2008年3月31日 星期一

French-British "Brotherhood"

International Relations | 26.03.2008

French-British "Brotherhood" Could Marginalize Germany

As Great Britain bestows special honors upon French President Nicolas Sarkozy during his visit to London, some in Berlin wonder if Germany is being pushed to the European fringe.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown declared a new era of cooperation between their countries on Wednesday, March 26, as Sarkozy began a two-day state visit.

Addressing both houses of the British parliament, Sarkozy said the two nations should strive jointly to give their considerable influence maximum impact on world affairs, in a way similar to French and German friendship remaining a European Union "locomotive."

Sarkozy also called for closer cooperation between Britain and France in the nuclear technology and military fields, including Afghanistan, where France intended to increase its support.

French pledge added military support to Afghanistan

A German solider in AfghanistanBildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: French pledges to boost troop numbers in Afghanistan could put pressure Germany

Declaring that "we cannot afford to lose Afghanistan, that the Taliban and al Qaeda return to Kabul," Sarkozy said France would announce at the forthcoming NATO summit in Bucharest its intention to increase its troop strength.

"France has proposed to its allies in the Atlantic alliance a coherent and comprehensive strategy to allow the Afghan people and their legitimate government to build peace," Sarkozy said. "If these proposals are accepted, France will propose at the Bucharest summit strengthening its military presence."

Although he gave no figure, diplomatic sources said the French troop contingent in Afghanistan was expected to be increased by more than 1,000 from the 1,600 currently stationed there.

The French move would come as NATO members with troops in southern Afghanistan call on Berlin to increase the number of soldiers deployed to the country and remove restrictions that keep the Bundeswehr in Afghanistan's relatively safer northern region.

Paris-Berlin axis not sufficient for EU

Merkel kisses Sarkozy at the end of a news conferenceBildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: The EU needs more than Merkel and Sarkozy's partnership can offer

Some political analysts have said the French president is reaching out to Brown because he does not get on well with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Berlin and Paris traditionally dominate the European Union.

In an interview with the BBC before the trip, Sarkozy, who is scheduled to take over the European Council presidency in three months, said France's European policies would no longer be "reduced to friendship with Germany." He added that "the Paris-Berlin axis is fundamental but not sufficient."

Brown for his part told parliament that Paris and London were pursuing a "joint agenda for the future." His talks with Sarkozy scheduled for Thursday would include increased cooperation in the energy, security, environmental protection and economic sectors.

Replying to questions from the lower house, Brown also stressed that while France a key ally, the United States remained "Britain's closest ally" and "most important partner."

Knightly honors for Sarkozy

Prince Charles and wife Camilla welcomed Sarkozy and his wife, Carla, at London's Heathrow Airport before a banquet with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip at Windsor Castle.

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and Prince Philip share a joke as she and her husband watch the ceremonial welcome at Windsor CastleBildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Sarkozy's wife, Carla, was praised for her elegance and taste by the British press

Sarkozy was made an Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, the highest rank of one of the oldest orders of British chivalry whose previous recipients include world leaders, including his predecessor Francois Mitterand.

The French leader -- on what is the first by a French head of state in 12 years -- had already called for Britain and France to work "hand in glove" on issues like illegal immigration and terrorism, and to forge "a new Franco-British brotherhood."

Ahead of the visit, Sarkozy called for closer Franco-British ties, telling British broadcaster BBC that both countries should perhaps "move from being cordial to being friendly."

French-British ties under Sarkozy and Brown's predecessors, Jacques Chirac and Tony Blair, were fraught as a result of the Iraq war.

"It has been long enough now that we have not been at war, that we are not wrangling," Sarkozy said.

Old acquaintances

Sarkozy shares a laugh with Brown during an EU summit in Brussels on Dec. 14, 2007Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Sarkozy and Brown began working as their countries' finance ministers

Sarkozy said the friendship between Britain and France "shouldn't simply be a matter of principle," but one that is "fleshed out by concrete projects on the economy, immigration, security, defense."

Brown said in an interview published Wednesday in the French daily Le Monde that Britain and France will work "hand in hand" to reform international institutions such as the United Nations.

Brown said that he and Sarkozy had worked together for years, when they were both finance ministers, "and we have the same vision of a globalized world."

