Thursday, 1 February 2018


Has anyone else received an email from Google purporting to explain how effectively or otherwise one's blog is dealt with by their search engine? I didn't really understand it and, let's be honest, I don't care anyway, but one thing did rather leap out from their analysis. Virtually everyone who gets Discourses on Wargaming's url displayed in their search results is actually looking for gay porn. Your bloggist has lost 8 kg in weight over the last year and is looking pretty buff, even if he says so himself; so on balance, well done Google. However, further investigation also points to a single post from almost five years ago about an opera I went to see, Handel's misleadingly titled 'Joshua' (It's really about Othniel - yes, that Othniel), as the source of the traffic. So, today's post should start it all off again; perhaps I should get get some advertising on the site to monetise the upcoming surge in visitors.

Anyway, while I'm here let me bring you up to date on events in January that I have neglected to mention so far:

Opera: I saw Opera North's revival of 'Madama Butterfly' which was as good as I remembered. Anne Sophie Duprels was wonderful in the title role and appropriately enough kept her clothes on this time. I also saw the Royal Opera House live transmission of 'Rigoletto' which proved once again that closeups can sometimes not work to the advantage of sopranos playing much younger parts. Just to avoid charges of sexism, Michael Fabiano may also have been favoured by watching from further away. He was physically a very unconvincing starving poet in last year's 'La Boheme' and here he appeared to be wearing a costume two sizes too small. I have a good mind to email him with my own proven tips for losing weight (1).

Theatre: Speaking of broadcasts I also caught up with an encore of 'Young Marx' from the new Bridge Theatre in London. I nearly didn't bother because it had mixed reviews, but I enjoyed it and can report that it made me laugh. As did Alan Ayckbourn's 'Role Play' which easily delivered its quota of laugh out loud moments and featured some fairly authentic sounding East London accents. Less convincing was 'You're Only Young Twice' which, whilst well performed and mildly amusing in places, seemed to have very little connection to real life or real people.

Gigs: I've written about a couple of these already. The other one that I will mention is Henry Parker, a very good localish (Bingley I think) guitarist in the Davey Graham fingerstyle mode. I'd seen him before and on this occasion was able to buy a live album of a performance at which I was present in the audience; the third such that I own.

I didn't get to ride on the cherry picker and the roof still leaks, albeit not as badly as before.

(1) Diet and exercise; controversial I know, but there it is.

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