witnessed the enormous economic development and environmental benefits of investing in such high-speed rail projects. However, due to delays caused by our pathetic ‘Nimby’ dominated planning system, it is likely that even countries, such as Russia and China, will have completed large sections of their high-speed express networks before Britain has laid its first rail.
  • The little town of Soller in northern Mallorca looks like just the sort of place you’d go for a quiet holiday. Green hills covered with orange and lemon trees, shady gardens where bougainvillea trails across trellises, a short tram ride down to a beach with palm trees and some surprisingly perfect (imported) sand. It is close to Deia, the glorious mountain village where Robert Graves retired, and where Bob Geldof, Jason Donovan and that sort of crowd are now rumoured to hang around. It’s definitely not the sort of place where you’d find rowdy British package-holidaymakers of the “earwig” type, getting drunk and raising hell. On the contrary, all the rowdiness and bingeing here in Soller is done by the locals who, though usually calm and phlegmatic, go wild during their annual fiesta. We had no idea about this when we booked. It was pure chance that we found ourselves there on 24th August, the festival of St. Bartholomew.
  • The first thing you see as you approach Sark on the boat - the first building or landmark of any kind - is the Pont Robert lighthouse, white with an octagonal tower, halfway up the green craggy slope, looking like one of those chapels or monasteries the Greeks usually build in the most inaccessible spots on remote islands and mountains. The tower looks a bit like a belfry and a little balcony runs all the way round it to give access to the light itself. Everybody snaps it with their cameras. A few minutes later, the boat docks at the Maseline Harbour, a tractor with a trailer arrives to carry you to the top of the hill and all the sensible people go to stay in comfortable hotels like the Harbour Inn or a rented cottage.
  • The last time I went to Corsica, two years ago, I heard that a new, super-duper high-speed railway was being built from Bastia on the East coast to Ajaccio on the West. The signs of it were plain to see in Ajaccio where the old station had been extended into the town to make space for it. Actually I’m rather fond of the existing, older trains, and I’m not the only one. The new line seemed pretty pointless to me since there is already a railway line linking the two towns, neither of them very large, and it has been there for well over a hundred years.
  • It’s amazing how hard being a tourist is. Take Oxford. Most day trips out of London only allow their paying customers just an hour to see the sights. That is the city of ‘dreaming spires’, its famous university and the locations where their favourite films like Harry Potter or Inspector Morse or Lewis where shot. Then they are off to some other tourist attraction like Stratford to see the Shakespeare. As a local, one feels sorry for such visitors. Oxford needs more than just one hour to look round its ancient university, see the sights and have a chance to have a real taste of the Oxford experience.
  • A great quiet place to stay, good food and very helpful staff. Also, convenient for both the airport, Krakow historic city centre, train station and the new town of Nova Huta.
  • The "Wieliczka" Salt Mine S.A. manages one of the oldest industrial companies in Europe, a World Cultural and Natural Heritage site, and brand which is recognised throughout the world. This is a company whose task is to preserve the unique monument of the history and culture of the Polish nation for future generations and making available to the public the unique monument of world natural and technological heritage and a place of worship.
  • Hotel Janta is located in the picturesque part of Kaszuby in the pomorskie province on the border of Wdzydzki Park Krajobrazowy
  • If you want to escape the big city and enjoy walking through primeval forests, appreciate good clean air and spotting the occasional wolf or eagle, and then I suggest it is well worth visiting the lakeside village of Kaszuby, which adjoins the Wdzydzki National Park in North Poland. Kaszuby, is only two hours away from Gdansk airport by car.
  • Poland is a country with over a thousand year's of tradition and a turbulent history. Jasna Gora has played a vital role in the development of Polish national history, religious traditions, industrial innovations and culture. It is not only Poland’s religious heart but also its cultural capital.
  • We ordered our tickets on the website. At 14.04 was our train departure time from London - St. Pancras to Brussels - Midi. What was surprising, all the travel procedures were efficiently carried out. Eurostar, which this November celebrates 20 years in business, has got very friendly and welcoming staff, the daily routine does not seem to affect their professional service. We did not know, where the cash point was, but a nice, smartly dressed girl - a Eurostar worker, directed us to the right place. So we could use the cash machine to change our money into euros.
  • World Travellers will not need to trek out to New York City to catch Quantum of the Seas, the most anticipated cruise ship to-date. The ship will come to them. Royal Caribbean International has announced the details of the Quantum Global Odyssey, a 57-night epic journey, departing May 2, 2015, from the New York-metropolitan area to its new home in Shanghai (Baoshan), China.
  • Families excited for the UK launch of Disney’s Maleficent (starting Angelina Jolie) on 28 May will be pleased to learn that Florida and USA specialist, Magic Holidays has launched a magical, Maleficent-themed 14 night holiday in Orlando this summer starting from £1199 per person. With entry to see a life-sized Maleficent fire-breathing dragon in Disney World Resort’s new Festival of Fantasy Parade at the Magic Kingdom, and the chance to meet and greet with Princess Aurora, the Sleeping Beauty (the target for Maleficent’s evil plans) in the France Pavilion of Epcot Park, families will see no end to the devilish, Disney fun.
  • Most people have now been to Paris by Eurostar but did you realise that with the modern high-speed rail network there are dozens of other fascinating European cities you can get to in a few hours from London? If you take the 11.31 Eurostar from St Pancras you will arrive in Paris Gare du Nord two hours and ten minutes later. Don't be deceived by the change of time zone - 14.47 French time is still only 13.37 UK summer-time. From there it is only a short walk or taxi-ride to Gare de l'Est, where you can get the 15.25 to Strasbourg arriving at 17.42. You will have plenty of time for a leisurely lunch in Paris between trains. So it's breakfast in London, lunch in Paris and dinner in Strasbourg, all without any hurry or hassle.
  • From Strasbourg you can take a train to any number of destinations in Germany. Just turn up, buy your ticket and jump on. Nobody asks you for your passport. Better still, buy your ticket in advance online and you can get substantial reductions. Germany is rightly proud of its national railway system, which is fast, frequent and affordable. While not all the trains reach such dizzy speeds as the French TGV, they are spacious and comfortable and you may think some second-class carriages are first-class. They have good ideas, like setting aside special carriages for people with babies, where some seats can be raised to make space for a pram, and people who would rather avoid baby noise can sit elsewhere. The stations have mini-escalator strips alongside staircases to take your luggage. And on the train nobody bans you from carrying a bottle of water!
  • David is evidently at the beginning of an exciting professional carrier in art. It is clear from the exhibition of his work, which took place in Headington Quarry recently (6 December 2013), that David is clearly a multitalented artist with a bright and exciting future ahead of him. What I especially appreciated, was his pen and ink drawings, which reminded me of the Flemish artist Albrecht Dürer.
  • A family-friendly French restaurant in Oxford. Open all day serving a selection of sandwiches, baguettes, salads, steaks and classic French dishes.
  • The Nigerian novelist and Booker prize-winner Ben Okri made an appearance in an unusual event yesterday held in Woodstock. He was interviewed about his life, novels, poetry and love of music by the composer Michael Berkeley, presenter of BBC Radio 3 series Private Passions. Okri selected pieces of his favourite music, which were then performed for us live by the Orchestra of St John’s conducted by John Lubbock.
  • Ed says he's a miserable old git. He didn't celebrate his 40th birthday last year and his new show, Roaring Forties, is partly about the many things in life that annoy him. But in the flesh he's smart and funny, and as for being a party pooper... Well, not really – he's planning a celebration in November when his tour reaches Glasgow, the city where his career began 20 years ago after he had studied horticulture at the University of Strathclyde.
  • We could feel a sensitive touch of art from the music and singing performed by Piotr Krupa, at his Oxford Valentine’s Day concert, held by the Oxford Polish Association at ‘The Mill’ Cowley Road.
  • Poezja śpiewana w wykonaniu Piotra Krupy na Koncercie Walentynkowym zorganizowanym przez Stowarzyszenie Polaków w Oksfordzie( w klubie The Mill na Cowley Road) pozostawiła w nas wrażenie czułego dotyku sztuki.
  • Stephen Farr's organ recital yesterday at Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry, was a celebration of two things: the twentieth birthday of the organ itself, which was installed in 1992, and the festival of St Cecilia, patron saint of music.
  • I salute Paul Lewis as the bravest of heroes for his imperturbable performance yesterday at the Sheldonian, when the noise of fireworks outside repeatedly disturbed the second half of his Schubert Piano Sonata recital. Lewis did not bat a single eyelash but continued his wonderful and magisterial interpretation of the Sonata in B flat Major D960, to an enthralled audience."
  • Eldest son of King James 1, Henry was the focus of all the hopes and dreams of the newly-united kingdoms of Scotland and England. Carefully nurtured and educated, the prince showed great promise in the arts of war and peace. He had a taste for painting, architecture, literature, and took an interest in ship-building and the exploration of America. He loved hunting and he appeared personally in court masques with words by Ben Jonson and elaborate sets and costumes by Inigo Jones. Devout, handsome and promising in every way, he was expected to become a great monarch and England was grief-stricken by his sudden death at the age of only eighteen. We can only wonder how history might have been different if Henry had come to the throne rather than his younger brother, Charles I.
  • If you were spending a few months in Rome, what souvenirs would you choose to take back with you? If money and weight were no object, a few marble statues, urns or sarcophagi might tempt you. Perhaps some oil paintings or handsome engravings of the most celebrated ruins of ancient Rome and the surrounding countryside would look nice on the walls of your drawing-room at home. Possibly some engravings of classical and neo-classical buildings, and prints of the Pantheon or the Temple of Jupiter? To the wealthy travellers and collectors of the late eighteenth-century, these sort of mementoes were essential, not only to remind them of their journey but also to prove to those at home that they were people of cultivation and taste.
  • I cannot imagine a more delightful way to relax on a Friday evening than to put this CD on and listen with closed eyes, letting the music waft over you. Mellow, soothing sounds caress the ear, console the mind and revive the soul. The resonant acoustics are due to the recording being made in the Church of St. Andrews, Toddington, Gloucestershire. These baroque concerti by Pietro Paradies, Anton Reichenauer, Pietro Baldassari and others have been rescued from obscurity by Kah-Ming who finds the neglected manuscripts in archives and transcribes them for his team of dedicated musicians. Where the MS gives only a cryptic shorthand or figured bass, he reconstructs a detailed part complete with elaborate ornamentation. The seven complete concerti on this disc are well-varied, sometimes sweet and melodious, sometimes frisky and frolicsome.
  • Visions of Mughal India: The Collection of Howard Hodgkin Exhibition | 2 Feb-22 Apr 2012 | Galleries 59 & 60 | £6/£4 (inc. Gift Aid) This exhibition of Indian paintings will show the collection of the artist Howard Hodgkin in its entirety for the first time. The collection comprises the main types of court painting that flourished during the Mughal period (c.1550-1850), including the refined naturalistic works of the imperial court, the subtle paintings of the Deccani Sultanates, and the bold, vibrant styles of the Rajput kingdoms. Hodgkin has been a passionate collector of Indian paintings since his schooldays, and has made a personal collection, formed by an artist’s eye, which has long been considered one of the finest of its kind in the world.
  • Conditions could not have been more apt for Mark Padmore and Paul Lewis’s performance of Schubert’s Die Winterreise (The Winter’s Journey) at the Sheldonian. Snow, ice and bitter winds all feature in Schubert’s great work. This song cycle sets twenty-four poems by the German poet Wilhelm Müller, and seems to rise above its romantic subject matter about a despairing, rejected lover, to achieve a heroic stature; from pathos it grows into a tragic vision of life. Using glimpses of nature and symbolism, it creates a moving, sombre yet enthralling journey of feeling, which was in this performance almost unbearably poignant.
  • The Chequers is one of the trinity of pubs tucked away amid the Cotswold stone of Headington Quarry, and for nearly a year now, it has housed the “Royal India” restaurant. Together with Nick Newman and Julia Gasper, I paid a return visit there on Sunday evening , and was impressed. If you know the Chequers in Horspath Village, you will feel at home with this “curry on the village green” format: the yeoman virtues of a standard English boozer, giving way (through a door on the left) to a plush Indian restaurant with tear-drop shaped wall-lighting and a warm décor. And those round tables may look large, but they prove to be not quite large enough once the food arrives.
  • Of course people painted mountains and hills, trees and lakes, clouds and horizons for centuries before Claude Gellée (1604-1682) but they painted them as the background to other, more important things: usually religious or mythological subjects. In the paintings of Claude, the religious or mythological stories are still there, but the emphasis has changed. The landscape is what matters, and the figures often seem dwarfed by their surroundings, secondary details in a vast, open expanse of ideal landscape inspired by his study of the countryside around Rome. His name has become synonymous with delicate sunset effects, and romantic ruins. This exhibition brings together thirteen of his major paintings from collections all over the world, as well as from the National Gallery in London and the Ashmolean itself, so that we can compare and appreciate them more keenly.
  • This concert given by the impressive young pianist Alessandro Taverna and the Royal String Quartet had a Polish theme and without a doubt the performances were all polished to perfection. Taverna, who has won a string of international prizes, played three works by Chopin, the first and last being familiar. His performance of the familiar Waltz in C Sharp minor op. 64 no. 2 was mature and full of insight. There is no doubt that he possesses that special something that enables one to play Chopin. His speed was unhurried and he offered interesting detail such as the highlighting of the right hand thumb notes in bars 49-60 and on the last page, creating just the kind of hidden melody that Chopin loved. He followed this with the Introduction and Rondo in E flat major Op.16, a piece frankly written for virtuoso display. Taverna played with superb virtuosity, poise and distinction, not forgetting a touch of wit here and there. This sparkled like vintage champagne.
  • Those who know Paul Lewis from his Proms appearances or even by reputation were expecting something special at the Sheldonian last night when he gave an all-Schubert recital. They were not disappointed. Lewis's playing was exciting, powerful and polished to a diamond sparkle. It held the audience enthralled throughout. I have rarely heard a more authoritative interpretation of Schubert than this. Lewis, who studied under Alfred Brendel, performed with a classical poise and with a certain degree of restraint. There was warmth, poignancy and feeling wherever needed, but this was not an excessively honeyed interpretation. It did not wallow. The rubato was not excessive, except perhaps in the last of the four Impromptus D.935, where Lewis highlighted the angularity and percussive nature of this piece. Lewis's performance of D.935 was designed to show how right Schumann was to regard this opus as a Sonata incognito rather than a bunch of haphazard pieces. The first Impromptu with its impressive opening and two well-contrasted themes is more or less in sonata form, albeit with an excessively lengthy development section.
  • C.S. Lewis Concert at Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry. Yesterday the Friends of Holy Trinity church hosted a world premiere in Headington Quarry, the first ever performance of Roger Teichmann’s setting of four songs from the Narnia books by C.S.Lewis. It was part of a concert of choral music themed around the life and works of this much beloved local celebrity, who is still remembered personally by some of the older members of the congregation and choir. Lewis lived in Risinghurst, taught at Magdalen College, Oxford and attended Holy Trinity Church where there is a beautiful Narnia window in memory of him. Readings and reminiscences about Lewis were interspersed between the items of music. The concert opened with Yeats’ song “Down by the Sally Gardens,” arranged by Teichmann. This was chosen because Lewis was born in Ireland and loved Yeats’ poetry. The church choir then performed three typical anthems from a collegiate choral evensong, without any organ accompaniment as curiously enough Lewis did not like the organ. We then had a rare treat as the soloists Lucy Matheson and Sally Mears, performed settings of Elizabethan poetry to the accompaniment of the Apollo consort of viols. This acknowledged Lewis’s solid achievements as a professor of Renaissance literature. The soloists’ unaccompanied performance of duets by Thomas Morley was exquisite and was one of the highlights of the evening, The Pilgrim’s Chorus from Wagner’s Tannhauser was included to reflect Lewis’s love of Wagner. He and J.R.R.Tolkien would often travel up to London by train to hear the operas at Covent Garden. In this piece, it might have been better to omit the string accompaniment, which in truth only detracted from the noble sound of the male voice choir. Roger Teichmann is a local boy as, like Lewis, he is a lecturer at Oxford University. He has written prize-winning operas and cantatas. His Narnia songs are set for a chorus of women’s voices accompanied by a string quartet, two recorders, trumpet, cymbals and bells. This imaginative scoring and texture made up for any lack of obvious melody. The ending with the sound of bells resonating sweetly was truly beautiful. The concert concluded with Elgar’s little-known four-part-song My Love Dwelt in a Northern Land, performed by the whole choir with sensitive and beautiful phrasing. It was a terrific end to a very varied and stimulating concert.
  • There are so many treasures in Oxford that we tend to take them for granted and, as residents, rarely bother to visit them. Instead of complaining about the tourists, perhaps we should follow their example more frequently. Christ Church Picture Gallery is one of these neglected gems and the present exhibition of drawings by old masters is a way to attract and stimulate more people to take an interest in it. The local Oxford artist, Jeff Clarke, RE, is currently showing a selection of his own paintings there and many of them feature the back streets of East Oxford, where he lives. It takes courage to display your own work alongside that of Holbien, Tintoretto, Correggio and Joshua Reynolds. However, there is one advantage Jeff has over them - his works are for sale and if you fancy one, you can buy it and hang it in your sitting-room!
  • Piano Recital by Tim Smith at Church of St Michael at the Northgate July 19th 2013. The talented young student pianist Tim Smith, who lives in Stanton St John, gave a recital at the Church of St Michael at the Northgate on Friday evening. The ambitious programme started with Mozart’s Piano Sonata in B flat major K333, and six Études by Chopin, all very virtuoso and demanding. In the second half he played Rachmaninoff’s Prelude opus 23 no 2, two of Debussy’s Preludes (the capricious Les Collines d’Anacapri and the dreamy La Cathédrale Engloutie). This was followed by Beethoven’s not-very-well known 32 Variations on an Original Theme in C minor, performed with verve and conviction. Tim finished with another famous virtuoso piece, Liszt’s Jeux d’Eaux à la Villa d’Este (Fountains of the Villa d’Este) which provided a brilliant, sparkling and refreshing finale on a hot evening. Tim, who attended Wheatley Park School, has won a scholarship to the Birmingham Conservatoire of Music, and if he can already play like this what will he be like in three years time? He is giving another recital, for charity, at the same venue on September 2nd. Julia Gasper.
  • This concert given on Sunday 24th November 2013 was a delightful chance to hear some unusual pieces performed in an ideal setting - 18th century music in the perfectly-preserved 18th century concert room that Oxford is so lucky to possess in Holywell Street. Bampton Classical Opera consists of a small band of instrumentalists and some vocal soloists of high calibre.
