Why sex and love dont belong in the same bed

Theres anything deep about contact that is sexual. Sex is just a hormonal action, whereas love, as expressed in a hug, brings authentic affair

Sex sells, they say, and Im as guilty as anyone of locating headlines like How to keep the sex living in your union resistless. These posts are pored over by me, nevertheless discussing them with my girlfriends ad infinitum, although never trusting their guidance.

However, is sex actually about love, about connecting with your partner in a few mysterious, deep manner?

No, I dont believe it’s. I believe the 20th century made the entire story up, and we purchased it because it suited us. We went from sex-shame to sex-worship in several heady years.

We’re told again and again that sex is communicative. I believe, What are they talking about? Have I conveyed anything? I dont believe so. Some girls are confident enough to tell their partners just the things they need in bed, so yes (I mustnt be completely skeptical), you could convey in addition to you do to a plumber, describing where a flow is coming from. And simply being nude with someone is a genuine action of trust. But beyond this, I ‘ve zero idea what’s happening in my partners head when we’ve got sex, and he’s zero idea what’s happening in mine.

I risked asking my partner whether he thought sex could be religious. Religious! he laughed. It does nt be entered into by the spirit. Sex is all about lust, about a specific physical encounter which is pleasurable, about desire. A style of coping with excessive emotion making you capable to sleep well, its about Spurs coming top of the league, a great day on the job. Sex hasn’t been about the nature, not for a day!

Among the very alarming things about sex, I find, is the character of dream within it. We’re taught that sex is all about love aside from whether it’s accurate. There appears to be a battle that is huge here. Having sex with a single guy, thinking of another am I convinced that counts as adoring?

As element of my training as a probation officer, in the early 80s, I learned how to be a sex therapist in a week. By the way: it was all technique and educating my customers to fantasise about film stars, no reference of the term love.

During those times, I believed it was rather fun. I used to be in my rather pleased to discuss, and 20s erotic stories with their seduction, about innocent virgins as well as my then husband. But now I ‘m 56: and thank God I dont understand what goes on in my husbands head.

We were lovers at 20. Is he recalling how glossy and smooth and solid my flesh was afterward, as he feels my middle aged spread? Is he thinking of the lovely young woman whos just started the one that is turning everyones head, at his work? Or is he simply away with the fairies? I asked him he explained he felt the same as a bike tyre and what it felt like as a guy to get sex. Strangely, I came across this extremely encouraging. It might happen to be so substantially worse.

And what if he could see what was within my head? What if he understood I used to be thinking of a scene from a Japanese pornographic movie I saw yonks past? I whine that sex isn’t communicative except in the most ordinary ways. However, what will happen if it actually was? What will happen if, by the end of the sex act, we swapped printouts of what we were really thinking about, whether that consisted of secret things of lust or shopping lists? Would we feel closer, more adored by our partners? Or would we feel sabotaged, betrayed, covetous, appalled?

Sex just isn’t about souls. We have sexual desire when we would like to possess sex, not when we love someone. If this wasnt the situation, it might function as the oldies who have been all having wild sex after 40 years of a happy union, whod be the writers of agony columns informing those poor young folks how being kind and considerate and bringing a cup of tea for their partner during intercourse will actually get the beat racing.

The older I get, the more sceptical I get. Sex is a thing that is colourless and unbiased, and also a lower or higher sex drive is brought on by hormones which might be difficult to control. For centuries, religions and societies have tried to use this drive. However, for the previous 60 years, we in the west have been positive we understand best: culture and every other age continues to be incorrect. We’re appropriate. Sex is the most profound kind of human love, the most profound expression. Exactly what a load of rubbish. Were we taken in? Because we needed permission to really have a great time.

Sex just isn’t its around bodies, about souls, as well as the thing about bodies is that they’re items: about guys handling them as such, dont whine, we girls treat them like things, also. We pierce them, tattoo them, adorn them, beautify them. I had been bemoaning this fact to some homosexual friend of mine, saying: damaging and Its terrible what modern culture would have us believe. By conflating love and sex, we’ve got young folks needing plastic surgery to alter their bodies. They believe that by having operation theyll become for that reason lovable, and shaggable. Isnt that pitiful?

He explained to me: Of course sex is all about bodies. And what will be the young folks who dont need operation complacent about? We possess the technology. They ought to be having operation, also.

I ‘m such a romantic. I believe from your base of my heart in love. Theres a couple who’ve been married I observe every morning, their dog walking, hand in hand. Where’s that form of love gone to? Will we ever get back there again?

Now, for individuals who have been married to get quite a long time, sex is the minefield that divides them. Everyone believes they must be having it, ought to be loving it, that it must be an expression in their love. They may be for groundbreaking sex exceedingly tired, nevertheless they hunger for affection. Human beings crave to hold and be held, but we stay a sexual performance is required. Its all a narrative that is really sad and sorry.

How did we get here? Where did we go wrong? Why are numerous relationships only so delicate?

Sexual love and love are two different emotions I’d contend they can be virtually contrary. Love appropriate will be to do with all another man: it’s comprehension, respect and all about the attention of this other that is individual. Love in this way grows, it cannot help it. The more of yourself you invest in someone else, the further you receive. As one: their pain can be your pain, their happiness, yours also you become.

Sexual love, on the flip side, is around needing something.

The French are correct: you cannot want what you have. Actually, a French sex therapist wrote another post I recently devoured. It was about the way to own a fulfilling sex life in your 60s. I wished to disparage it, as I do all of others, but she was certainly correct: keep yourself in trimming, purchase sex toys, view porn, have an affair in the event you dare, keep yourself aloof out of your husband, sleep in a separate bed, utilize a different toilet. And surely dont let your husband into your innermost ideas.

I put down the paper and I believed, Thats accurate, and all very well, but who’d desire a union that way?

Unions all about me neglect: every time, its intolerable if you ask me, the kids are distraught when I divorced, as mine were and sex, in a single guise or another, is the motive. Either among the partners has fallen in love with someone else (ie, fantasies someone rotten and desires to pursue it), or there’s merely a mismatch (and possibly just temporary) of libido. I simply dont purchase sex and the heavy incompatibility malarkey love being the one representing the other, bedfellows. Its much more likely you have got youthful kids or re working overly hard.

Forget the hysteria in the event you’d like a great union. Only take care of your own partner, have a great chat, be sure theyre OK, and provide them a great, felt, day-to-day hug.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jan/28/sex-love-communicate-erotic-hormonal-closer-hug

I feel like Jason Bourne I cant recall daily life with my wife

Im struggling with despair amnesia but losing some memories is assisting me to take care of my bereavement

Its like youre Jason Bourne, just old and not buff! As we sit comparing notes and news on our decline shrieks Jeannie. Shes a buddy, met through Way (Widowed & Young) whose partner died in the same time to Helen and weve swapped stories in person and online for months.

