Art with no strings

I remember going to see the Goya Portraits exhibition at the National Gallery a few years back. I was delighted that in one of the rooms there was a man playing a grand piano in one corner, some boogie, some stride, some Erroll Garner.


Never give a clown too many balls to juggle

I blogged a piece some weeks ago about how so many managers are appointed via the Peter Principle which suggests that "in time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out assigned duties". And how, after the most catastrophic management failures, the people clearly and unambiguously responsible are … Continue reading Never give a clown too many balls to juggle

Humbug as cold as charity

I know it's Christmas, loose-needled fir trees, surprised virgin, goodwill to all wo/men, problems at the inn, three kings, full house, deck the halls, giblet gravy, socks AGAIN, heartburn, Amazon returns forms. But I'm royally pissed off with yet another email saying: "We have deçaided not to send Christmas cards any longer and will be … Continue reading Humbug as cold as charity

“Then let them use us well” (Emilia – Othello IV.3)

My feeling that I'm living in an unhappy fractured land (this blog: The New Babylon 05 August - has intensified with the accelerating woman-led movement of Whilst for the most part vastly less important than the dreadful revelations of child abuse over the past two years, it does include accusations, even hints, of rape … Continue reading “Then let them use us well” (Emilia – Othello IV.3)

Ain’t what they sing, it’s the way that you see it…

I went to Opera North last night to see “Pagliacci”. Blood-soaked by the end. I tried to hide under the seat. The singing was glorious, the orchestra on top form with a magnificent score, the direction compelling, thanks to which the improbable plot simply ceased to be so. There was, I swear, a “hoosh” at … Continue reading Ain’t what they sing, it’s the way that you see it…


I've just organised a Golden Anniversary Reunion of the Southampton University Modern Foreign Languages Class of '67, a title which glazes your eyeballs just to read it. It went well - more later, perhaps - but Brexit of course surged up like a gigantic belch and the only other Brexiteer there with me wrote today … Continue reading Bedonebyasyoudid