Issue 46. December 2016
Having procrastinated long and hard over what to say about hygge,
the elusive Danish art of living well, and this month’s theme, I
retreated, with the definitive guide - Louisa Thomsen Brits’ The
Book of Hygge - to my sleep-crumpled bed one Sunday morning in
November. Outside, Storm Angus was doing its best to blow the
roof off the house, and I spent the next hour or so sipping coffee,
absorbed in the book with a Jack Russell to warm my feet. Whilst I completely failed to
pen a helpful synopsis (I suggest you turn straight to pg 83 for that), it was an excellent
and, I found out, hyggelig start to the day. I highly recommend it.
But that’s all I’ve got to say on the subject. You see, I’ve learned that hygge is something
that has to be experienced and nurtured, not intellectualised. Something to revel in, not
write about. Like most things that require us to surrender ourselves to the moment, it
easily evaporates on over-thinking, but it’s not hard to find; it’s in life’s simple pleasures
and everyday rituals. So long as you’re paying attention.
So give it a try. Count your blessings, seek out kinship and community, cultivate comfort
and joy. Spend less time consuming and more time being consumed; in the moment, the
conversation, the company of others. So, happy hygge hunting, and hyg dig!
EDITOR: Lizzie Lower firstname.lastname@example.org
DEPUTY EDITOR: Steve Ramsey email@example.com
WRITER/ACTING ART DIRECTOR: Rebecca Cunningham firstname.lastname@example.org
PHOTOGRAPHER AT LARGE: Adam Bronkhorst email@example.com
PUBLISHER: Becky Ramsden firstname.lastname@example.org
ADVERTISING: Anya Zervudachi email@example.com, Hilary Maguire firstname.lastname@example.org,
Nick Metcalf email@example.com
CONTRIBUTORS: Alex Leith, Alexandra Loske, Amy Holtz, Andrew Darling, Ben Bailey, Cara Courage,
Chloë King, Di Coke, Holly Fitzgerald, JJ Waller, Jay Collins, Joda, Joe Decie, John Helmer, Julia Zaltzman,
Lisa Devlin, Lizzie Enfield, Louise Schweitzer, Martin Skelton and Nione Meakin
Viva Brighton is based at Brighton Junction, 1A Isetta Square, BN1 4GQ
For advertising enquiries call 07596 337 828. Other enquiries call 01273 810 259
Every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of our content. We cannot be held responsible for any omissions, errors or alterations.
Free range naturally reared meat
Order Xmas meat online
Free delivery in
Brighton & Hove
Free range bronze turkeys, geese, ducks, capons & chickens
35-day aged 100% grass-fed beef from native breeds
Rare breed pork from Sussex & Southdown lamb
Or come and visit us at our Fiveways shop
11 Kings Parade, Ditchling Road, Brighton, BN1 6JT 01273 503349
Bits and bobs.
8-23. A gluten-free pub, a mysterious
painting, the ‘pretty hygge’ Whitehawk
Ultras, Joe Decie’s hyggelig strip, and
absolutely nothing uhyggelig (we hope).
25-29. ‘Who knows what really happened?’
Jack Latham’s photographic
exploration of an Icelandic miscarriage
of justice (maybe just a bit uhyggelig).
30-31. David Bramwell waxes lyrical
about amateur enthusiasts, and not so
lyrical about the i360.
Photos © Jack Latham / INSTITUTE
33-37. Lizzie Enfield ponders the limits of
language, Amy Holtz reflects on childhood
naivety, and John Helmer writes about
wondering what to write in his column.
On this month.
39-53. We learn about: satirising a turbulent
year, hunting for ghosts and QI facts
(separately), a notorious avant-garde play,
a paraorchestra, and what Russell Kane’s
Art and design.
54-65. A crocheted Christmas dinner; ‘a
typical Brighton winter scene’ (except for
the ice-skating yeti, flying jellyfish clock,
etc); and the Kalevala-inspired illustrator
and Marimekko designer, Sanna Annukka.
The way we work.
67-71. Artists’ studios, and their inhabitants,
open up in front of Adam Bronkhorst’s
lens this month.
Food and drink.
72-79. An unbeatable cabbage experience,
a blue-cheese soufflé recipe, tea
tasting, martini making, and the latest
81-97. How does a café staffed by deaf
people work? Why might a former Hove
resident be made a saint? Why does a
Brighton company quiz all employees
on their dreams? Why do we feel like
hibernating in the winter? What does
the real Santa think of imposters? What’s
the most hyggelig theatre in town? How
does hygge architecture work? And what
is hygge, anyway?
98. By 1981, quite a big tree had grown
inside a house in Upper Gardner Street;
we have the photo to prove it.
Heartfelt best wishes
from Middle Farm
for a happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year
Delighting in the distinctive
Revelling in the remarkable
Embracing the extraordinary
Middle Farm, Firle, Lewes, East Sussex BN8 6LJ
Christmas order line 01323 811411
THIS MONTH’S COVER ART
For this month’s cover, we looked to the most
hyggelig local artist we could find to come up with a
design, which summed up our theme and connected
it with Brighton. Mia Underwood says, “It’s funny
how hygge has become this big trend in the UK
this year, but there’s something that’s been lost in
translation. It’s not about buying expensive candles
or spending money, in fact it’s the opposite. It’s
something you make, not something you buy off a
shelf. I have many happy memories of doing drawings
as a child whilst my mum or mormor (Danish
for ‘grandmother’) was cooking away, creating
delicious smells. I would be in my own cosy world,
a warm feeling of contentment, relaxed and happy.
I remember walking into my grandparents’ house
and being welcomed by a wonderful warmth, the
delicious smells of cinnamon buns baking and coffee
brewing, with candles lit, of course.”
These memories inspired one of the projects which
drew us to Mia’s work: a book called Nordic Crafts.
“The book shares several of my mormor’s favourite
knitting patterns and craft projects. She was so full
of energy and heart, always busy. Soon after she
passed away, I came up with the idea and submitted
the concept to CICO Books and they loved
it. In Denmark, it’s far more common for people
to be into crafts and making, and it has been for
many generations, but it’s more of a recent trend
over here. I miss the craft supplies you can get in
Scandinavian countries and I miss the shops I used
to visit, but I feel very lucky to have a Tiger shop in
“I work in lots of different media: traditional drawing,
painting, digital art, graphic illustration - and
I use lots of styles... it depends what I’m trying
to convey. In this case I combined pen and pencil
drawings, physical textures and hand-written text,
then brought it all together in Photoshop. I don’t
really have a process I follow; every piece of work is
different, that’s what makes it come alive for me.”
The illumination of the Pavilion in the background
was inspired by the Dr Blighty projections earlier
this year, which were put on as part of the Brighton
Festival. “I found the whole experience very moving,”
Mia says, “seeing so many people come to
watch this beautiful outdoor event. It inspired me to
transform The Royal Pavilion into a cosy, Nordicstyle
winter palace. And it’s a very special building
for me personally because I got married there. It
holds happy memories for me and is an iconic building
for Brighton, one of the first things that comes
to mind when I think of the town. Rather than just
have people ice skating, I wanted it to have a rhythm,
a flow, a story, and a message. I wanted all the skaters
to be different races, and celebrate Brighton, because
it’s such a welcoming, diverse city.”
“2016 has been a tough year, with iconic figures dying,
stupidity and hate being spread across the world
through politics. This is a time to celebrate love, and
happiness, when we need them most.” RC
Mia will be selling handmade pieces and prints, as
well as copies of Nordic Crafts, at Little Papa’s House
(venue 48) in the Artists’ Open Houses this Christmas.
Visit miaunderwood.co.uk or follow her
BITS AND BOBS
DI COKE’S COMPETITION CORNER
Winter is here, and it’s definitely the season for a crackling log
fire and cosy candlelight. This month, our competition prize is
a gift set from Wick Candle Boutique in Hove: a La Montaña
Winter Oranges candle and poster.
To enter our December challenge, we’d like you to get creative
and write a short poem on the theme of keeping cosy and warm
in winter. Share your poem (no more than 50 words) on the Viva
Brighton Facebook page using the #VivaBrightonComp hashtag.
Alternatively, email your entry to competitions@vivamagazines.
com before 31st
December 2016. The
poem that best captures
the theme will feature in
the February issue and
win the prize. The submission
must be your own original work.
Full terms and conditions can be found at vivabrighton.com/
competitions. The competition is open to all ages, but entries
by children under 18 must be submitted on their behalf by
Wick Candle Boutique, 120 Portland Road, Hove. Visit
wickcandleboutique.com or find them on Facebook and Twitter
In October we asked readers to share a photo inspired by
‘Beautiful Italy’ - we loved this atmospheric shot by Lynn
Mackeonis. “This was taken in the early evening, whilst a
jazz band played - Lake Orta is the most beautiful fairytale
place near Milan.” Lynn wins £50 to spend at Bella Italia.
Di Coke is very probably the UK’s foremost ‘comper’,
having won over £300,000-worth of prizes. For winning tips
and creative competitions, check out her blog at superlucky.
me and SuperLucky Secrets book.
BITS AND BOBS
CHARITY BOX #9: CAROUSEL
We’re a learning-disability-led
arts charity, which means that our
artists, who all have a learning disability,
control all the work that we
do: the planning, the management
and the delivery. We work with
hundreds of people of all ages every
year. We’re always looking to the learning-disabled
community for writers, musicians, singers and filmmakers,
but we also welcome advocates and patrons.
The biennial Oska Bright Film Festival is one of
our flagship events. The next one is in November
2017, and submissions are open now. We have six different
bands, and a monthly ‘Rock House’ jam, usually
at The Green Door Store. And we do a monthly talkradio
show on Radio Reverb, which is also available
as a podcast.
Last year a team of artists created
the online graphic novel
Curing Perfect, and now we’ve
developed an app to take the discussion
one step further. There’s
a lively debate because of the
new screening tests for Down’s
Syndrome. Do we want a world of perfect humans?
Where does our community fit in? Carousel is allied
with Creative Minds, a national conversation about
such issues in the arts and society.
Our next club night, the Blue Camel Club, is on
Monday 5th December at The Old Market in Hove.
It’s a chance for everyone to party; the amazing Daniel
Wakeford (of The Undateables fame) is performing.
Better get in quick. Lizzie Lower interviewed Lisa Wolfe
carousel.org.uk / curingperfect.com
How it works and how it can help you.
Legal advice on your terms
Got a question about how
the law applies to a situation
or problem you’re having?
We can help you with up to 45 minutes of
one-to-one friendly advice and guidance,
with the certainty of a fixed price.
Call us today on
01273 838 674
Changing the way you see lawyers.
@QSHowlettClarke @HowlettClarke QualitySolicitors Howlett Clarke
FESTIVE PACKAGES AT RENDEZVOUS
THREE COURSE FESTIVE DINNER
DRINK ON ARRIVAL
£5 FREE BET
NEW YEAR'S EVE PACKAGE
FOUR COURSE DINNER
DRINK ON ARRIVAL
EXCLUSIVE PERFORMANCE FROM NAVI -
KING OF POP
DJ UNTIL LATE
£5 FREE BET
£35 per person £65 per person
THE RED LOUNGE IS THE PERFECT PLACE FOR SHARED PARTIES THIS FESTIVE SEASON.
CALL IN TODAY 01273 605602 / BNEVENTS@CAESARS.CO.UK
01273 605602 firstname.lastname@example.org rendezvouscasino.com/brighton
Rendezvous Casino Brighton, Brighton Marina Village BN2 5UT rendezvousbrighton • Rendezvousbton
Over 18s Only | Challenge 21 Policy in Operation | Know When To Stop Before You Start, visit gambleaware.co.uk | drinkaware.co.uk | Rendezvous Casino is a part of Caesars Entertainment UK Limited
BITS AND BOBS
JJ WALLER’S BRIGHTON
“Hygge? Had to look this one up…” says JJ Waller. “Very trendy, which supporting Whitehawk
FC is not… that’s more like following a punk band.” But, he tells us, “the supporters are
pretty hygge.” So we’ve heard. The Whitehawk Ultras are about as close-knit and passionate
a community of folks as you’ll find anywhere. Here’s one of their number, Julia, who’s just got
engaged to a Dane. “How hygge is that?!”
BITS AND BOBS
Painting by Jay Collins
PUB: THE PRESTONVILLE ARMS
When the property developer Daniel Friend
planned a new middle-class area to be built north
of Brighton Station in the mid-1860s, he made
a pub central to those plans, and the Prestonville
Arms came into being, built as an elegant
endpiece to the curve joining the bottoms of
Hamilton and Brigden Road.
The Post Office Directory of 1866 lists one Richard
Cave as being its first landlord, until a George
Postlethwaite took over in 1890. I imagine that
neither man even thought about making the
place the city’s (country’s?) first gluten-free pub;
but that’s what the latest landlady, Jacqueline
Boucher, has done, as the Prestonville celebrates
its 150th anniversary.
I spend a pleasant couple of late-Friday-afternoon
hours in the pub conducting an interview,
and then chat to Jacquie, who tells me about
their new chef - Monkey, who used to do the
food in the Connaught, in Hove - and their
guest-ale policy, and their vinyl nights, and their
open fire, and their themed for-sale art shows. At
the moment, presumably because Halloween has
just happened, the theme is skulls.
I haven’t been in the pub for a couple of years,
and it’s had a good scrub since then. It’s much
brighter, and it’s got a really cared-about feel to
it; I sink a couple of well-kept pints of Frontier
(it’s owned by Fuller’s) listening to Nouvelle
Vague, and watching the Friday-evening crowd
start to grow, thinking that it’s been well worth
the five-minute hike up from the station.
A nice place for a pint, then, but its main USP
is Monkey’s gluten-free menu, which includes
a Sunday roast. The policy is strict: no wheat
products are allowed in the kitchen at all, to
avoid the slightest chance of contamination. Back
to Jacquie: “My son is a celiac, so I know a lot
about how difficult it is to get gluten-free meals
in pubs. When people come in and say ‘what’s
gluten free on the menu?’ and I say ‘everything’,
they think they’ve gone to heaven.” Alex Leith
Antiques and Works of Art
Tuesday 24 January
10am to 4pm
Bonhams specialists will be
at The Courtlands Hotel to
offer free and confidential
advice on items you may be
considering selling at auction.
The Courtlands Hotel
19-27 The Drive, Hove
PAIR OF BOHEMIAN
VASES CIRCA 1850-60
£7,000 - 9,000
A family-run, independent retailer with nearly 80 years of trading and
experience. Specialists in items of the highest quality.
Antique and contemporary jewellery • Silverware • Watches • Repairs and valuations
Marston Barrett Ltd
72-73 High Street, Lewes, BN7 1XG • 01273 474150
BITS AND BOBS
SECRETS OF THE ROYAL PAVILION:
BEAUTY, BEARS AND BLEEDING HEARTS
A beautiful young woman is walking through snow
and ice, accompanied by two submissive and loyal
polar bears. Her slim figure is silhouetted sharply
against an inky blue starry sky. She wears a long
gown and veil of gauzy white fabric, embroidered
with pearls and crystals. Her face is turned
towards the viewer and we see her large, dark,
almond-shaped eyes. Her cherry-red lips stand out
against the cold colours of the picture. But there is
another splash of red in the picture: she is holding
a bright red heart in her hands, blood dripping
through her fingers. It is a detail you only see at
second glance, once you are drawn into the painting,
trapped by its beauty, brilliance and darkness.
What is the story behind this mysterious painting
in the collection of Brighton Museum?
The Ice Maiden is a small watercolour and gouache
painting by the French-born artist Edmund Dulac
(1882-1953). Dulac had studied art in Paris, but
moved to London in 1904, where he carved out a
career as one of the most prolific artists of what is
often called ‘the golden age of book illustration’.
He mostly illustrated fairy tales and fantasy novels,
but also designed posters and stamps.