Her mocking reply to my offloading to her would appear disrespectful from anyone besides a fellow traveller. Nevertheless, Jeannies story that is back is even more difficult than mine: her husbands passing was unexpected and self-inflicted. We laugh, comrades in misfortune sharing memories.

Wed been talking about despair taboos and, needless to say, the topic of sex engorges the laughter of our dialogue. So you, a middle aged single man has sex using a single woman of similar age; whats the huge deal? Bloody well done, you! She lifts her glass

I dont concur: Try adding the word widowed before guy and in just annually of his wife dying to the conclusion of the sentence and the jury is invited by you also in.

Jeannie pushes it back at me and shrugs: And has their verdict been an issue?

Actually, folks have already been really encouraging. Yes, cousin and my partner Pete Holly feign surprise that any girl would need to shag me, however they’re cheerleaders for Lucy stopping up the hole within my wellbeing.

Ive called it wrong again. The entire sex-in-bereavement gigabyte than Id pictured looks less a taboo. It hasn’t actually caused me any angst even the accusation of Lucy being a one-night stand. It wasnt. Weve more than 90 years between us, common history and have met again before concurring our life-periods and lifestyles are excessively different for this to go everywhere.

As it were, having set this to bed, Jeannie and I moved on to what’s become for me an individual taboo the reality that despite being married for 19 years to Helen and residing together on top of that, I don’t have any actual memory of it.

Obviously, I recall Helen, in fact automatically do more before fucking cancer, which can be wonderful, as she was. Nevertheless, the entire nature of national cohabitation, combined decision making, constructive compromises, even sharing a bed nightly and waking up every morning together with her, feels obscure and nearly absent.

While I say this to anyone, Heidi, even my excellent counsellor, they go wide eyed in shock. Wide opened additionally in what I presumed was the same reaction but wasnt. Thats just how I feel, Adam! Dave and I were together for years, but now once I envision living with him, theres no awareness of having done

Snap! Connectivity and this attention is what Way is all about.

Prodded by Heidi, Ive unpacked my despair amnesia: Its like that I must reconstruct in ways which will have me make do together with the current and future and unexpectedly my memory banks happen to be partly eliminated. Jeannies movie analogy just isn’t as angry as I seem saying all this. It’s Bourne-like! As if Id abruptly woken up using the children, family, friends, a house, a job and am trying to find hints about what I feel about them, who I ‘m now and the best way to do the best I can alone in making the appropriate calls to bring up Millie and Matt, handle relationships, work, love, sex, the future. Everything a lens on loss.

Like Bourne sitting in the cafe not understanding why he found enrollments on automobiles in the parking lot or why he is able to talk many languages, I find myself automatically judging all that crosses my course as of worth to my new life or not and then acting on this new input signal. This extends to individuals, properties, work, and even, it appears, my own memories, in which Ive left wiped material that doesnt help me cope together with the present. Looking back, its portion of the reasons why I changed so substantially in the months since Helen expired, as I did new content to replace that lost, wanting.

The relaxation is the fact that that my love of Helen is sharper than ever before. The staying uncluttered memories of the past conjoin nearer us as we’re divided by the long run. The Love Supremacy maybe

Adam Golightly is a pseudonym

@ MrAdamGolightly

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jan/28/jason-bourne-daily-life-grief-amnesia-memories-bereavement

How breast cancer and the BRCA gene brought us the sister we never knew

For Tamsin and Lorna, discovering their half-sister was good news at a time of gruelling treatments and agonising choices over preventive surgery

Like all sisters, Tamsin and Lorna Sargeant and Claire Pike are linked by their genes. But in their case, one gene has dominated their relationship; in fact, it was responsible for bringing them together for the very first time. In this picture of the three of them smiling in the sunshine they look happy and carefree but the gene that brought them together has led to a huge amount of heartache, and desperately difficult decisions.

The story that united these sisters begins one day in spring 2009, when Tamsin, then 40, noticed a strange thickening under the skin of her chest, just below her collarbone. She went to her GP, who knew immediately it was serious. Sure enough, tests revealed a large tumour that had spread to her lymph nodes.

It was shocking and scary: but Tamsin knew she would get through. Her sister Lorna was a big support: the two had been raised by their mother, Jennie, and stepfather, Ralph, who had died a few months before her cancer came to light.

Tamsin had chemotherapy to shrink the tumour, followed by a lumpectomy and radiotherapy. She carried on with her job as a social worker as much as possible as well as caring for her then two-year-old daughter, Esm, with her partner, Tom. By early 2010, it seemed she had put breast cancer behind her and moved on with her life.

But she hadnt. At some point, her oncologist raised the possibility of whether Tamsin might be a carrier of one of the most common breast cancer genes, BRCA1 or BRCA2. We had always been a bit worried about breast cancer in our family, on my mums side, because my grandmother and an aunt had it. But from the pattern of the disease in our family, the doctor said it was unlikely the BRCA gene was in our family.

All the same, Tamsin agreed to take part in some medical research that meant being tested for BRCA. She was asked to fill in a detailed questionnaire about her family history, which meant contacting someone she had barely seen since she was a small child: her birth father, Clive, who had split up with her mother when she and Lorna were very young. I hardly remembered Clive, and Id always regarded Ralph as my dad, says Tamsin. But I had Clives email address, so I wrote to him to ask for information about anyone on his side of the family who had had breast cancer.

Clives reply contained a bombshell. Not only had his sister and other members of his family had breast cancer, but he had another female relative to tell Tamsin about: a half-sister she had not known existed Claire, the daughter of another relationship.

The news was exciting, and unexpected, and Tamsin hoped they might get to know one another. But first, she felt she needed to rule out the possibility, however unlikely her oncologist thought it was, that her family might be BRCA carriers. I was very interested in Claire, and keen to meet her, but I felt it was my responsibility, for her and for Lorna, to make absolutely sure I didnt have this gene, says Tamsin. Id been through a horrible experience, and I thought the least I could do for them was make sure it wasnt a big risk for them, too.

The test results took a long time, but Tamsin wasnt too worried. So when in March 2011 she went along to the Royal Marsden hospital to be told she was, after all, a carrier of BRCA1, the news was utterly devastating. It was worse than being told I had cancer in the first place. By this stage, my hair had grown back and I felt my life was back to normal: now I was told I had a 50:50 chance of getting breast cancer again, and that I should consider the possibility of having a double mastectomy to reduce the risk.

But on top of that, I now had to tell Claire and Lorna that they, too, might be carriers and then they, too, would be at high risk of breast cancer.

