Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Larger than life

SORRY to report the death at 78 of Lt-Gen Sir Michael Gray (MaB 42-50), former Colonel Commandant of the Parachute Regiment.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Summer night on the water

TWO Delius songs, tenderly handled by the BBC Singers under conductor Simon Joly (ColA, MdB 62-71) (4 mins):

Hols cut to fit

SALLYANDALICE.COM - half of which is Sally Kirby (LHB 89-96) - offers bespoke holidays to beautiful and exotic places, especially in Africa and the Middle East.

AV: it's not fair!

ED HALL (LaA 79-86) wants to keep our first-past-the-post electoral system.

New light on Old Baldy

BETTER late that never to wave a flag for Such Deliberate Disguises: The Art of Philip Larkin (hbk £65, pbk £24.99) by Dr Richard Palmer (Horsham Staff 74-81), one of the most gifted and best liked CH masters of his time.

Monday, 28 March 2011

A proper send-off

HIS South African students sing goodbye to Nicholas McInerny (ThB 72-79) after a scriptwriting course last year (1 min):

Devastating consequences?

IF you oppose the current proposal to suspend the British Council's language assistants scheme, you may wish to sign this petition co-written by the secretary of Leeds University's German Society, Chantal Sullivan-Thomsett (LHB, GrE 07-09).

Hungry for more

RUGBYMAN Andrew Higgins (ThA 92-99) has been back in action this season, playing for the Exeter Chiefs (after time out running an organic restaurant in Paris). Here's what he had to say about it in July.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

"The Justin Bieber of the New Left"

IN this long and sympathetic New Statesman piece on the student protest movement, Ben Beach (LaA, GrE 01-08) appears again and again:
Ben Beach is the Justin Bieber of the new left: a baby-faced riot messiah from Bethnal Green in east London with a tendency to hog the megaphone at demonstrations. He was trained in street activism by the Socialist Workers' Party, making him one of a minority of student protesters with a background in far-left politics… "We're using an economic model that's based on debt - and that's why every decade we have a recession, each one worse than the last, and why every time the poor are hit hardest. The root of this crisis was the free market, and the only solution we've been given by any political party is more of a free market. Parliament is not addressing what caused the problems, and so society needs to."
A seven-minute TV interview with Ben, back in December:

Bring on the maiden aunts

SUNDAYS aren't what they were when Doraine Potts (Truscott, 3's 44-52) was young.

Tongues of their own

ONCE part of the Duchy of Normandy, the Channel Islands have produced a rich stream of Norman-language literature extending from the twelfth century to the present day, exploring "themes such as economic expansion across the Atlantic to North America and elections at home; love and limpets; witchcraft, war and women's emancipation; slave-trading and seaweed." This neglected tradition is revealed to a wider audience in a new and intriguing anthology co-edited by that veritable incarnation of the islands, Geraint Jennings (ColA 77-84).

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Second of seven husbands

MEDIA coverage of Dame Elizabeth Taylor's death is focussing, understandably, on her two marriages to Richard Burton, but from 1952 to 1957 she was married to another (albeit lesser) film star, Michael Wilding (MaA 22-28), seen above with Taylor and their sons.

UPDATE (6pm): Burton's nephew Guy Masterson (Mastroianni, PeA 72-79) has just been interviewed on the BBC News channel, sharing his memories of Dame Elizabeth.

Wall of sound

THIS takes thirty seconds to get into its stride, but it's worth the wait: "A Round of Three Country Dances in One" by Thomas Ravenscroft (Music Master 1618-22) (2½ mins):

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Sound the trumpets

AN organ recital by Catherine Ennis (6's 65-71, Horsham Staff c. 85) is always a treat, but the one next Tuesday at 1pm (on her home turf at St Lawrence Jewry, London EC2) is particularly special: she'll have two trumpeters playing alongside her, and the programme will include concerti for two trumpets by Vivaldi and Torelli.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Doubly honoured

GEOFFREY ARDEN (MdB 41-47), professor of ophthalmology at City University, London, was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists in 2008 - a rare honour, as there are only fifty such Fellows - and last year an international symposium was held in Munich to mark his eightieth birthday. Plenty of photos of him on its website, looking pleasingly hale and hearty.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

The pale blue reds

CONGRATULATIONS to Amy Lonton-Rawsthorne (ColA, ThB, GrE 05-09) on her election to the executive committee of the Cambridge Universities Labour Club as its women's officer.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

We'll hear more of this one

TO judge from his website, young tenor Nick Pritchard (LaA, GrE 01-08) is already making a name for himself, so here's a clip of him singing Schubert's "Du Bist Die Ruh" (90 secs):

Arabs and oligarchs

NOW in Dubai as Middle Eastern regional director of Bonhams, the auction house, Guy Vesey (PeB, PeA, GrW 94-01, Senior Grecian) has had a remarkable career - but we remember him best for his heroism in Sydney Harbour in 2007.