The painting entered our collection in 1953,
but it baffled curators until the 1970s, as no-one
knew who the Ice Maiden was or what story she
was telling. Eventually the link was made to the
book in which the painting appeared. It was one
of six plates for the fantasy novel The Dreamer of
Dreams, published in 1915 and written by Queen
Marie of Roumania, a granddaughter of Queen
Victoria. The Ice Maiden is a beautiful stranger
who a wanderer named Eric meets in an icy
Northern region. The picture shows the moment
he first sees her: ‘Everything about her was white,
glistening and shining; so shining that the human
eye could hardly bear the radiance.’ She comes out
only at night, in search of broken hearts, which
she picks up carefully and takes back to her castle
made of ice. Most of Dulac’s illustrations walk a
narrow path between beauty and cruelty, mystery
and menace, and one wonders whether they were
actually created for children.
Alexandra Loske, Art Historian and Curator at the
The Ice Maiden is not permanently on display, but
if you’d like to find out more about its story and
early 20th-century fairy-tale illustration in general,
come to a Bite-Size Museum talk at Brighton Museum
on 13th Dec, 12pm. We will bring the painting
out of storage, and there will also be a chance to see
a first edition of The Dreamer of Dreams. Free with
admission. See brightonmuseums.org.uk
Dulac’s ‘The Ice Maiden’, courtesy of Royal Pavilion and Museums, Brighton and Hove
BITS AND BOBS
MAGAZINE OF THE MONTH: THE COLLECTIVE QUARTERLY
You have to feel sorry for hygge.
The flavour of the month at the
beginning of the year, and now at
the butt end of snarky comments
from people who should know
better. Ahhh, we Brits. Build ’em
up. Knock ’em down.
At the same time, everyone who
has come into our shop this year
saying they have been to Copenhagen
or Denmark (me included)
just drools with pleasure. “The atmosphere!”
we say to each other.
“It’s so… warm and together.” I think that’s hygge
at work. I’m all for it.
(A short commercial break. Louisa Thomsen Brits,
a good friend of our shop and author of one of
2016’s best books on hygge, will be with us on the
evening of December 12th to explore with us what
it means and how to cultivate it in our lives. Keep a
look out for booking details. It’s free!)
A number of our magazines are deliberately, provocatively
and brilliantly not hygge at all. I’m
thinking of Adbusters, for one. But many aspire to
hygge and a few actually seem to
me to achieve it.
The Collective Quarterly is one
of those. It’s a magazine about
one place at a time and the people
who live and work there. It’s
not soft, but it is always respectful
and warm-hearted. In their
own words, they are ‘dedicated to
documenting the life and work of
those living purposefully.’
The current issue journeys to
Maine, generally, and to Penobscot
Bay, in particular. A place close to the sea
where individuality and community co-exist beautifully,
where artists and car mechanics and fishermen
work cheek by jowl. The writing and the photography
are just beautiful. The articles are simple
and deep, longish but not hard work. Reading The
Collective Quarterly makes me feel connected, a part
of something bigger and more at ease.
Unless Louisa tells me differently, I think that
might just be the hygge I am looking for.
Martin Skelton, Magazine Brighton
TOILET GRAFFITO #23
¡Ay, caramba! We thought the Brexit comedown was bad.
Luckily Brighton is still a land of love and liberty and we’d like
to extend a warm embrace to any Mexicans* in need of succour.
As endorsed by this lavatorialist, we’ve got some pretty decent
food here, and we like women, the devout, the queer, the curious
etc, etc, etc. Viva Mexico (and all you other) cabrones!
But where might you find this warmest of welcomes?
*insert spurned nationality/gender/sexual orientation/creed here
Last month: The Basketmakers Arms
BITS AND BOBS
SPREAD THE WORD
Here’s Janine Maer in Havana, Cuba, reading
her copy of VB44 in front of a massive sign that
apparently read VIVA CUBA LIBRE!
She tells us that she loved touring the vibrant city
in a classic car, seeing the beautiful old buildings
and Afro-Cuban art in the Callejon de Hamel,
listening to salsa, eating dinner in a paladar - the
unofficial restaurants in the private homes of
hospitable locals - and, of course, drinking lots
of rum cocktails. Viva Cuba Libre! sounds like a
magazine we’d be willing to work for.
And that’s Jo
gateway to Christiania
for hygge in the
not absolutely sure
that she found it,
or that she even
knew what she was
looking for, but she did meet some mighty colourful
characters along the way…
Keep spreading the word, and send your
holiday snaps to email@example.com
ON THE BUSES #20
CLEMENTINA BLACK (Routes 29 & 49)
A powerful advocate
around the country
in the 1880s,
to join unions to
fight for financial
wives of underpaid men bear upon their
shoulders a burden… too heavy for any human
creature,” she wrote. Clementina put forward
the first motion for equal pay for women at the
TUC in 1888; as Honorary Secretary of the
Women’s Trade Union, later President of the
Women’s Industrial Council, she was in a position
to do so.
Born at 58 Ship Street in 1854, Clementina
was the daughter of town clerk Peter Black and
portrait painter Maria Patten. She was 21 when
her mother died of ‘a rupture’ after lifting her
disabled husband, leaving Clementina to care
for him and her seven younger siblings (who included
mathematician Arthur Black and Russian
translator Constance Garnett). The family was
brilliantly educated at home in Brighton, and
spoke fluent French and German. Clementina
began to write, with the fictional A Sussex Idyll
published in 1877, but when she moved to London
to further a literary career, her focus altered.
Friendships with Fabian socialists, suffragettes
and the Marx family helped alert Clementina
to the plight of working women, and she hurled
herself into campaigns to open the eyes of middle-class
society who preferred not to see who
did their laundry or scrubbed their floors. We
owe her. Louise Schweitzer
Illustration by Joda, jonydaga.weebly.com
You won’t find the best views of Brighton
and the Downs at the top of the i360
You’ll find them at the
gallery next door
Home of the world famous Brighton & Hove Calendar
www.brightonphotography.com | 52-53 Kings Road Arches | 01273 227 523
Steyning Grammar School
Day and Boarding school in the UK
Top 10% Nationally for Student Progress
No Tuition Fees • Full Boarding Fees Per Term £3610
Year 9 (13 years old) and Year 12 (16 years old) Places Available for September 2017
‘The inclusive SGS Boarding
community is a model for the
world on how we can live in
peace and harmony with each
other” Ofsted Outstanding Sept 2015
Church of England
For further details on the School, Sixth Form College, curriculum and prospectus, visit our website
www.sgs.uk.net or call Suzie Plimmer, the Boarding Registrar, on +44 (0) 1903 817601
Real-life Nordic Noir
“I’d grown tired of the way
photography struggles to tell
stories,” says Jack Latham, the
whose book Sugar Paper Theories
was recently shortlisted for the
2016 Photobook Awards.
“So I started looking at the nature
of storytelling, and in particular
Icelandic folklore.” While carrying
out this research, he came across a
controversial murder case from the
70s, involving the disappearance of
two men near Reykjavik, and the subsequent arrest,
conviction and imprisonment of six young people.
The prosecution, he discovered, had found no
conclusive evidence to incriminate the defendants;
all they had to go on was confessions to the crimes,
which had been issued after an extreme campaign
of interrogation on the part of the police. The
six, who had been bullied into actually believing
they had been involved in the murders, were
sentenced to up to 17 years in prison for their roles
in the ‘crime’; two of them had died since being
released. “I realised I’d found the subject for my
next project,” he says. “Who knows what really
happened? The bodies of the disappeared men
were never even found.”
On numerous subsequent trips to Iceland, Jack
met, and in many cases befriended, people involved
in the case, from the four still-living suspects, by
now convinced of their innocence, to a number
of conspiracy theorists who had been obsessed
with the case for decades, and had developed a
number of interesting - and on occasion completely
implausible - theories about it.
“Afterwards I was delighted to be able to persuade
Gisli Gudjonsson to get involved
with the project,” says Jack. “Gisli
is to psychology what I am to
photography - completely obsessed
- and his clinical analysis of the case
helped hold the project together.”
Gudjonsson is an expert in ‘memory
distrust syndrome’, leading in many
cases to false confessions: it was
his expert-witness evidence that
helped lead to the freeing of the
Birmingham Six and the Guilford
Four. He was briefly involved in
the Icelandic murder case in the
70s - he gave one of the defendants a lie-detector
test - and has since worked on it to help reverse
their convictions, having become convinced their
confessions were unreliable.
Jack asked Gisli to write the text of the book, happy
in the knowledge that the Icelander’s words would
be completely even-handed and clinically thought
through. This would give Jack the chance to weave
a meandering visual narrative of half-truths, police
fabrications, conspiracy theories and red herrings
around that text, using his own photographs,
newspaper clippings, excerpts from the suspects’
diaries, and remarkable photos taken by the police
during the interrogations, which posed the suspects
in reconstructions of the ‘murders’.
Sugar Paper Theories is, then, an intelligent book
about the blurred nature of ‘truth’ in narrative and
storytelling, as much as it is a careful analysis of the
case in question. It’s a timely book, too, published
by Here Press and the Photographers Gallery
just before the public inquiry into the case by the
Icelandic judiciary that should finally clear the
names of the six accused. Alex Leith
Photos © Jack Latham / INSTITUTE
Clockwise from top left: Hlynur Þór Magnússon (testified that abuses occured in the course of the Geirfunnur investigation), Kristján #6 and Kristján #8
(reconstructions of Geirfinnur’s death from original police archive). © Jack Latham / INSTITUTE
Conspiracy Theorist’s Desk © Jack Latham / INSTITUTE
Conspiracy Theorist #1 © Jack Latham / INSTITUTE
Clockwise from top: Gísli Guðjónsson, Harbour Shop, Keflavík and
Erla’s Goldfish. © Jack Latham / INSTITUTE
Photo by Adam Bronkhorst, adambronkhorst.com
MYbrighton: ‘Dr’ David Bramwell
Catalyst Club curator, writer, podcaster
Are you local? Yeah, I’ve been here 23, 24, 25
What brought you here? Many things. I guess
the thing that clinched it for me was that it wasn’t
Coventry, Scunthorpe or Doncaster, where I’d
lived for the first 23 years of my life. It was also
a gig at the Brighton Centre, Rollercoaster - My
Bloody Valentine, Dinosaur Jr, Jesus and Mary
Chain and Blur all on the same bill. I came
for the weekend, saw the gig, hung out with
friends… Why would you ever leave?
What’s kept you here? The feeling that I’m still
on holiday here has never quite left. I do worry
that at some point I’ll wake up, find it was all a
dream and I’ll have to go back to a regular job in
Doncaster. I can’t imagine where else I’d live.
Have you got a favourite pub? Maybe the
Basketmakers, because it’s just slightly off the
beaten track and a proper local. I love the notes
in all the tins in there. You can entertain yourself
for hours by pulling them out and reading all the
inane witterings. And the Bee’s Mouth is one of
those places where, if you’re in the mood for an
adventure, you’re going to end up in a conversation
with somebody and something weird is
going to happen.
When did you last swim in the sea? Probably
six weeks ago. Always in Kemptown between the
nudist beach and the pier, because that’s usually
quieter. Any excuse, if it’s a manageable temperature.
You experience the pain and, afterwards, the
What do you think of the i360? Can you see
it from your window? Thankfully no. I haven’t
been on it. I imagine as a one-off, overpriced
experience, it would be a great thing to do. But it
spoils our skyline. When I’m up on the Downs,
or in the city all I see is a large ugly pipe. It’s not
What is the Catalyst Club? It’s a monthly
spoken-word night where three guests each talk
for 15 minutes about something they love, their
passion. The subject matter is not revealed until
the night, and so it’s a lucky dip for the audience.
It’s not a debating club and we’re not trying to
change the world. It’s just about stuff you love.
It could be as geeky as adjustable spanners or
lawnmowers or Concorde, or it could be way
out there like werewolf erotica or bodybuilders
in bondage. It’s open and egalitarian. You don’t
have to be asked to speak and you don’t have to
pay a fortune to go. I want to hear the lady down
the road who’s got a collection of zinc bath tubs
and wants to talk about them. It’s a home for the
amateur enthusiast. I rile against the age we live
in, where academia and science are the only areas
we seem capable of going to for experts. They are
not always the best storytellers.
Is Brighton an unusually happy hunting
ground for speakers at the Catalyst Club?
Yes, of course. Brighton prides itself on its love
of counterculture and oddness. You just need to
look at the listings of what’s on. Promoter friends
will put on a gig out of town and bang their heads
against the wall when nobody comes, but here
you put on this obscure Swedish band who make
hip-hop music using farm machinery and it’s a
full house. There’s a gentle eccentricity about
many of the people here.
Interview by Lizzie Lower
Dr Ayanna Knight
MB ChB, MRCGP
Cosmetic Skin Care, Health & Wellbeing
Holistic Health Clinic, 53 Beaconsfield Rd, BN1 4QH
䔀 䴀 䄀 䤀 䰀
最 椀 昀 琀 ⴀ 眀 爀 愀 瀀 瀀 攀 搀 䀀 栀 漀 琀 洀 愀 椀 氀 ⸀ 挀 漀 洀
吀 䔀 䰀
㜀 㜀 㘀 㔀 ㈀ 㤀 㜀 㔀 㜀
䌀 唀 刀 刀 䔀 一 吀 䰀 夀 䄀 嘀 䄀 䤀 䰀 䄀 䈀 䰀 䔀
䄀 吀 䴀 刀 䘀 䄀 䌀 䔀 䠀 䄀 䤀 刀
䄀 一 䐀 䈀 䔀 䄀 唀 吀 夀
匀 䄀 䰀 伀 一 䄀 吀
匀 䔀 嘀 䔀 一 䐀 䤀 䄀 䰀 匀
The truth is, I’m a Minnesotan
Standing at the stop lights
on Church Street behind a
mother and her daughter,
I overhear the girl say,
in a small, hopeful voice,
“But Obama can just come
back in another four years,
The lights change but I
find myself frozen in place.
Life always seems so much
brighter when you’re
young, when you don’t exactly understand how
When I was a kid, my grandparents’ fake Christmas
tree (which I didn’t realise was fake until I
was too old for fooling) was always covered in
what we called ‘bubble lights’. They were little
bulbs topped by a candle filled with water. Once
they were switched on, the bulb would make the
candle different colours - reds, greens, golds, and
once they got hot enough, the water bubbled up
in the candle. During the holidays, they were always
flickering, casting shapes up the walls; they
gave the room a life of its own which you could
happen upon and get lost in.
There were lots of other Christmas traditions:
clam chowder, though we were thousands of
miles from an ocean; Nat King Cole’s voice and
the sweep of strings in the dimmed living room;
the fabric advent calendar from another era -
sewn sequins clinging to old-fashioned toys that
marked the long, long wait till Christmas Eve,
when we were finally allowed to open presents at
Gramma’s house. But it was the moment when
the lights came on that
always sent us kids loopy
Waiting for all this was a
kind of agony-spiked thrill,
radiant against your small
being. Magic, in a way -
because as kids we couldn’t
grasp how everything
happened, so perfectly,
just when it should. If
you’ve been lucky in life,
the adults around you made everything warm,
plentiful and right. You don’t worry about losing
these moments, about the time when they’ll be
no more, because loss isn’t something you’ve
It’s been three years since my Grandpa died;
two since I said goodbye to my Gramma in their
house, where I spent my childhood. I’m not the
same since. On quiet, now-dark nights at home, I
light tall votives - dollar saints, we call them; not
because I believe, but because they’re beautiful,
rich with the primary colours and stories of
my youth. It’s only now, staring at their glow,
that I see how much they look like those lights,
drawing the tree in a silhouette against the walls
I grew up in.
On Church Street, the little girl is rushing to
keep up with her mum across the street, blue
hockey socks blurring with the movement. The
response is low, the mother shaking her head.
I wait again for the light to go red. I pretend
to search my pockets because I’m embarrassed.
Somehow, there’re tears in my eyes.
─ 挀 愀 猀 栀 洀 攀 爀 攀 樀 甀 洀 瀀 攀 爀 猀 愀 渀 搀
挀 愀 爀 搀 椀 最 愀 渀 猀 昀 漀 爀 眀 漀 洀 攀 渀 愀 渀 搀 洀 攀 渀
䘀 爀 攀 攀 倀 ☀ 倀 眀 椀 琀 栀 挀 漀 搀 攀 㨀 嘀 䤀 嘀 䄀 㘀
洀 椀 猀 琀 礀 挀 愀 猀 栀 洀 攀 爀 攀 ⸀ 挀 漀 ⸀ 甀 欀 簀 ㈀ 㜀 アパート 㐀 㠀 㜀
Fabulous Event Accessories
95 St Georges Road,BN2 1EE
Find us on facebook!
