“If you compare computers to offices, the Mac was the equivalent of the most beautifully designed colourful space, with jazzy carpets on shiny oak floors, a pool table, wooden beams, a cappuccino machine, posters and great music playing. The rest of the world trudged into Microsoft’s operating system: a grey, soulless partitioned office, with nylon carpets, flickering fluorescent lamps and a faintly damp smell” (2,130 words)
On experiencing depression, and attempting suicide. “It’s not that I want a sexual partner, a long-term partner, someone to share a bed and a snuggle on the sofa with – although perhaps I do and in the past I have had and it has been joyful. But the fact is I value my privacy too. It’s a lose-lose matter. I don’t want to be alone, but I want to be left alone. I suppose I just don’t like my own company very much” (1,500 words)
On Dietrich Fischer Dieskau, and why classical music is worth the learning curve. “You’ll hate it at first perhaps. But leave it on. Leave it on over the next few days and suddenly, it will steal into you and never leave you”
“The charisma, passion, delight in detail, excitement and belief in the creation of a new future—the sheer magnetic force of the man—made his many faults a forgivable and almost loveable part of his mystique and greatness”
Serial avoider of “games” at school on how he came to love sport. Cricket and football especially. But also darts, snooker, indoor bowls. Last of which was a passion shared by Peter Cook. Charming
Eccentric British polymath interviews outrageous global music superstar. Seriously. Irresistible from the start: “You get a strong sense of the character and behaviour of a great star by smelling the mood of those around them”
For fans of Stephen Fry. In which he explains why he didn’t say that women don’t like sex. Or did say it but didn’t mean it. Or didn’t mean to say it. Or something. Anyhow, a lovely, long, from-the-heart piece.
“A work of art is precisely that which remains when you have run out of words to describe it. The works that move us most are those that have the most life and power in them when the talking stops”