Whodunnit this time?

CH has inspired at least three murder mysteries over the years: The Public School Murder by R C Woodthorpe (Staff early 20s); A Head For Death by Norman Longmate (PeA 36-43); and now Blue Murder by a current pupil, Will Goddard. Good luck to him.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Off-road ministry

THE Yorkshire Post meets Caroline Hewlett (Hewitt, 4's, BaA 80-87), resourceful vicar of four parishes in the Dales.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Fat man in a tin hat

ROGER ALLAM (PeB, ThA 64-72) plays Falstaff at Shakespeare's Globe - a performance for which he's just received his third Olivier Award (2 mins):

Curious silence

THERE seems to have been a puzzling lack of reaction to the death last month of a man who headed our Foundation for ten years, James Forbes (LaA 34-41, Treasurer 87-96). He held senior posts in a number of well-known companies, notably Cadbury Schweppes (finance director) and Tate & Lyle (senior executive director & vice-chairman), and chaired several major pension and other trustee bodies; he was also a Forestry Commissioner. This blog sends its sympathy to his family and friends, and hopes to link to obituaries when they appear.

Spread the word

ONE of those featured in Alex Blyth's Brilliant Online Marketing: How to Use the Internet to Market Your Business is Tanya Goodin (6's 76-83), founder and CEO of the social media and search agency Tamar, voted Agency of the Year in 2009 by the Financial Services Forum (Tanya herself was shortlisted for Woman of the Year in 2007). A taste of her thinking here.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Recycled humour

THE UK Census, now in progress, takes place every ten years. In 1971 it was run by an Old Blue, Michael Reed (LaA 22-30), and in Punch magazine the humorist and jazzman Miles Kington composed a spoof census form, one section of which ran (more or less) as follows:

(1) Who is Michael Reed?

(2) Wouldn't he be saving us all a great deal of trouble if he asked us now what we're going to be doing in ten years' time?

(3) On the other hand, wouldn't that put him out of a job in ten years' time?

(4) So he's no fool, is he?

(5) If a man came up to you at a party and said "So your mother was born in Tashkent, was she? That's fascinating," would you assume he was Michael Reed?
This charming recollection of Miles Kington is by Noel de Jongh (ThA 40-49).

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Globe-trotting ref

A GOOD wide-ranging interview with Sean Davey (Staff 1992-2010) last month.

Monday, 14 March 2011


AFTER a minute's milling around, Major General Buster Howes (ColA 71-77) talks about his latest task, heading up the EU's anti-piracy force (5 mins):

Weirdos R Us

EIGHT years at CH gave David McKie (ColA 45-53) the perfect training for writing a book on eccentrics.

Substantial new post

HOUSEYBLOG doffs its cap to Ian Rowley (Staff 85-89) on his appointment as academic director of St Edward's School, Oxford.

A natural selection

POISON the minds of your children with Darwinian heresy, expounded by Linda Gamlin (3's 62-69).

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Names to watch

BUDDING entrepreneur Thomas Williams (GrW, current pupil) and his partner James Seear won £50,000 for their textbook recycling business with this Dragon's Den-style pitch (3 mins):

Their websites: GradeApe | Recycleabook

Never bore anyone

STAGE director Howard Davies (MaA 56-63), appointed CBE in the New Year Honours for services to the theatre, answers the Guardian's questions. (Above: a scene from his National Theatre production of Blood and Gifts by J T Rogers.)

Land of leather

WITH this exciting primer, the highly regarded leather designer Katherine Pogson (8's 76-81) enables any crafter to follow in her footsteps (she can teach you in person too).

Former CH master in two-in-a-bed shockah!

BUT only a 17th century bed will do for David Sherratt (Horsham Staff 56-67).

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Wake up call

A DUET from Awakenings (now on tour, coming to Sadlers Wells in May) with the Rambert Orchestra under the music direction of Paul Hoskins (ColA 77-84) (1 min):

Rambert Dance Company won last year's Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance.

O little town

BILL RISEBERO (MaA 49-57) loves Bethlehem, "a place where reconciliation can and does take place."