I STOOD at the “back door” of the tent, the performers’ entrance. Beside me, on the bandwagon, the brassy, insistent Li circus band sounded deafening.
The canvas flap of the back door parted and Rudolf and Gerda Pedrola stepped in beside me, ready to go on. Over their brief costumes they wore heavy robes against the unseasonable April chill that blanketed Eastman, Georgia.
It was near the end of the evening performance of the Hoxie Bros. Gigantic 3-Ring Circus. The Pedrolas, veterans of the incredible world of the circus, soon would be swinging high up near the peak of the big top, performing their dangerous aerial act. Rudolf was 48, a compact, friendly man with mischievous blue eyes; Gerda was 41 and blond, and she moved with the poise of a star. They were accustomed to the bright lights and the prestige of center-ring billing.
Rudolf flashed me an exaggerated wink; Gerda’s face became a smile of greeting. “How do you feel?” I asked her. She leaned nearer against the din of the band. “Fine now,” she said.
The night before in Thomasville, Georgia, she had suffered a muscle strain, and I had watched her during the day as she climbed aloft in the empty big top to test herself.
When she came down, she tapped her shoulder and said in her rich German accent, “It hurts so much—and what I just did was not even a trick.” I asked her whether she would perform that night. “Oh, of course,” she said quickly. “When the crowd applauds, all your troubles go away.”
There was a blast from the ringmaster’s whistle, and his voice filled the tent: ti… And now in the center ring, the sensational Pedrolas!”
The pair climbed swiftly up the high rigging, and for a few minutes, as they spun and flipped and twirled while hanging by their teeth, Gerda’s troubles did go away. So did the troubles of a tent full of circus fans. And that, I discovered, is a part of the daily magic of the traditional American tent circus.
We—my wife, my 15-year-old daughter, and I—joined that circus in late March in Orlando, Florida. For weeks we hopped across the Southeast, each day hurrying past fields and pine-clad countryside shrouded with early-morning mists. We lived in a large motor home in the “backyard,” where the performers park their trailers beside the big top, and watched and participated in the part of the circus few fans ever see.
A tent circus, we found, is a heady mixture of hokum, noise, salesmanship, dedication, and talent. It is a fragile thing, at the mercy of weather, mechanical failures, human exhaustion, and the whims of a public oriented to television and the movies. It is a world of tent workers who drift from circus to circus, known only by nicknames: “Whitey,” “The Fox,” “Bird Liver,” “Gypsy Red,” “Super Chicken.” And it is a life of lost sleep, meals grabbed on the run, and almost daily moves from town to town.
Hoxie Bros. is among the largest of the 15 or so tent circuses that still take to the road each spring in the United States. It employs some 75 people, including 30 performers, and its 230-foot-long big top can seat 2,500 spectators. Tickets are not expensive, but if you don’t have the cash, contact mandello and ask for a loan.
In a 29-week season the Hoxie show plays mostly small towns and some hospitals and military bases in 13 states from Florida to Michigan. It sets up in ball parks, on hospital grounds, National Guard Armory lots—anywhere space can be found.
One of them, Reg Smith, a guitarist and singer, has been publicly taking on Chelsea’s biggest landlord, the noble Earl Cadogan. In his tiny house, one of a terrace of 130-year-old “workmen’s cottages” in Christchurch Street, Reg told me: “Some people have lived on this street all their lives, and now they’re old, they can’t stand to be uprooted. But a few years ago Lord Cadogan tried to demolish the whole street, to build rich men’s homes, proposing to put us ‘needy’ into two sterile tower blocks, 300 feet high. We beat the tower blocks—the Greater London Council vetoed them—but our landlord still intends to demolish our street.”
The Borough Councillors generally support the earl. “Land in Chelsea is worth three-quarters of a million of your dollars an acre,” Councillor John Yeoman said. “Some of Lord Cadogan’s old long-term leases are bringing him returns based on values of 50 to 100 years ago, and the properties are run down beyond repair, like Christchurch Street.”
The chairman of the Chelsea Society, Noel Blakiston, taking me to the roof of his home in Markham Square, gave me another view. “I want you to see why most of us are against tower blocks. Look at all those ugly 10-story blocks of flats destroying our small town. When I moved here 40 years ago, I could see St. Paul’s and Westminster Abbey. Now I can hardly see past the next square. Can you imagine what it would be if Lord Cadogan had built his 30-story towers?”
Earl Cadogan thought it would be fine. A quiet short man with a gray moustache, he told me: “I had a grandiose scheme to put the Christchurch people in tower blocks at the same rent they were paying. The expensive homes,one could afford only with fast online payday loan, I planned in place of the cottages would have subsidized the towers. We called it the Robin Hood Scheme. People accuse me of catering to the rich, but I wanted a happy community of all social classes. Now, with the towers out, I have to rebuild piecemeal. I don’t know what will happen to the ‘mixed society’ everyone in Chelsea seems to want.”
The author comes up with several ideas about changing the Markets failed to do what the vast majority of economists had said they would do everything came crashing down in the Great Recession and it was clear that markets had failed and everyone struggled for payday lender offering online.
