This year

It’s been a while. In fact, it’s been a whole month since I even looked at this blog. I haven’t gone away though – it just so happens that December is always rather busy. And I’m good at wasting time – for example, I spent one whole weekend painting Nutcracker illustrations, with results that I might call so-so at best. And while I was dabbling with my watercolours, I netflixed serial killer documentaries and also watched – confiteor – A Christmas Prince (it wasn’t very good, true, but the Romanian mountain landscapes were great). While I’m now trying to get myself back into shape, blogging-wise and otherwise, here are some highlights from 2017.

  • the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Opera exhibition was amazing. At £19 it was a bit steep, but I might give it another visit before it closes on February 25.
  • I loved visiting the Worchester College Chapel in October, and I keep thinking I should go back to my University Church going habit – there’s something soul-healing about the subdued solemnity of the Church of England.
  • Another fab year by the Oxford Lieder Festival – one of those events that forever mark my annual diary. Sarah Connolly! Roderick Williams! Penelope Wilton! Strauss, Mahler!
  • visiting Glyndebourne for the first time in years was pretty great, even if the number of picnics I have had in the gardens still amounts to a big fat 0.
  • I didn’t see much theatre this year, but the Almeida/Harold Pinter Theatre production of Albee’s Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf was nothing short of amazing.
  • I heard Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde twice on two consecutive nights, and loved it.
  • I didn’t read nearly enough fiction this year, but learned that even books that win awards and gain lots of publicity and hype can be really underwhelming (The Essex Serpent, I’m looking at you), and that sometimes there’s nothing like an old favourite to inspire (and you, Andrea Barrett).
  • on the purely frivolous, I discovered (or perhaps rediscovered) Jayne Atkinson the actress, and am a little bit in love.
  • my post on Julius Caesar has been viewed nearly 600 times this year.
  • this year’s favourite Christmas album is, as always, by The Sixteen, but Sofia Karlsson and Martin Hederos’ Stjärnenätter is climbing the charts too – loving the funky arrangement of Snowhere.
  • On the second Advent, it snowed in Oxford, and it was fabulous:

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas now, and see you in 2018!


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