Sunday, 30 March 2008

A meme thingy

From Maggie Clitherow

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.It seems straightforward.

What I was doing 10 years ago

On holiday having done the first term at my then new school as a Head of Music. No fun at all as it goes.

Marking coursework and frightening myself re-recording coursework from a four track tape recorder to a normal one reading out announcements that went' 'MEG GCSE Music 1998 St Blog's RC School Centre No xyz Joe Blogs Candidate number abc Performing, Solo Performance blah by blah blah candidate is playing the ocarina.....' It used to take a week of the holiday plus a whole pile more time plus ruin the Bank Holiday weekend. It's now morphed through minidisc to hard disc recording then onto CD. I now have colleagues to do it with and we listen and mark together. We still experience the adrenalin rush of believing we have lost a recording and then realising that it's there after all. Occasionally, it's amusing, but that would be to share some of the secrets of music teaching. Lots of following the music and deciding how wrong it is as well as enjoying some performances very much.

Tapes were just awful. Then there were the forms to fill in ...The request from the Moderator, waiting to see if my marks were OK ....dreadful.

Living with my parents, saving up a deposit to buy a house.
No complaints about the company and meals then.

Five things on my To Do List today:

Make some phone calls
Go to work and do stuff ( in the hols grim, eh)
Practise the horn
Get some washing done
Make some soup and freeze it.

Snacks I enjoy:
Bara brith, obviously
Chocoloate Swiss and with praline in.
Cakes fruit, Vic Sponge
Fruit apples, bananas, clementines etc
Crisps most sorts
Nuts all

I could go on, I'm not fussy really.

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

I always think that the lottery is a bit scary, because you might win. The fear of change. Everyone always laughs when I say that. It would be scary. All your relationships would be changed. I'd hate it.

Grandma always gave half of any winnings to charity and saw charities as a safe place to get rid of money that you didn't ought to have for any reason and that included if you thought it might corrupt you.

So I'd have to give it away quickly before I changed my mind or started to have people boss me around. Aid to the Church in Need type charities and pronto.

White stone name seeker has a much better answer, a Catholic Renaissance.

Five jobs that I have done
Bank Clerk
X-Ray Department Receptionist
Choir Conductor
Horn Player

Three of my bad habits:
Getting tired and grumpy.
Worrying about stupid things.
Being too solitary.

Five places I have lived:
Tunbridge Wells (Disgusting!)

Five people I want to know more about (a nice way of saying TAG!):

Just doing my best
Catholic Mum of 10
Antagonistic Pots and Pans, but only if she if feeling a bit better.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Land of my Father

Off to Wales, home of rugby success, mountains and people who look like my Dad.

And bara brith. Yum. I shall stop for some enroute in Llangollen or Betws y coed.

Sunday, 16 March 2008


Aid to the Church in Need have video footage of a Chinese Bishop, imprisoned until his death and buried without any reference to the Church.

They sell notelets with watercolour images that he painted. I once gave my Grandmother (RIP) some for Christmas.

Very strange to find that a present you gave someone a few years ago has anything to do with someone seen waving a crucifix from a barred window. We're obviously all linked a little closer than I realised.

From Fr Ray's blog.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Isn't it great? I'd been wanting one for 20 years when I bought it.

Monday, 10 March 2008


Drips were falling from the back bedroom roof this morning.

Placed a receptical under it and legged it to the station. Welsh mac on against the rain.
Spent the day looking at the sky wondering if all the drips were adding up.

You know the question. A drip drips 0.5mil every 10 seconds, How much in 11 hours? Or increases at a constant rate or stops for a bit, even some other more interesting relationship involving a differential equation.

I once did a question at University, (for I read Maths for a year before seeing the light in a Many Variable (Too many in my opinion) Calculus Lecture - something to do with the fact that the Profs, ds, deltas and curly ds all looked the same and when he suddenly said, 'a dot b = 0 QED,' (no vector squiggles here,) and 120 people laughed nervously.) The question are yes, involved a snow plow (exciting no?) ploughing away, square metres, cubic metres blah blah. The punch line? 'What time did it start snowing?' Couldn't do it now, of course, but it wasn't so hard then, y'know let t=the time it started snowing.....

