29 NOVEMBER 1997

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The Good Fairy M r Gordon Brown in a 'pre-Budget statement' said the government would spend £300 million on after-school clubs for the children of lone parents at work; the...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 0171-405 1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 DYING FOR HIS COUNTRY A rt other rock star has been sacrificed on the altar of...

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Why Tony Blair wants to protect the monarchy BRUCE ANDERSON T he royal golden wedding celebrations were much less fraught and much more felicitous than would have seemed...

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DAVID TANG W e Chinese have not always been welcomed in America. In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act prohibited the immigration of Chinese, and it wasn't until over 60 years...

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Why Britain's piers should be allowed to slip beneath the waves MATTHEW PARRIS W hat is the point of seaside piers? Why are they 'heritage'? Why are huge sums of government...

Classifieds — pages 76-78

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Wanted: after Downey, a real inquiry into the Hamilton affair STEPHEN GLOVER T he name of Neil Hamilton turns many people off. They believe he is guilty as charged. I myself...

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Dean Godson says that post-communist Moscow, via its foreign minister, has just won what communist Moscow failed to win for 30 years in the Middle East The principal author of...

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Harry Evans was pushed out of Random House. Could his wife be Newhouse's next victim? Toby Young reports New York DURING a lecture Harold Evans gave earlier this year he joked...

Second opinion

The Spectator

IT IS by no means unusual for words to change their meanings over time; and in Orwellian Newspeak, words come to mean the opposite of what they tradi- tionally meant. There is a...

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Michael Heath


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The Chancellor's Green Budget was a non-event, but the economy is heading LAST WEEK I attended the historic first ever pre-Budget report by the Chancellor to the House of...

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Mind your language

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`WAS that a snort?' asked my husband, looking up from a paper on temporal lobe epilepsy. `It was. Listen, there's a front-page story in the Telegraph saying that a new book has...

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THE REDBRICK REDS Britain has its first redbrick Cabinet, still rules in No. 10 `There's a great dark smudge over there. That must be a big city.' `It's probably Rummidge. A...

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The death of a banker may be an everyday tale of the Moscow Mafia, says Simon Sebag Montefiore, but it is also a private tragedy Moscow `MY boyfriend was assassinated,' said...

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Demos, the think-tank at the cold heart of New Labour has, according to Robert Taylor, little to offer the poor DEMOS is the Prime Minister's favourite think-tank and it is not...

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The elite press of the United States still refuses to report that Kennedy was a philanderer, says Mark Steyn New Hampshire SEYMOUR STREET and Seymour Hersh are several thousand...

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IN LONDON Bad behaviour by an Israeli diplomat, says Robert Shrimsley, exemplifies a dilemma facing Britain's Jews THERE is an old joke about the Joint Israel Appeal, the...

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We hear a lot about coming Cabinet changes. THE NIGHTS are drawing in, the wind is whistling round Westminster's mock-Goth- ic turrets, and MPs and journalists are set- tling...

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Clash of drumsticks and flying salami in Somerset's Wild West PAUL JOHNSON Hero or villain of the affair, which took place at Bridgwater's Babylonian arts cen- tre, is the...

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South Sea bubble

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THE IMF's first team of brokers' men were lucky and got posted to Bangkok, the sec- ond team must rub along in Jakarta, but the third has drawn the hardship posting: win- ter in...

Chocolate bankers

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THE disturbing news from the Bank of England is that it has run out of gold and bank-notes. A reader writes to complain: `For several years I have bought chocolate in the form...

Brown, green and drab

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THE Pink Panther excepted, this Brown and Green Budget was drab. That was a shame, and an opportunity missed. This Chancellor aspires to be a tax reformer, and goodness knows we...


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That's not Gordon's dog, it's an independent dog, so don't blame him when it bites you CHRISTOPHER FILDES T he Green Budget confirms my belief that Gordon Brown has been...

