Tuesday, September 29

Moira Gemmel, 1959-2015

Sonnet attends the memorial of Moira Gemmel, a 13 year colleague at the V&A and the Director of Design. Moira died in a collision with a tipper lorry on her way to work in April. 55 years old.

Here is the Guardian's obituary:
Moira Gemmill, who has died aged 55 in a cycling accident, joined the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, as head of design in 2002. By the time she left at the end of 2014 to take up a post with the Royal Collection Trust, she had played a key role in transforming the institution that bills itself as the world’s greatest museum of art and design.

When she started, the V&A was, in every sense, notoriously difficult to navigate. Different systems of signage abounded and a variety of vested interests prevented any change. But Moira would brook no opposition and in what seemed like no time a new, coherent and elegant scheme by the graphic consultants Holmes Wood was soon rolled out. She was someone who knew what she thought and said what she meant: a breath of fresh air began to move through the museum.

She went on to develop what was called FuturePlan, and we worked together on this for 10 years. The principles were simple: work with and value the architecture and decoration of the V&A’s complex of historic buildings, open up views so that people would know where they were and be tempted on to see what was coming next, bring natural light into the galleries, provide views both to the outside world and to the garden within, which became the museum’s public hub, and find ways to make sense of the sequence and adjacencies of different displays.

It sounds simple, but it was a long, difficult and demanding process, which she led from 2005 onwards as director of projects and design. It also required charm, steely determination, a clear and coherent understanding of the overall picture and the confidence to tell me, as director, and the trustees when they were wrong. She also had to argue away the light-phobic shibboleths so sadly common among conservators and curators.

The more than 40 projects that she realised with architects and designers included two by Softroom, the Jameel gallery of Islamic art and the Sackler education centre, with its cunning reuse of the difficult spaces in the wing named after the museum’s first director, Henry Cole. She also oversaw the reinstatement and reopening of the original tearooms; Ewa Jiricna’s shop, sculpture gallery and exquisite jewellery gallery; great medieval and renaissance galleries by the architects MUMA; the ceramic galleries by Stanton Williams and the ceramic study galleries by Opera Amsterdam, and the elegant fashion gallery by 6a. Away from the South Kensington site were the Museum of Childhood by Caruso St John in Bethnal Green, east London, and the Clothworkers’ Centre by Haworth Tomkins at Blythe House, Kensington Olympia.

This represented a rate of progress easily excelling anything seen at the V&A since the 19th century. And at the same time Moira steered through the competition to design new exhibition galleries on Exhibition Road, won by Amanda Levete, with whom she worked very closely. A great promoter of new talent and an ardent feminist, Moira was the most demanding and discerning commissioner of projects, sometimes quite scary, never letting her high standards drop, but also a funny, kind and supportive colleague and boss.

She loved design for its own sake, but also believed that it served a public purpose: that good design could make life better and more pleasurable for everybody. She hoped that, little by little, the work that she led would transform the experience of those who came to the V&A so that it would feel cared for and tended, light and airy, tranquil and engaging. So the ladies’ loos needed to be lovely. Designed by Glowacka Rennie, they needed an art installation to make them really special, and I was sent to persuade the Paris-based Swiss artist Felice Varini that this was the right location for work by him. Installations, like the Random International studio's Swarm III, were commissioned for otherwise neglected spaces and what might have been an ordinary fire-escape became, thanks to Jim Eyre’s design, the beautiful ceramic galleries bridge. Moira hoped, as Cole had, that those who knew the V&A would become impatient with unnecessary and spirit-sapping ugliness and demand better in every aspect of their lives.

Always immaculately presented, Moira loved London and was the most urban of people. Yet she was born in Campbeltown, Argyll, the principal town of the Kintyre peninsula, and grew up on a remote farm in Kintyre, daughter of Helen and John Gemmill. She always retained a love of the region’s wild landscape, her family and family home, and for all things Scottish, tartan very much included. From Campbeltown grammar school, under the eye of her mother, who taught there, Moira went on to study graphic design and photography at Glasgow School of Art. This was a turning point. Though enjoying extracurricular activities far too much to be a model student, she loved the art school, found herself, and met the circle of friends who remained with her throughout her life.

After graduating in 1981 she moved to Aberdeen, where she helped set up Citygirl, a listings magazine that was lively and fun but eventually went bust. So Moira got a job at Aberdeen Art Gallery and found herself planning and staging exhibitions, under the directorship of the artist Ian McKenzie Smith.

