As much as it is practically impossible to write a fair appreciation of one’s teachers, it might be worth trying. Sadly, this often means that to some extent, the writer becomes the central figure at least in the introduction. Maybe this is why so few people do it. Most of my teachers are now dead … More James Clifford Brown – Musician Composer Teacher – A Memoir
When recalling one’s home town, smell often plays a primary role. (The title here is adapted from a little exercise recently carried out online in California). Growing up in an area which we now are told, was one of industrial decline, it is hard to recall the smells, for they are no longer in the … More What Smell Reminds You Of Your Home Town?
Having recently heard a story about the loss of a favourite coat, prompted a memory of a raincoat. People have coats if lucky. Coats for winter weather, wet weather, sunny weather. Coats are significant. Coats bestow status sometimes. Coats keep us warm and dry. Coats shade us from the wind and the sun’s rays. The … More Over the Overcoat
We have all had days like this. Days that loom ahead. The days that we do not want to happen. But inevitably those days roll up. As signal days or red letter days they are inevitable. They are unstoppable. They are the opposite of celebration days. Alec Kendall in his song about the coming of … More Leaving Home
Mincemeat How funny we found it! So much that we laughed not but were aghast. That such a man – an educated man could have deceived himself so. And yet he asked me; Me. Of all the class. The class was not filled with fools either. For in it there were several future educators; a … More Mincemeat – a story and three old recipes
The Soundtrack People mention the soundtrack. They didn’t always. There was a time the word “soundtrack” was new. As people bought more – and longer – records, “the soundtrack to people’s lives” became spoken about. Nowadays people actively store up a personal soundtrack. Beloved records; sober melodies; shouty anthems; groany ditties; mooing verses; all performed … More The Soundtrack
We all know myths. But. Grimly, some myths become treated as if they were factual. Worse still, some myths (masquerading as facts) can even become key parts to examination answers. (You might hardly believe it). That then becomes a real quis custodiet ipsos custodes situation. (I will leave you, generous reader, to work out who … More Unhelpful History
Writing about music usually kills it stone dead. However, given that all of the musicians in the broadcast are probably gone, allows me to vent some spleen. It is often touted that the older days were gentler days and that the music was in some way softer and more harmless than our own days. Indeed … More Living the Thirties. Or in the Future. Really.
Things are seldom what they seem/ Skim milk masquerades as cream/ Highlows pass as patent leathers/ Jackdaws strut in peacock’s feathers/ Very true. So they do. (W. S. Gilbert 1836-1911) And here I am, browsing through a local history magazine – and a good venture it is too. It is full of the right kind … More Every Picture Tells A Story? Hmm…
Civic Pride is not much written about these days. That is sad. Often now the only mention of towns and their administration is negative. Pride in a town seems to stop at the football team if there is one. Sometimes local loyalties may also be diverse and point in other directions. (W. S. Gilbert had … More Rochdale Town Hall Bells – Broadcast 2018