One world of risk

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I AM glad not to have entrusted my old age to a Japanese life assurance company. Oth- erwise I might need to commit ritual sui- cide before it does. Last week a bank went down,...

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Parliamentarian of the year: the winners THE FOURTEENTH annual Highland Park/Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year Awards were presented on Wednesday by Mo Mowlam, Secretary of...

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Not just William

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Sir: D.A. Brunton's equation of the Bloody Assizes with the Glencoe massacre is typi- cal of neo-Jacobite impudence (Letters, 22 November). The former were conducted on the...

LETTERS Down with public school

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Sir: It was startling to hear Douglas Hurd, when presenting The Search for Peace on BBC 2, lapse from political correctness by saying of Anthony Eden, 'An Etonian, and none the...

Notes from smaller islands

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Sir: Mark Steyn's allegation (`The appeal Louise lost', 15 November) that 'you Brits have become emotionally incontinent' may well be right. But the reason for it is the...

A lot of bottle

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Sir: Toby Young (`First smokers, now drinkers', 15 November) would have rel- ished being present at the bar in the Main Press Center in Atlanta at the start of the Olympic...

Fair comment

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Sir: In The Spectator of 1 November, I wrote that Robert Jackson had 'made an extraordinary intervention' in the Com- mons in inviting Gordon Brown to repudi- ate his pledge on...


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12 Months 6 Months UK 0 £93.00 0 £47.00 Europe (airmail) 0 £104.00 0 £52.00 USA Airspeed 0 US$151 0 US$76 Rest of} Airmail 0 £115.00 0 £58.00 World Airspeed . . .0...

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Pass the mustard

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Sir: I bow to Frank Johnson's considerable knowledge of grand opera, but I regret that he doesn't know his Gilbert and Sullivan (Shared opinion, 22 November). It was Sir...

Good soldier Clark

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Sir: I am a little bit alarmed by Byron Rogers's review of my memoir, Younger Brother, Younger Son (Books, 22 Novem- ber). I was really just trying to be `a good soldier', like...

FT, no comment Sir: I share Bruce Anderson's opinion that

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Britain will do better without the euro, but not his whole-hearted admiration for the golden age of liberal Financial Times edi- tors (Politics, 15 November). During those...

We were amusing

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Sir: Reading Rory Bremner's story about the Queen and Terry Wogan (Diary, 15 November), I felt that I should leap to the defence of 'the greatest living Irishman'. As anyone...

Insulting language

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Sir: Whenever my eye has fallen upon Peter Jones's column 'Ancient & modern', I have felt about him what Sydney Smith felt about Macaulay when he said, 'I wish I felt as certain...

Iron Chancellor

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Sir: Brian Crozier makes a superficially good point about Messina (Letters, 15 November) in that it is difficult to influence events if you stay out of things, but this...

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Round and under the table Philip Hensher LAUGHTER'S GENTLE SOUL: THE LIFE OF ROBERT BENCHLEY by Billy Altman W. W. Norton, £22.50, pp. 382 R obert Benchley is a curious...

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A chronicle of blunders

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Tim Parks MODERN ITALY: A POLITICAL HISTORY by Dennis Mack Smith Yale, £35, £14.95, pp. 534 I first opened this book on 9 October, the day Prime Minister Prodi resigned rather...

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The higher gobbledygook

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Paul Ferris THE ARYAN CHRIST: THE SECRET LIFE OF CARL GUSTAV JUNG by Richard Noll Macmillan, £20, pp. 334 I f this book and its predecessor, The Jung Cult, are to be believed,...

Two middle-aged men in motion

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Kate Grimond A WALK IN THE WOODS by Bill Bryson Doubleday, £16.99, pp. 320 T avel writing is a remarkably durable literary genre. The world may shrink; few parts, bar the...

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HERMES PARIS INVITE YOU TO AN EXHIBITION OF CARTOONS from Wednesday 3rd December to Friday 12th December 1997 at Hermes 155 New Bond Street, London W1 (Opening hours...

