Well, actually, it is. When I was young 75 seemed ancient and now, today, that I’ve reached this minor milestone, I can happily claim that although I still feel 19 ‘in my head’ (as the saying goes) the knowledge that I’m well and truly into senior citizenship offers me a weirdly comforting perspective. Yes, I’ve had my blind spots, misunderstood and been misunderstood, squandered love unwisely and been reckless, but I have also hit a few bullseyes. The first and most important is my wife Georgie, a diamond by my side for well over 51 years, always loving, caring, supportive, stimulating, mentally adventurous – as much on my behalf as on her own – and good fun. And my daughters Cessy and Vicky, now in their forties, but truly lovely people who I can always rely on for mutual companionship. And my gorgeous granddaughter Elizabeth, now in her first year at school. The joy I feel whenever I think of her – not to mention whenever I see her – is beyond the reach of words.

There are my brothers of course, Jonny and Jez, warmly considerate and full of humour, their daughters too, not forgetting my dear youngest brother Andrew who died a couple of years ago at the age of 59. Although occasionally troubled by demons we had some wonderful times together. Then there are various aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews and my son-in-law Iain.  And friends? Plenty. Tully, Karen, Lana, Mike, Nigel, Jon, Eric, Trevor and Charles Beldom (both deceased) and many more. And there are of course my constant numinous companions, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Ruskin, Whitman, Sontag, Buber, Emily Dickinson, Blake, Joseph Roth, Wallace Stevens, Bach, Beethoven, Wagner, Bartók, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Glazunov, Delius, Elgar, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Schumann and countless others.

And lastly there are my much-valued readers and, until a few years ago, listeners, who invariably keep (or kept) in touch, sharing opinions on music and other topics, mostly with affection and intense interest. I owe you all a debt of gratitude and hope that I’ll be around a little while longer to share more of what’s worth sharing.



8 thoughts on “SEVENTY-FIVE IS NO AGE ……

  1. Les Berger

    Congratulations on reaching three quarters of a century Rob. You probably look back at 70 now as being young! I turned 80 in January and look back nostalgically at my 75 year old self. Still, my 19 year old self is still lurking in the background, trying to find a way to misspend his youth. What I am finding is an urgency to engage with all the music I haven’t yet explored while there’s still time. I’ve just ‘discovered’ Kapustin . Meanwhile, your writings about historical recordings has started me off on another path. And then there’s all the jazz, Bruckner, Bax and Hovhaness symphonies, as well as….
    Oh dear, so much to hear, not enough time. Enjoy being a young 75.


  2. Dennis Jenkins

    A very happy 75th Rob. I was also 75 this February and, yes, lots to reflect on. I followed your radio programmes for many years and it was your knowledge and enthusiasm that steered me towards lesser known works and especially historic recordings. I particularly remember meeting you twice at the Royal Festival Hall when Radio 3 was broadcasting from a “pod” in the foyer. When you had finished presenting your programme, you came out to chat with us about recordings past and present and such was your enthusiasm that eventually we had to stop because the RFH staff needed to organize the place for the next broadcast!
    I still follow your blogs and occasional videos about recordings and much of my collection of recorded music was the result of your expert recommendations for which I am extremely grateful.I will never forget your enthusiasm for the discovery of the live 1939 recording of Ma Vlast conducted by Vaclav Talich which included a spontaneous rendition of the Czech National anthem by the audience.

    Again, many happy returns Rob and many more years of listening



    1. Such a great recording that Talich Dennis – and thank you so much for writing. I’m so glad that my words stimulated your enthusiasm for some great recordings. With best wishes. Rob.


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