A BRCA gene mutation isnt the most common cause of breast cancer. According to Martin Ledwick of Cancer Research UK, fewer than one in 10 cases of the disease are linked to it. But where the gene is identified, theres a higher risk of getting breast cancer. Up to 65% of women who carry the BRCA1 gene, and 45% of women who carry the BRCA2 gene will develop breast cancer by the age of 70, he says. So while it doesnt mean cancer is a given, it does mean its worth considering preventive surgery a double mastectomy to reduce the risk of breast cancer, and an oophorectomy, to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer, which is also higher in BRCA carriers.

Although she knows it wasnt rational, and that she cant possibly be held responsible for it, Tamsin says she felt the weight of responsibility of having to tell her sisters about the gene. They had seen what Id gone through, and I knew they would now be thinking, will I have all those horrible experiences ahead of me, too? Like Tamsin, they had choices to make: and the first was whether to be tested for the gene.

Whats interesting in a family is that different people react totally differently to the same piece of news, says Tamsin. It wasnt just Lorna and Claire there were others affected, relatives on Clives side of the family and my mum and her relatives. Some people wanted to have the test so they knew one way or the other; others preferred to wait and see; others wanted to have surveillance so any tumour would be discovered as early as possible.

For Tamsin, there was a different dilemma. I had to think about whether to have a double mastectomy. At first, I was completely opposed to that: I really wanted to keep my breasts, they felt like such an important part of me. Also, Id had enough of hospitals and medical treatment.

Eventually, though, she decided to have the operation. Ive got a young child, and I thought I owed it to her and Tom to do everything I could to reduce my risk of a further cancer, she says.

When the operation took place, in February 2012, there was more bad news: Tamsin already had a second cancer in her other breast. More chemotherapy followed, as well as a failed reconstruction; and because the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes, these also had to be removed. Things seemed to go from bad to worse and all the time, I knew my sisters, as well as supporting me, were thinking this could be what lay ahead for them, says Tamsin.

After her double mastectomy in 2012, she had her ovaries removed the following year. But this is another operation you dont just walk away from there are big consequences to it. You go through an early menopause and its life-changing, she says. I like the fact that Angelina Jolie, who made the same choices as me, brought the BRCA gene to everyones attention, but I dont think the suffering that goes with it has been fully appreciated.

Meanwhile, first Claire, and then Lorna, had decided to be tested. For Claire, who is 37, it took a while for the enormity of the news that she might be affected by the BRCA gene to sink in. Id never met my birth father, Clive, but my mum had told me that somewhere out there I had two half-sisters, she says. And then one day Mum came round and said she needed to talk to me about something: Clive had contacted her about Tamsin having the gene. This was before Angelina Jolie, so I had no idea what it meant but I was worried.

My GP referred me to a geneticist, and after counselling I decided to have the test Ive got a young son, and felt I needed all the information I could get. Six weeks later, she got the news that she, too, was a carrier. By this stage, Tamsin had had her preventive surgery and found out she had cancer again so I decided it was too much of a risk not to have the operation. She had a double mastectomy and reconstruction in 2013, and has just had her ovaries removed.

Lorna, who is 45, was the last of the three sisters to be tested. Im the kind of person whos happy trundling along, so I thought I didnt want to know, she says. But after a couple of years I was worrying about every little bump and ailment and whether it was cancer.

She decided to have the test in March 2014. Ive never told my sisters this, but I was worried that I might be the only one of us who didnt have the gene. It sounds odd, but I thought Id feel guilty having to tell them I was BRCA-free. Sadly, she didnt have to: she, too, tested positive.

Id already decided to have the surgery, she says. I didnt want to live with this ticking time-bomb.

For all three sisters, being brought together has been a silver lining to the dark cloud of BRCA but they dont want to minimise that cloud, or what its meant to their lives. Its been a very tough journey, and although its been wonderful to get to know Claire, the impact of the gene has coloured everything, says Tamsin. Apart from anything, theres always been one or other or us going through major surgery.

Claire says having two new sisters has been a brilliant boon to her life. Lorna and I live quite near one another in Manchester and Cheshire, so its been great being able to meet up. When I was a teenager, I used to wonder about these sisters I knew nothing about, so its wonderful to have got to know them eventually. And given what weve had to face up to, its great that all of us know exactly what the others are going through weve always had someone to talk to who understands.

Lorna agrees: Weve had one another and been able to compare scars and nipples and lack of nipples, she says. My big hope now is that, at some point in the future, we can put BRCA into the box where it belongs, and just enjoy our lives together.

Tamsin, Claire and Lorna are supporting Cancer Research UKs Right Now campaign to beat cancer sooner. To support them, visit cruk.org

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jan/28/breast-cancer-genetic-glitch-sister-treatments-brca-preventive-surgery

John Hurt obituary

British performer became an overnight sensation after playing Quentin Crisp in the 1975 television film The Naked Civil Servant

Few British performers of recent years are held in just as much fondness as John Hurt, who has died aged 77. That fondness isn’t only due to his lifestyle that is wild he was a hellraising chum of Peter OToole, Oliver Reed and Richard Harris, and was married four times or even his chain of performances as vulnerable, fragile or damaged characters, though that was definitely a variable. There is something about his innocence, openheartedness and his lovely speaking voice that made him immediately attractive.

As he aged, his face grown more creases and folds in relation to the old map of the Indies, inviting comparisons using the well-known lived-in faces of WH Auden and Samuel Beckett, in whose evocative Krapps Last Tape he gave a certain solo performance near the ending of his career. One critic said he could package an entire universe that was mental to the twitch of an eyebrow, a sardonic slackening of the mouth. Hurt himself said: What I’m now, the performer, the guy, is a blend of all that’s happened.

For theatregoers of my generation, his pulverising, hysterically amusing performance as Malcolm Scrawdyke, leader of the Party of Dynamic Erection at a Yorkshire artwork school, in David Halliwells Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs, was a totemic performance of the mid-1960s; another was David Warners Hamlet, and both performers appeared in the 1974 movie version of Little Malcolm. The play lasted just two weeks in the Garrick Theatre (I saw the closing Saturday matine), but Hurts performance was already a minor fad, and one gathered by the Beatles and Laurence Olivier.

He became an overnight sensation with all people at large as Quentin Crisp the self confessed stately homo of England in the 1975 television film The Naked Civil Servant, directed by Jack Gold, playing the crazy, initial and rebellious aesthete whom Hurt had first struck as a naked model in his painting courses at St Martins School of Art, before he trained as a performer.

Crisp called Hurt my representative here on Earth, paradoxically claiming a divinity at odds with his lowlife louche- poverty and ness. But Hurt, a glowing vision of ginger quiffs and curls, using a voice kippered in gin and as studiously inflected as a deadpan combination of Nol Coward, Coral Browne and Julian Clary, in a way propelled Crisp to the stars, and definitely to his transatlantic recognition, a journey summarised when Hurt recapped Crisps life in An Englishman in New York (2009), 10 years after his departure.

