Archive for August, 2010

Mikel ‘Mickey’ Arteta to sign for England?

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

The very moment Fabio Capello raised the possibility of including the Spaniard Mikel Arteta in the England squad a fierce debate erupted that seems to split the game, its administrators and its fans right down the middle. I’m thinking, has Capello opened up a can of worms?
Mikel Arteta
The fact is, the England side needs a quality left winger, and apparently no such player exists that also carries a British passport. For this reason Capello, ever concerned about English firepower, has cast his gaze upon young Arteta, just the man for the job it seems. Despite the obvious fact that the latter is Spanish, Capello and many with him believe such obstacles are there to be overcome. After all, Arteta has played and lived in England long enough to allow him to apply for a British passport and potentially be available for England. (more…)

Dmitry Sychev

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

I spoke with this talented player who has been described as the ‘most exciting young Russian player since Vladimir Beschastnykh’, and found him to be a modest young man with a pleasant smile.
Dmitry Sychev: portrait of a successful footballer
Born in Omsk, Dmitry Sychev comes from a sporting family, his mother a track and field athlete and his father a football player and later trainer. It is perhaps not surprising, then, that Dmitry was destined to become a football star himself, though he combined this passion with ice hockey until the age of ten, when he made the decision to specialise in football.

It would turn out to be a good choice, for after debuting with Spartak Tambov he was signed by Spartak Moscow, before moving to Olympique Marseille in France and, since 2004, back to Russia with Lokomotive Moscow. I met up with him after his team’s training session in the Marbella sun. (more…)

Dennis Basso: style guru

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Ever wondered who dresses the rich and famous in fur? The answer is Dennis Basso, creator of sumptuous high fashion items for celebrities and socialites the world over.

Dennis Basso with client Naomi Campbell

Still quite new in Europe, the name Dennis Basso is especially synonymous with style, quality and opulent indulgence in the US, where he has been a leading high fashion designer for over 25 years. The fact is, few other designers enjoy such cult status with their clients, and in the case of this brand they range from actresses and socialites to royalty and business leaders.

When it comes to fur it simply doesn’t get any better than this. Using the finest and rarest quality Russian Sable and Broadtail, US Mink, Chinchilla, these pieces are handcrafted to meticulous levels of detail and workmanship. The true genius, however, lies in the way Basso manages to create fashion items that reflect the most current fashion trends and sometimes makes you forget the medium he works with. His latest collaboration with Naomi Campbell, who is also the face of his ad campaign, resulted in The Naomi Campbell Coat, a unique combination of the ultimate Russian Barguzine Sable and Python. (more…)

The Maoist Experiment Lives on

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Is revolution dead, confined to the annals of history? Just when you thought that die-hard Communist states like Cuba and North Korea are isolated relics to a past which is already beginning to seem distant, and that the future holds no prospect for the kind of liberal humanitarian ideals that blossomed in the 1960’s and 1970’s, a place like Marinaleda pops up out of nowhere. Located among the gentle undulations of the endless olive groves of southern Spain, this little village is a unique example of a Maoist commune that has not only survived, but continues to flourish.

Sanchez Gordillo, the force behind the Marinaleda project

Up until twenty years ago, Marinaleda was a typical sleepy Andalusian village, where nothing much happened and the poverty-stricken population carved a meagre existence out of seasonal work, picking olives on the vast estates of the landed gentry much as their folk had done for generation upon generation. It all changed when Sánchez Gordillo, a former schoolteacher, was elected mayor in 1980. As founder of the SOC (Sindicato de Obreros del Campo) this young radical intellectual had gained a reputation as a champion for the rights of the jornaleros, the land labourers who had neither land nor fixed employment, and when he succeeded in mobilising the support of the local socialists, Maoists and anarchists, Sánchez became a powerful voice for reform in this forgotten corner of Andalucía. (more…)

A jewel in the heart of Milan

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

How would a hotel look if a jeweller designed it? To find the answer, look no further than Milan, where the Bulgari Hotel offers a new interpretation of designer chic.

Bulgari Hotel, Milan

We are familiar by now with boutique hotels, even design hotels, but among the very pinnacle of these are the hotels that are the creations of the finest designers in the world. In an exercise of opulence and a representation of its particular interpretation of hotel chic, Bulgari has created a singular Milan destination that bears the famous brand’s unmistakable look. (more…)