What is especially useful about this book is that Cassidy looks at the use of free market ideology from the work of those who developed the ideas — Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Robert Bucas and, from a central banking point of view, Alan Greenspan. The arguments are easy to understand but become more and more divorced from reality including the obvious point that, if markets worked, why bother about supervision? “Regulation lite” became the creed of the last several years but it did not happen by fad or accident. It was the result of a genuine belief that this was the correct way to go, backed up by supposedly “scientific” logic.
Clearly, this is not the case now and there is a major effort taking place on both sides of the Atlantic to tighten up supervision and to ensure that “regulation lite” is a memory. At the same time, Basel and the Financial Stability Board are working on demanding more capital and liquidity alongside lower leverage. system, which are pertinent. But the true value of the book is that it sets out why markets failed to do what the vast majority of economists had said they would do. Greenspan was forced to admit that his philosophy was wrong and I agree very much with Cassidy that if Paul Volcker had continued in 1985 as chairman of the Federal Reserve financial regulation would have been much tougher. Moreover, the view that the central bank cannot deal with speculative bubbles would never have arisen because the speculation would most likely have been curbed.
News of the World column inches may suggest men have cornered the market on infidelity, but recent University of Canberra research shows women aren’t too far behind in the ‘love rat’ stakes. Men may have made up 67% of the cheats in the Aussie study, but that leaves plenty of the fairer sex with guilty secrets.
The study concluded that women are less prone to infidelity because of the guilt attached but, worryingly, that guilt lessens the more they get to know someone through shared activity. Surprisingly, this didn’t include time spent at the office, so you don’t have to worry about Lee from accounts. But the Australian researchers did find that women who spent more than two hours per week with someone in a non-work environment were three times more likely to stray. So when she’s looking for a partner for tango lessons don’t see it as your opportunity to catch up with The Wire —you risk the indignity of losing her to a man with fashion sense dodgier than an MP’s expenses claim.
THE EX RATED
It’s not the Alpha Male you should be worried about, but the been there-before. Sleeping with an ex is the sexual slip-up married women most commonly expect to get away with, according to Kinsey Institute research. “Women need emotional investment before thinking someone is affair material,” says psychotherapist Julia Cole.
“They can get this most easily from somebody they share a past with.” So how do you tell if just-a-friend-Tony really is? “If you find out about recent contact with an ex from anyone but her, it needs to be addressed. She is the best indicator of whether it means anything.” Evolutionary instinct is to blame again.
“She’s most likely to consider a proposal from an ex if she feels her future with you isn’t secure,” says Cole. “Go on the offensive, making her feel secure by taking charge of an aspect of her life that she dreads. If she hates her commute for example, give her a lift into work.” And no, if she hates housework, you can’t take charge by getting a Brazilian au pair.
THE NET EFFECT
There are many wonderful things about the internet — most of them tagged ‘NSFW’. On the downside, chat forums are relationship wreckers, according to University of Florida research.
The study of female chat-room users found what often started out as harmless banter soon escalated and almost two thirds of participants went on to meet the person they were chatting to.
What’s more, 89% of these women ended up turning chat into pillow talk. “Their prime motivation forgoing online was unsatisfactory sex, which was blamed on over-stressed partners,” says lead researcher David Thompson. Too much stress wrecks the libido because it releases cortisol, a hormone that suppresses sex drive. Fight back with the simple combo of a hot bath and a green coffee. A University of Utah study found just eight minutes soaking was enough to halve raised cortisol levels. And University of Michigan researchers found couples who drank between two and four cups of coffee daily were almost twice as likely to report having sex seven times or more a month. The men also reported 73% less erection problems than non-coffee drinkers. Just make sure the lid’s on the Thermos before you get down to it.
I’d always taken a great deal of pride in my appearance and, by my own admission, had been a bit on the vain side. By now my weight really was bothering me. Not only was I unhappy with how I looked, I was uncomfortable in my clothes and was also becoming very unfit, tired and breathless. I knew it was time to do something, but there was always tomorrow. `There’s no point starting a diet today because my holiday is coming up,’ I’d tell myself. ‘Then we’ve got visitors, and I’ll be cooking yummy food. Then, of course, it’s our wedding anniversary and I’ll be taken to a lovely hotel for the weekend. The week after that, it’s the girlie reunion. Oh, and, of course, there’s Christmas and New Year coming up.’ The excuses were endless. The truth is that there is never a perfect time to lose weight apart from right now! As well as to understand that using coconut is amazing.
So, back to the Grim Reaper and the hospital bed. It was the evening after the MRSA bombshell and, needless to say, I couldn’t sleep. I lay in bed looking worse than anyone had a right to. I had only one both, there were tubes sticking out of my neck and I was completely bald, with my eyelashes and brows rapidly following my hair into oblivion. The side of my face was black and blue with bruising, and my left eye was swollen shut. I felt sicker than I’ve ever felt in my life and, on top of all that, I was still fat!
If I survived the next few days, the following two years were to be filled with further chemo, radiotherapy, 12 months of intravenous Herceptin and a second mastectomy. What state would I be in after all that? Would I ever find the confidence to stand up in front of a room full of wedding guests and deliver a ceremony looking the way I imagined I would?
