During half term, the wife and daughter house-sit for a relative in Sussex for four days. They leave me in front of the telly, but as soon as they are gone, I hop on a plane to Canada, interview the conductor Kent Nagano and chief exec, Madeleine Careau, of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, attend a performance of Das Rheingold, inspect their new 260 million dollar concert hall, wonder whether it will be finished in time, eat elk, visit the 1976 Olympic Stadium now mostly redundant, and was back in front of the telly before they return.
I watch the film Temple Grandin on the plane and am moved to tears. The teenager next to me watches end-to-end shoot-em-ups and bites his nails. The hostess shows concern and gives me a spare chicken bap at tea time or breakfast time or whatever it is chasing the sun over the Atlantic. Temple Grandin, played by Claire Danes, is an autistic woman who understands animals. She notices that horses point their ears towards what they are looking at and that cattle herd in circles. She doesn’t enjoy human company much and cannot bear to be touched. She derives pleasure from clamping herself between wooden boards, however. It’s a true story. Despite misogyny and scepticism, she goes on to revolutionise farming practices in the US. I want the wife and daughter to see it, but cannot find a screening anywhere that isn’t an Air Canada flight.
There's time to fit in a recently-made documentary about Glenn Gould. He cuckolded the composer Lukas Foss, who didn't seem too bothered. Foss knew his wife and kids would come back in the end and they did. None of this was in Otto Friedrich's biography as far as I recall. I'm sure I'd have remembered so significant a detail. The previous idea was that Gould was too nutty and eccentric to have been anything but a virgin. The Canadian journalist Colin Eatock is soon to publish a book of interviews about the pianist. Claire Foss, he tells me, assured him Gould was 'the most heterosexual person she ever met'.