In 1997 she became head of design and exhibitions at the Museum of London, under Simon Thurley. There, working alongside Magdalen Fisher, who became her closest friend, she was responsible for exhibitions including London Bodies, Terence Donovan's London and Vivienne Westwood. She also oversaw long-term displays such as the World City Gallery and a network of “outsites” that showed archaeological finds where they had been discovered.

A Scottish dimension to Moira’s legacy will come in 2017 with the opening of V&A Dundee, a scheme to take the V&A’s name and exhibitions north and create a design centre for Scotland. She also took charge of the V&A’s pioneering relationships with two Indian institutions: the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbaii, and the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The exhibition programme, which on Moira’s initiative employed so many emerging designers, gave rise to more V&A exhibitions travelling to more places around the world than from any other museum. An honorary fellow of the RIBA, a judge of the Architect’s Journal Women in Architecture awards and chair of the V&A Illustration Awards, Moira excelled at finding ways to ensure that the winners she wanted got the recognition she knew they deserved.

As director of capital programmes at the Royal Collections Trust, Moira had been looking forward to the opportunity to work on Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh. Brave, brilliant and beautiful, she was the brightest and best of a generation that transformed the V&A.

She is survived by her parents, her brother, Andrew, and sister, Jennifer.

Moira Gemmill, design director, born 18 September 1959; died 9 April 2015

Sunday, September 27

Back To The Pitch

Eitan crosses
Eitan has a weekend of football: Yesterday it's Hampton v. Eton (nil-nil) and today it's the Lions v. Ashford Town - another pitch close to Heathrow airport (The clubhouse bar open at 12 noon, when we arrive, and it's a line for the beer and hard liquor). 

On the pitch, the Lions up 2-0 before succumbing to an equally matched team who score 4 unanswered points before Sheen claws back one to make it a respectable 4-3.  Eitan says: "It was disappointing." Me: Is that it? Eitan: Yes.

So, meanwhile, the Rugby World Cup going on in the background. Since many of the games held at Twickenham Stadium in Richmond, it is impossible to miss the action (and traffic). Last night Eitan and Shaheen go to Richmond Fields to watch the England vs. Wales on a number of super sized outdoor screens set up for the occasion. The entire country watch England lose in the last 10 minutes. These dudes are big. Hard to say the more brutal: Rugby or American football. The latter have helmets which serve as a battering ram and the offensive/defensive line take 60 collisions a game equal to a 25 mph car crash. More concussions, too.

My tomato vines deliver a wonderful autumnal fruit. These babies have been with me since April and I'm always sad to see them go. Daylight savings can't be far away.

Christian And Lisa Get Married

Deb and Lisa
Christian's wedding a wonderful affair full of joy and celebration.

The weekend starts Thursday afternoon in Palm Springs for poolside drinks under the shade of the massive San Jacinto Mountains which rise up behind us. People arrive from near and far including friends I have known for 30 years or more.

Christian an I get some solo time on a Friday morning 70 minute run in the boiling desert which nearly defeats me but he shrugs off, no worries. From there is is the evening reception, sunshine yoga, toasts, dinner and (of course) dancing including a late night "silent disco" where the DJ spins tunes heard via our headphones creating a strangely intense and intimate scene (and allowing us revellers to keep going well into the night ).

The nuptials overseen by Berkeley friend Perry whose battle, and win, against cancer makes her words the more deep. Eric's poem rings true and Paula's singing and dancing to "More Than A Woman" brings it all home. I reflect on our friendship and our love of music that binds us. The sun sets and the party begins.
Sonnet and Stephanie
Most of all I am overjoyed that my dear friend Christian has found somebody so perfectly suited for him and the rest of his life. Lisa part of the extended Berkeley family.
Paula and Christian
Cal defeats Texas on a Texas missed PAT in the final seconds of the game (scores reported to guests)

Joshua Tree

Yucca Brevifolia
We spend the day in Joshua Tree National Park, about an hour's drive from Palm Springs.

Only found here in the Mojave Desert is the Joshua tree, the largest of the yuccas. Its height varies from 15-40 feet with a diameter of 1-3 feet. They grow 2 to 3 inches a year, takes 50 to 60 years to mature and they can live 150 years.

