As has been well established, I live near Cambridge and we learnt earlier this week that my local university (as opposed to my local converted poly or driving school) plans to charge its students the maximum fee permitted. If this came as a surprise to anyone in the Coalition, could I point them in the direction of my earlier post “Curse of the Sibyl”. My rates as a soothsayer are really very reasonable.
I am newly returned from a very pleasant evening in Cambridge. One of the advantages of going to concerts in Cambridge is that you get to visit buildings that we of the town (or in my case, outlying villages) can enter only on payment of a fee (or not at all). Tonight I have been in the neo-classical masterpiece that is Senate House. The interior is very fine – but sadly beyond my architectural knowledge to properly describe. The exterior is also normally something to behold and is illuminated to impress the great unwashed as they pass by. However, at present it is almost totally concealed by scaffolding – but nonetheless still fully lit up (almost, but not quite, totally unlike a Christmas tree). Now, in these days of the internet, I am aware that there are many niche (not to say depraved) special interest groups out there. Thus, I am quite willing to believe that there is a small, but select, group of nocturnal scaffold aficionados out there – some of whom might visit Cambridge – who will appreciate the university’s continued launching of vast quantities of photons at the facade. Nevertheless, in these straightened times I would question whether this represents the best use of their budget – perhaps darkened scaffolding would be an acceptable price to pay for lower student fees.
Within Senate House I hugely enjoyed the Jupiter Sinfonia playing Mozart and Haydn (or, more accurately, pieces of music composed by these two worthies). The conductor was exceeding poised and assured – despite my serious doubts about his ability to vote (and, no he was not wearing clothes covered in arrows). This perspicacious youth goes by the splendid moniker of Harry Ogg – and, to my shame, I must admit whenever I see him at work on the podium I do look around the audience in the hopes of seeing Nanny (no luck as yet…).
On a related subject, am I the only one who when hearing of our esteemed (OK, current) Secretary of State for the Environment assumes that she must be one of Sabrina’s aunts and is on the look-out for a little witchcraft? No? Just me then.