"France and Britain can therefore work hand in hand with common interests and shared values," Brown said. "This is the case, and you will see it in the coming weeks, of the reform of international institutions created in 1945: the UN, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund."

These organizations, Brown said, "no longer correspond to the challenges of 2008."

2008年3月30日 星期日

real ale, lager,

real ale 〔英〕 純正エール ((伝統的な製法で作り貯蔵したビール)).
lager Show phonetics
noun [C or U]
a type of beer which is pale in colour and usually contains a lot of bubbles:
Two pints of lager and a packet of crisps, please.

ale was found in the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary at the entries listed below.

━━ n. エール ((苦味の強いビール)); 〔英〕 =beer.
ale・house ビヤホール, 居酒屋 (pub).
ale・wife ニシンの一種; alehouseの女主人.

最后更新时间: 2008年3月27日 格林尼治标准时间19:03更新





英 国酒吧的一道风景其实就是看酒吧服务生用手柄压酒的过程。要留意的是要直接说出酒的牌子和多大杯。到现在英国酒吧使用的杯子大小还是英制的品脱 (pint)。虽然是我找Andrew帮忙,但是他还是很如常地主动买第一轮酒:一品脱Landlord牌的苦啤酒和半品脱吉尼斯牌(Guinness) 的黑啤酒。


与 绝大多数中年以上的英国男人相仿,Andrew也喜欢英国特产的苦啤酒(加入麦芽的Real Ale即浓啤酒,俗称Bitter)。我感觉英国男人喜欢苦啤酒除了弘扬英国传统以外的另一个理由是:英国大半年的低温天气,常温保存的苦啤酒是冰镇后清 啤酒在寒冷日子里不能企及的!

Andrew说苦啤酒的名字来源是酒的苦味道造成的,也是英国特产的浓啤酒(Real Ale)的一种。Andrew觉得各种品牌的清啤酒的味道都差不多,但是不同的苦啤酒不仅有各自独特的味道、而且酒劲也不同,很有选择空间!

相 比之下,对于清啤酒我可不陌生:中国的青岛、燕京等等都是清啤酒。已经年近中年的Andrew也承认,现在大多数的英国年轻人都喜欢从欧洲大陆传来的清啤 酒(Lager):口味清淡、时髦!Andrew对清啤酒不是很感兴趣,他认为冰镇清啤酒气儿太足、太清淡,但是我估计这可能也恰恰是为什么很多英国女孩 子喜欢的原因。




当然,现在用其他水果制成的发泡酒,也都叫Cider 了!





最早英国酒吧提供点菜是与对于英国家庭重要的“周日午餐”(Sunday Lunch)分不开的。烤牛肉、约克郡布丁、烤土豆、煮熟的蔬菜浇汁组成的周日午餐构成了酒吧吃饭的渊源。


伏霞(Fusia Dunlop)是一位深谙中国烹调的英国美食作家。我跟她就约在了伦敦第一家美食酒吧:老鹰酒吧(The Eagle)。








Chaos continues at Heathrow Airport's new terminal





英國航空公司 (BA)美侖美奐的第五航站27日在倫敦希斯洛機場啟用以來,至少已有1萬5000 件行李「迷航」,英航被迫取消將近250個航班,而且混亂局面還會延續一陣子。

英航29日表示,他們正努力讓1萬5000件的行李和他們的主人「重逢」,但英國廣播公司 (BBC)引述匿名的消息人士的話說,真實的數字可能多達2萬件,而且需要好幾周的時間才能料理清楚。







Chaos continues at Heathrow Airport's new terminal

Thousands of travellers using Heathrow airport's brand new Terminal
5 faced a second day of chaos on Friday, with further delays,
cancellations and lost luggage. British Airways, the only airline to
use the ultra-modern terminal, said it planned to operate 80 per
cent of flights despite experiencing massive problems with its
baggage-handling system. Of the 20 per cent of flights that were
cancelled Friday morning, all of them were domestic or short-haul
European flights. On Thursday, the new terminal's inauguration was
marked with 34 cancelled flights and hour-long delays. Terminal 5 is
the first addition to Heathrow in 20 years and cost 5.6 billion

