“Double, double, toil and trouble”

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Do you like the SNP? I don’t but do not on any account imagine that they are going to disappear in a puff of smoke. Like MacBeth’s witches they are brewing trouble and it is sensible to assume that they will achieve their goal of an independent Scotland sooner than you ever imagined. Continue reading “Double, double, toil and trouble”

Royal Salute

Undated handout image courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery of Queen Elizabeth II by Pietro Annigoni, 1954-55. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 16, 2012. Two works by Italian portrait painter Pietro Annigoni will go on display at the National Portrait Gallery in central London as part of a new exhibition, The Queen: Art and Image, which runs until October. See PA story ARTS Queen. Photo credit should read: The Fishmongers' Company/PA Wire  NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Image courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery of Queen Elizabeth II by Pietro Annigoni, 1954-55. 

Quite rightly the media have been generous in ladling out big helpings of praise for the Queen this week. An Italian friend and reader here expressed surprise that I had not added a dollop. The only reason was that – until now – I could not think of anything to add. Continue reading Royal Salute

Russian For Beginners

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First, and only, visit to the Proms this week; the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra playing under the baton of spritely, septuagenarian Yuri Temirkanov a programme of sophisticated Russian music. Or as I subsequently found, a programme described by the condescending BBC as “classical for starters”. Continue reading Russian For Beginners