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

Let it be

I'm sorry if this upsets anyone, but I feel real anger at the egotism and pig-headedness of the parents of poor little Charlie Gard. They seem to live in another world where what they want is ipso facto right, and where the dedicated, hugely experienced pediatricians and palliative care team at Great Ormond Street Hospital … Continue reading Let it be

Why do pedants pedant?

My visit tomorrow to the dentist is timely, since I have yet again ground my teeth at a “Today” presenter this morning.  I’m wondering if I suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. At least, when it concerns language, and specifically English, and probably most specifically the spoken version. This demonstrates itself  and, increasingly, quite violently these … Continue reading Why do pedants pedant?

“And lose the name of action”

And still the Top Table Ramblers insist. Still they mechanically trumpet the message. “Volunteers are vital to our footpaths’ maintenance, security, their very existence.” Like General Kitchener - “Your Country(side) Needs YOU”. Get out and Do Your Bit. Don’t even wait to be asked. On and on they go. So – you try. You offer … Continue reading “And lose the name of action”