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European Festivals and Events February 4, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts, Culture.
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It’s wise to check with the local tourist board to confirm details of the event before traveling.

AUSTRIA > www.austria-tourism.at
VIENNA: Ball season: Engineers Ball, Jan. 25; Vienna Confectioners Ball, Jan. 26; Vienna Jazz Band Ball, Jan. 27; Vienna Physicians Ball, Jan. 27; Ball of the Viennese Coffee House Owners, Feb. 9; Bonbon Ball, Feb. 16; Lawyers Ball, Feb. 17; Magicians Ball for children, Feb. 18; Rudolfina masked ball, Feb. 19; Magicians Ball, Feb. 24.

BELGIUM > www.visitbelgium.com
BRUSSELS: Antiques fair, Jan. 19-28.
BRUSSELS: Aroma: Tea, coffee and chocolate fair, Feb. 9-11.
BRUSSELS: Cartoon and animated film festival, Feb. 16-25.

CZECH REPUBLIC > www.visitczechia.cz
PRAGUE: Ball season, through Feb. 20.

ENGLAND > www.visitbritain.com
LONDON: “Vive La France,” Jan. 19-21. Food, culture, tourism, property exhibition at Olympia.
LONDON: Musicmania, Jan. 27, April 28. CDs, DVDs, vinyl and memorabilia, Olympia 2.
LONDON: Destinations: The Holiday and Travel Show, Feb. 1-4. Earls Court.
DONCASTER: Festival of British railway modeling, Feb. 17-18.
LONDON: Chinese New Year celebration, Feb. 18. Trafalgar Square.
LONDON: National Wedding Show, Feb. 27-March 1. Earls Court.
LONDON: Sounds Expo, March 1-3. Tech event for musicians, DJs, producers in Olympia.

FRANCE > www.francetourism.com
PARIS: Chinese New Year’s Day celebrations, Feb. 18. Place d’ Italie.
PARIS: Art Paris, March 29-April 2.
MULHOUSE: Carnival, Feb. 24-25.
NICE: Carnival, Feb. 16-March 4.

GERMANY > www.germany-tourism.de
MUNICH: Fasching season, through Feb. 21.
DÜSSELDORF: Boat 2007, Jan. 20- 28.
TODTMOOS: International dog-sled race, Jan. 27-28.
BERLIN: International film festival, Feb. 8-18.
HAMM: Medieval Spectaculum, Feb. 10-11.
MAINZ, DÜSSELDORF,  COLOGNE: Rosenmontag Fasching parades, Feb. 19.
MUNICH: Strong beer season, Feb. 22-March 31.
OSNABRUCK: Medieval Spectaculum, Feb. 24-25.

ITALY > www.italiantourism.com
VIAREGGIO: Carnivale, Feb. 4, 11, 18, 20, 25.
VENICE: Carnivale, Feb. 9-20.
IVREA: Carnivale, Feb. 15-20.

THE NETHERLANDS > www.holland.com/uk
ROTTERDAM: International film festival, Jan. 24-Feb. 4.

SCOTLAND > www.visitscotland.com
GLASGOW: Celtic Connections, through Feb. 4.
THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY: Burns’ Night, Jan. 26.

SPAIN > www.spain.info
SAN SEBASTIAN: Tamborrado, Jan. 19-20.

SWITZERLAND > www.switzerlandtourism.ch
GRINDELWALD: World snow festival, through Jan. 20.
ST. CERGUE: Sled-dog races, Jan. 20-21.
CHATEAU-D’OEX: Hot-air balloon festival, Jan. 20-28.
BELAP, BLATTEN, NATERS: Witches ski racing, Jan. 21-27.
ST. MORITZ: Gourmet festival, Jan. 23-Feb. 3.
SAIGNELEGIER: International sled-dog races, Jan. 27-28.
AROSA: Hot-air balloon festival, Jan. 28-Feb. 2.
ST. MORITZ: Gourmet festival, Jan. 29-Feb. 3.
ST. MORITZ: Horse races on snow, weather permitting. Feb. 4-18.
SAN BERNADINO: Sled-dog races, weather permitting Feb. 7-11.
LENK: International sled-dog races, Feb. 17-18.
LES MOSSES: International sled-dog races, March 3-4.
CHANDOLIN: International sled-dog races, Feb. 24-March 2.


Daniel Radcliffe’s biography > all you wanted to know February 4, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies.
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Birth Name > Daniel Jacob Radcliffe
Nickname > Dan
Height > 5′ 7″ (1.70 m)

Mini biography > Daniel Jacob Radcliffe was born on July 23rd, 1989.

Learn all you wanted to know about Daniel and you never asked. Go to >




Daniel Radcliffe to go nude February 4, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies.
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Daniel Radcliffe turns 18 in July.

The star of Harry Potter reveals his toned muscled body, in a series of sexy photos to promote the upcoming production of stage play Equus. Equus will open at the Gielgud Theatre, London, on Tuesday 27 February 2007, following previews from 16 February.


Daniel Radcliffe has defended his decision to appear nude on the London stage, insisting his role in a revival of Peter Shaffer’s 1973 play Equus would be “rubbish” if he didn’t bare all. The 17-year-old actor admits he hit the gym to tone up for the revealing role, but he insists he has no problem appearing nude on stage if it helps his performance.


