The Journal of Tourism Challenges and Trends would like papers on the theme of Rural Tourism for a forthcoming issue. The submission deadline is  
19th February 2011

More information can be found here

Friars, Aylesbury

In the late 1970s, early 1980s, when I was a nice young grammar school lad, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, had the unlikely distinction of being the first town outside London that the 'punk' bands who scored headlines in the music press played after they'd done the 100 Club, the Roxy, the Marquee etc. For the price of a week's worth of school dinners, the likes of The Jam, The Clash and Ian Dury played the Civic Centre, only yards from the freakish, giant plastic animals Kubrick filmed for 'Clockwork Orange' but never included in the final cut. Aylesbury's own musical exports at the time - and, indeed, hereafter - were John Otway (taught in primary school by my godmother) and, erm, Marillion (who once enjoyed the ignominy of being beaten into third place in a Best Local Bands Poll by an almost entirely fictitious band of grammar school fifth-formers called HGB Terminal that only played one gig at a Methodist youth club).
Some photographic evidence of all of this era is at the following, thanks to photographer Don Stone:

1978: The first gig I went to, pretending to be my best mate's older sister (long story):

1978: Magazine, with Howard Devoto up a pole:

1978: Tom Robinson (no prizes for guessing which pic's from '2-4-6-8 Motorway'

1978: The Clash, The Slits and The Innocents

1979: The Undertones, The Knack (!) etc

1979: The Pretenders

1980: The Clash/Ian Dury (and note 'extortionate' ticket price of £3 - for the first date of the 'London Calling' tour).

1980: The Ramones/The Boys

1980: Iggy Pop/Psychedelic Furs

Tragically, there don't appear to be any photos surviving from U2's first UK gig outside Ireland (no, really, they were quite promising then: I only went because Peel was playing them all the time), or, indeed, the Wire/The Cure double-headlining diplomatic nightmare, Gang of Four with their arms in plaster after having been attacked by neo-Nazi idiots or Vic Godard and the Subway Sect in their Frank Sinatra phase.

What there are, though, are photos from John Otway's outdoor freebie in the Market Square (allegedly the very same Market Square mentioned by Bowie at the start of 'Five Years'), pics displayed here:
Travel Management Priorities for 2011: Insights into the Rebound is a new report by Carlson Wagonlit Travel. Part one of the report covers the Business Travel Market in 2011, Part two gives the survey results and  2011 priorities.  

Public Input Wanted on Campus Plan for Pine Camp

The department will hold a second public meeting to receive suggestions, ideas and comments for the development of a campus plan for its Pine Camp Arts and Community Center property on Wednesday February 9 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Pine Camp Arts and Community Center, which is located at 4901 Old Brook Road. Over the years, the department has received various
Tourism Concern: 
Ethical Tourism Master-class
February 12, 2011
Graduate Centre, London Met University


The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations that serves as a global forum for tourism policy issues. Its members include 154 countries and 7 territories as well as many Affiliate Members from both public and private sectors. UNWTO's mission is to promote and develop tourism as a significant means of fostering economic development, trade and international peace and understanding
The website contains a wealth of information including details of events and publications. One of their publications is entitled Tourism and the Millennium Development Goals. They have also produced the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and further documents related to this.

The 1st Report on the Implementation of the Roadmap for Recovery provides feedback from countries worldwide on their future tourism strategy, under three headings Resilience, Stimulus and Green Economy.

A special edition e-magazine covers Tourism and Biodiversity. Past issues of the World Tourism Barometer can be found here.  For an overview of tourism trends and statistics in 2009, try Tourism Highlights.  

UNWTO Video Gallery UNWTO campaigns as well as key figures in the organisation discussing aspects of tourism.

How to be a poet

Aside from having great friends,
I will trudge up this hill with unknown implements
and dig into the sod using hand-held verbs
and words I’ve never heard or recognised.
The horizon will loosen into a simile
which almost hurts with its precision.
Long-dead authors congregate outside the church.

Somehow the link aches so much
there will be books handed round like liturgies.
Amongst the rain-swept gravestones
mourners reach for metaphors
like gangsters going for their guns
in an unfilmed episode of The Godfather.

At the kissing gate, there’s a pause.
Hen harriers jockey on the thermals.
Over and above the valley’s lack of ambition,
writers disperse along public transport routes.
I look down at my shoes.
Mushrooms grow between my flat feet.

Tom Phillips 2011

Saving faith

The lump of it, concrete, in the corner,
between Italianate gestures and the low shops
slung along streets which dropped away
into burlesque cellars on every side,
was as much as we could do to avoid
saying something out of turn.

Builders invested all manner of curious angles
with scaffolding and ad hoc cardboard signs.

Only here, with charred sweetcorn husks
being twisted on open charcoal burners,
there were dutiful faces pressed against glass.
Further on, by the corner, you were dealing cards,
as, inside the crowded Lovely Shop,
elbowing customers would like to think
they’d not wasted their fare on the bus.

On the terrace of the International Hotel,
we might be dreaming otherwise
as the cranes and mixers lay down
the building blocks of another religion.

Tom Phillips, 2011

Spotlight Gallery to Feature Local African-American Artists

In celebration of Black History Month, the city's Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities will host an art exhibit featuring the works of five local African-American artists: Maurice Beane, John Greene, Emmett Johnson Jafari, Jay Sharpe and Richard Ward. The exhibit, titled “Five Men: African-American Works in 3D,” will open with a reception from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on February 4
A conference on film tourism has been announced to run on
18th March at BAFTA, in London’s Piccadilly.

