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Welcome to my new website

I sit on the Board at Crowdbnk and I am a Strategic Advisor to StartUpCapitalVenture 2 in San Francisco and I am also on the CITI Advisory Board @ Columbia University, NY.

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

 

 

Off to Blues House in New Orleans for brunch

Culture

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13
OCT
I moved at the end of September and so understandably news has been slight. As we all know a death in the family, a divorce and moving are the three most stressful events which can happen to you. Nonetheless, the move has gone well, just my books and study to resolve even though I donated nearly 300 to the BOA's Olympic reference library at the East London University and a further 500 to Trinity Hospice shops for resale...... and, I need to find space for all my paintings....
13
OCT
Social Networking 2/36 6-12 October 2014 Monday Work day Tuesday Dr John Stedman @ NISE, Harwell Clive Hooker @ Harwell Wednesday Work day Thursday Crowdbnk Board @ Old Street Bump Ayan Mitra Ian Pearson Barry Parr Christopher Humphry Adrian Williams @ Trinity Hospice Friday James Hibbert @ D2K Daisy Blount @ Match Capital Saturday Richmond v Ealing Trailfinders Lost 16-26 (top of the table clash) Bump Ian Botes Carla Botes Steve James Earnie...
13
OCT
Social Networking 2/35 29 Sept - 5 Oct 2014 Monday Ayan Mitra @ Thomas Cubitt Tuesday James Thellusson @ Thomas Cubitt Wednesday Emma Parkes-McQueen @ Pimlico Fresh Data meeting @ Trinity Hospice Trinity Shops Board @ Trinity Hospice Thursday Dianne Thompson, Camelot 20th Anniversary Luncheon @ The Oval Bump David Owen Mihir Bose John Inverdale Sir Chris Hoy Sarah Webb FISP Reception @ Army & Navy Club Bump Ian Taylor Friday Dallas Pounds Clare...
13
OCT
Social Networking 2/34 22-28 September 2014 Monday & Tuesday Moved House Wednesday-Saturday Unpacking Sunday Physic Garden, Chelsea
13
OCT
Social Networking 2/31, 2/32 & 2/33 1st-21st September 2014 Monday 1st Colin Herridge @ Pimlico Tuesday-Sunday UCH & R&R Monday 8th Frank Sobey @ Pimlico Alice Hanning Lee @ Pimlico Ian Pearson @ Pimlico Tuesday Packing Wednesday KCW Editorial Board @ Chelsea Physic Gardens In & Out Club @ Portcullis House Bump James Arbuthnot MP Simon Burns MP Thursday Stanley's Lunch @ RAC Bump Stephen Pearson John Webster Ronnie Lamb Volunteers...
18
SEP
Normal Service being Resumed It has been a tough time these past eight weeks with a minor operation not going to plan resulting in two further operations and though I haven't had sign off I am hopeful that tomorrow my consultant will tell me I am finally on the mend!
18
SEP
We went to see Philip Seymour Hoffman in A Most Wanted Man last Saturday at The Barbican largely because we thought he was an exceptional actor. The film itself, set in Hamburg, is an hour too long and to be frank thin though PSH was worth the ticket price.
18
SEP
Last Thursday, I popped into Trinity Hospice to say hi to all our wonderful Volunteers at our annual party.
18
SEP
Sofia Helin appeared on behalf of How 2 Academy in Westminster last week. Over 600 people turned up to hear her interviewed by Mariella Fostrup. She was excellent though she didn't give too much away regarding the third series of The Bridge which is currently filming.
18
SEP
We had an editorial board meeting at the Chelsea Physic Gardens (which are exceptional) last week. The hot news is that we are expanding into Westminster for our October edition.
18
SEP
On Monday evening, we held our quarterly board meeting and welcomed new trustee, Tessa Moore and a potential new trustee in James Hibbert. We had a full agenda but somehow managed to finish early. I blame the chairman. We examined property, futuristic funding, strategy and sub committees.
8
SEP
Social Networking 2/30 25/08 - 01/09 2014 Monday Bank Holiday R&R Tuesday Nik Slingsby @ Goya Richard Blaksley @ Uno Wednesday James Hibbert @ Uno John Stedman @ Pimlico Thursday Daisy's birthday @ Kazam Kate Hawthorne @ Chelsea Arts Club Friday Budge Rogers, Richard. Chadwick & David McKay @ Thomas Cubitt   Saturday & Sunday Family Christening @ Knutsford
20
AUG
