29 January, 2014

So if there's one thing that I could say

Collecting books for readers in the reserve stacks, 1964
Read about the main lesson I have learned from facilitating a writeshop to synthesize mountains of data and reports into a 50-p report involving multiple authors: identify the key messages.

One thing
Stan Walker, From the inside out, Sony music entertainment

Photo: LSE Library

'S marvelous! 'S awful nice! 'S paradise!

Hands of a harpist
The Nairobi Music Society gave its Christmas concert beginning of December with the Nairobi Orchestra. I was singing in the choir. Here are my three highlights from the concert:


In the Ceremony of carols by Britten there is an interlude for solo harp when the choir was allowed to sit down to rest. I sat in a choir pulpit right in front of the harpist and was enthralled by the graceful movement of her hands on the instrument.

Awfully nice

In the Benedicite by Carter we were all charmed by the excellent diction of the children’s choir that sang with us. Despite standing from behind, we still managed to understand the delightful story of all the terrapins, dromedaries, ferrets, squirrels, badgers and hedgehogs that bless the Lord.

Throughout most of the concert a small girl kept dancing at the other end of the church from us, framed by the main West door. It was a very poetical and danced interpretation of our live singing.

These are some of the wonderful things that can happen at a concert by the Nairobi Music Society.

'S wonderful
Sarah Vaughan, Gershwin brothers, 'S marvelous - the Gershwin songbook (Disk 2), Universal music division classics jazz

Photo: Garry Wilmore

Said goodbye, turned around, and you were gone, gone, gone

I was thrilled last Sunday when I bumped into an old friend completely by chance.

I was in Hanoi for work and my collaborator Nguyen Thi Tan Loc from the Fruit and Vegetable Research Institute took me out for lunch at a vegetarian restaurant. She probably wanted to give a rest to her stomach in preparation for the straining eating bonanza of the lunar new year next week.

And there in that very small restaurant of the Vietnamese capital was Marilyn Wang, having lunch with a friend of hers. I had lost track of Marilyn four years ago.

Hugs!I had met Marilyn in 2002 when I was doing research in Ho Chi Minh City. Marilyn was a great food and music companion of mine: we regularly went out to restaurants, concerts, salsa dancing and had karaoke evenings to sing together. We used to have lots of fun. The last text message I got from her in 2010 was a bit surreal. I was on the top of a mountain peak on her family's ancestral Hainan province of China with my brother so I texted her to announce our climbing feat. She replied informing me that she was leaving Vietnam. I asked her to keep in touch but no more news since then...

So we were both overjoyed to find each other again. Unfortunately, we did not get the chance to speak much this time because we were both busy with others but I really look forward to my next trip to Hanoi for great food and music together with her.

See you again
Carrie Underwood, Blown away, Arista

Photo: Dave 77459