Fiction, by definition, is not truth. It handles truth, but fictively.
I sought out Double Concerto (for piano, harpsichord and two small chamber orchestras) by Elliott Carter who died recently, aged 104. Why? Because Charles Rosen, who’s performed the piano bit a dozen times, says it is “Carter’s most brilliantly attractive and… most complex work”. For me, whatever Rosen says goes. Also not much was written for harpsichord in 1959.
ESSENTIAL Ignore advice of male driving enthusiasts; they speak a different – often subjective – language. Given the choice I would have a chauffeur.
Obviously when I say I don't smile that's not quite true; I have in my time responded to jokes and friendliness. What I mean is I rarely initiate smiles. I distrust the gesture, don't do it well. Here my two brothers Sir Hugh (left) and Nick (right) beam away at the Frenchman we persuaded to take the photo. At best I am smirking.
● THE DIGITAL clock and thermometer were from Barbara. Being un-French she ambushed Grégoire with surprises, with gifts that did more than meet a need. The electronic displays looked far too sleek for his wooden chest of drawers and he accepted them bemusedly. But now the hot nights kept him awake and as one numeral slid into the next (sometimes backwards with the thermometer) he pretended these changes were Barbara, in another form of life, observing him and approving.