Thursday, 28 August 2008

To work

Well, with the weather being so uncooperative, I thought I may as well ease myself back in before Monday. It's still there. Sorted my post, chatted to my HoD about exam results, number crunched a bit and then came home.

What I really wanted was the music I've ordered, but it hasn't arrived yet. First rehearsals not til the week after next so time to find something easier if need be.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Summer Fruits

This morning, noticing that rian was not yet imminent, but that the return to work is becoming so, I whizzed out into the garden for some cutting back od huge shrubs, and digging up of evil weed roots.

Then I noticed that one of the plums overhanging from nexts door's tree was looking mighty ripe and gave it a gentle twist and voila, a plum. Yum!

Later on the way back from the shops, I picked 1/2lb of blackberries and am hoping that the small amount of jam will infact set. I read on the internet that adding a few unripe ones increases the puny amount of pectin, so I popped out and picked a few that were again overhanging from next door. I couldn't bothered to go out again and buy a lemon.

I just wish Ruby's apple trees were on the other side of the garden. I'll have to have a chat. Maybe if I offer to make her some apple crumbles, we can do a deal....

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Fr E from Ghana

Spent the day with my parents and Fr E, who is staying in their parish for the Summer. After Mass, we went to Greenwich and took lots of photos of Fr E on the Meridian line and Leutgeb learned that Accra, capital city of Ghana, is also on it! Well 00' 04'', but as good as. We were delighted to find it in brass on the ground and took photos of that too.

Fr E is a Holy Ghost Father and having spent a number of years working in the North East corner of Nigeria, is the now the bursar of a Seminary - lots of seminarians.

Now, my idea of a bursar is a man in an office who pays bills and makes sure the books balance. I'm sure that Fr E does all of that, but he also makes sure that the seminary has enough food for the students and this involves much tilling of the land and looking after chickens and pigs. He said they only have five pigs at the moment and they have to wait til they have bred before any can be slaughtered. Each student also cultivates a strip of land and this serves as part of their training as they will have to grow their own food once they are ordained. Oh yes and they have 5 acres of palm oil, which once refined is used for cooking, fuel and to sell.

That and a whistle stop tour of the countries of west Africa courtesy of a globe in the Royal Observatory and we are a bit better informed than when the day started.

Monday, 18 August 2008

A Mac Meme

"If you should pass from our presence, what picture of you shall we use for your saint's card, should you be so elevated, and of what do you want to be patroness?"
Saint's card, me, are you joking?!!!
The only picture I have on my computer is above. The coffee cup might have to be cropped out, but you could leave Fr Ray and the stray packet of Marboro's in.
Patron Saint of insomniac Music teachers who worry needlessly - bit specific, you could ask for my intercession and I could direct my prayers for people who are awake for genuinely worrying reasons, illness, pain, dangers, in prison, that sort of thing. I'd work time zones across the world 2am -5am when everyone goes back to sleep and then wakes up really tired. Working on what my primary Headmaster said about praying for the Holy Souls that everyone has forgotten, now when I wake up worrying about whatever, I pray for other people who are awake in the night for the reasons above.
The thing is that when you read the live's of the Saints they do tend to have battled adversity and led a very devout life despite attacks and setbacks, often enduring very poor health and then in the case of martyrs made a final stand when everyone else thought they were nuts, so I do not fit the bill.
Anyone else who can add to the levity of the meme, off you go.
Leutgeb, Patron Saint of Split Notes - could be handy if you were doing Bruckner 4 or Schubert 9.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008


Apart from being a daily Mass goer, Dvorak is also sometimes credited with being the first great American composer.

Dvorak 8 definitely has some American moments in the Scherzo - riding across the prairie stuff and who could forget the rock 'n' roll bass line at the end of Dvorak 9?

R3 are presently broadcasting Dvorak 6 from the Proms, which has a stunning piece of syncopation in the first movement, almost as surprising as that bit in the Brahms German Requiem, y'know, that bit, which given Brahms propensity to take off in a JS Bachesque way is pretty amazing.

Anyway, Dvorak is one of my favourite composers on account of his ability to write great melodies and to orchestrate brilliantly.

Update, blimey an alarming accelerando at the end of the third movement, like serious possibility of a car crash. Not sure I liked that. Where's Mariss Jansons when you need him?


Had a prob over the weekend along with lots of other people whereby it was impossible to get onto lots of blogs, even me on my own. Fearing a Stasi style crackdown in the blogland on anyone linking to various uber-blogs, I checked through all the blogs I normally read and tried to look for a pattern.

A reader to Fr Z's blog handily displayed how to get round sitemeter and the problem was sorted. I did consider deleting my blog, lest it fall into the wrong hands. Too much watching of 'The Lord of the Rings' at the end of term, methinks. Where's Gandalf when you need him?

Never Knowingly Undersold

My favourite shop in the whole world for sensible household purchases is John Lewis. Finding myself a lady with a linen cupboard and on holiday I get to organise things in a sensible and grown up way. Thus I have bought a new duvet (special purchase, duck down etc as advised in years gone by by Grandma,) to go on new spare bed. This all got a bit pressing as an Auntie is hopefully coming to stay the night later on in the week. If not then I'll just have to kidnap someone.

But back to John Lewis. I love the fact that everyone is an expert in their chosen field, be it how many feathers in each square of duvets or handbags or china, or lights or curtains. And I love the fact that the people working there are partners and get a share in the company's profits.

Not to be confused with Tudor Williams in New Malden - Never knowingly undersold in Surrey. How quaint. Why would you want to leave the confines of that county and go to Kent or Sussex, for example?