A late-romantic piece by Korngold

Portsmouth Chamber Music Series continues on Monday 29th January with Music in the Round's resident Ensemble 360. The programme pairs a remarkable septet by Janacek with a late-romantic piece by Korngold, with Mozart's wonderful wind quintet in between. 

Korngold is a fascinating example of someone who was equally at home composing Viennese art-music and early Hollywood film-music.

Tickets are £18 with £16 concessions, available in person from the Guildhall, by calling 0844 453 9028, or from the website:

What's On in January

Article as appeared in Portsmouth View, Friday 12 January 2018

January is the month of renewal. Many takes the time to make new resolutions. Some strife to be healthier, calmer or happier. Whatever you choose to do, I wish you a successful year ahead.
Fancy taking up running? Try the weekly 2k & 5k run on Sunday mornings. Meet at Hilsea Lido car park at 9:15 for a 9:30 start. Register for your timing wristband at
If you have little ones to amuse, Peppa Pig is coming to the King’s Theatre on 17 and 18 January.
On 19 January Icons of the 80s will rock the stage at the Guildhall with triple header: Go West, Nik Kershaw and Cutting Crew. If Elvis is more your cup of tea, then head to the King’s Theatre instead for a night with Lee Memphis King, Europe’s most successful Elvis Presley tribute artist.
Farmers Market returns to Southsea on Sunday 21 January with all kinds of food and crafts.
On Thursday 25 January the  Waterlooville events team pop up cinema presents Vic…

Delicious grilled seabass

One of the best things of living by the sea (and on an island) is the access to fresh fish.

Okay, this one we had tonight was from Waitrose but I have been hankering over some lovely fish dinner after the heaviness of the Christmas food orgy.

This seabass recipe is delicious with some jacket potatoes and steamed vegetables. Tonight we had Helda beans which is sweeter and less stringy. You just need to steam it for 3 minutes.

So here's the recipe...

Make sure the fish is nicely descaled and gutted. Seabass gills can be really sharp so ask your fish counter to do the job of descaling and cleaning the fish. Keep the head on.

Score the side of the seabass. Slice some ginger thinly and insert the ginger pieces into the slits.

For each seabass, marinate with 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsbp orange juice, juice of half a lemon and 2 tbsp of vegetable oil.
Leave it for an hour or so, if possible.

Then put the fish under a heated grill for 7 minutes on one side and 4-5 minutes on the other.

A qu…

Gratitude - life is about attitude

Don't know about you, but I found last year was not a very good year. It wasn't a disastrous year, but many things were uncomfortable.

I discovered that of course it is hard to remain positive if you are going through negative experience. However, rather than be engulfed by our negative experience, it is important to rise above.

Positive attitude is like a muscle. It needs to be actively exercised to be of any use.
So let's start making a habit of waking up each day and meeting any negativity with positive energy. 
Join me in this journey to a more positive you!

Book review: The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

When I saw it in Blackwell recently, I picked up Arundhati Roy's latest novel without hesitation as I remember how wonderful her other book, The God of Small Things, was. It wasn't a happy story, but it was such a mesmerising tale of tales. In fact, it was beautiful in its sadness.

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is just as good. It captures your attention first with the story of Aftab, who wanted to be a girl. The details are amazing and it wonderfully weaves the national political and historical details with the internal turmoils of the characters.

Half-way through reading I was wondering what the connections were of all the people in the book, separately intriguing, and each with a bizarre story to tell. The ending did not disappoint.

I don't want to reveal the story too much. But if you love some good storytelling, this one is very rich, beautiful and has a happy ending Roy's style.

Portsmouth Guildhall launches first phase of Renaissance Development

Portsmouth Guildhall launched the first phase of an ambitious programme of restoration and development so it can continue to thrive for the next 130 years and be a venue of which the city can be proud.

The exciting Renaissance project will cost £15 million and be completed in several phases over the next 10 years, allowing the Guildhall to raise the funds needed and complete the programme without having to close the venue for long periods.

The initial phase of the project will see The Harlequin Room transformed from a tired and under-utilised space on the Ground Floor of the Guildhall, into a 185 seat/250 standing capacity Guildhall Studio which will create a much needed facility to support emerging talent across the region, develop a diversified arts and classical music offer, create a small conference and meeting space and provide an accessible hub that community groups can utilise.

As a Concert Hall that has seen some of the world’s finest artists perform including The Beatles, Th…

Ding dong merrily!

Ding-dong comes December! Google Dictionary says ‘ding-dong’ stands for a riotous party. I hope everyone is merrily looking forward to this festive season.
This Saturday 9 December check out CURIO: Southsea Creative Pop Up in the Trinity Church Hall on Albert Road.
On Sunday 10 December, the Milton Glee Club will be holding its Christmas Concert at the Guildhall at 3 pm. That evening, the University Concert and Big Band are holding their Christmas Concert at the Royal Marines Museum in Eastney at 7.30 pm.
On Monday 11 December listen to Peoples' Stories Coffee Morning at the National Museum of the Royal Navy in the Historic Dockyard.
On 14 December head to the Live Lounge event in the Guildhall, featuring the Blues legend Paul Jones.
Don’t forget to give ice-skating a go with your family. The ring at Guildhall Square will be there until 2 January. Join the Christmas Elf Trail at the Spinnaker Tower from now until 24December.
Meet Santa at the Groundlings Theatre on Sunday 17 Dece…