  • Maxim Vengerov, considered by many to be the greatest violinist in the world, has honoured Oxford by becoming official Artist in Residence with the Oxford Philomusica. The amazing Russian virtuoso inaugurated his new position with a recital at the Sheldonian theatre this afternoon, which ended in a standing ovation for him and the pianist Marios Papadopolous, who is also the musical director of Oxford Philomusica.
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  • Reviews of professional, student and amateur productions in Oxford and the surrounding area.
  • Agatha Christie’s murder mystery BLACK COFFEE may have been written in 1929, but it still thrilled and engaged the audience at last night’s performance at the Oxford Playhouse. During the interval I heard members of the audience avidly discussing clues and theories about the identity and motives of the possible killers. “Maybe there’s something going on between the butler and the aunt…no, the secretary and the niece … what about Carelli, he’s the obvious suspect…”
  • What a good idea for school pupils to be studying the Arthurian legends, the great national epic of the English culture. There is an immense amount to be learned from these tales, which date back to the earliest mediaeval times. Nobody really knows who the real King Arthur was or if he even existed, but he certainly has associations all over south-western England, notably at Glastonbury and Tintagel, and he may have been a Celtic hero. Tennyson was one of many poets who wrote the stories down. His verse narrative has been adapted for the stage and turned into a fast-moving drama acted and sung by the pupils of Magdalen College School.
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  • When you say Noel Coward people tend to think of glitz and glamour - smart people with long cigarette-holders, sipping cocktails and exchanging witticisms as scintillating as their sequinned evening gowns.
  • The MJE company has got a really cracking cast for this production of Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion, with Alistair McGowan as a really outstanding and extremely entertaining Henry Higgins, Rula Lenska as his mother, the long-suffering Mrs Higgins, and Rachel Barry as Eliza Doolittle, the chirpy Cockney girl taken in by Higgins to be taught how to talk properly, like a member of the middle or upper classes.
  • This excellent production by English Touring Theatre of Brian Friel's play about Ireland in the nineteenth century is riveting from start to finish, and also gives much food for thought.
  • Talawa Theatre Company has given us a new production of this unusual play, written in 1957, and set in Trinidad. The play has a (virtually) all-black cast speaking in West Indian dialect. With sensitivity, comedy, and compassion, it tells the story of the hopes and aspirations of a family in this newly-independent Commonwealth country.
  • Peter Duncan, the Oxford Playhouse director, has directed the last six pantos here. He’s also an actor and documentary-maker, and of course famously was a Blue Peter presenter and the Chief Scout of GB. He has specified a very elaborate set. The musicians' have been moved so that the orchestra pit could become a pool and the front stage a forest.
  • Last night I saw “Cats” at the New Theatre, Oxford. “Cats” is a great Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical. It is based on the poetry by Nobel Prize winner Thomas Stearns Eliot, who studied at Oxford. It is not surprising that “Cats” became the longest-running musical in British and American theatre.
  • This classical Christmas show -Musical “Miracle on 34th Street” just arrived at Oxford’s New Theatre, and will run until 11 December 2013. The original book, music and lyrics are by Meredith Wilson, and it is based on the original 1947, 20th Century Fox film of the same name, which is well remembered by many of us.
  • Pericles, Prince of Tyre is as obscure as a play written by William Shakespeare can be. Well it’s time to change that, and the student company performing it this week at the Burton Taylor Rooms have rightly placed it in the public eye.
  • The play was written in 1881 and in 1906 the expressionist artist Edvard Munch, then a seventeen-year-old art student, designed some sets for it, which have provided the models for the present production. Munch’s original paintings survive and communicate a slightly spooky, dreary atmosphere, as might be expected.
  • THE-DUCHESS-OF-MALFI-by-John-Webster,-at-The-Old-Fire-Station.html
  • There is fine acting and a lot of excitement in this production by the talented Royal & Derngate Theatre Company, of Brian Friel’s modern masterpiece.
  • This new translation by John Donnelly of Chekhov’s great, great Russian play tries to bring it bang up to date and to a surprising extent, it succeeds. Unfortunately it means that the dialogue is now sprinkled with f--- words and s--- words and there is an almost explicit sex-scene between Trigorin and Irina Arkadina that got a few laughs. Nevertheless, putting the play into the present time has many merits and does make this production worth seeing even if you think you know The Seagull inside out.
  • The Great War continues to fascinate - though David Cameron’s intention of using it, next year, as yet another circus to distract his people’s minds from his failure to ensure their supply of bread may finally sicken us all of it. And yet this is only the way national leaders have always used wars. Those few collectively exultant days of August 1914, for instance…
  • This student dramatization of George Orwell’s masterwork is impressive in many respects. It has got atmosphere, ambience and grip. Using red lighting, shadow and black uniforms it manages to create a real sense of menace and the leads are acted outstandingly. I think they should take it to the Edinburgh Festival.
  • You can’t tell other people how to bring up their children. King Basilio of Poland takes fright when an oracle tells him that his son will grow up to be a tyrant and will one day vanquish him, so he has the child imprisoned from birth in a tower on a remote mountain. Prince Segismundo is brought up alone, in shackles, seeing the world only through a small window and dressed in the skins of wild animals.
  • In this exciting new production of the Curiosity Shop at the Oxford Playhouse, we saw a different side to London, instead of the glamour fixated culture of the West End and the political intrigues of Westminster, we saw a hard gritty London. This play, set in a South London makes East Enders look like a posh upmarket suburb.
  • This production by the Playhouse’s own 16/22 Company is full of fun, zest and creative ideas. It brings what was originally a radio play to the stage by means of mime, dance and music, the flexible cast going through rapid costume-changes to take multiple roles and act out of little snatches of dialogue
  • Cyrano de Bergerac, what a man! What a hero! What a rôle! The fiery Gascon can fight a duel while composing a poem in rhyming verse, and kill his opponent with a fatal thrust on the last word. He is the hero of his regiment, the admired author of Voyage to the Moon, and the terror of bad actors whom he denounces and ridicules.
  • Everybody has heard of Ibsen’s Doll’s House, yet few people have heard of Githa Sowerby, whose Rutherford and Son is just as powerful and significant. This play about the tensions and power-struggles inside an Edwardian industrialist’s family is a major one and the revival by Jonathan Miller (no less) is totally justified.
  • Another Country by Julian Mitchell at the Oxford Playhouse Screw the Looking Glass (University of Oxford Students) directed by Jessica Lazar and produced by Edwina Christie.
  • Everybody should see ‘Abigail’s party’ by Mike Leigh at Oxford’s Playhouse this week! Yesterday (21st of January 2013) I attended this startling performance, and I am still thinking about it today! It is not surprising, that this TV play attracted 16 million viewers and doesn’t let you forget about five stunning characters.
  • The summer has finally started and you can go to an outdoor production of Shakespeare without getting drenched by rain, so GET UP AND GO because Creation Theatre Company’s new production of The Merchant of Venice is well worth it.
  • Some people can harmonise personal fulfilment, family, job, colleagues, nation and — if they have one — community. The rest of us either try to fulfil some of those demands by sacrificing others, or live in unresolved tension between them.
  • On 9th June 2012 Blood and Thunder Theatre Company gave us the first performance for about four hundred years of this violent and lusty tragedy by Shakespeare’s contemporaries Thomas Dekker and Thomas Middleton. Sensational is an under-statement for this plot of betrayal, revenge, intrigue and horror.
  • Power is power, and people always fight for it under any system, whether it is a monarchy, a republic, a democracy or a military dictatorship. Shakespeare knew that, and the story of King Richard II is as fascinating set in today’s Middle East as anywhere else. This production of the play by the Ashtar Theatre Company from Ramallah is given in Palestinian Arabic, and is part of this year’s World Shakespeare Festival.
  • Last Wednesday's production (2 May) of Dangerous Liaisons at the Oxford Playhouse performed by Oxford students was well worth seeing! This is a stage adaptation of the book’ Les Liaisons Dangerous’ by Pierre Choderlos in 1782. In its day, it was as revolutionary to French literature as Lady Chatterley's Lover was to English literature in 1928.
  • Oscar Wilde once asked whether the critics of Hamlet were really mad or only pretending to be. The same might be asked of this zany, wayward production of the Bard’s great tragedy. I have seen several other productions lately, (including the outstanding one at Stratford with David Tennant and Patrick Stewart). Creation Theatre’s approach is as far as possible from that.
  • Star Quality, what is it? Nowadays we tend to call it the X-factor and it is still true that with it, a show or film will succeed, and without it the whole enterprise, no matter how good the script or the production ideas, is very likely to nose-dive. Audiences crave it and it is still the asset that show business - from TV to highbrow stage plays - depends on to create a “hit”.
  • Top Girls By Caryl Churchill Directed by Max Stafford-Clark One of the seminal plays of the twentieth century, Top Girls flashes with razor-sharp wit and ingenious theatricality.
  • I was delighted to see the new Theatre open at the Old Fire Station on Tuesday evening. The old one, shabby though it was, had seen many a fascinating and rewarding dramatic production. The building now has been refurbished as a result of the government’s Places of Change Programme and houses the Crisis Skylight Centre as well as the new theatre. Everything is bright, colourful and cheerful, and with the Christmas trees and decorations sparkling, it gave us a warm welcome.
  • If you are looking for good old-fashioned family Christmas fun, then going to see Mother Goose at the Oxford Playhouse certainly fits the bill. Both kids and adults will enjoy this story, full of humour, political comment and fun.
  • Last night’s, Oxford’s Theatre Guild’s performance of Macbeth was full of percussive bashing of swords and Shakespeare’s magical language that made this two and a half hour performance simply come alive!
  • This production of Aeschylus’s tragedy, The Libation Bearers, here re-titled Clytemnestra, is the Oxford Greek Play - a triennial event in which students perform a classical drama in the original language. Although most of the audience had to follow the text in translation on a screen, the performance was still rivetting and the story largely told itself in mime and through a daring and original musical score composed and directed by Alexander Reut-Hobbs.
  • Location, location, location, It can make a production and it can also do its best to kill it. Creation Theatre’s new production of Antony and Cleopatra is splendid in many respects, and the lead actors, Tom Peters as Mark Antony and Lizzie Hopley as Cleopatra, both give memorable and distinguished performances of their complex, demanding roles.
  • If you saw last year’s production of The Tempest by the Oxford Shakespeare Company, or their hilarious and memorable Twelfth Night the year before that, you will have high expectations of their new show, The Comedy of Errors. And you will not be disappointed. From the very first moment when the show bursts into life with a dance, it is full of energy, vitality and verve.
  • You won’t be able to go and see Conor Lovett’s one-man performance of First Love because it was on for only one night. The morose, gloomy, ribald black humour, the emphasis on death and animal existence, even scatology, was too much for two women in the audience who walked out half-way through, unable to stand it when the protagonist recalled inscribing his beloved’s name on a cow-pat, which he calls a “heifer-pat”.
  • Mark’s performance, last night (13 September 2011) at the Oxford Playhouse was what you expect from an accomplished and professional performer. It is clear he really loves his work. He certainly has a passion for film. It is not surprising this film critic is a popular guest for BBC Five Live and the Culture Show. Mark certainly provides value for money.
  • Mike Bartlett’s play “Love, Love, Love”, currently on at the Playhouse, is not one I can honestly recommend. For a start, it is not a good evening’s entertainment. The dialogue is bland, the action is static and none of the actors are outstanding. The two females in the cast, Lisa Jackson and Rosie Wyatt, both have harsh unattractive voices and they shout throughout as if they were addressing a deaf person. Jackson over-acts in a somewhat unsubtle way. The story is meant to cover a period of forty years, yet by the end the central characters have not put on a pound in weight or got one grey hair between them. What’s their secret?
  • "Bronte", Polly Teale's play about the Bronte family, is being performed at the Oxford Playhouse by the Shared Experiencecompany which is now the theatre's resident theatrical company.
  • This production by Creation Theatre Company of Marlowe’s tragedy Dr Faustus takes place in the unusual venue of the Norrington Room at Blackwell’s Bookshop in Broad Street. The underground place, stuffed with thousands of books, is appropriate for many reasons.
  • The Seagull is a classic and this production is unmissable. Chekhov is one of the absolute greats and there are people who buy houses in Oxford for the chance to see this sort of production of a truly wonderful play.
  • Strindberg’s original play of 1888, set in Sweden, concerned a young lady and her forbidden attraction towards a manservant in her father’s household. Scandalous in its time, it probably inspired Oscar Wilde’s Salome, and it has now been updated by woman playwright Yael Farber who sets her version in present-day South Africa. Everybody has the vote, but most of the best land is still owned by white farmers or mine-owners.
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  • If you like the Reduced Shakespeare Company, and its spoof versions of the Bard, then you will enjoy this utterly irreverent version of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night by the Filter Company. Filter is actually an associate of the Royal Shakespeare Company, but you would never guess that from the style of this production. Fast, furious and taking a lot of liberties, it gives us a “Twelfth Night” that is a true saturnalia.
  • A good night out at the theatre is a splendid way to shake off winter blues and spoil yourself. This classic thriller, Dial M for Murder, does not disappoint. It was in fact written originally for the stage, then made famous in the film version directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Grace Kelly. This new touring production by the Fiery Angel company is stylish, slick, full of suspense and utterly gripping.
  • One of the marks of a classic play is that whenever you see it, you always see a contemporary application. Screw the Looking-Glass, the Oxford student drama company that is now putting on Berthold Brecht’s play The Causasian Chalk Circle at the Oxford Playhouse, could not have known when they planned this production that there would be a new uprising in Eastern Europe, with a violent regime-change and the stomp of soldiers’ boots, but the coincidence is striking. In the play the governor is overthrown but after two years the new ruler is toppled in his turn.
  • News and reviews about Opera and musicals in Oxford and the surrounding region.
  • This highly original, prize-winning play about the legendary soprano Maria Callas uses the idea of a master class to recreate her powerful personality and tell her life story in retrospect.Towards the end of her life, when she could no longer perform, Maria Callas gave a few master classes at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. For the students in the play, this is a privilege that can turn out to be an ordeal.
  • As with all Gilbert and Sullivan productions, this Opera della Luna performance delivers what is best in good entertaining social comment and satire on the class barriers that lovers face, even today.
  • Thoroughly Modern Millie is a 1967 American musical film directed by George Roy Hill and starring Julie Andrews. The screenplay by Richard Morris focuses on a naive young woman who finds herself in the midst of a series of madcap adventures when she sets her sights on marrying her wealthy boss.
  • The international award-winning hit Legally Blonde The Musical is coming to a theatre near you after 3 triumphant years in the West End. Winner of 7 major awards including the coveted Best Musical 2011 (Olivier Awards) this all singing, all dancing romantic comedy is about knowing who you are and showing what you’ve got!
  • Ellen Kent’s production of Bizet's Carmen at Oxford’s new theatre was very gripping at times.
  • “Live dangerously; take a risk.” So do individuals, audiences, artistic directors and wartime leaders. Those who don’t try it take a different risk: of sameness, stagnation and defeat. Handel stopped writing operas in 1741 but continued writing oratorios for the rest of his career. Jephtha, written in 1752, is an oratorio with the drama of an opera, and director Katie Mitchell turned it into one for Welsh National Opera. Robin Tebbutt directs this revival for the current season. Paul Goodwin conducts a delightful WNO orchestra.
  • Last Sunday afternoon, Opera Anywhere brought its 2012 production of Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera to Oxford. Despite the unusual summer heat, and the small team of players, the performance was excellent. The atmosphere was like a good garden party, I was amazed how the performers managed to gamble across the stage and amongst the audience seated in the Greek style open air amphitheatre, atop the Said Business School. At times the wind blew some of the props out of position and at times it was difficult to hear the music. Even so despite these minor technical hitches, it did not stop enjoyment of this fun afternoon.
  • There is nothing like a good musical to brighten up a cold and damp Oxford December evening, which is what you get from attending South Pacific at Oxford’s New Theatre. Certainly, this Lincoln Centre production of South Pacific set on the island of Guadalcanal, put a smile on the face and a spring in the step of the audience, as they left (7 December 2011) at the end of this exciting performance.
  • Lorca’s tragedy of honour killing, set in rural Spain in the 1930s, is sombre and enigmatic. The predominant colours of this production, black and red, are symbolic of passion, blood and death, none of which are ever fully explained.
  • Tosca is one of the world’s great operas. It has everything and Opera should have including, a great story full of political intrigue, plotting, love affairs, jealousy and history. In a sense, it puts Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables to shame. It is also appropriate that Ellen Kent’s production company decided to stage this fine Opera on Saint Valentine’s Day (14 February 2013), at Oxford’s New Theatre.
  • When will directors learn that there is something unsatisfactory about a whole production in which the actors speak in assumed accents? No matter how good they are -or how much coaching they have had - the effect will rarely be wholly convincing and when the accent is Southern states of America, it may be a tiny bit comic too. In this student production the accents are not wholly convincing and the result is unfortunate.
  • The annual visit of the Welsh National Opera to Oxford is one of the highlights of our cultural year. People bus in from all over the area and it is no exaggeration to say that this sort of top-class production is one good reason for living in Oxford!
  • This season WNO is taking on the ambitious project of staging all three of Donizetti’s operas about Tudor history. The Tudor period, of powerful monarchs and rolling heads, attracted Romantic composers seeking dramatic subject-matter. Although the three operas were conceived separately, by performing them in sequence, WNO is enabling us to appreciate them as a great epic, almost like the Ring cycle. The first in the sequence, Anna Bolena, about the tragic downfall of Anne Boleyn, was performed last night and it was a triumph.
  • The second part of Donizetti's operatic trilogy about English history unfolded yesterday at the New Theatre. Maria Stuarda is the story of Mary Queen of Scots, and her last days as a prisoner in England where Elizabeth, who was just a baby in the first opera, is now Queen.
  • The final opera in WNO's Tudor trilogy, Roberto Devereux, was performed yesterday to a rapt audience. Based on the story of Queen Elizabeth's last favourite, Robert, Earl of Essex, via a French play by Ancelot, it fully lives up to the expectations set by the two earlier operas. Opening with one of Donizetti's finest overtures, the music surges from one heightened emotion to another, never less than gripping.
  • This production of AIDA must be called SPECTACULAR. It ranks with the very best. It is now reaching the end of its national tour and deserves all the accolades it has had.
  • Ellen Kent Opera is going from strength to strength. This production of a Verdi classic is exciting, gripping and very dramatic. Nabucco was the very first opera they ever produced. I saw that production, and have to say that this one is far superior. Nabucco is sometimes considered a one-hit show but it’s actually a blockbuster with a buzzing overture and loads of good tunes and arias. The plot boldly interweaves the Old Testament story with a sub-plot about love, jealousy and ambition.
