Thursday, July 5, 2012


Up early to get into the office by 8am for a full day of meetings, around ten in all. I don't mind. Always good to touch base, show my face, catch up on gossip. The latest is that our physical footprint is shrinking still more...
Once upon a time, the British Council had four offices in London: the very large 65 Davies Street where I started out (vacated in 1992), 11 Portland Place opposite BBC Broadcasting House (where the arts departments used to be), two floors in an office in Bedfordbury in Covent Garden (which didn't last long), and its main office at 10 Spring Gardens, off Trafalgar Square which we're still in - but only just. This used to have an east & west wing, both pretty sizeable. We are now down to an east wing only and this autumn will rent out two of its floors. Which means that, if you discount the ground floor which is mostly reception, the entire British Council HQ will be crammed into just four floors. It's mind-boggling why we needed all that space beforehand. I suppose much of it was individual rooms of one or two people, with big wooden desks and secretaries and typing pools and libraries and endless files in massive grey metal cabinets and print rooms and all that stuff - as was pretty common those days. Now it's all open plan, seried ranks of hot-desks with a few bookable meeting rooms. Zilch character but functional. 
Anyway, met up with Stan for a drink in Covent Garden - good to see him; he seems pretty settled professionally & personally. And then Andrew H, who is similarly in a good place, enjoying parenthood and somehow continuing to be incredibly creative. The latest is that he's hoping to direct his first film. There seems to be backing, he's got a co-writer... Fingers crossed it all works out.  

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