Be Near Me by Andrew O’Hagan & Ian McDiarmid, Donmar Warehouse, 24 January 2009

We’re big fans of Ian McDiarmid. We think he worked wonders running the Almeida with Jonathan Kent and he is a fine actor to boot. He is also a nodding acquaintance of mine in Notting Hill Gate (although, writing in April 2017, it is a while since I have seen him around).

But in truth I don’t think this play/production did much for us. It all felt a bit grim. It sounded like it might be a bit like a Bergman movie, but ended up a rather drab stage equivalent.

The play/production is well described on Official London Theatre – click here.

No doubt this did well when National Theatre of Scotland took it touring north of the border.

No record of what we ate afterwards, but I’ll guess we went to May’s place (Shanghai Knightsbridge) to take away some yummy Chinese grub.

 

Emmanuel Pahud, Trevor Pinnock & Jonathan Manson, Wigmore Hall, 17 January 2009

A very beautiful, flute-based, baroque concert. What more could one ask for at the start of a new year – our first concert of 2009?

All three are excellent musicians and they played beautifully individually and together.

This is what they played:

We went home very happy – I suspect with some Ranoush shawarmas in our hands.

Stats The Way (Aha Aha) I Like It, MTWD Piece, 14 January 2009

Another winter piece for the Middlesex Till We Die (MTWD) website.

This one was supposed to go up the week before, but Andrew Strauss messed up my editorial plans for that week by selfishly being appointed England captain.

Still, I’m sure the piece was just as effective on 14 January as it would have been on 7 January:

Stats The Way (Aha Aha) I Like It – click here.

Just in case anything ever happens to MTWD, I have scraped the piece to Ogblog – only click the link below if the link above doesn’t work:

Middlesex till we die – Stats The Way (Aha Aha) I Like It

 

Andrew Strauss Of Middlesex – England Captain, MTWD Piece, 7 January 2009

I recognised Andrew Strauss’s appointment as England cricket captain with a rapid editorial piece for the Middlesex Till We Die (MTWD) website.

Andrew Strauss Of Middlesex – England Captain – click here.

Just in case anything ever happens to MTWD, I have scraped the piece to Ogblog – only click the link below if the link above doesn’t work:

Middlesex till we die – Andrew Strauss of Middlesex, England Captain

New Year’s Eve 2008/2009 Party, Ealing, 1 January 2009

We arranged for a gathering of friends and the three sisters to see in 2009. With Phillie’s health now unquestionably in decline, it was a fine balance between ambition and pragmatism. But the big points were that Phillie wanted to dance and she wanted that close set of friends and family with her.

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So we planned to take  a big table at a public gathering in that hotel in Ealing currently (2016) known as the DoubleTree Hilton – I can’t remember what it was called at that time – Janie thinks it might have been a Ramada back then. You know the one; on the junction of the Uxbridge Road and Hanger Lane. Not normally our sort of thing, but the ability for the out-of-towners to simply retreat to their room without the need for transport/going out of doors was a big plus.

There is a sizable photo set from the evening.  The set does not come from one of my or Janie’s cameras – I think it must have been Anthea or Kim who brought the camera. Several people chipped in taking the pictures, mostly those two I think, with some drunken-looking efforts from other people thrown in. I don’t recall taking many/any of them myself.

These five must have been a terrifying quintet at school

These five must have been a terrifying quintet at school

Considering the quality of photographers present (not least Anthea Simms and Mitchell Sams) the overall quality of the photo set is less than special…

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…with a handful of notable exceptions….

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This proves that the photo pros were mostly busy enjoying themselves rather than taking snaps, which is a good thing.

It was a remarkable evening, not least because Phillie had been so poorly in the run-up to the evening, we thought even the day before that she might need to be in hospital over the new year festivities. In the end, Phillie had a great time and danced almost all evening.  We did not get any pictures of the dancing, although dancing we all, not just Phillie, certainly did.

Indeed, we all had a great time. Even me, despite evidence to the contrary in the following picture!

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