Adele’s Missing Earworm

What is a melody, and why are good ones so hard to write?... In The Guardian Clive James writes: It could be said that Adele is Mama Cass born again, but she needs a song to match her voice. I have listened several times to her smash hit, Hello. I was hoping that the shapely beauty ... Read More...

Dabbler Diary – My Favourite Australian

My favourite Australian - the competition is not stiff - is Michael ‘Maxy’ Klinger. Michael Klinger is a softly-spoken, slender, crooked man with austerely cropped grey hair and the permanent wrinkled grin that pale-skinned Antipodeans have evolved to cope with the sun. He makes a living by carefully, repetitively striking ... Read More...

Dabbler Diary – Railway Cake

Hugh Laurie once wrote of his teenage self: “I somehow contrived to pull off the gruesome trick of being both fat and thin at the same time”. This summer has managed to be similarly perverse, being first disgustingly hot then offensively cold and wet. Why do we British even pretend ... Read More...

Dabbler Diary – Glum Australians

It has been heartening to see the emergence of Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon. Ever since the golden era of McEnroe and Connors, men’s tennis has been rather lacking in jerks. Krygios is a proper, no-bones-about-it jerk - but even better is that I can add him to my cherished list of ... Read More...

Dabbler Diary – Job Justification

I don’t know if you’re the same, but whenever I watch coverage of the Glastonbury Festival on the BBC and see the sheer scale of Michael Eavis’ achievement - the array of great music and performers, the creativity, the tradition, the vibe, the extraordinary range and diversity of people all ... Read More...