Searching for the
we have carefully selected the finest
food & drink found in s ussex. your hamper can also
be personalised for that extra special touch.
get free uk
Quote V i V adec
o rder by december 16th for a c hristmas present
that is anything but ordinary.
www.theS u SSexhampercompany.co.uk | 01273 387 220
Notes from North Village
Illustration by Joda, jonydaga.weebly.com
“That’s a lovely dress. You look like the Danish
prime minister,” I tell a friend, just back from
Denmark, with a new dress.
Of course I don’t mean Lars Løkke Rasmussen,
the actual Danish PM, but Birgitte Nyborg, the
fictional one from Borgen.
“Tak,” she replies. “Got a busy day making progressive
policy before going home to do hygge.”
That’s how far Danish culture has infiltrated
ours: a few notions about politics and a vague
understanding of an untranslatable concept that
has something to do with wearing knitted socks,
lighting a lot of candles and eating pastries.
We are doing the latter but with lights and shoes
“Hygge sounds like a lot of hard work,” I say.
“It does!” friend agrees. “All that time spent setting
the scene before relaxing.”
Scandinavians put a lot of effort into relaxation.
A few years ago I found myself in Norway and,
if I had a Norwegian krone for every time I
was told how ‘relaxed’ Norwegians were, I’d be
almost as rich as their herring millionaires.
Being relaxed seemed to involve dressing down
in a fastidious way, carefully cultivating a hipster
beard and sitting around in cafes drinking
meticulously prepared coffee whilst listening to
Comfortably Numb - I kid you not, it was played
constantly in all the ‘relaxed’ cafés in Oslo.
There are reasons that some words don’t translate
across cultures, and that’s because neither
does the thing they describe.
The French probably have a specific word that
means having a cigarette after cycling home
in the afternoon to have sex with your lover.
We don’t, because we don’t need it any more
than we need mmbwe, a South African word
which describes a round pebble taken from a
crocodile’s stomach and swallowed by a chief!
Or biritululo, the practice of comparing yams
to settle a dispute. That’s a Papua New Guinean
word, which we have no more use for than
we do the Finnish poronkusema, the distance
equal to how far a reindeer can travel without a
We have enough of our own words that don’t
translate into other languages without adding
to them: all those different ways of walking, for
example. You need about ten words in Spanish to
get close to ambling, or stomping or wandering.
And serendipity always stumps translators, who
can’t even begin to explain ‘off’, as in, something
is a bit off. Or ish, as in, someone is a bit off-ish.
The closest you get to ‘stuff’ is a collection of
things. And then there is stuff that we do for
which there are no words, like collapsing on the
pavement after a night on the town and having
to be dragged home by friends, or going out in
winter dressed in a short skirt and a vest.
I’m going to be too busy-ish dreaming up new
words and being flabbergasted about serendipitous
stuff to even think about hygge this winter.
Illustration by Joda, jonydaga.weebly.com
“You should put that in your column,” says Poppy.
“Put what in my column?”
“The thing I just said: it was really smart and funny.”
“Sorry, I was thinking about something else.”
“Daddy! You should listen to your daughter - what
were you thinking about?”
“What was that noise you made?”
“It’s a Danish word. Google Translate says it means
‘fun’, but I’m not sure that’s right. To be honest, I’m
not sure I know what it means.”
I’m making tea, Poppy’s making herself an omelette
“Are you going to put this in your column?” she says.
“This conversation we’re having.”
“No. That would be too meta.”
“Meta?” Now I’m really testing her patience.
“You know: writing about writing, films about
films—? Like the credits on The Simpsons when
they’re on the sofa watching the TV, and the TV is
showing them on the sofa watching TV?”
Infinite, nightmarish recursion.
Meta is a word I learned from Poppy’s older
sister. My theory is that it migrated down
the food chain from Academia via Media
Studies. “…Writing my column about
what I’m going to write my column
about: that would be meta.”
Poppy shrugs and fills a Tupperware tub
with quinoa salad she has made for her
school lunch (this is Fiveways, after all)
then breaks off to tend to her omelette. I
finish making tea and take a cup to Poppy’s
mother, who is in bed recovering from her
operation, which had something to
do with lymph nodes.
“Poppy’s trying to get me to put stuff about her in
“What’s it supposed to be about this month?”
The sun is not up yet. Kate’s eyelids are drooping
with fatigue from the painkillers, but there’s a
scented candle burning, dissipating the sense of a
sickroom. It looks cosy in there. From the kitchen
we can hear Poppy humming Silent Night.
“Hygge. Except I don’t know what it means.”
“Are you going to write more about my cancer this
“No. I keep getting messages on Twitter from people
saying it makes them cry.”
“Is that bad?”
“I was aiming for wryly amusing. This is new territory.”
I think about another word that begins with
meta - a word we try not use too much: metastasis.
Back in the kitchen, Poppy is cramming two pumpkins
that she and her sister carved for Halloween
into an Ocado bag. “For the goats,” she explains.
“Do goats eat pumpkins?”
“They eat everything.” Poppy’s school keeps a
collection of goats it has named after inspirational
figures from the arts and sciences. “—and they fight
all the time. Alan Turing keeps headbutting Maya
Shouldering her Fjallraven Kanken backpack, she
makes for the door.
“So what was it?” I ask.
“The smart and funny thing you said.”
“Oh. Can’t remember. Bye Daddy!”
“What about a kiss for your old dad?”
“I’m not even going to answer that.”
‘Hygge’, I think to myself, closing the door behind
her; ‘where am I going to find out what hygge
Beautifully renovated, Long Furlong Barn is set in the picturesque South
Downs National Park just outside Worthing and within easy access of
London, Brighton and Southampton. It is fully licensed for civil ceremonies
and offers you stunning architecture, modern facilities and first class food. All
will combine to ensure your special day is a truly memorable occasion.
Call us: 01903 790 259
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit us: www.LongFurlongBarn.co.uk
Clapham | Worthing | West sussex | Bn13 3xn
the SUSSeX SYMPhONY ORCheStRA PReSeNtS A
NARRAted bY bbC tv'S SAllY tAYlOR
tChAikOvSkY'S the NUtCRACkeRSUite
hUMPeRdiNCk'S ChildReN'S PRAYeR
leROY ANdeRSON'S A ChRiStMAS feStivAl
12 dAYS Of ChRiStMAS | CAROlS fOR All
7.30PM SAtURdAY 10th deCeMbeR All SAiNtS ChURCh, hOve
tiCketS £15, ConC & nUS £10, Under 16 £5,
family of 4 £30 fROM www.SSOMUSiC.CO.Uk
Ben Bailey rounds up the Brighton music scene
THE FICTION AISLE
Fri 2, Hope & Ruin, 8pm, £5
The Fiction Aisle’s Tom
White doesn’t like to sit
still. The band put out their
second album this summer,
only six months after
releasing their debut. At that
rate he should have another
ready for us by Christmas. Despite being better
known as the frontman of Brighton indie rockers
Electric Soft Parade, the soundtrack-style
songwriting of Tom’s latest output has already
eclipsed his former band in terms of scale and
ambition. They’d be worth catching even without
the great local support: but you’ll also get
Hattie Cooke’s wistful bedroom electronica and
catchy psych-pop from ones-to-watch Fukushima
STUDIO 9 ORCHESTRA
Sun 4, Brunswick, 7.30pm, £donations
The first Sunday of every month sees big-band
groups from across the south coast squeezing
onto the stage of the Brunswick. This month it’s
the turn of 19-piece Brighton ensemble Studio
9 Orchestra, featuring Red Gray on vocals.
Though they might be out to challenge your
preconceptions of big-band music, that’s not
to say they favour gimmicks over proper jazz
chops. Mixing it up with swing, ballads, funk
and Latin tunes, the band also make a point of
working with local songwriters. If you’ve been
to the Love Supreme festival at any point over
the last three years, you may well have seen
Fri 9, Green Door Store, 7.30pm, free
of Dirt have carved
out a nice niche for
themselves putting on
gigs at the Green Door
Store. This, their last of the year, is also an EP
launch for headliners Outlaw State. After a summer
of festivals, the Brighton five-piece knuckled
down to commit some of their crunchy riffs and
squealing licks to the proverbial tape. With four
likeminded bands on the bill, there’s plenty of it
to go around. Dead Whisky and Just Like Fruit
open the night, while the second slot goes to
Junkyard Choir, a kind of bluesy power duo with
a fuzzed-up guitar sound, gravelly vocals and
JUST LIKE FRUIT
Wed 14, Patterns, 7.30pm, free
New in town and clearly
keen to put themselves
about, Just Like Fruit are
also headlining this show,
Ears & Eyes, less than
a week after their appearance at the above blues
bonanza, and two days before another gig at the
Hope & Ruin. There’s something pleasingly
familiar about the catchy phrases and straightforward
sound that this former London five-piece
have claimed as their own. It’s pop, via rock and
roll, via rhythm and blues. This Patterns gig is
the launch party of the band’s first release, an EP
on Normanton Street’s local label QM Records.
The Treason Show
2016: who’s laughing now?
“It’s as if some cosmic wishing spell has been cast
over The Treason Show, and that things that I wonder
about start happening,” says the satirist Mark
Brailsford. “If I had the mindset of a fascist dictator,
I would imagine that it was me controlling events
to my advantage. It’s almost like that. Everything
I’m dreaming of happening, for the comedy value,
“I’ve been… running to stand still is an understatement.
Running to go backwards, actually
- it felt like I was just running backwards. You
couldn’t keep up. One month - the Brexit month
- it changed every hour, let alone daily. When
even the 24-hour news channels were struggling
to keep up… we were all just, ‘oh my god, that’s
changed, that’s changed’. When Gove knifed Boris,
we junked 20 pieces of comedy in five minutes,
in the rehearsal.
“For the best-of-2016 Christmas show, my problem
is going to be - which bits? At the moment I could
probably do twelve best-ofs, with all the material
For example, this year we saw a prime minister
make “the biggest miscalculation of any political
career since Suez. He’ll be remembered along the
lines of, ‘I have in my hands a piece of paper’, when
Chamberlain was standing on the plane steps - a
gag we used.”
The referendum fallout has been so fruitful, in
terms of satirical songs, that “we could do Brexit:
the Musical. And actually, I dare say that might
happen”. Brailsford also mentions “the Labour
Party civil war”, and the rise of an American politician
who is effectively “a big button marked ‘laugh’.
“You only have to say what he’s really saying and
boil it down to a sentence, and you get the laugh,
just for the pure ridiculousness of… not hearing it
from his mouth, you really hear it, rather than see
the bombast and the combover floating around. It’s
almost too easy, actually. Say what he says.”
Compared with the last days of the coalition, “when
it all felt a bit… fag ends of everything”, 2016 has
been a great year for satire. But, Brailsford says,
“it is that thing of satire - anything that’s good for
satire is bad for the world.”
Will 2017 be better? “Yeah, for comedy, definitely.
For the world, no. You’ve got Putin creating Cold
War 2.0, the Americans and Nato generally reappraising
their relationship with Russia… there is
now a new Cold War front, I think, and it’s messier
and more dangerous than it ever was in the old
Cold War. And you’ve got all the fall out of what
will be the collapse of Isil, terrorists fanning out
across Europe, scare stories in the right-wing press,
general mayhem in political spheres, with the
independence vote in Scotland. You’re going to get
Brexit mess everywhere. It’s worse for the world,
but it’s comedy gold for us.” Steve Ramsey
The Treason Show’s ‘That Was the Year That Was’
mini-tour comes to The Old Market from Mon 12th
to Thurs 15th, and the Pavilion Ice Rink from Tues
27th to Thurs 29th. See treasonshow.co.uk
(This interview was done in late October, when
Trump’s campaign looked dead and buried)
The fine art of stand up
“What the world needs is
something big and silly” says
Harriet Braine, from a hotel
in Vienna where she has been
on holiday running between
Klimt and Schiele, thinking
up new songs.
Harriet spent nearly five
years studying art and art
history at Edinburgh, which
formed the basis for her
alternative career, as a singersongwriter
who sets new
lyrics to popular tunes.
She can write her own music and occasionally
does, notably for a student musical called The Big
Diamond, but it was for her skill with the ancient
art of burlesque that led to her big break, when
she caught the attention of ‘Funny Women’.
This leading female comedy community was
created in 2003 in order to help women perform,
write and do business with humour. They crisscross
the country, auditioning over 2,500 hopefuls
in hundreds of heats. 2016 Awards touched
down in Dublin, Edinburgh, Manchester, London
and Brighton. Harriet won Best Newcomer.
I talk to her soon after her victory. Her advice
to wannabe comedians is simple. “Go for it, full
throttle and don’t play safe”. Her favourite role
model is Victoria Wood.
Harriet was born in 1991 in Kingston upon
Thames, Surrey. Her mother was a designer and
her father a keen amateur musician who encouraged
her to play on the ancient family piano. She
chose to study at Edinburgh University as they
offered a combined Fine Art and Art History
course: she passed her
degree and remained
a further year to do a
“After our course, we organised
an exhibition and
decided to have a party.
We played games with art
and I started singing silly
songs about art history
set to popular tunes. I
about ‘Matisse, Matisse,
Matisse, you cut things
up and stick them down/you weren’t so keen on
the colour brown’ all to a Dolly Parton tune. It
seemed to go down rather well. I do a trumpet
impression, which helps, and I can sing in a joke
German accent for Bauhaus stories.”
In the few months between graduation and getting
a job at the Maritime Museum in Greenwich, Harriet
had time to write more songs. Her ambition
now is to play at ‘bigger and better gigs,’ and she is
already attracting wider professional attention: she
was recently commissioned by the BBC to write a
piece for their 100 Women season.
Harriet accompanies herself on the guitar: no
backing track could be sufficiently flexible to accommodate
her comic interventions and trumpet
impersonation. “Writing lyrics comes naturally
to me”, she says, “but they need the music to be
Harriet Braine is appearing in Charity Chuckle,
raising funds and awareness through stand-up
comedy: Komedia, Wednesday 7th, 8pm
Concerts for Corbyn
The Farm’s Peter Hooten
Best known for ’90s anthem
All Together Now, The Farm
are a highly political Liverpudlian
band and one of
several acts performing at
People Powered - Concerts
for Corbyn, at the Dome
How active are The Farm
these days? We usually
do a few festivals every summer, but we aren’t an
active band in the true sense of the word. However,
we have been in the studio again recently, working
on new ideas, because we’re angry again. We’d love
to get them out in the future, as they are songs
with a message.
What’s the People Powered show all about? It
will be one massive collaboration. The idea is to
counter the received wisdom that Corbyn is unelectable.
We’ve seen what can happen in the USA
when character assassination, vindictiveness and
bigotry control the narrative. I think Corbyn appeals
to people who are fed up with the status quo,
and even those who oppose him would concede
that he has honesty and integrity. He has given
people hope, which can never be underestimated.
Has there always been a political element
to your music? I wanted The Farm to follow
in the footsteps of The Clash, The Specials and
The Jam. The first song I ever wrote was called
Violent Playground, which was about deprivation in
Thatcher’s Britain. It’s no love song, I can tell you.
Many Liverpool groups were producing brilliant
pop songs at the time, but I wanted to reflect what
was happening in real life.
How did you react to the Hillsborough inquest
earlier this year? I felt a deep sense of sadness.
Part of me was euphoric,
but to tell you the truth
when I heard the verdict
of the jury, I just cried my
eyes out. I was at Hillsborough
in ’89, so the
fight for justice was in my
DNA. I knew the truth, as
I had witnessed my fellow
Liverpudlians mount a
remarkable rescue operation. It is unforgivable
that the authorities had put us through 27 years of
anguish and heartache.
How true is Billy Bragg’s song Scousers Never
Buy The Sun? Their sales have never recovered,
but it was never a popular paper on Merseyside,
even before their disgraceful lies [about Hillsborough].