  • Pride and Prejudice By Jane Austen Adapted for the stage by Peter Kenvyn Jones Directed by Simon Tavener
  • Looking for a good night out? Then Pirates of Penzance, a joint production by Scottish Opera and D'Oyly Carte, is well worth a try. It is packed full of innocent merriment, and to come away at the end of the performance, well entertained. It is basically about a young lad who is apprenticed to a pirate band in error, who finds true love, and becomes a member of the House of Lords, a firmly improbable story.
  • Aida is a grand Verdi opera centred on a love affair that is torn between conflicting personal and national loyalties. The Ethiopian princess Aida has been captured and made the slave of the Egyptian princess Amneris. Amneris desires Radames, captain of the Egyptian guard, but he doesn’t want her and secretly loves Aida. Ethiopia and Egypt are at war, Aida’s father King Amonasro is leading the Ethiopian army and Radames is appointed to lead the Egyptian army. Aida doesn’t know which side to support. Tension and tragedy are assured.
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  • For the Jury Helga Rabl-Stadler Thaddaeus Ropac Julia Gschnitzer Jürgen Flimm Georg Schmiedleitner
  • ‘Cool it’, the movie examines the voracity of some of the arguments and proposed solutions, trendy eco-warriors such as Al-Gore has publicised in his movie ‘An Inconvenient Truth’. ‘Cool it’, is a film adaptation of the book with the same name by noted Danish climate expert and scientist Bjorn Lomborg. The film accepts the general thesis of global warming, but questions the economic and social solutions that are put forward to solve this problem.
  • Chuck is what you would expect from James Bond if he had a sense of humour and could keep an on-going relationship. Chuck is certainly full of high jinks and parody of many of the spy films, we currently see including Mission Impossible and The Bourne Supremacy. There is everything in it from a hideout similar to the bat cave to super gadgets that appear from the most unlikely of places. However, the magic for Chuck's fans is the clever plots and relationships that our hero Chuck has with his bride to be and other supporting characters in the series. Unlike a lot of American TV, Chuck is not for the brain dead. It is equal in many ways to The Big Bang Theory.
  • Leverage is the American remake of the BBC television series Hustle. Unfortunately, this Americanised version lacks the subtle humour and intelligent repartee that plays between the characters of the British original version. However, it is still a very entertaining, sometimes comic crime caper, ideal for avoiding all those boring hours of Olympic television that will be available from the main broadcasters and cable companies, including the BBC, ITV, Virgin Cable and Sky TV.
  • W listopadzie 2012 wszedł na ekrany kin w Anglii film Mike’a Newella pt.,,Great Expactations", będzie on dostępny na DVD już 25 marca. Jeśli chcecie Państwo zobaczyć ambitny film awanturniczy, kryminalny, historyczny i rodzinny zarazem, z bogatą galerią portetów psychologicznych, to ten film jest dla Was!
  • First rate casting from the leading roles right down to the driver (Paul Giamatti) and the young P L Travers.The cutting was so smooth, that at a rate of 20 per minute, we were led smoothly though the scenes completely unaware of the jump cuts until the one that you were meant to notice due to the sudden increase in the sound. The costumes, sets, music (oh the music!) all were superb.
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is James Thurber's classic story of a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.
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  • For the latest in book and publishing comment, news and reviews from Oxford
  • Many writers of books, whether it is an academic, fiction or non-fiction publication, just think all they have to do is write the book. Unfortunately, this is only the first stage to potential publishing success. There is still much work by an author to be done, if you are going to achieve any potential book sales for your printed publication or e-book. Here are a few suggestions how you can promote your new book in the tough world of publishing.
  • This exciting biography traces the unlikely career of the German baron who in 1736 had himself proclaimed and crowned King of Corsica. Theodore von Neuhoff’s career spanned the entire continent and his role in the Corsican rebellion against Genoa was as bold and unconventional as everything else in his life. Mixing with royalty, rogues and rabble, he was successively a soldier, secret agent, Jacobite, speculator, alchemist, cabbalist, Rosicrucian, astrologer, fraudster, and spy. Freiherr Theodor Stephan von Neuhoff (* 25. August 1694 in Köln[1]; † 11. Dezember 1756 in London) war ein politischer Abenteurer, dem es Mitte des 18. Jahrhunderts gelang, sich vorübergehend an die Spitze der korsischen Unabhängigkeitsbewegung gegen Genua zu stellen. Er ging als erster und einziger König von Korsika (Theodor I.) in die Geschichte ein.
  • On October 16th we found out the winner of the Man Booker prize. Look down the list of previous prizewinners and you will find some impressive titles: "Remains of the Day", "Schindler's Ark", "The English Patient", "Wolf Hall", "The God of Small Things" and, of course "Midnight's Children."
  • Energy is a big global business, this new book entiled 'Energy Business Today', published by nicnewmanoxford, contains some of the latest insights by international energy expert and journalist Nicholas Newman.
  • "The Oxford Literary Festival continued to buzz with excitement today. In a single time slot we had to choose between Dieter Helm, Richard Davenport-Hines, Patricia Fara, Jane Ridley, Peter Henessy, Sara Wheeler and many more, speaking on topics are divers as climate change, the Profumo affair, Edward VII, and women migrants to America in the nineteenth-century. "
  • "Agent Hunter is not, as I first thought, some new software program to help you find spyware on your laptop. Rather, it is a useful way of finding the literary agent who will assist you in showing your beautiful mind to the audience. "
  • "It was curious mixture of old and new that greeted expectant visitors to the Oxford Literary Festival talk held in the magnificent medieval setting of Christ Church College in Oxford. Participating in this talk was French literature academic Philippe Aigrain, Filipino Australian poetess Ivy Alvarez, Sheffield poet Alexander Smith and fellow of All-Souls College Suzanne Aigrain who debated the topic “Writing and Publishing On - line; A New Age for Fiction and Poetry”. It was reasonable choice of speakers."
  • Booker Prize-winner Hilary Mantel and feminist academic Marina Warner are among the 300 authors taking part in the current Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival. If you ever wanted to hear your favourite writers and journalists speak and get them to sign their books for you, this is your chance. The Festival this year is well attended and all the events I went to today were packed out. It is stimulating and sociable. The atmosphere in Blackwells has an agreeable buzz to it!
  • Adam Michnik, at 66 years old is editor in chief of Poland’s leading newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, a leading Eastern European dissident, and was one of the leaders of Poland’s dissident movement. In addition, he was one of the leading strategist’s for Solidarity and was also an organizer of the Round Table debates with the communist government. Adam Michnik is a major public intellectual, an interpreter of post – Communist ideological and political debates, a moral thinker and polemicist. Adam is a recipient of numerous awards and honours, including Knight of the Legion of Honour and European of the Year.
  • Peter Robinson owns one of the leading business mentoring and executive coaching practices in the Thames Valley. This follows a long and successful career in the corporate world. He was CEO & General Manager of Hitachi Data Systems in the UK. He has also served in senior global sales and marketing management positions with the IBM Corporation, Fujitsu Technology Solutions (North America) and the Recall Corporation. He has also owned and run several small-to-medium enterprises, including an interim management practice and a ladies clothes boutique. The techniques, principles and methodologies described in this book have enabled thousands of business owners to fully realise and benefit from the true value of their businesses. This book will show you how
  • An enthralling story that is entertainingly written and full of remarkable characters. D'Argens, friend of Voltaire and Maupertuis, was one of the rebels of his time, and his books were banned by the Inquisition.
  • 2014 is, apparently, the year for history-inspired biographies. In The Man with his Head in the Clouds, Richard O. Smith follows the chaotic and brilliant life of James Sadler - pioneer of lighter-than-air flight and mobile steam engines. The book makes you wonder, more than anything, why Sadler is not more of a household name, for his is a life of whimsy, adventure and humour; one that saw the uneducated pastry chef crashing balloons into the Thames and various parts of Yorkshire, sometimes accompanied by a cat, sometimes not.
  • 2014 is, apparently, the year for history-inspired biographies. In The Man with his Head in the Clouds, Richard O. Smith follows the chaotic and brilliant life of James Sadler - pioneer of lighter-than-air flight and mobile steam engines. The book makes you wonder, more than anything, why Sadler is not more of a household name, for his is a life of whimsy, adventure and humour; one that saw the uneducated pastry chef crashing balloons into the Thames and various parts of Yorkshire, sometimes accompanied by a cat, sometimes not.
  • An Anthology of Interviews with 40 Remarkable People Linked to Oxford
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  • What is the eCommerce MasterPlan in under 300 Words: Really simply it’s a 5 Step plan that will show you your recipe for success. Step 1: One of the fundamental problems I see again and again with eCommerce businesses is that they don’t know what they’re trying to be. There are just 7 eCommerce Business Structures, by the end of Step 1 you’ll know which you are. You’ll also identify your USP and your Product Range Scope – once you know these 3 things building your eCommerce MasterPlan is simple. Step 2: At the heart of every eCommerce business is a great website. Here I’ll explain how to get the right website for your business. This is an area that can make or break your business. So follow Step 2 to make sure you’re one of the lucky ones. Step 3: Every eCommerce business should be built to drive a profit, and you can build that in from day one if you get the numbers right. Step 3 Cost, Profit and Growth will show you how. Step 4: An eCommerce business needs something to sell, and you need to keep optimising those products. In Step 4 I’m going to show you how to keep your products performing. Together Steps 2, 3, and 4 are the Core Foundations of a successful eCommerce business. Get them right and the rest will be easy. Step 5: Step 1 identified what sort of eCommerce business you are, that will help identify what marketing’s going to work for you. Steps 2-4 built the foundation of the business ready for sales – and marketing is going to bring those to you. Step 5 will show you how to build your marketing plan, and what should be in it. About the book eCommerce is rapidly becoming the biggest player in the market-place – the overheads can be low, the rewards huge. But very few businesses seem to really know what they’re doing, and most operate on a sometimes hit, mostly miss approach. eCommerce MasterPlan provides a clear, systematic analysis of what works and what doesn’t for each of the 7 different kinds of eCommerce businesses Chloë Thomas has identified. This enables the reader to identify their type of business and select exactly the right mix of marketing methods to minimise risk and maximise reward. Sensible, straightforward, with practical exercises to apply all the way through, and hosts of extension material available online to ensure that information is kept entirely up to date, this promises to be a must-read for any marketing manager or small business owner.
  • Strategic Knowledge Management - Insights, Practical Tools & Technique, What was the basis of Steve Jobs's approach to strategy? What is it going to take to succeed in a recession? Whilst not being another book purely about Steve Jobs, this book lifts the lid upon t..., August 4, 2012 Did you know that at least half the companies that work in the Fortune 1000 of 20 years ago have ceased to exist? Yes, I know that the likes of Ford and General Motors still exist today. However, old favourites like Pan Am and Woolworth’s have been terminated, whilst the likes of Kodak and IBM are busy reinventing themselves into companies quite different from their original selves.
  • Every day, there is some story in the media about governments, universities and companies succeeding or failing that innovation. Though, the most common complaint, you will hear is that there is a lack of an innovation culture. This is despite great innovations occurring around the world, including Kalashnikovs AK-47, still the most used assault rifle to the simple post-it note that you see littering documents all over the world.
  • This is a review by Nicholas Newman of a book edited by David Gurteen entitled "Leading Issues in Social Knowledge Management", published by Academic Publishing Ltd 2012. This book is a collection of 10 research papers edited by knowledge management consultant David Gurteen. It looks at different aspects of how knowledge management social tools are used in diverse situations, and debates the reasons behind the successes and failures of such technological and non-technological tools as Enterprise 2.0 have had on capitalize and retain knowledge assets in the reality of the workplace, both public and private.
  • If you are looking for a pocket sized book to guide you around Singapore on your lay over between Australia and Europe, there is much to recommend this new edition of Lonely Planet’s paperback guide to Singapore. This book is aimed at the independent traveller, looking to add Singapore to his itinerary. The visitor will find useful suggestions as to where tourists should shop, eat out, stay and socialise. It feels like a small telephone directory, that is packed full of useful background briefings and tips about the best sites to visit and enjoy. For those who want to have a real feel for the city the guided walks described in the guide, will certainly prove rewarding.
  • Vitali Vitaliev’s latest book ‘Life as a Literary Device’ can be best described as an unconventional, sometimes nostalgic description of his life, adventures and experiences from the closing stages of the former Soviet Empire to the present day. His career has included being a successful professional travel writer, author and international journalist.
  • Today, there is much discussion about the relative merits of social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Linkedin and Twitter, yet little practical advice on how to avoid the hazards that face a professional journalist. Such social networking sites are proving, for some journalists, a useful new source of story ideas and leads. Indeed, such virtual sites are being used by some reporters as the equivalent of overhearing a story on a bus or in a pub.
  • The problem Disaster is a regular topic in the news, whether man-made or natural, in recent years there have been earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and floods. It would appear many disaster prone countries have failed to implement adequate pre-disaster risk assessment programs to mitigate the impact of such disasters. What is this book about? The authors of ‘The Asian Tsunami: Aid Reconstruction after a Disaster’ by Sisira Jayasuriya and Peter McCawley focuses on the events surrounding the Asian Tsunami of 26 December 2004. This book studies the rescue and rehabilitation efforts of local, national and international stakeholders
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  • This year's festival had writers and panellists from over 20 countries; some two dozen speakers from the USA for our new annual programme on American literature and culture; ten speakers on Indian literature and culture; several events in our Africa programme and previews of next year’s focus on German literature and culture. Joining them are some of the greatest writers in English of our age, including Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney and Booker prize winners Hilary Mantel, Julian Barnes and Ben Okri.
  • Interviews with famous historical, science fiction, detective novelists, scientists, politicians and business people. Many of them have some connection with Oxford including that they have studied, worked or visited Oxford at some time.
  • Richard Dawkins, though perhaps not well known in Europe, is one of the world’s most controversial and influential intellectual figures. He holds the Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. His book ‘The selfish Gene’ published in 1976, in which he argued that the “the selfish gene was the basic engine of evolutionary development.” This book became one of the most influential scientific texts of modern times.
  • The many television series, based on Colin Dexter’s books have made both Oxford and his heroes, Inspector Morse and Lewis, household names throughout Europe. As you would expect from such a popular writer, he has been given many honours and awards including the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace for his services to literature.
  • I talked with Lindsey Davis, the famous authoress, in the lounge of Rome’s Hotel Forum near the ancient Forum that plays such a vital setting for many of her Falco detective novels. Lindsey Davis is busy at work on a short story commissioned by BBC Radio 4, in a new initiative, which pairs writers with reading groups in the central England region; it will be broadcast in 2008. Then she next turns to the nineteenth novel of her highly successful historical comic detective series set in the first century AD of the Roman Empire under Emperor Vespasian. It will be set in Roman Alexandria and Lindsey comments, 'The challenge is to avoid all mention of Pharaohs!'
  • VISITING the Oxford Literary Festival recently, Nicholas Newman, of Oxford Prospects magazine, interviewed travel writer, Fran Sandham, author of TRAVERSA, A Solo Walk Across Africa, from the Skeleton Coast to the Indian Ocean.
  • It’s amazing how many people have seen, or read, Brian’s work. Hollywood directors Simon Channing-Williams, Roger Corman, Stanley Kubrick and Spielberg have all adapted his tales into films. Three notable adaptions have been Brothers of the Head, Frankenstein Unbound and A.I. However working with such famous film directors has certainly been a remunerative, exciting, but not necessarily a satisfactory experience.
  • Dr. Bjorn Lomborg aged 42, heads the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, is adjunct professor at Copenhagen Business School Denmark, and author of the best selling books ‘The Skeptical Environmentalist’ and ‘Cool It’. Bjorn was named one of the "50 people who could save the planet" by the Guardian newspaper in 2008.
  • Julia Gray, Hollywood script writing consultant and CEO of the ‘Scriptwriting Department’, brought these little known facts, to my attention. I met her for lunch with Julia at Oxford’s historic Ashmolean museum rooftop restaurant. She was due to give a one-day film script writing workshop in the town. The Ashmolean museum is a favourite haunt of Oxford’s intelligentsia and artists, such as Colin Dexter and Richard Dawkins.
  • Piotr Krupa, aged 50, is one of Poland’s foremost poets and musicians. He is a leading example of the Polish troubadour style of music, in the use of guitar and harmonica. In addition, he is director of a Polish cultural centre in the town of Chobot near the country’s artistic capital of Krakow. Piotr has appeared regularly on Polish radio and television with much acclaim.
  • Piotr Krupa, lat 50, jest jednym z najbardziej ostatnio godnych uwagi polskich poetów i muzyków,wywodzących się z nurtu poezji śpiewanej
  • I salute the determination of the stall-holders who held their fortnightly Farmers’ Market as usual today in Headington despite buffetting from wind and rain. I went, so as not to miss the seasonal asparagus and the fresh fish stall. The latter was not a disappointment. Despite the fact that summer seems to have been cancelled, fishermen have been out and caught us a wonderful selection of fresh sea-bass, crab, lobster, sole, skate and plaice. I got a nice fat piece of huss, a firm strong-flavoured fish almost like chicken, and will use it to make a fish curry.
  • Headington’s Coco Noir is Oxfordshire’s sole provider of fresh gourmet Belgium chocolate delights. Chocolate lovers of every preference find something to satisfy and excite their taste buds. Amongst the broad range of exciting delicacies on offer are dark chocolate ganache with Armagnac, sea salt caramel, almonds with Brazil nuts, dark chocolate truffles, dark chocolate with orange tea and white cardamom with coconut & pistachio. Coco Noir’s chocolates are freshly made, no more than 4 weeks old and at most contain only six ingredients. Coco Noir’s chocolate is fresh, crisp, and delicate but also on offer are sharp/hot tastes such as chili for every palate.
  • Greek Cookery Class runs another three-week course on these Sundays, 29 Jan, 5 Feb and 19 Feb, (we have a break during school break) with three full days of cooking and eating. Details are under Jan/Feb Greek Cookery Class Course below. You can sign up by emailing me back with your name to arrange for your booking on greekcookeryclass(AT) There will also be a semi-supperclub and semi food and wine tasting event on 23 February.
  • Fortunately, using it on a sunny Spring morning like yesterday was a treat and it seemed to me that quite a lot of people were there. I bumped into two old friends and went to all my favourite stalls, as well as discovering a new one. On the list of unmissable things are always the bakery stall and Eadles for yummy chickens and meaty pork sausages. Apparently we’re not allowed to call anything a Cumberland sausage now unless it’s made in Cumberland, so I will describe these as a Cumberland-style ¬sausage, solid and lean. Do Yorkshire puddings also have to be made in Yorkshire? What about Irish stews? Dundee cakes? Bath buns? And Jerusalem artichokes? I also bought, on impulse, some lamb’s kidneys, which can be grilled, fried or put in a stew. The stall selling smoked trout is another one I stop at automatically. No need to nibble their tasters - I know their products are delicious.