2008年3月27日 星期四

French First Lady More Than Tames British Press

bbc 法國總統薩爾科齊訪英,成為了英國各大小報章的頭條新聞,中國的奧運與西藏問題除了出現在《金融時報》的頭版之外,都被其他報章收進了內頁。







《衛報》則說布魯尼是"兩份傑奎琳﹒奧納西斯﹔一份中學女生"。該報形容布魯尼的服飾格外低調、保守,正是受到裸照困擾的 布魯尼的最適合裝扮。《衛報》說,布魯尼的服飾唯一一點問題是她選了一個經典的黑色手提包,與東道主英國女王的皮包式樣相近。該報說,英國女王遠為時髦。



Sarkozy Visits, and Britain Falls for His Wife

In the British press, Carla Bruni, the model-turned-singer and first lady of France, upstaged efforts by her husband, President Nicolas Sarkozy, to woo their hosts in London.

French First Lady More Than Tames British Press

Published: March 28, 2008

LONDON — Was she the new Kennedy-Onassis or a reborn Diana? With her flat Dior pumps and calf-length gray overcoat, was she a high school student on vacation, or, as one columnist asked, “Jackie O dressed as a nun”?

Skip to next paragraph
Max Nash/Associated Press

President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni, in London on Thursday.

Kieran Doherty/Reuters

Carla Bruni, left, and Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle during Ms. Bruni's visit to England on Wednesday.

After appearances with members of the British royal family, in Parliament and at a state dinner — with different Christian Dior outfits for each — Carla Bruni, the 40-year-old model-turned-singer and first lady of France emerged Thursday as the star of the visit, supplanting affairs of state with an affaire d’amour among British newspaper reporters wistfully competing for the fondest paean of praise.

If her husband, President Nicolas Sarkozy, had come here to woo his British hosts with a flattering speech to Parliament — compared by one writer to a “torrent of crème Chantilly sprayed from a high-pressure hose” — then his wife’s slender frame and twinkling eyes upstaged his effort to achieve gravitas.

“Nicolas Sarkozy’s seduction of the British started yesterday at 11:26 a.m. when his plane landed at Heathrow,” Andrew Gimson wrote for Thursday’s Daily Telegraph. “He brought with him his latest conquest, Carla Bruni, and many of us decided at once that if we were going to be seduced by anyone, we would rather be seduced by her.”

The overnight visit — with a stay under one of Queen Elizabeth’s many roofs at Windsor Castle — was intended in part to draw France and Britain much closer after centuries of seesawing relationships.

Indeed, Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, said Thursday that he wanted to update the 104-year-old “Entente Cordiale” between the countries with an “Entente Formidable.”

But if anyone was going to manage that, it seemed to be Ms. Bruni, who spent Thursday visiting with the prime minister’s wife, Sarah, at a charity lunch, while their spouses visited the Emirates soccer stadium in north London, home to the Arsenal club, whose manager and some of whose top players are French.

The new romance began to bud within seconds of her arrival.

As she stepped from the plane on Wednesday, a gallant Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, took her gloved hand and raised it to his lips. “Enchanté,” the tabloid The Sun had him saying in a photo doctored with cartoon bubbles of imagined conversation that showed Charles’s wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, murmuring, “Easy, tiger.”

Then Ms. Bruni was photographed beaming with Prince Philip, the queen’s husband, as Mr. Sarkozy looked on uneasily.

Among columnists, royal-watchers and exponents of hyperbole, it was a race for the most cloying of verbal cotton candy. Amanda Platell of The Daily Mail struck a more skeptical note, describing Ms. Bruni’s curtsey to the queen as the most calculated act of homage to a British monarch since Anne Boleyn bowed to Henry VIII.

The fuss over Ms. Bruni could not cloak fissures in what was choreographed as a bonding between the nations, with the sharpest distinction in their responses to China’s crackdown on unrest among Tibetans. Mr. Brown insisted that Britain would not boycott the opening ceremonies of this summer’s Beijing Olympics. But Mr. Sarkozy said he would “reserve the right to say whether I will attend.”

Anglo-Saxon attitudes Britain and America

Britain and America

Anglo-Saxon attitudes

Mar 27th 2008
From Economist.com

A poll that we commissioned suggests that Britain and America may have less in common than is widely assumed

Illustration by David Simonds

TO TURN over the supposed Anglo-American common ground carefully, The Economist commissioned pollsters at YouGov in Britain and Polimetrix in America—supported by additional funds from the Hoover Institution, a California think-tank—to find out what people in both places thought about a number of social, political and economic matters. A thousand people in each country were consulted between March 7th and 11th. Broadly, the differences between the two countries look more striking than the similarities.