Many trade unionists and progressives
wouldn’t touch it, because of the way Murdoch
supported Thatcher and vice versa. Some shops do
still sell it, but not many people would own up to
buying it, which reveals how toxic it actually is.
Has British politics changed at all since The
Farm started in the early ’80s? If anything, the
country has moved to the right, but the resistance
is not as well organised for various reasons, mainly
due to anti-union laws. Media commentators are
generally happy with this and they call it ‘politics
of the centre’, but it is nothing of the sort.
Can music really affect politics? Music can be a
soundtrack for a generation. I think it can change
attitudes, and if you can influence attitudes you
can change society. If only David Cameron had
listened to the lyrics of one of his favourite songs,
Interview by Ben Bailey
Brighton Dome, Fri 16th Dec, 6.30pm, £26.50
lOuT prOMOTiONs preseNT
nov ‘16 – jan ‘17
Hove’s Independent, High Quality
Live Theatre and Venue
From Ibiza To The
Tom’s Film CLUB
Plus our family
the magic lamp
The Old MarkeT, BrighTON
Friday 16Th deceMBer
£22.50 adv dOOrs 7.30pM Over 14s welcOMe
videos / reviews / tickets
Anne Miller is one of the researchers - or ‘elves’
- on QI, and a co-author of 1342 QI Facts To Leave
You Flabbergasted. She shares her Quite Interesting
story with Viva…
I found my first QI fact on the wall of the
Dundee Science Centre. It was that an eagle
can swallow enough botulism toxin to kill
300,000 guinea pigs. I then became an intern on
the programme before joining as a researcher.
It’s the kind of job that as a child I wouldn’t even
have dreamed could exist.
Good facts are often those that people think
they know but don’t. One question we had
recently was: ‘What did the Famous Five have
lashings of?’ It’s not ginger beer. They have lashings
of eggs and potatoes and tomatoes and even
poisonous snakes at one point but the ginger-beer
line was from the 1980s TV comedy series The
Comic Strip Presents...
We elves rarely find the same stuff because we
don’t tend to read the same things. I like hanging
out in the London Library and finding weird
books that haven’t been opened for 50 years.
Anna [Ptaszynski] particularly likes the Newspaper
Archive website and James [Harkin] reads
tons of RSS feeds and blogs; he’s usually read the
entire internet before lunchtime.
We don’t even try not to get sidetracked.
Unless we’re really time pressured, it’s accepted
that we’re going to go off on tangents. Like most
people, you start out looking for one thing and
end up somewhere completely different. Between
the show, the QI books, the spin-off podcast and
the new TV show, we can always use what we find
The way we check facts depends on what the
fact is and where it’s from. There’s one I love
in the new book which is that on the Mir Space
Station, the wake-up alarm was the same noise as
the emergency alarm. That was from an interview
with [astronaut] Helen Sharman, so we trusted it.
If it was, say, a fact about Cadbury’s, we’d read up
about Cadbury’s and then cross-reference it.
Sometimes you really want something to be
true but can’t back it up. I was sure I’d been
told that Agamemnon from Greek mythology
couldn’t be killed on land or water so was killed
getting out of the bath. Sadly, I’ve never been
able to find a source.
You can never really switch off from this job.
You’ll be at the post office or on holiday and find
yourself on the lookout for good facts. I was in
the post office waiting to post a parcel when I
noticed a greetings card that said ‘stressed is just
desserts backwards’. That ended up in one of the
The main thing all QI elves have in common
is curiosity. We’re the sort of people
who won’t just look at the book
we came to get but the one
next to it too. That’s why
on my desk at the moment
I’ve got books about
Scotland and bacteria.
Anne Miller and James
Harkin will discuss 1342
QI Facts To Leave
Photo © Alasdair Miller
‘Sort of trash, in a good way’
“I think it is a load of
nonsense,” says Isabel
Sensier. “But it also
tells you things about
the human condition.
I think it can be
Sensier runs the
Squall and Frenzy,
which is putting on
Alfred Jarry’s notorious
1896 play Ubu
Roi. Avant-garde and
foul-mouthed, it features schoolboy humour and
“a lot of lewd acts”. One of the stage directions
simply says ‘a huge orgy happens’.
“Jarry basically put the play on as a prank,”
Sensier says. This was a time when people would
go to the theatre “wearing their opera dresses…
Jarry set it all up to be like a proper play, and
then the first word of the play is ‘Pshitt’. So he’s
sort of putting a giant middle finger up at his
audience, really. It’s not surprising that there was
almost a riot when it came out.”
Sensier suspects that Jarry himself thought
of Ubu Roi as “sort of trash, in a good way”.
However, the play is now seen as pioneering; the
Encyclopaedia Britannica calls it ‘a forerunner of
the Theatre of the Absurd’. And, Sensier adds,
“he was actually saying a lot of things about society.
But the stuff he was saying wasn’t welcome.
People didn’t want to hear it.”
The plot follows Pere Ubu, a “bumbling idiot”
who “takes over as king and kills a lot of people
and is a terrible king… He wants to be king
because he wants to be rich, he wants power.
And he openly admits that, and openly admits to
and nobody cares,
and he’s still allowed
to be king.
“Pere Ubu is very
relevant to a lot of
figures we’ve seen
across history, and
I think that’s why
it’s endured. It’s
quite scary to watch,
really, seeing somebody
who says ‘yeah,
I don’t care about
the good of my people, I am just in it for power.’
Because most politicians won’t say that, but they
will do that.
“There’s a line in there, somebody challenges him
on something he’s doing, and he says ‘well isn’t
injustice just as good as justice?’ And that, I think,
really speaks to the politics that are happening,
not just in the US but also in this country, at the
moment. It’s quite scary.
“I think [the play] tells you that people are sheep.
And that they will let things happen passively, and
then later realise that it wasn’t a good idea to let
that happen.” In Squall and Frenzy’s production,
they’ve given Pere Ubu yellow hair and a
“It’s like a very dark, adult pantomime,” Sensier
says of the play. “It’s very physical, it’s very funny,
and I think the majority of the time, the audience
will probably be laughing… what we’re hoping to
do is that the second after they laugh, they think,
‘Oh god, what did I just laugh at?’” Steve Ramsey
Ubu Roi, the Marlborough, Wed 14th - Thurs 15th,
8pm, £9/£7. (Also Wed 7th, Jubilee Hall, Lancing),
‘Sometimes you find glitter’
The evolution of Russell Kane, from guyliner and
skinny jeans to suits with ‘spring-loaded crotches’,
is nearly complete. As he continues his Right Man,
Wrong Age tour, we find out whether the clothes
really do make the (grown-up) man.
Right Man, Wrong Age has received some great
reviews, with critics calling it ‘relatable’ and
‘thought-provoking’; is there a part of you that
worries about what the critics say? Or is it all
about the volume of laughter on the night?
In the early days, yes, when I was trying to shine
at Edinburgh - critics were important. But when it
comes down to it, funny is funny. The critics can’t
agree about some of my idols - McIntyre, Kay,
Stewart Lee - so it proves that funniness is something
that cannot really be broken down.
Appearance seems to be just as much
a talking point with comedians as it
is for actors and presenters. You’ve
said, ‘Whether you’re black,
white, with spiky hair, flat
hair, lesbian, straight,
you can be whoever
want to be on stage as long as you’re funny.’ But
is comedy any less superficial than other areas
of showbiz? It’s bullshit; you should be able to
express yourself without some idiot swiping at your
Doesn’t putting on a suit signify a kind of
homogenised comedic success, as in, you gotta
look like Jimmy Carr or Stewart Lee or Michael
McIntyre to make it as a ‘serious male comic’?
I decided I wanted a more grown-up, businesslike
look. So that I looked as if I were dressing for a big
posh event. I liked the way it made me feel, and ran
with it. Now I couldn’t imagine it any other way.
What advice, if any, do you think mature
Russell would give to noughties Russell, just
starting out his stand-up career? Start earlier!
Your vlog, Kaneing, is blisteringly topical - is
anything off-limits, comedy-wise? Or is every
issue fair game? Everything. I make an effort to
mock lefty stuff as well (even though I’m a Greenvoting
Guardian reader). It’s important to shine the
light of mirth on everything. Sometimes you find
glitter where you were not expecting it.
Any target on Kaneing you’re hoping might
bite? Any Tory would be ace. Kanye too.
They say having kids sharpens our sense of
mortality - but has little Minna changed what
you personally find funny? Or made you see
things you used to find funny from a different
angle? Minna is like a book of material. She brings
new jokes every day. But as for my personal sense of
humour - it’s the same as it ever was: high-energy,
random, and a little bit childish.
What do you find most frightening about getting
older? Death, obviously. I hate a deadline that
I can’t shift. Interview by Amy Holtz
Brighton Dome, Sunday 4th, 8pm
LEWES CHAMBER MUSIC
16th December 7:30pm
St Michael’s Church, Lewes
TICKETS: £15 || FREE for U26
Charity No 1151928 01273 479865 and at Baldwins Travel
Choir with no name
A home from homelessness
The charity Choir with
No Name was founded in
2008 to provide opportunities
to sing for people
affected by homelessness.
The group now have four
choirs across the country,
and are bringing two of
them to the Dome on the
20th for a Big Christmas
Singalong. Their London Choir Manager Emma
Broomfield tells Viva they are ‘certainly in the pop
Christmas classics camp’.
How did the Choir with No Name start? Our
founder Marie Benton was working for a bigger
homelessness charity, and she’d always sung in
choirs. She knew choirs are a great place to find
community, a great place to find meaning, and
also that the act of singing as a group can be
In what ways does homelessness affect the
lives of your members? Homelessness is a varied
experience for different people. The vast majority
of people in our choirs have a recent experience of
homelessness… [others] may have been in their own
flat for a long time, but often a roof over someone’s
head is not the end of the journey… Moving on can
be really isolating, and there’s tons of studies nowadays
about how social isolation is a killer. There’s
something really important about community - that
our members have somewhere they can come and
see friendly, smiling, familiar faces every week.
In what other ways does the choir benefit
people? A lot of the root of what we’re doing
is building up people’s sense of self-esteem.
Homelessness can destroy your sense of identity and
the feeling that you’re a
worthwhile person. Being
in a group, achieving,
getting up on a stage in
Brighton in front of 1,000
people or more, what
that does to a person’s
confidence can’t be
What big achievements
have you shared through doing this? There’s
so many... We recorded an album and an EP…
We’ve done really big gigs where we’ve performed
with Coldplay… But equally, we’ll go and sing at a
community centre with the local school choir. Just
bringing two different groups of people together to
sing can be the most magical thing.
Do you have a personal highlight? It’s a really
tough time for small charities at the moment… So,
for me, the highlight is that week in, week out, we’re
still there and we’re doing it.
What should we expect at your Brighton show?
When we’re on stage, we’re there to entertain, put
a smile on people’s faces and leave people feeling
better than they did at the start. Expect lots of
Christmas cheer, lots of Christmas classics, and lots
of chances to get involved as well.
What’s the best way to help homeless people
over the winter period? It’s great for us to think at
Christmas what can we do to help somebody we’ve
just walked past in the street, but it’s a much wider
issue. People talking to their MPs and trying to
encourage society as a whole to think about how we
tackle homelessness is as important.
Interview by Chloë King
Sat 3 Dec
MICHAEL BALL & ALFIE BOE
Tues 6 Dec
Book now for your festive season
Sat 10 Dec
Sat 17 Dec
Sat 3 Dec
Sat 3 Dec
Sun 4 Dec
Sat 10 Dec
Sun 11 Dec
Fri 16 –
Tue 20 Dec
Etsy Christmas Market
Christmas Open Day
Orchestra: The Best of
British Film Scores
Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus
Brighton Festival Chorus
A Winter’s Trail
box office 0844 847 1515 *
*calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge
the smash hit ‘best-of’ review of the year
our ‘best-of’ review of the year
THE TREASON SHOW
“Savagely funny-fantastically silly” THE GUARDIAN
“Savagely funny-fantastically silly” THE GUARDIAN
The Argus The Latest
In association with
THE TREASON SHOW
Tue 20 Dec
Mon 26 –
Fri 30 Dec
Sun 1 –
Mon 2 Jan
The Big Christmas
Catch Me! (Attrape Moi)
Alice in Wonderland
Images: Catch Me!
THAT WAS THE YEAR THAT W
Sell out shows
THAT WAS THE YEAR THAT WAS
12 - 15 December @ 8 pm
tickets £16.50 & £14.50 concs
Early bird price 13.50 till 5 Dec
Box office 01273 201801
27 -29 December @ 9pm
tickets £16.50 & £14.50 concs
Box office 01273 709709
12 - 15 December
tickets 16.50 (14.50 conc
Early bird price 13.50 til
Box office 01273 20180
Meal deal !
2 courses & show
(Ice Rink only)
...in The Old Police Cells
What are psychics and mediums? There’re
different types; some can see the future or predict
things, but psychic mediums can get their evidence
from someone in the spirit world.
Where’s the best place to look for ghosts? We
pick locations that have a pedigree of legend or
folklore; it isn’t often that we turn up to a place that
doesn’t have history. The Old Police Cells is well
known for paranormal activity and notable crimes,
like the Solomon Case. Henry Solomon became
the first Chief Constable of Brighton in 1838. In
those days, the Chief Constable used to do all the
interviews; a guy - probably just a petty thief - came
in for a crime, but he must have thought his number
was up. When Solomon turned his back, this
guy whacked him over the head with a poker from
the fire, and he later died. The Mods and Rockers
also had their fights here - there’s a lot of graffiti
from that era, people inscribing their names on the
walls, like ‘Ted’s a Rocker’. Interestingly, the toilets
have stayed the same. Philip, the museum’s curator,
worked out that over 1.3 million people have used
those toilets. Over a couple of hundred years, it just
makes you think how many people have been in
Do you have to die in the place you end up
haunting? They usually have some link. We do
these events with a medium so they can try to connect
to those ghosts - but we sometimes get spirits
that have no connection with the place whatsoever.
What about sceptics? We love them. Strangely
enough, it’s usually the person who doesn’t want to
be there that gets the encounter! A guy once came
along who didn’t believe - he was a bit disruptive,
standing back with his arms folded; a negative
presence in the group. Our medium spotted this
and brought him up to the Ouija board. He put his
hand on it and it came to life - leaping around - but
when he took his hand off, it stopped. The medium
asked him to try again and said, ‘Give this guy a
message that’s significant to him’. We were sworn
to secrecy, but the board spelled out a specific place
he’d just been to; he couldn’t believe what had
just happened. People tend to get ghost hunts the
wrong way around; if we’re going to do a hunt -
some people think we’re mad! But we’re going to
see if there is such a thing as a ghost. We’re openminded
Can mediums ever put their ‘Out of Office’ on?
My wife is a medium; the gift is there when she
needs it, but she can switch it off! If there’s someone
sitting next to her at McDonald’s and she had a
strong sort of feeling - she may not tell that person.
There’s nothing worse than someone tapping you
on the shoulder and saying ‘I’ve got someone here
Amy Holtz interviewed Andy Ayres
Ghost Hunter Tours are rustling for ghosts at
The Old Police Cells Museum, 10th, 9pm
Charles Hazlewood, Paraorchestra founder
I first came up with
the idea of forming
The British Paraorchestra
To put it in context,
I have four kids and
my youngest child was
born with cerebral
palsy, so in her short
life she’s given me a
to the disabled
community. I started wondering why it was that
in a career spanning more than 20 years conducting
orchestras all over the world, I’d never come
across musicians with disabilities. At this point,
in early 2012, the London Paralympics was fast
approaching, and this set my mind to thinking
how is it that in sport, so much has been done to
promote disabled athletes that people no longer
look at disabled sport and think that it’s some
kind of nice, warm, fuzzy therapy - it’s worldclass
sport, nothing less. So I thought if sport can
do that, music certainly can.
The Paralympics was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,
when the eyes of the entire world
would be focused on us. So I formed a new
orchestra, The British Paraorchestra; it’s just like
any other orchestra, except for the fact that the
musicians in it, aside from being at the top of
their game, all have a disability. They made their
debut at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Paralympics,
playing standalone, but also alongside
Coldplay, which was a great way to launch the
movement. It’s gone from strength to strength.
