Thursday, 25 March 2010


Once, stuck in traffic, I listened to a woman singing on the radio and decided hers was the most beautiful voice I’d ever heard. Then she finished and the announcer explained that it had been Joan Sutherland I’d been listening to. That couldn’t be right. I didn’t like Joan Sutherland – she was Bianca Castafiore (‘Ah, my beauty past compare’) made flesh. The singer I had heard had expressed depths of passion and lonely despair that Bianca could never have achieved.
Yesterday it happened again. I was in the car once more and there was music on the radio. This time it was orchestral music. It sounded familiar but I couldn’t remember what it was. I liked it though. It was extremely pretty – in fact, it was really lovely. And then it dawned on me - it was something from The Nutcracker. I wasn’t supposed to enjoy the Nutcracker. I knew perfectly well that it was unsophisticated, crowd-pleasing, sentimental schmaltz.
How easy it is to rob oneself of pleasure.


  1. Yes, isn't it amazing how often our inner snob is embarrassed by our - occasionally - unfiltered senses.

  2. Somebody recently introduced me to a german band called Modern Talking. They should be rubbish, yet every fibre in my being tells me they are the greatest band that has ever existed.

    what do you think?

  3. Recusant - yes, it's like a slow growing cataract which filters out half the available fun in the world.
    Worm - I can see your cunning plan: I'll watch it, I'll admit I like it, and then you'll sneer at me (actually, I did try the link and my computer froze, but will get back to you if I get it up and running - and after consulting the younger hipper members of the household possibly too.)

  4. V true - but blimey, if Tchaikovsky and Joan Sutherland are your 'guilty pleasures' then your Naffness Bar is considerably higher than mine.