Saturday, 24 February 2007

Fast facts about this author - his meme

- Born England, 1969
- Educated Charterhouse & Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge (law); post-graduate in finance
- Banker, turned IR consultant, turned public affairs consultant
- Advised 'New Labour' in 1990s, now not a fan
- Lived abroad a lot. 'home' is uncertain - likely eventually to be Provence or Tuscany: which is, I know, dull and bourgeois of me
- International flights taken: 76 (2005); 117 (2006)... 9 in January 2007
- Favourite Book: 'One Palestine, Complete, Jews and Arabs under the British Mandate ', Tom Segev, 2000 (non-fiction); or fiction - 'The Comedians', Graham Greene (1966) or 'The Sun also Rises', Ernest Hemingway (1926) - I am not overly fond of much modern fiction. Umberto Eco is one of the few exceptions, and the very greatest: Il pendolo di Foucault is still a book I think of as being of staggering genius; while 'The Name of the Rose' was a wonderful ride (the film is no substitute!).
- Favourite films: La Reine Margot (French, 1994); Goodbye Lenin (German, 2003); Buongiorno, notte (Italian, 2003); Russian Ark (Russian, 2002); The Queen (UK, 2006); Room with a View (UK, 1985); Spy Game (2001)
- Favourite TV series: The West Wing, all 7 seasons, Grey's Anatomy
- Favourite pieces of music: Spartacus suite, by Il'yich Khachaturian; Soundtrack of 'Black Hawk Down', Hans Zimmer (Contemporary); as well as the 13th symphony, 'Babi Yar' by Dmitri Shostakovich
- Favourite painters: Caravaggio, Salvator Rosa, Simon Vouet, 'Titian'; Nicolas Poussin and van Dyck.
- Favourite hotels: Astoria, St Petersburg (City); Delano, Miami (Urban Resort); Barr Al Jissah, Muscat, Oman (Resort); The Cadogan (London); L'Hôtel, Rue des Beaux-Arts (Paris); The Royalton (New York & my favourite of the lot); Boscolo Exedra (Rome)
- Favourite restaurants: J Sheekey (London) and also, in the same city and from the same owners, Daphne's; Cantinetta Antinori (Moscow) - world favourite: Antica Locanda dell'Angelo (Lucca)
- Favourite Bar: Bar des Amis (London, where I have been going for 21 years)

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