Category Archives: harrow


>O, how the sun helps.

Stepson J (staying with us off and on through the Summer) is off to the Carnival. P is considering walking to the centre of London “because it is there”. Apparently our near neighbours Harrow School have (or once had) a running race from the Hill to the City. Inspired by this (?) and the distant views of the central skyscrapers from the Hill, P is off on a mission.

Me? I might make a guzunder to hold my computer and get it off the desk top. Or I might write a play. Or go out for a bike ride. Who knows. Perhaps I should go for a walk…

>After the storm

>I went to Birmingham yesterday to prepare for teaching which starts in a couple of weeks. All trains were speed-limited, so it took longer than usual to get there. The journey back was even worse – longer, overcrowded and failing to reach home (P picked me up from Gerrards Cross).

Theatre closures seem to be piling up. Our local (privatised) arts centre went broke and closed a few weeks ago. Lyn Gardner writes about the Wandsworth Tory council doing the dirty on Battersea Arts Centre and Alfred Hickling writes about Leicester Haymarket and Chester’s Gateway theatres here. According to one comment on LG’s article the Northampton theatres are under threat as well. With funding cuts looming over touring, things are looking bleak again.

Plumber calling this afternoon to quote. Builders have finished.

Update: More on Battersea, Northampton and, unfortunately, Basingstoke as well here. For a more general article on theatre funding (with reference to the Brighton Gardner Centre’s closure), see here.

>Still unpacking

We’ve found the Christmas tree. We thought we’d lost it, and were thinking about buying a replacement, when it turned up in a mystery box in the loft. We also found the string of lights that cost £1.99 off the market 20 years ago and still has all off its original bulbs. Bargain. The tree is made of barbed wire and baco foil, but add enough tinsel and it’s a match for that one in Trafalgar Square. Really.

I’ve also found the camera. An important one this because it’s the first Christmas in the new house. The children are away and we’re having to reinvent the whole family festival thing remotely. After 17 years in the old place it’s a big deal.

It’s a bit of a late start to Christmas this year with work deadlines. I walked over to Harrow to start the shopping for the last couple of days. You forget how to be out of doors after a period of intensive work. It was only yesterday that I got my head up and slowed down a bit. It’s cold by recent standards and the fog is reinventing the area all over again – it’s great.

Normally I can see as far North as the Watford Space Needle from my office window, but today it’s just the adjacent tree tops and mist. The leaves have all gone at last, but there are still flowers blooming in the front garden.

We have installed the Christmas Penguin. I can’t find my Black’s Bible Dictionary anywhere, so I can’t tell you which of the gospels the Penguin story is in. I think it’s the one with Father Christmas and Rudolph. Probably one of the Apocrypha.