Sunday 18 September 2011


To Abergavenny food festival yesterday with Frances, Elisabeth and new friend Nancy Durham. Lovely day heavy rain and strong sunshine. Lots of old food festival friends like wine supremo Floyd Mills  and some great new ones like the wonderful Gower brownie makers.

Best of all was finding a supply of fresh truffles straight from Italy. Drove home intoxicated with truffle aroma and, as Elisabeth says in her classic book on these black diamonds, blessed with a racing heartbeat and an enlivened libido.

Thursday 8 September 2011

A great night

Tuesday evening to the Albert Hall for a truly memorable prom. Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony performing Mahler's 5th and a bit of Wagner and -- for the critics -- Anne Sophie Mutter playing Rimh's Gesungene Zeit.

The music was fantastic, as really I had expected, but somehow going to the Proms adds an extra whizz to the evening. We are so lucky that all these marvelous musicians come from all over the world to entertain us so royally.

Tuesday 6 September 2011

Santa and his CRB

Apologies for coming over all Daily Mail, but read this plea from a Museum Organiser...

"Santa is returning to our museum in December but we are unsure whether he needs a CRB check or not. We will have two freelance team members playing the role in a Santa’s Grotto based in a family-friendly museum. The children attending the grotto must be accompanied by an adult at all times and there will be other members of staff present throughout each session. Santa will only be in the museum at weekends and the week before Christmas.

We asked the CRB people and they said:

If an individual is working or volunteering as Father Christmas in a specified setting e.g. schools; childcare premises including nurseries; residential homes for children in care; children’s hospitals; children’s detention centres, and is undertaking that work frequently (once a week) or intensively (4 or more occasions in one month) then they will be eligible for an Enhanced CRB check.

This scenario is not intended to cover a Father Christmas who might be employed in a department store or shopping centre as they are not listed in the SVGA 2006 as specified settings.

I called the helpline number to clarify whether a museum was a specified setting but was advised to google it and see what came up. That wasn’t that helpful so instead I am appealing to anyone out there who knows the answer."

So not only do we have hopeless laws but hopeless people paid to administer them...