Monthly Archives: January 2018

“Away she blows”

“Away she blows”,that familiar feminisation term given by my ancestors for a storm surge along the coastline of my birth has come to my mind as I hear the winds outside my bedroom window.Although not a storm as such tonight,it’s funny how certain noises,sounds if you like,play mental tricks on us,transferring us on a magic carpet of nostalgia to other times in our life.It does still strike me why we give the feminine prefix to boats,to metaphysical things though:It was explained to me once that because the femail gender give birth,historically nurture,that this generation of events if you like have a more feminine nature to them.

Although the masculine terms seem to have their place in the structure of things,I don’t associate them in the same way.As the wind blows up ,as my mind tires ,those words rattle around:”Away she blows”


The music of my mind!

These notes of hope,

These phrases of grace,

These expositions of melodic flavours,

Why,they all tell our stories of musical appreciation,

They generate our emotional applause as our hearts brim over,

We foster them as if they were our notes,our phrases and our expositions,

You see,for them to transistion,for them to develop,for them to recapitulate,

Why we have to will that,we have shout upon the roof tops that this music is truly great,

So that is my grace muse tonight at the end of my day,

It’s a little thing,a small theme,a brief note,a succinct phrase,

But it’s everything that I have to give tonight,

It’s the sum total of what I know in my 60 years and it’s that without music and art and expression ,

Without them,then we are all uncivilised ,we are just rolling around in the mire of mediocrity,

So,I tell you about Bach,Mozart ,Beethoven and Brahms,they will always be on my muse list,

They are my notes,my phrases,my expositions ,my sonata,

They form the core of me,

They are inside of my mind ,

The music of my mind.

Sleep well ,

With love,


Special day for music lovers!

On this day,my muse is in recognition of probably one of the greatest of all composers:Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,born 1756,and died in 1791.To say that his music is often played is still,after all these years,and understatement,Today January 27th,is his birthday.In 35 years,he would fulfill is childhood musical promise,going on to compose some of the greatest ever music ever in its history.

Yesterday,the concertPianist ,and winner of the Leeds ,Frederick Colli,posted a statue of him from his birth place in Salzburg in Austria.His humility and respect for Mozart has been echoed by millions of devotees down through the centuries since his birth.My association with Amadeus started at the age of 10,when I grappled with his elementary Piano music.Even then,I fell in love with his compositions and they have been a musical staple throughout my life.Now ,as I commented on earlier,his appeal crosses all the musical audiences,and his sales eclipse that of any other composer.That appeal to the soul,the heart and to the mind is a powerful driver even now.

Sometimes,infant prodigies tend to burn out as they struggle to harness that talent into adulthood.Although Mozart had his challenges,his genius is there for us all to witness even now.In concert halls around the world,Mozart’s music is played every night of the week.By that I mean,his symphonies,operas,concertos and the Like,All resplendent in breathtaking melody woven inside classical harmonies that just make us marvel and touches our soul.

So,on the anniversary of his birth,I wanted to remark on my gratitude that the world was visited by one such as Mozart.Why,at the moment,I have his Piano concertos that I play in my car as I travel to my pupils to teach them the Piano,So today,I’ve mostly been listening to Mozart.It seems appropriate somehow.

My Snowdrop moment!

This stolen moment ,in between the chores of life,

Early spring snowdrops appear in the scrub of my unkempt garden,

Oh,how they endured me for just the observation took but a minute,

But ,as if like a commercial that keeps playing in my head,I relived that moment,

If it were a painting,it was like the Mona Lisa in the Louvre,as I went round and round and round,

So too,my mind relived that moment in the late afternoon,that phrase of pure white ,so tiny,so fragile,so beautiful,

Maybe,I won’t be in the same frame of mind tomorrow,or maybe there will be more snowdrops to rival my solitary ,tiny stem,

No,I’m happy ,blissful that I observed that snowdrop in real time,my prime time,no repeat,no exclusive to Age,no,just that Snowdrop in the Now garden in Dorset.

What exactly is my resolve to train!!

Pausing for lunch-an egg sandwich as the supply of in date free range approaches consumption -I find myself with a need to communicate ,but what do I say?Really,I’d planned a long run today,but my worry about catching a cold or worse,has kept me from realising such vigorous activity.Don’t get me wrong,exercise is a positive in my life,but maybe I draw the line at the obsessive type .Now,as I’m meant to be training for a Half Marathon,That attitude might be a little too relaxed,as 13 Miles is quite a long way in anyone’s language.Mind you,with the route taking the participants around central London, with the sheer volume of traffic in the city during the day,I reckon that those elite runners who take part that day will probably complete the course faster than a London bus ,or an Uber taxi judging by past congestion issues in the city.With that in mind,crawling around the Landmarks of London in aid of RoyalBrompton and Harefield hospitals might just take me a while,but even on foot with sinew and muscles doing their bit,I reckon that I will be able to get around come March 25th.

Now,I understand that merely writing about training isn’t the same as actually doing it,but there is still benefits to be had from mentally preparing oneself for any major event in life,or so that is what I’ve come to realise over the years.Whilst it is never easy to accomplish any physical feat,the fact that I’m taking part in this event to help support a hospital that is so dear to my heart and that of my whole family unit,so as I take a few minutes to write my blog post for Today,I realise that this commitment that I have made is even more powerful as I write this missive.It energises,it crystallises,it cements my resolve ,so please excuse me for breaking ff my blog post as the rain recedes and my reasons for begging off running have now disappeared.

Thank you for reading this blog post and I will keep you up to date with what I’m doing with my training.Now the bit where I shamelessly ask for money in the form of a donation to my just giving page but look ,I’m 60 ,I’m a bit left field at times,but very determined to complete this run on March 25th 2018.

