I was deeply saddened to learn of the unexpected death of Sir Henry Brooke. In recent months, Sir Henry had become a good friend of Hackney Community Law Centre (HCLC).
I was in regular contact with Sir Henry in the run up to HCLC’s most recent Annual General Meeting (AGM), which was only held in December. Sir Henry praised the HCLC annual report I wrote and, on the day of the AGM, in an email exchange with him to confirm his taxi arrangements, I was pleasantly shocked and surprised to also read the line: “I have just transferred £1,000 gross to (HCLC’s) bank account, with best wishes“.
Sir Henry Brooke was witty, funny, brilliant, kind and clever and cared so much about access to justice for the poor. He also really “got” race equality at the Bar. I so enjoyed reading this excellent blogpost he wrote about the work he carried out as Chair of the Bar’s Race Relations Committee. I wish I had known him then.
HCLC Chair Ian Rathbone has paid tribute to Sir Henry on behalf of the team here.
We will miss Sir Henry Brooke very much.
Giving a thank you speech on Tuesday 5th December at the 2017 LawWorks Pro Bono Awards where Haringey Law Centre and Debevoise and Plimpton LLP won the Most Effective Pro Bono Partnership award for our disability benefits appeals project (photo credit: Matt Cetti-Roberts).
I recently had my first cello lesson in 20 years!!!
From a young age, I had
been extremely musical. I began piano lessons at 5, the recorder at 7, the cello at 9 and the steel pans at 11.
Alongside my school studies, music was my whole life until I moved to Germany to become an au pair in 1996 and stopped playing.
In the 20 plus years that passed, I always missed playing the cello especially. To me, it is an instrument that is almost human. The fact that its range of notes span as a low as a double bass but as high as a violin gives the cello a versatility that is so interesting, stimulating and exciting for those who play it. I may be biased but I also think that string instruments are the most beautiful and, out of the string family, the cello comes out on top.
When I began my lesson (after such a long time), I was terrified. I wasn’t sure whether I would remember how to hold the bow and I certainly didn’t think I would be able to sight-read. To my astonishment, within a hour of playing, I was sight-reading again and playing Bach duets with my teacher (a wonderful professional cellist I met at university who now plays with the Chineke Orchestra).
I now feel like a major part of me was asleep for 20 years and I’ve now fully woken up. I feel happy, alive and joyful. Now that I have started playing the cello again, I don’t plan to stop.
A real honour to be featured as the London School of Economics Department of Management‘s December 2017 ‘Alum of the Month’ and share with the LSE community how my MSc in International Employment Relations (grad 2003) has assisted my career. You can read my interview HERE.
A few months ago, I joined the advisory group of the Tottenham Community Press (TCP), a fresh, exciting, new, independent, high quality newspaper aiming to tell the stories of the vibrant Tottenham community their way. To celebrate its 1st birthday and promote its crowdfunding campaign, TCP has made a fantastic 4 minute video. I am one of the people interviewed. You can watch it HERE.