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Blessings in disguise

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Charlotte Moore MISSING THE MIDNIGHT by Jane Gardam Sinclair-Stevenson, £10, pp. 212 n this pleasingly compact volume of stories, Jane Gardam imbues everyday life with the...


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All the books reviewed here are available from THE SPECTATOR BOOKSHOP Telephone: 0541 557288 Facsimile: 0541 557225 We accept payment by credit card ACCESSNISA/AIVIEX/SWITCH...

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All guilty, some more than others

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Leslie Mitchell THE SLAVE TRADE by Hugh Thomas Macmillan, £25, pp. 810 ■=I H istorical sensibilities have always been in flux. Conceivably they have become more...

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Get better soon

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Cressida Connolly HAND TO MOUTH: A CHRONICLE OF EARLY FAILURE by Paul Auster Faber, £15.99, pp. 436 I hope that this book doesn't mean that there's something the matter with...

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Taking pains to be a good pupil

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James Delingpole ANGRY WHITE PYJAMAS by Robert Twigger Indigo, £6.99, pp. 316 IMINI■11•■ I t's all very well having a rapier wit and a black belt in killer irony, but I'd...

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Through rose-tinted spectacles

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Sion Simon CLEM ATTLEE by Francis Beckett Richard Cohen, £20, pp. 352 T ruly great biographies are like first-rate cakes, best when made with love. Or, more accurately, the...

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An impossible woman

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Robert Taylor JENNIE LEE: A LIFE by Patricia Hollis OUP, £20, pp. 459 J ennie Lee once described herself with typical immodesty as the `grande dame' of the Labour movement. In...

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The most sympathetic Roman

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Anthony Blond ANTONY by Allan Massie Sceptre, £16.99, pp. 213 Antony and Ahenobarbus embraced. Watch- ing, I feared a dagger. But instead there were smiles. This is something...

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Magic in two colours

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Liliana Brisby PRAGUE IN BLACK AND GOLD: THE HISTORY OF A CITY by Peter Demetz Allen Lane, £20, pp. 411 I t is unreasonable to expect that more than a handful of the millions...

Clerihew Corner

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Who says that John Wayne and Michael Caine Were all brawn and no brain? They must have been pretty bright Not to stay Marion Morrison and Maurice Micklewhite. James Michie

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An important but invisible man

The Spectator

Christopher Hope NELSON MANDELA by Martin Meredith Hamish Hamilton, £20, pp. 596 T he life of Nelson Mandela is, in many senses, a mystery. But he has the effect of making...

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The finger of guilt

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Louis Blom-Cooper HANRATTY: THE FINAL VERDICT by Bob Woffinden Macmillan, £16.99, pp. 497 I f (as seems almost certain now) the Criminal Cases Review Commission refers the...

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Mary Killen

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I love reading nostalgically about the days when people had values, and the world of the late Colin Welch, former chief book reviewer for The Spectator and the 'mind' of the old...


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This was the year of a way of life lamentably long gone. My favourite books had all to do with persons and events that live only in our memories. Enchantress, by Christine...

Books of the Year

The Spectator

A final selection of the best and worst books of the year, chosen by some of our regular contributors Duncan Fallowell I love doorstep biographies, the complete wallow, and the...

Far more people enjoy opera nowadays than ever before, so

The Spectator

you do not have to be working on a new history of Glyndebourne like me to find The Joy of Opera by Nigel Douglas (Deutsch, £25) fascinatingly read- able. It is full of...

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Stop subsidising opera! Michael Scott says the Royal Opera's problem is too much state cash, not too little T he only thing the Royal Opera seems to have done successfully is...

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Renoir's Portraits: Impressions of an Age (The Art Institute of Chicago, till 4 January) Renoir revealed Roger Kimball T he most audacious exhibition on view in the United...

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Branded Youth and Other Stories (National Portrait Gallery, till 8 February) Over exposure Simon Blow B ruce Weber is a photographer wor- shipped by wannabes. He is an icon...

