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Welcome to my new website

I run my own consultancy specialising in digital content and strategy and sit on the Board at Crowdbnk.

I chair Trinity Hospice, Clapham, NHS Innovations SE, Major Stanley's Trust at Oxford and the Great Retail Revival Foundation.

I am also on the CITI Advisory Board @ Columbia University, NY.  

 

If Scotland votes Yes it will be the end of Celtic and Rangers

Culture

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13
APR
Social Networking 2/11 7-13 April 2014 Monday Ian Burt @ Fitness First Alexander Jones, CEO, Centre for Cities @ Westminster James Hibbert @ D2K Bump Anthony Barry Keata Murray Jonathan Shaw @ Thomas Cubitt Tuesday London Book Fair Reception @ Spanish Embassy Wednesday Geoff Bennett @ Pimlico Thursday Crowdbnk Board @ Kensington Bump Ian Pearson Ayan Mitra Barry Parr Christopher Humphrey Karen Duncan Brian & Julia Peter @ Pimlico Hester Finch @...
13
APR
I heard Georgie Fame for the third time yesterday evening at Ronnie's. He had had to cancel his appearance just after Christmas through ill health. He looked thinner in the face but his voice was in splendid nick. He is one of the most knowledgeable musicians in the business.
8
APR
Social Networking 2/10 31st Match-6th April 2014 Monday Ian Burt @ Fitness First James Hibbert @ Pimlico Peter Gluckman @ Thomas Cubitt Tuesday Vic Luck @ Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Bump Takaaki Hanoaka Patrick Macartney James Hibbert @ D2K Richard Gorman @ Olivelli Dr John Stedman @ NICE SE Skype Karen Duncan & Emily Murphy @ Uno Wednesday Matthew Pruen @ Pimlico Craig Nicholson @ Pimlico Fresh Kate Kiln @ Uno Roger Truelove...
8
APR
I met Alex Jones yesterday to have a download on her team's work on the future shape of global cities. Fascinating. www.centreforcities.org
8
APR
We had a lively and formative board meeting yesterday afternoon; our plans gather for Pop at HoF at speed!
8
APR
Jonathan Shaw was a minister and MP for Chatham & Aylesford; we were best of friends in Westminster but since we both stepped down in 2010 it has been harder to maintain our friendship so we have agreed to find time to meet once a month starting last night. We had a most enjoyable supper at Thomas Cubitt's.
7
APR
See: www.greatretailrevival.org   or http://www.houseoffraser.co.uk/london-oxfordst-department-store/store_page_1008,default,pg.html
2
APR
http://www.retail-jeweller.com/news/joulberry-announced-as-one-of-nine-new-pop-up-concessions-at-house-of-fraser-oxford-street/5058878.article    https://www.alisonathome.com/get-inspired/pop-at-hof/ http://needtoknowpr.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/skribbies-in-house-of-fraser-pop-up-shop/    http://diarydirectory.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/house-of-fraser-pop-up-competition.html
1
APR
http://startups.co.uk/shortlist-announced-for-house-of-fraser-pop-up-shop-competition/  
1
APR
The LIVE judging of the POP at HOF competition took place on Friday last week. Twenty short-listed retail brands competed for a spot in the final stage of the competition, a pop up shop in House of Fraser’s flagship Oxford Street and on House of Fraser's website from 8-26 May 2014. Nine winners were chosen directly by the judging panel. A tenth spot will be given to the winner from a shortlist of four (also chosen by the judging panel) which will be chosen via a public. The 9...
1
APR
http://vimeo.com/90569231
30
MAR
Social Networking 2/9 24th-31st March 2014 Monday Great Retail Revival @ D2K Anthony Bird James Hibbert Keata Murray Prem Goyal @ Cinnamon Richard Briance @ Edmund Rothschild Andy Bibby @ Ronnie Scott's Bump James Pearson, Music Director Tuesday NISE SE @ Harwell RWC 2015 Legacy SE Group @ Twickenham Bump Vic Luck Richard Hornblow Eddie Keen Wednesday CRGS Travel Scholarship 2014 interviews @ CRGS Ken Jenkinson Chloe Bates Tom Ellis Abbie Main Rebecca...
30
MAR
A Taste of Honey by Shelagh Delaney at The National We went to see this performance at The National on Saturday evening. There were brilliant performances from Lesley Sharp and Kate O'Flynn and an excellent cameo support from Dean Lennox Kelly but in essence the play was an hour too long and should have been hacked back. The set was sensational but the play though radical in 1958 has not stood the test of time.
29
MAR
On Monday, I took Andrew Bibby and his two daughters Emily and Sarah to Ronnie's on Monday evening to hear Trilok Gurtu and the RS All Stars. It was a sell out concert though I struggled with the fusion of Indian and Western jazz.... On Thursday, we were back to hear a celebration of the legendary Stan Tracey led by his son Clark.
29
MAR
I went to see Andrew Hammond at Royal Mail on Friday afternoon to chat (given I am keen stamp collector) about the RWC 2015 stamps.
23
MAR
We went to see the great DB's work at the NPG which was simply fab; we stayed on to see the smaller and lesser WW1 exhibit which was messy and incoherent.   We then indulged ourselves at the Portrait restaurant for a late lunch and counted over 20 cranes at work from the panoramic view. They say there are more cranes at work in London than the rest of the UK......
23
MAR
The Great Retail Revival Foundation's competition for ten places in a pop up at House of Fraser's Oxford Street store closed at midnight on Thursday; we have been stunned by the interest and this weekend we've all been busy shortlisting the entries.
23
MAR
Social Networking 2/8 17-23 March 2014 Monday Ayan Mitra, CEO, Crowdbnk @ HQ Angela Bowland @ Pimlico Bump Philip Bernie Paul Farrelly Caroline Dalmeny @ Pimlico Tuesday Dr John Stedman @ Portcullis House Bump John Denham MP Jon Cruddas MP Jack Dromey MP Hoffman Open Evening @ Regent's Park Wednesday Florence Panel-Coates @ Queen's Hospital, Romford Bump Dr John Stedman Keith & Rosemary White @ Portcullis House Bump John Bercow MP, Speaker Sir Menzies...
17
MAR
I went up to Oxford to see the Cezanne exhibition and later have lunch there outdoors and in the sun. The exhibition is part of the Henry Pearlman (1895-1974) collection. He began late in 1945 and so the Cezanne's are frankly pretty thin and not his best work. There were others from his collection also on show including Manet, Degas, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Modigliani and Lipchitz which were better.  There was a goodly crowd at the exhibition which continues to 22nd June. The...
17
MAR
Social Networking 2/7 10-16 March 2014 Monday GRRF Board @ D2K Bump James Hibbert Anthony Barry Keata Murray Dominic Wright Gurshinder Liddar Tuesday Dr John Stedman, CEO, NISE SE Skype call Wednesday: English Cricket Needs a Miracle David Taylor @ Lords Cricket Ground Bump Hugh Robertson MP Mike Gatting, President MCC Thursday Crowdbnk Board @ Kensington Bump Ian Pearson Ayan Mitra Christopher Humphry Barry Parr Sunil Aggarwal Rupert Stevenson @...
17
MAR
The Great Retail Revival Foundation's Pop @ HoF competition is going extremely well. Entries are coming in every day (cut off is this Thursday) and we have a wide range of retailers wanting to win one of the ten slots in the pop-up.
10
MAR
Social Networking 2/6 3-9 March 2014 Monday Ian @ Fitness First Allison @ Physio Tom Levitt @ Labour Former MPs Bump John Austin Sylvia Heal Gillian Merron Tuesday Legacy Group @ RFU bump Vic Luck Richard Hornblow Jason McMahon Tom Levitt @ Duck House, Vaudeville Theatre Wednesday Trinity Away Day @ Sage Publications Bump Richard Gluckman James Thellusson Iain McGourty Adrian Williams David Clarson Julia Robertson Katharine Jackson Dallas Pounds Paul
5
MAR
I went last night to see the play about MPs expenses called The Duck House which at times had me rolling in the aisles. At the end I thought it no more than a series of quite funny sketches stitched together but it was still enjoyable and reminded me a little of the old Brian Rix farces. www.the-duck-house.co.uk  
3
MAR
Social Networking 2/5 24 Feb - 2 March 2014 Monday The Great Retail Revival @ D2K James Hibbert Keata Murray Anthony Barry Robin Kadmka Ronnie Lamb @ RSA Tuesday Richard Gorman @ The Cut Simon Halliday @ Portcullis Bump Gareth Thomas MP James Arbuthnot MP @ Portcullis Bump HH Jeff Blackett Colin Herridge David & Liz Clarson Mihir & Caroline Bose Karen Duncan Roger Truelove Wednesday Dr John Stedman @ Oxford OURFC v Penguins International @ Iffley...
23
FEB
Social Networking 2/4 17th-23rd February 2014 Monday-Tuesday Marrakesh Wednesday HRH Duchess of Cornwall @ Trinity Hospice Bump Dallas Pounds Clare Montagu Skype: John Stedman, CEO @ NISE  Thursday Daily Telegraph photography shoot @ D2K Bump James Hibbert Anthony Bird Paul Bentley @ 1 Aldwych Louise @ The Delaunay, 55 Aldwych Friday Dallas Pounds @ Trinity Hospice Clare Montagu @ Trinity Restaurant Richard Hornblow & Ian Bray @ Fullers...
23
FEB
WE launched our competition to find nine retail start ups to show their wares in the House of Fraser store in Oxford Street in Friday's Daily Telegraph (Business B8).   Go to www.thegreatretailrevival.org for all of the details as to how to enter. I am called a "Retail Expert" in the article; I chair Trinity Hospice where we have 24 charity shops....... Spread the word........... 
20
FEB
A week ago we left for Marrakesh for five days and had a ball.....full report shortly.  
20
FEB
Social Networking 2/3 10-16 February 2014 Monday Physio @ Light Centre Great Retail Revival Foundation @ The Cut James Hibbert Robin Kadrnka Keata Murray Design Council Sounding Board @ Design Council Bump Ellie Runcie Tuesday Skype: Dr John Stedman @ NISE Deepak Verma @ Thomas Cubitt Al Wayne @ Goya Wednesday Skype: Dr John Stedman @ NISE James Hibbert @ D2K RIBA Gallery launch @ HQ Bump Richard Rogers Alistair Darling @ InterContinental Bump Kevin...
9
FEB
Social Networking 2/2 3-9 February 2014 Monday Allison Swann @ Physio Conference Call GRR Conference Call RWC SE Legacy sub group Ian Burt @ Fitness First The Mistress Contract @ Royal Court Theatre Tuesday Conference Call NISE Colin Herridge & Jeff Blackett @ Daley's Shelly Bancroft @ 54 The Gallery, Shepherd Market (opening party) John Hopkins & Dugald MacDonald @ Le Boudin Blanc Wednesday Dr John Stedman CEO, NISE SE & Nick Moberly, CEO, Royal
6
FEB
We went to see Abi Morgan's latest play at the Royal Court on Monday. It is about a man and a woman from California who sign a contract for mistress services - mainly sex -for money. It was based on a true story. The play started at a ferociously funny pace but soon tailed off and the 90 minutes could so easily have been shorter. Pity.
3
FEB
Social Networking 2/1 27 Jan - 2 Feb 2014 Monday Ian Burt @ Fitness First Allison Swan@ Physio Martin Short @ Dean Street James Hibbert @ D2K Bump Anthony Bird Keata Murray Crowdbnk Party @ Groucho's Bump Ian Pearson Ayan Mitra Karen Duncan Paul Stricker George Neris Tuesday Mr Speaker @ Waterloo Richard Briance & Alexander Hoare @ Thomas Cubitt Wednesday Richard and Tom Blaksly @ Boisdale Thursday Raj Manak & Geoff Hyde @ Thomas...
3
FEB
For too many years inept Mayors of Paris have spent their time doodling as other world class cities have roared ahead with new museums, galleries, transport infrastructure et al. I mean how do you spend allegedly 100 million euros on Gare du Nord - it's a shocking terminal and its Eurostar hub is appalling. However, there were signs of green shoots..... Here are five cracking restaurants to try: Le Petit Medicis 13 rue de Medicis running alongside Luxembourg Park for a...
3
FEB
I went to the second meeting of the RIBA Library Committee on Tuesday last. It was such a stimulating afternoon (two and a half hours) and we had a goodly conversation on digital. At the Gill Webber said she had been at a meeting at the British Library where they had decided to call the area North Bank something I had been trying to persuade Boris and the CEO of Camden Borough Council of for the past six years. Now for the White City area to be rebranded Left/West Bank and Shoreditch...
3
FEB
Last Wednesday evening, I went with some close family friends to Boisdale in Belgravia for jazz and a meal........another late evening......
3
FEB
It's been a couple of years since I have been to the Pompidou Centre which I thought looked a bit tired but yesterday's visit blew my mind.......I know not difficult...... First up were the two galleries - Contemporary Collections from the 1960s which was sensational and Multiple Modernities 1905-1970 which was absolutely fascinating. For once there were walls which had space left on them. For too long French curators have overwhelmed our senses by putting too much up just because there
3
FEB
November, December & January were sad months - worsened by the overnight news of the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman - for a number of creative and original people with whom I worked or partied. Tom Rosenthal, publisher and bon viveur (1935-2014) I knew Tom just as he was leaving Secker & Warburg where he built an astonishing list of poets and fine writers. it was the talk at Heinemann that his expenses were in the early 1980s a thousand pounds a week which...
26
JAN
Social Networking 52 20-26 January 2014 Monday Ian Grey @ Fitness First Allison Swan @ Light Studio James Thellusson @ La Bottega Jackie Howard & Peter Shaw @ Pimlico Tuesday RFU SE Legacy Board @ Twickenham Bump Vic Luck Richard Hornblow Nick Cole Eddie Keal Gavin Williams Louise Latter Wednesday NISE SE @ Harwell (new chair) Bump Dr John Stedman Jo Willett @ Cork & Bottle Thursday Interview for Chair @ Booktrust Bump Viv Bird, CEO David...
21
JAN
The Great Retail Revival Foundation which I chair has just won its first contract to create a pop up for 12 new start ups. More soon.
20
JAN
Social Networking 51 13-19 January 2014 Monday Ian Burt @ Fitness First Allison Swan @ Light Centre Tuesday Karen Rothery, CEO, BUCS @ RAC David Hopper @ RAC James Hibbert @ D2K GRR Board Meeting Keata Murray Wednesday Away all day on interview Thursday Ian Bray @ Fullers Brewery Bump Vic Luck Moises Naim @ RSA End of Power Lecture Carole Stone @ Covent Garden Friday James Hibbert @ Oliverra Saturday & Sunday The Wolf from Wall Street @ Vue,...
20
JAN
Could there be another film as bad/delightful as greedy Gordon Gekko in Wall Street (1987)? There can. Step forward The Wolf at Wall Street starring Leonardo DiCaprio (still Oscar-free). The film is 90 minutes too long so if you have to leave early you will already have guessed the ending as the bad boy never wins (allegedly). But this is a tour de force by DiCaprio and he must land the Oscar this year. if he doesn't maybe he should move away from being too typecast viz Titantic, Howard...
12
JAN
Yesterday evening, we went to see 12 Years a Slave at The Barbican (packed). I am not sure there was anything that was surprising about the story line itself although the rape scene caused a number of women to leave the cinema. The script, direction and acting was top of the range and sure it will attract a bounty of prizes but it did not in the end push the boundaries of film making. In a month which has already seen Mandela's death and biopic, the inquest to the quite...
12
JAN
Social Networking 50 6-12 January 2014 Monday Allison Swan @ Light Centre Ian Burt @ Fitness First Jack @ Pimlico Elie Bitar @ Uno's Tuesday James Hibbert @ D2K John Robertson MP @ Portcullis House Bump Menzies Campbell MP Paul Farrelly MP Paul Flynn MP John Mann MP Patrick Mercer MP Hilary Benn MP Elizabeth Bailey @ Westminster Jonathan Price @ Thomas Cubitt Wednesday Katharine Jackson @ Sage David Clulow @ Victoria Street Jonathan and Sam Shaw @...