He said: “I’m fine about it. Equus is an iconic play. The nude scene is part of it. I can’t do it with my pants on. That would be rubbish. We’ve done the scene a couple of times in rehearsal. I had no particular qualms. There’s nothing that would stop me getting my kit off if that’s what the work demands. The key to serious acting is to lose your inhibitions, to become free and fearless. I feel OK about my body. Not totally, of course, but no one my age does…but I’ve gone to the gym to make sure. And many of the actors I admire, like Gary Oldman, have gone naked.”


Related Links >


Finish or bust February 4, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Books.
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JK Rowling’s unlikely message in an Edinburgh hotel room

She began her journey to literary fame by scribbling in cafés with a baby in a pram at her elbow, while living on benefits.


Twelve years and £600 million later, JK Rowling finished her Harry Potter series in a luxury room at one of Scotland’s most famous hotels. And the writer celebrated the completion of the seventh and final novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, in bizarre fashion, by signing a marble bust in her room.

“JK Rowling finished writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in this room (652) on 11th Jan 2007,” she wrote.

In the stroke of a marker pen she may have created the most valuable item of Potter memorabilia next to a signed copy of a first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

The bust was yesterday in the care of Debbie Taylor, general manager, of the Balmoral in Edinburgh.

The memorable image of Rowling’s first steps on the road to fame is of an impoverished single mother escaping her freezing flat to write for hours in the warmth of a cafe with her baby in a pram beside her. Finding shelter in Edinburgh from a former husband, she would nurse one cup of coffee because she couldn’t afford more.

Two famous and well-marked venues include Nicolson’s restaurant, owned at the time by her brother-in-law and now replaced by a Chinese restaurant. Legend has it that much of the Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was written there.

She was also a regular at the Elephant House café, on George IV Bridge, writing in long-hand and typing up the work at home on a manual typewriter.

The pressures on JK Rowling are very different now. Ten years after she published her first book, her baby daughter, Jessica, is now a teenager, and the concern is to keep a normal life with two other young children and her husband, Dr Neil Murray.

There are other Edinburgh cafés where she has written, well after her worldwide fame, keeping their names quiet to discourage tourist traffic. “She has just got into the habit of writing in places other than the house. Writers do need locations other than a bedroom,” said a friend.

But while Edinburgh residents may respect her privacy, book collectors are not so polite. It has become increasingly difficult for her to be anywhere in public. It remained a mystery yesterday why JK Rowling chose to scrawl on a statue in black marker pen, in an incident that had some hallmarks of a publicity stunt. Her note was reportedly spotted by hotel staff.

A spokeswoman for the 188-room Balmoral, where rates run from £290 to £1,575 a night, said: “We can confirm that the author signed a bust, following a recent visit to the hotel.”

But there are no plans, apparently, to turn the room into a tourist shrine.

“It was hotel property. We have many different antique artefacts within the hotel,” said the spokeswoman. The bust was believed to be of the Greek god Hermes, not Emperor Hadrian as first thought.

A spokesman for the author said: “We can confirm that JK Rowling did write some of the book at the Balmoral last month and did complete the book at that hotel.”

Rowling announced on Thursday that the seventh and final instalment in the series, which will follow Harry during his final year at Hogwarts, will be published on 21 July.

• MANY writers work from home, but regularly go in search of inspiration or escape from the pressures of family life. Sir Walter Scott began his early career as a writer in a summer cottage in Lasswade. Ernest Hemingway wrote anywhere he could.

Writer’s retreats are always in demand. In the United States, the austere setting of the MacDowell writers’ colony in New Hampshire, with 32 its cabin studios, has drawn the likes of Alice Sebold, writer of The Lovely Bones. Author Michel Chabon and his novelist wife Ayelet Waldman are also regular visitors.

In Scotland, one well-known writers’ retreat is Hawthornden Castle near Roslin, owned by Drue Heinz. Scottish writers who win the Robert Louis Stevenson Award earn two months near the Forest of Foutainebleau, France, where writers and artists from across Europe converge to work.

The Isle of Jura whisky distiller, meanwhile, is now offering a month-long fellowship for an established writer to travel to Scotland and write and live on the island at the distillery lodge at Craighouse.

Related Links > Official sites


Potter author signs off in style February 4, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Books.
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JK Rowling finished writing her latest book at The Balmoral Hotel

balmoralhotel.jpg   Author JK Rowling scribbled a note to fans on a marble bust in the Edinburgh hotel room where she finished her final Harry Potter novel. The millionaire left the message after completing the book at the city’s five-star Balmoral Hotel.

In black marker on an antique-style statue, she wrote: “JK Rowling finished writing Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows in this room on 11 Jan 2007.”

The hotel confirmed the Edinburgh-based author signed a bust in the hotel. However the spokeswoman for the 188-room city centre Balmoral, where rates range from £290 to £1,575 a night, refused to say which room the author had stayed in.

A spokeswoman for the author said: “We can confirm JK Rowling did write some of the book at the Balmoral last month and did complete the book at that hotel.”

The writer announced on Thursday that the seventh and final instalment in the series, which will follow Harry during his final year at Hogwarts, would be published on 21 July.

As a single mother on benefits more than a decade ago, Rowling used to visit cafes not too far from the Balmoral while penning the first book, Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone.

Since then, the author, who lives in Edinburgh with her husband, Dr Neil Murray, and their three children, has sold 325 million books and earned an estimated £520m.