Archive for December 20, 2015

A Grand Pas de Deux

Posted in Music with tags , , on December 20, 2015 by telescoper

The rain’s lashing down outside so instead of going out I thought I’d indulge myself with a bit of musical entertainment. This piece is the Grand Pas de Deux from a seasonal Christmas favourite, the ballet The Nutcracker, by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Op. 71). It reminds of an occasion, almost twenty years ago, when I had the chance to go to a concert at the Berliner Philharmonie. This was such a long time ago that I’ve forgotten which visiting orchestra was playing, although I do remember that it was Russian and extremely good. The main programme consisted of Stravinsky (Petrushka Suite) and Shostakovich (Symphony No. 10) but at the end they did this as an encore. In performances of the ballet this piece is usually taken quite slowly to accommodate the dancers but, as is more often the case in concert performances, this time the orchestra took it at a brisk pace and with so much passion and colour it was like I was hearing it for the very first time. People can be snobbish about Tchaikovsky because he’s “too popular”. Well, this is a popular piece for one reason and one reason only: it’s beautiful.

Strictly Come Dancing winner Jay McGuiness joins Beard of Year shortlist

Posted in Beards on December 20, 2015 by telescoper

It’s hard to believe it’s a whole year since I found myself as a surprising contender for this coveted award (only to see my challenge fade badly in the final stages). Anyway, here’s a reblog to encourage you to cast your vote in this year’s poll. As usual I don’t know who most of the contenders are, but I’m sure you will all find a favourite.

I voted for Moeen Ali, by the way..



Kmflett's Blog

Beard Liberation Front press release

19th December

Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

Strictly Coming Dancing winner Jay McGuiness joins Beard of Year shortlist


The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that Jay McGuiness part of the winning pair in the 2015 Strictly Come Dancing final has joined the Beard of the Year 2015 shortlist.

The winner is determined by an on-line poll of supporters currently in progress.

The poll will close at 6pm on December 28th with the winner announced on December 29th

The winner in 2014 was singer Conchita Wurst

The Award is focused on those whose beard has had the most positive impact in the public eye during 2015.

BLF organiser Keith Flett said, Jay McGuiness has been a fantastic positive ambassador for the hirsute on Strictly so it’s entirely appropriate that he joins the Beard of the Year shortlist

Beard of the…

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