10
JAN
It was catch up week after a long Christmas festival.... Monday 5+2  Supper: Elie Bitar, who works in Port Harcourt, south east Nigeria for a bio-mass company, at Uno's in Wilton Street (great pasta) though I was on 5+2 so had to restrict myself to a salad Tuesday Lunch: James Hibbert, CEO, D2K at Thaid Down (I made that up) in The Cut Tea: Jonathan Price, Chairman of Gifted Wednesday Lunch: Katharine Jackson, COO, Sage Supper: Jonathan and Sam Shaw at Mekong,...
5
JAN
Saw Mandela film last night; not easy to make given there have already been two other films - The Colour of Freedom (2007) and Invictus (2009). Many people will know the last decade of Madiba's life better than his first eighty years and so understandably there had to be some context and besides how do you make 27 painful years in prison remotely interesting? So, all in all, I enjoyed it though the first half sketched too quickly the nature of Mandela's uneven life.
4
JAN
This time last year I began a training and diet regime which saw me lose nearly 26lbs over the year. First up was an exercise, diet and vitamin plan which involved me in a 1-1 with a trainer, a diet which involved no meat and no grain and a vitamin plan including green lipped mussels for my arthritis. The results were encouraging - I lost weight, I gained some flexibility and my arthritis went into remission. In September, I re-started with a new regime a 1-1 with...
4
JAN
Social Networking 49 30 Dec-5 Jan 2014 Monday Physio @ Light Centre Tuesday NYE Gym @ Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre Wednesday NYD Lazy lunch @ Cote Brasserie Thursday Ian Burt @ Fitness First Lazy lunch 2.0 @ Clos Maggiore Carole Stone @ Covent Garden Roger  & Christine Truelove @ Pimlico Friday Gym @ Queen Elizabeth SC Saturday & Sunday Mandela biopic @ The Barbican
29
DEC
Social Networking 48 23rd-29th December 2013 Monday - Friday Christmas away Saturday Harlequins v Exeter @ Twickenham Sunday Lunch @ Sumo Fresh
28
DEC
Social Networking 47 16-22 December 2013 Monday Chelsea & Kensington Today Christmas Party @ Chelsea Arts Club Dr John Stedman @ RAC Denis MacShane and Calum MacDonald @ Pimlico Tuesday Geoff Bennett @ Pimlico D&J @ Trinity Restaurant Wednesday Kelly Weaver @ C&B Richard Gorman @ Thai Silk John Webster @ RAC Russam Christmas drinks @ Truckles Bump Ian Joseph Melissa Baxter Dallas Pounds Thursday Crowdbnk Board, Strategy & Party @...
28
DEC
Since 2007. I have spent Christmas time either abroad - usually with my children - or with dear friends in Bath and Cambridge. With Daisy and Jack (I have them every other Christmas) we spent time in Whistler, Vancouver and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island in 2008, in Verbier in 2010 and Vancouver, Nanaimo and Montreal in 2012. Somewhere in between, I snucked away to Malindi on the Kenyan coast and chilled. This year, I spent it with new friends in Wanstead and went
23
DEC
We had a small celebration on Saturday evening at Heston Blumenthal's restaurant at the Mandarin Hotel, Knightsbridge.  It was a feast for foodies and we loved it. 
21
DEC
Last week saw the end of series 3 of Borgen on BBC4; it was brilliantly scripted and beautifully acted with lots of nuanced pieces.  First it was the Swedes with Wallander then the Danes with The Bridge and Borgen (and The Killing soon).....what price a dark murder series from Helsinki and something from Norway?? 
20
DEC
Tech Support, Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend to Husband and noticed a distinct slowdown in overall system performance, particularly in the Flower and Jewellery applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend. In addition, Husband un-installed many other valuable programmes, such as Romance and Personal Attention and then installed undesirable programs such as Rugby, Football, Sailing and Continuous TV. Conversation no longer runs, and Housecleaning simply crashes the...
20
DEC
Tuesday Family @ Trinity Restaurant, Clapham Wednesday Russams @ Truckles, Bloomsbury Thursday Crowdbnk @ Kensington Wine Rooms, Kensington
17
DEC
Social Networking 46 9th-15th December Monday Allison Swan @ Physio Trinity Board @ Trinity Hospice Bump Katharine Jackson David Clarson Peter Gluckman Dr Tim Ladbrooke Iain McGourty Geraldine Walters Dallas Pounds David Coggins Sarah Gray Tuesday James Hibbert @ D2K Bump Lynn Murray Nik Slingsby @ Goya Wednesday Viv Bird & Huw Shanks @ BookTrust Baljit Dhanda @ Cork & Bottle Anthony Lilleyman @ Cork & Bottle Jonathan Price @ Thomas...
17
DEC
On Friday, my children joined me at The Wentworth in Aldeburgh for a long weekend. We played golf, walked to Thorpeness and had our customary fish and chips......and slept and slept.
9
DEC
Social Networking 45 2nd-8th December 2013 Monday Great Retail Revival Board Bump James Hibbert Keata Murray Anthony Barry Robin Kadrnka Volunteers Awards @ Trinity Hospice Bump Lynne Agers Dallas Pounds Sir John Ritblat @ Home Bump Gill Webber Tuesday Geoff Bennett @ Pimlico James Arbuthnot @ Portcullis House Bump Ian Pearson David Clarson Heather Miles James Thellusson Keata Murray Gill Webber Ayan Mitra Wednesday 64 Dennis MacShane @ Pimlico Shops...
3
DEC
On Sunday last, we went to see Man Tran at Ronnie Scott's. All their shows at RS were sold out! They were in quite brilliant form and it seeemd a long time since I saw them first at The Octagon in Reading in 1979 or 1980......
3
DEC
Why BBC4 has Borgen on at 6pm on a Saturday evening is a mystery to us all but the two two hour event is a must watch in our household(s) where Sunday afternoon is now our regular fix. Episode 5 was so real but we felt episode 6 just fell beow our high expectations.......role on Sunday.....
3
DEC
As a patron of RIBA I was given a private showing last night of Sir John Ritblat's redesigned hosue in Regent's Park yesterday evening. It is quite astonishing and you need to use the search to see it........
24
NOV
On Monday last, I was a guest of the Old Ipswichians at Evensong at St Paul's Cathedral which was sung by the school's choir. It was a very moving event. Afterwards we had a drink and supper.
24
NOV
Social Networking 44 18-24 November 2013 Monday Jim Dawton @ Cork & Bottle Evensong @ St Paul's Cathedral Tuesday Geoff @ Pimlico Paul Derrett @ Adjournment Restaurant Wednesday Major Stanley's @ OURFC Bump Jason Leonard Simon Halliday John Webster Malcolm Phillips Peter Carroll Stephen Pearson John Purcell Clive Hooker Geoff Windsor-Lewis Ronnie Lamb Tim Stevens Steve Lewis Mike Simmie Thursday Mihir Bose @ Shepherd's Bush Great Retail Revival @...
24
NOV
On Saturday evening, we went to see Madam Butterfly at the ENO. It was simply stunning. The sets were sensational.  
17
NOV
Social Networking 43 11-17 November 2013 Monday The En Primeur Tasting @ Bafta Bump James & Andrew Hibbert Lynn Murray, Hatch Mansfield Patrick McGrath, Hatch Mansfield Tim Stephens @ OURFC Bump John Carter, Captain OURFC Committee Meeting Bump Ronnie Lamb Stephen Pearson Sir Ivor Roberts Brian Loughman Colin Smith @ The Oxford Wine Cafe, South Parade Tuesday Legacy Sub Committee @ Twickenham Bump Vic Luck Richard Hornblow Wednesday Lynne Ager @ Clarence
17
NOV
I spent most of the morning watching the first two episodes of the third series of Borgen which was just as good as ever. Having recently visited Copenhagen the scenes looked very familiar. Catch it on the iPlayer!
16
NOV
On Wednesday, with Lynne Ager, a fellow trustee at Trinity Hospice, we went Christmas shopping at Clarence House. Once a year the Highgrove shop is brought to town.......
16
NOV
It has been a week of pitching: ** to the OURFC about our joint plans for RWC2015 ** to a film company with two outlines one of which we are going to work up and ** to Camelot for a new mobile lottery format
16
NOV
Yesterday afternoon our team spent a couple of hours pouring through our plans for next year. WE have a client we are working with and we discussed and debated our proposition......we are stronger and stronger as we flesh out the parts.
16
NOV
Last night, I went to see Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts at the Almeida and tonight I will be watching the opening of the third series of Borgen. Having recently had four days in Copenhagen, I am hooked on all things Danish! Ghosts is a dark play about late 19th century Lutheran morals centred around an all too familiar dysfunctional but reasonably wealthy family. It is a very clever construct with the interweaving of the various relationships laid bare. I suspect it caused quite...
12
NOV
There are ways and ways to celebrate Monday mornings but few would rate as highly as the most serious wine tasting organised by Hatch Mansfield who look after a number of key vineyards across the world but not alas in Italy!  Nonetheless there were over 100 classy wines to taste and I bought a case of Chorey-Les-Beaune and a case of Fixin Clos Moreau both from Louis Jadot. I fell heavily for the Meursault Perrieres ((£53 a bottle) and the Chassagne-Montrachet (£39) but...
10
NOV
You can register for Walking Home for Christmas at: www.walkinghomeforchristmas.com There will be a page in tomorrow's CityAM.  Help us raise money for Walking with the Wounded.  
10
NOV
Social Networking 42 4-10 November 2013 Monday PB @ Goya Tuesday Great Retail Revival presentations Bump James Hibbert Keata Murray John King CEO, House of Fraser Allan Winstanley House of Fraser Wednesday AQOTWF Thursday AQOTWF Friday Dallas Pounds@ Trinity Hospice Bump David Clarson Dr Richard Smith Great Retail Revival @ Waterloo Bump Keata Murray Robin Kadrnka James Hibbert Anthony Barry Ian Pearson & Heather Miles @ Pig's Ear,...
6
NOV
Social Networking 41 28 Oct - 3 Nov 2013 Monday Finance Committee @ Trinity H Bump David Clarson Katharine Jackson Dallas Pounds David Coggins Julia Robertson David Clarson Peter Gluckman Katharine Jackson Tuesday Bernie Frieder @ RAC Jonathan Price @ Thomas Cubitt Wednesday Geoff Bennett @ Pimlico Oliver Foster @ Pagefield Bump Mark Gallagher Thursday The Great Retail Revival (New Chair) James Hibbert, Dress2Kill Robin Kadrnka, BrandArkade Keata...
31
OCT
Last month, I applied for a vacancy as a trustee of the Design Council. Today, I was told I had been unsuccessful but then was asked if I would like to join their Advisory Board.....silver linings.....
31
OCT
I went along to a meeting at Dress2Kill not quite sure what the agenda was......I met Robin Kadrnka from brandarkade, Keata Murray from Retail Works and Martin Monks from Branded for Life plus James Hibbert from Dress2Killand I ended chairman of a company called The Great Retail Revival Ltd. We're going to have some fun. Yea....  
31
OCT
James Hibbert who owns Dress2Kill is a font of ideas. He wants to help Walking with the Wounded and raise money for the charity. We raised over £200k for WtW in the summer by cycling from Melbourne to Sydney which we branded "Ride of the Lions".....and now we are going to do a soft launch for this Christmas by asking people to walk home from their business rather than take the bus/tube/train/car. More details shortly.
24
OCT
Social Networking 39 14-20 October 2013 Monday Angela Bowland, Kate Kiln & Philip Bernie @ Thomas Cubbit Tuesday James Hibbert @ Dress2Kill Bump Mike Strange Wednesday Margaret Hodge MP & Michael Grade @ British Academy Bump Mark Gallagher, CEO, Pagefield Nick Boakes Gill Webber, RIBA Anna Yallop @ Cork & Bottle Jon & Sara Millard @ House of Commons Bump Gerry Sutcliffe MP Paul Farrelly MP Aidan Burley MP Gisela Stuart MP Thursday Crowdbnk...
24
OCT
Happy Danes by Derek Wyatt  Denmark has been the go-to destination over the past 18 months.   This love-in with all things Danish started, unusually, because of three quite stunning dramas across our television screens. First up was The Killing starring Sofie Grabol as Detective Inspector Sarah Lund. This was followed by the brilliant Borgen starring Sidse Babett Knusden as the Danish PM which is now in its third series and finally by The Bridge where a cut up torso...
17
OCT
I travelled up to the University Church of St.Mary the Virgin in the High at Oxford for the memorial service for Sir Patrick Nairne GCB MC PC. Patrick had died earlier on 4th June aged 91.  There were several beautiful speeches from Sandy Nairne - a son and currently Director of the NPG, from Professor Sir Andrew Motion a lifelong friend and Lord Wilson of Dinton with some touching prayers by The Revd Charlie Cleverly (a Godson). The church was packed out and if I had one...
14
OCT
Social Networking 38 7-13 October 2013 Monday Former Labour MPs @ Three Staggs Bump John Austin Tom Levitt Sylvia Heal Martin Linton Huw Edwards Gillian Merron Candy Atherton Tuesday Ayan Mitre @ Crowdbnk Richard Raine @ 2Amici Wednesday Sally Banks @ RAC Thursday Carole Stone & Stefan Shakespeare, YouGov @ Corinthia Hotel Bump Richard Lindley Friday Dallas Pounds & Heather Miles @ Trinity Hospice Chapel by Niall McLaughlin @ Saturday &...
13
OCT
We went to see MAAN last night; despite some serious reservations by the critics it was almost a full house and the play has been over 80% most nights. The main reason being Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones's reprise of their starring roles in Driving Miss Daisy. . It was bravely directed by Mark Rylance but it didn't appeal to me. 
13
OCT
We went out to Cuddesdon on Friday afternoon to see the Stirling Prize short listed Edward King Chapel at Ripon College designed by Niall McLaughlin. The interior was simply stunning - a small, simple, high roofed, friendly spiritual place to be. We loved it. Do go it is open most days. 
8
OCT
Social Networking 37 30th Sept - 6th October 2013 Monday John Webster @ RAC Trinity Board @ Trinity Hospice Bump Julia Robertson Peter Gluckman David Clarson Iain McQuorty Lynne Ager James Thellusson Dr. Tim Ladbrooke Katharine Jackson Dallas Pounds Stefan Karas David Coggins Tuesday Gal Moore & Raj Singh @ Henry's Wednesday Daisy @ Brixton Thursday Vic Luck, Richard Hornblow & Mark Campion @ RFU HQ Bump John Spencer Bill Beaumont Alvarez &...
29
SEP
We went to see Chimerica last night at the Harold Pinter Theatre. The first half was over long and after a volley of very funny one liners it became caught by its set which started to dictate and then impact on the actors. The second half was much shorter - we debated going home at the interval but stayed - and thankfully it picked up a tad. But overall I thought it was unsatisfactory as a play despite its hype since transferring from The Almeida.
29
SEP
Social Networking 36 23-29 September 2013 Monday Geoff Bennett @ Pimlico Tuesday Labour Party Conference @ Brighton Bump Peter Hain MP Cllr Roger Truelove Cllr Ghlin Whelan Harriet Harman MP Bill Thomas Carole Stone Todd Freeman PPC Lucian Hudson Clare Ward Lawrie Quinn Supper @ Pimlico Bump Laura Sandys MP Wednesday Breakfast @ Pimlico Bump Lord Michael Howard Tessa Moore @ Loosebox Thursday James Hibbert @ D2K Hatty Cadman @ Blue Boar, St...
29
SEP
Social Networking 35 16-22 September 2013 Monday David Clarson & Dr Chris Gerry Tuesday Ayan Mitra, Karen Duncan, Sunil Aggarwal, Christopher Humphry, Ian Pearson, Barry Parr & Rob Taylor @ Crowdbnk Board Elizabeth Lourd's Book Launch @ Daunt, Marylebone Street, SW1 for The Lure of the Honey Bird Wednesday Area 2 RWC Legacy Board Meeting @ RFU Vic Luck, Nick Cole, Louise Latter, Ben Calveley, Gavin Williams, Chris Fowke, Erin Kirby, Simon Cooper, Andrew Harris,
23
SEP
Yesterday evening, we went to see Jasmine Blue at the Stratford Picture House. Though it was a warm evening the cinema chose to increase the indoor temperature to 25C which was decidely uncomfortable. The film itself was terribly disappointing and you do wonder why the critics loved it so much. Was it the love-in for Woody? Was it the relief that he had made a film in which you could understand some of the texture? What was it? Anyway, save your money and go to something else.
