Thursday, November 20, 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


As the wonderful Petrea (whose latest book "Act As If" I am currently giggling my way through … buy a copy for Christmas; you won't regret it) has asked me to continue posting these things, I am happy to oblige.
It's a good way to keep the blog rolling through my period of Bloggers' Block, so let's bring on the black and whites.
And yes, I fess up to exaggerating the sky on this one with a red filter, but hey; I need my jollies on these long dark nights.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sunday, November 16, 2014

B&W Again

Gazing disconsolately out at the croquet lawn, Jeeves shuddered at the prospect of washing all this bloody lot up. Again.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Lynn's B&W Challenge No.3

Spooky, witch-blasted trees at Blythburgh.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Good God! It's A Post …

Well not so much a post as a photo.
Lynn tagged me on Fæcebook with the task of posting a handful of black and white photos and then tagging someone else. Don't wince … you know what's coming.

First up: I hate Fæcebook (much as I love the adorable Lynn).
Next: Anyone who can remember the good old days of Blogville will know that I am The Death of Memes™ and that any request that involves doing something and then tagging other people dies horribly at my hands.

So …
As Lynn knows me all too well and has set a task that I cannot resist I shall perform it over here on the blog instead of on the execrable Fæcebook.
Nobody shall get tagged.

Oh, and I know it's not a proper black and white photograph, just my old picture of the Socialist Party headquarters in Paris with all the colour sucked out, but I've not taken any pics for a while so I shall have to recycle old ones.
Which means that this could be the start of the least inspiring set of posts yet. Don't wait up.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Parp, Squeak, Clinky-Clank, Bong …

It's BritSinf time again.

Stop yawning at the back. I know … same old post-gig euphoria with some fashion notes thrown in. I'll spare you this time and keep it short.

Best dress: Miranda Dale in a black lace gilet over an illegally low cut dress, the lower part of which appeared to be constructed from ripped spider webs and madness.

As per, the distaff contingent laughed the "black formal" tradition out of court, looking not unlike a mad witch's convention.

Best shoes: this evening's soloist, Nick Daniel: black Oxfords with lipstick pink soles and laces.

Right … The music:
First up: to lull any newbies into a false sense of security, a delightful little Mozart adagio arranged for strings and cor anglais. Lovely.

Look out … it's a BritSinf gig so expect to be startled.
It's Geörgy Kurtág time.
Two short and utterly beautiful pieces: Doodles for András Mihály's Birthday, followed by In Memoriam András Mihály, arranged for piano and strings by regular BritSinf collaborator and one of my personal deities, Thomas Adès. Divers instruments dotted around the stage and the auditorium, in amongst the audience. Weird, cacophonic beauty. I loved it.
Well, that certainly left a few mouths gaping. Awesome.

Now for some show-stopping fun: John Adams' classic Shaker Loops. The Brits have done the full orchestral version before so this time they gave us the septet. There ain't nowhere to hide when there are only seven of you, but the BritSinf are masters of clarity and precision (and frenzied dancing) and this one brought the house down and the first of several encores.

A quick break for wine, chatty and walkabout …

The second half was devoted to one piece: John Tavener's Kaleidoscopes, written especially for Nick Daniel and the BritSinf. Insanely complex and not really Tavenerish at all, this is so difficult to play that nobody else has dared try it, even though it's been around since 2006.
Perhaps only Heinz Holliger in his younger days would have the oboe chops to match Nick Daniel but I can't think of anyone else.
Multi-octave leaps, sustained and intensely fast legato passages that require a masterclass in circular breathing (he gave us a demo in the pre-concert chat, blowing a continuous oboe-player's raspberry for bloody ages, much to our mirth) and more towelling down than fat Elvis in his pomp.
And it's not just the oboe that's tricky. Nick stalks centre stage surrounded by four string quartets at the points of the compass, two double basses and a full set of temple bells and gongs.
No conductor. Four quartets playing in different time signatures, alternating incredibly slow with INCREDIBLYFAST and hitting the sudden-death stops absolutely together every time.
You shoulda been there.

Lots of encores, well deserved.

So, the 2014-15 season has kicked off. I've got my usual seat reserved for every show so look out for more of my blather and faff.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sheesh! I Forgot to Post the Glam …

It's almost October; what the hell am I thinking?
I can't let a September go without a Goodwood Glam Parade.

This one's my absolute favourite from 2014. 
Gorgeous, glamorous, mysterious …
the vintage camera was the clincher, though.

Dawn, Phil and Old Dive enjoying a civilised luncheon.
A hamper of bubbly and proper sarnies and cake all wrapped up with string.

And now, in no particular order, feast your eyes on some Goodwood Glam.
Check out that hat! Whooee.

Don't forget to top up your lippy and slap.

Land Girls ahoy! Say hello to 1942.

Demure and delightful,
but check out that matching toenail polish!
Hoo boy.

Yikes! It's Lydia, the Tattooed Lady.
(sing along … you know you want to).

Kawaii Kimono and chic beret.
Style and to spare.


Redhead, blonde or brunette?
If you can't decide, take one of each.

The gels love a uniform, chaps.

Well, hello to you, too!

That's enough glam for today, people. There's plenty more for another day.
Toodle pip from the catwalk.