Social Networking 2/27-2/30 21st July to 24th August 2014 I went in for day surgery in late July and was reassured it was a simple procedure. I went back in last Wednesday for a second operation to make good the first! As a consequence, I have had to take things easy for a month, which is not something I am very good at. But it does look as though the second intervention has done the trick! Full service resumes next Tuesday...... 
7
AUG
Suffolk: steal a lazy long weekend there soon by Derek Wyatt  I would spend most of my summer holidays as a boy with my grandfather in his small terraced house in The Croft, Bures on the Stour which bordered Essex and Suffolk. He had retired early from the Admiralty and sought a place by the sea to continue his love of sailing but somehow ended up in a backwater.   He was a canny old bird. Every day he would try to avoid the washing up! He would go and do the daily...
7
AUG
The BBC has not been fit for purpose for over twenty years. It chose not to participate in satellite or cable. The consequence of this was it missed the digital revolution which has transformed our lives. More recently, it lost £100m in a digital production project without anyone really minding. It also turned down a Facebook equivalent before we had ever heard of social networks. True, they did see the importance of the net and its web sites did once lead the way but no longer....
20
JUL
I returned yesterday from 14 days in the Sierra Nevada about 60 miles south east of Granada itself where we also had a long weekend. I read John Gill's book Andalucia: A Cultural History first published by Signal in 2008 during my stay. He writes about the amazing success of Chris Stewart's Driving Over Lemons (published 1999). Chris came in for criticism by Margaret Moran who also had a holiday home close by: "His loudest critic was, bizarrely, the Labour MP for Luton South, Margaret...
20
JUL
Social Networking 2/24/& 2/25 5th-19th July 2014 Largely spent in a small villa in the Sierra Nevade where we were in the peace and quiet of the foothills; we did have a long weekend in Granada and spent a morning at the Alhambra and another at Lorca's house. (I will write more shortly)
20
JUL
Holiday Reading Eating Well for Optimum Health by Andrew Weil MD Contented Dementia* by Oliver James - already a classic Hard Choices* by Hillary Clinton You Can Change Your Life* by Tim Laurence Daring Greatly* by Brene Brown * started yet to finish!
2
JUL
Last week I spent seven days on the Hoffman Process without access to email, mobile, newspapers, books,  television and radio contact! It was wonderful as was the process. Check it out......
2
JUL
Social Networking 2/21 16-22 June 2014 Monday Ian @ Fitness First Allison @ Physio Suit fitting @ D2K Visit to Cocorose pop up shop @ Covent Garden Tuesday 02 shop @ Westminster Sally Bailey @ Uno James Hibbert @ D2K Wednesday Work! Thursday GRRF @ D2K Bump James Hibbert Keata Murray   Friday Dallas Pounds @ Trinity Hospice Saturday & Sunday Hoffman Process at Florence House
2
JUL
Social Networking 2/22 23-29 June 2014 Monday- Friday Hoffman Process Saturday R&R Sunday Country Fayre @ Trinity Hospice Lunch @ Inn on the Park
2
JUL
On Monday morning we held interviews for the new post of Medical Director at Trinity Hospice and Dr Sam Lund was appointed. Well done Sam!!
18
JUN
Social Networking 2/20 9th-15th June 2014   Monday James Hibbert @ D2K   Board Meeting @ Trinity Hospice Bump Dallas Pounds James Thellusson Lynne Ager James Glover Adrian Williams Peter Gluckman Julia Robertson Geraldine Walters Iain McGourty Sarah Gray Tessa Moore Katharine Jackson David Clarson   Tuesday Myles Wickstead @ Portcullis House   John Stedman & Andrew Smith MP @ Portcullis House Bump Laura Sandys MP Graham Allen MP Keith Vaz...
18
JUN
Cocorose the winner of our Pop@HoF competition has opened for three months a small boutique at 1 Shelton Street (Upper St Martin's Lane end). They have all their fab ballet style shoes on display and for sale. I dropped in on Monday to check them out!
18
JUN
I spoke at our Wandsworth Friends garden party (my fourth) last Thursday at Trinity. We raised over £30k at the auction and with raffles and entry tickets we hope to have topped £50k. £50k sponsors one community nurse a year so well done them.
10
JUN
Social Networking 2/19 2-8 June 2014 Monday Gym @ Fitness First Physio @ Ecclestone Street Colin Herridge. Steve Gauge @ Waterloo Dr John Stedman @ Pimlico Fresh Ian Pearson @ Three Stags Tuesday Keata Murray @ Uno John Hopkins @ Cork & Bottle Wednesday Maria Turner @ BIS Bump Dr John Stedman Vince Cable Sophie de S Gunther Trey Barnes Thursday Worked @ home Friday Anna Yallop @ Thomas Cubitt Saturday Supper @ Barrica Sunday Drinks @...