Hurt said some people had informed him that his career would be ended by playing Crisp. Rather, it made everything possible. Within five years he previously appeared in four of the very remarkable pictures of the late 1970s: Ridley Scotts Alien (1979), the brilliantly played scifi horror movie in which Hurt from whose belly the creature burst was the very first casualty; Alan Parkers Midnight Express, that he won his first Bafta award as a drug addicted convict in a Turkish torture penitentiary; Michael Ciminos contentious western Heavens Gate (1980), now a cult classic in its entirely restored format; and David Lynchs The Elephant Man (1980), with Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft.

In the latter, the deformed circus draw who becomes a celebrity in Victorian society and medicine, as John Merrick, Hurt won Lynchs view and a second Bafta award which he was the finest performer on the planet. A gruesome external look there were 27 transferring bits in his face mask was infused by him; he spent nine hours in makeup with a profoundly moving, humanist quality. He followed up using a tiny part Jesus in Mel Brookss History of the World: Part 1 (1981), the film where the server in the Last Supper says, Are you all together, or can it be different cheques?

Hurt was a celebrity freed of all tradition in his pick of characters, and he lived his life so. Produced in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, he was the youngest of three kids of a Church of England vicar and mathematician, the Reverend Arnould Herbert Hurt, and his own wife, Phyllis (ne Massey), an engineer with the enthusiasm for recreational dramatics.

Following a low-down education at St Michaels in Sevenoaks, Kent (where he explained he was sexually abused), as well as the Lincoln grammar school (where he played Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest), he rebelled as an art student, first at the Grimsby art school where, in 1959, he won a scholarship to St Martins, before training at Rada for a couple of years in 1960.

He made a stage debut that same year using the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Arts, playing a semi-psychotic teen thug in Fred Watsons Infanticide in the House of Fred Ginger and then joined the cast of Arnold Weskers national service play, Chips With Everything, in the Vaudeville. Still in the Arts, he was Len in Harold Pinters The Dwarfs (1963) before playing the title role in John Wilsons Hamp (1964) at the Edinburgh Festival, where critic Caryl Brahms noticed his uncommon skill and blessed quality of simplicity.

This is a more comfortable, free-spirited time in the theater. Hurt remembered rehearsing with Pinter when silver salvers stacked with gins and tonics, ice and lemon, would arrive at 11.30 each morning as part of the stage management routine. On receiving a notice that was impolite from your prominent Daily Mail critic Peter Lewis, he wrote, Dear Mr Lewis, Whooooops! Yours truly, John Hurt and received the answer, Dear Mr Hurt, thanks for dull although brief letter. Yours truly, Peter Lewis.

After Little Malcolm, he played leading parts together with the RSC in the Aldwych notably in David Mercers Belchers Luck (1966) and as the madcap dadaist Tristan Tzara in Tom Stoppards Travesties (1974) together with Octavius in Shaws Man and Superman in Dublin in 1969 and a significant 1972 resurrection of Pinters The Caretaker in the Mermaid. But his stage work within the next 10 years was almost nonexistent as he followed The Naked Civil Servant with a different pyrotechnical television performance as Caligula in I, Claudius; Raskolnikov in Dostoevskys Crime and Punishment and the Fool to Oliviers King Lear in Michael Elliotts 1983 television film.

His first huge film had been Fred Zinnemanns A Man for All Seasons (1966) with Paul Scofield (Hurt played Richard Rich) but his first big screen performance was an unforgettable Timothy Evans, the innocent framed casualty in Richard Fleischers 10 Rillington Place (1970), with Richard Attenborough as the black landlord and killer John Christie. He promised to have made 150 films and persisted in playing with those he called the folks that were unloved like us, the inside out folks, who live their lives as an experiment, much less a convention. Even his Ben Gunn-like professor in Steven Spielbergs Indiana Jones as well as the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) met into this group, though much less resoundingly, maybe, as his quivering Winston Smith in Michael Radfords excellent Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984); or as a prissy weakling, Stephen Ward, in Michael Caton-Joness Scandal (1989) about the Profumo affair; or again as the solitary writer Giles DeAth in Richard Kwietniowskis Love and Death on Long Island.

His later, unpredictable theater performances contained a fantastic Trigorin in Chekhovs The Seagull in the Lyric, Hammersmith, in 1985 (with Natasha Richardson as Nina); Turgenevs incandescent idler Rakitin in a 1994 West End production by Bill Bryden of A Month in the Country, playing a brilliant duet with Helen Mirrens Natalya Petrovna; and another memorable match with Penelope Wilton in Brian Friels exquisite 70-minute doodle Afterplay (2002), in which two alone Chekhov characters Andrei from Three Sisters, Sonya from Uncle Vanya find reciprocal consolation in a Moscow caf in the 1920s. The play originated, like his Krapp, in the Gate Theatre in Dublin.

His last screen work comprised, in the Harry Potter franchise, the first, Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone (2001), and last two, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts One and Two (2010, 2011), as the kindly wand-maker Mr Ollivander; Roland Joffs 1960s remake of Brighton Rock (2010); as well as the 50th anniversary television version of Dr Who (2013), playing a lost embodiment of the name character.

Due to his identifying, virtuosic vocal characteristics was that what a brandy-injected fruitcake seems like, or peanut butter spread having a serrated knife? he was constantly in demand for voiceover shows in animated films: the heroic bunny leader, Hazel, in Watership Down (1978), Aragorn/Strider in Lord of the Rings (1978) and also the Narrator in Lars von Triers Dogville (2004). In 2015 he took the Peter OToole stage character in Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell for BBC Radio 4. He’d foresworn booze for several years not because he was bored by it, although he explained.

Harm sister was a teacher in Australia, his brother a convert to Roman Catholicism as well as a monk and writer. After his first brief marriage to the performer Annette Robinson (1960, divorced 1962) he resided for 15 years in County Wicklow using the French model Marie-Lise Volpeliere Pierrot. She was killed in a riding accident in 1983. In 1984 he married, second, a Texan, Donna Peacock (divorced in 1990), residing with her to get a period in Nairobi before the relationship came under stress from his drinking and her dalliance having a gardener. With his third wife, Jo Dalton (wed in 1990, divorced 1995), he had two sons, Nicolas and Alexander (Sasha), who live him, as does his fourth wife, the performer and producer Anwen Rees-Myers, whom he wed in 2005 and with whom he lived in Cromer, Norfolk. Hurt given a Bafta lifetime achievement award in the year 2012 was made CBE in 2004 and knighted in the New Years honours list of 2015.

