Marks of greatness
AS A ballet mad little girl one of the first pieces of useless information that I treasured was that the great ballerina Dame Alicia Markova was not Russian but was born plain Alicia Marks in North London. When she joined the Ballet Russes aged 14 its founder Sergei Diaghilev made her change her name. Born in 1910 her life was an inspiration – a struggle against poverty, antiSemitism, sexism, not being thought pretty enough and (the perennial battle of ballet dancers) physical pain. She was also a superstar, dwarfing today’s dance celebrities such as Darcey Bussell. A new book The Making Of Markova by Tina Sutton tells her story.
Dame Alicia has always been one of my heroines. She would have been a terrific judge on Strictly.
SCIENTISTS say that weeing in the
sea is beneficial to marine wildlife so you can wazz away with abandon when you’re standing up to
your waist in water looking nonchalant. Not that I ever have of course any more
than you… DELIGHTED to see Kate Bush flying the flag for us crazy old birds and how refreshing to see a female performer on the front pages of the newspapers who wasn’t wearing fishnet tights, dominatrix boots and a corset. Kate’s majestic velvet kaftan or wizard robe (or whatever it was) made the trussed-up tart look seem so tired. LAST week I expressed deep foreboding about the future of the free coffees you get with a My Waitrose card. Immediately the firm’s communications director was in touch assuring me that the free coffee is ring-fenced, sacrosanct and safer than the Bank of England. Except that, presently, both machines in my nearby branch are out of order. Truly, the Lord giveth with one hand and taketh away with the other. WHEN flying, there is nobody you detest more than the stinker sitting in front who suddenly reclines their seat almost breaking your legs. The “knee defender” is a sneaky clip-on gadget preventing that and it recently led to a fight on a United Airlines flight. Bad behaviour of course but the airlines have only themselves to blame for squeezing in more and more passengers. There is simply not enough room to tip your seat back on most economy flights now. Oh, and the inventor of the knee defender? Ira Goldman who is 6ft 3in. You feel his pain.