Flower power

Issue 1091

Flower power

In this week’s Big Issue

There is an ad coverwrap this week. Under it, you’ll find the power of the flower…

As scientists announce this week that exercise can help stave off dementia, we investigate the Welsh hill farmer who has been developing a crop of daffodils for several years, with the hope of extracting galantamine, a chemical that could prove vital in the fight against Alzheimer’s. Also, dementia expert Professor Frank Gunn-Moore explains what memory is, and how to keep it working. And novelist and Bafta nominee Glenn Patterson explains why we are our memories.

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory was first published 50 years ago. We thought it’d be interesting to see if, 50 years on, the Buckets would still be so dirt-poor, what benefits they might claim or what they’d do for work and housing. Brendan O’Neill gets stuck in. This is great.

And more, of course

Letter To My Younger Self this week is with veteran film critic Barry Norman. A confident child, but a loner, he became a man very sure in everything. There are bits about meeting Jane Fonda in her Barbarella kit, but it’s the part about missing his late wife that’ll stop you in your tracks and make you well up.

John Bird, meanwhile, rages against the ephemeral inconsequence of pop music and explains why Bertolt Brecht still matters. John is heading out on a stand-up comedy tour. He’s starting in Rich Mix in Bethnal Green on Sunday. Go and see him, if you can.

Our guest columnist this week is MSP Humza Yousaf. A man was charged this week with racially abusing him as Humza sold The Big Issue during the Big Sell-Off event a couple of weeks ago. Humza considers the abuse that vendors face daily out on the streets.

Mark Gill features in the coveted My Week spot. Oscar-nominated for his short film The Voorman Problem, Mark details how he blagged his way to getting stars including Martin Freeman and Tom Hollander (by way of Kevin Spacey) involved.

There is also a look at how animated modern classic Frozen has broken boundaries as well as box offices. And in our TV review, we celebrate the joy of curling.

Our featured vendor is Mark Richards from Cardiff. A burglary turned his life on its head. He’s now working helping with Big Issue subscriptions as well as selling the magazine.

If you’d like to subscribe to The Big Issue, or if you wish to buy a copy but can’t locate a vendor, email robert.white@bigissue.com

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