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Since you’ve been gone

August 6, 2015

Well, since I’ve been gone, actually, because I know you’ve been there all along.

What have we both been up to?

Well, quite a bit of stuff, actually.

  • Theatre – a number of visits to The Globe, which as an audience experience is matchless. I’d show you a photo, but they are very strict there, and at the first sight of a camera you can see staff threading their way through the crowds like the secret service agents in a political thriller. The highlight was Shakespeare’s rarely performed history, King John, which is not easy to find a musical link to, so have something from the superb John King Band – Let your Hair Down. Elsewhere, I saw a gentle, poignant drama called The Dreamers – not to be confused with the not-quite-so-gentle, poignant movie Dreamers, notable for a visually candid performance by Eva Green.
  • Music – Handel’s Xerxes, Paloma Faith, Sweeney Todd; even writing and recording some of my own, but I won’t trouble these pages with that until I’m famous for it. But top of the heap this time is Verdi’s La Traviata, with a brilliant conductor, at the last night of its run at Covent Garden. OK, yes, it’s the brother again – richardsometimessays. But if you’ve got it, flaunt it; and if you haven’t got it, flaunt someone else’s. I obviously can’t provide you with actual footage, but I can give you the next best thing – the incomparable Callas and Amami Alfredo.
  • Work (lots of that). I may tell you about that anon, when I can make it sound as exciting to you as it is to me.
  • Celebrating academic success. Not mine, but the reflected glory of Fionasometimessays and Carolinesometimessays both now having finished their university careers with First Class honours. To each of them I say, as the Stranglers would put it: Brainbox.
  • Making the decision that it’s time to move house. You can have all the musical development of that as it unfolds.
  • Hearing a modern star describe his school music teacher as a “goddess”, and “as good as it gets”. – That’s Annemariesometimessays, to you. (Incidentally, I occasionally have reason to curse the length of this surname.) And in gratitude – because he clearly needs my help – here’s James Bay’s Hold Back the River.
  • Sick cat. Octavian, not the disambiguated Ptolemy, has something on his head which is either carcinoma or lymphoma – we are waiting to find out. In his honour, here – as part of your musical education and mine – is a little known Canadian 70s band of the same name. This song – I can’t stop myself from loving youis so mainstream I don’t understand why they weren’t more successful. (Did you see what I did there?)
  • Decorating. Again, not me. This is not my strong suit. I prefer to hold the paintbrush by the soft end.

So, that’s me (or various elements of my clever family) for the moment. But let’s not make this any more like a Christmas letter.

I’ve neglected our relationship. But I’ll try harder. I can change. It’ll be different from now on. I’m sorry.

Regrets. She's had a few.

Regrets. She’s had a few.

With rue my heart is laden, for golden friends I had. (Stanislava Stoytcheva giving an unusual performance of Barber’s wonderful setting of Housman’s wistful words.)

But, Inutiles Regrets, as Berlioz has it.

Let’s speak soon.


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  1. Anne-Marie Hetherington permalink

    Thanks for the mention! Nice to have you back on the web…

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