Wednesday, July 30, 2014


After a comical few days of trying to phone each other in locations without a decent signal, we eventually met up with with Andrew & Alex, Eva & Billy in the seaside village of Bigbury-on-Sea, South Devon. A sandy spit stretches 270 yards out to Burgh Island where an art deco hotel looks out over the bay. A couple of Agatha Christie books were inspired by it and a version of Evil Under the Sun was filmed there. Andrew & Alex even splurged on a black tie dinner & night there a few years ago. Great to see them, and our first meeting with Billy.
On the beach below a sea tractor awaits to take people back to the mainland when the tide comes in. Essential for those who've lost track of time in the island's little pub.


An afternoon in Fowey (pronounced Foy). Quaint, lots of tourists, steep lanes, mussel bistros, an old fashioned sweet shop selling lemon meringue fudge, Daphne du Maurier, Richard & Judy, a rowing boat with a funnel. Charming. The quintessential Cornish port. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Como se dice en Espanol?

This evening I started Spanish lessons. We've found an Argentinian teacher who's going to give me - and on occasion the girls - a headstart in the lingo before we arrive in Mexico. Enjoyed lesson no.1. A lot easier than Chinese in terms of pronunciation, and with English & French you can guess much of the vocab. Grammar's harder though.  

Saturday, July 19, 2014


A day at Tintagel. Despite many trips to Cornwall, I think this is my first visit. The place plays on Arthurian legend, though it's all very fanciful. For a start Arthur (if he ever existed) was around in the 6th Century, whereas Tintagel Castle dates from 800 years later. (In Geoffrey of Monmouth's mythical history of Britain, it says Arthur was conceived there). There's a Merlin's Cave down below and lots of King Arthur cafes in the village up the road. Whatever, it's a wild, beautiful place and we are blessed with good weather and good sandwiches.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ambient Music in Dalston Junction

Interesting afternoon spent at the Maritime Museum in Greenwich with Annette & Max, doing the galleries. Haven't been for years. Particularly struck by the Arctic Convoys room and thought of dad. It must have been tough.
Annette kindly babysat for A&N so Liz and I headed to Dalston for Turkish dinner with Andrew H followed by a concert of Laurence Crane chamber music performed by Apartment House at Cafe Oto. Great to see him and fine gig in nice venue - my first time there. 
Laurence's music is characterised by minimal notes and lengthy silences, so any ambient noise is going to have an effect, especially on this balmy evening with all the windows open. The sounds of sirens, a nearby train line and (most tellingly) a rehearsal at the adjacent Arcola Theatre added a whole other dimension to the proceedings. Surprisingly complimentary as it turned out.

Friday, July 4, 2014

RIP Annik Honoré

Sad news, Annik HonorĂ©, co-founder of Factory Benelux and Les Disques du Crepuscule - the latter one of the best record labels in the world (seriously) - died yesterday after a short battle with cancer, aged 56. She was a central figure in the Belgian alternative music scene in the first half of the 80s and a crucial link with the British scene too, her relationship with Ian Curtis of Joy Division being the most obvious example.