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On the 13th of October, Nottingham Royal Concert Hall held an open day to the public for the first time to celebrate the 30th anniversary of opening. I adore music and theatre and have spent many pleasurable evenings seeing some of the top acts of the world perform there. I was privileged to be in the first group to do the trip especially as it was the first time ever that the public have been allowed into the top level where the lights are held. Through a musician friend who plays for the Philharmonia, I was already aware that the hall has one of the best acoustics in the country – the other two outstanding halls are apparently the Symphony Hall in Birmingham and St David’s Hall in Cardiff. The reason for this is because of the materials used not only in the mechanisms above the stage but even the flooring which is designed to reflect rather than absorb music as carpet would. We are incredibly fortunate to have such a world class facility so close to Southwell. Thanks to all involved in organising a fantastic open day.

Felix Baumgartner who broke the speed of sound at 729mph was a wonderful and uplifting (or should I say downlifting) sight to see. In these days of obsession with health and safety, it is fantastic to witness such a daredevil freefall. At the same time, he was helping to investigate the suit he was wearing for use by future astronauts. I salute his bravery and remarkable record.

Climate change? Is it happening or is it part of the natural cycle that has continued over millions of years? It was interesting to see a single report in the Sunday press that new data shows that the world stopped getting warmer 16 years ago. This represents that there has been a plateau in global warming as long as the time temperatures rose. No press release. No publicity. Global warming and energy choices are extremely important issues but suppressing new data cannot be right. Scientists who have questioned the data on global warming have been sidelined and not been given an equal platform. Data needs to be examined from both sides and decisions made on that basis.

It’s hard to believe this year has flown by so quickly – very best wishes to you all in the final run – up to Christmas.

Awen Little

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