Look out for more shameless plugs from me about the route,my patchy history of the London Landmarks-usually located near the pubs !!!-as I crawl around the streets of my Dorset town in preparation for this event.

Deference !

Today,while walking in Bournemouth town centre,I heard an elderly man play the tin whistle.He was proficient,musical and cultured :Sometimes,this is a rarity in towns that I have visited.He played for what must have been well over an hour.He looked cold,careworn and tired,as if he should have been tucked up in front of a log fire somewhere watching reruns of Miss Marple,instead of trying to entertain us plebs along the high street.He stayed in my mind long after I had placed my appreciative money in his flat cap.He got me thinking:He might have been in his seventies I would say,and he had various whistle in different keys and he could communicate his art through music,yet ,I still pitied him.To me,it seemed that he deserved more,not just more pecuniary rewards,no but he deserved deference .It struck me that the younger buskers with their ready made backing tracks ,and their microphones almost had a cottage musical industry there around old Christchurch old,but this man ,frail in his demeanour possessed a charm that took me away from the South coast to the Emerald Isle,to the towns and villages of that country of expression and life that almost transcends itself by its own history.

This man touched my soul because he just was himself,almost trapped inside a sadness capsule,but through the depression,he was able to light my mind with his whistle playing.

Sometimes,we can easily underestimate our power,our talent,our insights ,because we live with ourselves and all too quickly judge ourself as not being up to much,Now this man didn’t smile,he didn’t exactly kiss the Blarney Stone,but he kissed my soul this afternoon with his playing and taught me something.His playing posed that lifelong pain of the human spirit on the one hand,but also the joy of the sound swilling around the street ,filtering passed the fast food shops,the Dingles store,the shopping parades,the milkshake bar,the shoe shops,the mobile phone shops,the shops,the shops,the shops.Why,his pipe playing could have been in the centre of Dublin,Derry,Or Belfast,But it was in Bournemouth.Thank you Sir,Thank you for playing with your pain whatever the source of it,

My muse for today.

Night night.

I glimpsed the Spring garden this morning!

Today,I spied the daffodils in my patio border,

It signalled change,a resurgence ,a re-birth,

From these glimpses,I assumed others would also see,

They do,you know,others notice things like this too,

We shouldn’t ever think that we are the only ones who love nature,

Why,people see,they care,they tend ,they want to look after,

So,grow daffodil and crocus,your fan club awaits,

We,the healthy,we will tell those in pain,physical or mental about the spring garden,

We will,we will,we will,we will.

Reviewing the tempest tossed nights !

Last nights tempest tossed hours are still fresh in my mind as I contemplate another night ,thinking to myself that it surely can’t be as bad as last night,Strong winds play havoc with trees ,causing them to get uprooted ,to fall down over railtrack,roads and the like.When we are younger,the possibility of snow or bad weather can have an almost magical affect on us,leading us in the vain hope that we might witness the spectacular .If history teaches us anything it is that our own almanac of predictions fall miserably short of the accurate ,often bearing no resemblance to the truth.But we still like to rely too much on the weather forecast.Granted ,modern technology has catapulted us from the water divining methods of our forefathers,to scientific methods of prediction that,when right,you could set your watch by,but still we understand that these methods have their flaws.

This morning,after listening to the winds of the night batter the bungalow that I live in,I made an inspection of the perimeter fence ,reassured that no damage had been done,but I know that many woke up to properties that were se Evelyn damaged so to speak,and I just hoped that they had reasonable house insurance,as the damage to any dwellings would have been extremely serious.

My muse today reflects the very real thoughts that have entered my head ,that of the need we all have for adequate housing.Having been born into poverty ,a life of “make do and mend”,it has always struck me how lucky I e been to have a measure of ability to feed and cloth myself,and my family.Yes,I’ve had the advantages of a good education,a wonderful support network of fine teachers and mentors,giving me a start in life that I thought I never would have gained.

Storms on property come and go,but if we have a good foundation,then we can withstand much more in the way of challenges than we might realise.Its not that any of us have a right to security,as we have to work for it in the society that we live in,but we can at least carve out relative security with the latent ability that we have.That said,I still default to the fact that I am oh so lucky to have what I do have and I try to be positive about all the good that I have in my life.

With that in mind,if your going through stormy waters,with high winds that batter your inner core,then you have my kindest thoughts,my sincere good wishes for a better tomorrow.

Thank you yet again for your indulgences in reading my random muses.


Confidence from an u likely source!

One of my dogs is posing on the chair as if to be received by a judge at a show,he waits for a few seconds,then lays down again as if to say:”You had your chance,but you didn’t choice me,so that’s your lot,I’m off to the land of slumber”.Dogs like these have a sense of security that I can only admire,partly because they have the nerve to assume ,and because they are comfortable in their canine fur.This aspect of being comfortable in our skin isn’t as easy to achieve as it might be because we have all sorts o f pressures to cope with.Things rush in upon us ,trials from life ,any number and of challenges affect us all in one way or another.

Obviously,we can’t be dogs,but they do have that relaxed blueprint almost that I can so easily relate too.That “My name is …..,who the hell are you”,type confidence that is quite infectious.Sometimes,when teaching preteens,I’ve witnessed that zest for life that abundance of ability that hasn’t been eroded by teenage self consciousness and that feeling that we are being watched,judged if you like.So yes,I observe my dogs and marvel at their absolute belief that they will be fed,have the run of the house,vandalise at will,and still be loved .Maybe ,it’s the welcome I received when I came in just now,that friendly prolonged attention that they give ,it’s just a constant and refreshingly real.

So,my dog has now returned to his default ,that of sleeping,but come tea time,they will both be ready at their feeding stations with self belief nourished and their confidence muscles replenished .