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Dominated by the second-rate

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Ismene Brown talks to Sir John Drummond about his radio series on the crisis facing British dance I n his dark, Kensington basement flat, filled with books and beautiful earthy...

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Otello (Royal Opera, Albert Hall) Do I lack sophistication? Michael Tanner I t would be an exaggeration to say that Otello has fallen on hard times, but fair to claim that...

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Berlin trio Robin Holloway 0 n holiday for a week visiting Berlin for the first time, it was impossible to resist sampling all the city's three opera houses. Reporting on them...

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One-Night Stand (18, selected cinemas) Too neat Mark Steyn D uring sex, Mimi likes to bark out instructions — 'Almost, almost. Circle, cir- cle! Slower, gentle. Harder,...

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Chicago (Ade1phi) Mutabilitie (National) Bugsy Malone (Queens) Circus trickery Sheridan Morley A n obsessive lover of the Broadway musical in general and those of Kander &...

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La Fille Mal Gard& (Scottish Ballet, Theatre Royal, Glasgow) Intoxicating Ashton Giannandrea Poem A n intriguing component of Frederick Ashton's La File Mal Gard& is the...


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Producer problems Michael Vestey C hatting to a producer friend at Radio Four recently, I confided that it was becoming increasingly difficult to find new programmes or series...

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What's so funny? Marcus Berkmann S ituation comedy: the easiest critical target of them all. What makes you laugh doesn't make me laugh, and what makes the head of light...

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The turf

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Going swimmingly Robin Oakley It is a lucky yard, the only one in Lam- bourn which has been home to two Derby winners, and you could call Roger Curtis a lucky man too. Last...

James Delingpole returns in a fortnight.

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High life

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Just the one over Taki New York he only person who does not come under suspicion for having written 'Don't ban fox-hunting' on the back of Cherie Blair's place-card is yours...

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Country life

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Good companions Leanda de Lisle There are very few bridle paths near us, and hunting offers my children their only opportunity to gallop over open country- side. I'm sure my...

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Imperative cooking: the ready-grated woman

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TAKE two peeled carrots and two cour- gettes. Hold them aligned and chop them on the bias, Chinese-style. Slice two onions. Now sit down, make yourself comfortable and tell me,...


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Rule of thumb Andrew Robson TO a modern bridge player a Splinter means a lot more than something that must be extracted from one's thumb. A Splinter bid is an unnecessary jump...

The British Woman Today: A Qualitative Survey of Women's Magazines,

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i7.50 plus £1 p&p, from The Social Affairs Unit, 314-322 Regent Street, London W1R 5AB.

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For the record Raymond Keene LAST WEEK I promised a full review of Jon Speelman's new book, Jon Speelman's Best Games (Batsford, £15.99). The book contains 38 of the...


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i SINGLE MALT 5 010 ' 11 w r flISX1 . . COMPETITION ISLE OF u RA SINGLE MALT SCOTCH %ASV Start and finish Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2010 you were given an opening and...

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Solution to 1336: Collector's item

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' P U 11 I' S %PHI lir U 2 E BMW Orarri derrirl ' a 0 FM R rill R RNA I "In © Mt EMI l af Illirl 1 El apirrild A rilinrin °' A MP il 6 0 PERI El nrill VII I...


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W. & J . GRAHAM'S 1339: Kit by Columba A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Late Bottled Vintage 1991 Port for the first correct solution opened on 15 Decem ber,...

No. 2013: Boring, boring, boring

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You are invited to supply a poem (maxi- mum 16 lines) listing the things in life that you find most boring. Entries to `Competition No. 2013' by 11 December.

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Obviously the best Simon Barnes BASIL Fawlty said that his wife's special- ist subject on Mastermind should be 'the bleeding obvious'. It is a subject all jour- nalists should...


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Dear Mary.. . Q. We will soon have another visit from an American friend who is always welcome except for his inability to lift the lavatory seat. Cleaning up is unpleasant...