Extra Virgin November

You may have come across the news that the world’s economy is in the gutter, and it’s not looking at the stars.

The bubble has burst, and as the US and European economies in particular have discovered, that bubble was full of class-A bile. The question is: How far will it go? Or, more to the point: How badly will it affect us?

Let me reassure you by saying that I haven’t the faintest idea. The paranoid side of me can picture my family and friends wearing big leather shoes lining up outside a factory with tin bowls and sad faces. The optimist sees that same picture, just with slightly better shoes. Things will get worse before they get better.

There is an upside to all this, though. In the same way that the pain in your toe disappears when you are smashed in the face with a spade, the magnitude of the financial crisis may well replace our trivial concerns with more weighty and considerable issues.

Before Al Gore got his laptop out and made us feel bad about melting ice caps, most of us didn’t know much about the earth. To us, it was a great big fun-ball that made oranges and rivers and sunsets for our enjoyment.

Now, its atmosphere full of car fumes and cow methane, it’s annoyed and sending hurricanes at the American coast every week. Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Piers. Hurricane Rosalita.

Soon, they will run out of names and start mixing them like parents in Benoni. Hurricane Chadwin. Hurricane Bradford. Hurricane Chantony.

Things have got so serious all of a sudden. It appears that, after all, we are accountable for our actions. Borrowing money is a bad idea. Hummers are bad for the environment. Greed backfires. After a spell of indulgence, we are beginning to wake up to an almighty hangover.

South Africa’s banks have been among the least effected, mainly because their lending policies are far safer than those of their American counterparts, whose criteria appeared to be: ‘All citizens with a face and at least one pair of shorts as surety can qualify for credit’. The ‘Land of the Free’ will soon mean more than it set out to.

Speaking of free – another heads up about the Vespa competition. Send in your entry before the 7th of November. Enter now, or forever hold your peace. Or something. Just enter.


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Appaloosa
The promoter for this film, bound by allegiance and salary to be enthusiastic, gave me this answer as I walked into the screening: “Um, well, it’s…ok, if you like cowboy films.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement. Appaloosa will divide its audience between those who enjoy slow, classic Westerns and those who would rather watch Flubber.

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Horri Boll
Every country has its cringe factor. England has its football hooligans, America has its president, we have Leon Schuster. India has Bollywood - as comical as it is successful, Bollywood has taken cheesy romance, improbable stunts and chronic melodrama to a truly mind-blowing level. We scoured Youtube for a few of the best, or worst, of Bollywood.

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Recession?
The world is heading towards a recession. Apparently, nobody told India. As the West holds its head in its hands, India’s growth rate continues to break its own records.The vast macroeconomic growth performance of China and India has been one of the most important events of the 21st century...

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It’s difficult to go Oriental without going over the top. Good thing we have Janice Anderssen on hand to enlighten us.
How can I add an exotic theme to a plain room?
Sari fabric is a fabulous way to introduce splashes of vibrant colour into a room for a more exotic look. Just drape a couple of saris over a curtain rail, tie them back at the sides with brightly coloured sashes.

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Dan the Man
There is a point in a Dan Patlansky concert when things get ridiculous. It is usually when, mid-riff, he thrusts his guitar forward and plays it like a machine gun, then swings it over his head and plays behind his back. Acrobatics aside, Patlansky is an extraordinary Blues guitarist...
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Making green cent$
Bloody hell, what a month! I’m not sure what’s more unsettling: watching the ANC two-stepping through a presidential re-shuffle (step-scuff-scuff-step); or seeing my paltry investments deflating like a punctured balloon (fffftthhhhhppppppphhh…)
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Darjeeling
If you saw Wes Anderson’s film The Darjeeling Limited, you probably left the cinema with the urge to book a ticket on an old-fashioned train across India. Those who took that urge to home and Googled ‘The Darjeeling Express’, would have met with that search engine’s famous rebuff: ‘No results found’.
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