Music glow!

Whistle a tune,blow a horn,roll out the barrel,

Tickle the ivories,pull out the diapason,

Sing a carol,light a light,

Lighten your mood,

Make music with your friends,

Listen to music with your friends,

Your workmates,your kith and kin,

Just love music ,it will drive you wild



As the leaves co tinge to fall,the buffer from the cars increases,the sound augments,

Now the leaves return to the ground,my sight line improves,and I see further,

As homemade signs for “Carols at Petwyn ” signal that the season is to be merry,

I look at the bottles of sherry,of past family indulgences,of winters old,

Now this season promises change,a Brexit X-mas,and maybe a poorer one,

But,hope isn’t poor,it isn’t bare,it sustains during emotional famine,and lights our roadway,

Bye bye leaves,said the trees for another year,come to grace me in the form of botanical food for my roots,

Play butterflies in the wake,flutter in your midwinter nights dream,

Give a dose of Puck,a light dusting of fairy dust,it’s a must,

Cradle your hope dreams,descending into the depths of your heart,

Give a Little hope this Christmas,It might be the only thing you can .

Tales from old Fistral in the 1970s!

Forgetting to fasten his tie correctly,not asking the assistant for the correct sized shirt didn’t seem that much of a problem to Rob.After all,it was just another interview ,another rejection letter on the mat of his previous failures.Not that he always got replies.As he saw it,who was,going to employ him after his track record from leaving school,it was hardly glowing.Someone once said to him:”Follow your dream Rob,or you’ll regret it”,well it might have seemed more apt if he had followed along more in class ,even if those lessons bored the pants off of him.Of course,having a brother who was nicknamed Einstein didn’t really help and what was even more annoying was that was the name his teachers called him at his fancy grammar school.Rob,on the other hand was a secondary modern drop out,quite an achievement so said Einstein with that irony that highly intelligent people have a habit of just inserting into a phrase at the end :”Oh,this is my bother Fiona,he’s a secondary modern dropout”,with the inflection on the words Secondary modern.

So,that’s how I exist in 1976,Rob Bridges,left school at 16,no qualifications ,well non that are recognised by my parents that is and I just go for interviews.All told,I’ve been for well over 50 since I left .Its not I’m choosy,just that I would like a job b where I’ve got a better than a 50% chance of still being alive by the time I retire.Now,in Cornwall,where the unemployment rate has always been high,by being choosy,you are somewhat narrowing down your options in many ways.Yes,there are seasonal jobs,there always have been,where you work crazy hours for a few months of the year,then your told your not needed at the beginning of September and told to come back the following Easter when they might consider you again for some mind bending task or another.Come to think of it,it might appear that I would suit a boring job with my lack of academic credits,but I have a delusional side to my character ,by that I mean that I feel that I could have gotten these little bits of paper but not remained cool .You see,being cool is very important to me.Now,by that ,I mean,being on the water,as surfing is my Passion,and Fistral (Fisty to me) is where I’m the cool one,especially round the Cribber.

Now,my Einstein brother and his Grammar school friends run the roast when it comes to passing O-Levels and that their university stuff,but I don’t hold with it.My favourite subjects at school were practical.and by the time I was 14,I had made my first board,and I was ,and still am,so proud of it.Its served me well,it’s my friend ,it’s propelled me from the guy could couldn’t even stand up ,to a rider,a player.Once,when my dad wasn’t banging on about my brother and his achievements and stuff ,I asked him if he would come down and watch,but he just said there was no future in it.You see,my dad worked for Christians,the biggest building firm in Newquay,he worked hard all day and at the weekends he just rested in front of the television while mum did the cooking,the ironing,and the washing up.She would get annoyed with me for not cleaning my room up,but let Einstein get away with it because “He had important work to do”.Dont get me wrong,I didn’t mind that ,but I minded that my parents never took the things I made seriously,as I thought I was good.

Surfing down at Fistral in the 1970s was the domain of the locals,The would be Miami boys from Cornwall,up at 5 no wet suits to write home about,but covering their bodies in Lard to keep warm.Those days were a community,the surfers were your family,they looked after you and you them.You lived to ride the waves,you respected the Atlantic,and if it was too rough,y you u do don’t venture,that is,if you valued your life.I loved my teenage years there,those long days ,the crack ,the music,the girls .If life was passing me by in the getting a proper job stakes,I didn’t get it.

One day ,dad came home with that look on his face,that look of:”Rob,it’s time you sorted yourself out “,!

