This is the look of disappointment – a blizzard in March. On a Friday, when big, exciting plans involving traveling to London were in place, but had to be abandoned because of the five days of back winter carnage. Still, in Oxford we were lucky; in some parts of the country people are still without … More Lately

New starts

This has been the year that hasn’t got started yet, not really. January felt like a warm up, and February has flown by, not bringing any more cohesion to thought or deed. I have read only two books since the start of the year. Went to a concert once, the memory of it still firmly … More New starts

New Year’s things

Here’s a quick round-up of some things that have been happening this month. Culture-wise this is promising to be a good year – I have tickets booked to hear the OAE play some Beethoven with Marin Alsop, Stephen Beresford’s adaptation of Fanny and Alexander starring Penelope Wilton opens for previews in February, later in the … More New Year’s things

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 … More This year


After the gloriously busy first week of half term, the second was quieter and spent largely preparing for a surgery I had three weeks ago; it got rescheduled meaning I missed Andrei Bondarenko’s recital at the Lieder Festival. I did catch Roderick Williams singing Die Schöne Müllerin in Saint John the Evangelist, which is one … More Lately


Listen. With faint dry sound, Like steps of passing ghosts, The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break from the trees And fall. Adelaide Crapsey


It’s been one of those mad glorious weeks that tend to roll around once or twice a year, filled with goodies of every kind. Thursday week ago I saw a fab concert performance of Rameau’s Dardanus by the English Touring Opera at the Sheldonian. As it happens, this is my only opera this autumn – … More Lately