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A stonker this year.  Great atmosphere.  Lots of friends, although some missing.  Some very nice new friends also.

Choir: Monteverdi Vesper’s, very nice. Definitely something that should be sung at some point in your life, if possible.  The hardest part was having to pick jaw up off floor after Sophie and Daisy’s duet and get up and sing the next bit.  I also greatly admired the very clean demisemiquavers in the violin parts.  I liked it all, actually. 

Choir: Westminster Mass.  Not my favourite, but some parts very nice, and Phillip (sp?) made it better than I had expected; also the tubular bells very good.

Daily Masses: I’ve not sung since last year, and my sight-reading is crap. For some reason, my bottom notes are going, I must stretch myself somehow.  Luckily there were lots of good singers that we could listen to, and I had sung the Messiaen (sp?) piece before.   I liked it better this time, because I wasn’t so panicky about it.   We were surprised that the bread-toaster organ made a passable second trumpet impression for Robert’s finishing solo at the end of the last Mass.

Lectures: I actually made to some lectures.  One about old hispanic chant, which was very interesting, and something about how to harmonise, which although I didn’t quite manage to have a go myself, demystified it, encouraging me to try it out some other time.

String orchestra: Tchaikovsky, and a Maltese composer.  Very nice.

Orchestra: Tony Bevan is on my list of favourite conductors, which is growing all the time.  Elgar’s Enigma Variations, which I didn’t play as well as I would have liked, but was fantastic, Vaughn (sp?) Williams’ folk songs; excellent, and a very exciting arrangement of I’m not quite sure what.

Children’s choir: Excellent; the children are very good singers, and Daisy did really well, and her assistants of course.  Aggy, Lizzie, Sophie.

Children’s orchestra: Sam played his cello!  I wrote him parts with only open strings; I’m not sure if he managed them, but he did blend in nicely.  He is so excited! And I had fun, helping with pointing pencils, and conducting for the percussion section. John also had fun; he lent support in the form of bass guitar; sometimes he played the easy cello part.

Guitar group: John took up the courage to join in and was welcomed with open arms.   He was not playing bass on his own, they had a string bass as well.

Country dancing; which we did the first night, and was great fun.  I would like to do dancing (with John) for my exercise, but will have to wait until the children are older).

Recitals: Piano, amazing; Sebastian played by magic, probably.  No, he didn’t. He had exactly the correct number of fingers, and arms. Viola, Steve was excellent as always, and Richard and Ann and their friend on Cello/Piano/Fiddle, which began serious and ended folk, and both halves were fantastic.

Compline: as always.

Post-compline delights: we took wine and cheese; so did other people.  I am beginning to make up for my lack of a dissolute youth, and enjoying it more.

Last night concert. I played a recorder piece, with Fr Phillip accompanying me, delightfully on the piano, and embellishing the part to perfection.  People liked it!  I was pleased, and gratified.  There was a restrained line-up, everything pretty amazing, or wonderfully amusing, or very interesting, or some combination.  HIdden talents were revealed. Michael Bevan’s compositions were very good, and so was Sophie’s break dancing! 

Cute moments: When I was bathing Hannah, and Henry turned up; he was telling me how he didn’t like his hair to be washed, and the next thing I knew he’d got in the bath with her!  In the children’s concert, Hannah started crying, I’m not sure exactly what set her off, and all she could say was ‘I don’t want to go home’.  Oh, yes, and Hannah made friends with Rosie.  They saw each other from afar, and ran to meet in an embrace (and all I could do was laugh, it was so dramatic).

Stupid moment: when I ran to get Hannah to bed quickly so as to miss as little of the last night concert as possible, and tripped over and landed on my thumb, spraining it.  Whoops.  At least I had already played all the music I was going to.

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