December 16th, 2014



When I was a kid there was a radio show called From the Palm Court of the Grand Hotel; we used to listen to it in the car when we were driving home from visiting my grandparents- a journey that took an hour and a half.  It came on after Alastair Cook or before Alastair Cook- I forget which- and it effectively innoculated me against the syphilis and strudel school of Viennese music. (Want your kids to appreciate classical music? Play them the good stuff and nothing but.) It took me the best part of a lifetime to find out that Schubert- though he sounds superficially similar - is on a different plane from Lehar.

I'm listening to the Quintet in C Major, Op 163. A lorn maiden is calling out across the lake. The echoes answer. Only the echoes. Night is drawing in. The evening star comes out above the hills.


We were sitting at the table having lunch when a sleek looking tabby walked under the dining room window.  Twice. This is the first time in 18 months we've seen a cat round here. I saw it again in the field mid afternoon and later when I went out in the dark and shone my torch around two bright eyes looked back at me.

We think a new family must have moved into one of the empty bungalows that back onto our land.