Sunrise walk with a very high tide causing me to risk life and limb (well, damp toes) to get to the rocks. More composing. In the evening, tootling and warbling at Felton Park, including in the Magical Glass. I love it.
Composing day at last. Time to think. Time to play the piano. Time to nap. Time to do a bit of Rachmaninov practice for the weekend. Time to chop vegetables and cook a proper meal in our new kitchen. We headed to Embleton for A Rock Festival Choir rehearsal this evening readying ourselves for Edinburgh, and when we got back we made cheese on toast – even before the old kitchen was ripped out there was no functioning grill in the old oven, so this was an utter treat after so long. I have two things to share a musical poster for RFC’s upcoming gigs and a snatch of lyrics which today inspired their music. They are taken from the letters of Lord William Percy from the WW1 front in France 2014-15.
5pm: So far today I have attended the funeral of a friend, spent over two hours cleaning out stinky detritus from blocked pipes, and spent another couple of hours doing administrative tasks. Of these, the last was of course the worst. I also bought myself some flowers (while I was out acquiring appropriate blocked-pipe clearing implements).
11pm: Back from a very jolly choir practice with The Bridge Singers. Lots of new music tackled and enjoyed. Lots of laughter. There was also lots of feedback during choir and afterwards at The Foxes’ Den from our appearance, and singing of two songs, at Alan’s funeral this morning. “Angelic voices” was one that sticks in my mind, but there were plenty of very positive comments. We sang “Only Remembered” by Bonar and Sankey and “Come Again” by John Dowland as everyone filed out.
Later still I was listening to this on the BBC Radio iPlayer. I love Bach’s Brandenburg Concerti, especially No. 4, and this new piece by Olga Neuwirth, “Aello – ballet mécanomorphe ” inspired by it is brilliant in my opinion, so full as it is with sparkling timbres and rhythms.
First thing, I noticed that my YouTube channel has passed it’s next thousand views. We’re up to 34,000 now. Wheeeh!
All morning three workmen were in the house: Gordon the Painter; Andy the Gasfitter (We now have an oven and a hob.); Neil the all round excellent-at-everything fellow. And they’re done. Neil will be back when our new fridge arrives to make a hole in a cupboard for the plug, but that’s it He gave me a brief tiling lesson, then drove off into the midday Saturday sun. We’re not inviting anyone round until it’s completely finished, mind!!!…but we did have hot, crispy food for tea for the first time in over a month!
All afternoon I was in Craster for their RNLI Open Day chatting with friends and directing The Bridge Singers in two brief slots. It was our first ever gig while singing on a hillside as people had Harley Davison rides on the road to the front and side of us and with people partaking of a busy crockery shy to the rear of us. Also out in the glorious harbour, just beyond the Harleys, multiple RNLI craft were staging simulated rescues and giving families rides on the tide.
All evening we ate our crispy food and watched sport on the telly.
A grand old Saturday. Craster photo, courtesy of Claire.
11am. Paint. The paint fumes give you a headache. The headache causes you to open the windows. The windows let the noise in. The noise invades your composing synapses. You need to go out really, but there’s the painter to consider, and the wasps are out there. Hmm.
5pm. The painter has gone and in spite of all the feelings of bleugh, you find that you have come up with something. Lyrics at least. And fragments of music. Time for a nap now with the window open and then the delight of Fingers Adrift this evening.
Orange Day. Jamie was right. Everything is alright. There’s still some scepticism about the colours, but not from us two, and we’re who count in this instance. Also, a meeting at Brinkburn about a concert in September. I suddenly have even more work to do, but composing work, arranging work: work I love.
Composing day, I thought, and the thoughts have indeed been a-flowing, but notes on the page are elusive due to a busy day with the kitchen and bathroom.
More blue and green pointing with Gordon the painter in the bathroom, and Neil was back in the kitchen fitting kickbacks and the sinky taps-and-pipes (only 24 hours of some fixative substance having to dry until washing the dishes in the bathroom ceases). I haven’t seen Neil for a fortnight so there was much banter and catching up. Jamie had a huge lot of very long phone calls, so all decisions were mine for the making. The scepticism about our colour scheme is now so loud that all optimism and confidence failed me this evening and I have gone to bed in a fret. After his phone calls, Jamie said that it would all be alright though.
The man with paint in the bathroom is still there. He has applied colour. Every now and then I am required to go in there and point at a bit of wall or woodwork and say “blue” or “green”, but otherwise, the decision making has been minimal. I spent a lot of the day looking back at cheery choir pictures and listening to heartening recordings to produce this Review of The Year 2017-18 for The Bridge Singers. The blurb reads. “This year we’ve sung in Alnwick at Last Night Of The Proms, in Felton and Longframlington for our fruity Christmas Concerts, at our Burns Night Celebration, at Brinkburn Priory for a wedding and recital, at Feltonbury and a few times in between. We work hard and have lots of fun as you can see and hear. The extracts of music you hear are from Tihore Mai by Hirini Melbourne, Bogoroditse Devo by Sergei Rachmaninov, Till Autumn Comes by Gary Steward, Red, Red Rose by Cheryl Camm, Now Westlin Winds which is a traditional Scottish song with lyrics by Robert Burns, Come Again by John Dowland and Abendlied by Josef Rheinberger.”
Men with granite in the kitchen. A man with paint in the bathroom. These were today’s developments. The man with the paint will be back tomorrow and the next day and maybe more. The men with granite have departed. Tonight was choir. We laughed and sang a lot, so nothing new there. But we started learning this with quite a bit of success.
Sunrise at Worksop Station. Recently refurbished I might add. I was very taken with the traditional green and yellow colours of Great Central Railway, and also the full stop on the new Worksop signs. Later I went to Wakefield for a day of composing with visiting families at The Hepworth. Lots of new lullaby fun with an old favourite “Pigeon Hands”, originally composed to illustrate William Roberts’ “The Pigeon Carriers”, today its inspiration was “Three Boys and a Pigeon” by Daniel Meadows.
I’ve driven to Worksop through thick Friday traffic and energetic thunderstorms. I’ve had crispy food cooked by Mum. Yum – crispy food is hard to achieve when all you have is a microwave! Back at home the kitchen floor has been laid and Neil’s been back and fitted the reclaimed Hungarian factory lights over the sticky-out kitchen bench. I won’t be able to check them out until Monday now. Jamie’s sent me photos, but it’s not the same, eh?! An overheard remark in Worksop town centre this afternoon: “I was chuffed to ninepence: I went and bought tins of tuna.”
Last week The Bridge Singers gave a me some end of year gifts, one of which was this damson tree. Today, I finished the preparation of the bed into which I have now planted it. The sun deserted me by the time I took pictures, but I will mark its progress with more pictures in sun and rain, no doubt. I should accompany the pictures with a recording of the choir singing the Prune Song, but alas, I seem to have no such thing, so we’ll have to be content with the learning tracks instead! Also today we waved goodbye to the skip. Kitchen flooring is arriving tomorrow!
Album: Lines In The Sand. Up early for my favourite morning occupation. My head’s full of ideas at the moment so this is the perfect setting to allow them to evolve into something complete.