Article, Music, Poetry


If bad behaviour isn’t your thing it’s best to avoid the under the stairs lot notorious for their unsociable conduct. Better to put on one’s best party frock and attend a soiree. Why risk a coup d’état if there’s a tête-à-tête to be enjoyed.

At a dinner party, one is sure to mix with people of refined taste who are above making coarse and tasteless remarks.  If attendees include the best of classical musicians well what more could one ask for; well, quite a lot actually.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


German composer Johannes Brahms is in a class of his own but his table manners were notorious. The gifted musician was once heard to remark: “If there is anyone here who I have not insulted, I beg his pardon.”

Gifted Russian composer, Tchaikovsky, wrote: “Music is an incomparably more powerful means and is a subtler language for expressing the thousand different moments of the soul’s moods.”

Fine sentiments, Pyotr Ilyich, but surely your comment that Handel was only fourth rate might have been left to the German composer’s music to say.

Of his compatriot Maurice Ravel the French composer Saint-Saens remarked, “If he had been making shell cases during the war it might have been better for music.”

I do find myself in agreement with Richard Strauss who of Schoenberg commented, “He’d be better off shovelling snow than scribbling on manuscript paper.”

If SOL Times has Australian readers I suggest they stop reading right now. After a successful tour of Australia, the esteemed Sir Thomas Beecham was asked when he would return. Looking the nervous hack in the eye, Sir Thomas asked, “Does anyone ever return to Australia?”

Brits love their Gilbert and Sullivan operetta but the talented twosome had their critics too. When a singer insisted he knew better than Sullivan how a certain song should be interpreted, Sullivan told him: “In future, I will get you to sing my songs first, then I will compose them afterwards.”

Whilst on the opera circuit we are reminded of American broadcaster Ed Gardner’s comment: “Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and instead of bleeding he sings.”

When asked to define good music a pundit replied: “if you like it is good. If you don’t like it, it is bad.”

Critics too are often on the receiving end of spiteful remarks. “Pay no attention to what critics say.  There has never been a statue set up in honour of a critic.” ~ Finnish composer Jean Sibelius.







It took a long time and a great deal of thought,

I couldn’t believe I had lost what I sought.

I should have forgotten, moved on and known better,

But I sat down and wrote her the oldest love letter.


It spanned many years – no, a lie I have told:

Perhaps it…. I’m vague or perhaps I am old.

But always remembered how sharp that I fell,

For her green eyes, her kisses, the thrill of her spell.


And so I am writing the oldest love letter,

Whilst hoping the years will be treating her better,

As sharp and in focus as memories of you,

I love you as then and you know that I do.


The oldest love letter is proud in defeat.

It mellows, (no anger)  …. just bitter and sweet.

A brooding nostalgia with wisdom to taste,

To soften the promise of young love laid waste.


Forgotten the hard words that brought us to anger,

The years pass much quicker, I dwell and I linger,

But you know why I’m writing this oldest love letter,

For youth was the lover who couldn’t forget her.


I am pinned to my cross by a memory old,

Haunted through life by a love that grew cold,

Recapturing moments when love reigned supreme.

But this oldest love letter rekindles my dream.

Michael Walsh Poetry

Immortal Beloved: Sublime Poetry for Romantic Souls by Michael Walsh




When Euro Weekly News Group wanted a top professional business doctor to advise their 550,000 weekly readers they turned to Michael Walsh. It made sense as the self-made business veteran spent 20-years assessing and vetting, advising and mentoring thousands of successful British businesses.

Business Booster Cover
Purchase on Amazon

Michael Walsh was the Guild of Master Craftsmen’s second longest serving membership executive; their most successful business doctor ever. He was also headhunted by The Federation of Master Builders.

Drawing on 20 years’ experience assessing Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) businesses, he says it is pleasing to assist thousands of business owners in this cost effective way. Conceding that there are 1,000s of business advice books looking for buyers, he says his Business Booster book has a stunning advantage over others.

“My Business Booster is not theory but the passing on of the most successful tricks of the trade ever published. When you read Business Booster you are inspired by the hands-on experiences and advice of thousands of successful entrepreneurs.

Top business assessment and recruitment executive for the Guild of Master Craftsmen and Federation of Master Builders for twenty years, Michael Walsh identified, assessed and recruited the best of British business.

Britain’s No 1 small business mentor says, “The business guide’s usefulness is not only based on my own experiences. I was privileged to meet the heads of thousands of successful businesses. Some were sole traders; many more were household name cutting edge inspiring business professionals. I learned a great deal from them.  It’s good that, though semi-retired, I can continue to help small businesses owners to survive in a tough climate.”