21
SEP
Thursday was catch up day: Barry McGovern an old mucker from Sky TV Lunch at Gran Paradiso, Pimlico Also at the restaurant were Hugh Grant, Evan Harris and Lord Ashcroft Andy Kenny, Managing Director @ Sport-Rapport Drinks at Cork & Bottle We met at the House of Lords to celebrate Wheel Power in July Roya Nasser, my former secretary, now living in Paris Supper at Cork & Bottle A first meeting since 1984
21
SEP
Last night, I went to Brasserie Zedel for the first time. We had drinks at Bar Amercaine - which was packed - so we queued for ten minutes! And then stayed for supper which was a delight though the service was disappointing.
19
SEP
I received a surprise present in the post yesterday. It was Nigel Slater's book entitled "Appetite". A dear friend had sent it as she knew I was on a new diet and felt the message and the menus would help me. I have started to read it and am enjoying it immensely.
19
SEP
I am reading "The Blunders of Governments" by the esteemed duo King and Crewe which sounds more like a railway company but I will let that pass. I was in on the CSA blunder(s) in 1998 and if only the two authors had really known how bad these reforms were and why they had to be delayed for two years.....but they feature in my own book which  I hope to complete in the middle of next year.
18
SEP
Is there a better book shop in the UK than Daunt's in Marylebone High Street? I doubt it though given its size The Aldeburgh Book shop runs it close...... Anyway, last night I was back for another launch party this time for Elizabeth Laird's The Lure of the Honey Bird - The Story Tellers of Ethiopia which looks a lot of fun. I took time out to buy some Tim Parks books on Italy - well four exactly!
17
SEP
Last Wednesday, we went to see the late show at Ronnie's featuring the legendary Jose Feliciano. He was simply wonderful and brought the house down.
17
SEP
I went with Julia Robertson, the group CEO of Impellum and a Trinity Hospice trustee to see Ginny Tate (ex trustee/volunteer at Trinity). Ginny has a house about an hour from Faro on the coast. Last year, she lost her wonderful husband and best friend, Saxon (as in Tate & Lyle). The weather was a fine 25-28C though it rained on Saturday!! It was great to see Ginny again. She was incredibly supportive of Trinity.   
17
SEP
As a Patron, I was invited to the RIBA presentation fo the six architects short-listed for the Stirling Prize which will be announced next Thursday (26/09). My favourite was Niall McLaughlin's wonderful  new church at Rippon Theological College at Cuddesdon, near Oxford. www.architecture.com
17
SEP
Social Networking 34 09-15 September 2013 Monday Carole Stone & Richard Lindley @ Cork & Bottle Daisy @ Brixton Tuesday Philip Lay @ Ebury Wine Bar Emma Jacobs @ Groucho Stirling Prize shortlist @ RIBA Gill Webber Wednesday Jose Feliciano @ Ronnie Scott's Thursday Richard Gorman, Peter Winterbottom, James Hibbert & Mike Gore @ RAC Friday Dallas Pounds & David Clarson @ Trinity Hospice Ginny Tate & Julia Robertson @ Carvoeiro,...
8
SEP
Social Networking 33 2-8 September 2013 Monday Virginia Bottomley Jim Murphy MP & Laura Sandys MP Bob Blizzard, Laurie Quinn, Gilly Merron and Martin Linton @ Three Stags Tuesday Swim 30 minutes @RAC Stanley's lunch: Ronnie Lamb, Peter Caroll, John Purcell and John Webster on The Terrace @ RAC Supper: Mihir Bose, Caroline Cecil, Stefan Stern, David Hooper, Michael Green, Clive Jones, Kate Hoey and David Elstein @ Reform Club Wednesday Gym - one hour Nigel
4
SEP
David Elstein gave a tour de force speech last night about the state of hacking and the power of the BBC' News and Current Affairs department and called for the latter to be broken up.
2
SEP
1. David Frost came to Paul Hamlyn and suggested he did books for M&S. Paul duly presented to M&S and duly won - over the years - a series of lucrative contracts.   Frostie chose to take 1p in the £ for every book sold and his royalty cheques were a joy to behold (well for him anyway). 2. He came into Sky in 1997 after a light lunch on a couple or three bottles of red and suggested that we run a gambling and lottery channel. We turned him down. He always was ahead...
2
SEP
"The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588, when...
30
AUG
Social Networking 31 25 July - 24 August 2013   Summer Holiday in Siena Bump Carlo Cignozzi, Winemaker & Mozart Music maker, Montalcino Jeremy & Jacqueline Sinclair, CEO, M&C Saatchi Carole Stone & Richard Lindley, Serial Networker & Former ITN Newsreader Diana Grandi, NG Photographer Mark & Vicky Jefferson, Wine Buffs and Bon Viveurs Chris Larkin & Suki Stephens, Actor (Yes Minister & Teacher/Copy Writer/Genuine Good Eggs) Ken Clarke MP Hatty...
30
AUG
I met Ben O'Brien this morning at Sourced, his creation, at St Pancras International. I may become an investor. 
16
AUG
Siena Holiday Reads & Films Part of a holiday is about playing catch up with books and films you should have read or seen. I began collecting books to read back in March and brought most of them with me. Here's a selection I actually managed to finish: A Delicate Truth **** by John Le Carre From the Master maybe his last. I gobbled up the last quarter unsure what would happen The New Digital Age ** by Eric Schmidt Slightly boring Perfect CV**** by Max...
28
JUL
Driving to Siena   This is my twentieth visit to Italy starting way back in 1978. I’ve been all over the place but still haven’t conquered Napoli or the Lakes. Since, 1997, I have begun to settle for Siena and its surrounding small hill towns and I am once again “stationed” here for a month.   This time I am back close to Siena where we stayed en famille in 1997 and again in 2005. After my divorce in 2007, I started coming back here more...
24
JUL
On Monday evening I went to the first of six Wynton Marsalis scheduled concerts at Ronnie Scott's. He was in sensational form and his band was exceptional. Last night, they streamed the concert live through the RS web site and The Guardian also took a feed. It was a different set from Monday's and a different selection of older pieces and those he wrote himself. The Guardian has a review of last night in today's paper.   Ronnie Scott's is a delight. It may no...
24
JUL
Social Networking 30 15 - 25 July 2013 Monday British Influence @ St James's Park Bump Caroline Spelman MP Ken Clarke MP Peter Mandelson Ian Taylor Peter Kellner Laura Sandys MP Tuesday Board Meeting @ Crowdbnk Crowdbnk Summer Party @ The Pregnant Man Bump Mark Call Jake Sumner Jack Wyatt Paddy Flood Ayan Mitra Karen Duncan Ian Pearson Paul O'Donnell Wednesday Major Stanley's @ Knightsbridge Bump Stephen Pearson Frazer Gemmell Labour Business Party @...
24
JUL
We went up to Aldeburgh on Friday to stay at the White Lion (a first). On Saturday morning we were at Minsmere - the RSPB reserve - which was fun even though it was raining whilst the rest of the country bathed in sunshine. I tried to follow the golf and the cricket but there is little or no O2 signal in this part of the country due to obdurate local councillors and so accessing the Apps was difficult..........I so wanted Lee Westwood to win but Phil Mickelson pipped him in...
15
JUL
On Saturday, we drove down to Chichester where my parents used to live and where I played for a season at the local rugby club in 1971-72.  We went to see If Only which had been well reviewed by both the FT and The Observer. This is David Edgar's latest political play set in 2010 around the Election and 2014 when our country will be celebrating the 100 years since the start of WW1.  No sooner had we arrived and taken our seats (matinee) than (Sir) John and...
15
JUL
Social Networking 29 8th-14th July 2013 Monday Lyn Rothman @ Santini's (over-priced and dreadful food) Bump Sir Peter Tapsell Tuesday Eva Guerra @ DesignIt Ethiopian Ambassador @ Kensington Mexican Revolution @ Royal Academy Ken Pyne @ No.11 Pimlico Road Wednesday European Year of the Brain @ Queen Square Denis MacShane @ Pimlico Thursday Melissa Baxter @ Cork & Bottle A Season in the Congo @ Old Vic Friday Mark Gallagher @...
12
JUL
Last night I went to see A Season in the Congo directed by Joe Wright and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor. The Young Vic has a buzz of its own and a serious following and the place was full which was encouraging in every sense.  The play itself was written in 1966 by Aime Cesaire (1913-2008!) as is about the life of Patrice Lumumba, the first elected PM of the Congo, who like so many after him was assassinated in 1961. The play was heavy laden which should and could have been shortened...
12
JUL
Over Easter, 1958 my family - fresh from three years in Hong Kong - took their first English holiday at the caravan park in Aldeburgh. Every morning I used to walk through the back field to the dairy with a jug to collect our daily milk. The caravan itself was such fun. My brother, sister and I slept in the back with my bed being the dining table with a mattress stored under one of the seats. My parents bed pulled down from a cupboard. There were outside toilets and a washing area but no...
11
JUL
Yesterday, I attended my first Ambassadors meeting at Queen Square. We spent two hours talking through ideas and proposals - it was very stimulating. 
10
JUL
The first cartoon I remember from Ken's prolific pen was during the Three Day Week back in 1974. He had a father and son dressed in Arab clothing looking out across London from the top of St Paul's. The punch line was "One day my son all this will be yours".....I think I saw it in either Private Eye or Punch. I loved his work. In 1984, when I started in Publishing, I commissioned Ken to illustrate a number of my books I had on my list and we began a friendship which remains to this
10
JUL
Yesterday afternoon I went back to the Royal Academy to meet friends who were born, brought up or had studied in Mexico, to see the rather brilliant exhibition about their country's art following the Revolution in 1910. I was surprised at the number of European artists and photographers who dropped in on Mexico as it couldn't have been the easiest place to travel to even by boat (the first transatlantic passenger flight by plane was 1939) though the presence of Leon Trotsky...
9
JUL
My near neighbour is Lyn Rothman and we had lunch yesterday at Santini's which has fallen from grace. The menu is overpriced, the service poor and the buzz has gone. It'll be a long time before I am back. Lyn is involved in the European Year of the Brain 2014 where I have just become an Ambassador.  
7
JUL
Social Networking 28 1st-7th July 2013 Monday Dallas Pounds @ Trinity Hospice Bump Julia Robertson David Clarson Katharine Jackson Tuesday Michael Rowe, RFU @ RAC Passion Play @ Duke of York Wednesday BSAC @ Olswang James & Clare Arbuthnot @ Goya Bump Tom Pendry Thursday Jack @ Pimlico 1000 Club @ Tavistock Place Bump Ed Miliband Gilly Merron Jonathan Shaw Roger Truelove Paul Clark Chris Pond Charlie Falconer John Maxton George Foulkes Sally...
7
JUL
This morning, I went, somewhat belatedly, to the Summer Show. As usual it was a complete mix of styles except this year there was a closer association between photography, sculpture and architecture which was to be welcomed.   
7
JUL
Sir Hugh Casson was a past President of the RA, 1976-84 and founded both the Friends of RA in 1977 and its American counterpart in 1983 - so it owes him a lot. This exhibition (why in 2013 it doesn't celebrate anything?) is slight comprising just two rooms mainly of sketches and letters. The former draw heavily on the work of Edward Ardizzone. I liked Augustus John's studio (1935) which Casson had a hand in more for its genuflection to Le Corbusier than...
5
JUL
Yetserday, I had lunch with Jack and we talked through the next stages of his university career and in the evening Daisy and I went to hear Ed Miliband speak at Mary Ward House.
3
JUL
Passion Play starring Zoe Wanamaker and Samantha Bond has had pretty good reviews and I went last night to look it over at the Duke of York's. There are some wonderful hurtful lines in this middle class play about infidelity which is angst driven. i wasn't really happy with the ending and though I couldn't admit to having enjoyed it all, the acting was outstanding. 
3
JUL
Social Networking 27 24-30 June 2013 Monday Simon Baghomian @ RAC Lord Erroll @ House of Lords Roger & Christine Truelove @ Pimlico Tuesday Stephen Bough @ Maidenhead RFC Bump Joe Downier David Dolman David Taylor Former MPs @ Mr Speaker Bump Bruce Grocott Howard Stoate Tata Summer Party @ Westminster Wednesday Sarah Smith @ Trinity Hospice Simone Bacchini @ British Library The Brubeck's @ Ronnie Scott's Bump James Pearson Thursday Women's Sport
1
JUL
On Saturday, I popped down to Cranbrook for Jack's 21st shindig which was most enjoyable. I had to give a small speech. I said it was fortunate that he took his good looks from his mother......Jack had paired up with Ali to host a joint event so we had a 100+ of their friends. It was fun. Here's the last paragraph or two from my speech: "Jack: you have been a constant brick in my life, a best friend, a sound critic, a joy to take anywhere, a fellow traveller, a poor squash player but a...
1
JUL
En route to Cranbrook on Saturday, I had a couple of hours at Sissinghurst and this time I finally made the gardens which were a joy to behold.
1
JUL
Yesterday afternoon I went to see the Lowry. I'm not sure it added to my knowledge of his work. Basically his art matches faceless matchstick men and women with backgrounds of unremitting dreariness. Not for me.  
1
JUL
After Lowry it was a huge fillip to take in Patrick Caulfield's latest show also at Tate Britain which was so enjoyable. Do go.  
27
JUN
Last December, Dave Brubeck died a day short of his 92nd birthday. He had been playing and touring with his family and the tradition has been maintained. The Brubeck Family played seven UK concerts in seven new venues prior to arriving for five gigs at Ronnie's. It was an enjoyable evening but Dave was special and the magic was missing even though the concerts are a sell out. It was good to catch up with James Pearson, Ronnie's musical director, who played with his band just...
24
JUN
Social Networking 26 17-23 June 2013 Monday Ronnie Lamb @ RAC Board Meeting @ Trinity Bump Julia Robertson David Clarson Peter Gluckman Geraldine Walters Tuesday Speaking @ BCS Conference Bump Lord David Currie David Harrington Jackie Dickinson @ RAC Simone Sandelson @ RAC Wednesday Dele @ Pimlico Merlin Erroll @ House of Lords APPRUGBY Community Awards @ House of Commons Bump Paul Farrelly MP James Thellusson Edward Griffiths, CEO, Saracens Gordon
24
JUN
I had a delightful time at Ronnie's yesterday listening to Kevin's repertoire of a largely 60s repertoire of swing; his band was excellent. I wish Ronnie's would just leave a note on each table about the credentials of the band players.
24
JUN
I went on Saturday evening to taste wines at the Naked Tour just off Vincent Square. The place was packed and if the 500+ crowd all paid their £20 a head then everyone was a winner. There were 16 tables representing 12 countries. I'm mainly a 'white' only drinker as red disagrees with me.......and was greatly taken by the Argentine. French and New Zealand offers........and am looking to a fuller taste shortly.
19
JUN
On Sunday, I attended the annual ChinaOxford luncheon to celebrate those post-graduates from China luckily enough to win scholarships to help them study at the University. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/l126dqyfs2psve1/BBw-pvyaG3 It was a great day and my goodness what talent we have been lucky to attract such talent from China. Thank you Tim Beardson, our main provider in these matters.
19
JUN
Jack, my son, was in Portugal chilling after his second year exams at Bath Uni and so aside from a phone call and a promise of a dinner treat when he returns........it was left to Daisy, my daughter, to treat me! First we went to see Behind the Candelabra starring Matt Damon and Michael Douglas (as Liberace) at the ICA and then onto Toku in Regent Street for our best sushi yet: a lovely end to a busy day.
19
JUN
For reasons which are not easy to explain I have hardly read a book for a month..........the last one being This Boy by Alan Johnson which I loved. Anyway, Tim founded the ChinaOxford scholarship programme twenty years or so ago and as a resident of Hong Kong for much longer, he has finally written that book he has been meaning to write about China and I have done no more than read the opening chapter but it should be finished by the week's end.
16
JUN
I went to see Beautiful Thing written 20 years ago by Jonathan Harvey and starring Suranne Jones (Corrie et al) in Brighton yesterday evening. I took the train from Victoria (just 55 minutes non-stop) and found Brighton to be windy, spoilt by bad planning and full of police.......The theatre itself had a fifties charm to it though it needs a lick of paint. Nonetheless it was packed for this last performance of a short run.   The play hums and has some...