10
JUN
Last night we held our quarterly board meeting; we had a full house with presentations from James Glover, HR Director and Dallas Pounds, CEO. Iain McGourty retired after nine years as a Trustee - he has overseen our charity shops grow from £400k to nearly £4m p.a. in that time. He has done an amazing job. Afterwards we retired to The Calf in Old Clapham and treated Tessa Moore to supper - she is joining the board in September.  
5
JUN
On Sunday, we went to the rather plush new Curzon @ Victoria which is a new statement on cinema going. We saw Fading Gigolo and like the title it did but Woody Allen was quite funny........though how they raised the money to make this is anybody's guess. 
5
JUN
Steve Gauge, Colin Herridge and myself met on Monday to discuss our new book and we sketched out 15 chapters......watch this space.......
31
MAY
Cocorose were the worthy winners of our PoP@HoF over 15 days. More soon.
31
MAY
I managed to sneak into Ronnie's on Thursday evening to hear Madeleine Peyroux for the third time
29
MAY
I was an invited guest at the premier of Ken Loach's new film Jimmy's Hall last night at the BFI. It is a lovely film set on the west coast of Ireland in the 1930s. It is a slight, romantically tinged tale but as you would expect involves the church, a nascent IRA and landowners. It was beautifully shot. Definitely worth a viewing.   www.jimmyhallsfilm.ie
29
MAY
Our PoP@HoF finished on bank Holiday Monday; our ten winners collectively turned over nearly £60k. We are announcing the winners of the competition later today! 
29
MAY
Social Networking 2/17 19-26 May 2014 Monday Conference call Crowdbnk Dean Stewart @ Peter Jones Ian Pearson @ Pimlico Tuesday Chelsea Flower Show PoP@HoF Wednesday PoP @ HoF John Greg MP @ Westminster RPA Dinner @ Battersea Bump Rob Andrew Ken Kennedy Vic Luck James Hibbert Thursday Jeh Kazimi @ Pimlico Surrey RFU Dinner @ Twickenham Bump Ian Ritchie, CEO, RFU Keith Heal, President, Surrey RFU Friday Supper @ Crown Inn,...
29
MAY
Suffolk: steal a lazy long weekend there soon by Derek Wyatt  I would spend most of my summer holidays as a boy with my grandfather in his small terraced house in The Croft, Bures on the Stour which bordered Essex and Suffolk. He had retired early from the Admiralty and sought a place by the sea to continue his love of sailing but somehow ended up in a backwater.   He was a canny old bird. Every day he would try to avoid the washing up! He would go and do the daily...
29
MAY
On Monday, Jack and I went to say goodbye to Jan Brychta a dear friend of ours for 30 years. He was a famous Czech artist (alongside Lida, his wife) and together they made the painful decision to leave their beloved country as the Russian troops rolled down Wencelas Square in 1968. Eventually, as so many refugees do, they settled in London and to a new life here (not always easy). It was a moving occasion with deft speeches from Alex and Edita, their children.
22
MAY
I was at our Pop@HoF store(s) yesterday and Tuesday to see how they were progressing. I was interviewed for our web site and introduced the stall holders to Crowdbnk.   
22
MAY
Last week I popped into the Jazz awards and met James Pearson, the musical director at Ronnie Scott's, and Ambre Hammond, the celebrated Australian pianist, as you do.
22
MAY
Last Tuesday evening, I was a guest at the opening of Andrew Parsons outstanding photographic exhibition sponsored by Maitland entitled Royalty, Politics and War. I was busy minding my own business when in walked first George Osborne (who has lost a lot of weight) and David Cameron - an impressive call by the sponsors! Andrew's photos are fantastic.
22
MAY
Last Friday and Saturday, we went up to stay at the Swan Inn in Lavenham. I hadn't visited the village since 1974.......but not much had changed and probably hasn't for centuries. It has a spectacular collection of 15th and 16th century houses and a wonderful, wonderful square. We were quite taken by the church too.
22
MAY
On Tuesday, I went to my first - and hopefully not my last - Chelsea Flower Show and loved it. I am not a gardener but I loved the whole thing though it took a toll of my poor old legs. 
13
MAY
