Author Archives: aides mémoires

About aides mémoires

This is a chronological list of things I have seen, places I have visited, and thoughts that have wandered through the space between my ears. A reading group of one; an art appreciation society limited by my preferences and prejudices; opera criticism by one who knows nothing about the subject.

Éloge d’amour

Dir: Jean-Luc Godard, 2001, DVD This is what gives elliptical, uncompromising intellectual French films a bad name. I’ll embrace the “dull elf” badge fully and say that it was tedious and tiresome. If Godard couldn’t be bothered to engage his audience … Continue reading

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Sapiens: a brief history of humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

An interesting book – far more readable than the finger-wagging harangue that was A history of the world in seven cheap things. It covers a much broader sweep: Harari’s starting point is ca. 70,000 years ago with the Cognitive Revolution, when … Continue reading

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The Merry Widow

This was delightful and thoroughly enjoyable. I knew little about it before I went (apart from hats) but guessed there would be echoes of Dad’s LPs of Richard Tauber. And, yes, there were. It wasn’t quite as frothy as I … Continue reading

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A day in Manchester

An interesting guided tour of Chetham’s Library, which made me revise my view of Manchester as a Victorian city. Books – then costly objects – were originally chained to their shelves; you sat at the table to read them. In … Continue reading

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Tosca

To the Lowry for the Opera North production. It was brilliant all round. What more can I say? It was interesting to compare the staging with the only other version I’ve seen – in Hannover, where it was set in … Continue reading

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From the sixteenth floor

From the sixteenth floor, the football match below resembles Subbuteo. The view also demonstrates how Manchester is turning into a mess of tall towers; they spring up randomly so don’t create an impressive silhouette like Frankfurt.  Each time I come … Continue reading

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Plastics

An interesting article in The Guardian yesterday about plastics – how they are made, the history of their production and use, and the current “backlash” (drinking straws! Can’t we be a bit more ambitious than that?) against their ubiquity. Little … Continue reading

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