In the window of Britten's music shop, a young man with, hair standing up and tousled, is playing the piano. A rucksack and jacket are on the floor beside him. His girlfriend is leaning on the piano and listening. His hands move up and down the keyboard. But, try as I might, through the plate glass and above the noise of traffic, I cannot hear a note. I am reminded of an account I read somewhere of a prisoner in a concentration camp, who made a wooden keyboard and would play soundless music to keep his spirits up and entertain his fellow inmates.
Passing a familiar face in Sainsbury's this morning, I say "hello!" "Hello", says the face, and then "hello" again as someone else passing at the same time, says "hello" to her. All three stop and swing our trolleys in bewilderment I imagine for a moment that I am on the stage of a musical comedy. "Hello, hello, hello," the members of the chorus sing, and waltz their trolleys up and down the aisle, "hello, hello, hello!"