  • John Vincent Hurt, actor, born 22 January 1940, died 27 January 2017

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/jan/28/john-hurt-obituary

Why I love George Michael

The songwriter proved to be a unique gift even as a teen, and his soulful voice is going to be desperately missed

I shouted when I learned the news. When his jeans and fringed leather made me realize that design is something for everyone you just want the panache to carry it away since I was four years of age I ‘ve adored the theme of the weeks Crush column. George Michael, gone far too soon in the age of 53, had panache in spades.

I recall that Faith was the very first time I extremely saw him, plus it was enough to fall in love: the designer stubble, the stonewash jeans (that I begged my mom to get me when we were next at M&S), that thick wavy hair, the simple grin. He was wonderful. I understood I would wed George Michael. He’d began life like me, the kid of an immigrant (Greek Cypriot for him; Nigerian for me), but George was clearly unique. His songwriting, already famous when he was a teen, still awes me (Guilty feet have got no beat). And his voice was so soulful, full of a yearning I value more and more.

There was darkness thrown in, also, as he noted on his Desert Island Discs (I endure like crazy but my career constantly only appears to correct itself). But for all of the darkness thrown his way (not least the crass tabloid equating of his sexual orientation with a few kind of moral failing), George stayed generous and humorous (see him in the first Carpool Karaoke guest slot and his masterful manner of poking fun at himself in his cameoin Ricky Gervaiss Extras). He helped me express fear, or yearning, not to mention, love. What a present he was. Im still crying.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jan/28/why-i-love-george-michael

Jobs for all? In the US that idea is about to be tested to destruction | John Harris

Donald Trump says hell bring full employment back. But perhaps no politician has got the ability to deliver this

The storyline has quite got lost in the middle of Donald Trumps statements this week about his fabled wall, the values of torture, and the rest of the things that’s underlined the awful nature of his coming in power but on Monday, the new president hosted an exceptional assembly.

In the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Trump held discussions with all the leaders of US trade unions: among them, the presidents of the Laborers International Union of North America, the Smart (it stands for sheet metal, air, railway and transport) Union, and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. Despite US unions overwhelmingly backing Hillary Clinton the carpenters, for instance, recently warned that Trumps heritage will destroy America all was seemingly heat and cordiality.

The esteem the president of the United States only showed us was nothing short of unbelievable, said Sean McGarvey, president of the umbrella organisation North Americas Building Trades Unions. Then he commended Trumps looked forward to the management putting America back to work, and strategies for infrastructure, commerce and energy policy, using the middle class occupations our members and all Americans are demanding.

Welcome, yet again, to the part of Trump-ism that liberal dismay drowns out, but which partially accounts for the reality that this most unqualified of presidents is in office and which, for all his dismal approval ratings, is really playing pretty well in the postindustrial areas whose support took him over the path in November.

Recognize that, and you will realise why his loud ridiculed inauguration address might have seemed powerful and promising to countless Americans. Through the prism that is same, also, you could have the ability to pick out something too often overlooked: that amid bigotry and Trumps lies, there may lurk a political job of daring that is breathtaking. In the way it set Trump on political earth long presumed to belong to the Democrats, one US columnist said the summit together with the unions represented a amazing action of political larceny. Exactly the same is true to his economic policy generally.

Quite simply, his folks and Trump desire to consume the lefts lunch that is American. In the exact same time, they want to shred the Republican partys ingrained belief in laissez faire economics, reset rightwing politics somehow bagging 60% of the white vote, and 40% of the black and Hispanic vote whereupon a fresh beginning will break and nicely regulate for 50 years. The quotations come from your interview Trumps ill-famed strategist Steve Bannon gave to the writer Michael Wolff, a day or two after Trump was elected. Like [Andrew] Jacksons populism, were going to create an entirely new movement that was political, he explained. Its everything related to occupations. The conservatives will go insane With rates of interest that are adverse around the planet, its the best chance to reconstruct everything. Ironworks, shipyards, get them all jacked up It is likely to be as exciting as the 1930s, greater as opposed to Reagan revolution conservatives, plus populists, within an economical nationalist movement.

Trump places this in his usual manner, having a recognizable sense which he hasnt totally believed things through: We will place lots of men and women back to work. We’re planning to make use of common sense and we’re planning to do it the way it’s presumed to be achieved.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/27/jobs-for-all-tested-to-destruction-trump-full-employment

Transatlantic tango: Trump and May take their turn at the special relationship

Theresa Mays audience with Trump at the White House continues an age-old dance between prime minister and president, which has seen its ups and downs

Sir Kim Darroch, British ambassador to the US, rarely misses an opportunity to point out that Donald Trump regards the meeting of minds between Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher as a model for the presidents own relationship with Theresa May.

Continuing an age-old dance between prime minister and president, May will on Friday become the first foreign leader to visit Trump at the White House. While the president has declared his intent to put America first in all things, London scents an opening with a man whose mother was British and who restored a bust of Winston Churchill to the Oval Office within hours of moving in.

It was Churchill, born to an American, who coined the phrase special relationship (as well as iron curtain) during a lecture tour of the US after the second world war. The affinity has been publicly reaffirmed by both sides ever since but proved notoriously lopsided as America surged to superpower status and Britain faded into the second rank. While most US presidents are instantly recognisable to the British, few prime ministers have left their mark across the pond.

There is something faintly demeaning about these prime ministerial jaunts to Washington, journalist Andrew Marr wrote in the Independent in 1994. No Briton with a residual flicker of patriotism can be entirely happy at our doglike desperation to be noticed, to receive a few kind words, have a stick thrown, be reassured by the Nice Man in the Big House that we are still more valuable than the other mutts in town.

Personalities, and personal chemistry, have been part of the narrative, at least symbolically. Churchill and Franklin D Roosevelt (FDR) were wartime allies against Hitler. On one occasion at the White House, a naked Churchill opened his door to Roosevelt and said, You see, Mr President, I have nothing to hide from you. Both men laughed.

Relations turned sour in the 1950s when Anthony Eden authorised military action in Egypt to regain control of the Suez canal, taking Dwight Eisenhower by surprise. Trump adviser Thomas Stewart, a former US naval officer, said: Eden kept Eisenhower in the dark. That damaged relations and affected communications between the UK and US for quite a while. Eden and the Americans were wounded by the lack of trust.

Stalin,
Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill at the Teheran conference during the second world war. Churchill once opened his door naked to Roosevelt, saying: You see, Mr President, I have nothing to hide. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The surprising friendship between Conservative Harold Macmillan and the much younger Democrat John F Kennedy is the subject of a book, Harold and Jack, by Christopher Sandford. The two leaders had exchanged not only formal messages but also a steady flow of handwritten notes, Christmas and birthday cards, congratulations, and, on occasion, condolences, the author records.

