Loving My Own Music: January 2019

January 15th
I’m not a big fan of Tuesdays on the whole – always tired from a lack of sleep. The lack of sleep is always due to a buzzing mind from choir on Monday night. This Tuesday’s blues were emphasised by the ongoing paint-on-the-floor issues and the fumes that pervade the house from the various paints themselves and the stuff I sometimes have to use to dissolve them. Also, Jamie wasn’t here. Also the radio was full of the Brexit vote. We can only really get the one station down in the utility room where I was working on the paint – Radio5Live. It’s a fine station and the presenters are entertaining enough, and they speak to people from all sides of the arguments, but people whose minds are already made up do not explain anything particularly well, I find, and some do not even explain their point of view very well, and some merely have one sentence which they repeat endlessly – usually, “We voted to leave – let’s just leave,” or “No-one seems to know what they’re doing,” or “We need a people’s vote – the referendum arguments were all based on lies.” I heard Jeremy Corbyn deliver speeches not particularly convincingly. I heard Theresa May deliver speeches more articulately, but I found lots of holes in what she said and was not convinced. I heard various politicians being interviewed, but again, they were one-sided and unclear, as is their characteristic trait. One of these was my own local MP who I’m afraid I find incredibly irksome. Also this very computer upon which I am writing, and to which I periodically flee to escape the fumes, has been playing up all day. Perhaps it has heard that it is being replaced later this week and is being mardy. No music today, either. Pah! I did get a little bit of nice feedback on this one, though! “Charming and calming, accompanied by some rather beautiful photography.” Thanks Christine!

January 14th
Paint clear-ups aside, I’ve been busy with choir matters, and then we had an exceedingly cheery rehearsal this evening. I did hear, however, from one member that the choir as a whole dislikes “Alison’s K6 Telephone Box” and wishes we didn’t have to sing it. We will be singing it again because it’s been specifically requested for one of our upcoming performances by the person who has asked us to sing, but I’d better dig a bit deeper into that. I had always understood that it was reasonably popular! In other news, more scores have been purchased – quite a bumper crop of sales at the moment!

January 13th
I went to Wakefield today and had a very cheery and busy day of making music about Barbara Hepworth’s circles with lots and lots of families. Before I left, I noticed that the shelf in the utility room upon which all our pots of spare wall and wood paint sits had, fallen to the ground, depositing paint all over the floor and splashing various of our other things in there – a big colourful mess it was…and still is, because I’ve been in Wakefield all day and Jamie has big meetings in London on Monday and had to prepare for them, so only really had time for an intense clear up of the most urgent damage. However, all was merry otherwise, and here is some Hepworth circular music from a previous visit. I was way too busy today to take photos or record anything!

January 12th
We visited the household waste recycling depot in Morpeth today and got rid of the piles of stuff sitting on the utility room floor. We watched some telly, we sang in the morning with some village friends, we sang in the evening with some Lionheart Harmony friends. A quiet day. Someone ordered copies of my arrangement of Westlin’ Winds. Here’s a snippet of that one!

January 11th
Some cheering feedback about my music today: “Still the best squirrel song ever….”, “I think this would become a favourite of any choir that sang it. Nothing like a rousing March and this has a soulful quality to it.” “Love this Cheryl – what a talent!” “Just love this! I know plenty of children (and adults!) who will love singing this!” “Love the appropriate church choral feel to this piece and the glissando sigh at the end seems fitting and is very effective in MHO.” “Cheryl, I love it!” “This is so cool! Fun song!” ” It was a lovely song to start the day with!” Also, some scores sold. All in all an encouraging day! Several of these comments were about this one! Happy birthday!

January 10th
Two lots of cheery singing today. This morning in Wooler depping for Veronica with the Cheviot Singers for their first go after the holidays – so lovely to see these happy ladies again for a bit of ABBA and a couple of spirituals and one or two others we had up our sleeves. Then back home for a cheese-straw-making in readiness for tonight’s Lionheart Harmony – just five of us on account of illness and London, but so good to be back singing again ready for our gig on Saturday. Today’s song of mine that caused me great delight was The Swing. It’s Jamie’s favourite, he says and the first choral piece I ever did compose to celebrate the birth of Roseanna, who I believe would now be in her mid 20s:

January 9th
I had reason to listen to this today. Happy memories of St. Michael’s Primary School in Wakefield working as part of Yew Tree Arts Ltd a few years ago. Nice tune, I and they thought at the time, and I still do!