15
JUN
Social Networking 24  3rd-9th June 2013 Monday Steve Tudhope @ Pimlico Bump Aidan Burley Tuesday Ed Richards @ Atheneum Bump Melissa Baxter Ian McNichol Liz McSheehy @ Royal Institute Daniel Crewe, Profile @ Cork & Bottle Wednesday Tony Halmos & Paul Sizeland @ Guildhall Thursday Jack @ Pimlico Masons event @ Trinity Hospice Ian Pearson @ Chelsea Friday Dolores Rice @ Pimlico Jackie Dickinson @ RAC Katharine Jackson @ Cork &...
6
JUN
Sir Patrick Nairne died on 4th June aged 91. He was my Master at Catz (1982) and there is lovely Obit in The Guardian this morning. I sent the following note to the Editor of the Obits page: "Sir Patrick Nairne was a brilliant Master at Catz. He was uncannily ahead of most curves, he was unfailingly courtesy, he was generous with his time for its students and clever at putting different people together; above all he was so approachable. And yet he still had time to
6
JUN
Daniel Crewe contacted me recently and on Tuesday we met for drinks at the Cork & Bottle, near Leicester Square, which has been one of my favourite haunts for aeons.   Daniel is a publisher at Profile and brought me: Brothers At War: The Unending Conflict in Korea by Sheila Miyoshi Jager to read on my forthcoming long break in Siena. We talked about a book I am writing called Nearly Famous but actually I was tempting him with a bigger book all together........more soon.
2
JUN
27th May - 2nd June 2013 Monday Jane Evans @ Goya Mark Knopfler @ RAH Tuesday Nose to the grind stone Wednesday Jimmy Hibbert @ Meson Don Felopi Lyn Rothman @ Pimlico Thursday Jane Plackett @ Ozer Edward Close Smith @ Pimlico Peter Bills @ No.11 Friday Lynne Ager @ Trinity Saturday Dave Smith @ Pimlico Sunday A quiet day
2
JUN
Social Networking 20th-26th May 2013 Monday James Thelluson @ Les Deux Salons HE Gordon Campbell @ Canadian High Commission Tuesday Board Meeting @ Crowdbnk Wednesday John Webster @ Cork & Bottle Lynne Ager @ Trinity Eva Guerra @ No.11 Thursday Geoff Bennett @ Cafe Rouge Yvette Vaughan Jones @ Slug & Lettuce Crowdbnk @ Cork & Bottle Penguin International Book Launch @ East India Club Catz Alumni @ Arup Friday Legacy Group @...
1
JUN
Lyn was a late guest at my early summer party last month and on Wednesday evening she returned the complement. Mo - Lyn's late husband - brought Charlie Chaplin back from Switzerland to America (his adopted country) in the early 1970s which restored his name. He also bought 50% of Chaplin's film library for $6m and recouped his investment with his first deal in Japan! It was a film evening with other guests from Hollywood who;d been at Cannes........
28
MAY
Last night, I went to see Mark Knopfler at the Albert Hall. He is doing six sell out concerts which I reckoned on ticket sales alone meant a turnover of somewhere between £1m-1.5m: not a bad week's work even if the RAH takes 25%. The concert was a jungle. First up was Ruth Moddy who has just released These Wilder Things. Though born in Oz she grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba and trained as a classical singer before moving into folk music. She features on Mark K's latest cd:...
26
MAY
Micky Flanagan's 2013 tour has been a sell out across the country. Having booked tickets late last year, I was relieved to go and see the concert on Friday at the dreadfully appointed Hammersmith Apollo which is a disgrace.  Not that it mattered. Flanagan was outrageously funny touching chords few other comedians would risk! He is just the best in town at the moment. 
26
MAY
I was at St. Catherine's College, Oxford as a mature student (32) where I read for an M.Sc in Mismanagement Education ......but that was then........ The College is affectionately known as Catz and we had our annual Alumni Party at ARUP on Thursday evening. I arrived late by which time it was humming.... i borrowed £10k in 1981 from my bank to do my course and paid it back over a further ten years by which time my salary had quadrupled so for me my time at Oxford was truly...
20
MAY
Wynton Marsalis is at Ronnie Scott's in July so having booked my tickets I have been listening to two CDs one with Willie Nelson and the other with Eric Clapton......dreamy....
19
MAY
Social Networking 21 13-19 May 2013 Monday Returned from Istanbul Tuesday Jeremy Charles @ High Timber Dr Alexander Brand @ Westminster South Medical Centre Charles Corea Exhibition @ RIBA Richard Blaksley @ Boisdale Wednesday Eduardo @ Tom Tom Cafe Blood @ Westminster South Medical Centre Mark Davies @ Thomas Cubitt Tessa, Neil, Trish  & Emily - Ambassadors, Trinity Hospice @ The Sun, Clapham Thursday Anna Anketell @ Cork & Bottle Great...
18
MAY
Istanbul 21 Nearly three years ago, a few months before my daughter's 21st birthday, I asked her what she would like for a present. I suggested we went away together so we would always remember it. I lobbed up the odd suggestion like the Blue Train from Joburg to Cape Town and then a trip to Robben Island finishing with a safari.  But each time, she would respond "That's what you want to do Dad" to which there was a modicum of truth! Finally, finally last year she settled on Istanbul...
17
MAY
Great Gatsby @ Chelsea Curzon I went to see the Great Gatsby shot in 3D last night (there is also a 2D version). The audience was split between us oldies and youngsters in their 20s/early 30s who missed the last version of this film back in 1974. All told there have been five versions: 1926 - by Herbert Brenon, a silent movie now lost 1949 - by Elliott Nugent, starring Alan Ladd 1974 - by Jack Clayton, starring Robert Redford 2000 - by  Robert Markowitz, a...
17
MAY
Petition Response from David Ruse, Tri-borough Director of Libraries and Archives Date sent: 17th May 2013 Dear Cllr Dimoldenberg Your petition asking the Council to 'reject proposals to cut the entire £350,000 a year budget for Arts and Culture over the next two years' has now closed for the collection of signatures.  The petition received 901 signatures.  As the relevant Chief Officer, I have carefully considered the petition and set out the Council’s...
16
MAY
Richard and I met watching our respective sons playing rugby at school and we have maintained our friendship since. On Tuesday we had a quiet dinner at Boisdale's.
16
MAY
RIBA has a grand exhibition of Charles Correa's work - he is India's greatest architect and winner of RIBA's Gold Medal. His work is not so well known here. His was influenced by Le Corbusier whose work in India included much of the new city of Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab and Haryana. It's a great pity there isn't much published about Correa's life and work. Perhaps RIBA could work with Phaidon to create a mini series of the Gold Medal Winners.   I went to the launch...
13
MAY
Sorry I haven't put anything up for a week but I have been in Istanbul for five days - what a great city - more soon.
13
MAY
I live by myself and have done so for six years and many of my friends have been unbelievably kind during this time inviting me for lunch, supper and weekends. So last Tuesday over eighty of them came to a thank you party bash at the LooseBox in Horseferry Road.
13
MAY
Jilly and I went up The Shard last Monday to celebrate our first anniversary since we first met at the Tate Modern. Luckily, it was a clear and sunny evening - it was deserted - and so we had the place more or less to ourselves. It is such a sensational building and the view from the very top is simply spectacular.
13
MAY
Social Networking 20 6-12 May, 2013 Monday London Skyline @ The Shard Tuesday Vic Luck @ Twickenham Sue Boreham @ Trinity Hospice Heena Patel @ Pimlico Clinic Party @ LooseBox Bump Jonathan Shaw Ian Pearson Ken Pyne David & Caroline Hooper Peter & Ros Grose John Denham MP Caroline Flint MP Gareth Thomas MP Ginny Tate Ambre Hammond Joy Camm Guy Bell Lynne Ager Tessa Moore David Clarson Roger Truelove Wednesday Finance Committee@ Trinity...
6
MAY
Social Networking 19 29/04-05/05 2013 Monday Mr Miles @ National Orthopedic Hospital CEO Candidates Day @ Trinity Hospice Bump Iain McGourty David Clarson Lynne Ager Peter Gluckman Tuesday Dr Othman Ali Alzamil @ KFA Memorial for HE Prime Minister Meles Zenawi @ Emmanuel Centre, Marsham Street, SW1 Bump HE Berthanu Kebede Ethiopian Ambassador to UK Gordon Brown Myles Wickstead, former UK Ambassador to Ethiopia Paul Boateng Clare Short Mark Malloch-Brown Dr...
6
MAY
Yesterday, I joined Hugh McCormick at Ronnie Scott's for a late Sunday lunch to hear Digby Fairweather and his talented ensemble - and jolly good it was too.
5
MAY
On Friday evening, I was just settling down to an evening with Eric Schmidt's book on the New Digital Age when Jane Evans and old mucker from my Parliamentary days called to ask me at 6.15pm whether I'd like a join her at The National to see The House. She had asked a friend but she was stuck on the M25 and was definitely not going to make it. So it was that I found myself as part of the audience to the back of the stage for a play I had tried to book myself but it has been such a monster...
5
MAY
I saw Jack, my son, yesterday in Bath and we lunched at Graze by the station. It is a relatively new restaurant (five months or so) and not to our liking. The starters were poor and slight and expensive. The bread was stale. The service was slow. We certainly won't be returning. 
5
MAY
Hester Finch works at Trinity Hospice but doubles as an artist. Now, no laughing but look at: http://www.oaksmithstudio.co.uk/2013/05/three-into-one/
4
MAY
On Wednesday evening, I was the guest speaker at the London branch of the Old Ipswichian Club at Dartmouth House, home of the English Speaking Union. I had prepared a speech lasting just on fifteen minutes but during the supper, I was advised that some members had to catch the fast train back to Ipswich and so I speeded my deliver up and took eight pages out!! I had some complimentary emails about the quality of my jokes.......
1
MAY
Jilly and I went to see The Audience last night. It was simply brilliant. The play had been updated to include the Thatcher funeral. Interestingly, missing from an "audience" were Macmillan, Douglas-Home, Callaghan (almost), Heath and Blair. The surprise package was Wilson. The best lines were when HM "interviewed" Major or Brown which had us crying in the aisles with laughter. Go see.
1
MAY
After The Audience I tripped along to Ronnie's to hear Madeleine Peyroux. I'd last heard her at The Barbican in 2006. Her backing group last night comprised two violinists (one from NY was superb), a viola player, a cellist and a bass plus piano, drums and electric guitar. She also played guitar. He style has changed - she's still not really comfortable performing but having a security blanket of a band has helped. She was largely solo last time I saw her. Her new album is largely copies
29
APR
I went with Daisy to see A Late Quartet last night. It started quietly and took some time to warm up but had a rather touching ending. ***
29
APR
Finally, I managed to find time to return to the V&A for the David Bowie exhibition which was simply sensational and well worth a visit.
22
APR
With Daisy, my daughter, I went to see Dans la Maison starring Kirstin Scott Thomas late last night. We had a quick bite to eat at the Cork & Bottle before moving on to the Odeon in Panton Street.  It simply wouldn't have been possible to have raised the money for this slight film in the UK. This may speak volumes for the huge state subsidy in France but in the end my sense is that this makes the industry there more claustrophobic.  I will spare you the plot which is...
22
APR
Some time back I was cogitating on how I might give something back to my old school at Colchester. I have been a donor to Exeter University and St. Catherine's College, Oxford over the past 20 years where I studied. Strangely, the Open University, where I read Modern Art & Architecture for six years whilst trying to hold down a job, a marriage and playing for Bedford and England, hasn't yet approached its alumni for help. Anyway, I had two wonderful years in the sixth form at RGS...
21
APR
Social Networking 17 15-21 April 2013 Monday Geoff Bennett @ Highgate Simon Halliday & Stephen Pearson @ Oxford & Cambridge Club Tuesday Malcolm Taylor & David Harrington @ Cork & Bottle DPA @ Attlee Suite, Portcullis House, Parliament The Internet of Things seminar Bump Jeremy Hunt MP Tom Bradby ITV News Merlin Errol HoL Ian Taylor Peter van Manen Rob van Kranenburg Maurizio Pilu Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino Andy Love MP Ivan Lewis MP Supper @...
15
APR
Two People in Verona I went with Jilly to Verona for a lazy weekend. On Friday evening, we flew BA from Gatwick which was a breeze. We'd checked in online and with only hand luggage we were through to duty free in a trice. The relatively new owners of the airport have done a much better job with the improved exits from the station and better signage plus a more caring management system through security.  (We celebrated at the Champagne bar). It was as good in Verona where we were in...
15
APR
Social Networking 16 8-14 April 2013 Monday Head Hunters @ Trinity Hospice Bump Ian Joseph Katharine Jackson Peter Gluckman Lynne Ager Maxine Taylor @ King's College Bump Sir Ric Trainor Man Ray exhibition @ NPG Tuesday Norman Foster @ RIBA Bump Sheila Stirling Razia Iqbal Wednesday Genius Bar, Apple Shop @ Regent Street: 26 minute wait Thursday Daisy @ Ole Sole Mio Friday Verona Saturday Verona Sunday Verona
10
APR
Norman Foster was interviewed last night by Russia Iqbal at RIBA. The queue for this BBC World Service programme was twice round the block when I arrived just after six thirty for a seven o'clock start.  Foster disclosed that his team had built nearly 300 buildings......which is frankly amazing.  I have been to see: Willis Faber in Ipswich Beijing Airport Hong Kong Airport The Gherkin Standard Airport - he's rather good at airports British...
9
APR
I went with Jilly to the Friends of NPG private showing of the Man Ray exhibition last night. It features over 150 prints and key works. It was interesting to see Picasso with hair and a very stylised shot of Le Corbusier..... Go see: it was very busy last night.
7
APR
Jilly and I went to see Pinter's Old Times at the old Comedy Theatre now renamed the Harold Pinter...... My it was hard going........... If a theatre needed a facelift, this one sure does - cramped seats, bad eye lines and overpriced everything (£7.50 for a glass of Prosecco) including the tickets......theatre needs to take some lessons from The National.....
7
APR
Social Networking 15 1st -7th April 2013 Easter Monday Cobham U21s v Richmond U21s @ Cobham Sports Association Surrey Cup Final Richmond winning 35-29 Bump Colin Herridge Steve Hill Tuesday Jack @ Aldeburgh Bump Michael Pritt, Wentworth Hotel Graham Simper, Thompson's Gallery Wednesday Daisy @ Mekong Thursday Derek Underwood @ Paddock Wood Friday AQOTWF Saturday Richmond v Fylde 35-29 Old Times @ Pinter Theatre Sunday AQOTWF
5
APR
It is great news that the British Library is now officially able to collect digital information from the net.  In 2009, they asked me to deposit my own web site: www.derekwyattexmp.co.uk there.
2
APR
I snicked away this morning - well after I'd been to Kwik Fit in Chelsea to pour £255 into their coffers for a puncture I had picked up yesterday - to Aldeburgh with Jack. He's at Bath Uni in his second year pondering what to do next. And though we think we're busy these kids of ours are twice as energetic. They pour more time into their academic studies over a year than we did in a week and then they party like there's no tomorrow.... So he'd kind of tricked me into suggesting he...
1
APR
Social Networking 15 25th-31st March 2013 Monday Ride of the Lions Bump Jimmy Hibbert Peter Winterbottom Richard Gorman Mike Gore Trustees Board @ Trinity Hospice Bump David Clarson Digital Photography @ Pimlico Tuesday Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chairman, Arts Council Apple Store @ Coventry Garden Sittingbourne & Sheppey Labour Party Dinner @ The Coniston Hotel Bump Andy Sawford MP Roger Truelove Christine Truelove Ghlin Whelan Eamon Norton Shelly...
24
MAR
Social Networking 13 18-24 March 2013 Monday Names Not Numbers@Aldeburgh Bump Hannah Rothschild, author Charlie Leadbeater, author Martin Davidson, CEO, British Council Alice Sherwood, King's College Judy Piatkus Sophie Radice, author Robert Phillips Suzanna Taverne, BBC Trust Alice Sherwood, King's College Jonathan Reekie, Snape Maltings Sarah-Jayne Blakemore Lucy Prebble, Playwright Tommy Helsby Liz Cobbold, Adnams Maxine Taylor, King's College Tuesday Names Not...