Like most west Europeans, Britons tend to have more left-wing views than Americans, but the first chart shows that this is often by a surprising margin. (“Left” and “right” are harder to locate than they were: here “left” implies a big-state, secular, socially liberal, internationalist and green outlook; right, the reverse.) The data are derived by subtracting left-wing answers from right-wing ones, for each country and for each main political grouping within each country. A net minus rating suggests predominantly left-wing views and a positive rating suggests a preponderance of right-wing views.

The gap between Britain and America is widest on religion: even British Conservatives are a great deal more secular than American Democrats are. The two are a bit closer on social values (abortion, homosexuality and so forth), and they overlap on ideology (mainly, how active the state should be), with Britain’s Tories to the right of America’s Democrats.

They overlap again on how free their countries should be to intervene militarily (both the Tories and Labour are more hawkish than the Democrats). Britons are more international than the Americans, keener on free trade and globalisation. Views coincide most nearly on climate change—ironically, the area where the two governments have been least in step.

On five of the six groups of issues selected, American opinion is far more polarised than British (only nationalism seems to unite America’s left and right). Gone are the days when it was British politics that embraced political extremes and Americans looked on bemused. The gap between Republicans and Democrats is almost always far greater than that between Tories and (usually) Liberal Democrats. Lib Dem supporters are to the left of Labour on every broad category except the role of the state.

Such nuggets abound. Americans have a wider anti-big-business streak. Britons are cooler on multiculturalism. Britons are more willing than Americans to curb civil liberties in pursuit of security. Americans are less keen not only on the United Nations but also on NATO—and more enthusiastic about the “special relationship” with Britain. If the British could choose their leader from a host of recent Anglo-American greats, they would pick Bill Clinton before Tony Blair. So would Americans, even if they may turn down his wife. Of the current presidential candidates, British Tories would vote for Barack Obama; Labour supporters prefer Hillary Clinton by a narrow margin.

People in both places are worried about the economic future but still bullish on chances for bright kids from poor families. They feel much the same about the death penalty: they are broadly against it. Neither group is conspicuously thrilled by the idea of a Muslim president or prime minister.

Do the differences we found matter? They might, for the world order is changing and its components are up for review. Few agree on the nature, let alone the future, of the special relationship between Britain and America. For much of the past half-century Britain and America have mostly presented a common front on security and foreign affairs and more besides.

No British premier bet more heavily on the special relationship than Mr Blair. He paid a heavy price for committing British troops to Iraq alongside Mr Bush’s, losing popularity at home and influence in Europe.

Walter Russell Mead, an American observer of foreign affairs, maintains that America and Britain act together so often not because they set out deliberately to do so but because they frequently reach similar conclusions on their own. “The family resemblance is so strong that even our most casual acquaintances can see that we are related,” he writes in “God and Gold”, a good recent book.

Some sort of Anglo-Saxon particularity appears to exist; and complacent, even triumphant, America and Britain have urged on the rest of the world their own prescriptions: lightly-regulated capitalism red in tooth and claw at home, and military intervention where needed to promote democracy around the world. Both seem rather less than winning strategies these days.

What next for the Anglo-Saxon alliance? In their fundamental attitudes—regarding religion, society, the role of the state—Britons are more similar to their western European neighbours (and Canadians) than they are to the United States. In foreign affairs and security matters, however, they usually stand somewhere between the two. Even though use of the term is said to be discouraged at the British Embassy in Washington, it is certainly too soon to write off the special relationship.

Two research outfits in Washington, DC, the Pew Research Centre and the German Marshall Fund, conduct regular surveys on global attitudes. Andrew Kohut, the president of the Pew Research Centre, points out that, although enthusiasm for America has slipped since 2000, a majority of people in Britain, unlike those in the rest of the big countries in his survey, still give America a favourable rating overall: 51%, compared with 39% of French people and 30% of Germans. Americans are far warmer towards Britons (and Canadians) than towards their other allies.

In polling for its 2007 Transatlantic Trends report, the German Marshall Fund found that whereas 74% of Americans believed that war is sometimes necessary to obtain justice, around 66% of Europeans thought the opposite. Britain echoed America: 59% agreed that military action may be justified in such circumstances.

