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Ask Alice, with Alice McVeigh

'Never in the history of ... drivel',
and 'soon-to-be ruler of ... Orpington',
Classical Music Agony Aunt ALICE McVEIGH
quotes reviews, advises cellists and plays tennis

Have you noticed the way that Joshua Pierce's record label excerpted your review of his Brahms No 2 recording on their website?

'... [Joshua Pierce is] marvellous. He breathed as one with British conductor Kirk Trevor ... Pierce's playing was beautifully balanced between grandeur and impulsiveness.' -- Music and Vision, July 2006


Dear Anon,

Gosh, just when you think NOBODY IS OUT THERE (because the letters are so scanty) this goes and happens!!!!!

However, I can't complain that they made anything up, unlike the famous West End show type (where the reviewer writes, 'Never in the history of mankind has such astonishing drivel been perpetuated as a show hitting the West End,' and the blurb outside the theatre reads, 'Never in the history of mankind has such an astonishing show hit the West End!')

It would have been a lot funnier had the website used:

'Has played before. Definitely not a beginner.' -- Alice McVeigh, soon-to-be ruler of the world

Still, there you go.

Ask Alice

Dear Alice,

I am playing a classical cello made by Michael J Watson, Hastings, 1990. I am trying to find out where he is because it is a lovely cello and I would like him to build me another one. Can you help?

Dr Jamie Mulherron

Dear Dr Mulherron,

Tell me, do you think that the sort of squidgy bit under my big toe OUGHT to hurt every time I play tennis?

(Oh sorry, I bet you get that all the time. Now, where was I?)

The place you want to check out is the British Luthiers Society. Everybody who is anybody will be there -- or else will be known to someone there. (I BELIEVE I last heard of Michael Watson as having surfaced in darkest Manchester, but don't quote me on it ...) Anyway, I'm sure he'd love to be commissioned, as would any cello-maker, and I believe in using our underrated British makers, so go for it!!!!


Ask Alice

Dear Alice,

I am your opponent in the Farnborough Tennis Club Ladies Singles Final on Saturday, and if you think you have a single, solitary, teensy weensy little hope of getting my kinky, twisted, slicy, spicy forehand back then you've got several more thinks coming!!

Yours in anticipation,
P W, ace tennis player
Orpington, Kent

Dear P W

Yes, I have to admit that yours is indeed the forehand that roared -- or, rather, WOULD have been true, had I not just finished reading an absolutely fab new book by an American friend of mine called Daniel Gonzalez, who's a martial arts genius, ex-FBI agent and sports psychologist!!!!!!!!!! He's about to publish it on his new and exciting site, and I HAVE ALREADY READ IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So your amazing forehand doesn't scare me anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!! No, sirree, and Dan's ebook will not be out before Saturday so you will be at the mercy of somebody so sports psychologied-up that she thinks she can beat Federer and Nadal combined!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, indeedy, I am completely and totally BONKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yours, in anticipation of winning the first singles tournament I've ever been entered for on Saturday, and Wimbledon next June, and the next London marathon -- whenever that is -- and the British Open later this week, and opening the batting for England's cricket team as they take on Pakistan the week after and ...

Alice, soon-to-be ruler of the world
(also Orpington, Kent)

Copyright © 21 July 2006 Alice McVeigh, Kent UK

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