  • When did you last taste an apple pie or pudding that was really good? One that made you think, gosh, so that’s why people went to all that trouble planting orchards all over the place. Chances are, it was a frozen strudel and you bought it in a box.
  • You will find this recipe fun to do, in fact all the ingredients are available at your local Co-op or Waitrose. Adults Kitchen - Handy tip: Lamb Kofte Tagine Ingredients: 750g lamb mince 1 onion , grated 1 red chilli , finely chopped 1 tsp ground cumin 2 cloves , ground coriander leaves from a large bunch 1 egg olive oil 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes or tinned cherry tomatoes
  • A recipe from Abigail Rose at Headington's Blackboy gastro pub Adults Kitchen - Handy tip: As well as being one of the most unintentionally amusing-sounding things you can do to a foodstuff, spatchcocking is a very good way of making meat easy to portion and quicker to cook. It's also not nearly as complicated as you might have been led to believe.
  • TEA drinking in many households is an obsession, and getting a good cup sets people up for the rest of the day. Everyone drinks tea from Wallace and Gromit to the Prime Minister. The trouble is the art of making a good cup of tea is sadly being lost, as the number of American coffee bars has increased. This is a pity for those of us leading stressful lives, since sitting down in a comfortable chair with a fine cup of tea, a good book and biscuits is an excellent way to relax, as Poirot would say, ‘it helps those little grey cells.’
  • A few weeks ago, such a fluke happened to me; I went to stay with an old friend and discovered that behind his house was a neglected orchard in which three ancient pear trees were laden with fruit. The apple and plum trees had long ago fallen into decay, but pear trees can live and go on producing fruit for up to two hundred years. These venerable trees, overgrown, unpruned, and unruly, were weighted down with their bronze treasure, and more of it lay all around in the long grass. The pears were oddities by modern standards, funny shapes and sizes, but absolutely scrumptious.
  • A Google search says that there are 2,860,000 recipes for pumpkin on the internet alone. OK, so 2,000,000 of them are variations on pumpkin pie. That still leaves 860,000 ways to eat your Halloween pumpkin. Imagine that all those noughts are round, amber-coloured pumpkins, and beautiful gigantic vegetables like globes of sunshine captured to brighten up our autumn. Beginning to feel hungry?
  • For recipe suggestion Everybody with a garden should have a currant bush in it somewhere. Currants, which are at the peak of their season now, in early August, are ridiculously easy to grow, packed with flavour and vitamin C, and have no thorns or bad habits. All they need is a little space and a reasonable amount of sun. They don’t need a trellis, they don’t need to be pruned carefully, you don’t have to water them once they are established, and they don’t get too big.
  • Plums are part of the British culture, woven into nursery rhymes, proverbs, and folklore. We speak of a plum job, and a “plummy” voice”. Little Jack Horner pulled out a plum, because Christmas pudding was originally made with plums (not raisins or sultanas). And where would the Nutcracker be without the Sugar Plum Fairy?
  • Italian food has a long tradition of using seafood; with a total coastline of 7,600km it is easy to see why. The Mediterranean is estimated at having over 17,000 marine species. Italian food in Britain has been popular since as early as the eighteenth century.
  • This Winter don’t let the bad weather beat you down until Christmas comes around, remember there are many reasons to celebrate and give thanks. Choose to exchange gifts with loved ones. Neideregger marzipan is a perfect winter gift, using a traditional method that has been unchanged since 1806, these treats are as traditional as the festivals you choose to celebrate, but incorporate flavours perfect for modern taste buds.
  • The high-speed rail operator was recently granted the One-Star Sustainability Champion* status for its commitment to sourcing local and sustainably produced ingredients for its on-board catering, and for pursuing a socially and environmentally responsible approach.
  • A delicious selection of fresh sandwiches, snacks, drinks and hot dishes will arrive on-board all Eurostar services from 30th April. With a range of over 20 products there will be something to satisfy pan-European appetites including mushroom risotto, chicken tikka masala, and a tapas selection, as well as traditional British sandwiches and the French classic Croque Monsieur.
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 40 minutes Total Time: 1 hour
  • Some tea is poorly processed and the flavour is ruined before you've even opened the package. If you start with a good quality tea, you're much more likely to get good results. Sainsbury's Fair Trade Red Label is good and inexpensive.
  • Oxfordshire has some of the most glorious, varied, historic and interesting gardens in Britain - just what you'd expect for a county of rolling green hills, stately homes and honey-coloured stone buildings.
  • It is less than one year to the London Olympics in 2012. Summer is nearly over, yet there is much still to do in the garden, including cutting the lawn and hedges, weeding and pruning the bushes. Much of this gardening will include strenuous physical activities, that an Olympic sports person would be familiar with. In a recent survey, 80% of Ontario chiropractors reported that working in the garden was one of the most common sources of neck and back pain. To help you enjoy the fruits of your labour, as you prepare the garden for winter, it's recommend you keep the following tips in mind:
  • I sometimes think that if we had to have only one flower in the whole year - a sort of Desert Island flower - it would have to be the daffodil. Nothing else quite so joyously announces that Spring has come around again.
  • Oxfordshire Handyman Brenden Gillen is based in Oxford, As a handyman he provides a full range of repair and hard landscaping services.These include: All types of fencing, gates, repair work, sheds, concrete hard standing, block paving, patios, steps, garden walls, retaining walls, ponds, lighting, decking, aco drains, drainage, shingle, soak away, new driveways, landscaping. Mini digger for hire with driver at week ends. Groundwork up to floor level, dpc, formwork and reinforcement.
  • Oxfordshire has some of the most glorious, varied, historic and interesting gardens in Britain - just what you'd expect for a county of rolling green hills, stately homes and honey-coloured stone buildings. There are formal gardens, clipped and tamed, in awe-inspiring settings as Blenheim Palace where fountains sparkle and dance on the Water Terraces. Or Oxford’s Botanic Garden's Rose Garden, amid trimmed yew hedges, commemorating Florey, who developed penicillin.
  • The gardens featured include Stowe, constructed on a magnificent scale with more than 40 temples and monuments, wooded walks by lakes and fun play elements for children, and Blenheim Palace Park, landscaped by 'Capability' Brown. Its formal Rose, Italian, and Secret Gardens as well as Water Terraces seem at their best - as if by magic - almost all year round. Hidden away in a Chiltern valley lies Stonor, whose rolling deer park and walled garden planted with roses and apple trees surprise and delight. Up in the north of Oxfordshire, among the Ironstone Hills, Broughton Castle gazes majestically over its moat, parkland and fleur-de- lys shaped box hedges, enclosing rare and historic roses.
  • During dry weather there is no need to water established lawns unless absolutely necessary. Established lawns will turn brown in hot weather but it’s not worth wasting water on them, as the grass will soon recover.
  • London, April 2012 - Olympus is proud to announce that three of its flagship products received a red dot award: product design 2012. Creative heads and manufacturers from all over the world submitted a total of 4,515 entries to the renowned competition. All three Olympus products impressed the 30-strong international jury with the quality of their design. The E-P3 and LS-100 took home an award each in the Entertainment Technology and Cameras category while the IPLEX UltraLite was a winner in the Industry and Crafts category.
  • It is no secret that piracy attacks are becoming more audacious and that methods necessary to combat such attacks are becoming more extreme. Local restrictions often mean that ship owners can t always obtain reliable armed protection, attacks are now expected up to 120 nautical miles off the coast of some areas and concern exists over moves to ban ransom payments - the choices for operators are fraught with difficulty.
  • At last there is a viable replacement for your 50w halogen bulbs. The MiniSun GU10 3w bulb is the next generation of LED lighting to help homeowners reduce their energy output while, at the same time, providing better quality lighting. The bulbs are twice as bright as competitors and make use of Surface Mounted Diodes (SMD) technology - the latest thing in LED bulbs.
  • What makes the Kindle with Wi-Fi and 6 inch ink display, ideal, is its simplicity and price of only £69. The Kindle is ideal for any pocket or even your handbag, because it is small, light and easy to use.
  • One day you are in desperate need of an affordable fully integrated photo and graphic design software package that can meet your immediate needs as a small business or freelance graphics designer. Well Xara has come up with a solution that should interest you. These are the Xara Photo and Graphic Designer MX 2013 And Xara Designer Pro X. The former is ideal for the occasional user, whilst the latter is designed for the graphics professional.
  • Panasonic presents the Toughbook 31, the reliable laptop offering the highest performance in its class along with the world's most rugged design. With drop shock protection and a MIL-STD-810G and IP65 certification1, it's the undisputed leader in the fully-rugged category. Its 2nd gen Intel Core™ i5 vPro™ and i3 processors* along with available discrete graphics, pack a punch, to deliver desktop-class performance and improved video/3D graphics. The Toughbook 31 offers a 13.1" brilliant 1200 nit touchscreen available with Panasonic CircuLumin™ technology, integrated webcam and up to 13 hours of battery life. Six generations of delivering rugged performance plus twelve years of consistent docking compatibility, and you have a computer that will go the distance with you anytime, anywhere.
  • The Olympus TG-310 is the latest snap and click camera to come out this year. It is ideal for both the family and adventurer at heart. It’s aimed at those who want to take better quality pictures and video clips than is available from the latest mobile phone. So for people who need good images for their work like journalists, parking wardens, engineers, surveyors and adventurers it is an ideal piece of kit. What’s more it fits handily in my pocket and is rechargeable. It is designed to be tough!
  • It is becoming clear that your gadget shopping list will not contain all things apple, it is likely other brands will be competing for your hard earned cash. For those who raced to buy the new Apple tablet – the question is, will you still be using it in six months, given the design restrictions built into the product. Will your apple tablet end up in six-month time, in the cupboard, as some costly mistake, with the rest of the gadgets you bought in haste, superseded by cheaper, more flexible, and easier to operate devices that are starting to come on to the market?
  • DrawPlus X5 is designed for both the professional and amateur user. If you are a graphic artist, an illustrator, a desktop publisher or a web designer, you will find it a very useful. It's extremely versatile, both amateurs and professionals will find features to satisfy their requirements.
  • Serif has launched the latest version of WebPlus, its WebPlus X5. It is website design tool software, which ensures users don't need to learn HTML to construct and publish a website. It is an update on WebPlus X4, which was very good! The aim of this software is to make it as easy as possible for anyone to design and create a professional-quality website, regardless of experience. It is certainly, a game-changing improvement on its previous version and much easier to use than its extremely more expensive rivals such as Expression Web or Dreamweaver.
  • The Olympus LS-5 digital voice recorder is certainly an impressive device! Olympus claims it is designed for professional users who require high quality sound recordings. Certainly, its chunky blue metallic appearance suggests that it is a serious professional tool that any musician, sound engineer, broadcaster, journalist or academic would be proud to use. Olympus has designed the LS-5 to have all the features necessary for a handy portable sound studio. Like all Olympus products, due to its innovative design it is robust and easy to use. However, as a journalist, with less than perfect eyesight, I found I had to use my glasses to read the details on the small backlit inbuilt screen and discover the particular operation of each individual control button.
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  • The Olympus DR-1000 is ideal for dictating many of the standard documents such as patient notes, voice mail, letters, memos to colleagues and even producing podcasts. Increasingly users working from home, including the visually impaired, best selling authors, students and academics are finding the Olympus DR -1000 a useful tool in the work and study environments.
  • United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, 9th January 2012 - Canon today introduces the PowerShot G1 X - a revolutionary new compact camera with a large CMOS sensor, designed to produce DSLR levels of image quality and control in a highly portable metal body. Created for professional and serious photographers, the PowerShot G1 X creates a prestigious new category at the top of Canon’s legendary G-series line-up, and redefines the performance achievable from a compact camera.
  • Serif Launches PagePlus X6 – The Ultimate Business Tool for Print and Digital Publishing December 05, 2011 – Small businesses looking for an affordable print and digital publishing tool to help market themselves can now benefit from PagePlus X6 – the versatile and easy-to-use desktop publishing software from Serif, the award-winning design, publishing and creative software developer. The latest version gives computer users with normal office software skills the power to create and print stylish promotional materials and stationery, fully edit PDFs like no other desktop publisher, make interactive multimedia brochures, and now publish eBooks – all at just £81.69. It helps businesses create materials that outshine what they normally produce using their other office software, or achieve more than is possible with other desktop publishing software, without a steep learning curve or extra training. “PagePlus X6 is revolutionising publishing in an affordable way, as it did when we launched the first version of PagePlus in 1990 – the first sub-£100 desktop publishing software for Windows,” says Gary Bates, Managing Director at Serif. “It has been recognised as one of the best desktop publishing programs over the last 20 years and now, by embracing eBook publishing and further enhancing its PDF publishing power, it is more useful than ever for start-ups and small to medium businesses.” Desktop publishing is an increasingly important part of everyday work in non-desktop publishing roles, yet many businesses and employees need a helping hand to create marketing materials and other compelling publications that stand out from the crowd. Many businesses will turn to tools already at hand, often word processors, and this is commonly seen with plain or unattractive prints throughout businesses on a daily basis. “There has never been a more pressing time for businesses and employees to step up the quality of their documents. What’s more, we recognise that businesses, professionals, clubs, charities and individuals increasingly need to share information online, to publish for online stores, and to have their content consumed on devices like the iPad®, Kindle™, or smartphones in order to reach and engage with the widest audience. PagePlus X6 allows print designs to become interactive eBrochures, its PDF forms can be completed online with free data forwarding, PDFs can be opened, fully edited, optimised and exported, and users can also publish eBooks in the latest formats.” Other new and improved features include powerful asset management and fresh design content. Users can drag and drop from organised categories, including backgrounds, photos, photo frames, page layouts and whole stacks of pages. Graphical content created by Serif and end users can be organised on a themed or per-project basis, with keyword searching for added efficiency. Modern press colour systems have also been introduced, allowing Pantone® Goe™ and Pantone® PLUS colour for the most striking, accurate professional printing. “With layout assistants, built-in PDF editing, photo editing, a logo creator and much more, PagePlus X6 has raced ahead of the standard word processor and its desktop publishing rivals – for design aesthetics, ease-of-use, and versatility. One of the many things that make PagePlus X6 so accessible is its revamped workspace and focus on tidier design. It has a much cleaner look with fewer off-page distractions and redesigned tool buttons available in larger sizes, plus a new design mode that reduces visible page clutter and encourages neater layouts.” PagePlus X6 is compatible with Windows 7/Vista/XP and retails at £81.69 (inc. VAT). It is available from Serif at and from major retailers including Amazon and PC World. Existing Serif Software users should contact 0800 376 7070 for further information on upgrade pricing.