But John K. Glenn, who heads the project, believes that America and Europe are nonetheless converging on some issues, principally on the threats that face them. Europeans are more alarmed than they were about Islamist fundamentalism, for example, and America is waking up to global warming.

2008年3月26日 星期三


Help us search for bluebells in the UK

2008 Bluebell survey launches

Bluebells have been voted Britain's favourite flower, but the native species may be under threat. Join our survey and help scientists learn more about the distribution of the three types of bluebell that grow in the UK.

n. - 藍鐘花, 風鈴草

在 英国,蓝铃花(Bluebells)盛开一般都在寒冬已经完全过去,明媚的春日已经到来。到郊外赏蓝铃花是不少爱花的英国人春天不可缺少的户外活动。可 是,蓝铃花现在比通常提早近两个月在寒冬仍未过去时开放。专家说,这再次提醒人们,气候变暖带来的变化体现在身边的一草一木。




英 国自然历史博物馆(Natural History Museum)的英国植物专家马克•斯潘塞(Mark Spencer)说,:“2月份是我们所知道的蓝铃花开放最早的。我们不知道英国蓝铃花的未来会怎样;气候变化可能会给蓝铃花带来严重的威胁。要了解自然 界的变化,我们需要每一个人的帮助。”










2008年3月18日 星期二

Dame Black's review on the Working for Health

2008年3月16日 星期日

"Nota Bene"

Nota Bene is a Latin phrase meaning "Note Well," coming from notâre—to note. It is in the singular imperative mood, instructing one individual to note well the matter at hand. (The pluralis form is notate bene.)

In present day English, it is used to draw the attention of the reader to a certain (side) aspect or detail of the subject on hand, translating it as "pay attention" or "take notice". It is often written in the abbreviated form: N.B.

no holds barred

EuroVox | 17.03.2008 | 05:30

For Elite Travelers, Even the Best Isn’t Always Up to Par

Most people buy a travel guide at a local bookstore before going on a trip. But what do discerning and exclusive travelers, for whom five star hotels are the norm, do?

Many turn to "Nota Bene" for advice -- a members-only destination review service from Great Britain. A 12-month, 10-issue subscription can cost upwards of 650 euros.

But what they get for their money is a no-holds-barred critique of the creme de la creme of the travel world: which hotel rooms have mismatched carpeting, which the best view and whom to trust on staff to mend a perfect hem.

EuroVox speaks with "Nota Bene" founder Anthony Lassman.

Amazing Rare Things:The Art of Natural History in the Age of Discovery

Amazing Rare Things:The Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace 2008

2008年3月12日 星期三

"Bloomsbury Group".

我再看到千頁的傳記"Lytton Strachey", Michael Holroyd,眼睛一亮,一直猶疑買它會不會讀……)。後來陸續十位。他接到晚上十來位預訂,很高興。

180元的套餐當然乏味可陳。不過配菜是"Lytton Strachey", 很可觀:我讀些他老年的故事和書,以及他們夫婦如何「死去」(夫人數周後舉槍自盡)。

我沒想到該公司做簡報presentation的十年元老--是我二十幾年前電子所的"部屬" 楊先生的女兒。數周前吳董說他已仙逝多年(如果猶在,現在八十幾。當年他被某spin-off單位放單,我負責利用他到”退休;我待他很客氣,還派他出差日本,他高興極了…..)......

Irene 來電郵更正:

"Lytton Strachey", .....以及他們夫婦如何「死去」(夫人數周後舉槍自盡)。

>> Strachey並沒有結婚~他是和British artist Dora Carrington同居很長一段時間(直到Strachey辭世),但他們卻也各自與別人發展出一段段的戀情。Carrington後來和Ralph Partridge結婚,但大多時間仍是和Strachey在一起,多年來深受Strachey同性戀傾向的折磨。Strachey在1932年死於胃癌,Carrington因受不了這打擊而舉槍自盡。

我看過"Carrington" (1995,此地翻成「玻璃情人」) 這部電影,對於Emma Thompson所飾演的Carrington印象深刻。」

Bloomsbury, Elysian Fields

They remained, as the saying goes, friends. In fact, Strachey dedicated "Queen Victoria" to Virginia Woolf in 1921, nearly a decade after she had married Leonard Woolf. And their sporadic correspondence, now published as "Virginia Woolf and Lytton Strachey Letters," has been edited by - you guessed it? - Leonard Woolf and James Strachey.