24
MAR
My reading table is beginning to groan:  Divided Nations by Ian Goldin* Networks of Outrage & Hope by Manuel Castells* The Baroness by Hannah Rothschild*   To Save Everything Click Here by Evgeny Morozov*  The Victory Lab by Sasha Issenberg Big Data by Mayer-Schonberger* & Cukier * Attended talk or lecture at Names Not Numbers, RSA or OII
24
MAR
I had supper with Dennis MacShane and Callum Macdonald earlier in the week and I dug out a bottle of Chinese Cabernet 1992 given to me as a gift when I was in Beijing in 2009. It had the name: Baiyanghe on its label. I'm not sure how professional the Chinese wine market was in 1992....and though it didn't rattle my fillings it certainly hadn't benefitted from being kept.......
21
MAR
I was back at the RSA last night for a second helping but this time the lecturer was the Manuel Castells now at USC and Berkeley in California. He was here to promote his book: Networks of Outrage and Hope and that was the scope of his lecture. He talked for just under an hour on "Outrage" the public non-violent protests which started in Iceland and spread to America and across mainland Europe and then moved on to "Hope" about the Arab Spring and its consequences. It was a tour de force the...
20
MAR
I went this morning to the RSA in John Adam Street to the launch of Peter Bazalgette's "The Grand Tour in the new Grand Partnership" inaugural lecture as the new (six weeks) chairman of the Arts Council. You can access it at www.thersa.org . He spoke for 25 minutes and then took questions. I asked the first one: Would he create a joint venture between the Arts Council and the RSA to bring forward ArtsBank - the first crowdsourcing arts bank in the world? Afterwards he said he...
20
MAR
We held our fifth UK Names Not Numbers symposium but for the first time at Aldeburgh. After our first one in 2009 at Portmeirion (which took six hours by coach) I did suggest to Julia H that we considered Aldeburgh......anyway we made it..... It is quite thrilling to be involved in a NNN event and this year was no exception where there were some quite sensational events, talks, discussions and lectures. You can follow it at www.namenotnumbers.com
20
MAR
I was at two grammar schools - Westcliff CHS in Southend (1961-66) and then Colchester RGS (1966-68). It would be fair to conclude that I was not as studious in the classroom as I was on the playing fields. Anyway, I have been trying to find a way to say thank you to one of them - Colchester - and especially to the late Jack Elam. my wonderful head teacher.   For the next ten years, I have agreed to fund an annual travel bursary award of £500, for Years 11, 12...
20
MAR
Social Networking 12 11th-17th March 2013 Monday James Garvey & Anne Hooper @ Trinity Hospice www.trinityhospice.org.uk   Digital Photography @ Pimlico Adult Education Centre Tuesday Blood @ Vincent Square David Spruce (QBE) @ Cork & Bottle www.qbe.com Agnes Venema & Megg Munn MP@ Parliamentarian Network for Conflict Prevention, Brussels Bump Frank Doran MP Julian Brazier MP Frank Field MP Tom Bradby ITN www.pncp.net Daniel Libeskind @...
20
MAR
I caught Side Effects thanks to a tip from Jack, my son.   I thought the ending surreal but for 85% of the time this was a gripping tale with a great performance from Jude Law. Go see.
13
MAR
I was a guest of RIBA last night for the BBC World Service interview (conducted by Razia Iqba)l with the great Daniel Libeskind whose work is nothing short of genius..... Consider: Jewish Museum, Berlin Imperial War Museum North Royal Ontario Museum The Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin Dresden Museum of Military History Keppel Bay, Singapore and Zlota 44, Warsaw Plus of course his work at Ground Zero, NY He gave an extraordinary rich interview last night which...
10
MAR
With Jilly I went to see La Boheme at the ROH last night.  What makes an opera work? ** the acting? * the opera singers? ** um, the music? * the sets?  * the occasion? ** the service of the opera house staff? ** all of the above? Well, it was simply wonderful last night and when I returned home I sat for a couple of hours just wallowing in what an amazing experience the evening had been. The ROH itself is such a great centre of excellence.  
9
MAR
Social Networking 10 25th Feb - 3rd March 2013 Monday Shelly Bancroft@Pimlico Christianne Wolff@BodyRescue Digital Photography@Pimlico AEC Tuesday Denise Westbury-Haines, BT @ Portcullis House Bump Jack Dromey MP Stephen Pound MP  Stephen Twigg MP John Mann MP  Dr Brand @ Vincent Square Medical Centre Katie Lockett @ Parkfield Ian Pearson@The Orange, Pimlico Wednesday Dele @ Caffe Nero, Pimlico Thursday Live Radio 2 Pilot Comedy Show @ Ronnie...
6
MAR
I had lunch today at The Garrick with David Hooper who I have known for over 25 years. He was our lawyer when we published Spycatcher. 
3
MAR
I went to see the Lichtenstein Retrospective at Tate Modern this morning. Even at 12 noon there was a healthy crowd in the galleries.  I liked his sculptures in Room 6 which came as a surprise and showed his debt to the Art Deco movement. I still think his houses at The Met in NY are his best work but there is an extraordinary range of material on show here.  I love his work and thoroughly enjoyed this exhibition: a definite must-see. 
2
MAR
Social Networking 9 18th-25th February 2013 Monday Christianne Wolf @ BodyRescue Tuesday AQONTWF Wednesday Richard Gorman & Peter Winterbottom@ Ride of the Lions Sam @ Dress 2 Kill Thursday Anna Yallop & Mark Malloch Brown@ The American Bar Daisy @ Smollensky's Friday Sue, Sally & Hester @ Trinity Hospice Saturday England v France @ Twickenham Bump Bill Treadwell Mike & Anna Rafter Simon Halliday Bob Hiller Paul Simpson Brian...
1
MAR
I met Bruce Reynolds a couple of times in 1990-91 usually with Laurie Taylor at a hotel in Sloane Street. I was trying to persuade them to work together to write Reynolds' autobiography but my recollection is that they wanted north of £10k and I wasn't sure that it was worth that......eventually An Autobiography of a Thief was published in 1995 by Transworld. 
1
MAR
I went to a pilot yesterday at Ronnie's put together by Joe Stilgoe (son of Richard) which included a host of stars just under the radar including Heather Headley and Tim Minchin. The show lasted 90 minutes but with editing would make quite a slick one hour topical show. Let's hope One Night Stand is commissioned as it had us laughing in the aisles. 
25
FEB
Well though we all fell asleep watching Lincoln we did think Daniel Day-Lewis would win best actor and though we saw Argo late we were thrilled it won Best Film at the Oscars overnight.
18
FEB
We returned from Eastleigh around 5pm and settled for a very late lunch at Thomas Cubitt, in Belgravia. Notwithstanding, the place was packed!
18
FEB
Social Networking 8 11-17 February 2013 A Quieter Week Monday Photography @  Lupus Street Tuesday James Garvey @ RAC Club Wednesday APP Women's Sports & Fitness Group@Parliament Bump Alex Russell Sue Tibballs Clova Fyffe Andrew Tyrie MP Douglas Carswell MP Paul Farrelly MP Thursday Lisa Perrin @Shine Richard Gorman @ Cork & Bottle Friday Ginny Tate@Trinity Restaurant Saturday Richmond v Coventry 34-33 Sunday Campaigning: Eastleigh...
13
FEB
Ladies, Gentlemen, M’dears:   Two Fridays ago, I took the phone call that told me Frank had died, while I was in the hideous centre of Stevenage New Town, a bizarre disjunction I am still trying to process. That has made me extra-conscious of the sense of place that surrounds Jane’s choice of settings for today’s events.               Here we are in the High Victorian, Catholic-Revival-Gothic of this...
9
FEB
On Wednesday, I was a guest of RIBA at their annual RGM and fellowships which went to Swiss Architect, Peter Zumthor. I had not been before and thought it was a very special occasion worthy of much greater coverage in the media. www.architecture.com
9
FEB
Social Networking 7 4th-10th February 2013 Monday Nick Emery @ Trafalgar Hotel Bump Ann Sutton David Taylor & Joe Downey @ Loosebox Sir Rick Trainor @ Home House for a supper discussion about the Internet Bump Ann LaFrance Nick Lansman Nick Pickles Stewart Binnie Garret Cowley Charles Sherwood Tuesday Works of Art @ Parliament Bump Frank Doran MP, Chairman Emma Gormley, Assistant Curator Melanie Unwin, Deputy Curator Malcolm Hay, Curator Lord...
5
FEB
I saw Argo on Sunday evening which justifiably has had rave reviews. Set in Iran in 1979 it is the story of six American diplomats holed up in the Canadian Embassy. The problem was that if they weren't rescued they would be strung up on a nearby lamp post........this is their story.....absolutely gripping.... 
3
FEB
Jilly and I were guests as the RIBA Patron's Launch Party at HQ on Thursday evening which was great fun and very interresting.
3
FEB
On Thursday I was back at the Cork & Bottle for a working lunch with Simon Halliday and HH Jeff Blackett dropped in too; the subject was mainly rugby - Oxford, England and England, Oxford! 
3
FEB
I was at The Shard to meet Ben Rogers, who directs the new-ish Centre for London Think Tank. It was also the first day of the opening of the building to the public and there was quite a crush...and so I little later I dropped into the packed Shard tourist bookshop.... Ben and I traded information and I hope I will become more involved in his team's work. 
3
FEB
Social Networking 6 28th Jan - 3rd Feb 2013 Monday Colin Smith @ Oxford Christianne Wolff @ Chesham Digital Photography @ Pimlico Centre Tuesday Annual Medical Check Up @ Victoria Medical Centre A Suit That Doesn't Fit @ Glasshouse Street Jonathan Shaw @ Pimlico Wednesday John Hopkins & Anna Yallop @ Cork & Bottle Thursday Simon Halliday & Jeff Blackett @ Cork & Bottle RIBA Patron's Party @ RIBA Bump Gill Webber Friday Ben Rogers @ Shard...
31
JAN
I had lunch with John Hopkins, former Golf Correspondent of both The Times and The Sunday Times. His new book will be an anthology of his work and Anna Yallop with whom I have worked on and off for 20 years. We had a merry time at the Cork & Bottle.......
26
JAN
Social Networking 5 21st-27th January 2013 Monday Snow so AQOTWF Tuesday Snow so still AQOTWF Wednesday Daisy @ Barbican, City Uni, Master's Graduation in Magazine Journalism Thursday Doug Smith's funeral @ Mortlake Bump Derek Underwood Derek Ufton Nick Lansman Friday Parliamentary Rugby Awards Dinner John Hayes Martyn Williams Stephen Jones Rory Underwood Peter Winterbottom Gavin Hastings Ian McLauchlan Saturday Brunch at Regency...
21
JAN
Social Networking 4 14th-20th January, 2013 Monday Anne Hooper & Sarah Smith @ Trinity Paul Farrelly, Anna Yallop & Kate Kiln@ Cinnamon Club Bump: Martin Bean, Vice Chancellor, Open University Tuesday John Webster @ Grosvenor Square Ian Pearson @ Orange Wednesday AQOTWF Thursday Christianne Wolff @ Chesham Steve Tudhope @ Victoria Street Trinity Hospice Trustees @ The Sun Friday Trinity Hospice, Clapham Executive Board Staff &...
14
JAN
Social Networking 43 7th-13th January 2013 Monday Car Engines, Southall Annual Service & MOT Tuesday Ian Joseph & Melissa Baxter @ RUSSAM GMS & Trustees Unlimited Trustee recruitment Howard Scott and Wyndham Lewis from BIMA @ Hospital Club Internet stuff Jim Fullalove & Martin Riddiford @ Therefore Saw their brilliant new product: www.indiegogo.com which has raised $350,000 on a crowd sourcing site a d drawn the admiration of Bill Gates. Appeared later on...
13
JAN
I was up with the lark to read the Sundays before going to see Les Mis at the Curzon Chelsea. There were less than 30 of us to watch a two and a half hour film! I'm not usually one for long films and am prone to drift off as in Lincoln recently in Nanaimo but I stayed the course which for a musical speaks volumes.....or in this case sings....... There was the odd genuflection to Oliver Twist and it was slightly strange watching a film about a failed revolution in Paris in English ...
13
JAN
We went to see People at the National last night. It's been a sell out since it opened late last year. It seems anything written by Alan Bennett is now a sell out. People was amusing and witty but not quite Bennett at his best. Jilly said that the audience was almost all over 60, if not 70, and I added that it was entirely white. I thought the set was wonderful, the acting top drawer especially Frances de la Tour but the facilities around the bars and restaurant were a joke.
12
JAN
I met Rachel recently at a Media Dinner at the Reform Club. She specialises in "hosting" drinks parties and the occasional dinner by that I mean she makes sure that invited guests meet who they should meet and makes sure we don't stand or sit on our own at such events. She's rather good at it. Anyone we shared a glass of wine last night at the Stafford. Actually, she had the wine and I had the soft drink.
12
JAN
Like millions of others I am an alcoholic free zone for a month plus I am undergoing a detox and diet! So far so good.......though I am a couple of fitness sessions short which I will make up for over the weekend.
12
JAN
Daisy popped in on Thursday evening and we had a quick bite to eat at Thomas Cubbit in Elizabath Street, Belgravia.
8
JAN
We went to see The Impossible based on a Spanish family with three boys who were separated as a result of the tsunami which hit them on a beach in Thailand in 2004. The script has been altered to make it a British family.....I thought the script had pace, I liked the music and the acting wasn't that bad either.....
8
JAN
In 1999, I signed as an MP, to spend five days over a couple of months with a Design company or two. I chose Psion which was the iPad of its day. I had a 3c and then a 5. AS a consequence, I spent time with Martin Riddiford and Jim Fullalove. Fast forward to today and I caught up with them. They are now in another company called Therefore - www.therefore.co.uk  and they are doing very well indeed. They have been crowd sourcing for funding and even Bill Gates emailed last week to...
8
JAN
I bumped into the British Fashion Council's second Menswear Collection just before lunch at The Hospital Club. www.britishfashioncouncil.com  
1
JAN
Canadian Christmas Blog 2 Daisy & Jack Montreal Thursday 27th We were up at six to go to Nanaimo airport for our 0730 flight to Vancouver. Joyce kindly drove us. It was quite sad as I wasn't sure when we would be back (I have been averaging one visit every four years over the past 35 years). The weather was cold but thankfully there was no snow. However, there was a blizzard raging on the north east coast of America which was bound to end up in Montreal.....so we wondered...
1
JAN
Nate Silver correctly called the US Presidential elections in 2008 and 2012 and has become the political stats guru of this decade. Coincidentally his book The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction was published last month. It is a BIG book and it is not something you can read in a hurry (I am three chapters in).
26
DEC
Social Networking 2 17-26th December 2012  Monday 17th Christmas Drinks Chelsea Arts Club Kensington & Chelsea Today Kate Hawthorne  Parliament John Eales and family  Bump Gerry Sutcliffe MP  Tuesday 18th Breakfast @ Soho Hotel Phil Hall & Paul Blanchard   Lunch @ Daley's Colin Herridge  Supper @ Union Jack, Chiswick Private supper  Wednesday 19th Flight to Vancouver  Bump Mo Farah   Thursday...
26
DEC
Canadian Christmas Blog 1 Daisy & Jack Vancouver & Nanaimo  19th December Heathrow T3 to Vancouver on Air Canada  We were able to check in electronically and the queue for baggage drop was barely five minutes so immediately we liked AC! We were spending Christmas with the Canadian side of our family - Joyce, my sister, Devon and Mark,  my late brother's sons.   When we went in 2008 via Seattle, by the chronically dysfunctional North West Airlines, our
24
DEC
I bought: How Will You Measure Your Life by Clayton M. Christensen after having listened to a programme about his work on BBC World Service last month. This nuggets of a book though isn't quite what it seems. It is more an exploration of how your life might develops through a range of examples drawn from his own research. It is not a blueprint for your own life though there is much that is sage in the text. I strongly recommend it.
24
DEC
I read Exposure: Inside the Olympus Scandal by Michael Woodford which is a record of his short time as CEO of Olympus - a first time a foreigner had ever been chosen to lead the company - and the slightly longer time he had suing it for wrongful dismissal.  It is an extraordinary story of deceit, wrong doing and cover up.......it is also a cracking read. 