Performing ‘A Celebration of David Bowie’
at Glastonbury Festival 2016, as the first ever
classical music headliner was a seminal moment
for us. The main structure of this project
includes my orchestra, The Army of Generals,
who are a crack squad
of amazing virtuoso
musicians, with a
strong number of
The Park stage at
midnight, when all
the other stages are
shut down, and the
whole of Glastonbury
descended to watch
this incredible celebration of David Bowie, reexpressed
and re-imagined by Philip Glass.
Anyone who loves Bowie will know that he
wrote two really great albums during his
so-called ‘Berlin years’, Low and Heroes.
They are highly electronic and meditative. They
completely re-wrote the rule book on what pop
records should or might be, and they’re really
progressive pieces of work. What Glass does is to
take some of the important themes, melodic fragments,
chord progressions, and textures from the
two iconic albums, and to rework them through
his own particular mill, so it’s a bit like looking
at Bowie through a Philip Glass-shaped prism.
These symphonies sound absolutely like Glass,
not Bowie, and yet there’s the half-remembered,
shadowy ghosts of ideas and a familiarity that
chimes. It’s trademark Glass; pulsing, meditative,
hypnotic, and it loops around and around, attracting
more foreign bodies as it moves forward.
It’s really insistent, very intense, and all filtered
through this incredible, kaleidoscopic colour
prism, the orchestra.
As told to Julia Zaltzman
The British Paraorchestra & Friends present A
Celebration of David Bowie. Philip Glass: Heroes
Symphony/Low Symphony at De La Warr Pavilion,
Bexhill, Wednesday 14th, 7pm £26.50
Photo by Lily Holman
Focus on: Nonsense, by Graham Carter
Limited edition giclee print on etching paper,
40.5 x 70cm, £80
This is a print I’ve made for the 2016 Burning
the Clocks [pictured left]. It’s the fourth one I’ve
done. I guess not a lot of people know that they’re
available to buy. It’s a limited edition, with all profits
going to Same Sky to help fund Burning the Clocks.
Each year they have a theme so everyone knows
what kind of lanterns to make. The first few were
quite straightforward - The Deep, then Urbano,
then The Cosmos - because they conjured up a
lot of imagery. This year the theme was Nonsense,
which proved a lot trickier.
I felt I should include a typical Brighton winter
scene so the viewer could connect more with
the image. I’ve taken inspiration from Heath Robinson,
Monty Python and nonsense rhymes from
You might spot a Terry Gilliam-inspired giant
cat in there somewhere. The baby driving the
trousers was inspired by the legs on top of the Duke
of York’s Cinema (they appeared in last year’s print
too) and the pointing hand and the mechanical submarine
were inspired by the Beatles’ psychedelic
period. Things like that.
A lot of my work is about pattern and colour.
The subjects are usually characters and landscapes,
fantasy based but with a hint of realism. Then
there’s a few nostalgic elements from TV shows I
watched as a child. It all goes into a melting pot and
spews out onto the page.
I love the Burning the Clocks brief, as it frees
me up to let loose. I do something different each
time but they are definitely a set. With each image
I try to focus on the glow of the lanterns.
As told to Lizzie Lower
Burning the Clocks, Brighton city centre, Wed 21st.
The event relies on crowdfunding and the support of
local businesses to enable it to go ahead each year. You
can help to make it happen by buying a print, going to
the crowdfunding page or purchasing a lantern-making
kit, which includes wrist bands to join the parade.
Graham’s Burning the Clocks limited edition prints
from 2013-2016 are available from boxbird.co.uk
Focus on: ‘Stitchmas Dinner’ by Kate Jenkins
30 x 30cm, crochet
The Stitchmas Dinner took about a week from
start to finish. I made up the elements and put
them together to see if extra things needed to be
added. It will be mounted on card with a real knife
and fork and a crocheted cracker. It’s one of about
40 pieces in the show.
I’ve always got something in mind to crochet.
I’m bad at drawing, so I’ll just make it freehand. I
always say the hook is like my pen. I like things that
are a challenge. There’s not yet been anything that
I haven’t been able to crochet.
I grew up in the Valleys with nothing to do, so
my nan and my mum taught me how to knit and
crochet when I was about twelve. I carried them on
when I came to Brighton to study fashion. The art
stuff came about when I had no budget for advertising
so I decided to make something that people
would talk about. And then it just escalated…
I’ve got a few famous customers, and I’ve got
a few things in different museums around
the world. I made a pork pie years ago, and
the original went to the museum of pork pies in
Every year I pick a theme. Next year it will be
music. I’m calling it Sex and Drugs and Rock in Wool.
For the drugs I’m going to make Viagra and, for
music, I’m going to do vinyl, and then for the sex,
look at Playboy and bunny girls and the images of
50s pin ups. I’m desperate to get going on it. I’ve
got so many ideas. As told to Lizzie Lower
Christmas Stitchmas is at 114 Church Street, Brighton
from 30th November until 4th December, then at
Kate’s Pantry in Arundel Mews by appointment.
Photo by Emma Wood
t h o u g h t f u l d e s i g n
prints designed & made in Brighton
Festive gifts & treats
Lewes Town Hall (Fisher Street)
Saturday 3 rd December
10am - 5pm
ART & ABOUT
Art & About: In town this month...
Creatures of the Revolution, a song-story performed to a backdrop of film projections,
filmed in Brighton’s historic Booth Museum, is a journey into an
otherworldly gothic fairy-tale. Amidst the stuffed birds, pinned butterflies
and dinosaur bones of the museum, a musical troupe waits to entertain you.
This intriguing collaboration between Carousel musicians, performers and
digital artists, will be at Fabrica on Thursday the 8th. [fabrica.org.uk] From
the 1st, Hotel Pelirocco hosts Editions, the first in a series of collaborations
between Brighton-based screen-printing studio The Private Press and nine
of the UK’s leading contemporary graphic artists, including Rose Blake,
Supermundane and the The Stereo-Typist, who’ve all created new work
for the show with The Private Press using an interesting mix of inks, papers
and techniques to produce a small run of collectible prints.
Supermundane at Editions
Dan Walters at Unlimited
Unlimited have gone all zoological this month, with
Christmas Party Animals, a collection of vibrant prints by
local illustrator extraordinaire Dan Walters of See Creatures,
alongside a colourful array of animal-inspired prints,
jewellery, textiles and homewares from their collective of
designers and makers. [unlimitedshop.co.uk]
Brush, the hairdresser-meets-gallery space at
84 Gloucester Road, has a solo show by the
retro-inspired illustrator Dupenny until the
8th, then, from the 10th, Wintertide brings
together a selected group of contemporary
artists including, amongst others, Romany
Mark Bruce, Will Blood, Hizze Fletcher
and Julie Kuyath. [brushbrighton.co.uk]
‘Celestory’ (detail) by Romany Mark Bruce
Photo by Simon Dack
Burning the Clocks is a reason to go out on the 21st, to mark the
shortest day of the year. Join in by buying a lantern-making
kit (including wristbands to join the procession) from organisers
Same Sky, and, after parading it through the city, commit it
to the blazing bonfire on Brighton beach, to mark the solstice.
ART & ABOUT
‘Carousel’ by Sarah Jones (venue 36, Milton House)
Kirk Budden at the Hive
The 2016 Christmas Artists’ Open Houses festival
continues for the first two weekends of December, with
56 venues open around the city. Check out Fabula’s
Many Ways to Tell a Story at Hove Museum (venue 10).
The collective of international and local artists, united
by their love of storytelling, have been in residence at
the museum. The show continues into the new year.
[aoh.org.uk] As if you needed more, there’s an alternative
trail of pop-up galleries this Christmas… Alt Open
Houses will see an abundance of art exhibited for sale in
venues including: The Hare and Hounds, Tattoo Workshop,
North Laine Brew House, Presuming Ed, Bison
Beer, Hive, Maple, Cafe Plenty, Nordic Coffee Collective,
Glazed, The Artpothecary, and Twin Pines. We’re
particularly looking forward to the handmade quilts by
tattoo artist Kirk Budden, at Hive in Hove, which, he
admits, are a ‘bit on the dark side’. There is such a thing
as too much jolly. [altopenhouse.com]
MADE Brighton returns
for one day only
at St Bartholomew’s
Church, on Saturday
10th from 10.30am-
6pm, promising a selection
of the nation’s best
and most interesting makers, at a down-to-earth,
table-top event. And Sophie Darling and Holly
Murray (the pair behind the much missed Kimchi
leather company) have a pop up shop at 48 Preston
Road. It’s open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday
until Christmas from
12-6pm, selling exquisitely
sweatshirts, and t-shirts
...and out of town
clutches and purses.
Farley Farmhouse bring their Lee Miller Archive
print room and gift shop to Lewes House on the
17th from 1-4.30pm. They’ve also got a shop at
the farmhouse in Chiddingly from the 15th until
the 21st [farleyfarmhouse.co.uk]. The shop at
Charleston is open at weekends until the 18th and,
on the 3rd and 4th, there’s Charleston Covered, a rare
opportunity to see the house and collection ‘put to
bed’; when paintings, sculpture, and furniture are
covered in white linen. [charleston.org.uk]
© leemiller.co.uk Potter but with Wool at MADE
Friday, Saturday & Sunday 12-6 November, December
and by appointment
SOPHIE DARLING AND HOLLY M LEATHER
SAND, 48 PRESTON ROAD BN1 4QF
SOPHIEDARLING.COM 07866 423226 HOLLYMLEATHER.CO.UK 07811 416051
ART & ABOUT
Up the road at St Anne’s Galleries in Lewes there’s Settlement, an exhibition
of paintings by Paul Newland, who’s intrigued by the edges of town, and
Alexander Johnson, whose current work conveys his wonder at the ancient
trees and farm buildings surrounding his Laughton home. [stannesgalleries.
com] Also in Lewes, at the Stable Gallery, Paddock studios, Overlooked is an
exhibition of paintings, photography, fragments and objects by Jenny Arran
and Zuky Serper. Cracks in pavements, marks on bone and patterns in stone
become Jenny’s abstract landscapes, painted on small rough wood panels.
Zuky reworks overlooked objects, dovetailing handmade porcelain fragments
with found pieces of wood. It’s on from the 2nd until the 4th, 10am-5pm.
‘Oak Trees at Dawn’ by Alexander Johnson
Bob Marley © Jill Furmanovsky
At Norman Road in St Leonards, the
Lucy Bell Gallery have 30/30/30, an exhibition
by the music photographer Jill
Furmanovsky. From being an 11-yearold
Beatles watcher, hanging around
outside Abbey Road Studios, she went
on to have a 40-plus-year career in music
photography, with access to some of
the greatest acts of the period. [lucy-bell.
com] The De La Warr Pavilion has an
intriguing-sounding exhibition running
all month: Buoys Boys, by Fiona Banner,
is an ‘immersive installation exploring
her ongoing interest in language and its
limitations’. This will be joined on the 10th by The New Line, a collection of contemporary commercial prints,
many taken from the Jobbing Printing Collection developed by Philip James at the V&A’s National Art Library.
Together they chart the enormous social, political and technological changes occurring across Europe in the 1930s.
Christmas makes to join in with…
Charleston are holding a series of Christmas craft workshops to help you deck the
halls... Expect paper cutting, table centrepieces, willow decorations and Christmas
wreaths. [charleston.org.uk] There’s more making at Ditchling Museum of Art +
Craft with a Creative Christmas Crafts workshop on Sunday 4th, for ages 3+. Full
of creative crafty decoration ideas for kids and grown-ups to make together. £5 for
kids (+ £0.17 online booking fee!), accompanying adults free. [ditchlingmuseumartcraft.org.uk]
Brighton artist (and instagrammer extraordinaire) Philippa Stanton
is holding two Christmas wreath-making workshops on the evenings of the 6th and
the 8th. Flowers, foliage and materials will all be provided (as well as cheese, wine and Christmas cake) but places
are limited to eight on each evening so you’d best get in quick. (£28, email@example.com)
© Philippa Stanton
Photos © Sanna Annukka / Marimekko Design House
At 33, Sanna Annukka has already
achieved much of what it is possible
to achieve from a top-level illustration
career. Represented by agency
Big Active, she is currently working
on The Nutcracker, her third book,
due out in a Penguin imprint for
Christmas 2017. She has designed
patterns for the iconic Finnish
homeware label Marimekko for
eight years - after their CEO spotted
her album artwork for the band
Keane featured in British Vogue.
“Their album is folkloric, like
sinister fairy tales,” Sanna tells me over tea. “It suited
my style and my love of the Kalevala.” The Kalevala,
she explains, is a classic Finnish text formed of dense,
evocative poetry laden with allegoric imagery like
the Sampo… A mill that produces endless grain: a
symbol of prosperity so strong it was adopted by the
Finnish banking industry.
When Marimekko first asked Sanna to create a
body of designs to celebrate the anniversary of the
Kalevala, it realised a huge ambition. Sanna grew
up in Brighton to Finnish-English parents. “I live
here,” she says, “but my work is about my Finnish
heritage and culture… because I’m not living there,
I can romanticise. Nostalgia is a big thing in my
work, something I want to share and celebrate with
Sanna spent childhood holidays exploring the wilds
of Finland and Lapland. “We’d travel north to fish
under the midnight sun,” she says. “For a kid to be
wild - just camping, collecting berries, fishing for our
dinner, foraging, connecting with nature - I feel so
lucky to have had that experience…
“The songs in the Kalevala are
from the northern regions of
Finland, actually Karelia where
my family roots are… I feel linked
to the prose, the heroes - singers
that create harps from the bones
of a pike, to play beautiful music
that the forest creatures gather to
“With Marimekko, it’s all about
storytelling as well. Every pattern
is a story.”
Sanna has found a double-edge
to early success. Her style has
been developed by market demand, and is sometimes
pulled away from her more organic interests. Balancing
her love for analogue printmaking and the applied
fine arts her father collected in an increasingly
digital marketplace is something she has battled with.
“I was catapulted into the digital, commercial world,”
says Sanna. “I went completely into illustration on
Photoshop. It worked great and served a purpose - I
was making money from illustration - but I felt, after
a while, I needed to get back into the craft of making
You can see this ambition in Sanna’s latest projects.
She has begun working in brass, ceramics and tapestry,
her goal to create a personal brand composed
of small editions of collectible design objects. “I
talk about a brand in the sense that it’s just me and
my work,” says Sanna. “It’s not in order to become
worldwide famous and flog loads. A brand, for me, is
what I want to leave as my stamp on this world.
“I just want to resettle and get into playfulness and
exploration… I want to be in there, with my hands,
getting mucky.” Chloë King
M a r i m e k ko
L i n u m
O r l a Ki e l y
I l s e Ja c o b s e n
C a m p e r
a n d m a ny m o re . . .
1 7 1 - 1 7 2 H i g h S t re e t Le we s B N 7 1 Y E p h o n e 0 1 2 7 3 4 7 0 2 4 8 v i s i t w w w. t h e l a u re l s l e we s . c o. u k
THE WAY WE WORK
This month, Adam Bronkhorst visited five of the artists and makers
getting ready to exhibit in Brighton’s biggest Open House. New England
House is open from the 8th-10th, visit aoh.org.uk
We asked each of them: what gets you in the festive mood?
adambronkhorst.com | 07879 401 333
Jake Spicer, Draw Brighton
“Decorating the studio skeleton (we don’t have a Christmas tree).”
THE WAY WE WORK
Rea Stavropoulos, artist
“Christmas carols, mince pies and mulled wine, all at once.”
THE WAY WE WORK
Ken Eardley, ceramicist
“When the Open House starts.”
THE WAY WE WORK
Peter Mullett, Clever With Leather
“Spending all of my Nectar points on champagne.”
THE WAY WE WORK
Heike Roesel, fine-art printmaker
“Smelling wood burning in chimneys when walking along dark streets in the winter.”
Bluebird Tea Co.
A winter’s brew
The Little Book of Hygge tells me that ‘hot drinks are what 86% of
Danes associate with hygge’. I’d been reading it in preparation for
this month’s editorial meeting - well, I’d been reading it anyway,
but the chosen theme gave me reason to read it in the office, with my shoes off, and my hands wrapped around a
hot tea. I could see what they meant. So I happily volunteered to do a bit of tea tasting.