Macmillan also had an American mother and his wife was the aunt of Lord Hartington, killed in action in 1944 shortly after he married JFKs sister Kathleen. It was Macmillan who said of the British and Americans: We are the Greeks to their Romans.

From 1966 to 1969, the torch passed to Harold Wilson and Lyndon Johnson. The British prime minister resisted pressure to send troops to Vietnam, unlike Tony Blair in Iraq a generation later. After one call, he said: Lyndon Johnson is begging me even to send a bagpipe band to Vietnam.

The 1970s brought Heath/ Nixon and Callaghan/ Carter, but it was the years 1981-89 that delivered the ideological soulmates Thatcher, a Conservative, and Reagan, a Republican, both for the free market, against big government and devoutly anti-communist. They rode horses and golf buggies together.

Margaret
Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan dance in the foyer of the White House during a state dinner in Thatchers honor in 1988. Photograph: Larry Rubenstein/Reuters

Thatcher once declared: Your problems, will be as our problems, and when you look for friends we shall be there. She was, however, critical of Reagan over the US invasion of Grenada.

Stewart recalled how Thatcher visited towards the end of Reagans presidency, when he was under pressure over the Iran-Contra affair, and gave an interview that strongly praised him. As she was leaving, at the airport, Reagan gave her a call and said, Margaret, thank you. All the cabinet members gave her applause of appreciation.

Stewart, who met Thatcher, added: She was a rock solid individual. She understood it was a force multiplier having the UK and US together and it really was a special relationship. We were able to face down the Soviet empire to the extent that they changed who they were.

The inversion of Thatcher/ Reagan came in the 1990s with Tony Blair of Labour and Bill Clinton of the Democrats, both of whom grew up in the post-war era and studied at Oxford University. Clintons New Democrats were hugely influential on Tony Blairs New Labour with youth, a shiny rebranding and a shift to the political centre ground.

Sidney Blumenthal, a former assistant and senior adviser to Clinton, introduced him to Blair before he became prime minister. It was probably the closest relationship of an American president and a British prime minister devoted to a common purpose, even more so than FDR and Churchill, he said. They of course were partners in the defeat of Nazi Germany but FDR was not devoted to the future of the British empire. He came to distrust Churchill as a military strategist and overrode him.

When Bill Clinton emerged he was the sole political leader of his kind in the west and when Blair became prime minister, there was a kind of movement. They had to establish liberal and progressive politics as best they could while having to contend with Reaganism and Thatcherism. What happened has been overshadowed and discoloured by Blair and Bush.

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Bill Clinton and Tony Blair. It was probably the closest relationship of an American president and a British prime minister devoted to a common purpose. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

This was an unlikelier coupling. Not long after his inauguration in 2001, George W Bush invited the prime minister to a retreat at Camp David. At a press conference, the two leaders were asked if they had found any common ground. Well, we both use Colgate toothpaste, Bush joked. Blair shot back: They are going to wonder how you know that George.

Blair was criticised as Bushs poodle after throwing in his lot with the disastrous US military invasion of Iraq. When Bush presented Blair with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in January 2009, one headline dubbed it a medal of dishonour.

Then came Gordon Brown and Barack Obama. Once again, the unrequited neediness of Britain was on display. In 2009, Brown tried five times to arrange a meeting with Obama on the fringes of the UN general assembly in September 2009, only to be granted a snatched conversation in a New York kitchen.

The removal of Jacob Epsteins bust of Churchill was seen by some as evidence of Obamas antipathy towards the UK, although British officials said it had simply been on loan as a personal gift from Blair to Bush for the duration of his presidency and was always expected to then be returned.

Obama had a stronger relationship with Germanys Angela Merkel than with his British counterparts. She received his final phone call to a foreign leader from the White House, a telling contrast from May being the first to meet Trump. The pendulum swings again.

Luke Coffey, director of the Foreign Policy Center at the Washington-based Heritage Foundation think tank which contains a Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom said: Im optimistic about this relationship. Youve got someone whos not going to be down on the prime minister over the Brexit issue and who wants to do a trade deal.

Angela
Angela Merkel talks to Barack Obama during a G7 meeting at Elmau Castle in Elmau, Germany. Photograph: MICHAEL KAPPELER / POOL/EPA

Coffey, former special adviser to Britains former defence secretary Liam Fox, added: The important point about the special relationship is it shouldnt matter whos in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue or Number 10 Downing Street. It has to rise above the personalities and the political parties.

A lot have a very romantic idea of the special relationship, especially from a UK perspective. Its first and foremost about military and intelligence cooperation. When you add on other conditions then perhaps its not seen as special as people would like.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/26/donald-trump-theresa-may-visit-special-relationship-history

‘Penelope-gate’ casts dark shadow over Fillon’s presidential prospects

Investigation into potential abuse of public funds bodes bad for French nominee who cast himself as a sleaze-free, austere figure

It’s the primary important political scandal to reach at the French presidential race also it can prove critical.

The rightwing presidential nominee, Franois Fillon, who built his campaign around the carefully crafted persona of a sleaze-free honourable nation gentleman, is facing a preliminary investigation by state fiscal prosecutors into possible abuse of public funds. It came about following a newspaper alleged his wife was paid 500,000 (430,000) out of parliamentary funds over eight years for an helpers job it promised she never carried out.

In a tense appearance on French TV news on Thursday evening, Fillon denied the claims of a fake occupation, and said he adored his wife, whose work was actual and legal. He maintained he was the goal of dirty tricks and said he’d just stop the presidential race if he was charged with the offence. That might be improbable to take place before the elections in May and April because the preliminary investigation will most likely take several months. At this time, Fillon does not have any intention of standing down. Surveys last week showed him somewhat behind the far right Front Nationals Marine Le Pen in the initial round, with Emmanuel Macron, the maverick independent centrist, breathing down his neck.

Fillon guaranteed to supply difficult evidence of his British wifes work to investigators. Penelope Fillon has consistently said she favors being at the couples 12th century chateau in western France with their kids and horses, rather than being involved in political life in Paris. She’s said she doesnt possess an expert job and last year told a French journalist she hadn’t ever been affected in her husbands life that was political.

Even if Fillon does show the occupation that she was paid was carried out by his wife, the row, dubbed Penelope-gate, could still show a lengthy, slow toxin because of his campaign.

It’s legal for French MPs to engage family members, provided that the individual is truly employed. Really, the web site Mediapart computed that 52 wives, 28 sons and 32 daughters of MPs were employed using parliamentary funds in 2014, the initial year that MPs needed to release their helpers names. On TV on Thursday, Fillon disclosed he had also hired two of his kids using public funds for specific intervals.

