Monday, February 18, 2019


This afternoon ...

Sitting on the bench by the pond in the woods and I hear that familiar mewing cry. Sure enough, through the trees, I see heavy wings flapping. Then, in circles, it starts its ascent until finally glides clear of the tree line.

I watch it riding the air currents high up there. It’s impossible not to feel that the bird is flying for the sheer enjoyment of doing so. Without any other purpose or itinerary or need of self-justification.

Think buzzard.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Paul Bley - Ballads (ECM)
Charles Mingus - Plays Piano (Impulse)

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Sunny ... 14 to 15 degrees. A jacket will do.
Mike sends a photo of his garden in Finland - easily a foot of snow.

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The first day of the February break. I spend the afternoon strenuously doing nothing.

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Friday, February 15, 2019

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Appropriately enough - for Valentine's Day - Paul Bley's Open, to love (ECM).

He's such a strange pianist - I'm trying to follow the way his interpretation unfolds, veers, cul de sacs, short runs, plus the wildly varying dynamics and the violent way he strikes the keys at times and then ... and then .. a sudden coalescence ... and something truly beautiful emerges.

'Ida Lupino' is such a one.

(Carla wrote it, of course).


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

P.S. to the previous post to mark the passing of England’s greatest keeper ...

Oh for the days when Banks meant a safe pair of hands.


This blog is on strike.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Evelyn Waugh’s lesser known masterpiece - A Handful or Dusters.

(Crops up during an afternoon class)

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Tomorrow is a nationwide strike. Not sure whether the workers on this blog will come out in sympathy.


Monday, February 11, 2019

minus bath
minus toilet
minus shower
minus wash basin

a not bathroom


Sunday, February 10, 2019

Desert Island Discs

The second movement of Beethoven's Piano Concerto no.5 ('Emperor') ...

Saturday, February 09, 2019



Just back from the Vikingur Olafsson concert at Flagey as part of their Piano Days series.

Absolutely riveting from start to finish. Having requested that applause is kept until the end, he plays through a selection from his Bach CD adding in an additional piece. Then, as a first encore a transcription of an Icelandic song by a composer I didn’t quite catch. Then, as a second encore, one of the Glass Etudes. Rapturous applause. He seems genuinely appreciative of the response. 

Afterwards the word goes round he will come out to sign autographs and CDs and, true enough, he appears and settles down behind a table. Too good an opportunity to miss, I wait in the scrum and proffer my CD mentioning as I do I like his taste in sculpture. He pauses for a moment and then smiles - yes! the statue for the unknown bureaucrat in Reykjavik (he’d mentioned it in an interview). Turns out, it is by his father-in-law and he’ll be pleased someone in Brussels likes it. I suggest he signs accordingly - For the unknown bureaucrat! The perfect souvenir - English and French senses. 

Superb pianist and a jolly nice chap. 


This afternoon ... Sitting on the bench by the pond in the woods and I hear that familiar mewing cry. Sure enough, through the trees, I s...