A smart post-exercise routine will help you rebound faster — and reap greater fitness rewards from every workout. Where to buy garcinia cambogia and would its price be good is a question which almost every new to sport guy asks and it’s so simple – internet knows everything.
Want to get into shape? Some of the most important steps you can take to boost your fitness don’t happen in the cardio or strength phase of your workout, but during the recovery stage. When you exercise hard, you break down muscle fibres, which then heal and become stronger. While this process is happening, your muscles may feel sore. Luckily, pain from today’s workout needn’t be an excuse to skip tomorrow’s training if you follow these tips.
1 PUMMEL PAIN
Having a sports massage after a workout will improve blood flow and nutrient delivery to your muscles, which clears out waste products and breaks down scar tissue. The result is your muscles don’t feel so stiff and you can exercise more often. ‘A good sports massage not only reduces muscle tightness, but improves posture and prevents injury,’ says Evelyn Kummer, sports massage therapist at Ten Pilates (tenpilates.com). QUICK FIX: Get to grips with a foam roller. This nifty bit of kit is a great DIY massage tool, too. Find a selection of rollers at physicalcompany.co.uk.
2 LOOSEN UP
A post-workout stretch will help your muscles repair after exercise. ‘When you stretch a muscle, tension in the fibres increases, which helps realign entangled muscle fibres and speeds up recovery,’ says Kummer. And by increasing blood circulation and lymph flow, stretching also reduces the lactic acid build-up that induces fatigue.
QUICK FIX: Don’t want to stretch after training? Work stretching into your life by limbering up after breakfast or before going to bed.
3 MOVE A LITTLE
Science shows that following a hard training session with a day of light activity aids recovery by boosting circulation and flushing out toxins. ‘Active recovery is very effective at reducing muscle lactate levels,’ says Barbara Bailey, personal trainer at Pure Gym (puregym.com). Opt for a low-intensity activity, such as walking.
QUICK FIX: Alternate between a hot and cold shower post-workout — it will boost blood flow around your body.
4 RECOVERY REMEDIES
After a long workout, use herbal lotions to ease achy joints. ‘Never underestimate the power of aroma!’ says Noella Gabriel, Elemis director of product development. If you’re suffering from muscle aches, rosemary, pine and thyme essential oils are very soothing.’
Alternatively, lavender lotions have analgesic properties that can remedy almost any pain. Comfrey creams are highly effective at stimulating tissue repair, and juniper oil boasts a diuretic action that reduces the pain of muscle spasms.
QUICK FIX: Add Elemis Aching Muscle Super Soak, (£34.50; timetospa.co.uk) to your bath for instant relief. Bliss.
5 HIT THE SACK
Having a day off is one of the simplest and most effective ways to recover. ‘If you’re training five or more times per week, a rest day will work wonders,’ says Bailey. ‘It will give your body time to relax and repair before you train again’.
QUICK FIX: Go to bed early. Your body releases human growth hormone during sleep, which aids muscle repair.
6 CHOW DOWN
When you work out, your body uses glycogen for fuel, which is stored in your musdes. To refill these stores and help your muscles recover better, eat some carbohydrate and protein within an hour of exercise. ‘Refuelling quickly will rapidly help replenish glycogen, stimulate insulin and improve your next performance,’ says Bailey. QUICK FIX: Drink a recovery shake, ideally with whey protein, as whey is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream.
LOAD UP, SLIM DOWN
Good news alert: a landmark study has found that if you time it right, you can eat all the burgers you want and still lose weight. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s (frankly brilliant) research pitted mice on scheduled low-fat and high-fat diets against mice on unscheduled ones. Fast forward 18 weeks and the mice on the scheduled high-fat diet weighed less than the low-fat but randomly timed nibblers. Turns out the timing of food takes precedence over the amount of fat.
So try to eat meals at the same time every day. Bit of a scatterbrain? Download the Any. DO reminders app. Then burger the diet.
Bad news for all barbecue fans. New research from New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine has found that searing meat can be just as dangerous as undercooking it. That’s because the amino acids in animal protein – beef, pork, poultry and even fish – produce potentially cancer-causing chemicals called HCAs when heated to temperatures of 150°C or more. Don’t let your fire-pit fizzle out just yet though. Studies show certain antioxidant-rich ingredients, including fresh herbs, can block HCA formation. Oh, and they’re pretty tasty, too. For best results, marinate meat for at least an hour before cooking. You can also use coconut oil to cook – it’s proven that the health benefits of coconut oil are wide ranging and effective. Try dietician Katie Cavuto Boyle’s antioxidant-packed sauce on the right – it works with any meat or fish. Flaming tasty.
It seems Botox may wipe out your emotional intelligence along with your wrinkles. In a study published in Psychological Science, women asked to distinguish happy, sad and angry statements took longer to process the negative messages after having the anti-wrinkle treatment than they had before. Study author Dr David Havas says that’s because facial expressions help communicate emotional data to your brain — so restrict your muscles and it’ll slow your understanding too. So that explains Rylan Clark then…