Only I cheated slightly. I did visit the Bluebird Tea Co, and spend an indulgent 20 minutes or so smelling and
sampling the different blends, and I did come away with a few sachets to try at home (the Christmassy ‘Snowball’,
plus the new ‘Peppermint Cream’). However, the one I want to write about is not strictly speaking a tea.
‘Mulled Cider’ is a mixture of apple, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, lemon peel, rosehip and hibiscus, and while I’m
told it makes a really good winter brew, I decide to use it to use it as a mulling mix. Lewes Bonfire Night seems
like the perfect occasion.
I pour two litres of cider into my slow cooker, add two heaped dessert spoonfuls of the blend (plus some extra
ingredients), and leave it to stew for a few hours. Once it’s infused, I sieve out the bits and add a splash of dark
rum. The result is delicious: sweet and citrusy and spicy. It’s enough to keep me - and at least one or two others -
warmed up, right through until the bonfires have been lit. RC
Food & Drink directory
The Better Half
The Better Half pub has put
the heart and soul back into
one of the oldest public houses
in the city, just off Hove
seafront. There’s a superb wine
and spirits list and some great ales and ciders on
offer, as well as a hearty and wholesome menu to
enjoy, making the best of local ingredients. The
Better Half is relaxed, friendly and easy-going,
making all feel welcome and comfortable when
1 Hove Place, Hove, 01273 737869, thebetterhalfpub.co.uk
Bluebird Tea Co.
Brighton’s independent Tea
Mixologists are gearing
up for another spiced and
steaming Christmas with
their new Mulled Cider fruit
tea and award-winning Snowball tea lattes on tap
in their instore tea bar. Visit their colourful tea
wall, a few doors down from Komedia, to pick ‘n’
mix your own tea gift boxes as well as beautiful
teapots and infusers galore! Tea’s the reason to
be jolly, after all!
41 Gardner St, 01273 325 523, bluebirdteaco.com
Terre à Terre
Our Christmas Menu
is renowned for its
cheeky puns as well as its delicious flavours.
No difference this year with dishes like
Chimchimney Soufflé and Sooty Tops and Ding
Dong Dengaku, featuring on both the Festive
Set menu and the Party menu. The popular
afternoon-tea experience has a seasonal twist,
and we have a range of goodies to go, from
organic wine and boozy rum truffles, to mulled
spiced chutney and Calabrian fig balls.
71 East Street, 01273 729051, terreaterre.co.uk
Christmas is here and
so are our special festive
menus. Book a table
and enjoy your party with friends, family or
colleagues. All the recipes are completely homemade,
as always. Edendum is a slice of Italy
transported to Brighton, with authentic flavours,
fragrances and freshly cooked recipes that will
give you a chance to discover some lesser known
Italian dishes, a selection of fine Italian wines and
a range of traditional products for sale.
69 East Street, 01273 733800, edendum.co.uk
Tucked away near the
station, the Caxton Arms
is an old-school Brighton
pub. Serving modern British
pub food seven days a week,
this hidden gem has been recently refurbished.
Whether you’re visiting for a game of pingpong
in our charming courtyard, to sample our
seasonal menu or for a Sunday roast, you can
always expect a warm welcome.
36 North Gardens, 01273 387346
The Westbourne is a rarity, a
truly independent freehouse.
The bar features an ever
changing range of excellent
craft beers and cask ales
from exciting breweries, with
proper cider showcased in the
Cider Shack. There is a delicious gin menu, a
covered, heated terrace and a serious Sunday
roast offer all delivered by a friendly, passionate
90 Portland Road, Hove, thewestbournehove.co.uk
Photo by Lisa Devlin, cakefordinner.co.uk
Chimchimney Soufflé and Sooty Tops
Brighton Blue soufflé served with ‘Apple Tattie Pave Pie’ and artichoke
sauce, by Terre à Terre’s new head chef, social-history enthusiast Judith Lang
Whenever an event happens, it’s always marked by
food. We use food to celebrate, we use food to commiserate;
it’s something that connects everyone. When
you speak to people from different cultures, they each
have their own sort of oral history through food.
I moved to Japan straight after I finished studying,
because it was the most foreign place I could think of.
There are very few similarities between Britain and
Japan. I was supposed to only be there for a year. That
was my plan, but I kind of fell in love with the place a
bit more than I planned to. The food was incredible,
the people, the places… I wasn’t done after a year.
The tradition I loved most was Kaiseki, which is,
instead of having one plate of food, you have a lot of
small dishes. So you have your pickles, your rice, your
miso soup, your toppings. It’s a more communal way of
eating; it takes longer, you spend time over it, and you
really get the value of it. Also, the seasonality of Japan
is incredible. As an example, there’s a dish called Nabe,
which is a big pot, a stew, and you wouldn’t dream
of having it outside of Nabe season. It’s traditional,
and it’s just that there’s a lot more connectivity to the
seasons and the food that’s available.
Terre à Terre reflects this ethos with seasonally inspired
dishes from all over the world. One of our new
dishes that is firmly rooted in Europe is the soufflé,
which combines blue cheese and apple for a rich and
satisfying winter dish.
For the Blue Cheese Soufflé (serves six):
50g butter, 60g plain flour, 250ml warmed milk, 1tsp
Dijon mustard, four large yolks, five large egg whites,
and 125g Brighton Blue cheese.
Coat the inside of six ramekins with soft butter and
then a little flour. Melt the butter in a pan over a low
heat. Sprinkle in the flour and stir to combine, then
cook it out for five minutes until it smells biscuity.
Slowly pour in the warmed milk while whisking. Cook
out the mix on a low heat until it’s smooth and thick.
Add the mustard and cheese, and stir until melted.
Take the mix off the heat and beat in the egg yolks.
Allow the mix to cool fully.
In another bowl, whip up the egg whites until stiff
peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the (now
cool) cheese mix. Divide the mix between the ramekins
and bake in a bain marie for 15-20 minutes at 180°
until risen and slightly golden. Remove from the ramekins
and chill until required. To serve, put the soufflés
in a hot oven for 7 minutes until re-risen and golden.
For the Apple Tattie Pave Pie:
1kg desiree potatoes (peeled and thinly sliced), two
onions (thinly sliced), two large cooking apples (peeled,
cored and thinly sliced), and 500ml stock.
In a lined baking dish, layer the potatoes, apples and
onions, with seasoning in between each layer. Add
stock and cover with a layer of parchment to prevent
drying out. Bake at 180°C for about 30 minutes, until
a knife goes in without resistance. Chill and press. To
serve, reheat in the oven with the soufflé.
For the artichoke sauce:
400g sliced Jerusalem artichokes, 150ml full-fat milk,
pinch of mace, salt and pepper to taste.
In a pan, simmer the artichokes in the milk and mace
until very soft. Add a pinch of seasoning. Blitz in a
high-speed blender until smooth, then pass through a
sieve and finish with a splash of double cream.
We serve this in a filo pastry collar with pan-fried
Jerusalem artichokes, pickled vegetable, onions in sage
oil, kraut, beet sauce and fried sage leaves. RC
All the staff at the
Prestonville Arms wish you
a very merry gluten-free
圀 椀 琀 栀 漀 瘀 攀 爀 ㈀ 䈀 爀 椀 琀 椀 猀 栀 昀 愀 爀 洀 栀 漀 甀 猀 攀 挀 栀 攀 攀 猀 攀 猀 Ⰰ 挀 甀 爀 攀 搀 洀 攀 愀 琀 猀
愀 渀 搀 䔀 渀 最 氀 椀 猀 栀 眀 椀 渀 攀 猀 漀 渀 猀 愀 氀 攀 Ⰰ 琀 栀 攀 爀 攀 椀 猀 猀 漀 洀 攀 琀 栀 椀 渀 最 昀 漀 爀
攀 瘀 攀 爀 礀 漀 渀 攀 Ⰰ 愀 氀 漀 渀 最 眀 椀 琀 栀 愀 最 爀 攀 愀 琀 爀 愀 渀 最 攀 漀 昀 氀 漀 挀 愀 氀 猀 漀 甀 爀 搀 漀 甀 最 栀
戀 爀 攀 愀 搀 猀 Ⰰ 瀀 椀 挀 欀 氀 攀 猀 愀 渀 搀 挀 栀 甀 琀 渀 攀 礀 猀 ⸀ 䌀 漀 洀 攀 ☀ 猀 愀 洀 瀀 氀 攀 漀 甀 爀
昀 愀 渀 琀 愀 猀 琀 椀 挀 爀 愀 渀 最 攀 椀 渀 愀 昀 爀 椀 攀 渀 搀 氀 礀 ☀ 爀 攀 氀 愀 砀 攀 搀 攀 渀 瘀 椀 爀 漀 渀 洀 攀 渀 琀 ⸀
一 伀 圀 吀 䄀 䬀 䤀 一 䜀 伀 刀 䐀 䔀 刀 匀 䘀 伀 刀 䌀 䠀 刀 䤀 匀 吀 䴀 䄀 匀
䠀 䄀 䴀 倀 䔀 刀 匀 䤀 一 匀 吀 伀 䌀 䬀
Scandi-style salmon (and meatballs, of course)
asks the barman.
I’ve left my main
through, to get
a second pint of
pale ale, so I don’t
want to get drawn
into a conversation
whilst waiting at the bar. Meatballs on mash isn’t
half as appealing when it goes cold. Nevertheless,
there’s something I need to know.
“Can you ask your chef how they get their
vegetables to taste so amazing?” I say. I’ve never
experienced such tasty cabbage.
“Ask her,” says the guy, pointing me to a woman
leaning at the bar next to me. It’s the chef, taking a
break. She smiles...
I’m in Northern Lights, the Scandinavian bar/
restaurant, eating a late lunch with Lizzie Enfield.
If you haven’t been, it’s in a lovely old fisherman’s
cottage in Little East Street; it’s run by a group
of friends, one of whom is Finnish; and it’s where
Brighton-based Scandies go if they fancy a bit of
home away from home. It’s THE place to go to
watch the Ice Hockey World Championships, apparently.
And their meatballs are famous.
Lizzie, being a freelance journalist, is generally on
hand if I need a last-minute lunch companion, and
she’s great company. It’s late for lunch: the place
doesn’t open till 3pm on a Friday. Which is OK by
me, hunger being the best sauce, and all that. We’ve
been swapping stories about journalistic assignments
we’ve had in Nordic countries as we pick at
our shared first course: ‘Lime vodka and dill cured
and rye bread’. She
nearly fell into the
sea while skating
near the edge of the
frozen bit of the
Baltic. I jumped naked
into an ice-hole
on a lake in Finland.
That sort of thing. The salmon, and the pickle, is
I’ve had the meatballs here before, and they looked
very different from the ones which arrive about five
minutes after we finish the starter. Five of them
are piled high on a neat wheel of mashed potato,
in a moat of gravy, next to mounds of red cabbage,
red onion and carrots. They taste firm, and herby,
and much better than I remember. We swap taste
notes… and then I try the cabbage. And from now
on, unless I learn the chef’s secret, I’m always going
to be disappointed by cabbage.
A few minutes later, I’m at the bar, buying that second
pint, and I get my chance. The chef, who turns
out to be from Yorkshire (the first disappointment
of the afternoon; I wanted her to be Icelandic, or
something) tells me: “I don’t boil them, I put them
in the oven.”
Is that it? Is it that simple? I shovel up the second
half of my meal, wondering if she’s keeping some
sort of secret to herself. The Swedish ale, I must say,
is excellent: I’ve still got a half left as Lizzie wanders
off to her next assignment: ice skating, as it happens,
with her daughter, at the Pavilion. “Be careful,” I
warn, and mull over whether or not to have a Black
Death vodka to wrap things up. Alex Leith
Photo by Alex Leith
There’s no stopping the new launches including, excitingly, Kemptown
Kitchen, being opened on Upper St James’s Street this month, by the team behind
Curry Leaf Café. I’m told it will be ‘a bit more modern and playful’ than
the original, offering seven-day delivery, small plates, cocktails and an open
kitchen. Welcome too to Zona Rosa on College Road, and some new chains: Noo Noodles on Cranbourne
Street, serving ‘build your own’ noodle dishes. Dum Dum Donutterie in Brighton Square, offering ‘artisan
doughnuts, baked not fried’. And Crepeaffaire, on East Street.
I am reliably informed by Viva’s Anya that the new 1847 menu is fab, and the new Doughbo kitchen at Hobgoblin
comes highly recommended.
Florence Road Market is open on the 3rd and 10th with the usual, plus festive music, handmade gifts, street
food, trees, and… live donkeys. As you ask, a local charity that uses donkeys therapeutically is bringing them to
raise money for the One Church Brighton homeless night shelter.
There’s more seasonal cheer at Stoneham Bakehouse, who are hosting a Festive Breads workshop on the 12th,
while the Brighton Food Tours Christmas Special will help get your bells jingling… £40pp includes food,
drink and discounts on gifts.
Woodlandia at Patterns is offering the chance to ‘get lost in an enchanting snowy forest’, and the Royal Pavilion
is hosting a magnificent Christmas in the State Banqueting Room on the 9th and the 16th.
Last but not least, congrats to Bedlam Brewery, who crowdfunded over £500,000 to move forward plans for
their first Brighton pub. Happy New Year! Chloë King
Illustration by Chloë King
Sussex Hamper Company
How to win friends and influence people
Most of us have received a Christmas hamper at some point but, no
matter how exciting all that cellophane and shredded tissue, there’s usually
a couple of duff items in there to pad it out.
This is most definitely not the case with Sussex Gin Martini Hamper we take delivery of from The Sussex Hamper
Company. Presented in a beautifully made birchwood box and closed with smart straps hand cut by artisan
leather worker Wolfram Lohr, it’s a very splendid thing. And, as if the box weren’t present enough, inside - nestled
in an abundance of shredded paper - are a bottle of Sussex Dry Gin and one of Sussex Bianco Vermouth (everything
the SHC put in their hampers is locally sourced); both are made with sap tapped from the silver birch trees
that grow in the woods surrounding the small-batch distillery nestled below Blackdown Hill in the South Downs
National Park. We’d sipped them both in our December 2013 issue, describing them as ‘subtle, understated,
refreshing and clean’ and giving them ‘top marks’. Nothing has changed.
Accompanying the bottles is a handwritten card, with instructions for making the perfect martini. Like most
things made with the best ingredients, there’s very little fuss, but I am required to leave the mixture in the freezer
for 30 tortuous minutes… Time I spend thinking very fondly of the sender indeed. Lizzie Lower
There are 19 hampers to choose from, including dairy- and gluten-free options. They take seven days to prepare, so
best order quick. The Martini Hamper costs £94, thesussexhampercompany.co.uk
Photo by Lizzie Lower
Have yourself a Merry
& get your
Browse our loCal treats & kiCk start CHristMas:
Brighton’s independent Tea
Mixologists have just unveiled
their NEW Christmas teas +
gifts. Their award-winning teas
are hand blended in small
batches. Shop with Bluebird in
store or online!
41 Gardner St., Brighton
Mon - Fri 10.30am - 6pm
10.30am - 6:30pm
10.30am - 5.30pm
‘Just teach the customers to sign’
Statistics suggest that
Brightonians are the biggest
coffee drinkers in the
UK, and the city centre
streets are certainly full of
coffee shops and cafés, from
the international chains to
the independent one-offs.
But none are anything
like Dottie’s Café, in East
Brighton Park. Dottie’s is
almost exclusively staffed
by deaf people.
The café was opened in
October this year, by
Ruthanne Garrett, with help from her twelveyear-old
daughter, Maida. Ruthanne’s connection
with Brighton’s deaf community goes back a long
way. She has long been a sign language interpreter
and has run a job club for unemployed deaf
people. The café presented itself as the perfect
opportunity and space to offer employment and
inclusion to the deaf people she’d been working
with. Getting the café on its feet was at first a
challenge, but one to which the community rose;
Ruthanne was overwhelmed with support from
crowdfunding and volunteers.