Let us hope a copy of this book reaches Mrs. Woolf and Mr. Strachey in the Elysian Fields. They'll have as much fun reading it as we do, and they'll probably laugh over it more uproariously than will surviving Bloomsburians or earnest members of the cult, the Bloomsberries, on pious pilgrimage through its pages.

December 29, 1956 Books of the Times By CHARLES POORE

著名的英國文藝圈 參考
Wikipedia article "Bloomsbury Group".
因交遊以位於 倫敦區
:Bloomsbury (blūmz'bĕr'ē, -bə-rē, -brē) pronunciation得名:A residential district of north-central London, England, made famous by its association with an influential group of writers, artists, and intellectuals, including Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster, and John Maynard Keynes, in the early 20th century.

James Beaumont Strachey (18871967) 為 Lytton Strachey弟弟 Wikipedia article "James Strachey".

2008年3月11日 星期二


It has long been a boast of pundits and politicians but now it has been backed up by hard evidence – London has emerged as the world's most culturally vibrant city.

A report comparing London's cultural attractions with those of New York, Paris, Shanghai and Tokyo shows that the British capital is ahead of the rest in virtually all categories.

It has more national museums, more musical performances and venues, more public art galleries and more major theatres than all its competitors, the report by the London Development Agency has found.

Ken Livingstone, mayor of London, said it was London's cultural pre-eminence that made it a great world city. “Nobody comes to London to visit its bankers. Cities are not remembered for their economies, but for what they achieve culturally,” he said at the report's launch yesterday.

Mr Livingstone also announced a new £1.4m fund for organisations to develop new cultural projects in the build-up to the 2012 Olympic Games. 底下中文翻譯"一只"怪異 build-up翻譯"面向"錯誤

2008年3月12日 星期三



伦敦发展署(London Development Agency)报告发现,与其它所有对手相比,伦敦拥有更多的国立博物馆、更多的音乐演出和音乐场所、更多的公共美术馆以及更多的大型剧场。

伦敦市长肯·利文斯通(Ken Livingstone)表示,正是伦敦的文化优势,才使其成为一个了不起的世界都市。“没有人到伦敦来访问这里的银行家。城市让人怀念之处,不在于它们的经济,而在于它们的文化成就,”他在该报告昨日发布之际表示。



2008年3月10日 星期一

Coming of age ? When?

Coming of age

You'll be a man, my son

Mar 6th 2008
From The Economist print edition

But it's not clear precisely when

AT WHAT age does adulthood begin? In Britain, as in most countries, it comes in dribs and drabs: school becomes optional at the age of 16; driving lessons can begin at 17, and at 18 people are freed to drink, gamble and vote (in roughly that order of priority).

The long march to maturity is being pushed back. In October cigarettes were plucked from the hands of 16-year-olds, who must now wait another two years for their first legal puff. The following month ministers unveiled plans to keep teenagers in school or part-time training until they are 18. And on March 4th, as part of a package of curbs on binge-drinking, the government launched a crusade against under-age drunkenness. Shops and bars caught serving under-18s will get one warning before losing their licence, rather than two, and minors caught furtively boozing will be sent with their parents to meet a social worker. Some suspect that next week's budget will ramp up tax on child-friendly tipples such as cider.

It is not surprising that the current government, which has made child poverty a focus for many years, should be keen to protect youngsters from the evils of tobacco, alcohol and employment. There is also widespread worry among voters about the national loss of (possibly mythical) childhood innocence. Serious violence committed by, and against, teenagers appears to be rising; last year a UN report labelled Britain the worst place in the rich world to be a child, based on exposure to drugs, violence and other nastiness. Growing up more slowly might be the answer.

But there are other areas where Britain is determined that its children grow up quickly. The age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales is ten, trailing most of Europe, where usually only those aged 14 or 16 can be prosecuted. Britain's jails have a higher proportion of prisoners under 21 than any in Europe apart from Ireland's. And their numbers are rising, thanks to harsher treatment of petty anti-social behaviour and teenage enterprises such as phone theft.

