This week's UK news: 31 October 2013
31 October 2013

Two of the best holiday (or study) destinations in the world in the UK

Lonely Planet, which produces travel guides, recommends visiting the UK in 2014.

Scotland, one of the countries in the UK, has been recommended as the third-best country to visit next year. Brazil heads the list, and Antarctica is second.

The guide says Scotland "has never looked so good," adding that Edinburgh is "the most gothic city outside Transylvania" and encourages travellers to visit the landscape that inspired the country's national poet, Robert Burns.

Next summer the Commonwealth Games and the golf Ryder Cup will be held in Scotland.
Lonely Planet also rates Yorkshire, in northern England, as the third-best region in the world to visit next year. The Tour de France cycle race begins here next summer, and the guide also mentions its "rugged moorlands, heritage homes and cosy pubs." Yorkshire was beaten only by Sikkim in India and the Kimberleys in Australia.

York's 13th century cathedral, York Minster, also made it into Lonely Planet's list of ten global "sights to make you feel small".

Film saved by Pixar

You will have heard of Pixar, the makers of animated films such as Monsters Inc, based in the US. You may not have heard of Ken Loach, a British film director, who likes to tell stories with a socialist slant.

Loach is currently editing his latest film, Jimmy's Hall. However, he is doing it the old-fashioned way on an editing machine which isn't computerised. Jimmy's Hall may even be the last feature film to be made in this traditional way.

However, the crew struck problems last week when they discovered they would need 25 rolls of "edge numbering" tape which is vital for putting the picture and sound tracks together. They could have asked a manufacturer to make some, but there would have been a very expensive minimum order of 500.

Instead, the film's producer Rebecca O'Brien got a piece about the problem in Screen magazine. Steve Bloom, a Pixar editor who had just finished work on Monsters University, got it touch to offer the company's entire stock of 19 rolls, and sent it immediately. He also sent a drawing of Mike and Sulley, the stars of Monster's University, working in an editing room with a good luck message from all of the studio's editors. Loach sent back a photo of him and his team with their thumbs up. Five more rolls of tape arrived from a London editor days later.

UK hit by storm

There was lots of publicity about a storm which hit the UK in the early hours of Monday morning. The St Jude storm, as it was called, was expected to cause widespread damage. There were worries that it was going to arrive during the UK's start of the week rush hour, when everyone was trying to get to work.

The storm did cause five deaths, two people were injured by falling trees, a teenage boy vanished while playing in the surf and two more people were caught in a house where a fallen tree caused a gas explosion. It also caused chaos on train services in the south all day, as train companies cancelled the timetable until they could be sure they had moved all unwanted objects from the lines.

Two of the world's most famous paintings come to London

Van Gogh's Sunflowers is one of the world's best-known paintings. Except that there are actually five versions of the picture, painted by the artist, which still survive. And two of them will be on show in London at the same time next year.

Van Gogh bought a load of sunflowers and arranged them in local pots so that he could paint them to decorate a room for a guest to stay. The guest was another artist, Paul Gauguin. The pictures are different, showing how the flowers aged and began to droop.

The Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam is lending its Sunflowers to the National Gallery in London for the exhibition. The London painting was done by Van Gogh on the fourth day of his sunflower paintings, when the flower were beginning to lose their petals and their strong colour.

The two pictures were last seen together in London 65 years ago. The London picture was put on show with the Amsterdam painting at the Van Gogh museum earlier this year.


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