Having secured the premises, she put out an advertisement
for people to run the café and found
a newlywed couple, Jonathon and Stephanie,
both deaf and both with excellent experience
in café management. Along with Darren, the
kitchen manager, they now run Dottie’s, with
Ruthanne behind the scenes. In addition to the
core staff team, they offer temporary work to
other deaf people enabling them to gain valuable
So how do hearing customers who cannot sign
communicate with deaf staff who do? “Just teach
the customers to sign,”
says Ruthanne. And so,
next to the written English
on the menu there is the
symbol and action description
for the sign. Customers
seem thrilled at the
encouragement to try out
a new language, and the
place bustles with silent
The café is named after
Ruthanne’s mother, whose
generosity of spirit
inspired the direction of
the project. “She opened her house to anyone,”
Ruthanne says of Dottie, who used to run a
small community café from her home, offering
hot, home-cooked meals for whatever price the
customer could afford to pay.
Dottie’s Café has a similarly community-spirited
ethos. Beyond its mission to help deaf people find
employment, and to encourage the hearing community
to engage with the deaf, it also has plans
to help in other ways. Community Manager
Stephanie tells me about the Wellbeing Room
they have opened, offering reasonably priced
massages and therapies for those who might not
otherwise be able to afford them. And about the
English classes they will run for refugees as well
as the more affordable, home-cooked food they
offer for those who might not be able to afford a
meal out, or indeed a hot meal at all.
Dottie’s is a café for our times, then; or perhaps
more accurately, what our times call for. A true
community café with its doors open to everyone.
And the cake is pretty great too.
Wilson Ave, BN2 5PB
䌀 栀 爀 椀 猀 琀 洀 愀 猀 䐀 愀 礀 䰀 甀 渀 挀 栀
匀 椀 砀 挀 漀 甀 爀 猀 攀 猀
ꌀ 㠀 ⸀
瀀 攀 爀 瀀 攀 爀 猀 漀 渀 Ⰰ ꌀ 㐀 挀 栀 椀 氀 搀 爀 攀 渀 甀 渀 搀 攀 爀 ㈀
䈀 漀 砀 椀 渀 最 䐀 愀 礀 䰀 甀 渀 挀 栀
圀 栀 礀 渀 漀 琀 眀 愀 琀 挀 栀 琀 栀 攀 琀 爀 愀 搀 椀 琀 椀 漀 渀 愀 氀 最 愀 琀 栀 攀 爀 椀 渀 最 漀 昀
琀 栀 攀 匀 漀 甀 琀 栀 搀 漀 眀 渀 䠀 甀 渀 琀 猀 洀 攀 渀 漀 甀 琀 猀 椀 搀 攀 琀 栀 攀 圀 栀 椀 琀 攀
䠀 愀 爀 琀 愀 渀 搀 琀 栀 攀 渀 猀 椀 琀 搀 漀 眀 渀 琀 漀 愀 琀 爀 愀 搀 椀 琀 椀 漀 渀 愀 氀
挀 愀 爀 瘀 攀 爀 礀 氀 甀 渀 挀 栀 ⸀
ꌀ㈀ 㐀 ⸀ 瀀 攀 爀 愀 搀 甀 氀 琀 Ⰰ ꌀ 㔀 ⸀ 挀 栀 椀 氀 搀 爀 攀 渀 甀 渀 搀 攀 爀 ㈀
一 攀 眀 夀 攀 愀 爀 ᤠ 猀 䔀 瘀 攀 䜀 愀 氀 愀 䐀 椀 渀 渀 攀 爀
䔀 渀 樀 漀 礀 愀 猀 瀀 氀 攀 渀 搀 椀 搀 攀 瘀 攀 渀 椀 渀 最 椀 渀 漀 甀 爀 䌀 漀 甀 渀 琀 礀
匀 甀 椀 琀 攀 眀 栀 攀 爀 攀 礀 漀 甀 眀 椀 氀 氀 戀 攀 最 爀 攀 攀 琀 攀 搀 眀 椀 琀 栀
愀 最 氀 愀 猀 猀 漀 昀 ᰠ 昀 椀 稀 稀 ᴠ 漀 渀 愀 爀 爀 椀 瘀 愀 氀 昀 漀 氀 氀 漀 眀 攀 搀 戀 礀
愀 猀 甀 瀀 攀 爀 戀 昀 椀 瘀 攀 挀 漀 甀 爀 猀 攀 搀 椀 渀 渀 攀 爀 愀 渀 搀
挀 漀 昀 昀 攀 攀 Ⰰ 眀 椀 琀 栀 攀 渀 琀 攀 爀 琀 愀 椀 渀 洀 攀 渀 琀 昀 爀 漀 洀
漀 甀 爀 爀 攀 猀 椀 搀 攀 渀 琀 䐀 䨀 愀 渀 搀 愀 挀 攀 氀 攀 戀 爀 愀 琀 漀 爀 礀
最 氀 愀 猀 猀 漀 昀 猀 瀀 愀 爀 欀 氀 椀 渀 最 眀 椀 渀 攀 愀 琀 洀 椀 搀 渀 椀 最 栀 琀 ⸀
ꌀ 㜀 㔀 ⸀
瀀 攀 爀 瀀 攀 爀 猀 漀 渀
吀 愀 戀 氀 攀 漀 昀 琀 攀 渀 椀 渀 礀 漀 甀 爀 瀀 愀 爀 琀 礀 ꌀ 㘀
圀 栀 礀 渀 漀 琀 猀 琀 愀 礀 漀 瘀 攀 爀 渀 椀 最 栀 琀 㼀
吀 眀 漀 渀 椀 最 栀 琀 一 攀 眀 夀 攀 愀 爀 戀 爀 攀 愀 欀
䄀 瘀 愀 椀 氀 愀 戀 氀 攀 漀 渀 アパート 琀 栀 Ⰰ アパート 猀 琀 䐀 攀 挀 攀 洀 戀 攀 爀 漀 爀 猀 琀
䨀 愀 渀 甀 愀 爀 礀
䔀 渀 樀 漀 礀 琀 眀 漀 渀 椀 最 栀 琀 猀 ᤠ 愀 挀 挀 漀 洀 洀 漀 搀 愀 琀 椀 漀 渀 眀 椀 琀 栀 漀 甀 爀
䜀 愀 氀 愀 䐀 椀 渀 渀 攀 爀 漀 渀 一 攀 眀 夀 攀 愀 爀 ᤠ 猀 䔀 瘀 攀 愀 渀 搀 琀 栀 爀 攀 攀
挀 漀 甀 爀 猀 攀 搀 椀 渀 渀 攀 爀 漀 渀 琀 栀 攀 猀 攀 挀 漀 渀 搀 攀 瘀 攀 渀 椀 渀 最
ꌀ 㤀 ⸀
瀀 攀 爀 瀀 攀 爀 猀 漀 渀
攀 瘀 攀 渀 琀 猀
THE LOWDOWN ON...
Author Louisa Thomsen Brits
The closest English
synonym for hygge
is ‘cosiness’, but
there’s much more
to it than that. It’s
not just about woollen
socks and cake
and lighting candles.
It’s about abandoning
yourself to the
moment, and luxuriating
in it. It’s about embracing comfort, and
wellbeing, and good company, and community.
We’ve recently been fed a diet of Scandinavian
film and food and design; now we’re starting to
look at the tender values that uphold Scandinavian
- and in this case Danish - society. My book -
Hygge, the Danish Art of Living Well - is one of nine
or ten that have been published recently on the
subject, and there is good reason that this Danish
lifestyle philosophy is so zeitgeist...
It was recently announced by Collins that
‘hygge’ was in their ‘words of the year’ shortlist.
Two of the others were ‘Brexit’ and ‘Trumpism’.
It’s mildly depressing to be connected with
those terms, but it is no coincidence. In fact it’s
encouraging, in these troubled times, that we’re
paying attention to empathy and togetherness.
Hygge can be many things. It can be enjoyed
inside or outside, alone or with other people, in
winter or in summer. But Christmas, as I know
from childhood holidays with my Danish mother’s
family, is the most hyggelig time of the year. Ideally
this is a time for abandoning our cares for the
moment and indulging in a feeling of belonging
and togetherness with friends and family. We have
a special word for it: ‘Julehygge’.
We need to encourage ourselves through this
period of darkness
by appealing to our
each other and
enjoying life. When
we hygger we set aside
our cares and come
together to shelter
each other from the
difficulties of everyday
life and the disquieting
presence of everything that makes us fearful.
The opposite of ‘hyggelig’ is ‘uhyggelig’:
it’s not just the absence of hygge, not just that
someone forgot to light the candles, but a feeling
of actual fear. One of the motivations for creating
hygge is to place ourselves in a circle of warmth
that secures us from the darkness that surrounds
us - and ultimately from the fear of death.
There are some downsides to hygge. It often
manifests publically as little clusters of people
wholeheartedly engaged in one another, but appearing
uninterested in everything else on the periphery.
To an outsider it can seem impenetrable.
Lewes, for example, is a very hyggelig town.
There’s a very strong sense of community. When
people move to Lewes or the surrounding area, it
doesn’t take long for them to develop a very strong
sense of belonging and connection.
Danes just hygger, they don’t dissect it.
They’re quite amused at the extent we’re all adopting
it, and obsessing about it. As told to Alex Leith
The Book of Hygge - the Danish Art of Living
Well, Ebury Press, £12.99. A percentage of any
royalties East Sussex resident Louisa makes from
the book will go to the Clocktower Sanctuary in
Brighton: “you can’t hygger unless your basic needs
of food and shelter are met.”
Photos from 'The Book of Hygge' by Louisa Thomsen Brits (Ebury Press, £12.99). Photography by Susan Bell
Are you the real
Santa Claus? Of
And there is only one.
Have you ever
bumped into somebody
be you? Well I don’t
come down here very
often, you know,
before Christmas, but
I have heard tales that
people dress up like some rather slapdash version
of me and they end up in supermarkets and shopping
centres and that sort of thing.
Do you look forward to Christmas Eve? I
look forward to it a great deal. To be honest, on
the night it’s hard work. Both Rudolf and I need
a drink at the end of it. But one of the nicest
things is - actually before Christmas - meeting
What do they want to know when they meet
you? Well they ask about Rudolf, and they ask
about the elves, they ask where and when, and
what’s going on. The way it seems to happen is,
because I’m often quite tired, as you can imagine
it’s very, very busy, I have one elf who comes with
me, and to be honest, on a couple of occasions
they’ve actually had to wake me up - they’ve
had to shout to wake me up - which is a little bit
embarrassing, but there you go. I’m not getting
How old are you, if you don’t mind me asking?
Well, it’s like asking a lady her age, isn’t
it? Put it this way: I’m older than most of the
children in Brighton, all put together.
Have you ever been asked for a present that
you’ve had to say ‘no’ to? Probably a surfboard.
If I were going to give the children any advice,
it would be that you
just can’t get the
surfboard down the
chimney. Skis are
different - skis are
narrower. You can
get skis down the
chimney, but you
can’t get a surfboard…
it’s the wrong time
It makes sense to wear your big red suit here,
because it’s freezing cold on Christmas Eve,
but don’t you get too hot when you’re delivering
presents to children on the other side
of the world? Well, actually, I have several red
suits. I’ve got one which is really heavy, fleecy,
but if you look very carefully at pictures of me in
Australia, for instance, you’ll see it’s actually a lot
thinner. And those boots, too, they’re not quite
What do you do after Christmas, when you’ve
got a bit of free time? Carpentry, as you can imagine.
The thing about the North Pole is there’s
a lot going on. And if you come down a little
bit from the North Pole, there are reindeer and
there are polar bears, and there are all sorts of
things. And what you won’t see in any aerial view,
of course, is the underground workshops where
all the elves and I are making the presents.
There’s a bit of a dispute in my house over
whether we should leave you out sherry or
whiskey… I’m very much a whiskey drinker, so
a little tot of whiskey would be good. And that
would be whiskey with an ‘e’.
Santa will be visiting Preston Manor on the 17th,
18th, and the 20th-23rd December
Photo by James Pike
for 10% off online
and in store
A boutique and workspace in the North Laine producing our own range of fused glass
alongside a range of handmade gifts, homeware and accessories.
We also run fused glass workshops - dates for 2017 now available, see online for details.
74 North Road, Brighton BN1 1YD
George IV tree decoration
£12.95, Royal Pavilion Shop
Poler Stuff indoor/
£4.85, Chi Trading
吀 爀 愀 渀 猀 昀 漀 爀 洀 礀 漀 甀 爀 栀 漀 洀 攀 眀 椀 琀 栀 漀 甀 爀 昀 椀 渀 攀 猀 琀 焀 甀 愀 氀 椀 琀 礀
匀 㨀 䌀 刀 䄀 䘀 吀 洀 愀 搀 攀 ⴀ 琀 漀 ⴀ 洀 攀 愀 猀 甀 爀 攀 椀 渀 琀 攀 爀 椀 漀 爀 猀 栀 甀 琀 琀 攀 爀 猀 ⸀
琀 ⸀ ㈀ 㜀 アパート アパート アパート 㠀 㐀 ㈀
攀 ⸀ 挀 漀 渀 琀 愀 挀 琀 䀀 戀 攀 氀 氀 愀 瘀 椀 猀 琀 愀 猀 栀 甀 琀 琀 攀 爀 猀 ⸀ 挀 漀 ⸀ 甀 欀
眀 ⸀ 眀 眀 眀 ⸀ 戀 攀 氀 氀 愀 瘀 椀 猀 琀 愀 猀 栀 甀 琀 琀 攀 爀 猀 ⸀ 挀 漀 ⸀ 甀 欀
圀 栀 愀 琀 椀 猀 昀 愀 洀 椀 氀 礀 洀 攀 搀 椀 愀 琀 椀 漀 渀 㼀
䄀 挀 漀 渀 昀 椀 搀 攀 渀 琀 椀 愀 氀 Ⰰ 瘀 漀 氀 甀 渀 琀 愀 爀 礀 Ⰰ 挀 漀 猀 琀 ⴀ 攀 昀 昀 攀 挀 琀 椀 瘀 攀
猀 攀 爀 瘀 椀 挀 攀 Ⰰ 愀 氀 氀 漀 眀 椀 渀 最 猀 攀 瀀 愀 爀 愀 琀 椀 渀 最 瀀 愀 爀 攀 渀 琀 猀 琀 漀 猀 漀 爀 琀
漀 甀 琀 琀 栀 攀 椀 爀 椀 猀 猀 甀 攀 猀 眀 椀 琀 栀 愀 渀 椀 渀 搀 攀 瀀 攀 渀 搀 攀 渀 琀
洀 攀 搀 椀 愀 琀 漀 爀 Ⰰ 爀 愀 琀 栀 攀 爀 琀 栀 愀 渀 最 漀 椀 渀 最 琀 栀 爀 漀 甀 最 栀 挀 漀 甀 爀 琀 ⸀
䤀 愀 洀 愀 渀 攀 砀 瀀 攀 爀 椀 攀 渀 挀 攀 搀 Ⰰ 氀 攀 最 愀 氀 氀 礀 焀 甀 愀 氀 椀 昀 椀 攀 搀
䘀 愀 洀 椀 氀 礀 䴀 攀 搀 椀 愀 琀 漀 爀 氀 椀 瘀 椀 渀 最 氀 漀 挀 愀 氀 氀 礀 Ⰰ 眀 栀 漀 挀 愀 渀 漀 昀 昀 攀 爀
昀 氀 攀 砀 椀 戀 氀 攀 愀 瀀 瀀 漀 椀 渀 琀 洀 攀 渀 琀 猀 漀 昀 琀 攀 渀 愀 琀 猀 栀 漀 爀 琀 渀 漀 琀 椀 挀 攀 ⸀
䌀 漀 渀 琀 愀 挀 琀 洀 攀 漀 渀 猀 昀 䀀 猀 愀 爀 愀 栀 昀 漀 爀 猀 琀 攀 爀 ⸀ 挀 漀 ⸀ 甀 欀
漀 爀 挀 愀 氀 氀 㜀 㤀 㔀 㘀 㠀 㐀 㔀 㠀
眀 眀 眀 ⸀ 猀 愀 爀 愀 栀 昀 漀 爀 猀 琀 攀 爀 ⸀ 挀 漀 ⸀ 甀 欀
Photos by Lizzie Lower
Brighton Little Theatre
‘Space is tight’
How big is Brighton Little Theatre Company?