“The London International Film Tourism Conference” will showcase international best practice in this growing sector, and is aimed at tourism operators, destination and attraction marketing managers, tourism consultants and academics from the UK, Europe and further afield. It will run towards the end of British Tourism Week (12th and 20th March).

Register to receive the full programme here

Vote Now on your choice of seven natural wonders of the world from 28 finalists.

You may also be interested in the 7 modern wonders of green technology, from conceptual floating eco-cities to urban skyscraper farms!

Rock-pooling in winter

Smoke misting branches of a cypress
behind the vacant house signals
fluctuating wind directions
as we might be finding opinions
between rocks furred with lichen,
twisted strata, or two boys
who’ve tracked looped worm casts
and are digging, digging
for all their worth as bait.

Failing to predict erratic geometry
a hermit crab sketches across
flat stones, our son’s disappointed.
His empty bucket’s scooped up,
taps dull syncopations, flips
from ledge to ledge, blown down
to stall in drenched sand.
Flotsam, lost things dam streams,
create wreckage for the moment.

To have this beach to ourselves –
as if we had some prior claim,
being amongst those who, pinked
by on-shore breezes, have stood here
and recalled this or that winter
when the landlady took to the water
every day, or sea-spume
flecked the windows of her pub.
Or, perhaps, the year it didn’t.

Incontrovertibly out of season,
the market’s depressed. Cottages
won’t budge. Blacks scraps rise
against grey, too solid cloud
like all the punctuation shaken free
from yesterday’s paper. Gulls
go through their routines
while crows possess frail aerials.

In amongst these local territories,
we might well be out of place,
places we could call our own.
At odds now, we move back up the beach,
collect that wind-blown bucket,
read headlines, climb hills,
stare at the bay’s predictable waves,
retreat into somewhere that we’d call home.

Tom Phillips 2011

Some more books

Spring into Winter East European dissidents reflect, in 1990, on the anti-communist revolutions in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, East Germany etc, and refuse to buy into the Reagan-Thatcher line that it was all brought about because of the 'superiority' of the western capitalist system. Traces of a real 'third way' flicker momentarily in the triumphalist gales blowing in from Britain, America et al.

Orhan Pamuk Snow Modern Turkish politics dramatised in a story of apparently random assassination and a hold-up inside a theatre.

Claudio Magris Danube Immensely learned and slightly rebarbative travelogue about traversing the length of the Danube with shadowy companions and an esoteric interest in the history of the terrain.

Georgina Harding In Another Europe Communist Romania as you'd expect it to appear to a middle-class north Londoner approaching Ceacescu's 'golden age' on a bike.

Alan Furst Spies of the Balkans OK, I admit it, I'm hooked. Casablanca set in WW2 Thessaloniki. The Ipcress File for Balkanophiles.

Norman Lewis The World The World Why Lewis isn't more solidly venerated remains a mystery. Presumably it's because he chooses to report from some of the less easily palatable corners of the world - and lay the blame for their ills in all the right places.

Volunteers Needed to Help 'Tree the Track'

Do you enjoy Byrd Park? Have you ever used the Byrd Park vita course? Are you looking for a way to help make our city a better place to live? Then join the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities and the Friends of Byrd Park on Saturday, January 22, from 9 a.m. to noon, in a Neighbor-to-Neighbor project that will help beautify the park. Volunteers are needed to help plant 30

Day of Service Project Scheduled in Bryan Park

Please join the Friends of Bryan Park and the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities in celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and the National Day of Service by volunteering for a Bryan Park environmental cleanup project. The work will take place on January 17 from 9:30 a.m. to noon in Bryan Park. This ’Day On, Not A Day Off’ project is endorsed by Mayor Dwight C.

Hub Airports - Heathrow

There's no doubt that the snow in December caused disruption; travellers suffered particularly, with many sleeping at airports as snow-clearing continued.  Heathrow Airport was hit badly with reported losses of £24m and in a further blow, airlines that had no choice but to cancel flights, are fighting to withhold airport charges. In reply to this, a statement by BAA can be viewed here.

As the UK's only major hub airport, Heathrow is significant in terms of number of destinations, flights and their frequency. The Economic Impacts of Hub Airports takes an in-depth look at Heathrow Airport - its medium- and long-term impact on the economy as well as the competition it faces with tables of statistics. Grounded : A New Approach to Evaluating Runway 3 is another report that may be of interest; the last few pages of this report contain links to further relevant material. 'Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport' is now archived by the Department of Transport and can be accessed here

BAA, the owners of Heathrow, have produced an Investor Report. A company profile is also available in Datamonitor 360 (Athens) which gives a history of the organisation, SWOT analysis and top competitors.

Brain Games Coming Soon

The department will offer two days of brain aerobics for adults 55 and older who want to keep their minds young and fit. The fun games and mental exercises designed especially for adults will begin at 11 a.m. on Jan. 14 and Jan. 28 at the department’s Westover Community Center, located at 1301 Jahnke Rd. It’s free to participate. For more information, call 646-8995.

Public Input Wanted for Pine Camp Campus Plan

The Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, January 12, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. to receive suggestions, ideas and comments for the development of a campus plan for its Pine Camp Arts and Community Center property. The meeting will be held at the Pine Camp Arts and Community Center, which is located at 4901 Old Brook Road. Through the

Review at Eyewear

My review of City State, the (rather good) anthology of new London poetry edited by Tom Chivers, has just gone up at Eyewear.

Welcome Back!

As a bit of fun to start the year with, I thought I'd share this post; entitled 'Why I returned my iPad', one owner gives his perspective on what's great about this new bit of technology and perhaps, not so. For anyone who owns an iPad, or not...