Stylophobe

Years ago my wife and I used to buy, very occasionally, a magazine called Wallpaper. I’m not sure why we did, as it seemed to be aimed at a radicalised wing of Observer colour supplement fanatics; the sort of people for whom weekends in thousand quid a night hotels are stock-in-trade, who spend four figures

Arty fartisan

  As any opera singer will tell you, it’s important to have stuff to do to keep you sane while you’re away from home. Some knit, some watch a lot of sport, some paint… I used to paint, but since the restrictions on liquids in hand luggage, the packing of my kit has become too

Sweeney Tart

  I’m in Brussels for two months, singing in Sweeney Todd for La Monnaie. I was supposed to be singing in Mark Grey’s new opera Frankenstein, but renovations at the opera house have overrun (who could possibly have predicted that?) and the elaborate set for Frankenstein wouldn’t fit into La Monnaie’s temporary home, a semi-rigid

On the town

Change is happening in Bradford on Avon, the small town I call home. When we moved here twenty years ago, there were two butchers, three if you include the one in the old independent supermarket, now a Co-op, at the top of town. There were also two greengrocers, two bakers, a rather dreary cheese shop