  • Russian Dispatches A Puzzle Inside A Conundrum Today, Russia is rarely out of the news. It is either stories about Russians busy buying up parts of London, Chechen terrorists’ attacks on Moscow’s Domodedovo airport or news of the latest Russian owned mega yacht. We rarely hear about the Russian Federation’s recent technological and innovative successes. In the Soviet era, Russian innovators had much to be proud, from the AK-47 Kalashnikov machine gun to the Soyuz rocket. Such products are still in high demand by customers around the world, in part because of their innovative design, reliability and low costs. Nowadays, for these very same reasons foreign high tech companies are actively recruiting Russia’s creative innovative talent. The results of the country's innovation are all around us, from much of the tiresome spam that arrives at our computers daily to the latest in biomedical equipment. However, difficulties with the past poor reputation of some Russian products and the multinational nature of much innovation may mean users, are quite unaware that they are using the results of Russian innovation. Last February, I visited several major research and innovation centres in the Saint Petersburg and Moscow regions to discover the current state of technological progress in the country. What I found surprised me, Russian scientists and engineers are not the melancholic and dour people characterised by Tolstoy. Instead, I found many of them to be very optimistic, people full of boundless new ideas and energy. Russia’s Innovation Stagnation Russian trains Russia is a vast land and train journeys can often take days. Herds of reindeer crossing the tracks or the permafrost melting can delay trains. Last February, I travelled on Russian Railway’s (RZD) first high-speed train service, the Sapsan (Russian for Peregrine Falcon), that links Moscow with Saint Petersburg. It is the latest in German train technology, built by Siemens Mobility, and it is far superior to what Russian rail technologists could themselves provide. The Sapsan has already substantially cut journey times from five hours to three-hour forty-five minutes between the two cities. However, most of the rail system is still using Soviet era technology, and clearly, there is considerable room for improvement with trains crawling across this vast country at stately 60 kilometres an hour. Today, Russia’s profitable railways prefer to rely on imported technology as part of their modernisation plans. At present, Russia’s railway engineers, scientists, production and operating companies are busy in joint technological sharing deals with foreign companies. For instance, Siemens Mobility has registered 35 patents as the result of co-operation with its partners on several rail related projects to make its products more suitable for the harsh Russian operating environment. Germany’s railway company, DB Schenker, in conjunction with Russian Railways and St. Petersburg State Railway University has set up an International Logistics Supply Chain Management Centre aimed at encouraging innovation and modernisation in the rail sector. However, clearly it will be many years before the Russian train builders, will be able to compete on an equal footing against foreign firms such as Siemens Mobility and Alstom. Russian Innovation Progress Space Technology Today, Russia is acknowledged as pioneers of space tourism, what is less well-known is the vital role Russian technology plays in the World’s space research effort, including the launching of satellites into orbit and delivering supplies to the International Space Station. Today, Russia’s approach to space technology is best described as a program of gradual development marked by upgrades of existing equipment, reapplication to new goals of hardware designed for other purposes, rapid recovery from failures, and constant experimentation. This contrasts with the USA, which tends to seek technological solutions that are often overcomplicated and have become too expensive for the taxpayer. The European Space Agency (ESA) has been so impressed with its experiences in using the services of the Russian Federal Space Agency. That ESA has invested in a new Soyuz launch site at Kourou in the middle of the French Guinean jungle, next to where it launches its own heavy lift Arianespace rockets. ESA has bought 14 Soyuz rockets able to lift packages up to three tonnes, with the first one due to be launched in August or September this year from Kourou. Russia’s To Build Its Own Silicon Valley! Since the days of Stalin, there have been what Russians calls science cities known as ‘naukograds’. Ivory towers of innovation located often in the remotest parts of the country, closed to the outside world. Somewhat like the science fiction town portrayed in the American comedy television series ‘Eureka’. As a result, such restrictions hampered the ability of such naukograds to innovate. Today, the Russian government as part of its innovation strategy has opened most of its naukograds. However, as Sergey Konovalov, expert at the Department for International Cooperation at the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Education and Science has observed that Russian design needs to do better, though its R&D is quite strong, especially in the fundamental sciences, though, applied science and innovation, in Sergey’s view, are in need of improvement! In February 2010, President Medvedev announced ambitious plans to build the equivalent of America’s Silicon Valley in the Moscow region at Skolkovo in Odintsovo County. Already, several major foreign investors, including Intel, Microsoft and Matsui have expressed interest in the project. It will have its own golf course built by Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich. When I visited the site last February, the temperature was minus six degrees, and construction had started despite the snow. However, such cold weather did not stop Finland from becoming a major world centre of research and technological innovation. In Russia, the winter weather has not prevented people playing golf, as I soon discovered when I visited, with several Russian friends the nearby Nakhabino golf club. Golf in Russia has its rather unique innovations; you play with red balls, and negotiate the course using snowmobiles and ice skates. However, for many Russian golfers, there are additional hazards, including drunken snow mobile drivers, being attacked by a bear and even falling through the ice! President Medvedev’s ambitious technological policy plans are much more practical than they first appear. Sergey Konovalov, suggests that: ‘Basically, the government has tried to create a favourable business climate for hi-tech industry, granting certain privileges to the key players and investing huge amounts of taxpayers' money into these projects. Sergey, though suggests that traditional attitudes towards treating knowledge as a spiritual human virtue, some kind of a gift that was not for the commercialization purposes, will have to change. Doubts are being expressed that Russia technological ambitions could fail! Sergey Konovalov admits, such policies face problems, including the key issue of a shortage of experienced and effective leaders who would transform the oil-based economy into a somewhat modernized technology based economy. For many big potential investors, despite the already generous incentives on offer to participate, the Kremlin will have to prove it can protect intellectual property rights and improve governance standards. However, I think the critics of the Kremlin’s ambitions to create a Russian Silicon Valley are wrong; it has the backing of Russia’s elite, including the likes of Eugene Kaspersky, the founder of Kaspersky Labs and billionaire Viktor Vekselberg. It has a good location, in the most prosperous and accessible region in the country, which should aid success. No, the real question that will determine the success of this project will be how well the Kremlin manages to reform its business, innovative and education environments. Even so, Sergey Konovalov suggests that state-controlled companies will dominate Russia’s high technology sector, simply because modernization is the country’s strategic project. In the long-run, the role of SME will be increasing. I do not see Russia as the world leader in high-tech. Nevertheless, as a smart and committed follower, it should stand in the top-20 countries by the percentage of GDP generated in the innovative sector. Russia’s Innovation Ability There is a saying in the world of innovation that you give the urgent projects to the European’s the big projects to the Indians and the impossible projects to the Russians! Certainly, the Kremlin’s ambitions for Russia to be the leading country in nanotechnology look, at first glance, unlikely. Russian's have a habit not to believe every word the government says about a project. It is not surprising there are many cynical observers who regard the Kremlin’s nanotech project as just a fresh opportunity for the Russia’s business elite to enrich themselves from state funds. Dr. Andrey Gidaspov, Russian Telecoms consultant suggests that observers have reason to be sceptical given that Russian inventors face an environment where: ‘the process of commercialization of technology and its practical implementation is in the infancy stage. Product commercialization is practically undeveloped in Russia!’ In addition, there are issues of a lack of a competitive market environment. Much, if not everything, depends on connections and, sadly, corruption. Most business is concentrated in corporations, while start-ups are suffering from a lack of financing. The Russian banking system is clearly not ready to lend credit for new ideas; they are sceptical toward risky ventures. In addition, Andrey Gidaspov suggests many civil servants themselves are skeptical about the necessity for economic diversification and investment in new technology when the country has so much wealth. However, as I discovered talking to my fellow passenger Alexander Nabakov, a hedge fund manager, on the Saint Petersburg Sapsan express. Alexander thought the prospects that Russia will be amongst the top five countries in the world for nanotechnology looked promising. There are a number of reasons for this; the first is that nanotechnology appears to be a technology that lends itself to Russia’s innovative culture of being evolutionary in approach as exemplified by the popularity in usage of the TRIZ (Teoriya Resheniya Izobretatelskikh Zadatch) approach to solving engineering and scientific problems. The second is Russia’s long-term investment in military technology has provided much of the necessary R&D infrastructure and, lastly, the massive backing of government resources to this project. These advantages have certainly encouraged major international firms like INTEL, Microsoft and Boeing to invest millions of dollars in new research establishments in Russia concerned with nanotechnology. Therefore, as to the question, will Russia succeed? Alexander proposes that Russia should be viewed as an exciting environment, full of potential opportunities for the investor in high technology. However, success will depend on how effectively the Kremlin will be able to reform all aspects of its rather chaotic economy. Russia’s Human Condition Today, Russia presents a rather confusing situation to the outside world. In some areas of R&D, it is amongst the leaders in technological innovation, yet in other sectors, it lags far behind. Russian society has a strong collectivist tradition that has discouraged individual initiative. In addition, it has had societal attitudes that tend to venerate pure knowledge for its own sake, and deplore any attempts to commercialise information. Such attitudes have produced an educational system that has tended to focus on the training of excellent scientists, rather than that of technologists and business graduates. This, perhaps, explains the failure of the elite to create an environment that is favourable to innovators. It is not surprising that often Russia’s brightest and best graduates are seeking remunerative opportunities elsewhere. Consequently, the country’s elite has tended to be more motivated to exploit the massive profits that are available from Russia’s energy and resources boom, rather than investing in more uncertain technological ventures. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Kremlin has not been able to gain sufficient support from Russia’s elite for its past technology policies to be implemented. As a result, this lack of support has meant the Kremlin has been unable to remove many of the barriers to innovation that face both investors and innovators. However, because of the recession, the Kremlin has now gained sufficient backing from the country’s elite to tackle the barriers to innovation caused by its inadequate infrastructure, problematic business climate and uncertain legal environment. SIDEBARS Software In fact, the Russian software industry tends to be very creative. It is perhaps not surprising there is an increasing number of Russian leading edge companies’ software companies’ operating in world markets. Such firms include Kaspersky Labs, maker of anti-virus software and linguistics software provider ABBYY. In fact, take ABBYY as a typical example of what is best in creative software companies. Its development history is virtually identical to the Silicon Valley model for advanced technology companies. A group of students at one of the countries leading research universities the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, the Russian equivalent to Stanford University got together to form a software company led by its current chairman David Yang. Their first product was a Russian – English dictionary software called Lingvo in 1989. Since then the company has grown producing an ever-wider range of quality versions and products. Today ABBYY is in a leading provider of enterprise content management (ECM) and document management markets as a provider of high-quality optical character recognition (OCR), data capture and form processing solutions in over 130 markets. In fact, when I visited ABBYY in Moscow, I found its creative culture and attitudes to work and innovations are comparable to successful software companies worldwide. Nastasya Savina, ABBYY vice-president on corporate communications says: ‘It’s a good place to work; it’s very democratic and flexible.’ The company like all similar companies in Russia has to be adaptable while it can attract the countries best innovators, from its premier schools in software development. ABBYY believes in investing in the future. It sponsors students at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and is allocating 27% of its revenue in research and development into breakthrough products. That's five times the industry average. Russia’s Automotive Sector Local drivers have devastated the Russian owned automotive industry by their preference for expensive international brands. This has resulted in an increasing number of foreign owned assembly plants being built in Russia to meet rising domestic demand and overcome high import tariff barriers. The domestically owned car industry ability to compete has been disadvantaged by a shortage of financial resources for investment and research. Today, the Russian car industry is beginning to fight back as it has become involved in joint ventures and amalgamated with larger conglomerates. Russia’s technological expertise is much sought after by car importers eager to adapt their vehicles for the harsher road and weather conditions of Russia. The results of such developments include the AvtoVaz’s Cheverolet Niva, the GAZ’s Siber saloon and the Chrysler Sebring. In fact, the creative genius of Russian engineers is beginning to make its presence felt from armouring and customising of clients’ luxury vehicles to the development of boutique car-makers like Nikolay Fomenko’s Marussia Motors, plans to roll out new products including a coupe, SUV, sedan and a city car at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. ENDS
  • • Share photos anywhere with 3G and Wi-Fi • Shoot high-quality pro-style photos easily • Use Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS and great apps • Edit directly on the camera with built-in tools
  • Dragon NaturallySpeaking 13 Premium speech recognition software lets you accomplish more on your computer — quickly and accurately — using your voice. Dragon Premium turns spoken words into text and executes voice commands much faster than you can type so you can realise your productivity potential at work, school or home. Dictate and edit documents, send email, search the Web and use social media with unparalleled speed, ease and comfort. Dragon Premium lets you work wirelessly, transcribe notes dictated on the go and use voice shortcuts to get more done faster. Stop typing, start speaking — and start doing. Please Note: Electronic Download does not include a headset Supported Dictation Language: English
  • Capture lectures and interviews in outstanding sound quality. The 3Mic AutoZoom+ technology suppresses surrounding noises for crisp and clear recordings. A motion sensor automatically selects the right microphone for each situation.
  • Premium Image Collection 6 1000 high-quality images add impact to every design! Premium Image Collection 6 is the ultimate resource of stunning imagery to enhance all of your designs. Add professional-quality, high-resolution images to your documents, without having to take the photos yourself or pay a professional to take them for you - and there’s no costly royalties to pay either, you can use these images in commercial publications and advertising with no extra fees! Achieve exactly the look you need with 1000 striking images at your fingertips in categories including people, business, religion, science, finance, food, sports, transport, backgrounds, nature and many more. Minimum System Requirements for Premium Image Collection 6 •PC with DVD-ROM drive and mouse (or other Windows-compatible pointing device) •Microsoft Windows® XP, Vista, Windows 7 operating system •Additional 8.0GB free hard disk space for all images if installed •SVGA display (800x600 resolution), 16-bit colour or higher •Content © 2010 Serif (Europe) Ltd and its licensors. All Rights Reserved
  • The Serif Template Pack is designed to work in conjunction with Serif’s excellent desk top publishing software PagePlus X4. It consists of an extensive library of document templates, designed for a wide range of purposes for both social and business use that the user can customise. The choice of templates available is designed to suit a range of users from an up and coming public relations agency to an energy consultant.
  • Latest Panasonic toughbook cf-19 combines improved performance with reduced power consumption to remain market-leading rugged CONVERTIBLE notebook
  • Conceived, designed and engineered entirely by Microsoft employees, and building on the company’s 30-year history manufacturing hardware, Surface is designed to seamlessly transition between consumption and creation, without compromise. Advances in Industrial Design Conceived, designed and engineered entirely by Microsoft employees, and building on the company’s 30-year history manufacturing hardware, Surface represents a unique vision for the seamless expression of entertainment and creativity. Extensive investment in industrial design and real user experience includes the following highlights:
  • VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - 31 January 2013 - WordLogic Corporation (OTCQB:WLGC), the predictive intelligence technology company that creates patented solutions for mobiles, tablets and desktops, today released its new predictive text solution, WordLogic for Business, allowing organizations to improve productivity through accurate, faster and more consistent text entry across the workforce. WordLogic for Business is built on WordLogic’s patented predictive text technology, delivering a powerful software solution which can scale across hundreds of touchscreen and conventional keyboard-based devices. WordLogic for Business also gives organizations the ability to customize language, terminology as well as the user interface to suit multiple business scenarios.
  • Hydrogen-powered vehicles are available and suitable for everyday use right now - this was a key message I took away from the hydrogen fuel-cell stand at the European Innovation Convention in Brussels on 10-11 March 2014.
  • Dragon 13 offers a complete voice solution by touching on virtually every aspect of the PC experience – making it easy to navigate, command and control your PC by voice, and supporting fast, accurate dictation for both local applications, such as Microsoft Word, and web applications, including email and social media. And, by leveraging the latest advancements in Nuance speech recognition science and technology, Dragon 13 is faster and more accurate than ever before.
  • Technology, Innovation News and Reviews
  • World Energy News and analysis on petrol prices, power, solar and wind energy. Latest news covering fuel, gas, diesel, OPEC, offshore drilling and more.
  • Bill Lee of Oxford Film Productions interviews Nicholas Newman energy consultant and journalist at, about some of the latest issues affecting the oil and gas sectors in Europe and worldwide.
  • It is clear many of the problems that the global energy industry faces today are a failure to provide effective and responsible energy leadership. Examples of energy leadership failure can be seen from the government reports on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear incident in Japan and Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico. Such incidents could have been either avoided or mitigated if the participating stakeholders had exercised responsible energy leadership. It is clear in both cases that the inherent decision-making culture was not encouraging participants to test and evaluate the suitability, sustainability and implications of their energy leadership decisions.
  • While higher fuel specifications and regulatory changes in the bunkers market are most likely to have a big impact on long-term fuel oil demand, a structural shift of a similar magnitude on the supply side is already taking place, particularly in Russia, the largest exporter of fuel oil.
  • The Energy North Awards will take place on Friday 12th October 2012 at the Drumossie Hotel in Inverness. The evening celebrates the contribution businesses and individuals have made to developing the energy industry in the Highlands & Islands region whether it be a project, service, technology or investment in skills. Headline Sponsor is Harper Macleod, with event sponsors including Highlands & Enterprise, Technip, DECC.
  • Saving energy isn't just good for your pocket book, it's also good for the planet. There are many simple things you can do every day to save energy at home.
  • The debate on fracking is ever increasing in both frequency and intensity. This so-called dash for gas was given the green light earlier this year by our ‘greenest ever’ government after the findings of a joint report by the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineers concluded that, with close monitoring, hydraulic fracturing for shale gas should go ahead in the UK.
  • Fastest gas storage facility in the world ready for balancing role in increasingly more sustainable energy mix Backup for gas trading function and security of supply in the Netherlands Project concluded safely and well within schedule and within budget
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  • World Energy Congress, Daegu, Korea, 17 October 2013: Forces transforming the global energy industry are presenting both opportunities and challenges for Russia, according to senior government and industry figures at the World Energy Congress in Korea.
  • Energy has been much in the news recently, including threatened closure of an oil refinery, high energy bills etc. The Grangemouth refinery story for instance has been treated in the media as a simple industrial relations story. However, what is being ignored is that European refinery industry is in trouble, due to competition from abroad caused in part by the US shale gas and oil revolution, high energy costs and productivity issues caused failures to invest in new technology.
  • At Oxford's St.Antony College a panel discussion took place about how the EU and Gazprom view the future development of the European gas market. One thing became clear the importance of European competition law was likely to affect the future of relations between Brussels and Moscow. Also that hopes that Gazprom would loose its monopoly during the current political cycle in Russia, will have to wait until the next federal parliamentary elections.
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  • This report by Nicholas Newman and published by PennEnergy Research and Power Generation Research highlights both the challenges and major factors that face the industry, investors and governments in the 13 significant countries, in terms of technically recoverable shale gas assets, outside the United States in repeating the American shale gas revolution.
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  • The All Party Parliamentary Group on Unconventional Oil and Gas notes the opening of the bidding process for new licences to extract shale gas, and calls on the industry to adopt and maintain the highest standards of environmental stewardship and community engagement to help reassure the British public. The announcement of the 14th licensing round represents a significant milestone for the UK unconventional oil and gas industry and brings closer the potential for it to contribute to our energy mix. However, the APPG supports the Government’s expectation that the highest standards are observed by potential developers minimising the risk to surrounding areas. Additionally, the APPG agrees that there are important areas like National Parks that deserve to be protected from development in all but the most exceptional circumstances.
  • Standard Bank, Africa’s largest lender by assets, and General Electric today reaffirmed their commitment to Africa at a power financing roundtable held in Washington DC. The partnership sees both parties aiming to bridge the power financing gap in Africa and forms part of the US Africa Leaders’ Summit, the largest gathering of African heads of state and government as well as key stakeholders to visit Washington on any one occasion.
  • About Standard Bank Group Standard Bank Group is the largest African bank by assets and earnings. Our strategy is to build the leading African-focused financial services organisation using all our competitive advantages to the full. We will focus on delivering superior sustainable shareholder value by serving the needs of our customers through first-class, on-the-ground operations in chosen countries in Africa. We will also connect other selected emerging markets to Africa and to each other, applying our sector expertise, particularly in natural resources, globally. We operate in 20 countries on the African continent, including South Africa. Standard Bank has a 151-year history in South Africa and started building a franchise outside southern Africa in the early 1990s. In recent years, Standard Bank has concluded key acquisitions on the African continent in Kenya and Nigeria. Africa is at our core and we will continue to build first-class on-the-ground banks. The group’s nearly 49 000 employees in all regions deliver a complete range of services across personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking and wealth management. Standard Bank's Corporate & Investment Banking division offers its clients banking, trading, investment, risk management and advisory services to connect selected emerging markets to Africa and to each other. It has strong offerings in mining and metals; oil, gas and renewables; power and infrastructure; agribusiness; telecommunications and media; and financial institutions. Normalised headline earnings for 2013 were R17.2 billion (about USD 1.8 billion) and total assets were R1 694 billion (about USD 162 billion). Standard Bank’s market capitalisation at 31 December 2013 was R209.4 billion (about USD20 billion). The group’s largest shareholder is Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s largest bank, with a 20,1% shareholding. In addition, Standard Bank Group and ICBC share a strategic partnership that facilitates trade and deal flow between Africa, China and select emerging markets. For further information go to
  • 11th August 2014 – Brisbane, Australia: NES Global Talent, the manpower solutions provider, has appointed subsurface specialist David Styles as a Lead Consultant in Brisbane as demand for subsurface skills grows across Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
  • The following features take an indepth look at what is behind the latest, trends, developments and changes in energy related policies, news, technologies, markets, trading and policies in different sectors, regions and countries throughout the world both on and offshore.
  • Jump to: navigation, search Electricity generation is the process of generating electric energy from other forms of energy. The fundamental principles of electricity generation were discovered during the 1820s and early 1830s by the British scientist Michael Faraday. His basic method is still used today: electricity is generated by the movement of a loop of wire, or disc of copper between the poles of a magnet.[1] For electric utilities, it is the first process in the delivery of electricity to consumers. The other processes, electricity transmission, distribution, and electrical power storage and recovery using pumped storage methods are normally carried out by the electric power industry. Electricity is most often generated at a power station by electromechanical generators, primarily driven by heat engines fueled by chemical combustion or nuclear fission but also by other means such as the kinetic energy of flowing water and wind. There are many other technologies that can be and are used to generate electricity such as solar photovoltaics and geothermal power.
