What a way to start a blog! This is a picture of a burning flat in Edinburgh, but I’m not posting it here simply to as a curiosity – I have a personal interest in the story. The flat belongs to my sister Ellie, whom most people know as Woodstock Taylor, and we are all very thankful that she escaped, though with only the clothes she stood up in (no, she didn’t even have time to put on her shoes). The fire was confined to one room – the studio where she kept a collection of musical instruments and where she taught singing and voice students – but the smoke and water damage has been so extensive that she has in effect lost everything, and will have to start afresh – new home, new furniture, new instruments, new everything. Her friends have rallied round superbly and are organising a world-wide whip-round the help her rise from the ashes like a phoenix, so I’ve sent everyone a link to this page, and to the all-important PayPal button which will allow you to contribute to the new Phoenix Fund. Of course you don’t need to have reached this post via Facebook – if you’re here, you’re welcome!