Floating away


In Covent Garden right now. There are lights inside the balloons which slowly come on and off and a crowd of happy grown-ups being children watching them.

Happy birthday to Miriam (aka blogger “Wogan the Hamster”) and thanks for getting me blogging. “Once I was a suspicious child in a small town…Now I am an innocent adult in a big city.” Wise words!


Charles Ives

Possibly trumping my “rainbow of awesomeness” moment in terms of pride was when my music teacher once told me that if I ever wrote a symphony she thought it would be like Charles Ives. Charles Ives is AWESOME. He does everything and he doesn’t give a shit.

If he wants an organ, three marching bands, two choirs and offstage violins he damn well does them. If he wants four completely different and unrelated musical lines to represent the leaves on the bankside trees and a beautiful river and it all sounds really easy-listening beautiful still, he’ll do it.

His music sounds good. But slightly weird. I had my head taken off by his 4th Symphony at the Proms this year, performed by the BBC SO. At the risk of sounding as mad as a Top Gear enthusiast, it needed two conductors, you know.

Overheard on the Tube

A series which I shall always claim my friend Alex and I started long before ‘Time Out’ had even thought of it.

“nah man, you can’t say that cos it’s my mum and my mum is always right. KNOW IT…I don’t care if I’m 24, my mum is always right.” (damn right.)

“Right, so I’m going to buy myself a day cloak”

“So my friend Demon had this sister who really liked me.”

“Questions to Caroline: who are these people? what size of boat? KALE.”

“I mean it was all fine, but I couldn’t take the orgies. No-one has that many friends, no-one.”

And possibly my proudest moment – when a drunk Aussie girl told me “you’re like a rainbow of awesomeness, man”, before running out onto the platform at Seven Sisters to puke widely.

The Barber of Seville

With apologies to ENO, whose pretty and commedia dell’arte inspired production of I saw last night… I very much wanted to use one of their images but couldn’t find one that did justice to the set, lighting design or staging of the opening serenade of Rosina.

Instead, this image from a Chicago production in 2014 just chimes so well with my memories of visiting Seville, and I love that yellow colour.

If you’re feeling inspired, do rush to ENO as its a strong cast with some beautiful singing and well-pitched comic acting too.


Blog of the week

The sight of morning is much-missed favourite. When I first found it, through the equally-mourned The Quince Tree blog, I read through the entire archive at one go. Here are a couple of my favourite posts.

One for academic researchers out there ploughing their furrow:


One for those living with competitive sportsmen or dealing with London Cyclists: