Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

The student purse then and now

Posted by Susan Tomes on 24 September 2009 under Daily Life, Musings  •  2 Comments

Several good letters in today’s Guardian on the subject of university fees. Various people point out that the older generation in Britain benefited from non-repayable grants. Today’s students have loans, and the average debt when a student graduates is now £15,000. Current students point out angrily that the older generation had it easy with their […]

The language of handwriting

Posted by Susan Tomes on 21 September 2009 under Books, Daily Life, Musings  •  Leave a comment

In Monday’s Guardian, Umberto Eco laments the decline in children’s handwriting ability. He gives various reasons why he thinks it’s a shame that we don’t handwrite letters any more, but surprisingly doesn’t talk about the impact that someone’s handwriting can have on the reader. When I was a teenager, long before we had computers – let […]

Goodbye, older women

Posted by Susan Tomes on 19 September 2009 under Concerts, Daily Life, Musings  •  Leave a comment

There’s been a lot in the press this summer about middle-aged women and the way they’re unceremoniously dropped from positions such as BBC newsreader or presenter. Newsreader Selina Scott brought the topic to everyone’s attention with her age discrimination claim against Channel Five, and lots of middle-aged women added their own experiences of being expected […]

Pulling out the stops

Posted by Susan Tomes on 15 September 2009 under Concerts, Musings  •  1 Comment

I was in the audience this week at a concert of ‘early music’. At one point, a harpsichordist played a piece. Between two of its variations he pulled out a harpsichord stop which produced a different tone colour, and then he played a fast variation. When it was over, a woman leaned over to me, […]

Rattling Cello

Posted by Susan Tomes on 28 August 2009 under Daily Life, Musings  •  Leave a comment

A friend has been telling me about a DVD of cellist Bernard Greenhouse giving masterclasses. Greenhouse spoke about the great Catalan cellist Pablo Casals, with whom he had studied. Casals was well-known for his love of smoking a pipe. Asked how much he smoked, he once replied, ‘As much as possible.’ Lighting his pipe when […]