Mary's musings

Mary Hoffman, author of over 90 children's books, including the Stravaganza series and Amazing Grace, has begun a web journal which will be updated roughly once a week. You can read more on

Monday, May 11, 2009

The world needs lerts

Busy week: Two trips to London, two to Birmingham, two to Witney, one to Essex and one to Hampshire. And yes that's eight in seven days so Saturday was London and Birmingham!

The first London trip was to see the film of Coraline, which I blogged about at (no dot after www). Essex and the other London trips were all part of helping youngest daughter complete and hand in her final Architecture portfolio, which happened this morning - hooray!

Hampshire was for a Big birthday party for my cousin, who is the oldest left alive of our generation in the family (myself being the youngest). His brother and sister in law were over from San Diego which was a big plus. The youngest person there was aged four.

And Birmingham was to hear the last two concerts in the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra's "Igorfest" - four years of performing Stravinsky's entire output. Wednesday's was rarely performed Biblical works like Threni (based on the Lamentations of Jeremiah) and a Sermon, a Narrative and a Prayer. There was the most GORGEOUS counter-tenor, Christopher Field. He had the most thrilling voice of that kind that I've heard since James Bowman.

Saturday's had Fireworks (composed when Stravinsky was 17), Mavra, The King of Stars ( 5 minutes of blissfully mysterious music) and finished with a bang, literally in The Rite of Spring. Absolutely terrific.

I also heard a lot of Mendelssohn in the car on Saturday morning and he really means very little to me.

I read Katherine Langrish's Dark Angels, which I've also blogged about - it was very good. And finished Georgette Heyer's My Lord John. Am now reading The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare's History Plays.

On recommendation, I signed up to Google Alerts for my name and Stravaganza: I've had some very peculiar notifications but did find one genuine review. I was put in mind of Posy Simmonds when she collected her honorary Doctorate from Brighton. She ended her talk: "Be alert - the world needs lerts."

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