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'We were exotic strangers competing for notches on the bedpost'

Edinburgh Festival '98: Ticket Offers

Take today's Independent to one of the venues below:

Golf: Europeans confident of revenge

EUROPE'S STRONGEST Solheim Cup team so far must avoid the sort of last-day collapse suffered in the last two matches to win at Muirfield Village next month. In the short history of the contest, in which the Americans have an overall 3-1 lead, the strength in depth of the European side has always been called into question, writes Andy Farrell.

Golf: Lisa Hackney named in European Solheim Cup team

Lisa Hackney, a member of the 1996 side, was one of captain Pia Nilsson's wild card selections as five Britons were named in the 12-strong European Solheim Cup team to meet America at Muirfield Village, Ohio, from 18 to 20 September.

Outtakes: Shoreditch photographer Bonieventure pictures his local heroes. Charlotte Edwards reports

Many people have captured a Kodak moment at their local when tired and emotional, but photographer Bonieventure has gone a step further. To expand on his collection of snapshots of nightlife at the Barley Mow, in London's Shoreditch, Bonieventure invited his drinking buddies back to the studio for more formal portraits. The resulting series, he claims, represents "a reasonable cross-section of the Shoreditch population", a motley crew of Bohemians - artists, musicians and part-time philosophers - briefly united by what Bonieventure calls his "messing around" behind the camera. Some are just passing through, en route to and from openings at the nearby Underwood Street Gallery, but most are Shoreditch residents.

Golf: Clarke wins heavyweight clash

SUNDAYS in Thame have been anything but for Colin Montgomerie. Although his score, like the weather, was a tremendous improvement on Sabbaths' past, the Scot was unable to resist Darren Clarke's charge to victory in the Benson and Hedges International.

PLACES: SHOREDITCH ELECTRICITY SHOWROOMS

HAPPILY NESTLED round the corner from Blue Note, Lux Cinema and 333, the former Shoreditch Electricity Showrooms has been doing a luvverly trade in East End charm since it opened a few weeks ago as a bar/gallery. Attracting a largely local crowd, plus the usual Hoxton Square suspects, the venue has an unpretentious, experimental feel with its high ceilings, huge windows and use of space (being a Twenties showroom, there's a lot of it). An eclectic music policy on evenings, running from dance to jazz has kept punters happy so far, as has the unusual downstairs gallery. Go trip the light fantastic.

Arts Campaign: Bingo to the rescue

A distinguished London theatre is having to survive through glorified begging

Today, look out for your Arthrob

IF, COURTESY of those Albert Square residents, you've already been immersed in vice this afternoon , perhaps the last thing you want to know is that there's an opportunity for more - in a different east London square. Hoxton Square, home to the Blue Note and the drum-and- bass scene, is the venue for a radical reinterpretation of The Seven Deadly Sins, Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's 1933 opera-ballet of vanity, ambition and success.

Letter: Trapped women

Sir: The research commissioned by the Children's Society and Hackney Safer Cities ("Britain's wife-beating epidemic is revealed", 23 January) confirms that domestic violence is the most pervasive, costly and socially damaging of hate crimes.

Hackney schools chiefs lambasted for incompetence

Hackney education authority, notorious for its failing schools, was condemned yesterday for financial mismanagement. Kathy Marks says that part of a pounds 3m shortfall in the schools budget went unnoticed for months.

Schools `hit squad' attacks Hackney over pounds 3m deficit

A troubled education authority has been attacked by a government "hit squad" for financial incompetence which resulted in a pounds 3m hole in the schools' budget, part of which went unnoticed for nearly six months.

Children at risk: `Pleasant young man' who preyed on young

When Mark Trotter was first interviewed in September 1981 as a houseparent for a children's home in Hackney the panel which appointed him were impressed and described him as a "pleasant young man who appeared quietly determined".

Panto Review: Three wishes for Aladdin

The first law of panto is that it must contain a former cast-member from either TV's Hi-de-Hi! or TV's 'Allo, 'Allo. The production of Aladdin at the Hackney Empire hits the jackpot: it's got one of each.

Outdoor: Two wheels good, one wheel better? Minimalism takes to the road

Unicycling is the Everest of the wheeled world. It's hard, and you do it because it's there. It's pointless to ask what the point is. There is none.

Lone Parents: Blair savaged as MPs defend the 'betrayed'

The Prime Minister was confronted by Labour backbench anger over the cuts in benefits for lone parents at Question Time. Colin Brown, Chief, Political Correspondent, says a string of Labour MPs risked the wrath of the whips in speaking out against the Government.
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
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A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
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The big names to look for this fashion week

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Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

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The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

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She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

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Get well soon, Joan Rivers

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A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering