Lovely Lincoln

Lincoln Cathedral, seen from the Castle ramparts

Lincoln Cathedral, seen from the Castle ramparts

Given I grew up down the road from Worksop, which is itself a hop and a skip (and a direct train line) from Lincoln, it is a bit of a shame I’ve made it to 41 and never previously made it to Lincoln. And what with a passion for Gothic, and all… After I got back home, I came down with a lurgy (I don’t blame Lincoln!) so haven’t got around to jotting down some thoughts until now, even though my visit was back at the end of July. (more…)

Nairn’s fabulously evocative London

Nairn's London - PenguinLittle knowing its timeliness, my partner picked up a copy of a new book in a charity shop the other day: Nairn’s London. A reprint of the 1966 ‘guide’ to London’s architectural interest, launched just at the beginning of November, it has immediately got me hooked.

I’ve had to discipline myself to stop dipping in to interesting areas, and read it through from the start. Otherwise, much like London of the period, there’s so much waiting to leap out from unexpected corners that it would be easy to miss many a delight.

I say ‘of the period’ because what makes this work so captivating is the way in which Nairn conjures London in transition, perhaps even at the start of a post-war journey that has led us to the rather po-faced, in-thrall-to-money, oh-so-shiny city that we have today. (more…)

A little local disappointment

The first non-music, non-opera post since I revamped the blog. My blog isn’t the only thing to undergo a facelift, though hopefully my blog’s is for the better compared to this alternative example.

As I trundle up to Norwood Junction of a morning, and back of an evening, my bus takes me up Portland Road. You may know Portland Road, a once-bustling local high street which is now fallen on distinctly hard times. That gives it an immediate heritage interest: there are small traces of its busy commercial past to be found in a series of façades which look, at casual glance, scrappy and irregular. That’s local history. Recently, one of those façades has changed.


Snoop backstage at ENO

The Coliseum

A couple of weeks back, we did the backstage tour of the Coliseum and I had intended to write it up but never got around to it.  And then I remembered I had some photos that I took, so I needed to do something with them.  Anyway, herewith the photos.  I can’t recommend the tour highly enough.  Compared to the ROH tour I remember doing a few years back, it was a much more relaxed affair and we got into all sorts of interesting places in the backstage warren.  I seem to remember photography not being allowed on the ROH tour, although that might have changed now.  It’s a real pleasure being able to flex your photographic muscles in an interesting building like this. (more…)