The drip has stopped. Limbo danced out of the back bedroom window onto the bathroom roof, but I can't actually see the roof and so cannot tell if a tile is wonky. Sigh.

Bunked the work do to check. Could do with the rest and some practice time, so definitely a good thing.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

The Other Boleyn Girl

I went to see this on Fri.

Folks more learned than I can scrutinise it for accuracy.

In terms of goodies and baddies however, Catherine of Aragon is portrayed very favourably. H VIII is seen throwing away his marriage and the Church for Anne Boleyn.

My Mum believes that there is disquiet at this period of history. It's as if people know it's when everything took a turn for the worse. They know it's when the rot set in.

Dreadful sneering article on the Sunday Programme this morning about Confession. I'm sure that David Willey is a lovely guy, but he obviously hates Catholicism. Maybe we could have a whip round for him and get him to retire.

Thank God for EWTN. Now I can watch Urbi et Orbi and listen to it instead of having to turn the sound off on the BBC. You know the scene. Beautiful Rome, sunshine, thousands of smiling people, lovely flowers from the Dutch, the Pope....(that's in a random order of importance, clearly,) doom laden BBC Commentary going on about war, terrorism, famine, disease, global warming. So banal.

An atonal noise maker

Thus was the music of Hindemith described in 1934, by the regime in Germany. I bet that's a great compound noun too. Mathis der Maler passed off without incident and so too did the Kurt Weill Violin Concerto. All power to the soloist. The orchestra is just double wind, two horns, one trumpet, double basses and loads of percussion. Thirty minutes of serious counting. Only one moment of conductor trouble where he was beating beats not bars and having heard how badly the score was laid out, who could blame him. He is also a percussionist and this is what you needs when successive bars are in 3/8, 9/16, 5/8, 3/4 etc. You could really feel everyone collectively counting. Phew. If you had got out, that would have been it.

Next gig with this lot? Dvorak Cello Concerto (YIPPEE!!!) and Tchaik 4 (groovy too.) so a lot less to worry about.

Just the Faure Requiem to get through on Tues. (Yes it will be fine, just that bit in the Sanctus and that other bit in the Dies Irae. The whole horn 1 part is only 4 sides compared to 15 in the Weill.)

Saturday, 8 March 2008


My house backs onto a light industrial estate, which ordinarily causes no bother, but for the last two months there has been the sound of a generator going 24/7. I sleep in the front bedroom, so don't hear it apart from when I walk down the road at night or engage in some early morning ironing.

After two months, I've decided, 'enough.' Lots of phone calls and conversations later, the only person who can do anything is the Council on Monday. The main thing for me is that it gets switched off before 19th as that is when my friends come to stay.

However, for the security guard who has to listen to it all night sooner may be a lot better.

Would you rent a unit that had no mains electric? Is it allowed? I've had my electric and water cut by these people when they were building the place. No warning, explanation or apology.

Yes things could be worse, but they could also be a weeny bit better. Looking forward to chatting to Environmental Health on Mon. Just two concerts and Parents' Evening, a Dinner and two days of ABRSM Exams and a bit of teaching and cousrwork deadlines, plus some grades to do, so plenty time for phone calls.

Off to take it out on Mathis der Maler. Quite tuneful for Hindemith. Almost Mahlerian in places with a hint of Star Trek - all those 4ths, sorry quartal harmony.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

From one of my brothers.
What about w, ch, dd and all the other great letters?

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

The Catholic bara brith club

Now has two members.

Maggie Clitherow likes it too!

Contrary to the name of her blog, she has some lovely pics and all sorts. Great garden.
Lots of interesting and informative things to read.

When I get my act together, I'll put up a recipe and we can all make some for Easter.
Home cooking, how to make folks happy.

I have some friends coming to stay with their two children (6 and 3) so I get to make shepherd's pie and roast dinner and procure a few Easter eggs.

Bedtime for tired teachers. Busy cracking the coursework whip. No more, 'It might be better if...,' more 'What key is this in?' 'This melody is going nowhere..' Oh so sensitive.

Shamelessly lifted from Fr Z...