21
DEC
With Daisy and Jack, my two children, we are spending our Christmas with our Canadian side of the family in Vancouver and Nanaimo before returning home via Montreal. 
19
DEC
We went to Jamie Oliver's Union Jack last night at Chiswick. When it opened earlier in the year you couldn't book but that changed after its first month. It has a retro feel about it and wonderful food all British but with a twist.......great to see a goodly collection of Chapel Down wines on the menu.
18
DEC
Yesterday, I was at the Chelsea Arts Club for the C&KT Christmas drinks shindig....
18
DEC
Three cracking dramas have dominated our television viewing these past few months - The Hour (BBC), The Killing (Danish/BBC) and Homeland (Fox/C4); only Homeland has one episode left. For sheer suspense The Killing wins my vote overall.
17
DEC
We spent the weekend in Paris trying to avoid beggars, tramps and drunks who littered Rue de Rivoli, Boulevard St Germain and the main churches on Sunday. This was not a familiar sight. One man begging had clearly had his face badly burned, others had appalling injuries or deformities. It was uncomfortable. This is not how a major European city should function. We didn't know whether this was a nation or a city issue or both or whether it was cuts in social security budgets..... whatever.... it
17
DEC
On Saturday we had breakfast in the shadow of Notre Dame and then visited it (it is celebrating its 850th year) and saw again the wonderful rich rose windows which have recently been cleaned. We walked the Boulevard Saint-Germain stopping briefly to pay homage at Les Deux Magots and pondered whether we should book Brasserie Lipp for supper. We then spent a couple of hours in the wonderful Musee d'Orsay marvelling at the Impressionist and Post Impressionist galleries. We liked it so...
17
DEC
After a disappointing breakfast at Le Zimmer (£5 for a pot of tea £12 for toast, an orange juice and a croissant) we walked up to Les Halles where probably the largest inner city renewal programme is in full swing. We ventured into Sainte Eustace church which was magnificent and overwhelmed us. We shop windowed in Rue de Honore especially in Mulberry and Gucci but were not persuaded.  We took a cab to Gare du Nord walked a few 100 metres from the tat...
17
DEC
Social Networking 1 10-16 December 2012 Monday 1. Vodafone Mobile Conference @ Tate Modern Bump Mark Malloch-Brown Dr Ian Goldin Tommy Helsby Julia Hobsbawm Steve Moore   2. Trinity Hospice, Trustees Katharine Jackson David Clarson Tuesday 3. London Hospice Chairs, House of Lords Michael Howard, Chair, Help the Hospices   Bump Bruce Grocott HoL Gerry Sutcliffe MP Fabian Hamilton MP 4. Media Dinner, Reform Club Clive Jones Harriet Harman...
11
DEC
I have had a painful time moving into my new flat as the glass bookcases ordered couldn't be fitted on my wall until yesterday when we added 18mm of plywood. This morning the glass went in and slowly my books are reappearing from their boxes. Just another 40 to go.
11
DEC
Whilst at the Vodafone Foundation's Mobiel for Good Summit yesterday I popped in to see the rather grand shows of William Klein and separately, Daido Moriyama. More at www.tate.org.uk
7
DEC
I just made it to a packed Dress 2 Kill venue for Christmas drinks on Wednesday and was happy to meet Chris Robshaw, England's rugby captain. I had my photo taken with him and as some wag put it: "There was a time when people would ask if they could have their photo with you......." 
5
DEC
We had a lovely supper in Chiswick last night to celebrate my birthday!! All in all, quite a full day....
5
DEC
Yesterday, my old mucker Tim Dick from San Fran flew in to take me to lunch at Galvin, on the top floor of the Hilton. Well, he actually flew in to do some business which happened to coincide with us celebrating my birthday!  
2
DEC
WE went to the launch of our first NNN conference at Aldeburgh in March next year  (we have held three in Portmeirion) at the Groucho Club last Monday evening organised by Editorial Intelligence (I am small shareholder). www.namesnotnumbers.com  www.editorialintelligence.com 
2
DEC
Daisy and Rupes and Jack and Charlie joined me for supper at About Thyme in Pimlico last night to celebrate my 150th birthday..............
21
NOV
The Church of England went against the laws of the UK by not allowing women Bishops. It is a church which matters less and less in our society.......small wonder.
15
NOV
We went to the Children's Proms which have been happening since 1970. Once again they were stunning showing a range of primary and secondary school talent which just showed how fortunate we are in our next but one generation. Over three nights there were 3000 performers!!
15
NOV
We were invited to Clarence House last night to shop at a special Highgrove fayre which was great fun except for my wallet. We later had supper at the RAC.
15
NOV
I had lunch at RIBA with Gill Webber at RIBA today. We first met up at the British Library when she was head of Comms a role she now has at RIBA. It is such a beautiful building which I guess is just as well!
13
NOV
On Sunday afternoon, I went with Daisy to the Pre Raphaelites at Tate Britain. This was a large show well curated which has gathered plenty of critical acclaim and a growing number of visitors (it closes on 13th January 2013). We have had a kind of infatuation for Morris, Holman Hunt, Ruskin, Rossetti et al and yet it was essentially a backward looking movement.........
11
NOV
There's not another entity in the media world which has so many useless bureaucrats as the BBC with titles which makes you weep......they breed.....it needs a non BBC DG to come in and revitalise its journalism which by the by is pretty good but most of all he/she needs to take out swathes and swathes of high salaried people who cannot make decisions and who will not take responsibility for their actions. I expect 3-4 more resignations.
11
NOV
I went to an excellent evening at the Oxford and Cambridge club organised by our Oxford Alumni office on Wednesday. Three speakers talked about the changes in the work place where already 1:6 are working either part time or choosing to have more than one job and that this is going to become much more the norm.....
7
NOV
I went with Daisy, my daughter, to hear Dianne Reeves at Ronnie Scott's last night. There was a packed house for her second night. She has won four grammy awards the last in 2006 and has recorded over 19 albums........and she was simply wonderful..... 
29
OCT
I went to see Skyfall yesterday morning at 1030. I thought I'd creep into Curzon Chelsea thinking hardly anyone would be up notwithstanding the extra hour in bed.....how wrong could I be...the cinema was reasonably full..... I loved the film - it moved fast, the music was excellent, the acting pretty good, the chases and gimmicks fun and the odd sense of humour had returned to the script...........the old Bond in a new formula is set fair for the next decade.
26
OCT
I went with Daisy to hear Don McLean at the RAH last night. It was the third time I had heard the singer-songwriter best known for American Pie and Vincent. His act took some time to warm up but in the latter half  of a 90 minute show he had us on our feet dancing and singing. He took a well deserved ten minute encore.
15
OCT
I went with Daisy to see the film of Jack Kerouac's great book On The Road at The Barbican last night. Afterwards, we couldn't think of one redeeming feature in the film. It lacked real pace, there wasn't enough music, there was no sense of America in the late 1940s early 1950s and it felt like lots of different sourced, yet in the end similar, scenes stitched together.
15
OCT
Emma Nicholson, who lives three doors up, arranged a farewell party for me yesterday afternoon (I am moving to Pimlico next week). She is such a decent soul. Fourteen neighbours turned out and we had a lovely time. Emma had done one chocolate cake for Westminster and another white chocolate cake for my beloved Siena. Bless her. 
14
OCT
I was invited to supper on Friday at The Markham Inn in Elystan Street, Chelsea thanks to Elie Bitar. He had in turn invited friends from LSE and UCL all under 30 - a banker, a lawyer, an HSBC sales person and a control risks guy. They were a lot of fun and the evening was even more interesting as one of the invitees had accidently taken a woman's kit bag from his gym and was worried sick about who might have taken his as it had in it his visa and passport and assorted other important...
11
OCT
Raymond Blanc has opened Brasserie Blanc at 9 Belvedere Road SE1 just opposite the National Theatre and we had lunch there yesterday. It is bigger than you think it could be from the outside and the ambience inside is a welcome boost to an area which has never rocked the soul irrespective of the theatrical and musical offerings elsewhere on the South Bank. I would suggest this might be a bit of a gamble for Monsieur Blanc. The wine list is good without being exceptional and the food was
10
OCT
I am reading Willpower: Why Self-Control is the Secret to Success but I am struggling to finish it.
10
OCT
I wasn't an immediate fan of the Beatles until Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was released in June, 1967. I do have a photo of them taken in Southend when they played there in 1963 or 1964. I also enjoyed The Searchers, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Hollies and The Animals. I was very late to the dance floor. Whenever possible I would go to all their concerts at The Gaumont or the Albert Hall and consequently saw Dusty, Roy O, Ike and Tina Turner, Inez and Charlie Fox, the Beach...
4
OCT
We went to the first concert (of two) of Van Morrison and his great band last night at Ronnie's. It was a sell out and he was sensational. VM sang, sometimes forgetting which song he was supposed to be playing to, but no-one cared as we all knew we were in the presence of one of the most loved musicians in the world. 
27
SEP
I bought Can't Get Used to Losing You as a 45 in 1963 or 1964. A school friend then borrowed it and I never saw it again. This event disturbed me for some time until a few years later I found the song on an LP. I hadn't understood the concept of the "Best Of" albums.......clearly I wasn't up with the pace. I loved Andy Williams' tv show which given I was also going to Beatles, Stones and Hollies concerts was probably rather odd!!  This morning I bought The Best of 100 Songs album by...
27
SEP
Jack, my son, treated us to breakfast yesterday at our favourite Diner, the Regency, in Regency Street which is just round the corner from my house. The "Us" was Dugald and Marguerite Macdonald with whom Jack had stayed during the summer in Cape Town. Dugald was in our squad when the Penguins RFC was invited in August, 1977 to the USSR to play in the Eastern European Cup alongside Romania, Poland and Czechoslovakia. Dugald had played for Palma in Italy, gained a Blue at Oxford and played...
27
SEP
I saw True North's production of a documentary film about Mark Knopfler a month or so ago. I hadn't, to my chagrin, really followed him since his days at Dire Straits. I liked him as a person and as a performer and became quite engaged watching the film at his musical journey. I ordered his new double CD: Privateering whch I haven't stopped playing and I have booked tickets to see him at the Royal Albert Hall next May.  
27
SEP
I watched the last night of the Prom's and caught the sensational performance of Nicola Benedetti. These days when I have the television on I also find myself online on my iPad. One of the benefits is that when I see or hear something I like I immediately order it from Amazon. So watching Ms Benedetti perform led me to order her: The Silver Violin album which is a series of classic tracks taken from famous Hollywood films. It's very easy on the ear.  
27
SEP
I met the playwright Richard Marsh for coffee, or tea in my case, on Tuesday. He is working on a lay about soccer and had read my critical piece in The Times about the Olympics and thought I might have some insights.......(well, I am tiny share-holder in Charlton Athletic FC)......... 
17
SEP
I wonder if anyone has any further details about the artist Emma Haworth? I have her catalogue: In the Gardens of Good and Evil but cannot find her on twitter or Facebook nor is there a dedicated web site. I much like her work.
17
SEP
I have started: Willpower by Roy Baumeister and John Tierney Summer In February by Jonathan Smith & Heat by George Monbiot
16
SEP
Daisy and Jack were my guests last night as we saw Hope Springs (Eternal) at the Haymarket. Written by Vanessa Taylor and directed by David Frankel, Hope Springs is about a couple in their 50s whose marriage has atrophied in the sense that they have not had sex for over four years and hardly shared anything either. Arnold's (TLJ) idea of a brithday present is a new fridge for Kay, his beleaguered wife.  We laughed and cried throughout the film but especially when the couple
12
SEP
I had a delightful lunch yesterday at the Cork & Bottle with Lynne Brindley, the former CEO of the British Library. I did some work with her on regional newspapers where we persuaded a large number of family owned papers to allow the BL to digitise their archive.  
9
SEP
Whilst waiting for the Paralympic marathons to start this morning, I crept in early (it opens at 10am) at TB to see: Another London: International Photographers Capture London Life 1930-1980 (www.tate.org.uk) and would urge you all to go before it closes on 16th September, 2012. It has been harder to find time for anything but the Olympics and Paralympics these past two months but at last I seem to finding my rhythm again with a couple of movies and a show already under my...
9
SEP
Whilst at Tate Britain I dropped in on their Olympic posters gallery just outside the smaller book shop downstairs. There are twelve of them from some of our best artists and very good they are too. Originally, the Olympics awarded medals for Poetry, Fiction and Art (they were discontinued after 1912) and we should have re-introduced them in 2012......as our part of the legacy.... Go see: www.tate.org.uk
9
SEP
A month or so back I caught True Norths' compelling documentary about Mark Knopfler on C4. I had lost sight of where MK had been and what he was up to.... and loved his new music. Well, Privateers - his new album - was out on Thursday and I haven't stopped playing it. And, the good thing is he has a week of concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in May next year and I managed to book 2 tickets this morning. Yea.
8
SEP
I went to see the film Anna Karenina starring Keira Knightley, Jude Law & Aaron Taylor-Johnson last night at the Odeon, Leicester Square. Leo Tolstoy wrote the novel back in 1877. I read it 35 years ago and thought at the time it was the finest book I had read. I was spell-bound by the fact that a man had seemingly been able to reach inside a woman's mind with such knowledge and intimacy.  I tired watching the endless scene changes though some were quite amusing but the jokes and...
5
SEP
Last night. I went to the Chelsea Arts Club as a guest. It is one of the friendliest clubs in town and hasn't changed much to when I first visited 28 years ago!!
27
AUG
I read Sarah Wiseman's charming, funny, clever book entitled When God was a Rabbit (the name of a rabbit) yesterday. I loved it and was (mostly) howling with laughter: a great debut novel.
26
AUG
I read Roger Mortimer's letters to his wayward son Charles Mortimer this morning encapsulated in the rather amusing book Dear Lupin (Charles was given this affectionate title by his father). My therapist suggested I read it. Clearly, she thinks this is how my relationship is with my son.
24
AUG
We went to Ronnie Scott's last night to listen to Booker T Jones and were simply bowled over. At least one of us wasn't aware that he'd written the music which Test Match Special has borrowed for the past 25 years or so! The concert was a sell-out and the music as vibrant (and a little too noisy - especially the drums) as ever. Booker T (and Sam Cooke) wrote or arranged so much material for so many US and UK artists and yet has never really been given the credit for it.
19
AUG
The Fix by Damian Thompson (Collins) I haven't done a book review for aeons. I have continued my reading on Italy, India and America: The Pursuit of Italy by David Gilmour (****) India: A Sacred Geography by Diana L. Eck (highly original) and Barack Obama by David Maraniss (which I didn't much care for) Little America: the War within the War for Afghanistan by Rajiv Chandrasekaran (brilliant - what a fiasco that country has become) plus two on Roger Bannister The...
18
AUG
We went to see Chicago at The Garrick yesterday - before it closes at the end of the month - and though it is in its 15th year it was a terrific performance which we much enjoyed. It has a great script, wonderful songs, a fabulous set and lots of clever dancing. We loved it.
14
AUG
We went to see the premier of Shadow Dancer starring Andrea Riseborough, Clive Owen and Gillian Anderson at Cineworld in The Haymarket last night. The film was written by Tom Bradby (who also doubles as ITN's main politico journo) and directed by James Marsh and is set in Belfast largely in the early 1990s. This was a gripping film where the photography, music, direction, costumes, script and music combined to act as one as you were drawn into this taut...
4
AUG
I had lunch yesterday at the delightful restaurant upstairs at RIBA with Harry Rich (CEO) and Gill Webber (Marketing Director) and we chatted about their library collection which has to be the best in the world. 
30
JUL
We went for a long weekend to Elciego, about 70 miles south of Bilbao, in northern Spain, which house the great Riojan vineyard known as the Marques de Riscal (though we searched high and low we couldn't find out whether there really ever was a Marques....). We stayed at the Frank Gehry designed Vineyard Hotel (2006) on the site which was both a real surprise and a delight. I went to the opening of his band stand in the Millennium Park in Chicago in July, 2004...
