From Downing Street to Oxford Street
Friday, 27 June. Meeting with Edwina Dunn in her sky-high, glass boardroom. I wore new peach jacket – Wallis sale.
Elegant blond entrepreneur Edwina and her husband revolutionized retail sales when they started a maths-based data analysis business in their back bedroom in 1989 and sold it in 2011 for reputedly over £90 million.
Edwina and I both hope to attract girls to a maths-based career. “Just as nursing is a passport/travel ticket around the world, the same is true of maths-based careers, which are much better paid with more opportunities,” said Edwina. (Incidentally, nursing students need a maths qualification.)
Three good speakers: Education Minister Elizabeth Truss – scarlet dress – said that maths is a feminist issue. Edwina Dunn, looking classy in figure-fitting blue (Victoria Beckham?) was followed by Charlie Stripp, Chief Executive of MEI.
I left early – supper with my sister – and passed David Cameron charging up the stairs. We exchanged guarded smiles. (Do I know you? Better smile in case.)
Thursday, 3 July. Today my brother-in-law published his horrific memoir of being a child soldier (details in Shirley’s World). I would never have suspected the gentle Andrew of being a killer, and certainly not as a child.
Friday, 4 July. Visit from Lauren Davie, with yellow spring flowers. Lauren is about to switch from “helping rich men make money” to the educational sector, where she’ll make less money, but have a more rewarding job.
Lauren designed a test course of MONEY STUFF for maths strugglers in Year 9 (see it here).
Friday evening. During my work on MONEY STUFF, my work gradually spread over my entire flat. (At one point I had a young mathematician in my kitchen and another in my bedroom). Had enormous clear out. Flat now feels my own again.
Saturday, 28 June. Long-planned shopping expedition with 15 year old goddaughter Zephra – six foot, red-gold hair, forget-me-not blue eyes – and her mother Zenna, former Chair of OFSTED and currently on the Board of the Royal Navy.
Gave Zephra an envelope containing £200. Bought at Topshop: black jeans, leather jacket (black natch), crazy-coloured socks and 1940s Hollywood tortoiseshell shades. Bought at Zara: one black leather tote bag, one white cricket boyfriend sweater, one daisy-sprinkled day top, one turquoise chiffon evening top. Ran out of time. £46 left towards purchase of black ankle boots with Cuban heel next week from Topshop.
Zenna – who didn’t own a hat – asked if she had to wear one to meet HM The Queen at a Royal Naval luncheon. “Absolutely, yes,” I said. What sort? “Think of her hats and get one like that, only smaller.” In John Lewis, we found a small, squashed-top hat in black and white with white bow. Perfect.