  • Natural gas is a gaseous fossil fuel consisting primarily of methane but including significant quantities of ethane, propane, butane, and pentane—heavier hydrocarbons removed prior to use as a consumer fuel —as well as carbon dioxide, nitrogen, helium and hydrogen sulfide. It is found in oil fields (associated) either dissolved or isolated in natural gas fields (non associated), and in coal beds (as coalbed methane). When methane-rich gases are produced by the anaerobic decay of non-fossil organic material, these are referred to as biogas. Sources of biogas include swamps, marshes, and landfills (see landfill gas), as well as sewage sludge and manure by way of anaerobic digesters, in addition to enteric fermentation particularly in cattle. Since natural gas is not a pure product, when non associated gas is extracted from a field under supercritical (pressure/temperature) conditions, it may partially condense upon isothermic depressurizing--an effect called retrograde condensation. The liquids thus formed may get trapped by depositing in the pores of the gas reservoir. One method to deal with this problem is to reinject dried gas free of condensate to maintain the underground pressure and to allow reevaporation and extraction of condensates. Natural gas is often informally referred to as simply gas, especially when compared to other energy sources such as electricity. Before natural gas can be used as a fuel, it must undergo extensive processing to remove almost all materials other than methane. The by-products of that processing include ethane, propane, butanes, pentanes and higher molecular weight hydrocarbons, elemental sulfur, and sometimes helium and nitrogen.
  • Petroleum (L. petroleum, from Greek: petra (rock) + Latin: oleum (oil) or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. A fossil fuel, it is formed when large quantities of dead organisms, usually zooplankton and algae, are buried underneath sedimentary rock and undergo intense heat and pressure. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling. This comes after the studies of structural geology (at the reservoir scale), sedimentary basin analysis, reservoir characterization (mainly in terms of porosity and permeable structures). It is refined and separated, most easily by boiling point, into a large number of consumer products, from petrol and kerosene to asphalt and chemical reagents used to make plastics and pharmaceuticals. Petroleum is used in manufacturing a wide variety of materials,and it is estimated that the world consumes about 88 million barrels each day. The use of fossil fuels such as petroleum can have a negative impact on Earth's biosphere, releasing pollutants and greenhouse gases into the air and damaging ecosystems through events such as oil spills. Concern over the depletion of the earth's finite reserves of oil, and the effect this would have on a society dependant on it, is a field known as peak oil.
  • The goal of coal mining is to obtain coal from the ground. Coal is valued for its energy content, and since the 1880s has been widely used to generate electricity. Steel and cement industries use coal as a fuel for extraction of iron from iron ore and for cement production. In the United States, United Kingdom, and South Africa, a coal mine and its structures are a "colliery". In Australia, "colliery" generally refers to an underground coal mine. Coal mining has had a lot of developments over the recent years, from the early days of men tunneling, digging and manually extracting the coal on carts to large open cut and long wall mines. Mining at this scale requires the use of draglines, trucks, conveyor, jacks and shearers. Coal mining can have a large environmental impact and needs to be managed. Many mines are required by government to rehabilitate the area that was mined.
  • The following features take an indepth look at what is behind the latest, trends, developments and changes in energy related policies, news, technologies, markets, trading and policies in different sectors, regions and countries throughout the Europe.
  • It appears that Europe’s gas generators, are finding it difficult coping with the market created by uncontrolled expansion of “free” but heavily subsidised renewables and the dumping of cheap imported coal from the United States. Unfavourable market conditions and negative gas power generation are forcing companies to lose money hand over fist, suggests Guido Custer Managing Director at Delta Energy
  • The Green Deal is a new policy instrument designed to raise the energy efficiency of some 14 million homes in the UK. Alongside the Green Deal stands the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) which is a continuation of previous obligations on energy companies to deliver energy efficiency measures and reduce fuel poverty.
  • Certainly, vested interests such as the coal power lobby would support such a viewpoint. However, Europe’s badly battered gas power sector would strongly disagree, including surprisingly Dieter Helm in his latest book ‘The Carbon Crunch’. After all, the gas to power lobby are promoting a dash for gas as Britain’s solution to provide perhaps affordable and emission compliant power.
  • The European Energy Exchange (EEX) creates furtherincentives for trading Emission Allowances on its markets. Although companies that wish to trade exclusively on the Spot and Derivatives Markets for Emission Allowances can already join EEX via the “Emissions Only”-Membership, EEX now waives the An-nual Fee for 2013 totalling 5,000 Euro per market, for those companies who register for “Emissions Only” on the exchange until 31 December 2012.
  • The arrival of shale gas in Europe raises both opportunities as well as issues for European governments and energy companies operating in the European Economic Area. For decision makers operating in both spheres, the potential arrival of shale gas raises many questions including whether its availability can help break the link between oil and gas prices; what might be the impact of shale gas on current indigenous energy sources; could plentiful cheap shale gas provide energy security for Europe and for how long, as well as wAMAZON ADVERThat impact could it have on the level of gas imports from outside the European Economic area from LNG and pipeline sources. Moreover, the availability, competitiveness and popularity of shale gas will also depend to a large extent on the degree of environmental protection imposed by individual European countries and the EU together with the impact that shale gas could have on investment and research in renewables.
  • Forecasting the future is always full of uncertainties, there are too many doubts such as Black Swan's, banana skins and acts of God that can make a forecast disastrously wide of the mark. Well despite all these afford mentioned uncertainties, a group of Britain’s leading industry gas experts were precisely trying to predict the future of gas supplies for the UK at the behest of OFGEM, at a seminar held on 2 February 2012 at London’s Institute of Mechanical engineering. Amongst the questions asked were the following:Britain has only 14 days of gas storage!
  • here are a number of short and long-term reasons for this, including: The lack of demand for gas imports in the North American market, due to the recession. The rapid development of the North American gas shale industry has further reduced demand for gas imports. As a result of development in the North American market, Russian, Norwegian and Qatarian gas exports are switching away from the United States and Canada to the European market. Demand for gas has fallen in Europe due to recessionary reasons. Europe has switched away from pipeline gas to cheaper LNG gas imports, as the number of new LNG import terminals open. The EU’s dependence on liquefied natural gas has shot up from 15% ten years ago to 25% today and is likely to increase further as the bloc seeks to diversify energy supply.
  • Energy is the most rapidly evolving global issue and represents one of the most urgent geopolitical challenges facing the European Union (EU) today. Hydrocarbon reserves are being exhausted and swiftly-increasing world demand, from developing countries such as China, is intensifying global competition for access to energy, often only available in geo-politically uncertain and unstable sources. Oil, gas and coal account for 80 per cent of EU energy consumption, with European demand for energy growing by 1 to 2 per cent per annum. In addition, the role of improving energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, new technology and nuclear power, combined with climate change, raises new challenges that are centre stage in international political, economic and business considerations. This is particularly the case given the extremely long lead times, often two to three decades, required for investment and development in the energy sector.
  • THE CURRENT SITUATION The European Union currently imports 44% of its natural gas, with Russia, Norway and North Africa as its main suppliers. Europe is linked by natural gas pipelines to gas fields in neighbouring non EU states, though some gas is transported by Liquid Natural Gas tankers from the Middle East, West Africa and the Caribbean. At present, Russia is the most important supplier of gas to Europe, supplying 41% of EU’s natural gas imports, representing 19% of Europe’s total gas consumption, and this is expected to increase. Gas imports are expected to gradually grow, due to a gradual decline in EU domestic gas production and ever growing European gas demand. FUTURE TRENDS AND PROBLEMS Current EU natural gas consumption is some 492.5 Bcm (billion cubic meters) per year. Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer, head of the Austrian energy company OMV estimates that the EU's demand for natural gas will increase between 100 billion and 200 bcm per year.
  • The New Year season is usually seen as a time of holidays for most Europeans. However, in recent years, this period has become notorious for the regular gas disputes between Russia and the Ukraine. Currently, 80% of Russian gas exports to Europe are delivered via the Ukraine, reports German Broadcaster Deutsche Wella . Such disputes have led, at times, to disruptions to gas deliveries reaching not only the Ukraine but the 18 European states that use the same pipeline system to import gas from Russia. In 2008 European gas consumption was some 517 billion cubic metres, reports Eurogas. In the latest dispute, in January 2009, the countries that were most affected were Bulgaria, Moldova and Slovakia, they were forced to implement emergency measures. It was estimated by the European Commission at the time, that the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, that were affected by the dispute, experienced shortages of around 300 mcm/day. For details of how countries were affected by gas supply disruption in_January_2009
  • Renewable energy, whether it be wind, solar, biofuels, or tidal, is seen as a key technology to curb climate change, but all this comes at a high cost. E&T looks at the true price of green energy. Electricity generated from renewable power sources is, without doubt, a powerful weapon for the world in the fight to save the planet and achieve energy independence. However, renewables will have to overcome many challenges, including economic competitiveness, development factors, supply concerns and public policy issues. Renewable power is perceived as clean and virtually 'free' by the public. In fact, the reality is quite different. Though the raw fuel in the form of wind, water or solar are free, the costs involved of transforming the energy into usable electricity and delivering it to the customer are not. In fact, from the consumer's point of view, current well-established technologies such as coal, oil, gas, hydro and nuclear are much more competitive.
  • Norway’s Green Ambitions could derail its European power exports? Today, Norway is a global oil and gas exporter. What is less well known is that Norway is becoming an increasingly important supplier of electricity to Europe’s power markets. Statnett is the Norwegian state owned power utility that has become a significant player in the Scandinavian power market. Norway’s extensive hydro power resources have kept the lights on in Copenhagen, when the wind has failed to turn Denmark’s fleet of wind turbines. Currently, 98 % of electricity generated in Norway comes from hydro power. Norway's Statnett has ambitions to utilise the country's immense hydro power potential as a battery to back up wind power capacity being built off the coasts of North Sea states including Britain, Holland and Germany.
  • It has been suggested that gas from shale deposits will rival conventional sources in the US in a few years, yet the emergence of shale gas as a significant force is still very new. So is it possible that the story will be repeated in Europe? Nicholas Newman has been taking soundings.
  • Problems including war-damaged infrastructure, unrealistic power prices and insufficient investment trouble southeast Europe. Although the EU is helping the region, will it be able to avoid a looming electricity crisis? Southeast Europe is struggling to keep the lights on. Since January 2007, the region has experienced a worsening power supply situation that threatens to reverse many of the economic, social and environmental improvements it has achieved since the end of the Yugoslav conflicts of the 1990s. In January 2009, the region nearly experienced a system-wide blackout because of the gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine. It helped that the demand for power was lower than usual at the time due to the economic slowdown and the winter holidays, but even when the situation is less difficult, problems can occur.
  • Growing scepticism has led in recent months to a House of Lords inquiry into the economics of renewable energy, and into the practicability of achieving the government’s ambitions to dramatically increase the share that renewables plays in the UK energy mix, especially the usage of wind power in electricity generation. Such concerns about the practicability of such policies are arising when Europe is experiencing dramatic changes in price and supply disruption to it’s imported energy supplies. In Britain the current credit crunch has further weakened the business case for renewables, especially wind power. In fact Simon Harrison, Chair, Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) Energy Sector Panel and Director, Energy Mott MacDonald remarks such schemes are: ‘Being affected adversely by the decline in the pound.’ It is not surprising that energy companies such as EDF and Centrica revaluating their British renewable schemes. We have already seen Royal Dutch Shell withdraw from the offshore scheme planned for the Thames Estuary.
  • The Italian power sector faces six main issues: high electricity prices slow pace of market reform insufficient investment in capacity dependence on imports a lack of domestic nuclear power until recently a lack of a comprehensive energy policy Part 1 - The Problems Facing Italy's Power Sector Italy has the most expensive electricity prices in Europe!
  • Many promoters of large-scale energy storage argue that the main case for it is to store excess renewable electricity for use during times of undersupply; for instance, when the wind does not blow or the sun fails to shine. The $64 thousand question lies in determining how much actual energy storage capacity is necessary to ensure secure back-up energy supplies.
  • Given the current slowness in the progress of development of new nuclear and renewable capacity in replacing Britain’s planned closure of coal[i] and oil power stations, gas power, is likely to continue to play a vital and important role in meeting the United Kingdom’s power needs.
  • Are-Russia-and-the-EU-planning-a-zombie-pipeline-network.html
  • The following features take an indepth look at what is behind the latest, trends, developments and changes in energy related policies, news, technologies, markets, trading and policies in different sectors, regions and countries throughout the Russia and Central Asia
  • At a time when gas exporting countries are considering the formation of an OPEC type gas producer’s cartel, EU President Barrosso has argued the case for a united European energy strategy in order to improve and maintain a more favourable bargaining position. In an interview with energy expert Jonathan Stern of Oxford University’s Institute of Energy Studies, he argues that such a strategy is necessary, but, doubts, given the very differences that exist with gas production, distribution and marketing, that the formulation of an OPEC type organisation is ‘almost certainly not viable’. In fact, there is an organisation, the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), which seeks to promote cooperation and coordination between gas exporters and prevent cooperation. Fortunately, for Europe , Jonathan has observed that the GECF ‘has showed it to be a relatively chaotic organisation with unstable membership and an uncertain future. It rarely meets, has no website and no official documents about its activities.’
  • The gas supply from Russia has been making the news in recent weeks, and, as E&T explains, Europe is taking a big chance by relying on Russia. The media is awash with stories of the dispute between Russia, Ukraine and the European Union (EU) for the provision and payment of the supply of natural gas to Eastern European states. What Europe has recently experienced, with Russia turning off its supplies in January 2009, could be an early preparation for a more serious supply problem when Russia simply will not have enough gas to go around. This could mean parts of Europe being cut off for months at a time. Such a prospect must be seen as surprising, given that Russia has the world's largest proven gas reserves 1,576 trillion cubic metres, according to the BP World Energy Review for 2008.
  • Did you know we could be seeing the end to Russia’s power sector liberalisation? Russia’s state controlled energy giant Gazprom and Ranova a private-sector investment fund are planning to merge their interests in the nation’s six largest generating companies. Such a proposal would create a new company dominating 25% of Russia’s power sector. It would also increase state influence over the power sector, due to Gazprom being a partially privatised energy utility. Who will this benefit? The proposed company would certainly bring new benefits, in terms of economies of scale, improved access to new investment funds, resources and specialist expertise in many related fields from district heating to solar power.
  • Today, the players in the great energy game are different to what they used to be. They include Russia, China, Iran and Turkey, the traditional regional powers, but they also include new players such as the EU, USA, India, drug smugglers and religious extremists. However, the strategies are traditional - economic, political, military, diplomatic and religious. The disruptive disagreements Moscow has had with the EU, Ukraine and Georgia over gas supplies are an example of the current diplomatic campaigns being fought by the players for a piece of the action. In 2008, BP's Statistical Review of World Energy estimated that the region had reserves of 48 billion barrels of oil, impressive but certainly no Kuwait with its reserves of 101.5 billion barrels of oil. Unconfirmed estimates of natural gas have been put at 7.49 trillion cubic metres (tcm), certainly better than Saudi Arabia at 7.17tcm, but not as big as Iran with 27.8tcm.
  • The recent gas dispute between Russia and the Ukraine has less to do with being a European problem and more to do with being a domestic one, between the member states of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). This failure in interstate relations between these independent states that make up the former Soviet Union is a result of the ruling elites of these countries failure to sufficiently develop the necessary political, legal, economic, social and business infrastructure required by a modern state today. Last January's gas dispute was more a result of the internal infighting taking place between the often dysfunctional and corrupt elites that run these CIS countries. Once it is understood that the decisions made are often determined to meet short term vested interests, rather than long-term national interests, the behavior of the Russian Kremlin elite and the Ukrainian Kiev leadership becomes explicable. This perhaps explains why Russia and the Ukraine have failed to implement rational energy policies that would promote the economic and political interests of these states.
  • The gas supply from Russia has been making the news in recent weeks, and, as E&T explains, Europe is taking a big chance by relying on Russia. The media is awash with stories of the dispute between Russia, Ukraine and the European Union (EU) for the provision and payment of the supply of natural gas to Eastern European states. What Europe has recently experienced, with Russia turning off its supplies in January 2009, could be an early preparation for a more serious supply problem when Russia simply will not have enough gas to go around. This could mean parts of Europe being cut off for months at a time. Such
  • The following features take an indepth look at what is behind the latest, trends, developments and changes in energy related policies, news, technologies, markets, trading and policies in different sectors, regions and countries throughout North America and the Caribbean.
  • That is how Canada’s PM Stephen Harper, is promoting his country in speeches to investors in recent months. To many Canadians, having their country branded a superpower let alone an energy super power, comes as a surprise to many. Normally, when one thinks of an energy superpower one usually thinks of Russia intimidating its European gas customers or Saudi Arabia cutting its oil exports to increase oil prices. Past Experience suggests that Ottawa can’t operate as an equal with its superpower to the south, instead it has to work with other interest groups in the corridors of power in Washington, if it is to influence American decision making in its favour.
  • Cuba’s power generation capacity is hampered by a severe lack of investment and the continued trade sanctions imposed by the United States, but in typical style it has improvised to make the best of a bad situation. Nicholas Newman looks at how distributed generation has brought some respite to the Caribbean island’s power struggles. Cuba’s power sector is in crisis. Despite a recent multimillion dollar investment in a distributed power network, its customers are facing rolling blackouts and desperate orders to save electricity, as Cuba attempts to weather its dire economic crisis. Current government spending cuts have forced the state-owned utility Union Electrica (UE) to downsize its budget for power station oil imports. For its hard-pressed customers this means regular nights without air conditioning and television.
  • Cuba has for a long time relied on Russia to bolster its economy and electricity generation. But since the collapse of the Soviet bloc it has had to develop its own electricity market including oil and gas fired power stations and a move to renewable energy. For tourists in Cuba, the scene of ancient American cars parked on the roadside, darkened streets and houses, and being able to see the stars clearly above old Havana may look romantic, but to the ordinary Cuban it is just another example of the deep-seated energy problems that face this fiercely independent country. Nevertheless, a revolution, hurricanes, trade embargoes, world economic crises and the end of the Soviet Union have not stopped Cuba's energy sector from delivering a limited supply of power to the nation. In 1991, the country experienced its biggest challenge - 'la problematica energetica' and with the end of Soviet subsidies Cuba was vulnerable again to American trade embargoes resulting in "years of fuel shortages", observes energy specialist Mario Avila at Cubaenergia.
  • There is an awful lot of oil in Mexico to be discovered, but the difficulty is Mexico’s state oil monopoly Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), has trouble finding it! In 2004, Mexican oil production had peaked at 3,383,000 barrels per day (bpd), reports PEMEX. Since then Mexican oil production has shown a steady decline, so by April 2009 output had fallen to 2,642,000 bpd. Unfortunately, for PEMEX it has failed to find new significant replacement oil reserves to compensate. This is causing concern to not only Mexico, but also to the United States. For the US, Mexico is the third largest supplier of oil, after Canada and Saudi Arabia. In 2004, Mexican oil exports peaked at 1.6 million bpd, and by 2008 had declined to 1.2 million bpd. If current trends in Mexican oil production continue it will make it much more difficult for the US to achieve its ambition of oil independence from OPEC countries. The problem is that, at present, there are very few oil states around the world that have the spare capacity to increase production to take up the slack.
