Sorting through mountains of papers, one happy discovery has been a folder containing many of my childhood drawings and doodles that my Mum had kept. It has been absolutely wonderful to be reunited with them, and indeed a real trip down memory lane as I can remember many of them. My daughter has been especially interested as there are loads of fashion designs, (very late 1960s into the ’70s – all flares and bright colours).
Digressing for a moment, one of the things I’m nowadays very proud of, is that we were a musical family – we all played the piano and, Dad played (actually still plays) the organ, I did violin, little bro later did trumpet, and Mum always sang in choirs.
Alongside that, we were going to the regular Childrens’ Concerts at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon – introducing us to the lighter side of classical music at an early age. I got the trips to the ballet too – seeing one of Margot Fonteyn’s last performances in Swan Lake, and The Nutcracker every Christmas.
Then from about the age of eight, I got taken to the Opera. I did love sitting up high in the Amphitheatre at the Royal Opera House and Coliseum. Again we started off with lighter fare by Rossini with The Tales of Hoffman and The Barber of Seville, before moving on to Mozart’s Magic Flute. Now going back to those drawings, I obviously enjoyed the costumes in this production, as there is a whole set of them – but here’s Papagena.
Still on a musical vein though, I also found this snatch of ‘song'(!) My hand-writing around 1970 era. I have no recollection of penning this tuneless little dirge though – I can only hope it was to entertain my brother or as an exercise for my music theory exam I would have been sitting around that time.
The Lyrics read:
I’m a G-nu, A G N U,
No-bod-dy loves me
Ev-rey bod-dy hates me,
I have no friends.
We don’t hate you
We all love you
You are our friend.
Do you think I Should enter it for the Eurovision Song Contest? 😀
Bits and pieces today …
I would like to read one of Howard Jacobson’s novels soon, but don’t know where to start. Although The Finkler Question won the Booker, it doesn’t feel like the right book to meet an author new to me with.
I’ve heard that The Mightly Walzer is good, but am slightly put off by the coming of age and ping-pong themes, so should I try his previous Booker-listed one, Kalooki Nights – or indeed any other one of his novels.
Your advice would be appreciated.
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Next, I’d like to highlight one of my very favourite blogs – The Age of Uncertainty. Steerforth works with old books, and is always finding things of interest in them – particularly old photos, and he has a unique way of bringing them to life in his blog. The post the link will take you to summarises some recent highlights.
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Finally, when the publisher kindly sent me these wraparound editions of YA Buffy the vampire slayer novels – each with three stories, I was rather looking forward to reading some as part of my Season of the Living Dead. I’ve only ever seen a couple of episodes of the TV series, but thought the books could be fun. They are standalone I believe, not novelisations of TV episodes, and each is by a different author. I read one complete tale, and skimmed a couple of others, realising that they were not for me – so they’ve got to one of my friends who is a Buffy fan. I do like the covers though – very much in vogue – ‘white is the new black’ these days don’t you know.
I think recognised one of the authors though … many years ago (it’s confession time), I used to read all the Star Trek novels – I was a real Trekkie and my fandom didn’t burn out until my early thirties – I managed to stop short of buying a uniform and going to conventions though. However I did have about forty of the Trek novels, and the two series have an author, (or possibly more ?) in common!
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To buy books mentioned from Amazon.co.uk – click below:
The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
The Mighty Walzer by Howard Jacobson
Kalooki Nights by Howard Jacobson
Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1: Coyote Moon; Night of the Living Rerun; Portal Through Time
Buffy the Vampire Slayer 2: Halloween Rain; Bad Bargain; Afterimage