That is depressing. But there is a more optimistic approach to treating children like adults: giving them the vote. Julie Morgan, a Labour MP who has put forward a private bill enfranchising 16-year-olds, argues that it is a good way to engage disenchanted teenagers who, in any case, pay reasonable sums of tax to the exchequer. The low turnout among 18-year-olds is actually an argument in favour of extending the franchise, she says: children will pick up the voting habit while they are still at school, having their compulsory citizenship lessons. The government has begun a review of the subject, which insiders say will go nowhere. But the enthusiasm of the Scottish and Welsh parliaments (who are in favour, but unable to act without London's consent) will add some pressure.

With children being pulled towards both early adulthood and prolonged childhood, there might be room for more variation. On drinking, for example, some European countries allow younger teenagers beer and wine, keeping them off the strong stuff until they are older. The Tories recently floated the idea of postponing the right to drive for teenagers who misbehave. Or perhaps the opposite is true: teenagers might better understand the rights and responsibilities of adulthood if they were granted them all on one solemn date. A secular bar mitzvah such as this would at least clear up some inconsistencies in the current system. What sort of country allows you to have a child before you can have a tattoo?

2008年3月5日 星期三



BBC 主办的伦敦夏季逍遥音乐会已经有100多年的历史了,成为英国文化生活重要的组成部分,也是世界上最令人瞩目的古典音乐节之一。100多年前,亨利•
伍德爵士(Sir Henry Wood)创办这个古典音乐节的宗旨,就是以一流的演出和低廉的票价,向大众普及古典音乐。


随 着大众传媒的发展,伦敦夏季逍遥音乐会通过电视、电台和互联网传向世界各地。我作为BBC中文部音乐节目主持人,自2004年以来,已经连续四年,每年夏 天都到皇家阿尔伯特音乐厅(Royal Albert Hall)现场实况转播几场音乐会,把伦敦夏季逍遥音乐会带给中国,以及世界各地的华人听众。


夏 季逍遥音乐会持续两个月之久,而最后一场音乐会充满了英国人,或者更准确地说 – 英格兰人的爱国激情。在这场音乐会上,传统上一定要演奏充满英格兰人爱国热情的乐曲,必演的是英国作曲家爱德华•艾尔加爵士(Sir Edward Elgar)的《希望和荣耀的土地》(Land of Hope and Glory)和《威仪堂堂进行曲》(Pomp and Circumstance)等。




离夏天还有好几个月呢,怎么现在提起夏季逍遥音乐会的话题了呢? 原因是英国文化部次官玛格利特•霍治(Margaret Hodge)刚发表一番讲话,谈到英国的文化活动应当有更加广泛的代表性,帮助英国多元社会发展一种共同的文化价值观。

霍治表扬了一些体现多元文化的艺术作品和机构,例如巨型雕塑《北方天使》(the Angel of the North)、大英博物馆(the British Museum),还有电视连续剧《摄政王街》(Coronation Street)等。






“星 期一,我去皇家阿尔伯特音乐厅听丹尼尔•巴伦波伊姆指挥的维也纳交响乐团演奏舒伯特的第五交响曲和布鲁克纳的第四交响曲。这是一场美妙绝伦的音乐会。再一 次显示了伦敦夏季逍遥音乐会是一个多么出类拔萃的音乐节。人们对每年最后一场逍遥音乐会提出各种批评,但是对我来说,整个夏季逍遥音乐会才是最重要的。它 是伦敦夏天最美好的一部分。”






爱尔兰的医院的医生说,他们对此无能为力。麦克尼科尔说,他担心他将会失明终生。不过,他后来得知有一种“骨齿人工角膜手术”(Osteo-odonto keratoprosthesis,OOKP)可能可以帮助他恢复视力。

英国东萨塞克斯郡(East Sussex)的萨塞克斯眼科医院(Sussex Eye Hospital)是可以进行这种手术的医院之一。


os·te·o-o·don·to-ker·a·to·pros·the·sis [ òstee ō ə dòntō kèrrətō pros thssiss ] (plural os·te·o-odon·to-ker·a·to·pros·the·ses [ òstee ō ə dòntō kèrrətō pros th sz ])


implanted corneal lens: a plastic lens cemented into a section of decalcified tooth that is then stitched into an opening cut in a totally opaque cornea to restore vision. The lens may be implanted after normal corneal grafting has failed.