Nevertheless, the cosy system by which politicians can offer state jobs is unlikely to endear the political class to an electorate increasingly cautious of politicians specific privileges. Penelope Fillons wages was extremely high to get a parliamentary assistant. At one point, when she was as MP on the parliamentary assistant payroll for Fillons successor, her wages reached Enchan paper maintained. Canard 7,900 a month, the

Because Fillons austerity strategy for France hangs on his own name for righteousness, the issue is potentially so dangerous. He’s claimed that his blood, sweat and tears drive to cut public spending and decrease how big welfare state and the public sector, can only just work when it is spearheaded with a demanding, austere figure such as himself, who’s beyond reproach. It’ll be much more challenging to convince a cash strapped electorate of his controversial plans to slash at 500,000 public sector occupations and make state workers put in remain about his familys privileged accessibility to jobs paid for by their taxes.!, more hours for less pay if questions

The prosecutors office can be investigating another occupation at which Canard Enchan maintained review possessed by a billionaire businessman buddy of Fillon. paid Penelope Fillon 5,000 a month between May The editor said she had never been seen by him at just knew of two short book reviews she wrote because time, released under a pseudonym and the magazine. Fillon said he’d seen the work his wife did to the review as an adviser.

Even before Penelope-gate, cracks had started to reveal in recent weeks in Fillons presidential campaign. His campaign was troubled by infighting and competitions inside the rightwing party Les Rpublicains. Fillon hasnt been able to spell out his plans for social security health system reductions that are potential amid dread and internal party criticism from voters. His poll ratings had dipped and he’d openly expressed exasperation together with his own representative.

The muddled first reaction to Penelope-gate revealed the turmoil in his campaign some allies said they’d seen his wife at parliament in Paris where they said she did her helper work, others said she wasn’t in Paris because she did her work in Fillons rural constituency in western France.

Fillon had meant to kickstart his flagging campaign this weekend with his first huge rally in Paris. Assistants at his rallies have consistently lauded the deficiency of any feeling around him. This will now overshadows the Paris event.

For decades, French politics has appeared a parallel moral universe where politicians continued mandates and reelection bids blissfully unencumbered in the ballot box by pending legal investigations. Having an increasing distrust of the political class, that age could be coming to a finish.

The Front National is poised to use Penelope-gate against Fillon, as it’s in the uncomfortable position of getting its own issues around parliamentary helpers, but it’s treading lighter than normal. Le Pens party is facing a fraud investigation for using more than 300,000 in European parliament funds to use staff who were accused of carrying out political action while on that payroll. The party denies wrongdoing.

Le Pens campaign manager, David Rachline, told France 5 TV the claims against Fillon, a nominee who boasted of his integrity surprised him. He shot back that at least those helpers did really work when asked concerning the Front Nationals own helper scandal.

Meanwhile, when a novel alleged this week that the previous economy minister, Macron, took advantage of finance ministry resources this past year to start his effort, a denial was issued by his office and used the occasion to pointedly say he was an outsider to the political class. Emmanuel Macron has recently shown his independence from a political system to which the other nominees are inextricably linked for the exact reason which they live it off, his campaign said in a statement.

The electorate has little patience left to get a political class it automatically distrusts. One survey this fall found 77% of French people believed their MPs were tainted. In this presidential race, the smallest cloud threatens to throw a long shadow.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/27/penelope-gate-casts-dark-shadow-over-fillons-presidential-prospects

FA Cup fourth round: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Will Daniel Sturridge get a chance to regain his verve? Will Ranieri fine-tune for a relegation battle? Will Ravel Morrison return to Old Trafford?

1) Revitalised Lincoln face biggest challenge yet

A clutch of (fool)hardy Lincoln City fans queued through Wednesday night in sub-zero temperatures in order to get their gloved hands on the last tickets for their clubs biggest and indeed only fourth-round FA Cup tie since 1976. Those fans were evidently not discouraged by the fact that the National League leaders had suffered their heaviest defeat of the season the previous night, when they were beaten 3-0 by Barrow, whose rugged approach on a treacherous pitch fairly knocked Danny Cowleys men out of their impish stride. The Championship leaders, Brighton, will probably not resort to such robust tactics but are still likely to provide the toughest test yet for a Lincoln side who have already beaten two opponents from leagues above them. The Cup run has generated around 500,000 for the club and given special memories for a generation of supporters who are dreaming of even better days ahead, starting, just maybe, on Saturday. PD

2) Will Sturridge get the chance to regain his verve?

Jrgen Klopp was frustrated by Liverpools poor finishing against Southampton on Wednesday. This weekend his team could have an ideal chance to finetune it, as suspension has deprived the lower league visitors, Wolverhampton Wanderers, of their first-choice goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme. But with Chelsea to come three days later Klopp seems likely to field a side featuring many reserves, as against Plymouth in the last round. It will be interesting to see whether Daniel Sturridge starts and, if he does, whether his performance perks up. It will also be interesting to see how the Anfield crowd reacts if Wolves begin well and threaten to add to Liverpools woeful start to 2017. The last time Wolves won at Anfield, in 2010-11, the home fans gave a memorable example of terrace wit when they began advocating a hilarious stunt. Hodgson for England! they bawled, possibly not expecting the FA to take the suggestion seriously and employ their then manager. Roy Hodgson complained afterwards that ever since Ive been here the famous Anfield support hasnt been there. Klopp, by contrast, has been hailed as a potential saviour ever since his arrival. Belief in him remains strong among Liverpool fans but some of his recent decisions are testing their faith. PD

Daniel
Daniel Sturridge squirts water over his face ahead of the EFL Cup semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Southampton. Photograph: Greenwood/BPI/REX/Shutterstock

3) Ranieri has a chance to fine-tune for relegation battle

Wilfred Ndidi made a brilliant first impression on his Leicester City debut, against Everton in the previous round, but Claudio Ranieri is still searching for his ideal midfield make-up and shape. He may, then, welcome this match as an opportunity to develop a solution before resuming the fight against relegation from the Premier League. On the other hand, another match could be construed as too much of a burden for Robert Huth and Wes Morgan, the main victims of the clubs uneven recruitment last summer. Maybe, then, Claudio Ranieri will use this match to release Yohan Benalouane from suspended animation? The centre-back has been curiously absent from the managers plans for most of the season but was a surprising inclusion on the bench for the last match, a 3-0 defeat at Southampton. A return to action would be intriguing and perhaps even solve a major Leicester problem, especially if they do not sign another centre-back before the and of this month. On a similar note, and returning to the midfield shuffle, Bartosz Kapustka got six whole minutes against Everton it would be good to get another glimpse of the gifted young Pole some time soon. PD