  • Already, Rex Tillerson CEO Exxon, the largest domestic producer of gas, said in June that energy companies were “all losing our shirts” Chesapeake Energy one the country’s leading producers of shale gas reported a net loss of $2.01 billion, compared with profit of $922 million, the previous year, reports November 2012 Bloomberg.
  • Current, low gas prices has dramatically cut the amount of potential shale gas reserves that is commercially viable to exploit, reducing US dreams of energy independence. The Henry Hub’s gas spot price for much of this year was around $3 per MBTU. In November, shale gas spot prices improved reaching $5 per thousand cubic foot, reports the, due to the onset of increased seasonal demand because of winter, November’s latest price is still insufficient. However, according to Ben Dell, of Bernstein Research in New York, spot gas prices should be around $7.50 to $8 a thousand cubic foot to be economic.
  • The following features take an indepth look at what is behind the latest, trends, developments and changes in energy related policies, news, technologies, markets, trading and policies in different sectors, regions and countries throughout Africa and the Middle East.
  • With a population of 800 million, predicted annual economic growth rates above 5 per cent and a glaring shortfall in capacity, sub-Saharan Africa offers an appealing market for power generation companies willing to face a notoriously challenging investment context. Sub-Saharan Africa's rivers are estimated to hold a potential for hydropower of 1750 GWh per year, of which only 7 per cent has been exploited Source: Eskom In terms of its per-capita endowment of primary energy, sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is close to the global average. Its 800 million people make up about 9 per cent of the world's population and they are estimated to share 8 per cent of global gas reserves, 10 per cent of the world's oil, and 13 per cent of hydropower resources – as well as much more than their fair share of solar radiation.
  • Recent events in Libya and Bahrain have been of great concern to many foreign investors, operators and governments concerned with the potential threat of disruption of gas supplies. So far, for Europe, it is fortunate that gas imports from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have not been affected significantly. This book explains the importance of this region’s gas resources to the world. What is this publication about? This book examines the possibility that the MENA region could face a possible ‘gas crisis’ by the end of the decade, which will result in much lower levels of exports than has been expected from a region that contains an estimated 40% of the world’s gas reserves. It examines and comments on the individual trends and policies that affect each of the markets that make up the MENA region.
  • Nigeria is a perfect example of years of energy leadership failure - a situation currently being overturned with an ambitious power-sector reform plan. Under President Goodluck Jonathan, who came to power in 2010, 'Vision for Nigeria' targets achieving an output of 40 000 MW by 2020. This requires an investment in power-generating capacity alone of at least $10 billion a year over the next decade, as well as substantial investments in transmission and distribution.
  • The four day hostage crisis in Algeria, appears now to be over. Algerian military spokesman report more than 37 bodies at BP’ Amenas gas plant have been found. This gas plant, which processes gas from nearby gas fields, is located deep in the hot desert South of Algeria.
  • The following features take an indepth global look at what is behind the latest, trends, developments and changes in energy related policies, news, technologies, markets, trading and policies in different sectors, regions and countries throughout the world.
  • Worldwide, governments are setting evermore ambitious targets for sourcing of electricity from renewables. Whilst industrialised Europe’s target for renewables’ contribution will be 20% from 2020, Hawaii, less populous and less industrialised nation, aims for 70% by 2030. The chief challenge faced by grid operators is how to overcome the fundamental difficulty of intermittency arising from an increasing and substantial share of renewables in the energy mix. For power sector policymakers, the principal challenge lies in finding a suitable, yet affordable technology, that can provide backup power for hours and perhaps even days, and as a bonus, add value to surplus power originally generated during periods of low demand.
  • It is not surprising that there is little real interest in power storage technology. There are several major problems facing both policy makers and investors in power storage. These are: Technological Lack of policy support and confidence in the technology It is costly Is it competitive? There is a question of who pays? Is it necessary?
  • Market needs that different power storage technology can meet range from meeting the needs of remote islands to that of whole countries. Fortunately for the market there are an number of different power storage technological formats available to the market. In Spain's Canary Islands, EU is aiding investment in a power storage system integrated with the region's grid which is powered by an extensive network of thermal and renewable power plants.
  • There seems to be a lack of leadership being exhibited by ministers on energy policy by many in the governing coalition. We are seeing, increasing opposition in Parliament by Conservative MPs, but also by members of the public towards the government’s ambitious support for new wind power projects throughout the country. In January, 101 Tory MPs wrote to Mr Cameron, calling for onshore wind farms subsidies to be “dramatically cut” – well beyond the 10 per cent reductions already in the pipeline. In addition, there have been protests about new renewable energy projects across the UK, together with concerns about the increasing number of people being plunged into energy poverty due to the shambolic energy taxes and subsidy system. Overall, current subsidies paid out to renewable energy producer’s amount to some £1.5 billion a year, of which £400 million is given to companies operating onshore wind farms, reports the Telegraph in June 2012. However, DECC reports that renewable energy subsidies are costing each British household around £103 per year and between 2004 and 2010 electricity prices rose by 60% and gas bills by 90%, noted DECC.
  • Failing to make the right decision is easy to do. Regrettably, despite years of technological progress and experience, governments and companies continue to make such mistakes. Nevertheless, due to the increasing scale of investment and environmental hazards that the industry faces, the world energy leadership needs to do better than it has in the past.
  • At the GB Gas Security of Supply Seminar held on the 2 February 2012 at the Institute of Mechanical Engineering London, there were two groups, the first the free market ideologues, who held that it was not necessary for government to intervene. That existing efforts were unnecessary.
  • Current forecasts suggest that global energy consumption will only increase by 3% in 2012, not much different from 2011. This is not surprising given the state of the world economy. Current market figures suggest that like in 2011, the world will enjoy a net surplus of energy capacity. Take oil, production is likely to again to outpace global demand; such a prospect will once more disappoint peak oil Cassandras. There are several reasons for this; the first is the coming on stream world wide of a number of new offshore projects in Nigerian, Angolan, Brazilian and Gulf of Mexican waters. In addition, increased Libyan and Iraqi oil production coming on stream in 2012 will add significantly to global oil supplies. However, will this be sufficient to reduce current oil prices from around $90 a barrel today to what they were in 2009 when it was $60 a barrel, is anyone’s guess. Yet, such a drop in price would give a welcome boost to the world economy.
  • It’s not a scarcity of oil the world should be worried about but more importantly a desperate skills shortage of engineers. This is especially so for the global energy industry. For many jobs, the number of vacancies exceeds the number of skilled experienced engineers that are available. Already, such shortages are causing significant delays and costs for major projects including development of offshore oil fields off Angola. Whilst in Brazil, the home of samba, tropical rainforest and traffic jams, this developed county is in a desperate search for engineers to construct 12 super tanker sized FPSO’s over the next decade. Such skills deficiencies are harming energy security, harming economic recovery and the ability of the world to meet its ambitious CO2 targets.
  • A quick look at various aspects that make up the global power generation sector, including wind, solar, nuclear, hydro and coal power station prospects. Despite the popularity of renewable technology, development of conventional power plants continues to grow a pace. This year is likely to see the end of the feather bedding of renewables in many countries, due to budgetary constraints in numerous countries. Given these new market conditions both investors and operators are being faced with harder often politically unpopular choices to make in their investment strategies. This article gives an overview of the picture facing investors in various parts of the world.
  • The surging price of oil appears to be at the root of all our economic woes, but there may be darker days ahead. In recent months, world oil prices have broken the $100 per barrel barrier for crude oil; it was only spring last year that the price of crude was around the $50 a barrel mark. Goldman Sachs recently said: "$200 a barrel could be a reality in the not-too-distant future in the case of a 'major disruption'." The reality of $200 a barrel by the end of the year is seen by some experts as unlikely, in part because OPEC (Organisation of Exporting Petroleum Countries) has been steadily increasing its production since December 2007. In fact, Western markets' inventories are steadily growing, and are expected to easily accommodate growth in consumption of 1.6 per cent. Chakib Kheli, OPEC's President, recently predicted that petroleum prices will range between $80 and $110 for the rest of 2008.
  • Resource exploitation could pose a serious threat to the arctic, but could new laws help open this treasure chest? Nicholas Newman reports on the lack of coherent legislation regarding extracting arctic oil and finds out more about the threat of contamination in this fragile environment. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Arctic is facing many threats to its environment and including problems posed by human activities, including resource exploration and exploitation. The trouble is many of the current Arctic environmental laws, guidance and regulations can be best described as dysfunctional. The law regarding territorial rights in the Arctic is complex and full of conflicting claims, observes Sergei Vinogradov, senior lecturer at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy at the University of Dundee, UK.
  • As new oil resources become scarce, offshore companies are beginning to tap the very deepest deposits. plumbs the depths to reveal the technology behind the world's deepest offshore oil rigs. Chevron's Petronius platform Chevron's $500m Petronius platform is situated about 130 miles (208km) southeast of New Orleans. It is located in water depths of 1754ft (535m). The field, discovered in 1995, contains estimated recoverable reserves of 100 million barrels of oil equivalent. The rig is a compliant tower and is the largest freestanding structure in the world at 2,010ft. In fact, it is taller than the Eiffel tower. The compliant tower design was chosen for its ability to withstand hurricane conditions and operate in depths of 2,000ft (610m). The compliant tower design enables it to move within an envelope of 25ft sway (7.6m), and a 10ft (3m) rotation sway at the surface.
  • Covering every corner of the globe, we profile the most promising offshore oil discoveries. Nicholas Newman charts a course, covering finds in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska's North shore, The Levant Basin, The Sea of Okhotsk, a treacherous find offshore of Angola and news of a massive find in Brazil's Santos Basin. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Santos Basin, Brazil There is a lot of oil in Brazil. This is all due to a string of spectacular successes Petrobras and its partners have had in the ultra-deep offshore waters of Brazil. The most interesting finds are located in the pre-salt Santos Basin exploration Block BM-S-11, some 250km (155.3 mi) due south of Rio de Janeiro, the home of samba and traffic jams. "The lead operator in the Tupi field is Petrobras, which holds a controlling stake of 65%." One of these fields is the Tupi field, named after the Tupi people. The Tupi field, the largest oil discovery in the Americas for 30 years, lies below 2000 metres (6,561.7 ft) of water and then below some 5000 metres (16,404.2 ft) of salt, sand and rocks.
  • Operating in the polar regions of the world poses incredible challenges for the offshore oil and gas sector. Thirty years ago, operating in such extreme weather conditions was considered almost impossible. In response to these challenges, the industry has become ever more innovative and increasingly automated, and operating in the world's polar seas is now more commonplace. In the future, we are likely to see the industry operating even further north, above the Arctic Circle, but a traditional workforce will still be required for many dangerous and dirty tasks, writes Nicholas Newman.
  • A skills gap in the marine maintenance energy sector is threatening its very future of the world’s energy sector. In Britain, 380,000 people are involved in the extraction of oil and gas from Britain’s continental shelf and around 10,000 are working in renewables. It has been estimated by RenewablesUK, that 70,000 new jobs will need to be created if the country is to meet its 3rd round target for offshore renewables by 2021. Professor Stow Head Institute of Petroleum Engineering at Herriot Watt University suggests, “That there are skills shortages are being experienced at all levels of the industry from technician upwards.”
  • It is very likely, that the United States will rival Qatar and Saudi Arabia in terms of LNG exports to the world by 2020. According to current media forecasts, United States is destined to expand its current LNG exports by 30% over the next 4 years.
  • The following features take an indepth look at what is behind the latest, trends, developments and changes in energy related policies, news, technologies, markets, trading and policies in different sectors, regions and countries throughout Latin America.
  • Last week was bad news for foreign investors in Argentina; the question is, will investors in other Latin American countries face similar uncertainties. Currently, countries such as Brazil, Chile and Colombia are experiencing rapid growth, which is viewed with envy by many Western governments.
  • The following features take an indepth look at what is behind the latest, trends, developments and changes in energy related policies, news, technologies, markets, trading and policies in different sectors, regions and countries throughout Australia, South East Asia and North Asia.
  • It is not surprising that Europe and the United States are considering the imposition of trade sanctions on China’s solar power equipment exports. China has followed the economic development of other countries by actively protecting new industries. So it is not surprising that China’s photo voltaic manufacturers now account for two thirds of the world market. Unfortunately, having a China first buying policy has not been fair on more established Western companies who pioneered the first generation of solar power technology.
  • India is looking to solar power as part of its plans to mend its chronically dysfunctional power sector. Solar power is seen by both the federal government in Delhi and state governments as an essential contributor to help meet increasing demands for power. About 288 million people in India — a quarter of the population — have no permanent access to electricity. According to the United Nations, India is a country where, at peak times, electricity demand exceeds supply by 14 per cent. This, combined with a rapidly growing population and average yearly economic growth rates of between 5 and 8 per cent, place India's per capita electric consumption of 639 kWh among one of the world's lowest. At the same time, with 75 per cent of Indian electricity produced by burning coal and natural gas, it is among the world's highest carbon emitters. To meet both growing population and industrial demands, India needs to expand its generating capacity by at least 8 per cent a year or by some 400 per cent between 2011 and 2030, observes Vikram Mehta, former chairman of Shell India. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that India needs to add at least 600 GW of additional new power generation capacity by 2050. Such an increase in new capacity would be roughly equivalent to the 740 GW of total power generation capacity of the European Union in 2005. More immediately, India's National Solar Mission plan, published in January 2010, contains the ambitious target of expanding installed solar power from about 190 MW to 20 000 MW by 2022. According to the IEA, solar power contributed in terms of capacity just under 1000 MW in March 2012 out of a total installed national generating capacity for its electricity sector of 20 GW — the equivalent of 18 nuclear reactors. Of this, India's western state of Gujarat already has an installed solar capacity of 655 MW. Ambitious plans for Rajasthan's Nagaur plant, as well as federal government ambitions to install 20 million solar lights and 20 million m2 of solar thermal panels, give considerable impetus to solar energy development. It is therefore not surprising that analyst Sunil Gupta of Standard Chartered has forecast that India's share of global solar installations will increase from just 1 per cent in 2012 to 5 per cent by 2015. In comparison, in the next five years, India's power ministry plans to add 76 000 MW of electricity capacity in its 12th Energy Plan (2012–17), of which wind power will contribute 15 000 MW, solar 10 000 MW, biomass and biofuel 2700 MW, and small rural hydro schemes 2100 MW. The rest will come mainly from new coal plants.
  • Failing to make the right decision is easy to do. Regrettably, despite years of technological progress and experience, governments and companies continue to make such mistakes. Nevertheless, due to the increasing scale of investment and environmental hazards that the industry faces, the world energy leadership needs to do better than it has in the past.
  • With Investment and expansion on the rise, the future is looking up for Queensland's csg industry. Nicholas Newman reports. The future for the state’s coal and coal seam gas (csg) industries is looking up! Overseas demand for these sectors continues to increase at a steady pace. As a result, there are ambitious plans to invest billions of dollars to dramatically expand capacity. However, the industries’ expansion plans face several obstacles that need to be resolved. They include the recently announced carbon tax, skills shortages and local opposition due to environmental problems.
  • By 2050, at least half the world’s new nuclear power plants are likely to be built in East Asia. Most of these planned plants will be built in China, Taiwan and South Korea. However, there are tentative proposals for other plants to be erected elsewhere in the region, including Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. Japan As for Japan, its future depends on which black swans, acts of god and banana skin appears arises in the next year, as it determines its energy future. Currently, it is not surprising that there is a lot off public anger about events at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The revelations about what contributed to events at Fukushima Daiichi illustrate why Japan is finding it so difficult to get out of its pleasant economic plight today!
  • Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard faces stiff opposition from the public, business and politicians to her radical carbon tax policies. Her newly announced policies that will see the nation’s top 500 greenhouse-gas polluters, hit by a crippling new carbon tax. Gillard’s coalition government plans to set the new carbon tax initially at $23 a tonne, which will then increase by 5% per year before moving to a market price system in three years’ time. It is not surprising that there is opposition from business as it will increase operating costs and reduce their ability to compete with rivals abroad. The Australian mining industry predicts that 126,000 jobs could be lost, unless this new carbon tax is phased in.
  • Crisis was the term Indonesia’s president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono chose to describe his country’s electricity problems. Dahlan Iskan, CEO of state-owned power company PT PLN (Persero), has also admitted the country’s supply of electricity is very limited. PLN has encountered power shortages in 250 regions, including 243 locations in eastern Indonesia, he said. WHAT LIES BEHIND THE CURRENT POWER CRISIS? Two main causes underlie the latest current power crisis, which started in 2008. The first is the 1997 Asian Economic Crisis, which forced PLN to cancel many new power station developments says Dr Mika Purra, a research fellow at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore. The looming power shortage was masked by the crisis and almost a decade of slow growth until Indonesia’s economy began to accelerate around 2006. The second underlying cause has been government and business sector indecision over investment in generating capacity for at least five years before the current crisis began, suggests Peter McCawley, a visiting fellow at Australian National University’s (ANU) Indonesia Project. A POLICY OF PLANNED BLACKOUTS Regular planned power cuts have affected consumers throughout the country since 2008
  • The Japanese Tohoku-Chihou-Taiheiyo-Oki earthquake and tidal wave that overwhelmed the North East coast of Japan, hit the Japanese power sector hard. It has resulted in substantial damage to the country’s electricity generation and distribution networks, which has resulted in cities throughout the country experiencing rolling blackouts. The natural disaster knocked out the 5000 MW nuclear power station at Fukashima. Experience suggests it will take several years to bring back online this atomic power plant that was nearing the end of its operating life.
  • Investing In Indonesia A case of Rabbits amongst Tigers? Indonesia is facing an energy crunch! A look at the issues facing investors in its petroleum industry, as the country struggles to switch away from oil dependency to natural gas. 12 November 2010 Nicholas Newman Indonesian Investment Conditions Issues facing investors in Indonesia's oil and gas sector Domestic demand for oil and gas is beginning to outstrip the country’s ability to meet its energy needs from domestic sources. Its ability to tackle this problem is being obstructed by an historic cheap energy policy that encourages wasteful usage of energy and discourages the very necessary investment in new productive capacity and energy efficiency.
  • Peak coal approaches for Indonesia Indonesia has been a rising star of the global coal industry for years and is now the world’s largest exporter of thermal coal. However, tighter restrictions on coal mining operations and the need for infrastructural investment to reach new mines suggest the country will be unable to maintain its current level of output growth. And just like the country’s oil and gas, export volumes will increasingly be challenged by rising internal demand.
  • Australia’s vast land is a treasure house of conventional gas and coal seam gas reserves, which is rapidly transforming the country into a major world gas exporter The success of Australia’s gas sector is due in part to the relative ease of access to enormous resources and a well-developed western type economy and legal system that has encouraged foreign investment and competition. It is not surprising that many of the world’s major energy companies, including Shell, BP, Total and Chevron, are making long-term commitments in Australian gas, Nicholas Newman reports.
