Mil, mile, marvellous

Months ago, a number of local amateur choirs were invited to participate in a mad-sounding project, the so-called “Mile-Long Opera”. This performance piece was going to be staged along the High Line over a week in early October, and would involve 1000 singers/speakers positioned along the length of the park. The choir Tom sings with were among the participants, and they spent most of the rehearsal process complaining about various aspects of the piece, so I didn’t have particularly high expectations, but in the end the whole thing was completely delightful.

Continue reading

I wish I was in New Orleans

I have been trying to persuade Tom that we should go to New Orleans for at least five years, but for some reason he wasn’t at all interested. At long last, a conference meant that I finally managed to get us there, and we both had a lovely time.┬áLate January seems to be a good time to visit – apart from one day of torrential rain the weather was fairly mild, and despite being there over a weekend during the run-up to Mardi Gras the city wasn’t too packed with tourists – and I was particularly thrilled by how walkable it was.

39135203065_ec2d2b8dbb_o

Continue reading

On a Thursday in early November…

I don’t actually have anything interesting to tell you today, but it’s very quiet in the reading room and I thought that writing something here would be preferable to staring blankly into space (or at my screen). You’d think I could just do some reading, and there are many books here I’d love to get stuck into, but the problem is that when I’m absorbed in a book I don’t see or hear anything going on around me. So, here we are. Continue reading

Yogyakarta

If I were to attempt to characterize Yogyakarta into a short expression, lively organized chaos would probably be the words I’d choose. It didn’t feature on my (lengthy) list of places I want to visit – in fact I don’t think I’d even heard of it until I was invited to speak at a conference there (about which I’ve written more on my other blog) – but that all just goes to show how much I know, because it really was fantastic.

34717606635_3350e9d842_o.jpg

Continue reading

Memorable Memorial weekend

(Interrupting the coverage of our holiday with a post about the long weekend.) Memorial Day is one of the few holiday weekends which coincides with a bank holiday back in the U.K., and it always feels rather nice to be doing long weekendy things at the same time. Unlike back in the U.K., when our bank holidays usually used to involve heading out of town to visit friends or relations, go hiking, or lengthen a trip to somewhere in Europe, here we often tend to use them as an excuse to veg out at home. Not so this time, however, when each day involved something fun with different sets of friends, although we did still manage a decently lazy morning on Monday!
Continue reading

Culture and countryside

Escaping Manhattan during the summer months is a storied (and sensible) pursuit, and those of us who can’t afford to take a cottage or beach house for the whole of July and August remain enviously in situ. The Berkshires (pronounced berk, not bark) are a range of hills up in Massachusetts which have long provided a summer retreat from New York and Boston, and we were delighted when some good friends invited us to drive up with them last Friday for a weekend break. Continue reading