I made the mistake of taking a ‘which character from classical mythology are you’ test on the Oxford English Dictionary site, instead of just looking up a word and getting back to work (I wish I had some discipline). It seems I display all the characteristics of Dido, Queen of Carthage. Makes sense in some ways, I suppose. I have queenly aspects to my personality, I think, but I can’t see myself pronouncing curses then committing suicide. Especially not for a man whose father was only a second cousin to King Priam!

(Please note, my tongue is shoved firmly into my cheek as I scribble this—or whatever the computer term for typing quickly and carelessly might be. Scramble? Scroffle? Tribble? An example of snotty English humour at its worst.)

Anyway, the best thing about Dido is the Lament Purcell wrote for her. Sung wonderfully here by Sarah Connolly at the Proms in 2009.

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