4) Rochdale have another Yorkshire scalp in sight

With Huddersfield having sold all 3,500 tickets allocated to them, Spotland is likely to have its biggest crowd of the season for this Lancashire-Yorkshire clash, with home supporters hopeful of witnessing something similar to their impressive toppling of Leeds United in 2014. That could create exactly the right mood to uplift Keith Hills side, whose promotion challenge in League One has been dented recently by injuries and loss of form. David Wagner, meanwhile, is likely to make several changes to his usual Huddersfield lineup and that could mean a return to action for Harry Bunn, who has not played since excelling in the win over Port Vale in the last round. PD

5) Joyce may bring Morrison along to Old Trafford reunion

For about 20 minutes, it looked like the run might finally be over. With Bolton leading at Crystal Palace, their fourth round tie with Manchester City was set to bump neighbours Manchester United off the TV schedule, ending Uniteds run of 55 consecutive televised Cup ties. Instead, Christian Benteke steered Palace through, and United will make it 56 against Wigan Athletic. A home tie against a team 21st in the Championship would appear to serve little purpose beyond bolstering the ratings, but Sundays opposition do offer an intriguing subplot. Wigan manager Warren Joyce took over in November after eight years at Old Trafford in charge of the reserve side, where he was responsible for the development of Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard, among many others who didnt make the grade. Perhaps the most notorious name on that list is Ravel Morrison, currently training with Wigan after being frozen out at Lazio. Its still a long shot, with no loan move confirmed at time of writing and Morrison obviously lacking match fitness, but the prospect of Morrison returning to Old Trafford may be worth tuning in for. NMc

Could
Could Ravel Morrison return to Old Trafford? Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

6) City to experiment with Palace focusing on the league?

Selhurst Park will inevitably be noisy, but the visit of Manchester City may suffer from a lack of on-field intensity. Crystal Palaces run to the final last season placated fans as league form stagnated, but the situation is very different this time around, with Palace in the bottom three. Sam Allardyce has traditionally made his excuses early in the FA Cup the win over Bolton was just his third in the competition since 2009. Not for the first time, Pep Guardiola may view things differently to Allardyce; the City manager sent out a strong team against West Ham, and was so impressed he stuck with all ten outfield players against Everton, with widely publicised results. Another trip to the London Stadium awaits in the league on Wednesday, so Guardiola may employ a couple of returning players here. Vincent Kompany has completed just one match all season (the EFL Cup win over Swansea) while Fabian Delph has also suffered with persistent injury problems. Kompany, last seen at Selhurst Park in November, would be a very welcome addition to central defence, while Delph has previously hinted at a change to his previous midfield position, potentially trying out a full-back. This may be the right fixture to experiment, but Guardiola should not assume the same tricks will work on Wednesday. NMc

7) Millwall can celebrate against off-colour Watford

No-one likes them, they dont care; but enough about offshore property developers. Millwalls home tie with Watford will be a celebratory day in the sun for the hosts, broadcast live on the BBC and coming just four days after the threat of eviction was finally removed. As the club have stated, Lewisham council are yet to formally abandon a compulsory purchase order on land around the Den, but the news that mayor Sir Steve Bullock believes the CPO should not proceed has been greeted with widespread relief from supporters, and residents close to the clubs South London home. The murky regeneration plan for New Bermondsey has been on the table since 2014, when Millwall were in the same division as Sundays opponents. Watfords third-round win over Burton was their only success since mid-November, and it would almost be a surprise if the League One side, who dominated a depleted Bournemouth in the last round, did not celebrate their off-field victory with a place in the fifth round draw. NMc

Fans
Fans protesting the compulsory purchase order during the The FA Cup 3rd round match between Millwall and Bournemouth. Photograph: ProSports/REX/Shutterstock

8) Free-scoring Oxford and Newcastle face off

Expect goals at the Kassam Stadium as Oxford United, with 11 in their three FA Cup victories so far, take on Newcastle United, comfortably the Championships top scorers. Both sides won their last league fixture 4-0, while the visitors have the top four tiers leading scorer in Dwight Gayle. Whether Gayle will be called upon is another matter. Newcastles only concern this season is securing a Premier League return, and Rafa Benitez rotated his team accordingly to get past Birmingham with the help of a replay. Michael Appleton is also facing a selection dilemma, with a rearranged EFL Trophy quarter-final against Bradford on Tuesday offering a much more realistic route to Wembley. Having outclassed Rotherham in the third round and upset Swansea in last seasons competition, the Oxford manager might still find reason to believe that victory, and a first fifth-round appearance since 1994, is a more realistic prospect than it looks on paper. NMc

9) Will Leeds be flummoxed by Suttons pitch?

Artificial pitches are something of a rarity in top-level football, not seen in England since QPR and Lutons ill-starred experiments with astroturf, the last seen when Preston reverted to good old-fashioned grass in 1994. Leeds United will have to deal with one this weekend though, when they visit Sutton United. And Sutton manager Paul Doswell seems fairly confident that it will flummox the Championship promotion contenders. Without being over-emotional about it, we have got a good chance against Leeds on our pitch, said Doswell. No one likes playing on it apart from us it seems. We are very good on it. Indeed they are, having won nine of their 15 National League games on the 3G surface, and also holding League One Wimbledon to a draw there before knocking them out in the previous round. Still, even though Garry Monk will probably rest some first-teamers, as he did in the third round against Cambridge, Leeds may well reason that if Solihull Moors, Braintree Town and Dover Athletic can win at Gander Green Lane, they should stand a chance too. NM

10) Wycombe and Kashket deserve big moment

Given Tottenhams generally sparkling recent form they might be expected to brush aside League Two Wycombe with little fuss and plenty of team changes. Yet their opponents are on a roll too. Gareth Ainsworths team are unbeaten in all competitions over 16 matches and havent failed to score in a game since 22 October. Expect considerable focus on Wycombes little and large striking talents. Adebayo the beast Akinfenwa is well enough known for his formidable strength, durability and opportunistic WhatsApp-based contract appeals, but the diminutive Scott Kashket could be the player to keep more of an eye on at White Hart Lane. Demoralised and discarded at Leyton Orient last season, the 20-year-old forward has been an inspired addition to Ainsworths side and has rewarded the clubs faith in him with 14 goals in all competitions, including a hat-trick in the second-round win at League One Chesterfield. They gave me the chance to prove myself when nobody else would, and I want to pay them back by carrying on scoring goals for Wycombe, said Kashket, who signed a new deal with the club last month. When I came here I only signed a short term deal and needed to prove myself to get it extended. I did my bit and hoped they did theirs, which they did, so Im glad they had faith in me. Though Spurs are likely prevail on Saturday, Kashket and Wycombe deserve their day on the big stage. TD

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/jan/27/fa-cup-fourth-round-10-things-to-look-out-for-this-weekend