Sharron Livingston

Mamilla

By Sharron Livingston, August 26, 2010

It's barely a year old but may have the best location on the fringe of the Old City in the 19th-century Mamilla neighbourhood.

The hotel itself is nothing if not modern. Designed by Moshe Safdie, it blends seamlessly with its environment, built with gorgeous Jerusalem stone as is the shopping centre it is attached to. Interior décor is minimalist and contemporary and filled with Herman Miller, Kartell and Cassina furnishings.

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Birds, beaches and bays: the other Somme

By Sharron Livingston, August 10, 2010

The Somme, in Picardy, is the spiritual home of First World War I tourism; a place where descendants of fallen soldiers go to find the graves of their father, uncle or grandfather, or parties of schoolchildren are taken on educational trips.

So entrenched is the Somme in its Great War provenance, that the area is an unlikely destination for holiday-makers in search of fun and frolics, but that doesn't mean it isn't a beautiful area of France to visit - even without the pull of history.

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Benedict Bermange provides statistics to cricket's top pundits - he's never stumped for facts

By Sharron Livingston, June 17, 2010

Benedict Bermange has been counting the days to the start of the new cricket season.

Now that it's in full swing, he is wowing commentators such as Mike Atherton, Nasser Hussain and David Gower with his knowledge of facts and figures.

The Sky Sports cricket statistician is helping them answer questions such as: "How many dot balls in the last five overs?", "When was the last boundary?", "How many overs has Flintoff bowled in this spell?" (And all that without even batting an eyelid).

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Richard Jackson distils his coffee shop into a play

By Sharron Livingston, June 17, 2010

Leeds-born playwright Richard Jackson and the C54 Theatre Company he founded in 2006 are on tour with their latest theatrical offering - Served.

The one-man show, which stars Mr Jackson and is directed by co-founder Natasha James, comprises four characters: an unemployed man, an elderly man grieving his wife, another who moved from Leeds to London, and a coffee shop owner. The play ends with an interesting twist.

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Ben Rosen says if you want a job, socialise (online)

By Sharron Livingston, June 17, 2010

Graduates need not be disturbed by the lack of jobs around - they should just carry on tweeting.

Recruiter Ben Rosen, 34, says that their best chance of success is to keep doing what comes naturally to them: hanging out on social media websites. He tells People: "Social media could be the way forward for some. It is a new industry that raises a company's profile and young people know how to do it anyway. Many already blog, have Facebook accounts and tweet. They can turn their pastime into a profession."

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Agnes Grunwald-Spier pays tribute to the Nazi who saved her

By Sharron Livingston, June 17, 2010

Agnes Grunwald-Spier owes her life to someone she has never met. As a baby, she was lucky enough to be saved from death by an unknown Nazi official.

Now, some 70 years later, Ms Grunwald-Spier is promoting her book, The Other Schindlers: Why Some People Chose to Save Jews in the Holocaust (The History Press, £14.99), to raise awareness of the unsung gentile heroes of the Holocaust who were driven by their conscience to save Jews.

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Gideon Conn writes a text message song live on radio

By Sharron Livingston, June 17, 2010

Manchester troubadour Gideon Conn, 30, is releasing his debut album, New Bop Sounds, later this year.

A sculpture graduate from Manchester Met, Mr Conn decided to go it alone after producing a series of singles and "got some really good gigs from it".

Last week he did a live show on Radio 5 during which he wrote an off-the-cuff song about the texts listeners had sent in. "It was hard but enjoyable," Mr Conn tells People.

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Ian Davis takes photos of mini-workmen fixing imaginary teeth

By Sharron Livingston, June 17, 2010

v Like your art provocative? Then you'll appreciate the photographs that comprise the world of Toothville - they've got plenty of bite.

Dentist Ian Davis has combined his photography hobby with his profession as a dentist to produce a series of conceptual images of teeth, which he has named Toothville. Dr Davis tells People: "If teeth were the size of a house or a car, the images show how they would be treated."

