Monday, December 03, 2007


I was tagged by Mark Scroggins. Like Mark I have a whole host of awkward feelings about speaking up, but since the Incerti have gone for it, I'm determined to join in.

1. The most statistically unusual thing that ever happened to me was seeing a lunar rainbow. (I know, I've mentioned it before, but hey.)
2. Though I can't draw I love messing about with watercolour pencils. My favourites are Faber Castell's "Albrecht Dürer" series.
3. I'm left-handed but play the guitar right-handed, which might be why I've never been much good at fast runs of notes.
4. For more than a year I thought I'd lost my sense of smell. Then I thought I'd try sleeping with the bedroom window open and, almost instantly, I got it back.
5. I never listened to the radio until a few years ago, but then I discovered that I liked listening to Radio 3 sometimes. But whether it's because I've begun to slightly widen my horizons about modern music (Scandinavian in particular), or whether it's because Radio 3 really has lost it, I'm shocked by the narrow conservatism of the repertoire they seem to have been playing recently. What's going on?
6. Once I and a friend of mine walked from my home to the sea - 50 miles along the Mendips. It was a fantastic experience, but I do think the published route is rubbish - it misses out all the East Mendip villages and doesn't even take you through Cheddar Gorge.
7. One of my grandfathers was a shipping clerk. From him I inherited three ocarinas, and a rocking-chair that he made himself.

The meme is "7 random and/or weird facts about yourself". I'm not tagging you but have a go if you want!



At 3:50 am, Blogger Mark Scroggins said...

I apologize for tagging you, Michael, first off. And you know, I've never understood the logic of playing the guitar the way it's conventionally done. That is, I'm right-handed myself, but have always thought that fretting the strings is a far more complex business than striking them with the plectrum. I've found myself in dreams being able to play very fast indeed (John MacLaughlinesquely) when I was holding the thing "backwards," fretting with my dominant hand.

That German review of biographies is very interesting indeed. The man they tag as the biggest biographer in town, Rudiger Safranski, is very good indeed.

At 5:55 am, Blogger Vincent said...

It is true about Radio 3, or at least I agree. They pushed back Late Junction (my favourite) to make it even later and cut down the number of programmes. I cannot forgive them.

At 9:18 am, Blogger Michael Peverett said...

Mark - Well I try and play classical guitar now and that does give the right hand a lot to do - but I was no better in my plectrum days.

But that's interesting, so if I was right-handed I'd instead fret about fretting! (Doubtless, the origin of the word fret..)

Surely then this is just our perception - the problem with playing fast isn't really to do with left- or right- handedness at all, it must simply be a barrier that sufficiently-targeted practice would break through. After all, who ever heard of a drummer or pianist complaining that they had only one top-quality hand?

(Freud would probably have more to say on this matter!)


Vincent - my outburst was partly occasioned by switching on the radio during last night's soup-making and - surprise! - Gerald Finsey's cello concerto! Vaughan-Williams London symphony (premiered 1913, a masterpiece of Edwardian music). I do love this music - and Elgar, Delius - no-one loves Delius more than me, - and Holst... - and the 19th century German tradition - Brahms is almost my favourite, if it isn't Schumann - yes, and Mozart's sonata for four hands that followed last night's concert. But I'm just thinking, when did I actually last hear Schoenberg on Radio 3 - any piece other than Verklärte Nacht - like, Never? Yet I feel I remember that not long ago it was common to hear some fairly challenging modern music on Radio 3 - Ligety, Harrison Birtwistle, that kind of thing. I can't remember catching anything like that in the last couple of years.


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