The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

January 29, 2017

January 29, 1971

Clare Balding (January 29, 1971) is a BBC sports broadcaster, although the proper term over there is "presenter." She freelances too. Her father is Ian Balding and her mother, Lady Emma Balding, is the sister of the Earl of Huntingdon. Clare Balding graduated from a Cambridge college in 1993.

Her first job was as Racing reporter, for BBC Radio 5 Live, from 1993–94; She also has covered the Royal Ascot horse race. She reported a number of Olympic games including those in Sydney, Salt Lake City, Beijing, Vancouver, London, and Sochi also.

In 2005 she covered the Crufts dog show.

Among her many awards are Sports Presenter of the Year (2004), and Presenter of the Year, (2013). She has her own radio sports talk show.

And in 2012 she got a National Book Award, "Autobiography of the Year" for a volume of memoirs.  This is titled My Animals and Other Family where she speaks of all she "learned through animals. Horses and dogs were my family and my friends. This is their story as much as it is mine.” For us, it is the story of her maternal grandmother which captivates.

Her grandmother held that..."people like us' didn't have depression. 'Deeply selfish' said my grandmother....When one of my relatives suddenly left his wife for another woman ...Grandma said...Just have an affair and keep quiet. But this-- so public, and frankly, so cheap."

[The same grandmother] ... was a dog person. I always got the impression she thought cats rather common --which is why it was so out of character that she had two of them: Tommy and Katie. She always called Tommy by his name and he followed her around, but Katie she called Titty-Wee. "It's the ugliest name I could think of." she said."And she is an ugly cat. Useless as well."

Despite aristocratic connections this grandmother  had "inherited nothing more than a nice collection of jewelry and a strong sense of entitlement."

Clare Balding received an Order of the British Empire award in 2013.

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