LET’S be clear on this from the start: I bear no ill-will to anyone engaged on artistic endeavour. Certainly not to all those struggling performers, musos, writers, actors, artists, creatives, dancers, singers and all who gather under that misunderstood umbrella of culture. That said, there was a certain frisson of pleasure experienced this week in reading that “new music” is struggling. It is apparently battling against a floodtide of popularity devoted to songs created somewhat earlier than this century. T o quote the title of a jazzy, sassy number that was popular before the current generation first saw daylight, suddenly … Continue reading

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Minimalist décor the only answer. Forget hanging pictures on your walls. At least one of them, or even a mere detail, is sure to offend someone. And you never know who or when. They will suddenly take offence, plead harm is being done, or demand reparations for some long ago act or words. Hardly a day goes by without reports of supposedly damaged persons demanding – they rarely politely ask – immediate action to salve their injured souls. And so a portrait of the Queen has been taken off the walls of the middle common room at Oxford’s Magdalen College. Continue reading