Pandora

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EMMANUEL PETIT (pictured) is a handful on the park - and he knows how to do a one-two off the pitch as well. Arsenal's Gallic star is moving to North London's chichi Primrose Hill. So the Gunners' midfield maestro sent a round robin to his neighbours to introduce himself, and say how much he was looking forward to meeting them. His letter also contained a plea that shows that, while you can take the man out of France, you can't completely take France out of the man. Did any of his new neighbours have, he wondered, a cave (French for a cellar) he could use? Seems that Petit's extensive bottle collection's already outstripped the space available in his new home.

VULCAN FOUNDLING John Redwood is driving colleagues further and further around the bend with his increasingly idiosyncratic brand of Eurosceptism. He's been telling anyone who will listen - hey, where's everybody going? - how he favours Jaguars because we should buy British. Hold up, what are those wheels a spotter saw the Vulcan catching a ride in after a Commons debate this week? Could it really be a Mercedes? Ja.

TRAVEL BUSINESSES dealing with Turkey say bookings are plunging. Agents blame both the Balkans conflict and warnings by Kurdistan Workers' Party terrorists that the PKK will target tourists this year. Could this deadly duo be affecting Greece's inbound traffic too? Neh (Greek for yes), according to the trade book Travel Weekly. A client called an agent to cancel his holiday on the island of Kos. She asked him why. He replied: "Isn't it the capital of Kosovo?"

SO, PATRICIA Arquette and her spouse Nicolas Cage are heading for Split City. Coincidentally, Arquette stars in Goodbye Lover with Don Johnson, who is expected to get spliced with Kelley Phleger this week. Considering the 49-year-old star's well-publicised roistering, the bride should enjoy those cries of "lucky girl!" while she can.

"LIBERAL DEMOCRATS are so far in bed with Tony Blair that they're just a hideous lump under the duvet," says Tory hopeful Francis Maude on Lib- Labbery. Sure, Frankie, but at least the minority party is still in the game - which is more than can be said for your Ffractious mob just now.

MORE HORSETRADING in the race to succeed Paddy to lead the yellow party. At the launch of J Thorpe's memoirs this week, some liberal voices sounded disappointed that Nick Harvey (North Devon) had pulled up at the first fence. Not so, say Harvey's camp. Their man has just been "negotiating" with the dapper new frontrunner Menzies Campbell (Fife North East). Pandora hopes the Campbell-Harvey pow-wow is more productive than a recent meet between David Rendel (Newbury) and Simon Hughes (Bermondsey); Hughes's camp emerged saying Rendel would stand aside for their man - strangely, Rendel's handlers' version was the precise opposite.

DROP EVERYTHING Dept. "In other places, spring means daffodils, lambs and plowing [sic] the fields but in Slough it means that the Slough Jets are holding their annual `all star' fundraising evening" - news release.

WESLEY CLARK, the supreme commander of Nato's Balkan bombing campaign, said this week: "We've only just begun." This echoes the Carpenters' identically titled 1970 hit. Next year the duo released "Hurting Each Other" - and, in what may prove a prescient three-peat, in 1972 they followed through with "It's Going To Take Some Time".

GERALD CORBETT, the Railtrack boss, claims he plays a video of an especially savage grilling by the Transport Select Committee to his teenage children "to make them feel sorry for me". And Pandora thought her domestic life was quirky...

Contact Pandora by e-mail: pandora@independent.co.uk

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