So many figures from among our cultural treasures have recently died; some have been in their late seventies, eighties, and even nineties, but today I heard of the death of Martin Hamlisch at just sixty-eight. I loved his song, sung by Barbra Streisand, ‘The Way We Were’, as well as the score for that delightful film, ‘Three Men And A Baby’.
Grizzly weather has rendered gardening impossible, so the grass remains uncut with almost two weeks of growth, and tufts appearing like a bad haircut where I sowed seed over patches left by mole-hills. I wish the little blighters would go back to the surrounding fields, and leave my patch alone.
Our local authority used to operate a pest-control service, but no longer. Our council-tax increases annually, but the services provided decrease accordingly. The only thing we can be sure of here in Carmarthenshire – and I suspect in other places too – is that the salary of the chief executive hasn’t peaked yet, although approaching £200,000 a year with expenses; neither have those of his fellow officers, or the county councillors who sanction their own, and other increases. It makes me think, when all is said and done, these public servants serve none so well as they serve themselves.
I’m looking forward to Simon Callow introducing the music of Ivor Novello at the London Proms tomorrow evening. I remember growing up with this music; it was popular with those of us lucky enough to remember Sunday evenings spent singing around the piano with family and friends.