Sometimes I was woken up in the middle of the night by the most beautiful music there is – balalaika and guitar…They were gentle, sad songs about things that go on and on and that nobody can do anything about. Then they became wild and disorderly and Marcus broke his glass. But he never smashed more than one and Daddy made sure that he was always given one of the cheaper sort…

A typical opening to a Tove Jansson story, ‘Parties’, republished in the English collection The Winter Book. I’m reading it alongside the Radio 3 festival “Northern Lights”, which is introducing me to all sorts of new music.

yarnstorm snowdrops

Snowdrops photo from Jane Brocket at


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