Author Archive: Anne Britting Oleson

On the Platform


It’s happened to me now three times, and until the first time, I had no idea how magical it would be. You see it in films:  the train pulling in or pulling out of the station, with one character on the train and another on the platform, waiting to welcome or waving goodbye.  There’s a …

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On The Live and Let Live


“We could,” Julia said, “stop in at the pub on the Common.” If hearts really leap, mine did.  The first time I visited Julia, she instructed Roger to stop off on the road from Oxford, at The Live and Let Live on Bringsty Common–she did not want us to arrive at her house and interrupt …

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On Dinner at The Spaniards


We came out of Hampstead Heath, Stephen Benatar and I, that afternoon several years ago, and there was The Spaniards Inn.  I admit that, for me, it was love at first sight.  The whitewashed inn itself, and the tiny tollbooth that squeezed Spaniards Road to one lane, the date of construction (1585) which was painted …

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On Croome Court


The reason why Croome Court, a magnificent neo-Palladian mansion in Croome d’Abitot, Worcestershire, qualifies as one of the ruinous places Julia decided to show me, is that it’s been used (abused?) as many things by many people over the past several years.  For a while it housed the Hare Krishnas.  For a while it was a restaurant. …

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On the Session after Bellowhead at Bristol


Jon Boden said at one point during the Bristol Bellowhead show that there might be live music happening at the Old Vic, with some people.  Which explains the huge line at the theatre door around 11–a line which stretched down King Street toward the still-noisy pubs, around a corner.  Lesley, Louise and I joined it, but …

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On Harvington Hall


My friend Julia knows how I love ruinous things.  Every time I visit her in Herefordshire, she has a plan, and this time, when she picked me up at Worcester Shrub Hill Station, she had decided that I needed to see Harvington Hall.  The house is part medieval, part Elizabethan, a wandering brick construction of wings …

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On Touring Bellowhead


In the Bellowhead world, this is the day everyone is “feeling fragile,” to quote my friend Lesley. Last night, this glorious band sold out their final show at the Oxford Town Hall, the same venue that hosted their first show, 12 years ago.  They ended with “Prickle-Eye Bush,” the first song they did in that …

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On Road-Tripping with Lesley…and a Banana


Lesley picked me up at the train station in Banbury once she got off work.  We threw my stuff in the boot of her car.  I slid into the front seat, and immediately sat on a banana. “Oh,” she said, “I think you’ve sat on my banana.” And so for five days, the banana, none the …

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On Mawkin, All Over the Place


“Essentially, this album’s [The Ties That Bind] only preconceived purpose was to simply let you have fun while trying your damnedest to find some deeper meaning. We’re not making a statement apart from don’t hurt yourself while you’re dancing in the kitchen.” –David Delarre, in an interview quoted on the Mawkin website. Because I have never run …

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On Merry Hell at Biddulph (with a side of Indian dinner)


Originally the plan on this adventure was to road-trip Bellowhead:  four shows in four days with my friend Lesley.  Then Merry Hell announced this show, on my first day in the UK–and the only gig they’d be doing while I was there.  No-brainer, that.  As it was Lauren’s birthday, we arranged to meet beforehand for …

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