Tuesday 22 January 2013

Icy conditions....

Well, the snow put paid to my weekend in Charlbury so I has an unexpected stay in Brixton Hill. But sometimes nice to sample London at a weekend. I was able to go to High Mass at my favourite London church (All Saints, Margaret St) and take in the last day of the Harrods Sale. I bought a gorgeous felt hat. I've not had a proper hat before and now I'm old I feel entitled to one. Its very grand; but will I manage to leave it on the tube as I have with all 3 flat caps I have got through in recent months? I was emboldened after lunch last week with Paul Woodward of Sue Ryder and spotting his rather pleasant trilby!

And I even managed the cinema; Les Mis at that great indi cinema, the Ritzy in Brixton. Brilliant film. I recommend it. Hope my humming was not too loud?

Always interesting who you bump into in South London. I was in the picture framers in Herne Hill waiting behind a lady and her daughter seeking after a splendid frame for a print of an African woman. It turned out to be Harriet Harman MP. Then I bump into Michael Quicke, the CEO of CCLA at the tube as I head off to a Burns night supper at the Atheneum.

What a marvellous affair that was. In full fig, piper banging away on the stairs and steaming Haggis accompanied by its chef and 2 whisky bottles. I'm always envious of those who come in their kilts. I'm entitled to a tartan; the Somerville one following my descent from the Rev Thomas Somerville, my great grandfather x5 who fled Scotland for Ireland with his father (the Rector of Carnworth) in 1692 at the tender age of 3: persecuted by the wretched Pressbies. But as this was a century before the great Robbie Burns, it might have been pushing it a bit to don a kilt. And it was a draughty night all courtesy of top sector headhunter, David Fielding.

So now I'm off to Aylesbury for a meeting with the CEO of Bucks County Council. We leave from Marylebone station; it brings back sweet memories. In September 2000 I was appointed ACEVO CEO and the office was then in Harrow, so each day I would set off for work from Marylebone station. Obviously we had to move but I still have good memories of the office there and the pleasant lunches on the Hill, just by the school. And Marylebone station is London's most agreeable.

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