  • Indonesia, like many rapidly emerging economies, is facing power supply problems. Its power sector, mostly owned by state utility PLN, faces major problems in meeting the needs of this booming economy. These problems are huge. Indonesia is a country the size of Europe, with a population of 237mn scattered across 17,500 islands. For Indonesia, unlike other developing countries, it is less of the problem of an absence of energy resources, but rather the issue of gaining access to them by affordable means, writes Nicholas Newman.
  • Indonesia's oil and gas future lies offshore in the remoter deeper depths of its seas. However, to unlock the country’s oil and gas resources, the country's government, needs to further improve its investment climate, if it is to attract the degree of investment required to boost long-term oil and gas production. Unless it attracts the investors its requires, Indonesia could become as big an importer of natural gas in the future as it is a net oil importer today.
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  • The following book reviews covers publications that take an indepth look at what is behind the latest, trends, developments and changes in energy related policies, news, technologies, markets, mining, trading and policies in different sectors, regions and countries throughout the world both on and offshore.
  • The Problem Predicting the future is always problematic and a complex matter, forecasting the future shape of Europe’s gas markets over the next ten to twenty years for Europe’s decision makers, some would say is an almost impossible task! For instance, forecasting future gas demand is full of unknowns, including the shape of prices, the impact of improvements in energy efficiency, the timing of Europe’s economic recovery to when rival coal and nuclear power plants will come on stream, since such capacity investment will have a negative impact on gas demand. On the supply side, similar imponderables exist for European forecasters. What is this book about?
  • There are crucial issues and problems that face the Asian Natural Gas industry today, which have been dangerously ignored by the West. The rapid economic growth in economic development being experienced by the major economies in Asia is creating new challenges for industry decision makers and investors to solve. The authors in this new edition of ‘Natural Gas in Asia: The Challenges of Growth in China, India, Japan, and Korea’ seek to explain the factors hindering development, examines possible solutions and the likely prospects for the industry in Asia into the 2020s. What are the issues, challenges and problems the Asian gas industry faces?
  • This book by Davis Edwards should really be called Energy Trading and Investing in North America, since it is heavily focused on the United States. Even so, it is a useful book for those seeking an introduction to this complex subject. It is written not to frighten off the aspiring trainee market analyst, energy lawyer or energy journalist. Energy Trading and Investing is written in plain jargon free English and without the use of complex mathematics one usually associates with such books. This book’s author Davis Edwards is MD of Australia’s Macquarie Group, and has been responsible for many years for managing the credit risks of its North American investments. It is designed for those readers who need a clear basic understanding of the principles of energy trading and investment.
  • Recent events in Libya and Bahrain have been of great concern to many foreign investors, operators and governments concerned with the potential threat of disruption of gas supplies. So far, for Europe, it is fortunate that gas imports from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have not been affected significantly. This book explains the importance of this region’s gas resources to the world. What is this publication about? This book examines the possibility that the MENA region could face a possible ‘gas crisis’ by the end of the decade, which will result in much lower levels of exports than has been expected from a region that contains an estimated 40% of the world’s gas reserves. It examines and comments on the individual trends and policies that affect each of the markets that make up the MENA region.
  • What is this book about? This book by David Upton is about how a small independent Australian mining company discovered and developed the world’s largest mineral deposit deep in the remote South Australian desert, some 560 kilometres north of Adelaide. The writer describes in detail the fascinating story behind the initial discovery and subsequent development of the Olympic Dam mineral deposit. This mineral deposit is special for a number of reasons, including the immense scale of this valuable mineral resource containing copper, gold and uranium. In addition, it was the first significant find based on the theory that such deposits could be found where no tell-tale surface features are visible.
  • The Problem For both energy policy makers and energy companies involved in the decisions concerned with investing in electricity generation technologies, determining what are the various social costs of diverse technologies is often open to subjective individual evaluations. What is this book about? This book is a modern version of traditional cost benefit analysis as it is specifically applied to power generation and its application to such externalities as climate change, human health and the environment. Though the authors do admit, they do ignore the benefits that are derived from different power generation solutions, have had on individual well-being, prosperity and human advancement.
  • Cuba’s Energy Future is written by a team of policy makers, scholars and analysts at Washington’s Brookings Institute, led by Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado. This book, poses the challenging question what steps can Cuba take to achieve both short term and long-term energy sustainability and self-sufficiency. The often-complex solutions are based on three alternative scenarios of little change, some reforms and a full liberalisation of the Cuban economy will surprise many readers not familiar with the Cuba's energy sector or the developing world. As a regular writer and researcher on energy matters, including the geopolitical issues that affect countries in the Caribbean. What is clear is that Cuba has much in common with its fellow neighbouring states, including the vital failure, inter alia, to maintain adequate levels of investment in its energy sector.
  • This book by James Henderson, who is currently Head of Russia for Lambert Energy Advisory in London as well as a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at OIES, provides a useful insight into the intricacies of the Russian domestic gas market. It not only describes in a concise and knowledgeable manner the complex organisational interrelationships between gas producers, brokers, investors and government agencies, but also comments on how these various stakeholder relationships have evolved over time since the beginning of the post-soviet era to the present day. However, based on my own experience as a writer and researcher on Russian energy, I found this thorough analysis of the geopolitical complexities of this subject informative.
  • There is no such thing as a risk free world; we all take risks, both big and small. We would not have heard of Microsoft Windows if innovators like Bill Gates had not taken certain risks, nor would we hear about people climbing Mount Everest. ‘Risk Management: with Applications from the offshore Petroleum Industry’ by Terje Aven and Jan Erik Vinnem, Springer 2007, is about how the offshore oil and gas sector should assess, manage and tackle risk of an offshore installation’s complete life cycle from predesign to final decommissioning and disposal in the world’s tempestuous seas.
  • This long awaited book is perhaps unique in attempting to describe and provide comprehensive analysis of the world energy market environment. The book’s author Barrie Murray has provided an in depth expert investigation of the various models of energy market reform that have been adopted throughout the world, together with some useful insights into how well such reforms have succeeded in meeting their original objectives and ongoing events. In addition, the author examines the new development challenges that face consumer, markets and policy makers in various countries, which arise from climate change, economic conditions and technological developments.
  • Hart Energy's 2014 Unconventional Yearbook The 2014 Unconventional Yearbook presents the most important facts and figures on the Top 20 US resource plays. This fourth edition of an annual series of data books provides an overview of current activity with snapshots of the regional plays, profiles of key players, a review of technology, a look at midstream activity, economic analysis and data, and a bibliography. Like the playbooks, the Unconventional Yearbook includes a full-color shale wall map.
  • Publication Date: 29 Jun 2012 Physical oil trading is a worldwide activity containing a lot of oil business terms. Traders talk about time value, contango, backwardation, refinery activity, credit, logistics, HSE and much more, hence the size of this book. An oil trader generates billions of dollars cash flow per year, so he must be able to understand the meaning of the trading language and communicate in the correct way. But you might have a job which is related to that activity, and therefore it is important to understand the discussions, as you may be linked to that cash flow. The book is therefore a great working tool for all people being related to the commercial side of oil activity. A useful book for oil companies, but also for banks, shipping agents, refineries, marketers, brokers, inspectors, storage companies, expeditors, and many more with an interest in the oil industry. The book includes popular trading expressions and conversion tables related to oil trading.
  • International energy law is an elusive but important concept. There is no body of law called ‘international energy law’, nor is there any universally accepted definition for it, yet many specialised areas of international law have a direct relationship with energy policy. The Research Handbook on International Energy Law examines various aspects of international energy law and offers a comprehensive account of its basic concepts and processes.
  • ENERGY CONSULTANTS, EXPERTS, ANALYSTS, private equity funds,THINK TANKS & REGULATORS IN EUROPE & THE REST OF THE ... Council of European Energy Regulators. The Council of ...Provides timely data, rigorous analysis and sound strategic advice on oil and gas, coal seam gas, LNG and liquid fuels for for energy companies, energy buyers, investors and governments Swanbarton is a consultancy company focussing on the policy, development, use and applications of electrical energy storage. We are working on projects with grid connected storage as well as the use of storage within smart electrical networks. If you link the Swanbarton to EnergyQuest provides energy analysis, market monitoring and reports for the oil, gas and power industries. Includes traditional and renewable energy. EnergyQuest Australia Providing timely data, rigorous analysis and sound strategic advice on - Australian oil and gas, Coal seam gas, Liquid fuel, Consulting. International Energy Consultants International Energy Consultants is a consulting firm providing market-, development- and acquistion-related advisory services to companies operating in and associated with the IPP industry in the Asia-Pacific region. POYRY Consultancy services for companies in the power, nuclear and oil/gas sector, including: engineering, procurement, construction supervision, commissioning, safety and risk ... South-Court Ltd Independent Consultant with hands-on experience of developing and closing gas and LNG commercial transactions along the value chain and developing business strategy. David also gives numerous commercial training courses on LNG in the UK, and overseas and is one of the authors for the Oxford Energy Institutes book Gas in Asia published in May 2008. FEEM - Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) is a non profit research institution that conducts independent research in sustainable development, political economy, global trends and governance. Energy Institute - London The Energy Institute (EI) is the professional body for the energy industry delivering good practice and professionalism across the depth and breadth of the sector Oxford Institute for Energy Studies The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies specialises in advanced research into the economics and politics of international energy. The Energy Business School - Energy Delta Institute - Holand Click here for more information on Energy Delta Institute and his energy training and gas training courses. European Federation of Energy Traders EFET is a group of more than 100 energy trading companies from 27 European countries dedicated to stimulate and promote energy trading throughout Europe.
  • Lawyers specializing in energy law have expertise in issues related to energy production, trading, policy and investment. Current issues in energy law include property issues related to natural resource extraction, environmental permits, safety and health, sustainable development and land use controls. Energy lawyers can choose to be environmental and utility litigators.
  • A look and some of the developments that are affecting the world economy today.
  • A new star may appear shortly - not in the heavens, but on the flag of the European Union. It denotes the self-proclaimed nation of Catalonia, which is starting to talk seriously of seceding from Spain and declaring itself independent. Events have accelerated since upwards of a million protesters filled the streets of Barcelona for the Diada, the national day of Catalonia. On this day in 1714, Bourbon King Philip the Fifth stripped Catalonia of its rights and privileges, creating a centralised Spanish state modelled on Louis the Fourteenth's France. Historical grievances among the Catalans find their voice every year on September 11th when they assert their culture, denounce oppression, and affirm their difference from the rest of Spain : "Cataluña no es España."
  • Almost every day we hear that the West is to blame for Africa’s problems. However, every day we hear the only solution is more European Union (EU) aid is needed for sub-Saharan Africa, despite the EU spending some € 13.5 billion over the last five years in development aid. There are many theories as to why foreign aid policy has failed in Africa. It certainly worked in South-East Asia which has transformed these economies into economic tigers. Such theories that try to explain why sub-Saharan Africa remains stubbornly poor could fill many shelves in a library. Such theories as to why Africa has failed range from poor leadership to the terms of trade being unfair to developing countries.
  • British Forces and their European Allies in Southern Afghanistan’s, Helmand Province, are part of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). As of September 2007, the number of UK troops has risen to 7,700 troops. The security situation in Helmand is fragile and military forces have suffered casualties when fighting Al-Qaeda terrorists and their allies. Troops have experienced the most intense fighting since the Korean War. The ISAF mission is often described as a police action to establish security and deny the Taliban and Al Qaeda the environment in which to operate.
  • Politicians are again in the 'line of fire' again opinion polls inside Europe and Turkey are reporting declining support for the very idea that Ankara should join the European Union (EU) by 2015. In fact, opponents on both sides of the Aegean Sea utilise many of the same arguments in their case against Turkey joining as Europe’s first predominately Moslem Middle Eastern state.
  • Where does Europe end - is a question of growing concern to many Europeans, especially with the entry of Bulgaria and Rumania, and the prospect of Turkey’s entry, in 2012. This vital political question was the topic under discussion at a recent European Studies Centre seminar at Oxford University, led by Graham Avery (Honorary Director General, European Commission) and Baskin Oran (University of Ankara).
  • ‘Champagne sir?’ the waitress said, startling the passengers seated around the table in business class as the Eurostar dashed through the Kent countryside for the Channel Tunnel Conversations of current events on most railway journeys with fellow passengers are often desultory and seldom profound. Such was not the case on my recent journey by Eurostar to Brussels where a wide range of differing opinions were expressed by cosmopolitan fellow travellers and enlivened by a first class menu and lubricated by an excellent vintage.
  • Could it be we are all desperately seeking are own vision of Europe? To the British, Brussels has become a figure of hate, for the Germans, a place to redeem themselves. However, for the French, a chance to relieve its Napoleonic dreams, while for the new member states, an opportunity to grow up. Brussels Whatever your dream or nightmare, Brussels has always been a battlefield where Europe’s powers determine the future. Unlike in the past, confrontations between nations took place on the battlefields
  • On June 10th Europe will see the latest addition to its high- speed rail network, when the first phase of TGV Est. opens to passenger service. This new service will dramatically cut journey times between Paris, Eastern France, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Germany.
  • Oxford First Tuesday is an informal networking group of Thames Valley media businesses that meets to share ideas, offer support and refer new business leads within, and through, the group.
  • Here below is a list of useful journalism resources that could help you in your work as a journalist, reporter, broadcaster etc. Resources include details of training, money, grants, fees, networking, education, e-book publishing etc. Can you suggest any more useful resources? Perhaps you have created some resources yourself that you would like to add. Then contact Nicholas Newman
  • Andrew Smith MP was at Oxford First Tuesday's 30 January meeting at the Lamb and Flag, St.Giles, Oxford. Where he briefed local media people about the current political affairs and members brought Andrew up to date with issues facing media businesses in Oxford and the surrounding area. A good and useful time was had by all.
  • Oxford First Tuesday took part on Sunday 24 June 2012 in the Kennington 5 Km Fun Run and Walk through Bagley Wood. Afterwards we had a fine meal at Sylvia's. The event was in aid of KENNINGTON OVERSEAS AID. GROWING 'LUNCH 4 LEARNING' in UGANDAN SCHOOLS
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  • The Kings Arms was also full of this year's intake of freshers, which produced a lot of highly animated conversation, or background noise if you were trying to hear someone. Among the highlights, Michael explained the ins and outs of organising specialist video festivals for fans of motorsport, especially the more historic or classic events, while Dai entertained us with his account of the difficulty of trying to remain sober while working in the high-pressure environment that was Thames Television back in its creative peak of the 1980s.
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  • Nicholas Newman is an experienced freelance journalist, researcher, market analyst, consultant, editor and copywriter I am an experienced journalist, editor and copywriter. I write for magazines and websites as well as industry journals, company publications and international media. I cover many areas including energy, business, property, transport, research, innovation and clean technology. However, my specialist area is the energy sector where I havedeep expertise and experience in the related technology, geopolitics, markets, environmental issues and policies involved in the global energy industry business. Having worked as a writer and an editor, I have an extensive contacts book comprising experienced and professional journalists and top industry connections across a variety of sectors.No job is too big or too small and I consider both long-term and one-off projects.
  • Based mostly in Brussels, Philip Hunt has over 20 years experience in editorial and journalism, for organisations from EU institutions through blue-chip to local communities. He has a reputation for accurate reporting and writing that answers audience questions and gets attention.
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  • Sylvia Vetta left teaching for the antiques trade becoming Director of Oxford Antiques Centre, nicknamed by her as The Jam Factory.(1988 to1998.) She traded at prestigious fairs under the name Vetta Decorative Arts.
  • Belgium's journalists union
  • A list of British based public relations agencies Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing the flow of information between an individual or an organization and the public. Public relations provides an organization or individual exposure to their audiences using topics of public interest and news items that do not require direct payment.[2] The aim of public relations by a company often is to persuade the public, investors, partners, employees, and other stakeholders to maintain a certain point of view about it, its leadership, products, or of political decisions. Common activities include speaking at conferences, winning industry awards, working with the press, and employee communication.
  • European Public Relations Agencies For some of Europes' leading public relations agencies
  • The Chartered Institute of Journalists is the oldest professional body for Journalists in the world. It was founded – as the National Association of Journalists – in 1884 and six years later was granted its Royal Charter by Queen Victoria, to protect and serve those employed in the field of journalism. The Institute combines the role of professional society with that of a trade union – known as the IoJ(TU). The Institute’s union section protects its members’ interests in the workplace and campaigns for better conditions for working journalists. The Institute’s professional side is concerned with the standards and ethics of the media, the protection of journalistic freedom, training and administers the Institute’s many charities. The International Division has members in over other 30 countries who joined to be members of the senior professional organisation of journalists and who support the Institute’s principles of honest reporting, independence and being apolitical.
  • Thank you for finding my page and I hope I can be of assistance to you. If you are looking for a professional typing service with a turnaround time to suit your needs then I can help! Transcripts: Starts from 80p per audio minute* Copy Typing: £3.50 per 1000 words I can transcribe interviews, meetings, reports, surveys, scripts, books, letters and many more.....just ask! No job too big or too small! Call me on 07884184376 anytime to discuss your requirements. Please be assured any enquiries or work received will be kept confidential.
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  • It was a really good event last night - warm evening, streets quite empty, Richard a fount of fascinating facts, and we a real group of friends now, genuinely pleased to see each other and comfortable in each other's company. That's something to cherish. Dai
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  • Oxford Prospect is a news, features, surveys, opinions, current affairs, lifestyle, art, culture, fashion, sport, entertainment, technology, geopolitics, policy and business news magazine based in Oxford.The Oxford region is famous for its universities, research, advanced technology and history. Part of this magazine is available only to subscribers. Editorial contacts Editor in Chief: Nicholas Newman European Editor: Philip Hunt Polish Affairs Editor: Joylanta Ryba Arts and Culture Editor: Julia Gasper Transport Editor: Hugh Jaeger Email: Widget: email cloaker Tel: +44 (0)758 046 9514 Advertising Rates Here are the advertising rates for and Newman Energy blog site 1.For a 500 word advertorial £150 for one month. 2.For advertisements 125pixels by 125pixels £30 per month. 3.For advertisements 250pixels by 250pixels £60 per month. Widget: email cloaker Tel: +44 (0)758 046 9514
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  • Oxford Prospect is a news, features, surveys, opinions, current affairs, lifestyle, art, culture, fashion, sport, entertainment, technology, geopolitics, policy and business news magazine based in Oxford.The Oxford region is famous for its universities, research, advanced technology and history.
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  • This event was organised by Step by Step Dance School, Daybreak and OPA, it took place on 1st of March 2014 in Wheatley Park School. The evening consisted of a carnival ball. Dancers raised money for Daybreak and OPA.
 1st Aerials Oxford




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