Joshua trees (and most other yuccas) rely on the female pronuba moth for pollination. No other animal visiting the blooms transfers the pollen from one flower to another. In fact - the female yucca moth has evolved special organs to collect and distribute the pollen onto the surface of the flower. She lays her eggs in the flowers' ovaries, and when the larvae hatch, they feed on the yucca seeds.

Without the moth's pollination, the Joshua tree could not reproduce, nor could the moth, whose larvae would have no seeds to eat. Although old Joshua trees can sprout new plants from their roots, only the seeds produced in pollinated flowers can scatter far enough to establish a new stand.

Mormon pioneers are said to have named this species "Joshua" tree because it mimicked the Old Testament prophet Joshua waving them, with upraised arms, on toward the promised land. This unique species grows abundantly at Joshua tree.
(Source: park info guide)

Downtown LA

Morning sun, up since 2AM
We fly to Los Angeles en route to Palm Springs and CW's wedding to Lisa.  We stay at The Standard in Downtown Los Angeles where we meet Catherine and Catherine's daughter Anneke for a game of ping-pong followed by dinner.

It is hard not to be struck by Los Angeles, which is clearly on the move. Downtown, which was deserted in the 1980s and 90s, is back with new skyscrapers on the build, the Broad Museum (Eli Broad, the wealthy founder) opening this month, the hipsters found across the valley sprawl. Hollywood and Trojan football. 10 lanes of traffic.

Los Angeles was always the superior city to San Francisco in size, culture and  arts, then overtaken during the early halcyon days of Silicon Valley until recently, as San Francisco rents go through the roof and anybody outside of tech (and only a few inside tech) can afford to live there.  It's become an outpost for Google and Facebook and Twitter and AirBNB employees.

Sonnet's Russian Hill studio was $800 or $900 a month while today likely 5 or 6x that (It was a lovely flat with bay views from nearby cross street of Union and Jones; there was always parking but sometimes it took some circling).

Monday, September 14

Some Dialogue

Sonnet: "I want your mobile phones. 6PM. That's the rule."
Madeleine: "No way."
Me: "It's the house rule. I have nothing to do with it."
Madeleine: "Who makes the house rule then?"
Me: "Talk to your mother. She's the Executive Director."
Sonnet: "Executive Director?"
Madeline: "I am not giving up my mobile phone. I need it to wake up in the morning."
Me: "I will wake you up in the morning. Jump in the bed, smother you with kisses."
Madeleine: "No way."
Sonnet: "I'll wake you up then."
Madeleine: "Uh, I don't trust you."
Madeleine: "There was that one time you didn't wake me up."
Me: "Yeah, Sonnet, one time in four years. I wouldn't trust you either."
Madeleine: "I'm not giving up my phone."
Eitan: "I'm good with it."
Madeleine: "OK. I'll right a contract then."
Me: "Now we're talking. 'I, Madeleine, can keep my mobile phone until 8PM.' "
Me: "And I will do the dishes.. .."
Madeleine: "Yeah, right."
Me: "Until 2017."
Madeleine: "No way!"
Me: "I'm just getting started. Then there's the backyard... "
Madeleine: "May I be excused ?"
Me: "Sure. Just leave your phone on the counter."
Madeleine: "I'm not giving up my mobile phone. ..."

Eitan: "I want to go to Airhop instead of Thorpe Park" [Dad's note: Eitan's 15th birthday, with a bunch of friends, is coming up. Airhop is a 'trampoline world' while Thorpe Park is an amusement park.]
Me: "You'd rather go on a trampoline than a terrifying roller coaster?"
Eitan: "Yeah, I guess."
Me: "Why don't you just go over to Helen and Martin's and use their trampoline?"
Me: "You guys can pick apples."
Me: "And make apple pies."
Eitan: "Dad we are not going to make apple pies."
Me: "We can all wear aprons."
Eitan: "Whatever."
Me: "It's all set then. It's going to be the best 15th birthday ever."
Me: "Shall I text the gang?"
Sonnet: "Your Dad is just joking. I think."

Sunday, September 13

Inglorious Beginning

Stag Brewery football pitch
It's all the same to Rusty and just as well as the Lions open their season losing 2-nil to The Barnes Eagles, an inferior team, who barely avoided relegation last year. The Eagles are a bogey who play us well and today no different : we had possession maybe 80% of the game and missed some easy shots  - Eitan had a long chip shot hit the upright and Louie missed an open goal he would otherwise hit in his sleep. Eitan takes it hard as team captain. We have a quiet ride home.

