And I find this combination rather touching... (sorry I couldn't find versions without ads.)
Yesterday I mentioned the words from a Lloyd-Webber song and trying to find it on YouTube, I ended up spending an hour or so listenigng to Elaine Paige - what a combination those two were! If you have time for the first four minutes of this it will take your mind off the news...
And I find this combination rather touching... (sorry I couldn't find versions without ads.)
Michael Barclay's guest Sigrid Rausing brought a smile to my face and put the current political situation in a different perspective in her introduction to Ella Fitzgerald singing Anything Goes. (This week's edition of my favourite programme Private Passions, around 12 mins 47 in on BBC Radio 3 - though I found the whole one hour programme well worth listening to. Fascinating woman.)
Still very much cosy-by-the-woodburner-listening-to-the-wind here.
And there seems to be a grey and yellow theme appearing through the house...
I am happy to adopt Jordan Peterson's Rule One Stand Up Straight With Your Shoulders Back (See yesterday's post)
I do indeed feel stronger and happier when I do (I pretend I am the lovely Darcey Bussell), and also find people respond more positively towards me when I do. More serotonin apparently! And a great deal to do with hierarchies in all species including humans, status and society, territory, conflict and dominance and the brutal principle of unequal distribution...there is a lot in Chapter One.
(Rule Two is Treat Yourself Like Someone You Are Responsible For Helping - will read this chapter in February.)
I heard Scottish Opera emerging artists in a concert at the Unversity of Glasgow today - wonderful, and I also loved the transformation of what I usually find to be a gloomy part of the building...
What do you hear when you first waken?
I am lucky to hear silence and a little birdsong, the early bus trundles by and the odd car.
That is a choice too - it wasn't always so!
What choice do you make? Do you switch on to the world's bad news? It's more than a bit crazy when I think about it. There is a tendency to forget that things are news because they are not the norm and we can get a wildly skewed view of the world....
I had a eureka moment once when I lived in a house on three floors. I was rushing downstairs to get out of the door in time for work when I realised the words Vodaphone Roadwatch were repeating themselves over and over in my head. What am I doing to my precious mind I asked myself! (I stopped listening to Classic FM forever when the presenter, after playing a divine piece of Mozart asked listeners to contact him and tell him their favourite pizza topping! True.)
You may waken to the thunder of traffic, a jackhammer or noisy neighbours, or children demanding breakfast or an extremely shrill alarm clock. Perhaps you sleep with earplugs?
You might like to give some thought to those few moments when you first open your ears. With modern technology we have almost infinite choices - some ambient sound, your own playlist, a different radio station. (I like BBC Radio 3 after the on-the-hour news summary) Something of your own choosing before you set off into your day.
Listen to the sweet sound of your very own breath. Celebrate the fact that you are alive - you are being breathed!
Its the choices we make.
Everything is better with sunshine and Mozart!
The odd shape on the grass is the evening sunshine reflected from the study window!
I have no choice about the sunshine - so beautiful today - but (and how astonished Mozart would have been) I can have Mozart whenever I like. I have plenty to choose from.
I think I will have a Mozart day tomorrow.
No news. None.
Do you have a special theatre memory, or dream as yet unfulfilled?
When I was in Venice as an Erasmus student I couldn't afford a ticket for the opera (it cost my whole week's food money) and not very long after La Fenice burned to the ground and I thought that was the end of that particular dream.
So I was especially thrilled when my daughter and son-in-law bought me a ticket, and I bought Heather a ticket to the now beautifully and faithfully restored Opera House to see Madame Butterfly.
We showed our tickets and the elderly, very courteous usher said, in Italian, 'Follow me' and when he got to our box took out a tiny key and with a little flourish unlocked the door!
Rarely was my disbelief so willingly suspended.
It was magical.
.. bitter cold wind and more snow on the tops, but good friends staying, delicious food and some very nice wine, a fire, candles, a friendly little dog, and the music of Tord Gustavsson made me very happy.
Happy enough to help me get over the discovery that the early morning deer ate almost a hundred white tulips to the ground.
What do you do with papers going back years?
I can handle the bank statements, bills etc (I mostly follow Marie Kondo's advice to get rid of them) but cannot decide about more personal papers - morning pages, diary pages, letters and cards, random notes and thoughts - I seem to have a lot of this kind of thing. Notes I made for my dissertation for example. I look at them and remember how much I enjoyed the many quiet hours of research in the libraries, the academic life. I listed the books I hoped to go back to for another read...
But what should I do with them?
I've just discovered The Sweetness Of Things Half Remembered.
..isn't just about clearing clutter!
I've always been interested in minimalist art and architecture and have just come across two good programmes about minimalism in music. Tones, Drones and Arpeggios: The Magic of Minimalism (on BBC iPlayer).
Featuring the very masculine and rather nerdy world - can I say that I wonder? It used to be an insult but my sense is that it no longer is! - of the likes of La Monte Young and Terry Riley in California in the 60's and then Steve Reich and Philip Glass. One of the very few women involved was described as a disciple (!).