We’ve just over 200 people in the company, and
most of us multitask. We’ve got a youth section too.
Can all of you get in the theatre at the same
time? Oh gosh, no! The theatre seats 75. We perform
down here in the bar too. Very intimate shows
that seat 30 people.
How long have you been here? The building
dates back quite a long way. It’s been a church,
a school and an artist’s studio, but our founder
members set up here in 1940. Candida was our first
production. We recently received a box from our
last founding member, Cicely Spence, who died this
year. It contained, amongst other things, the minutes
from the beginning, with all the attendances
recorded. It’s such an interesting record.
How many shows do you perform? We do
between ten and twelve shows a year, back to back.
So on a Sunday after one show comes down, the
crew and the cast will be clearing the old set and
building the next. Space is tight, so everything has
to be thought about carefully and everybody has to
be on the ball.
What challenges do those size restrictions
present? The directors are members, so they know
the theatre. There are height constraints, and the
stage isn’t raised, but it’s amazing what can be done.
We’ve recently put on One Man Two Guvnors with
two huge trucks moving about the stage. All spaces
have to be used to their maximum. Our costume
store is also the men’s dressing room, our bar area is
the box office and a rehearsal area, and the kitchen
doubles up as the ladies’ dressing room.
I didn’t know you were here… We meet people
all the time who’ve lived in Brighton for years but
who didn’t know we were here. We always say we’re
Brighton’s best kept secret.
Lizzie Lower interviewed Patti Griffiths, Margaret
Skeet, and Felicity Clements
9 Clarence Square
The Wizard of Oz runs from 9th - 17th.
New to cycling?
Keen to cycle again?
Want to know
how to fix your bike?
Free cycle training and
To find out more:
Funded by Department for Transport’s: Sustainable Travel Transition Year
Funeral Director of the Year 2014
Traditional and Green Cremations & Burials
At ARKA Original Funerals we make sure that you feel comfortable and unpressured
about making decisions for the funeral of a loved one. Our team has a wealth of experience
arranging unique ceremonies with sound environmental practices and sustainably sourced coffins.
136 Islingword Road BN2 9SH • 01273 621444 or 39-41 Surrey Street BN1 3PB • 01273 766620
www.arkafunerals.co.uk • firstname.lastname@example.org
“This is not a simple little nun
thinking ‘oh, I’ll do my best’. No,
no, she would have been aware,
absolutely would have been
aware,” says the journalist Joanna
Bogle. “If you sheltered Jews, you
were risking your life.”
Catherine Hambrough was
born in 1887, into the “minor
aristocracy”, and spent part
of her childhood in Hove. It’s
unclear how long she was here,
though Bogle feels that “certainly
this was her home… It was
in Hove that her parents made the decision to
become Catholics, and it was that that defined the
rest of her life.” She was baptised as a Catholic at
St Mary Magdalene’s, on Upper North Street.
Someone of her background “would have had
access to a rather pleasant social life,” Bogle says.
However, Hambrough preferred to go to Rome,
in her mid-20s, and take up the austere life of
a Bridgettine nun, under a new name: Sister
By 1943, she was Mother Riccarda, and evidently
quite senior among the Bridgettines. When the
Germans occupied Italy, she was effectively put
in charge of the convent’s efforts to hide dozens
These fugitives were sheltered in the nuns’ own
quarters, so that if soldiers insisted on searching
the building, the sisters could say demurely,
‘please, not our bedrooms!’
The situation “made life very difficult for the
nuns,” Bogle says - particularly as the Jews could
no longer claim their food rations.
It fell to Riccarda to deal with the food issue (she
appears to have gone hungry
herself), and to smooth over
any cabin-fever-type tensions
among the fugitives. One of
them, interviewed by Bogle years
later, said that ‘you instinctively
went to her when you were
troubled… she put everyone at
ease. We called her Mamima –
Little Mother.’ Riccarda is now
being officially considered for
“To be honest, it would have been
relatively easy for the nuns to
shut the door and say, ‘we know
you want help, but we really can’t,’” Bogle says.
“They were extremely vulnerable. Remember
that these nuns had nothing; they never imagined
themselves doing this. One reason you join a
convent is, not for an easy life, but let’s say an
ordered life, a certain academic… it’s reading and
praying and studying, and helping other people
to study, and teaching. It’s not exactly adventure
work, you know.
“It’s interesting - we all like to think, don’t we,
that we’d be heroic. But the evidence is that lots
of us aren’t, when it comes to it. It’s interesting
that, particularly in the case of Mother Riccarda,
these were women who’d made a decision to live
in a more austere way, and to give the whole of
their lives to something that was true and good.
And so, I think they didn’t really hesitate when the
question was put to them. I think the decision to
lead a nobler life, if I can put it like that, certainly
can lead you to do heroic things. I find that quite
touching.” Steve Ramsey
Joanna Bogle’s book, Courage and Conviction, is
published by Gracewing
TRAINING SUCCESSFUL PRACTITIONERS
Train to become a…
Nutritionist Herbalist Acupuncturist
Homeopath Naturopath Natural Chef
Postgraduate Courses and Short Courses also available
Colleges throughout the UK, Ireland, Finland, USA
Part time and full time studies
01342 410 505 www.naturopathy-uk.com
Attend a FREE
at CNM Brighton
or CNM London
A SUSSEX HOUSE
If you’re looking for somewhere to breathe, relax,
write, create, retreat in Sussex, you’ve found it.
With space to sleep nine, fire pits and nine acres
of meadow and secluded woodland, it’s also
perfect for photoshoots and location filming.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Beating the winter blues
‘‘In ancient times, in winter, we’d huddle in caves,
round the fire, and we’d eat the salted meat and
whatever else we’d stored, and we’d pretty much
hibernate. We were supposed to. Then later, when
we became farmers and tilled the soil, we’d go to bed
at 4pm,” says Marilyn Deane, one of the trainers on
the Beating the Winter Blues course at Brighton &
Hove Recovery College.
Many in the neuroscience world would argue that
we’re still supposed to hibernate, or at least to sleep a
great deal longer during the darker months. The Suprachiasmatic
Nucleus (SCN), aka our body clock,
is located near the visual region of the brain, and
is thus strongly affected by what we see. When it’s
dark, the SCN triggers secretion of melatonin, the
hormone that makes us feel sleepy. In other words,
the less sunlight there is, the higher levels of melatonin,
and the more sluggish and drowsy we feel,
which doesn’t bode well when we wake up on dark
December mornings. Low levels of sunlight also result
in lower levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitter
connected with mood and appetite. And so arise
the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD):
persistent low mood, lethargy, wanting to sleep
more, and craving carbs to kickstart dipping energy
levels and temporarily elevate mood. We can quibble
about whether we should be specifically diagnosed,
but there aren’t many of us who hurl our hats in the
air and whoop as the daylight hours become shorter.
If the electric light hadn’t been invented, enabling us
to remain awake and work long after sundown, then
we’d probably still be living in sync with the seasons.
So it’s Thomas Edison we should be berating for
getting our SCNs out of whack and exacerbating the
incidence of SAD.
The right kind of lightbulbs, though, in the form of
a Light Box, can be just the ticket for lessening SAD.
A Light Box simulates natural sunshine, and if you
wake up on a winter morning and have 30 minutes of
rays, melatonin will be released in the early evening
rather than earlier in the day, resulting in sleep at the
end of the evening rather than fatigue throughout
Eating fruit and veg that are rich in antioxidants and
anthocyanins - colourful fare, basically - is central
to keeping SAD at bay. Supplements of Vitamin D,
‘the sunshine vitamin’, can play a pivotal role, too.
Exercise, be it yoga, running, or whaling the tar out
of a punchbag, is also crucial. Or even creating “a
summer room or space that reminds you of summer
and makes you feel happy.
“The last lesson on the course is about Christmas
and how to cope with it. Back in 1840, apparently,
you’d send a tiny greetings card, and that would be it.
These days, it’s become a challenge, a list of all these
things that you ‘must do’ and that can make you ill.
Instead, ask yourself ‘What Christmas do I want?’”
Brighton & Hove Recovery College
WHEN WE PULL
YOUR HOME TO PIECES YOU’D
BETTER TRUST US TO KNOW
WHAT WE’RE DOING.
And we do.
Our business is built on trust. When you choose Nutshell to renovate,
rebuild or restore your beautiful home, you should have absolute
confidence in us. And it’s a two way street.
We like to work for people with whom we can have an intelligent dialogue
and with whom we can discuss the decisions that crop up along the way.
It’s surprising how much more smoothly things go when you build relationships.
This has been our mantra from the very beginning and over the years our many
clients have become good friends. It’s made for more efficient, smoother running
projects and great outcomes.
Call us and start building a relationship today.
Tel: 01903 217900
BRICKS AND MORTAR
Hygge, al fresco
Making the streets our home
Hygge is not just about
the cosy domestic scene.
It’s equally applied to
outdoor places that
people want to linger
in, hang out with their
friends and socialise
in - and Brighton and
Hove has one of the
of this at its heart. New Road was redesigned by
Gehl Architects, a Danish studio that understands
hygge instinctively. It applied these principles to its
design of New Road, turning it from an unloved cut
through to the paved and much-traversed avenue we
have today. The seat lights may no longer be in use,
the number of cars may challenge the pedestrian-first
ethos, and the outdoor tables be land-grabbing, but
the use of the road for socialising, lazing hours away
people-watching and mooching about cannot be
doubted. New Road is an essential part of Brighton’s
sense of place, and the Laine-and-Lanes experience.
Chef and author Trinne Hahnemann recently described
hygge as ‘more than cosiness’ and as ‘setting
the stage of how things should be’, an everyday experience
of where we live, work and play that meets our
emotional and social needs. Hygge places are vibrant,
they have a strong identity, they connect people of all
ages and backgrounds, they make the city a beautiful
place to be, and they encourage an active use of
space, as much about any leisure pursuits as about
people-centred and considered urban design.
With so much public realm change happening in the
city over the coming years, places with that magic
hygge feel to them could be in jeopardy, either
being removed totally or developed out of character.
Photo © Gehl
Equally, we have an
opportunity now to
shape places anew with
One such site is
Madeira Terraces, the
arches linking the city
and the Marina - a
significant part of our
most important public realm, the seafront.
The Council commissioned a draft creative vision of
this site, the resulting idea of boxing the arches into
50 glass-fronted pods, for business, café and retail
use, and landscaping its seafront walkway. An alternative
plan, and one that takes in The Drive above the
arches too, is the People’s Promenade, led by a collective
of architects and creatives from the city. Like
the Council’s thinking, this plan restores the Arches
for business and retail use, and also includes hotel
and social or affordable housing, and turns the pavement
of The Drive into a green park-like space.
Whichever scheme is adopted, it provokes the question:
what do we want it to look like? The Arches as
they stand are in desperate need of some TLC. They
serve a function, but only to a degree - could this
opportunity be used to create that hygge place that
we want to linger in, hang out in and while away the
hours, and create an avenue to joyfully promenade
along to the Marina? With planning applications imminent,
now is the time to be having that conversation
across the city. Cara Courage
Both Madeira Terraces schemes are open to comment.
Go to the Council pages, ‘Madeira Terraces and
Madeira Drive’ and Facebook for People’s Promenade
to find out more.
Photo by Adam Bronkhorst, adambronkhorst.com
Investing in dreams
What’s your dream? It’s a strange question to face
when you start a new job, but one that’s asked of
everyone who joins the search-marketing agency
Propellernet. The answers are written down, put
in a ball, and added to the ‘dream machine’. And,
when the company hits a major target, they draw
one of the balls at random, and help to make that
dream happen. Of course, that can lead to your
talented team walking out of the door to pursue
their heart’s desire. But, Propellernet’s MD Nikki
Gatenby says, “what a wonderful way to say
goodbye to someone.”
It’s just one of the costs that they factor into the
running of the company - “our fun tax” - which
she’s more than happy to pay. “You know what,
there’s a massive cost saving too, because our
people are happy, and they do great work because
of it. Our absence rates are low, our
staff turnover is low and our recruitment
costs are low. So that offsets it.
“Our client-retention rates are really
good, and most of our business comes
from referral from our current clients,
which means they must be happy with us.
It’s that Richard Branson quote: “look after
your staff and the rest will follow”.
“Dreamballs is like the tip of the iceberg...
Our co-founder, Jim Jensen, said his dream
is to get into property development. Lots
of people in our team would like to get on
a housing ladder, but that’s very hard in
Brighton, so earlier this year, we bought
a six-bedroom house in Brighton
that we’re knocking into flats, and we
offered first refusal to members of our team to
buy the flats. So, double whammy on our dreams.
Profit from that will come back into the business
to be invested into more dreams.
“There’s countless stories like that. Our profitand-loss
account looks so bizarre compared with
other agencies. There’s no other agency we know
that also has a technology product, a housing
project, a safari project, and Brighton Housing
Trust charity arm, a film-production company,
and so on.
“We wanted to run a business where we had
fun, and made life better for other people. Our
whole proposition is to make life better. Is this
piece of work going to make life better for people
online? Is working with this client going to make
their life better? Can we make life better for
each other? If we put that lens across
everything that we do, we ask ourselves
the right questions before we even
think about money. Because if you put
people and purpose first, the money will
come. If you put money first, people tend
“We’re not aiming for the point where
everyone is so relaxed that they’re not
doing work, and it’s just a coffee shop -
which it can get misinterpreted as. It’s
about doing brilliant work because you’re
engaged, you’re excited, you’re happy. And
thousands of pieces of research bear that
out, that if you’re happy you’ll be more
creative and productive, and you can
do better work.” Lizzie Lower
INSIDE LEFT: AN UPPER GARDNER STREET TREEHOUSE, 1981
“Only Brighton Pavilion can rival its attraction,” wrote Violet Monger, in 1971*, of the Upper Gardner Street
Saturday Market, which back then, as now, saw a hotchpotch of market and food stalls lining the street, pulling
in flocks of punters eager for a bargain, as it had done since the 1890s. She was worried that the Brighton Corporation
had earmarked the whole area for a Compulsory Purchase and Clearance order; and a public inquiry
was about to be held in order to decide what to do.
She needn’t have worried, as it happened; this picture, from the James Gray collection, was taken ten years
later (5th April 1981), and you can see clearly that most of the street is still inhabited. Only numbers 37 and 38
are derelict, with all the windows boarded up, apart from one in no. 37, which has a tree growing through it, a
sure-fire sign of the decade or so it had remained empty. Next door, you can just see the doorway to what was
then an auction house and storeroom.
So why was the area spared the wrecking ball? For this we must thank Planning Officer Ken Fines, who in
1976 proposed that North Laine should be turned into a conservation area, an idea that was much mocked at
the time, but which was thankfully taken up by the Council, with the result that the area slowly turned slowly
into the thriving jumble of independent stores it is today.
Take a walk along Upper Gardner Street today, and you’ll see that the two derelict cottages in the picture,
both owned by the Council, were knocked down, and fairly sympathetically replaced with red-brick dwellings
constructed to fit in - size-wise, at least - with the terrace. The auction house that was next door is nowadays
occupied by the zero-waste restaurant Silo.
Just a note on the graffiti on the walls of the houses. In 1981 Brighton and Hove Albion were playing in the
First Division (the equivalent of today’s Premiership) which meant that a higher class of hooligan was invading
the town of a Saturday afternoon, as evidenced by the daubing of ‘Chelsea’ and ‘AFC’ (Arsenal) on the façade.
*Quote taken from the excellent ‘The North Laine Book’ (Brighton Town Press, £12.99); thanks to
the Regency Society for their kind permission to use the photograph. Alex Leith
to the Downs...
run every Sat,
Sun and bank
hol (except 25
Breeze up to Devil’s Dyke, Stanmer Park
or Ditchling Beacon by bus!
For times, fares, leaflets and walk ideas:
Phone 01273 292480
Or visit traveline.info/se to plan any bus or train journey
1 Malling Street, Lewes, BN7 2RA . 01273 471 269 . alistairflemingdesign.co.uk