So what to make of Jeremy Corbyn, the new Leader of Labour, moving the party to the left and receiving commendation from Russia and Hamas ? Half his ministers bolt rather than serve under his extreme positions on defence, spending, tax and governing.  It seems Labour coming unhinged following this year's elections. Blair brought Labour to the middle and retained power for 13 years. If Labour fractures it could mean the end of them. But Corbyn could be exactly what Labour and the country need: Fresh thinking, a different vision and a new way forward.

Eitan: "I'm going out. To a party."
Me: "Oh?"
Eitan: "Yeah. It's in Teddington."
Me: "Who's party? Who are the parents?"
Eitan: "It's a girl from LEH." [Dad's note: Lady Elanore Holles is an all-girls sister school to Hampton school.]
Me: "Why am I just hearing about it now? [Dad's note: It is 6PM, Saturday]
Eitan: "Mom knows about it." [Text: Sonnet do you know about a party tonight? Sonnet: I know nothing about a party]
Me: "How are you going to get there?'"
Eitan: "Um, by bus. To meet some friends in Richmond. Then we will go to Teddington together."
Me: "How?"
Eitan" "I don't know. Bus again or something."
Me: "And how will you get home?"
Eitan: "Why do you have to make such a big deal out of these things?"
Me: "Because I'm your father and we have rules in this house." [Dad's note to Moe: Life repeats itself]
Eitan: "Ok, I won't go then."
Me: "Sounds about right."

Sunday, September 6

Super Sonnet

Our gal at mile 13
On a chilly Surrey morning, Sonnet bangs out the Richmond Half Marathon, somehow sneaking in the training since winter. The course starts in Kew Gardens, runs along the Thames until Ham House, then returns to finish at Old Deer Park near the Richmond High Street. While (she insists) it was not for time, her 1:50 puts her pretty close to the PB of 1:48 she ran four years ago when she was bloody well trained. It is a celebration.

Eitan in Bitburg, Germany, this weekend for the Olympic Development Program (ODP) that assesses and selects players to join the player pool for ODP Europe.  If successful, he will be invited back to future camps to train at a high level and compete with local European teams.  Sonnet drops our man off at the airport, 6AM, and off he goes with a few dads and the other ODP hopefuls.

The Cal Bears win their opener in style against Grambling State, a lesser team in a lesser division. Still, hope springs eternal.

Friday, September 4

Back To School

And with an abrupt summer's end, Eitan and Madeleine return to school, 10th and 9th grade, respectively (since the UK begins formal education one year before the US, they are in the equivalent of 9th and 8th grades). Even worse: homework the first day. Only Rusty is happy to have everybody up at such an early hour.

Eitan enters the GCSE zone (General Certificate of Secondary Education) which determines where he will go to university - unlike US colleges which look for rounded candidates who excel in sport or music or the arts, Britain mostly ties its future generation to several standardised tests. This places a huge burden on the kids to deliver on the day, which I do not favour. Eitan and Madeleien will spend the 18 months revising. The school system is optimised for the test, new learning be damned.
The GCSEs are rigorous, recognised abroad, taken in a number of subjects usually over two years, with students selecting a handful of electives.  Eitan will tackle history, geography and drama.

Sonnet, too, gears up for the fall: her next exhibition (2017) will be on Cristobal Balenciga. She is invited to speak on post-Second WW fashion in Italy at a conference in Brighton and to contribute a chapter to a book on same for early 2016. Me, I've got €2bn to raise.

Monday, August 31

Back To Work

West Wycombe
Since it is the last summer "bank holiday" Monday, I settle in for the rain (good for the tomatoes, I reassure myself) and the latest instalment of Wallace & Gromit.  Sonnet offers Earl Grey tea, taken with milk and a few crackers. We fortify ourselves with a brisk walk in Richmond Park so the dog can take exercise.

The UK shows a remarkable resilience this time of year: it's back to work and the British do so with a vengeance.  The kids return to school, the workers the salt mines, and anybody in finance to a prison of their own making, regardless - or because of - the pay. Traffic returns to normal which is to say it was quicker to cross Central London via horse-and-carriage 100 years ago than today in a black cab. True fact.

