CITY DIARY

The great and good of the aviation industry will tonight pick up their collective dancing shoes for the first aviation ball in aid of NCH Action for Children. With patrons including Sir John Egan, Richard Branson and Sir Colin Marshall the event has proved a sell out.

The scale of the industry means that prizes for the tombola are suitably deluxe. What's hot: a part in the film Carla's Song, donated by PolyGram, and what's billed as "the world's greatest autograph book" - collated from passengers at the VIP lounge at Heathrow. Not so hot - except for those who have lost their bags en route - a day out at Gatwick to see the baggage control system.

Ernest Saunders, the former Guinness chairman, who last year refuted claims that he had ever suffered from Alzheimer's disease, looks set to miss out on a new role. The local Thames-side residents' association is seeking a new treasurer. Word is that tactful diplomacy is in play to circumvent him as a possible candidate. Just as well, since the Court of Appeal accepted that he did suffer from the disease - on the grounds, among other things, that he could not recite three numbers backwards.

Members of the Institute of Legal Executives are a studious bunch. Even an invite to the Ritz - along with champagne - was insufficient to persuade many legal folk to ignore a Law Society meeting scheduled for the same slot. That was the official excuse for a rescheduling - but perhaps members were simply deterred by the topic for discussion: legal NVQs, which are due to be introduced next year. Hard to make palatable even with plenty of champagne.

Christopher Balfour, a director of Hambros Bank since 1984, has joined the board of Christies International. Given the competition between fine art houses, the auctioneer is understandably cock-a-hoop. One insider tells me that great store is being set on his "business getting" ability.

Balfour is already familiar with the world of luxury as a former director of Dunhill and now a non-executive of the luxury goods group, Vendome. Curiously he is also a non-executive director of the less rarefied property development company, Evans of Leeds. Perhaps that's how he hones his "business getting ability".

Sore ears all round after many spent the weekend pursuing a table at designer-cum-restaurateur Terence Conran's latest eaterie, Mezzo. With seating for 700, you would have thought booking preparations to be well in hand. Not so. Here's what would-be diners can expect: being answered by several electronic voices before being put on hold; then a test greeting before being transferred to someone else's answering machine. Then an electronic message puts you at six or seven in the queue; you hold in anticipation of six or seven people being dealt with quickly, only to get cut off. A spokesman for Mezzo admits to "a slight problem" with the booking system. Remember, the thrill is in the chase.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Life and Style
tech
News
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
film
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
News
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manager - (communications, testing, DM)

£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...

Guru Careers: Finance Account Manager

£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Direct Marketing Manager - B2C, Financial Services - Slough

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity h...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas