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This Hollywood-style sign has appeared opposite Bromley North station in the last few weeks and signifies the revamped pavements of what is now known as Bromley North Village. I thought it was grotesque and out of place before I even heard that the sign had cost our heroes of the hour Bromley Council more than £100,000.

In the week that our beloved BYMT was told, with a few weeks’ notice, that the Council plans to withdraw its £300,000 funding from April 1st, yes April Fools’ Day, you couldn’t make it up, some musicians, their parents and representatives gathered at this eyesore to highlight the difference between something that is beautiful and useful and helps the community and something that perhaps makes the person with baser tastes who decided on this monstrosity feel quite good.

A photographer from the Newsshopper was also in attendance but I didn’t see anyone doing interviews. I can’t help a few misgivings about the press coverage: in these times of revived class-war I’m not sure that this paper is going to be entirely sympathetic towards kids who want to play classical music, the supposed pastime only of the elite.

Of course this is the whole point. The Trust supports children from all backgrounds and some from near the very margins of society who otherwise would never have the chance to go near an instrument. If it loses its funding, serious music will become the preserve only of the wealthy few and it will be become a self-fulfilling prophesy. I have been concerned for a long time that there will soon be few musicians left able to play this sort of music and that it will be lost forever.

This was a reasonable turnout, given that we were told about this only late on Thursday night and that many people, including my own offspring, are away for half term. We do whatever we can.




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London lights


Here’s a view from our Valentine’s table at the Skylon. I do love it there, this restaurant in the Royal Festival Hall with its Cold War vibe and fabulous modernist windows onto the Thames. Last night, OH successfully asked the management to accommodate MsDD and we all had their Valentine’s set meal together:

Cream of Jerusalem artichoke soup with truffle oil brioche

Scallops with watercress puree and micro herb salad. Devilled sauce

Red mullet and cauliflower fritter

Madeira glazed guinea fowl with garlic and thyme potato and bacon cabbage

Passionfruit ice cream with pineapple

Chocolate fondant with salted caramel ice cream

Of course the food was delicious and the guinea fowl the best I’d ever tasted. I think two puddings was a little excessive though and the soup, though absolutely delicious, was a risk considering the well-publicised after-effects of topinambours.