On Thursday evening I went to a launch party in Somerset House for Ian Leslie's book on Curiosity. I had been invited by the evergreen enthusiast, Steve Moore. The book joins a slighter longer reading queue in my front room!
13
MAY
I had seen both Joanna Hogg's previous films - Unrelated (2008) and Archipelago (2010) - and I have met her a couple of times (both grandparents were Labour MPs). I saw her latest - Exhibition - at the Barbican over the Bank holiday weekend. It was a tougher call to stay the course and at times I found the subject matter bleak.  
13
MAY
The ten stalls by the ground floor escalator were open for business this morning at 0930 and will be for the next 12 days. Do go along and support our start up businesses.
12
MAY
Over the bank holiday, we took the water taxi from Pimlico to Tate Modern which was great fun. First we visited old Tate for a rather ordinary breakfast in the new members' room. At TM we saw the Henri Matisse exhibition entitled The Cut-Outs which was frankly unremarkable. We then went on to visit the Richard Hamilton which by contrast was simply stunning.
12
MAY
On Thursday evening, I attended a debate at the RSA entitled: How do we drive productivity & innovation in the charity sector? Time for an injection of creative destruction Given by Dan Corry, CEO New Philanthropy Capital The talk and further information is on www.thersa.org  (use the search).  
12
MAY
Last night, board members of the Great Retail Revival Foundation, visited House of Fraser in Oxford Street, to help our ten winners set up their stalls for today's opening! I am going later today.
29
APR
Last Thursday, I flew to Durham, North Carolina to support my son's application for a MMS course at Duke University. We left LHR at 1100 and arrived at 1430, drove quickly to Durham where Duke is situated, showered and then set off for Raleigh for a Bruce Springsteen concert. We were actually quite amazed we could find tickets so late and even on the night there were still a few empty seats left...... I had last heard the Boss at a 4th July concert at Wembley in 1984 -...
29
APR
I must have been one of the last people to have read Michael Lewis's FlashBoys which has been so well trailed and reviewed these past three weeks and not surprisingly it has gone to No.1 in the non-fiction charts. Lewis has had a litany of golden hits with his books some of which have made it onto the silver screen. No doubt FlashBoys will follow! Anyway, he makes a slightly dull subject - unless you understand nano second hot fibre horse trading - come to life though the...
29
APR
On Sunday, Jack and I squeezed time to go to Nasher Museum of Art, at Duke. It is a smallish building but attractive nonetheless with four galleries. We saw some Warhol and Lichenstein which we both adored. Most of all we enjoyed the exhibition of Archibald Motley's Jazz Age Modernity which was anything motley: worth the trip alone.  www.nasjer.duke.edu Book: Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist Edited by Richard J. Powell
28
APR
Social Networking 2/12 14-20 April 2014 Monday The Peter Family - Brian, Liddy, Matt, Katherine & Julia @ Parliament Vic Luck and Richard Hornblow @ Waterloo Conference Call @ Great Retail Revival Kirsty McNeill @ Balls Bros The Peter Family plus Daisy & Jack @ Grumbles Tuesday Dr John Stedman @ Twickenham Trentham & Newcastle u L v Parliament XV @ Twickenham Bump Paul Farrelly MP Bill Beaumont Wednesday Dr. John Stedman @ Southampton General...
28
APR
Social Networking 2/13 21st-28th April 2014 Easter Bank Holiday Monday R&R Tuesday Gareth Austin-Jones & Janan Leo @ Pimlico Fresh James Hibbert @ D2K Lily Rice @ Waterloo SE RFU 2015 Legacy @ City Hall Bump Kieran Bracken Jason Leonard Wednesday Daisy @ Bills, Kensington Thursday Duke University, North Carolina Bruce Springsteen @ PCU, Raleigh Friday Dr James McNamara @ Duke Daniel Laskowitz @ Duke Rajendra Morey @ Duke Saturday David...
28
APR
Visiting America I started going to America in 1979 and I have never stopped going back (thirty plus visits and counting). I love the place and its people. I especially like its music whether classical, blues, bluegrass, country or rock. I have also frequented its jazz bars in Seattle, Georgetown, New Orleans, LA, Chicago and NY listening to the likes of Lionel Hampton, Stanley Turrentino, Booker T and Ramsey Lewis. In 1979, my visit took in San Francisco, Sacramento, Lake...
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 no