Fog on the Tyne:
I suspect the writer of this Spiked article might not like the Tyne arts renaissance quite as much as others do… “Tyneside is now as empty, characterless and vomit-splattered as everywhere else”“this is a gutless, anaesthetic resort of almost tangible spiritual emptiness, but very appealing nevertheless to overfed and overdressed Service Industry slaves.”

Good work:
I’ve found a new youth-arts charity with a difference; it’s not focussed on fly-by-night community arts, but on “unearthing the classics of the future”. To the tune of £1m per year. The Genesis Foundation provides, among other things, start-up loans to Princes Trust youngsters to become self-employed in the creative arts. The Foundation is the baby of publicity-shy London-based American philanthropist John Studzinski, who said in a rare interview… “you can accomplish a lot as long as you don’t necessarily need to take credit for anything. You don’t need to take credit, you just need to know that you’re pushing the ball down the field”. Quite.

Sleepless in the Saddle:
I dropped in on the largest British mountain-bike race this afternoon; the two-day Shimano 24-hrs ‘Sleepless in the Saddle’. 2000 competitors race around the beautiful 12-mile woods-&-lakes course in Stoke-on-Trent. But it’s no picnic; this is a tough overnight cycle-in-the-dark race. I and my camera only arrived at 4.30pm; the September sun was hazing fast and dipping below the top of the woodland. But I took a few shots I was happy with, before the dusk.


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