For Today 28th January 2018
Looking out my window… one could almost imagine Spring is round the corner. Having said that, the weather forecast is said to go down to -9oC again this week. Brrr….
I am thinking… that the throat infection and flu I had over Christmas didn’t fully go away. I have had a pretty rough night last night and day today with swollen glands, fever, sore throat, aches and pains – oh my word the pains! I have just about had my morning shower (and it’s nearly bedtime now).
I am thankful… for the simple medication of paracetamol and the wonders it does.
One of my favourite things… is seeing the Spring flowers poking their heads up.
I am creating… a film script exploring different angles of “loss”.
I am wearing… my favourite rainbow crocheted blanket round my legs. For comfort more than warmth.
I am reading … “A Game of Thrones” by George R R Martin. Yes, I know. I am one of the 0.1% of the population who has either never seen the show nor read the book!
I am praying… for healing in a world of brokenness.
I am learning… that “showing” and “telling” work differently in real life than they do when writing drama and prose.
In my kitchen… Kevin made our dinner tonight, a lovely chicken “stewp”. It was halfway between a soup and a stew and absolutely delicious.
Post Script… It is four weeks now until the annual brass band “Area” contests take place, and we are well into rehearsals preparing for our performance at Pemberton Band. The “Areas” are qualifying competitions that are held each year in different areas of the country, and the winners of each section go through to a national final held later in the year. The Pemberton Band organisation is in the North West of England, so we compete in the North West Area contest, held in Blackpool. Ours is the first one this year, and the Yorkshire Area is held the week afterwards, with others around the country over the following weeks.
The bands who compete are graded according to their ability, with the best bands competing in the Championship Section, down to the Fourth Section (a bit like the Premier League down to the Second Division in football). Each section has a designated piece of music to perform on the day – the same pieces across the country – which are more and more difficult the higher up the sections they are played in. So, the Fourth Section piece is usually quite straightforward and tests bands on their attention to the “basics” of individual and ensemble playing rather than technical skill and as the sections go higher, the pieces get more technically difficult. We are lucky at Pemberton that we have two competing bands – the “A” band (mine, which competes in the Championship section) and the “B” band in the section below, as well as a youth band and a training band.
The pieces are chosen by a panel during the summer and are announced at the finals in September so that all competing bands have the same amount of time to prepare them. There is always contention about the selected pieces being either “too difficult”, “too easy”, “not a test of skill”, “no music” in them and so on, and some pieces suit some bands more than others depending on the strengths or weaknesses as individual players and as an ensemble. The piece we are rehearsing at Pemberton is called “Odyssey” and it is technically quite a challenge to me as a player even with all the years of my experience. I’ll let you know how we get on.
A moment from my day…
Meet Terry, the terrapin. He’s our adopted pet. I wasn’t too keen on him to begin with, especially when we were told that he would outlive us, but when you look at the exquisite detail on his skin and on his shell, how can you not love him? I could tell you about his little “moods” – which is something to behold, him being a reptile and all. But I can read him like a book and I know when he’s hungry, when he’s playful and when he’s bored. He lives in water but we get him out of the tank every now and again to dry him off completely and to allow him room to roam round the house. He is great in the garden when it’s sunny and quite often brings himself back in and heads for his tank on his own. He loves prawns. And carrots (don’t ask how we found that out…)
Closing thoughts… I am so fed up of feeling ill now – I wish this flu bug would just GO AWAY!!!