Posting here on Sunday nights, bits and pieces, tweets and links that didn’t make a full post during the week.
* THE Daily Express devoted a double-page spread on Friday to celebrate 90 years of Just A Minute host Nicholas Parsons, who for many years lived in Hampstead. Give him a knighthood, it demanded. It also reminded readers that Parsons was once asked to stand for the Liberals in Paddy Ashdown’s Yeovil seat but turned the offer down. He did win an election against a famous politician in his lifetime, however. As he often recalls with untold delight, he defeated Glenda Jackson, now Hampstead and Kilburn MP, in a vote of students to become the rector of St Andrews University, a pretty prestigous job, in 1988, becoming ‘Dr Parsons’ in the process. So there you go, besides her abortive run to be Mayor of London, Parsons might just be the only man to have defeated Glenda at a ballot box.
* THE Olympic-sized struggle for athletes in minority sports and their attempts to fund their progress might be summed up with the picture of London 2012 gold medallist Jade Jones on the front of the Cashino fruit machine amusements in Camden High Street. The corny speech bubble: Knockout offers! Yet without sponsorship, she might not even get to the next games. So, where’s the legacy there? The stars of 2012 put on a show, for a fortnight people walked around smiling, enthused by sports like rowing, dressage and Taekwondo and insisting they now hated the money-spoilt world of football. Twelve months later and those sports are treated as novelties again and everybody has resumed their football addiction. The Olympics was a great party, albeit an expensive one, but its legacy, that buzzword, has wilted quickly.
* LATEST seat for beaten Hampstead and Kilburn Tory Chris Philp to be linked with is Croydon South. Four hundred Tories have apparently expressed an interest in succeeding Richard Ottaway there, but Philp is riding a conference crest after his ‘work for the dole’ recommendations were warmly embraced by Chancellor George Osborne
* AN obit that makes you wish you’d met Belsize Park’s Evi Lavi, if you didn’t get the pleasure. The 90 year-old Nazi refugee loved a practical joke as her daughter Dooni explains in this week’s New Journal: “She loved to go to the café in Regent’s Park, sit outside with a coffee – or even a pint and a cigarette – and feel the sunshine on her face.Two years ago I went to the café with her, and mum did something entirely shocking. Everybody was smiling at her, and she said: ‘Oh Doona, they think I’m a nice little old lady.’ So she opened a sachet of sugar and drew it as a line on the table. Then she took out a £10 note, rolled it up and began snorting the sugar. The cafe actually went quiet and everyone stared. Then she texted a picture of her snorting the line of sugar to all her friends. She thought it important to challenge people’s preconceived ideas.”
* CAMDEN Town blogger LisyBabe makes the Independent on Sunday’s Pink List, the 101 most influential gay and lesbian people in the UK. She tweets with charateristic modesty.
I was not expecting to be on the #Pinklist again. I’ve accomplished so little this year. And I only dropped 6 places.
— Lisa Egan (@lisybabe) October 12, 2013
* THE Amy Winehouse statue for Camden Town has been delayed, only slightly. Walk of Fame organiser Lee Bennett said this week: “She wasn’t looking as happy as we would like her to look.*
* FINALLY, in case you missed it, here’s Labour finance chief Theo Blackwell in full strut on the Town Hall roof for the Daily Politics. He’s not scared of the TV cameras. Makes a fair point about FoI, though, that private companies taking public money should be subject to full transparency too.