Dunhurst 1963-1967, Bedales 1967-1973.
New College Oxford, PPE
- James 7
- Venetia 4
- OB Siblings
After Bedales I went to New College (with Jeremy - see his biog),did what now seems an amazingly small amount of work to justify the award of an Honours degree,had a jolly good time eg acting in Jeremy's plays,and generally faffed about. As the third year wore on, I applied for a number of jobs, and in classically indolent style accepted the first one offered, which was in the Civil Service.
I joined the Treasury in late 1977; worked on three budgets in the last sad days of the Callaghan administration; and worked in the office of the Permanent Secretary (ie the top official in the Treasury) for a couple of years. I did a year at the Department of Health and Social Security,as it then was, working on a special project on health care financing,and then went to Brussels on loan to the Foreign Office to work on the EC budget. I stayed in Brussels until 1985 (the high spot of which was meeting Stella - see below), and then went back to the Treasury. I spent most of the second part of the 1980s in the Chancellor of the Exchequer's office, specialising in European affairs, tax, and industrial issues. From 1990 to 1994 I headed a division in the Treasury on financial services issues, and then came back to Brussels in 1994, where I've been ever since, boring for Britain on EU economic matters.
Has this all been as dull as this sounds? No. It has been a lot of fun (yes!). Is it just like "Yes, Minister"? Only insofar as "Fawlty Towers" is like a normal hotel (quite a lot, in other words). Don't I wish I'd done something else? Yes, in the sense of fantasy other lives (I would quite like to have won an Oscar/World Cup winners medal/been a member of the - pre-geriatric - Rolling Stones ); no, in the sense of things which I might actually have been able to do passably well. Anyway, the more important aspects of my life have been meeting and marrying Stella (in 1984) and producing James (in 1991) and Venetia (in 1994). I still like football, and have failed to grow out of pop music. I'm still crap at driving,though did manage - unbelievably - to acquire a licence at some point. I'm a lot fitter than I was when younger - lots of cycling and swimming,and no cigs for seven years - but a bit fatter.
My sister Imogen - four years behind us - went to Exeter University, works in publishing as an editor (for Little, Brown), and lives in London with her husband and three sons.
Mel Davis, Polly Mortimer (Fisher), Jeremy Mortimer, Nick Barker