Sunday, July 08, 2007

This blog entry may or may not get a title. First off, the one I wanted to use, I have used before - I think I may have been guilty of that a time or two. It's my age, you know. Secondly, at the moment, Blogger isn't letting me actually put anything in the title box - perhaps it knew? That would be clever......

Let's try again.........nope. Ay di mi, or however you spell it. That, my dears is just life a the moment.

It is probably not much of a secret that aforementioned life is a bit frazzled around the edges at the moment. But yesterday, I had some time out. A world away, kind of. Not so far as the crow flies, but in other respects - well.

Our Town has an excellent Arts Festival (goes so well with the organic veg shops and cafe, the galleries and the oh-so-funky shoe shop, making a note to self to visit all of those in the next few days) We usually manage to get to a few events, and over the years have had some really good times with stand-ups various, lecturers of a leftish persuasion, or even a combination of the two as personified by Jeremy Hardy. Definitely one of the outstanding evenings! Another great favourite is a story-teller, Hugh Lupton, but more of that later in the week.

But yesterday, for the first time, we went to a musical recital that is an annual highlight for many. It is given by a professional pianist who is also a scion of the local land-owning family, and so takes place in what I imagine is called "the music room" in one of their homes near us. Very near us, as I said. But where we are in a valley, this place is up on the tops. As in:


I didn't actually take this photo, my camera did go with me, but it was so blustery that I never got around to getting it out. But it was taken near the place I am talking about and shows what the landscape is like beautifully.

I hadn't quite known what to expect. But in the event, apart from covering myself with ignominy by having an explosive coughing fit and having to make an exit smartish, I loved every minute of it. In fact, the exit worked to my advantage, we had been saved seats by a friend in the first row practically on top of the piano, which I was not comfortable with. Retreating to the hallway, to a more comfortable chair and without any reverberation from the instrument was much better, plus I got to chat briefly with the soloist in her retreats between pieces!

It was just so wonderful to sit and do nothing but listen to music for a while. Especially music that was being created as I listened, much as I love my cd collection, there is nothing, but nothing that beats live performance. It was a very interesting selection of pieces, Scarlatti, Clementi, Chopin and Liszt, but also Janacek - an excellent, evocative work - and a modern piece by someone I had never heard of, but who was sitting in the audience. Antonin Tucapsky. I enjoyed it a lot, would need to hear it again to write more than that!

The other "out of body experience" only dawned on me slowly. Both my parents worked at various times for what used to be called "gentleman farmers". So in my youth, I sometimes got taken to visit, or otherwise spend the day at, country houses just like the one we were in yesterday. The slightly shabby chic - furniture and curtains etc that were of good quality to begin with and don't wear out in a hurry, just fade gracefully. A particular and eternal style of fabric, wallpaper, carpeting. Family portraits, collections of china, silver, photographs, gathered over the years. Our tea served in what was probably not the best china, but Minton none the less. With tea from a good old brown pot.

So whilst it was not my actual childhood, it was some small echo from a part of it, and I found that very comforting.

And having said all of that. The small thing that gives me the most pleasurable frisson is that in my reality now, this minute, I live in one of the cottages that were once a part of of this estate. I don't know which estate worker lived here before me - water bailiff? Gamekeeper? (That would be a good giggle, given that on my mother's side, I come from a long line of poachers.) Must find out one day.

In case anyone should think that no fibre at all has slipped between my fingers, I have been turning the cabled silk - which is very nice indeed - into a tiny neck purse. Well, what else would it be seeing as it is moi? Just finishing a sample square to paint and embellish. Pics when done if halfway passable.

Oh, and by the by, it is raining...........

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