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West End Extra - THE XTRA DIARY
Published: 20 November 2009
Colin Smith of Hampstead Art Auctions with the portrait of Humphrey Lyttelton Colin Smith of Hampstead Art Auctions with the portrait of Humphrey Lyttelton
Portrait of jazz legend up for grabs

DIARY remembers watching Humphrey Lyttelton perform at the Dover Street restaurant in 2006 at the launch of his last book.
It Just Occurred to Me… An Autobiographical Scrapbook was given a rousing unveiling as the famous jazz trumpeter treated diners and guests to a spectacular concert in the basement restaurant.
Paintings owned by “Humph” went under the hammer at an auction last night (Thursday).
The sale, in Hampstead, included three paintings owned by Mr Lyttelton – including one oil of himself by portraitist John Bratby with a reserve price of £300.
Mr Bratby, who died in 1992, approached Humph in the 1970s and the musician agreed to sit for him.
Humph’s son, Stephen told Diary: “I still have some of his instruments and I have kept his record collection.
“We are wondering where we can find a good home for them.”

Here’s a timely feature on job-hunting,
courtesy of City Hall

THERE was a time when copies of the West End Extra were available in the entrance of City Hall.
That arrangement came to an end in 2007 – clearly officials found their local paper too hot to handle.
So Diary was interested to pick up a copy of WestWords – the paper for Westminster staff – during a visit to the council headquarters this week. The in-house freesheet’s front page story heralded an “important stage in the council’s history” and how “huge changes will make a difference to people’s lives”.
That’s council speak for cuts and job losses. It was announced in September that 300 staff posts are to be axed.
A timely and informative feature on “job hunting” and “changing career” appears on page 3 of WestWords under the headline: “What to do if I am made redundant.”

Waste not... celebrating ‘dull, dull’ TS Eliot’s work

POETRY runs like a silver thread through the Douglas clan, according to the poet Lord Gawain Douglas, whose great uncle was Oscar Wilde’s lover Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas.
On Saturday evening Douglas gave a reading of TS Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Calder Bookshop in Waterloo. The shop is owned by the publisher and poet John Calder who, during his youth, met Eliot.
Before the reading, Douglas said his great uncle had detested TSE, who was recently voted the nation’s favourite poet in a BBC poll, and that his eldest daughter had asked him: “Does The Waste Land begin ‘April is the cruellest month’ because that’s when you have to file your tax returns?” 
Douglas warned the 50-strong audience that The Waste Land was a notoriously difficult poem, but he said: “After tonight, you can say ‘I’ve done it’, and in common with many young people in the 1920s, you can declare: ‘I am a Waste Lander’.” 
Eliot, who worked for a time as a nine-to-five clerk in Lloyds Bank and was described as, “Dull dull dull; a man who would lower the temperature in a room” by Bloomsbury friends, had become “a totem” by the 1960s, Douglas said. 
He added: “He became the poet of a generation. Oscar Wilde once wrote: ‘If you give a man a mask, he’ll tell you the truth.’
“Eliot tells us his truth from behind the mask of literature.”
Douglas’s wife Nicolette played piano introductions to the different sections of the poem, part of which was written on Margate Sands in Kent, near to Douglas’s family home. 
The event was arranged by The Living Literature Society.
See www.livingliterature.co.uk or call 01727 825 939.

Mayor picks his ‘queen’

DUNCAN Sandys the Lord Mayor of Westminster travelled to Norway on Wednesday to pick out a Christmas tree for Trafalgar Square.
The “felling” ceremony, attended by the mayor of Oslo, Fabian Stang, and David Powell, British Ambassador to Norway, has been held each year since 1947.
The tree is presented by the city as a symbol of Norwegian appreciation for British support during the Second World War.
The tree is more than 20 metres high and at least 50 years old.
Norwegian foresters describe it with affection as the “queen of the forest”.
The lighting ceremony will be held in Trafalgar Square on December 3 and remain there until Twelfth Night, after which it is recycled.

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