Bold voices

Lucy Banda-Siwone

A couple of discoveries this week that inspire me.

First the news that the first portrait of a female Rhodes scholar has just been put on display at Oxford. She is Lucy Banda-Sinowe, a Zambian activist whose civic education programme lives on after her death, and the artist is Deidre Saunder. Read the full story here:

Secondly, I’m enjoying the interviews with the singer-turned-jeweller Catherine Martin on Radio 3’s Essential Classics this week. Catherine’s life reminds me of characters in a favourite series, the Mountjoy novels by Elizabeth Pewsey/Aston and I can’t help wondering if the two women know each other. The memories are all the better for Catherine’s wickedly quiet appreciation of music, exciting liaisons and moves across Europe.

So far, we’ve had Janet Baker’s shoes, devotional music of the 17th century and Anthony Rolfe Johnson in the Magic Flute, and I’m eager for today’s update on Japanese art and the jewellery-making. I have to say that the interviewer, Sarah Walker, is also one of my favourite Radio 3 presenters and always sounds like she’d be a terrifically fun and kind friend.

unaccustomed spirits

(Possibly my favourite of all the Mountjoy novels, although I’m also fond of the gorgeous Issur in ‘Unholy Harmonies’. I chose this one as Catherine’s comments yesterday reminded me of both Prue and Adele in this book.)


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