January 8th
Tuesday tiredness goes with a teensy bit of gardening and a teensy bit of musicking and lots of administrative tasks. One of these latter was to send off to New Zealand, an order of three copies of this book of delightful and energetic songs for young choirs and classes – 20 songs all tried and tested and what’s more each song comes with a backing track if, like me you’re pianistically challenged! It’s called Sea Pie Parcel.

January 7th
Choir started back tonight after several weeks off. What an absolute thrill it was to be back. That’s all.

Leapin’ and hoppin’ on a Sunday mornin’

January 6th
A brilliant start to the day – managed to get this photo with Jamie at sunrise – the coordination between us and the camera (working on a 15 second delay) was astonishing! Jamie doesn’t often come on these early walks, so that in itself was a thrill. Then, quiche to make as we’re mostly using up eggs and cheese at the moment. Also I took the printed scores off to the choir librarian and met Leo the puppy for the first time. In the last week and a half I have met and cheerily interacted with eight dogs in their homes – five at once on one occasion, one of which was a Great Dane. I barely flinched – my Dad would have been proud of me. Dogs on the beach is another matter entirely. Also, a lady stopped me in the street today and said, “You’re Cheryl Camm, aren’t you? I’m a big fan of yours. I heard your Chantry Chapel Carol at a concert. It was my favourite song. I loved it. When I got home, I looked you up on the internet and have listened to lots of your songs over the holiday. I love everything of yours I’ve listened to.” “Thank you,” I replied. 🙂

January 5th
It was the 12th Night Tudor Revels in the village tonight, which is what all the practising has been about this week. It was lots of fun and a merry time was had. I’ve spent a lot of the day printing music for The Bridge Singers, which starts up again on Monday – wedding music, “music Bob liked” for his memorial concert in May, Ascension day music for our guest appearance at Brinkburn Priory and Autumn Music for our Autumn Tour to Cumbria. This one might get a go, I think.

January 4th
Working through lists, contacting vicars, adding to a wedding spreadsheet, finding hymns, arranging music – lots of music, printing music, chatting cheerily with choir and village friends, singing in the village hall, recordering in the village hall, fluting in the village hall, being a choir director, being a village musician. This song was my favourite of the day, performed here by the wonderful Stairwell Carollers.

January 3rd
Making lists, contacting brides, adding to a wedding spreadsheet, finding hymns, arranging music, chatting cheerily with choir and village friends, singing in the village hall, recordering in the village hall, fluting in the village hall, being a choir director, being a village musician. This song was my favourite of the day.

January 2nd
Making lists, contacting brides, making a wedding spreadsheet, finding hymns, arranging music, singing in the village hall, recordering in the village hall, being a choir director, being a village musician. This song cropped up twice.


New Year’s Day last year. Same place, same time this year. The sun came up the same, but today was slightly warmer, slightly windier and slightly splashier in the wave department. This song is still great though. Boy, I’ve written some good uns, and I am resolved (as it the time of year for such things) to tell you this more often as they really should be sung by more and more people!!! https://youtu.be/dEkPyk1sszQ

January 1st
As we marched along Ross Sands, a thin sliver of a moon and Venus at our backs, seeing how far we might get before the sun arose, the waves were behaving in an exceedingly thrilling manner. The tide was coming in and we stood and watched it envelope the sandbanks. As each new stretch of sand was overwhelmed, there were bubbles and in one case a geyser, as the air fled the scene.
As the sun peeped through the waves out at Bamburgh Castle, we messed about and I discovered that I can change the timer settings on my newish camera to a 15 second delay and six or more shots in a row. I’m very happy indeed with my newish camera, which also communicates with my phone, rather helpfully.
As we played the “how many people do you think we’ll meet before we get back to the car” game we soared past Jamie’s guess of 4 to precisely my guess of 13, all of which were in the last half hour of our three hour walk, and three of whom were our choir friend Sue and her family. All 13 of these walkers wished us a Happy New Year, one’s canine companion gave us an inquisitive yap, and one wore pink trousers with a yellow coat.
We saw many a bird on the walk, but the highlight of my birdy day was a very close encounter with a volery of long-tailed tits back at our garden as I was pruning the rambling roses. One of them was for quite a time within an arm’s-length, but I was being very still at the time so as not to alarm them so was unable therefore to grab it…but I could have! They stayed for three or so minutes and then departed.


Anyone know a marimba player? Here’s an energetic concerto for marimba and strings inspired by a Vivaldi bassoon concerto and some African marimba playing I heard when I lived in New Zealand. It’s had a few performances that I know of – in Australia, New Zealand and Norway! More would be good! https://youtu.be/_6Hyjf5FUfw


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.