The Way We Were is about star-crossed love, but also commitment to ideals. "People are their principles," Katie Morosky (anti-war, poor, Marxist Jew - Barbra Streisand) tells Hubbell Gardner (non-political, wealthy, gentile WASP - Robert Redford). They marry and Hubbell settles for life as a scriptwriter, while Katie fights McCarthyism. After divorcing, they meet unexpectedly years later. Katie has remarried; Hubbell is with his latest girlfriend. They clearly still love each other - cue tears each of the hundreds of times I've watched it since 1974. My teenage daughter, Katie (neither of my sons is Hubbell!) implements her own McCarthyism - she's banned me from my favourite movie!
During my first visit to France, my aunt Nicole took me to the house where Gabriel Faure was born. I felt a connection, as we share birthdays. It was exciting for me to perform his seminal Requiem in the 1970s with Midlothian Schools' Choir and Glasgow Dolphin Arts. Much to my family's dismay, when in Paris I insist on "visiting" Faure in one of the city's smallest but most atmospheric cemeteries, near the apartment that housed a reclusive Maria Callas.
These days, I try to equate my TV viewing with relaxation and pure entertainment. When I can stay awake, my current favourite is the brilliant Nurse Jackie with Edie Falco - often difficult-to-stomach storylines served up in half-hour chunks. I'm a big fan of Brothers and Sisters and I want to find time for Glee, which so many people have recommended. Unfortunately, I don't always stick to the relaxation rule and can find myself switching on BBC News 24, or even the Parliament channel, as I do the ironing.