Memoryland

Tue: Exceptionally cold, even for January. Leave Herne Hill 11am, arrive Liverpool by train mid afternoon. To M&S to buy clothes for Mum (she has shrunk), then to lawyers to sign probate declaration for Dad's estate. Train to Birkenhead then taxi to Upton, arrive at house and turn on heating and water. Open post: only…

Scent of the Half Moon

As I've said before, I am not much of a musician. I'm resigned to the fact that, at my age and with arthritic hands, I will not get better - but I am still ambitious, within my limitations. I try my best. When One for the Wall re-formed, eight years ago, the idea was just…

Things could be worse

We haven't been annihilated by Russian missiles. The invasion of Ukraine continues, with thousands killed and millions made refugees, but it all seems far away, certainly far enough to be forgotten on a sunny day in May. I have a feeling that British interest in this war is waning, as it becomes almost normal, a…

Captain Corelli’s right thumb

It's one of those situations where people, especially those with a Brummie accent, will say, "I could see that coming!" Very, very annoying - and the more so because they are right. The trouble with a mandolin (or mandoline?), as opposed to a ukulele, say, is that it is an inherently dangerous piece of kit.…

Doing it yourself

Since I last posted I’ve been busy. Not full-on busy... but it’s hard to know what others are doing - aside from The Wife, who’s been slogging away, non-stop. Meeting after online meeting, all day long. She gets up early to get some actual work done. So I ought to do my bit. But I…

Keeping your pecker up

It’s a fortnight since I wrote my last blog on - you guessed it - Coronavirus, which certain persons close to home suggested was alarmist, depressing, over-reactive etc. But it wasn’t hard to guess that where Italy led we would follow - even if we are a few paces behind. If I sound like a…

Inside Story

Memories of 1980s Oxford, for the second time this month. In the same week in which I received an invitation to the Osma Centenary Symposium, Andrew informed me that he'd turned up a cassette tape from 1982 while looking (inevitably) for something else. He digitised it and emailed the result to Bernard and me. The…

Keep on strumming

I am an enthusiastic, if very limited, musician. I don't even think of myself as a musician - and neither does anyone else! I've never been able to read music properly, I've never had a lesson and I am certainly no virtuoso on any instrument. But music means a lot to me, and not just…