Started less than a year ago, Dr Davis's work has already been featured widely in publications such as Metro and Young National Geographic, as well as on the BBC website.

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Curtain up for a Lille of what you fancy...

By Sharron Livingston, March 4, 2010

Garish pink and silver curtains drew open, drums rolled and out came the dancing girls. A moment later Phillipe, the compere asked the audience (in French) 'anyone here from Pas de Calais?' Hands went up accompanied by cheers. 'Étrangers bienvenus' – welcome strangers – he chuckled.

Strangers? We were enjoying a dinner/cabaret spectacle at Le Prestige Palace, av du People Belge, (think mini Moulin Rouge) in Lille, located in the Nord Pas de Calais region of Northern France bordering Belgium.

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Berlin: When to let holiday plans go to the wall

By Sharron Livingston, January 28, 2010

It’s been 20 years since the fall of the Berlin wall, yet the east-west divide is still inescapable. Each side has its own shopping, restaurant and bar districts. In fact, the city has two of everything — even two cultures and this is what makes Berlin an outstanding cultural city break.

The architecture in the east may be a little grungy, but a warehouse doubles beautifully as a bar and a disused factory is perfect as a disco. In the west, it’s more about elegance. Trendy youth live and work in the east, but migrate to the west once they reach 30(ish) to bring up their kids.

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Bratislava: Brat-packers guide to a young capital

By Sharron Livingston, November 5, 2009

I had never tasted potato dumpling with goat’s cheese before, let alone try to pronounce its culinary name - bryndzove halušky, but then I had never been to the Slovakian capital, before. A canopy of carbs, this hearty speciality of the city was unexpectedly appealing. Much like the city itself.

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The Cavendish

By Sharron Livingston, October 15, 2009

Eastbourne may seem like a retirement home, but on many Saturday nights, it well and truly rocks.

It did exactly that one recent autumnal evening when Toploader, a local group made good, took to the al fresco beachside bandstand for their comeback gig.

And we saw it all from the balcony of this four-star hotel on the Grand Parade. Our modern en-suite executive room was wrapped around the corner of the striking white façade, allowing spectacular views through large picture windows over the beach and the pier.

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Bruges: Chocolates and sweet nothings

By Sharron Livingston, October 8, 2009

It’s fun to go off the beaten track sometimes, but if all you want is a brief, indulgent break, then the delightful city of Bruges will release your inner lip-smacking, camera-swinging, beer-swilling, sightseeing, chip-guzzling, chocoholic tourist.

Bruges is home to just 20,000 people, yet more than three million tourists visit each year. July and August are the favoured months, but in May and June or September and October when the weather is temperate you can still enjoy that tourist vibe, and walking around this compact city will be more a saunter than a day at the dodgems.

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Boulogne: Channelling a touch of French chic

By Sharron Livingston, August 6, 2009

Earlier this summer, I was milling around Boulogne’s farmers’ market at Place Dalton, enjoying the hustle of the traders, practising my Franglais and rubbing shoulders with the locals. Business was brisk, the atmosphere vibrant and the steeple of the 13th-century St Nicolas church (the oldest in town) located in the hub of the market, glowed in the morning sun.

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Lille’s non-stop arts festival

By Sharron Livingston, April 30, 2009

Lille is hosting a city-wide festival of contemporary art until July and celebrations are in full swing.

Getting there is just a 90-minute ferry hop across the Channel to Calais followed by a 45-minute dash by car, or in less than two hours as a foot passenger by Eurostar to this gorgeous Flemish town, one of Europe’s hottest destinations for culture vultures.

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It’s back to business as usual in Mumbai

By Sharron Livingston, February 26, 2009

Very good price, very good price said the bright-eyed boy in the yellow T-shirt, who might have been an extra from multi-Oscar winning Slumdog Millionaire. He poked his head through the car window and spoke quickly, offering Lord Shiva statuettes that dangled around his neck, arms and even from his finger tips.

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