24
JUL
I went up to Oxford last week to meet Susan and Dyan from China-Oxford Scholarship Trust and we had a lovely lunch at Turl Street Kitchen which is a relatively new outpost. I strongly commend it but book. www.turlstreetkitchen.co.uk 01865 264171
24
JUL
A, a dear friend with relatives in Syria and Lebanon, invited me to lunch last Saturday and we spent the time reviewing the Middle East. My sense was that the ruling class was already moving to Belarus and it would be good to know whether Asma al-Asad, the wife of the President of Syria, has already left the country. The Chinese restaurant itself was a delight and packed.
23
JUL
I went up to Oxford last Friday on the Oxford Tube from Victoria (a snip at £13 return) to meet Susan Yu and Dyan Sterling from the China Oxford Scholarship Fund. Twenty years ago a couple of Oxford Alumni in HK thought it a good idea to create a fund for Chinese students to study at Oxford which was very prescient....... We had a goodly chat and I said I would try and help their cause. (I was brought up in HK).
18
JUL
En route to hearing Ed Miliband speak I stopped off at The Barbican to see the Bauhaus exhibition (it closes on 12th August and is open most days till late).  This is a sumptuous exhibition and definitely a must-see. Bauhaus was born in Weimar in 1919 - home to Goethe and Schiller - it moved to Dessau in 1925 and then finally came to rest in Berlin where the Nazis closed it in 1933.  The artists, photographers, poets, architects and designers were the finest in the...
17
JUL
We went to see George (music) and Ira (lyrics) Gerswhin's Porgy & Bess last night at the Coliseum. America's best known opera was originally set in South Carolina but for this performance the Cape Town Opera's production was unsurprisingly set in Soweto though this made the fishing scenes more difficult to comprehend.  It was a most enjoyable evening.  
14
JUL
Cheltenham and then Woolhope and Putley It was a lovely sunny day yesterday so we travelled in hope that we would be able to see some cricket at Cheltenham College but on arrival we were told the outfield was too wet and play would start at the earliest after lunch. AS rain was due after lunch we hunched that we wouldn't see any cricket at all and legged it to Woolhope and then Putley in Herefordshire to meet up with more friends. We lunched at delightful Crown Inn at Woolhope before...
10
JUL
Last night I went to the launch party for Tom Levitt's latest book: Partners for Good at The Work Foundation close to St James's Park tube station. There was a goodly crowd for his launch. Go buy.....
3
JUL
I went to see the excellent BP Portrait Award 2012 exhibition at the NPG on Sunday. Go see.
2
JUL
We went to see Debbie Jones (vocals and acoustic guitar) and Justin Randall (piano and vocal) yesterday lunch time at Ronnie's and they and their band had the place stomping and jiving. What a great new-ish Jazz band. Go see.
29
JUN
I went to hear Julia's lecture on social networking at the Cass Business school on Wednesday. She spoke about five elements of networking: Weak Ties Loose Knowledge Global Green Room Marzipan Management & Curious Company I thought at the end of  a very entertaining lecture she might link them with an overarching theme but I was disappointed. I'm not sure there is an exact science (Tipping Point v Nudge et al) to networking but it is something I do rather too...
21
JUN
Deepak Verma from Pukkanasha Films dropped by to give me a still from the film of Bombay Charlie which he wrote and directed. Bombay Charlie is about a sect in Mumbai dedicated to Charlie Chaplin where everyone in the sect wears his bona fide clothes and accompanying walking stick every day.....it was hysterically funny when I saw it earlier in the year. Deepak held an auction last month of the photographs from the film to help him support his mother's charity.
18
JUN
I have been a supporter of the China Oxford Scholarship Fund for a decade or so and was a guest at their 20th anniversary lunch yesterday at Hailey, near Wallingford. Oxford University now has over 700 Chinese students doing a first or second degree in a second language.
16
JUN
Last night, I went to the "Treasure" showcase of London's leading innovative design jewellery talent at Somerset House. It was a knock-out and lots to buy......I was a guest of Arianna Cerrito and enjoyed her collection immensely. Go see it at www.ariannacerrito.com  
14
JUN
I had a lunch with my co-author, Colin Herridge at Daly's yesterday and we worked on two potential books.
4
JUN
Go see: British by Design 1948-2012 and Ballgowns: British Glamour since 1950 at the V&A. British by Design was like watching your life flash by - it starts with Coventry Cathedral (John Piper & Graham Sutherland though no Britten) moves into the Festival of Britain (but the Millennium Dome is missing for 2000: now there's a surprise) and onto the mini, punk rock, LP covers, Mary Quant and on and on to Concorde, the e-type and the Olympics (1948 is also...
4
JUN
It was an extraordinary scene yesterday on the River Thames but it would be have been so much easier if the boats had been numbered so we could have better understood their history as they passed us by. Maybe they'll remember that when the next one is organised in 2312. You felt for HM The Queen as she waited and waited for all the boats to finish........this was not well thought out. Her barge should have brought up the rear and then we should have had the short pageant. Funny in...
2
JUN
If you do nothing else this next few weeks go and see The Queen exhibition at the NPG. I'm no royalist but there are so many stimulating and quite stunning portraits of the Queen taken over the past 60 years - they act as a historical backdrop to the nation. 
1
JUN
I went as a late guest to the Summer Party on Wednesday night; what a ball........who was there? Grayson & Nancy, Simon Kelner (ex-Indy) and Susannah Simons (Radio 3) and a bevy of young things who might have been stretched to understand there was art for sale on the walls. Still a pretty feisty evening..........I even made the dance floor.............
1
JUN
There have been a number of recent articles and features about the return to favour of the fountain pen. I have used a fountain pen since I was eleven. I still use one, actually I still use two, both Parker Pens and I have a Conway Stewart and some 1950s Parkers as well. I had a beautiful blue ceramic Parker stolen from my study in the House of Commons which took me six years to find a replacement - an exquisite red ceramic - which I lost somehow and I thought I would...
23
MAY
Shelly Bancroft, artist and sculptor, completed a charcoal and pencil sketch of me yesterday after five sittings. The finished product will be up on my site shortly! Hope you like it!! 
23
MAY
I was a  guest of HRH The Queen yesterday at a garden party at Buckingham Palace. 
21
MAY
I went to see Goodbye First Love (Un amour de jeuness) at Curzon Mayfair last night along with 20 others which was a bit disappointing given its reviews. It lasts 1hr 50min‎‎ is rated 15‎‎ and is directed‎ by Mia Hansen-Løve with a main cast of Lola Créton, Olivier Yglesias and Greg Akcelrod.   It involves a puppy love story which blossoms and then is thwarted; inevitably as the film is spread over 8 years another lover arrives. Then, the
18
MAY
I went last night to see the photos from the movie Mumbai Charlie - which is about a Charlie Chaplin sect -at the Hempel Hotel and somehow was persuaded to buy one!! Hey ho.
12
MAY
Here is my perfect Saturday morning - before 1030: ** being shaved by Pepi in an old fashioned barber's in Regency Street, SW1 ** having the greatest breakfast at the Regency Diner (it is to die for) ** reading the Weekend FT - simply the best newspaper in the world ** completing the crosswords and sudoku in The Guardian
12
MAY
I'm a restless reader of non fiction. Daisy, my darter, asked me last year for my New Year's wish if I would read more fiction but after two in two months I reverted to type and re-started on my never ending piles.... This past week I have read: ** The Obamas: A Mission, A Marriage by Jodi Kantor which was pretty awful. I met Obama in his Chicago HQ's when fighting off Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in April, 2008. Jack, my son, is hoping to do the same when he spends a...
9
MAY
I went last night to hear Dan Hind speak about the paperback edition of his book: The Return of the Public which I read in November, 2010. He took on a lively audience at Shoreditch House (a relative of Soho House) who did not find favour with his conclusions.
7
MAY
I went to see the Damien Hirst exhibition at Tate Modern yesterday. The queues were mild for a bank holiday which might be a reflection that Hirst is not at the centre stage of modern art.  I found his work self centred and disappointing. I think this may be the era of Con-Art.
30
APR
Either a clerk to the DCMS Select Committee or a superior leaked a story to the Mail on Sunday about the assiduous work of one of its members. This must be a first. The Speaker needs to hold an inquiry into the leaking and fire the person (s) responsible. 
26
APR
I went to hear Clare Teal at Ronnie's last night having met her for the first time two weeks ago in her flat in Bath. She was on sparkling form as was the Ronnie Scott's jazz combo led by James Pearson, easily the best jazz pianist in Europe.
22
APR
I was back at Ronnie Scott's last night to hear Georgie Fame, one of my favourite blues-jazz singer-songwriters. 
20
APR
I also read this wonderful book earlier this week about the artist Edward Bawden and his lovely sketches, lino cuts and paintings of my favourite city. Edward's work reminds me of another favourite of mine: Edward Ardizzone.
17
APR
On Sunday, I took Jack, my son, back to Bath University for the start of his incredibly short summer term. It appears as if he has almost four months off before the start of his second year in late September. Why not fit his three year course into two then??  Nonetheless, Bath was bathed in sunshine and looked wonderful.
17
APR
Lat night I was a guest of the Spanish Ambassador at an awards ceremony to honour, unusually, two translators - Peter Bush (UK) and Ann McLean (Canada) - for their wonderful work over many years leading to more and more people reading Spanish novels in English (35% increase in translations: 87 authors published in 2011). Both received the Office of the Cross of the Order of Civil Merits.   
15
APR
Last night, Daisy, Jack and Rupert joined me at the last performance of Chris Mullins's wonderful play based on two of his three diaries which have all appeared in the best sellers list. My children said afterwards it reminded them of much of our family conversations when I was an MP!!  It was immensely enjoyable.
15
APR
After A Walk on Part, we all moved on to Ronnie Scott's for a beer and some jazz: it was a lovely way to end our Easter holiday......
12
APR
Dale Chihuly is the finest glass architect in the world, indeed he may have been its major pioneer..... I have seen his exhibitions/work in Phoenix, Washington, DC, Seattle, Kew Gardens, the V&A and yesterday at the Halcyon Gallery in New Bond Street. Try and go and see it before it closes next week as it is simply amazing.
10
APR
It is unusual for me not to buy a painting or a photograph when I go to Aldeburgh. I sought out Blurbs, Thompson's and the Aldeburgh Contemporary Arts all in the High Street plus the Peter Pears Gallery opposite 152. I saw a wonderful postcard of a painting by Alyson Sylvester of Aldeburgh and after investigation at Blurb's I found out she was Michael Pritt's sister (the owner of the Wentworth Hotel). I bought a print of it.
6
APR
Aldeburgh prides itself as being Chelsea & Chips-on-Sea. The places is bulging with their tractors but the only newsagent had no FT this morning.
6
APR
Maggie Hambling's Scallop a tribute to Benjamin Britten, our most famous composer of the 20th Century, is a joy to behold. It is situated on the beach just outside the natural boundary of Aldeburgh. She had to fight with all her might for it to be there at all. To Aldeburgh's continuing shame there has been no public recognition of Britten no doubt because he was gay. That there is still no monument to him is this seaside town is frankly scandalous.  
5
APR
I went to Ronnie's last night for a jazz quiz and music session: most enjoyable.
28
MAR
Top Ten Art Museums 2011 1. Louvre 8,880,000 2. Met, NY 6,004,254 3. British Museum 5,848,534 4. National Gallery 5,253,216 5. Tate Modern 4,802,287 6. National Gallery, DC 4,392, 252 7. National Palace, Taipei (Taiwan), 3,849,577 8. Pompidou Centre 3,613,076 9. National Museum of Korea, Seoul 3,239,549 10. Musee D'Orsay, Paris 3,154,000 In the Top 20 Exhibitions 2011 not one UK museum is listed.
26
MAR
A NOTE BY THE DIRECTOR DITCHLEY 12/03 Cultural Diplomacy: does it work? 8 – 9 March 2012 Summary A diverse group had assembled, with the co-sponsorship of the John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress, to analyse what cultural diplomacy could offer in today’s world, the balance between promotion of national interest and increasing international understanding, and whether it could really work in helping to foster mutual engagement between different peoples. Firm and expert...
22
MAR
1. Dump the endless "Thank You's" from all the presenters 2. Add an extra female presenter 3. Put John Humphreys out to grass 4. Clone Evan Davies 5. Give Justin Webb a break 6. Dump Gary Richardson 7. Stop the ghetto slot for sport 8. Make Thought for the Day thought for the day and not some sad homily 9. Give traffic reports 10. Stop generalised weather forecasts which tell us nothing
17
MAR
I went to see the Hockney at the RA on Wednesday evening. I liked his charcoal sketches and iPad prints. He's overdone the large "murals" as well as the colours but my what an output. The RA should be congratulated on the overall design which was outstanding. 
17
MAR
I chaired an e.i. working dinner for 21 movers and shakers at Bloomberg's on Thursday evening. 
13
MAR
Last Thursday, I joined 29 others at Ditchley Park for a Ditchley Foundation three day lock in on Cultural Diplomacy under Chatham House rules. Nineteen countries were represented and we were split up into three groups: ** Cultural Diplomacy and the State (my group) ** Cultural Diplomacy and the NGO players ** International Comparisons & Globalisation The report will be posted in due at www.ditchley.co.uk  
13
MAR
I left Ditchley Park in Oxfordshire at Saturday lunchtime and drove to Portmeirion on the north west coast of Wales. I arrived just in time to hear (Lord) Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, converse with Sir Mark Walpole of the Wellcome Trust on the subject of Mass Over Matter in a Mass Age: Science and Medicine which was simply wonderful. Other highlights were: ** Steve Richards of the Indy doing his one man act ** Sarah Churchwell's 100mph's tour de force on The American Dream...
12
MAR
I was at City University this morning to give a lecture on cable and satellite television to M.Sc. students (would-be Science journalists).  
6
MAR
I went to hear the 6pm debate on What Are Universities For? at the RSA last night. Debate? Well not quite we had two speakers: Stefan Collini whose book of the same name has just been published by Penguin (The FT persuaded Chris Patton, Chancellor of Oxford University, to review it 10 days ago, giving two thirds of a page!) and Professor Paul O'Prey Vice Chancellor of Roehampton University. You can catch it all at www.thersa.org.   I asked i. How could there be over 150 centres...
5
MAR
I went to see this Exhibition at the Tate yesterday. There were 12 display rooms featuring the work of Ben Nicholson, Duncan Grant, Wyndham Lewis, Henry Moore, Francis Bacon, Graham Sutherland and David Hockney alongside other rooms labelled Picasso In Britain 1910-14, 1919, 1920-39, 1937-39 and 1945-60 plus one given over entirely to The Three Dancers.  We Brits took a long time to "get" Picasso and worse to understand his immense talents. When you see his work...
24
FEB
I went last night to the NPG to hear Joanna Trollope talk about her two essays she has written in the NPG book of essays in which famous writers have given a life to an unidentified portrait in the collection. There was then a Q&A and I asked her about whether she wrote with a fountain pen or used a laptop and she replied neither. She could write with any old biro but always, always on lined paper with a margin and only on the right hand page.   
22
FEB
John Newbigin is someone I have known for 15 years. We have had many conversations but most have lasted less than five minutes. Yesterday we sat down for an hour at my company HQ - the LooseBox in Horseferry Road and chewed the fat.  We share some common ground - C4, DCMS, Trinity Hospice and now Culture as he is running Creative & Cultural Skills for England and lecturing all over the world for the British Council. His new book is entitled Creativity, Money, Love and...
22
FEB
Yesterday, for nearly four hours, I kept as still as I could whilst artist Shelly Bancroft started on a portrait of my good self.....I've another session in two weeks time.......
19
FEB
The NPG should issue a health warning for visitors to the Lucien Freud Portraits for such is its popularity there are just too many people crammed into the small exhibition space. It really is time the NPG was given a much larger space which should also incorporate the Parliamentary portrait collection which is paid for by taxpayers but remains unseen (other than on its web site). This is unacceptable.  Anyway, it was hard to see all of Freud's portraits........ I'm not sure I...
18
FEB
Four years ago I proposed a Swale Film Festival in Sittingbourne and Sheppey and gave a donation to kick start it. Four years on and it has gone from strength to strength thanks to Ken Rowles's hard work. Check it out at: www.swalefilmfestival2012.org.uk  
18
FEB
Adam Sisman was a senior editor at George Allen & Unwin, in Museum Street, just by the British Museum, when I joined as the sports and leisure book editor in January, 1984. Since then, Adam has become a truly great Biographer - he started with AJP Taylor and more recently, Hugh Trevor Roper. His next will be John le Carre...... Anyway, there I was parked in my car, in Bath, when he walked by with his wife, Robyn, a fiction author (six books and counting). They had been living near...
