Somewhere near Milan, Italy

I’ve woken up in a hotel somewhere between Varese and Milan. Just by looking at the breakfast spread, there’s no question we’re in Italy. Troughs of Lombardian beans; reams of mortadella; only short coffees. I had this (clearly) quite wrong impression that most Italians were too chilled out to care for a hearty breakfast too early in the morning, but even on a Saturday, this place has been packed since I got here about an hour and a half ago (although please don’t think I’ve been eating continuously for all that time). The staff are finally clearing it away now (not before I grab one last coffee).

The last two weeks have been a lot of fun. La La Land; Venice; Paris; my 30th birthday. I haven’t turned into a toad (which was a genuine concern), my family and friends have been so sweet and kind, and I have South African sun to look forward to in just over a week. I am happy. I’m going for lunch with some friends in London tomorrow afternoon, before heading up to Durham for a concert there on Monday, and we’re recording for the remainder of the week. It’s then my mother’s birthday next Sunday. She knows I’m going to treat her and my father to lunch, but I’ll see if I can have some other surprises up my sleeve too.

Quickly, going back to La La Land, what did you think? I went with a friend who absolutely loved it (so much so that he was already seeing it for the second time). I respect and admire all the Golden Globes wins and Oscar nominations. I loved the soundtrack. And of course, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are great actors and exceptionally beautiful people. But did it move me quite as much as it seems to have moved the whole industry? I’m not sure. I’m not one of those purists who says but it wasn’t jazz, when the film claims it was. I don’t mind the immediacy of their voices in the recording at all. But I am intrigued to know what you thought. Did it fill you with total joy, or leave you frustrated? What did you think of the music and the singing? Let’s have a chat on our Facebook page.

For now, I need to go for (another) run. Marathon training won’t do itself….


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