The most exciting news of the day is that a competition has been launched to find a civilian judge to sit on the panel for the Costa Book of the Year – the winner will attend the final judging meeting in January, and get to go to the dinner and ceremony. The competition is open to all UK adults and closes on 31st October. Entrants have to submit a 300-word book review and a 500-word application. A shortlist of 12 will be selected, who will then attend a book review debate, before the winner is chosen. My mate Chortle is on the judging panel for the biography category. I would love to be on the panel as resident chick lit judge. I fear it will never happen, but you should apply, go on, you know you want to.
Before I forget, me and The Mother took a stroll down memory lane last week and went to a gig by NYJO who we haven’t seen since my dad died. The orchestra has been going since 1965 under founding Musical Director Bill Ashton MBE (who has taken to wearing a hat btw), and most of the rising generation of jazz stars have passed through its ranks. (Amy Winehouse sang with them when she was 16…). They have recorded 40 albums, made numerous TV and radio programmes and performed at hundreds of venues around the UK (and the world come to that) – Ronnie Scott’s, The Barbican, The Royal Albert and Royal Festival Halls and now Wealdstone Football Club, which happens to be at the end of my mums road. A real treat for me in the programme was a rearranged version of Somewhere, which a flutist called Lisa used to play some 10 years ago… it bought back so many good memories. NYJO are back at the Club at 12.30pm Sunday October 26th, November 16th, December 28th and January 18th. If you are at a loose end, and fancy some top quality Big Band Jazz it will be the best £10 you spend.