Me: "Are you looking forward to school?"
Eitan: "Uhhh looking forward to it I guess. The only bit I'm not looking forward to are the mornings. But otherwise I can't wait to get back into the swing of things."
Me: "Which classes?"
Eitan: "English, Spanish, maths, physics and biology. "
Me: "Why those?"
Eitan: "They're interesting. And fun."
Me: "How about football?"
Eitan: "Yep, it's going to good to play for Hampton this year."
Me: "What are your goals?"
Eitan: "To score more goals. To win a trophy. To win the ISFA or the Surrey Cup."
Me; "Lot of good things to ahead of you."
Eitan: "Yeah."

Bedfont Friendly

Back flip, soft touch
Autumn can mean only one thing: The Lions are back in action.  Yesterday our U15s take on Bedfont in a "friendly."

The pitch notable for its proximity to Heathrow and us Dads marvel at the Airbus 380s and the 747s taking off - holy Jesus, how can anybody live so close to the airport ? Of course it is a human rights violation to build a 3rd runway. I digress.

Eitan the team captain, chosen by his teammates, and a nice honour. He is determined to put one in the net against Bedfont and sees a 30-yard free-kick hit the top goal post and several other shots barely miss the outside corners. Finally, satisfaction, as a chip shot hits the top left corner leaving the goal keeper frozen.  All the sweeter as Bedfont pummelled the Lions 9-1 last year in the same pre-season match.

A moment for optimism - sport, family and work.

W Wycombe

Happy reunion
Halley and Ava spend Saturday night following a football match cancelled as a commuter plane hits a motor route, bursting in to flames, and creating a traffic problem to Bristol. Same as it ever was. 

Ava now plays for the Arsenal U15 squad and the kid is wired for the game: powerful body, gentle touch. She taps the ball constantly. I ask her record for picky-uppies and, while she unsure,  it has to be over 400. Easily.

Sunday we reunion with Nita, Alain and the wonderful Three Zeds for a hike in West Wycombe in Buckinghamshire. Unsurprisingly Zebulon crushed his GCSEs with 12 A*, the very highest possible outcome. He contemplates a future of computer sciences or math. He already has a live gaming app to his name.

Alain continues to dish out applied math PhD projects like M&Ms from the jar. To what reward? I ask. The satisfaction of answering the unknown, his reply. This year his team solved the puzzle of the chameleon tongue, whose force velocity relationship made no sense.  Still doesn't, but at least there is an equation now.


Gentle reminder: Do not fuck around with the elevator
In all the cities I visit elevators are a Big Deal since my meetings seem to be above the 40th floor. China had about three million elevators in operation at the end of 2013.

I am reminded of a trip to Nairobi for HTWS where the building elevators did not work. Nobody seemed to mind and 20 floors easily walked (which we did).


Still sane - barely
My week ends in Seoul where our hotel overlooks the skyline from the many rolling mountains that surround the city.

Stephane and I run to the top of Namsan Mountain, where the Namsan Tower located, and the highest point in the city. It's kinda straight up and, since it's not like competitive or anything, we over-exert ourselves and, again, I must remind myself that these things no longer come easily.

Of course we get lost on the route back, starts to rain and the sun goes down. Sat nav not working.

Eventually, after a reasonable run becomes a long run, we are back in time for an evening drink. A highlight : passing a floodlit baseball pitch where professionally youngsters play into the after-evening hours, regardless of the weather.

Sunday, August 30


Westward; on a clear day one can see Mt Fuji
Tokyo goes on forever.

From the cereal box: In striking contrast to the ethnic and racial diversity that characterize large American cities, Tokyo, like the rest of Japan, is overwhelmingly mono-racial. The largest non-Japanese minorities that live in Tokyo as Japanese citizens are Korean and Chinese nationals, who are never considered Japanese even though some of these families have lived in Japan for centuries. Tokyo has always attracted Japanese from areas beyond its borders, mostly people from the rural areas to the north and east who come in hopes of benefiting from Tokyo's economic prosperity, which is often in stark contrast to the depressed economies of much of rural Japan. Many of these newcomers, and many native Tokyoites, are young people, who throng the streets at all hours of the day and night, infusing the city with an atmosphere of youthful vitality.

