Some Phoenix Sixties
Be the first on your block to investigate the Phoenix Sixties. You know the miniature books published by Penguin to celebrate their 60th anniversary, the nice marketing idea which turned into a surprise, runaway bestseller and upset the heavyweights? Well, here comes the bandwagon. Phoenix House are bringing out 50 more bite-size book-ettes. They include essays on louche and hedonistic subjects by Catullus and Epicurus, a chapter of Gulliver's Travels, stories by Kipling (above), Lawrence and de Maupassant, polemics by Paul Johnson (now there's a nice present for someone), The Communist Manifesto (ditto), Pepys's diary entries about the Great Fire of London, and scads of love poetry for the love-object-with-the-limited- attention-span in your life. Theoretically out on 22 December, they're in the shops now, waiting for a nod and a wink.
n 60p each, or pounds 30 for the whole bonsai library
This is your chance to take in a Holomovie. Pardon? You've seen holograms, now gasp at the Holomovie, the first hardware-free means of transmission for moving images, designed by Chris Levine at London's queasily named holographic studio, "eye'see!". Thanks to exciting technological developments, it is now possible to record four seconds of continuous movement via the magic of digital holography. So what's on this one? Freddie Mercury dancing and singing on Queen's 1986 Magic Tour (above). This desirable gadget was commissioned for Ultimate Queen, a 20-CD limited edition boxed set of sublime pomp-rock, but you can save a few quid by going to see the original, which has been installed in the Museum of the Moving Image - always worth a trip, with or without young ones - as a historic piece of viewing techno-gear.
n MOMI, South Bank, London SE1 (0171-928 3535), 10am-6pm daily
Chances are, if you are old enough to read this newspaper, you're old enough to remember our silent friend who made a career of sitting on Harry Corbett's hand and whispering in his ear. He and his partner-in-crime Sweep (he of the long ears and big squeak), plus long-suffering Soo, not to mention Butch, Kipper and Ramsbottom (dog, cat and snake respectively), conspired to make Harry's life hell, much to the amusement of legions of small viewers who first spotted him on a TV talent night in 1952. Harry's son Matthew inherited the family business in 1976 and has been looking after our furry friend ever since. All of us anxious to catch up on Sooty's career will be amazed to learn that he is about to boldly go where no bear has gone before. Tom Hanks and Apollo 13, eat your heart out. Head for Bradford.
n Alhambra Theatre, Bradford (01274 752000) at 11am, 2pm & 5pm
The Flexilamp is one of the smartest and cheapest of modern desk-top lights. It looks as if it might have been designed last year by Philippe Starck (he of the stalking lemon squeezer and the hushed, sleek interiors of New York's smartest hotels) but, remarkably, it dates from as long ago as 1925. No one remembers the name of the Spanish designer who shaped it, which is a shame, as whoever he or she was deserves thanks and recognition. The Flexilamp is much smaller than a conventional anglepoise and only a little less versatile. Its brushed aluminium shade makes effective and pretty use of a tiny 40w bulb. Because the Flexilamp costs just pounds 21.95, it is tempting to buy more than one; they look good wherever you plug them in, whether as conventional desk lamps or for ambient lighting.
n From Purves & Purves, 80-81 Tottenham Court Road, London W1, (0171- 580 8223)
As they never got around to singing in Porgy and Bess: "Wintertime, and the water is freezing." If we lived in Amsterdam we'd be hoping to spend Christmas skating up and down the canals. Thanks to pollution, we probably won't be skating on the Thames but elsewhere in the country, you never can tell. Whatever happens, now is the time to nip down to your local rink and strap on those flashing blades. Don some natty ski-pants, grab a friend, hum Bolero and make believe you're you-know-who. Let's face it, it was good enough for the likes of Doris Day (if you don't believe it, buy the video of By the Light of the Silvery Moon or watch the Sonja Henie season on TV this Christmas), so don't you think it's high time you tried it as well?
n Queen's Ice Skating Club, Queensway, London W2 (0171-229 0172). 10am- 5pm, 7.30-11pm. Adults pounds 5, Children pounds 3 plus skates pounds 1.50. See local press for rinks around the countryReuse content