A unique hands-on guide to successfully and efficiently running a small business, The Business Booster by Michael Walsh is available on Amazon.




The most beautiful words, “But, I love you.”  The most painful words, “I love you, but.”

Change is inevitable but how we respond to change is a matter of choice. How many times I sat in despair at an unexpected misfortune. But, with the benefit of hindsight, things were never as bad as they at first appeared. In fact, time is much more than a great healer, it is a redeemer.

What if are the most haunting of words. What if we had married, what if I had not been made bankrupt, and what if my husband had got that job or had not made that decision. Only from a distance can we come to realise that the end of one world is often the beginning of a far better world.

As a 16-year old with kitbag slung over my shoulder I felt apprehensive as I crossed my first gangplank. Little did I know that I was crossing a bridge that would open a world that would enrich my life forever.

Blown this way and that way by the fickle winds of fate I often found myself in difficult situations. I felt I was continually being tested and never was I found wanting. With jaw set I learned new jobs or adapted to new circumstances in places or situations that I was totally unfamiliar with.

Neither of my children was planned but their arrival changed our world. Our immortal words were; “What now?” The answer; our lives were changed forever and for the better.

A writer by trade I genuflected each time I saw my ancient Olympia typewriter. Sure, it was irritating to fork out for new typewriter ribbons and inky fingers came with the territory. But, happiness isn´t having what you want, it is to want what you have.

I was daunted to say the least when in the 1990s my wife tried to explain the advantages of the computer. Such was my phobia against change that I must admit I was far from a patient student.

Only now do I realise that I was morphing from quill and parchment to becoming more powerful than a then city newspaper´s editor. The outcome was that my life changed for the far better. In fact, because of my newly acquired computer, my good fortune would make the great writers of history drool.

In September 2008 I loaded my battered car until the chassis buckled. Putting home country and indeed my life in my rear view mirror I set out for Spain. All I had was Europe´s second lowest state pension and hope in my heart. Has a lesson been taught? Yes, welcome change. ~ Michael Walsh.



We have come a long way since 1960 when the censor’s dead hand was lifted off the D. H. Lawrence novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover.  I am not surprised that distinguished English author first considered calling his literary book Tenderness. The lovemaking between Lady Chatterley and her gamekeeper lover Oliver Mellors was sensitively portrayed. The language used was typically rustic without intending to shock.

Human congress is an expression of confidence in the future. Lovemaking symbolises the sun bursting at dawn, life eternal and the resurrection. Natural coition is the worship of nature; the elixir of life and the spiritual proof of perpetuity. The censors were right to lift the ban.

Purchase on Amazon

The dropping of the prohibition was a golden opportunity in literature to treat lovemaking as the most pure and noble of human experiences. Instead the floodgates opened to reduce this most precious of gifts, that of procreation, to the depths of degeneracy.

Pornography has turned lovemaking into a display of semi-violent crude sex. It is as far removed from romantic love as it is possible to be. The scenes portrayed are often perverted, depraved and in a graphic form similar to ancient visions of hell. Few can relate such activity to their own lives.

What happened to the inspiring nature of lovemaking; the quickened heart of love at first sight; a shy flowering of mutual attraction; the chemistry between two people we know exists but cannot fathom. Is the love that grows to a point where a partner’s life is more important than one’s own still recognised?

Pornography slammed its jackboot on the neck of mutual affection, togetherness, tenderness, shared spirits and ideals. Porn trampled on commitment, the concept of developing relationships through the most beautiful form of foreplay imaginable; the courting process. Pornography is to romance what pig swill is to food.

Censored is the romantic odyssey of mutual discovery, the trials, troubles, hopes, and disappointments of two people sharing one shadow. True lovemaking is a carnival of living for its purpose is life and giving. Conversely, pornography represents the death of spiritual and physical romance; pornography drives a stake through its life-giving purpose.

It wasn’t the removal of censorship that let loose the backed-up sewer of pornography that flooded over our lives. It was our inability to separate the highest form of romance from the most debauched and degenerate of sex.

Elizabeth Browning’s poem, ´How do I Love Thee´ remains Britain’s most loved romantic poem. If the word beginning with the letter L was replaced with another four letter word beginning with F would that poem and many other sonnets of pure love have survived for five minutes let alone hundreds of years?

That is the difference between animal rutting and romantic love. One lasts for a few minutes to leave a feeling of self-loathing and barrenness. Pure love lasts for centuries and leaves one with a sense of fulfilment. – Michael Walsh.

Immortal Beloved: Sublime Poetry for Romantic Souls by Michael Walsh