Sally Beamish had said that Keith Jarret and Brian Eno influenced her and as is the way, looking them up, one thing led to another and I spent two days listening and watching and learning.
Learning new things makes me feel alive.
..to take me out of myself.
I loved yesterday's concert programme. Schumann, Huw Watkins (the pianist for the whole concert), Sally Beamish who was present for the premier, and Debussy.
That morning I had heard on Radio 3 a composer new to me - Emily Hall, sing a song called I Am Alone and couldn't wait to find out more....listen here. So today was spent listening and learning.
I had coffee after the concert in also new-to-me Cafe Francoise on Byers Road - thank you Ann!
Is music important to you?
What part does it play in your life?
..if you can to this beautiful tribute to cellist Jacqueline du Pre (no hype/glamourous makeover/scandal/gossip/trash).
A perfect programme
I like this one too, from Sarah Ban Breathnach.. (I've just signed up to join her Swell Dames Club, because it makes me laugh.)
The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all the world needs dreamers who do.
Have you time for a seven minute meditation with the marvellous title Dream Coloured Mobile II ?
Joey Alexander is eleven years old in this lovely recording....enjoy.
I willingly suspended disbelief at a really memorable theatre experience last night in Glasgow's Theatre Royal -a wonderful production - Debussy's music, the orchestra, the voices, the sets (by the designer of War Horse), the lighting, the venue - all in perfect harmony and balance, and so very moving.
It has had many great reviews, eg here, and here, and can be heard on Radio 3 on March 25 but live in this production can't be beaten I am sure.
The Bach Christmas Oratorio in the Berliner Dom was thrilling.
A dusting of snow on the hills at home today...and here is a poem for the solstice.
I enjoyed the sell-out reading by author, poet and Makar (Scottish poet laureate) Jackie Kay in the lovely venue of the restored Victorian Pier in Dunoon today. Wonderfully moving and very, very funny
Next the Film Festival. There is a lot going on in this wee town these days!
(If you can get BBC Iplayer here is a link to Jackie Kay on Desert Island Discs recently.)
Apart from BBC Radio 3 (sanity in a mad world!) I've been listening to Hans Rosling on How Not To Be Ignorant In The World, Seth Godin on the subject of Cable news and Elizabeth Gilbert's Thoughts On Writing.
Have you any recommendations of people/websites/blogs/magazines/books/programmes with something interesting to say?
And that you trust?
A short stay with dear friends, some good sleep and some glorious weather have combined to refresh me somewhat, and I am taken up with a delightful bird watching experience.
A skylark has nested just by our path to the shore. In sixteen years here we have not heard or seen skylarks. Sitting on the shore last week I thought I heard one faintly, but said to myself No, it can't be, we don't get them here. But then I spotted one and patiently observed it and found the nest with two speckled eggs. They should hatch any day now.
I am being very quiet around it (and will probably be very quiet on the blog for a bit too).
Perhaps you will enjoy the sound of the skylark on this page , and the sound of Nicola Benedetti playing The Lark Ascending.
Are there any birds nesting near you?
A packed Glasgow Cathedral was the setting for a concert by London Concertante - a birthday gift from my daughter. Mellow acoustics, virtuosic playing, and a classical programme with the odd surprise like this new-to-me piece.
Thank you Laura!
Are you in need of a pep-talk?
This may be it. Living Well Is More Than Organic Fruit from Everyday Hygge.
It worked for me.
I got up and did something immediately.
Every day for 30 days I will do this exercise routine.
Today is the first of June and I'm taking up Leo Babauta's challenge (see here)
And reminding myself that this means doing it every day even when I really don't want to!
I shall observe carefully (journaling as Babauta suggests) and see if I feel different after 30 days, and although she knows what an exercise wimp I am I know that Angela will be cheering me on.
If you were to take up his 30 day challenge to learn something new what would it be?
I'm afloat on pink and a cloud of Puccini. I listened to Opera on 3 tonight O Mio Babbino Caro - pretty wonderful. I listened to all the you tube versions and chose Angela Gheorghiu - pretty wonderful too (it will be in your head all day tomorrow!)
I was very surprised to find a very plump very bright yellow canary in the garden a couple of days ago. We made some enquiries and put a notice on the village noticeboard - apparently the three year old grandson of someone who lives up the glen let them out (there are two) by mistake about two weeks ago. They appear to be enjoying their freedom and hanging out with the chaffinches and singing their lovely song, but various plans are afoot to recapture them....there are a lot of birds of prey around here.
While I take a brief blog break, I leave you with the Canary Training Song Part Two Who knew!!
NB the link above to Canary Training Song Part Two is now working - so sorry! Be warned it is 20 minutes and 11 seconds long.....fine, if you're a canary. Sorry, I'm (t)wittering. Will shut up now!
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)