Sushi san

While extremely polite, the Japanese are also very difficult to read. They are often poker faced in meetings and react to facial expressions, instead of jokes or words, which can be disconcerting. I'm bewildered when saying "online dating" results in a senior figure throwing his head back laughing. His junior colleagues take their cue and also howl with laughter.

I learn a few sushi etiquettes : never dip the rice-side in soy sauce, which absorbs the liquid (and is insulting to the itamae). Never rub one's chopsticks together. Do not mix wasabi in soy sauce. Ginger is a palate cleanser and should be consumed between each sushi, not with it. Never use chopsticks to take or pass food from another's plate. Infractions will likely result in being ignored by the itamae.

I had a friend in business school named Jushi. Only I called him "sushi" for one semester and he never corrected me.

In Europe, the migrant crisis continues - Merkel says it is a test for the union greater than Greece.


Bento bo 
Tokyo : Stephane is a super dude who recently made partner at Astorg.

Our arrival too late for restaurants so we find a 24 hour sushi joint near our hotel in the Shiodome, not far from the fish markets. It's honestly the best sushi I've ever had - better than London's Akeda or Umu, which nets a check for several hundred pounds for dinner. As cool is the hustle-bustle at 2AM : businessman, revellers, couples. No tourists.

Tokyo is the most modern of all cities - there are multiple skylines in different districts, putting Manhattan to shame. The streets are clean, it feels safe, and the Japanese don't speak English (though the signposts are also in English even if they make no sense). If asked for directions or anything else in English, the Japanese will walk away - not rudeness but embarrassment for not being able to answer.

The Japanese remarkably polite. My favourite : upon departure, the hosts wait in a bow until the elevator doors are closed.  


B2 - two levels below surface
I arrive Taipei at midnight, time for a swim before bed.

Of my meetings, most impressive is WTT, the family office of Tsai Wan-Tsai (public record) who founded the Fubon Group, the biggest and most profitable insurance company in Taiwan which recently overtook Cathay for the  No. 1 spot ( Cathay remarkable founded and run by by Tsai’s brother).

Not moved ? The family further owns Taiwan Mobile (#2 mobile co in Taiwan), the largest cable TV company, the biggest TV shopping network and China Bank (regional license for Taiwan). All in, WTT controls over one-third of the Taiwanese economy.

Unusually (to me), much of daily life takes place underground as restaurants and shops and fitness centres must take advantage of the free-space beneath the city streets. 

Taipei, compared to Tokyo, Singapore or Seoul, has shabby infrastructure despite its $45k per capita. Most expect China to invade one day - why invest ?

Last time I was here was 1994 sourcing eye-glass frames for Help The World See.


View from my room
Beijing traffic is surprisingly sparse as we make our way around the city's tourist sites and to meetings. I learn that many of the main roads closed for a military parade (joint, with Russia) for 3 Sept, which requires practise and planning: public not allowed. The celebration marks the 70 year anniversary of the Second World War's end. Interestingly this is the first time for the parade - a signal of strength, perhaps ?

Also: the World Athletic Championships taking place at the Beijing "Birdcage" National Stadium and factories ordered shut to reduce pollution. It works, too. No smog.

Beijing's population is ca. 21m or world's 8th largest (Tokyo number one with 37m). I arrive as 2015 H1 growth below expectations while Xi Jiping's anti-corruption campaign has caused a serious political  wobble inflicting pain on equity exchanges around the world : Hong Kong down 30% from its May peak; the NYSE around -10%. Yet it is only calm with the investment professionals I meet. Of course concern, but otherwise only confidence.

From Beijing to Taipei.

Center Of The Earth

Visiting The Center Of The Earth
Stephane and I pay a visit to the China Investment Corp with its $600bn of assets under management. If one wants to know where the power is in China, have a look at the Board of Directors and Board of Supervisors, all public on Wiki, a website not available in China. Nor is Facebook, Google or Youtube. 

From CIC it is CICC, the largest investment bank in China. 

We meet only women, as is JJ, who shows us around. She tells us in China, a male dominated Asian culture, women have equal opportunity. 

Back home, the Shakespeares enjoy summer - Eitan has pre-season football practice while Madeleine "chills out and nothing else" (Me: You must have done something? Madeleine: Nope) which makes me feel good.

"NBA games are exciting to watch and have global appeal. They are very popular in China. I do watch NBA games on television when I have time."

--Xi Jinping