September 2019: Twelve Of The Best

September 13th

A day of mostly gardening and tasks related to that. I dug up one bucket of potatoes washed and sorted them for the winter – this is less than a quarter of what’s in the ground. I gathered a bucketful of runner beans, washed sliced and blanched them for freezing. I made Mum’s damsons into jam. Yesterday there were white cauliflowers to harvest, and there will be more, I can see. White and fluffy like in the song – not one of my songs, but one that I’ve had to play a lot in Autumn assemblies! I also did some marketing and we had Fingers Adrift here tonight, so a good combination of activities all in all!

September 12th

I’ve been working on a new Twelve Of the Best video and blog and I’ve finally finished it. It’s all about rounds and partner songs and songs which have rounds as part of them. It turns out I’ve written quite a few and they’re all pretty popular too. Here it all is:

And the blog with more information and links is here. Twelve Of The Best: Songs With Rounds.

September 11th

I’m working on my new blog which should be finished tomorrow, but today I’ve been keeping an eye on the bridge outside. They’ve been taking away the railings on the new bridge for repair and so lots of workmen have been here yesterday and today. The choir likes me to keep them informed from my excellent vantage point, so I’ve been writing one of my step-by-step updates of what I see through the window.

September 10th

It was the end-of-summer MadriGALS tour round Northumberland today: Acklington, Whittingham and Longframlington. Lots of fun, greatly improved singing at each performance, lots of chat. I had some bat chat with Hazel over lunch. She knows lots about bats and is incredibly enthusiastic about them. I love people who are enthusiastic about something. She had just been to a bat conference in Nottingham and had attended a workshop by researchers who have recorded the calls bats make, and manipulated the recordings so that these calls can now be heard by humans. It sounds fascinating, and the calls are rather beautiful it seems. I forgot to mention my bat song “Creatures Of the Night”, but another time, perhaps!

A little bit of “Flow Not So Fast” by John Dowland

Rebekah, Tessa and I sang a couple of trios. Here’s a bit of one of them as recorded by Shuna. Rebekah’s the one with the loveliest voice, Tessa’s the one who’s the most accurate, I’m the one who jigs about the most. Not a bad effort considering that we’d not sung them together until today. We went to The Running Fox in Longframlington for (in my case) chocolate cake and fizzy orange (San Pelegrino Blood Orange) before an early night to catch up on the sleeping.

September 9th

A day of prep for choir: breakfast meetings; alto practice; printing; article-writing; rhythmic-warm-up designing; actual rehearsal; wind-down. It takes a lot of winding down, I might add…pub for rum and coke and chatting for an hour or so, then much turning over of thoughts, then eventual dropping off to sleep, then early wake-up on Tuesday. It’s always the same. Trouble is…tomorrow’s a busy one as well!

September 8th

Ascending Form in Wakefield – no spiders!

I went to The Hepworth Wakefield for Musical Sculptures. We tackled three Winged Figures with quite a few families in attendance despite the gallery being fairly quiet. I had a look around the newly planted garden and look what I found! Hepworth’s Ascending Form. Maybe I should hunt them all out! After driving home, I went to MadriGALS for the last rehearsal before Tuesday’s tour – 1st soprano today, but 2nd on Tuesday. There’s no credit in this really. I should be able to sight-read any part after all what with all my aural and score-reading training.

September 7th

Spidery filigree on Barbara

The Bridge Singers sang for Sarah and Ben’s wedding at Brinkburn today: Amazing Grace, Schubert’s Ave Maria and a bit of Sanctus from Missa Luba while they signed the registers. An excellent job. Then I drove to Worksop and spent the evening watching cricket with Mum. Earlier Jamie and I had been to Alnwick Gardens to use our new Friends of the Garden cards. This is going to be a very excellent birthday gift, I can see. The roses were splendid, and I was happy to see Hepworth’s Ascending Form again.

September 6th

Today I was starting a new Twelve of The Best video and also we had lots of cake and other birthday treats left. Heads down sort of day.

September 5th

Jamie’s birthday, and Lionheart Harmony at our house, so lots of housework, gardening and cake making and duck with cherry sauce and home grown vegetables for lunch as is our birthday tradition. Here’s a song I wrote for Jamie on a previous birthday in 2001 – the zebra birthday, and here too is a picture of him on that very day in a frame I received when I left my wonderful teaching job in Australia – they both sit on my desk here!

September 4th

Shopping for tomorrow and finishing off the blog. I added the Christmas Arrangements one to the Christmas one so that everything’s in the one place. Twelve Of The Best: Christmas.

September 3rd

Another day, another video. This time, Christmas arrangements. I learned how to make the pathways smoother today…look at those oh so smooth titles heading to their positions! Also, one of the weed sunflowers snapped off at its root in the wind today. I cut it to about 15 inches and brought it in. It’s recovering in a vase and may yet open.

September 2nd

Someone at choir tonight said that this is the best thing of mine that he knows, another said that the words were moving her to tears and she was struggling to sing it, but it was gorgeous, several others were of a mind to come up to me and say how they love it…and Jamie likes it too. Oh my! Must be worth another listen!

September 1st

I made another “Twelve Of The Best” video catalogue today – Christmas songs. Here’s the video and there’s more information links on the blog. Twelve Of The Best: Christmas.

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