17
FEB
Adam Lashinsky's book on Apple, whose shares touched $500 this week, is timely. Though the Steve Jobs "autobiography" remains in the best sellers - will it make a Hollywood biopic? - Lashinsky's pithy account is not frightened to call a spade a spade especially when confronting the maverick behaviour of Jobs.  
13
FEB
And suddently there were just two divas left - Aretha and Dionne - as Whitney passes away in a hotel room in her bath. How desperately sad - such a truly inspirational singer and actress.
13
FEB
The Baftas were really good last night with Stephen Fry in command - he mixed humour, insight and gravitas in the right proportions Tinker Taylor was unlucky to come up against The Artists and The Iron Lady. It is time Colin Firth and Kenneth Branagh were knighted.
12
FEB
I went to see the beautifully landscaped A Dangerous Method starring Keira Knightley as Sabina Spielrein, Viggo Mortensen as a believable Freud and  Michael Fassbender as the rather sticky Carl Jung. It is not exactly an enjoyable film but Ms KK is brilliant and maybe she will find her rewards at the Baftas or The Oscars this year.    
12
FEB
I have had Stetsons (not those large hats seen in Spaghetti Westerns) for over ten years but I keep losing them. They are slightly larger than Andy Caps and I tend to leave them in taxis or cafes. I lost my last one somewhere in Toulon three weeks ago when filming Jonny Wilkinson. You can only find them in John Simons shop in Covent Garden and so I set off to find the shop and searched and searched and searched but alas my sense of direction was awry. At least that's what I thought until...
11
FEB
I tried lying in this morning but though it was freezing here in Westminster, I finally dressed just after 7am. As I was struggling to make my cup of Assam tea a bulb went off in my head.....go and have a shave and a haircut. It is an absolute luxury for a man to be shaved. I am lucky, near me is the finest barbers in London (Adriano's) and across the road from it is simply the best Diner in town (Regency Cafe). It's surprising how much better you feel when you've had Pepi shave you and...
11
FEB
The best time to see our wonderful national museums (surely now the best in the world?) is on Friday evenings when they are less crowded and where they let their collective hair down. Yesterday, I went to the V&A and there was a kind of DJ happening in the foyer which was half hearted if I'm honest. But there was still the Beaton Exhibition on HM The Queen. I didn't think much of Beaton per se and in this exhibition there are very few photographs of real tenderness. There were far...
11
FEB
Peter King, perhaps our greatest alto saxophonist, played last night with his band at the V&A Cafe. The place was heaving and people arriving late were disappointed - you guessed I was one of them as I chose the Beaton before the jazz......next time, next time. Still, it was good to stand and hear the great man though the acoustics aren't made for jazz......
5
FEB
Last night I went to see The Descendants starring George Clooney (and others!). I found it terribly moving and had used up a box of tissues well before the end. It is a family tragi-comedy set in Hawaii which touches every sinew - a troublesome pre-teen and a late teenager, a husband and wife who have let their relationship slip; a wife who is dying because of a boating accident and an extended family who could become filthy rich. I won't spoil it for you but go and see...
4
FEB
I have started to go to the late Friday night galleries because the crowds are less and it's just a lovely way of easing yourself into the weekend.  So last night at Tate Britain I saw Don McCullin's Landscapes which were a welcome escape from his usual war torn imagery and then onto Migrations which was decidely bitty. www.tate.org.uk
30
JAN
30th January 1649 King Charles 1 lost his head 1948 Gandhi was assassinated 1965 Sir Winston Churchill died 1972 Bloody Sunday - the Bogside massacres - in Derry
29
JAN
On Wednesday of last week I went to see the colourful funeral cars exhibition at the Festival Hall. They were good but not quite as good as the ones I last saw three years ago in Seattle!
21
JAN
Finally, I managed to see The Iron Lady starring Meryl Streep. It was an excellent film with a number of outstanding performances but like many others I was saddened at the way she was portrayed.....notwithstanding that she was one of the reasons I entered politics. 
17
JAN
I have been asked by the Ditchley Foundation to spend three days in March looking at the issues around Cultural Diplomacy. I have been a fan of Joe Nye's work on Soft Power and I am really looking forward to the event.  
15
JAN
I'm a member at the V&A and one day I shall walk all eight miles of their galleries!!  Today, I saw the Al Weiwei exhibition which was uncomfortable as he was destroying ancient artefacts and replenishing them in a contemporary environment. Anne Lennox's House was next and I saw her great costumes, awards, photos, charitable work and naturally her music. She tries almost too hard to want to be recognised but that essential hunger is what has made her great. I then dipped
15
JAN
I am also a member at the National Portrait Gallery and this morning I went first to see the Taylor Wessing Photographic competition winners. This has been an annual exhibition for some time - I am little hazy as to how long.  I also tried to have a look at the newest commissions but the NPG is busy putting its Lucien Freud exhibition together so sadly the area was closed. But hey, Lucien Freud? 
13
JAN
I went to see Margin Call at a private showing at Somerset House last night (it has been well reviewed today in The Guardian). The film is about the close call "collapse" of a NY bank in the first crisis in 2008. It's edgy and frightening realistic but may have come too late to influence the Oscars. There were very strong performances by Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Demi Moore, Jeremy Irons and Zachary Quiinto. It feels like the bookend to Wall Street.
8
JAN
I went to see The Artist this afternoon which has had a lot of wind lately in the media and that's partly because it is a black and white silent movie. The last one I saw was Abel Gance's Napoleon epic  - which then lasted five and a half hours - at the Barbican back in 1982.... The Artist is slightly drawn out but the ending is quite amusing. It might just score at The Oscars. 
8
JAN
The Leonardo at the National has drawn record crowds and till receipts for the Exhibition and subsequent purchases in the book shops have topped £60k a day so at this rate the overall income from it will be around £5.5m plus sponsorship from Credit Suisse. As to the exhibition itself, I found it disappointing. The sketches are so hard to see (and so small) and the bigger portraits such as Christ as Salvator Mundi and The Madonna of the Yarnwinder seem to be less by him and more by other...
28
DEC
To wind down from Christmas I went to Ronnie Scott's on Boxing Day to listen to Gill Manley's tribute to Nina Simone. I first heard Nina at Ronnie's on New Year's eve back in the late 1980s.  
28
DEC
Before going on to spend Christmas Day with Rosa, my God daughter and her wondrous family in Cambridge, I stopped off at St Andrew's Church, Histon for their very amusing Family service (jokes included).
28
DEC
I have to admit given it seems to be harder to find the present I was really fortunate this year!!! Books Veg by River Cottage bod Hugh F-W Private Eye: the First 50 Years World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson & Janice Robinson Music Amy Winehouse: Lioness - Hidden Treasures  Rebecca Ferguson: Heaven  Wine A Vine to grow - loved it  
24
DEC
London Chamber Brass@NPG I went to the NPG last night to hear the outstanding LCB who are on Classic FM this evening at 1800. They played an outstanding rendition of White Christmas which was lost a little in the small auditorium. Check them out at www.londonchamberbrass.co.uk
5
DEC
Yesterday evening I went to see with Daisy, my daughter, the film: My Week with Marilyn starring an outstanding Michelle Williams. The script was thin and we gave it 5/10 though there were some solid performances from Zoe Wanamaker, Eddie Redmayne and Ken Branagh. Directed by Simon Curtis.
5
DEC
As it was my birthday yesterday, I took my children, Daisy and Jack to Bibendum at Michelin House. I cannot think of a more relaxed place to have Sunday lunch with such an excellent wine list and a menu to die for. The chef kindly endorsed my pavlova with a chocolate version of "Happy Birthday"!!
30
NOV
I went last night to the John Maynard Keynes room at Birkbeck College, Gordon Square for a talk by Amir Amirani, an award winning documentary maker. He is trying to find the funding for a film about all those anti-war (Iraq invasion) marches across the world in time for the tenth anniversary of the illegal occupation.
27
NOV
Michael Lewis should be floated on Wall Street. Almost everything he has written has either been ahead of the curve - The New New Thing & The Blind Side - or summed up an era like Liar's Poker. In 2003, he wrote Moneyball about the Oakland A's 2002 season in which they scored a record 20 straight wins but still failed to qualify for the World Series. Hollywood does baseball films better than it does rugby or soccer viz The Natural, Field of Dreams & The Babe....
23
NOV
I went to see Deepak Verma's new film: Mumbai Charlie at Somerset House yesterday.   ‘In the middle of India’s arid landscape of Gujarat, Vijay, a businessman from Mumbai comes across a cult-like society which is obsessed with and prays to Charlie Chaplin. His experience of them changes his life forever, as he learns to cultivate a more emotionally and aware sense of being.’ It was a very funny short film: to think that Chaplin met Gandhi and knew him but Gandhi had never heard...
23
NOV
Real Venice is a fund raising project of the charity: Venice in Peril. 14 photographers were commissioned to take photos of Venice and the hope is these will be sold to help the cause. I didn't enjoy the exhibition. Giving photographers a free for all to shoot whatever they wanted left me thinking that I didn't really care less for them or for the cause. It is true Venice is sinking. Venice receives millions of tourists a year who pay excessive rates at hotels, in bars and for...
23
NOV
Somerset House has undergone a quiet revolution with its ice rink, British Fashion Week and the opening of bars and restaurants plus a host of exhibitions which do not gain the coverage they deserve. One such is Forgotten Spaces on till 29th January 2012 which is a showcase of 28 innovative design projects for the regeneration of neglected spaces across London. Go see it: it will stimulate your senses especially as it is housed in one of Somerset House's own lost space!!
23
NOV
I met Syl Tand the founder & CEO of hip guide yesterday: check out her site www.hipguide.com it's a lot of fun.
20
NOV
It was such a lovely day yesterday I spent it in Aldeburgh and whilst there looked at two houses and a flat. I saw a redstart with its orange tail. One day I shall live here. 
13
NOV
After Remembrance Sunday, I went to the V&A to see the 50th Anniversary exhibition of Private Eye and was pleased to see on video the craft of Ken Pyne. a great cartoonist. I then spent an hour at the Postmodernism: Style & Subversions 1970-1990 exhibition which was beautifully curated.
10
NOV
Once again I went to the MfY Prom last night at the Royal Albert Hall and once again it was simply outstanding.
8
NOV
I attended a London RSA lecture at the RSA last night given by Sir Michael Arthur, formerly our High Commissioner in India. (As an aside I do wish we could call our High Commissioners "Ambassadors" which is what they are; it is silly to continue the High Commission nonsense at the FCO just to placate a crumbling Commonwealth which matters less and less to us every day). Sir Michael's talk was entitled "Elephants on the Move: How much will India shape the 21st century?" and his answer...
3
NOV
I went to see Driving Miss Daisy last night. It stars the simply wonderful Vanessa Redgrave as Miss Daisy and the equally outstanding James Earl Jones, as Hoke Coleburn, her black driver. It was always a play before it became a film and this transfer from Broadway is simply wonderful. Go see.  
28
OCT
We held our annual dinner at the Worshipful Company of Innholders' Hall on Wednesday - Simon Hughes MP was our guest speaker. Yesterday I was back at the Hospice to review how we introduce music therapy and this morning I went to another meeting which looked at our overall Comms package. This afternoon, I am visiting a software team who handle eBay accounts.
22
OCT
At the Comment Awards on Thursday morning, neither The Guardian nor The Indy won a single award rather they were shared 4-4 by the FT and The Times.
22
OCT
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-24000535-standard-wins-commentary-awards.do    http://www.journalism.co.uk/news/times-and-financial-times-dominate-comment-awards/s2/a546432/   http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2011/10/media-commentator-awards-wilby   http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2011/oct/20/robert-peston-media-events-conferences?newsfeed=true   http://blogs.pressgazette.co.uk/wire/8312...
22
OCT
Editorial Intelligence announces The Comment Awards 2011 www.commentawards.com www.editorialintelligence.com London, 20th October, 2011 The media, analysis and networking business (www.editorialintelligence.com), has announced 2011. In their third year, The Comment Awards online commentators and their editors over the The winners of the 15 categories, and the Chair’s Choice award special breakfast at RIBA, London this morning in front of shortlisted candidates, category...
15
OCT
There was a goodly audience at the Curzon Mayfair last night to see WoodY Allen's much trailed film: Midnight in Paris. I went with Daisy, my daughter and given the plethora of Lebanese restaurants in and around Shepherd Market, we settled for a snack beforehand. Woody Allen prodigious film oeuvre (he is 75) began in 1965 with What's New Pussycat? (he wrote the initial screenplay) and he has subsequently produced almost a film a year. I remember him first as a stand up...
13
OCT
Last night I went to hear Melvyn Bragg, Labour Peer, author and media man, give a lecture entitled: The Impact of the King James Bible 1611-2011 which was based on his new book: The Book of Books: The Radical Impact of the King James Bible 1611-2011 which was published back in April. Lord Bragg spoke for just on 75 minutes with a PA system which echoed and so we struggled to hear his lecture clearly which was bitterly disappointing. However, it was enough to make me order...
6
OCT
TOP 10 UNIVERSITIES: a first for CalTech Rank / Institution 1. California Institute of Technology =2. Harvard University =2. Stanford University 4. University of Oxford 5. Princeton University 6. University of Cambridge 7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology 8. Imperial College London 9. University of Chicago 10. University of California, Berkeley www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings
2
OCT
The Livery companies of the Mercers and the Information Technologists came together last Wednesday at the new Hammersmith Academy which they both have agreed to sponsor to the tune of £3m and £1m respectively. The Academy is wonderfully designed and at present just has Year 7 and 12 students. Through member ship of the ICT Livery Company I am a small donor of the Hammersmith Academy and have agreed to mentor a couple of Year 12 students.
28
SEP
Tate Liverpool's Retrospective on Rene Magritte (it runs until 16th October 2011) is a must-see exhibition and if you book your rail ticket early enough you can still do a day return from London for under £60. There is much to see that is new including his posters, photographs, home movies, commercial art and letters. Moreover, seeing his work as a whole demonstrated at least to me the profound influence he has had on modern advertising and on on our current crop of artists. He...
24
SEP
Last Friday week I took a trip down memory lane first by train from Fenchurch Street to Chalkwell and then via Jim Harrison's house (my PE teacher) to Westcliff CHS, my first secondary school, which I attended from 1961-66. I was the main speaker at the Old Boys annual dinner.  Two of my class/sports mates - Ron Curtis and Ian Fowler - went out of their way to attend and we spent half an hour remembering our golden age! The past isn't what it used to be.  It was a...
20
SEP
I took Jack, my son, to see Tinker, Tailor on Sunday afternoon to a packed Cineworld in the Fulham Road. All the hype was true: it was an exceptional film, beautifully shot, wonderfully scored with a host of outstanding performances especially Gary Oldman (who may well win an Oscar nomination) as George Smiley. The story would be familiar to those old enough to recall the book by John le Carre published in June, 1974 which was adapted for BBC television in 1979 (and starred Alec Guinness...
20
SEP
I went to the newly opened Hammersmith Academy (Years 7 and 12) yesterday to sign up as a Business Mentor; the building is to die for. The official opening will be on 28th September 2011 and I have made a small contribution through the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists (our members have raised £1m for them).  
14
SEP
Bleary-eyed 30 or so of us representing the Commentariat met this morning at Webber Shandwick to finalise the short list for this year's Comment Awards organised by Editorial Intelligence. I was a judge on two panels: Mainstream Media Blogger & Columnist of the Year whilst we were all asked to decide on the newspaper with the Best Comment Pages. My lips are sealed but the short-list should be out later today!
14
SEP
The Comment Awards 2011 - Category Shortlists   Commentariat of the Year – Sponsored by Jaguar Land Rover Shortlist: Matthew d’Ancona – The Daily Telegraph Suzanne Moore – The Guardian Peter Oborne – The Daily Telegraph   Best Comment Pages Shortlist: Financial Times The Guardian The Times   Best Online Comment Site Shortlist: Mumsnet Reuters Breakingviews Coffee House @ The Spectator   Columnist of the Year Shortlist: Peter...