He had put his neck in the line for me with Christians as they needed a young boy to labour on a new hotel that they were building just off Henver Road.As the money wasn’t bad,and mum and dad were now at the point of getting so worried about my lack of employment prospects,I gave it a go so to speak on a months trial.It was agreed that I would go int speak to the manager on Monday with coaching from dad as to exactly what to say and what to talk about.ait all seemed pretty false to me,because I wanted to become a surf board maker ,or a boat builder,not a builders labourer.However,my parents thought my dreams were crazy just like kymsurfiny,just like my friends,just like everything in my life.So,I gave in to their pressure,and accepted my fate.That line really annoyed me :”Well,your brother is going places Rob,he’s at university and will get openings into whatever he wants,but you,Well,you’ve not got any prospects,have you”.?Those words hurt,even for a 16 year old,and that Saturday I got up early rode my waves at Fisty,rode them high ,got drunk ,fell off the board,got back in again,and rode the mouth of the Cribber and dreamt of where surfing would be in years to come.Yep,I thought about it,I thought that life doesn’t have to be doing what others think you want,but what I could make happen.

So,I started on Monday and Christians, and I hated it ,every minute,every Nanno second,but something there made me think.This place had kit,kit for making things,lathes,just top stuff,for mak ng bigger and better boards.Fred Candy had worked at Christians for years and he was a cool guy who surfed at Constantine,but he had a wonderful board that he had made himself.One lunchtime,we got talking,he was a great guy,like me,left school with no pieces of paper but a practical head.He wasn’t bitter like my dad,he just was chilled,and he took and interest.

So,yep,after a week at Christians ,I was exhausted,couldn’t hardly stand up,but something had changed,I saw somethng to do if I could stand the hard work,they might teach me something,or,to be exact,Fred Candy could,and I was willing to hurt,hurt like hell to ride a board like his.

So,I tell you my story ,it all started in the 1970s and it might surprise you where it ended.

Looking through the rectangular window!

Looking through the square window,those words that graced our tv airwaves might seem old hat nowadays to the children who expect sophisticated media entertainment from such early ages.However,I still think the concept of framing stories through the lens of visual metaphors are so powerful.As a child,my favourite part of the school day-apart from school milk ,and free school meals-was the part of the day when my teacher told us a story.That process that engaged me in the moment,those words pictures,images of things,people and animals that took us to another world.

So,I look through my rectangular window and I see partially bare trees,not embaressed at all by their appearance,but just passing through one of their cycles,confident that they will Wether the winter and sprout again spring in 2018 and rejuvenate itself into the Summer months.It helps me to recognise that trees and their cycles are rather like our moods,ever changing.Yes,we all wish that we could be resplendent as the cherry tree in Late spring,but ,like now,is extremely barren,forlorn,careworn,dark if you like.

No matter how our present mood is,it is ossicle to change out of it.As I look through the window,I have hope that our moods will change come the dawning of our summers days.

Loving the last dregs of our Autumn!

It’s a little after 3 here in Dorset,with the light ,tempered by the lack of sun,you can feel the air ,that cold snap beginning to exert its power over the rest of the daylight.Its still beautiful out there,with the Brown leaves ,their altered state,playing tricks on my sight lines.

We can tend to judge Autumn at this time as the dregs of its time,because the leaves are almost fallen,but Winter hasn’t come upon us totally yet.However,these last dregs help us to focus on what is so wonderful,the death of the leaves,but also,the hope of something new to come.Yes,we have to weather the Winter temperatures,but we know that we This hope of better times ahead.Hope has always filled me,enabled me to survive problems,all be it of a profound personal kind,but those that I’m willing to articulate in my blog as a helper to others maybe to endure whatever adversity that they have to live with.

As the light of the latter part of the afternoon sustains my view,lifts my spirits,and Marshall’s my thoughts now as I write this,I’m determined to capture this light,these last dregs of Autumn,for ,in a few weeks,we arrive at the shortest day,on December 21,but until then,I’m going to observe my outside space,treasure the dregs of the leaves,leaving them for the butterflies.

You see,the Earth needs the leaves,the cycles of its botany to reinvent itself.We need each season,we just do.Yes,we all have a favourite season,but how about fostering a love for late Autumn,for now,Yes,in this moment.

This is what I’m doing,living the last dregs of my Autumn and yours too.

Thank you very much for your attention to my muse today.

Good luck!

Good luck to all the Park runners this morning around the country ,as they brave the elements,their aches and pains,themselves,and just foregoing their Saturday lay in,Good luck to the first timers,the two,three,four five,ten,twenty,fifty,hundred park runners and beyond.

You have my best wishes and my good luck is past onto you and your family.

Good luck to those battling illness and turmoil in their lives,

Yes,good luck to you all today.


When your son comes home for a flying visit,you send out for treats,

Those things that are naughty,but nice,twice the price,

When your son comes home for a flying visit,you change your plans,

Those routines get put on the back burner,not a nice little earner,

When your son come home for a flying visit,hugs a plenty,smiles and laughs,

That virus becomes nothing,that heavy head doesn’t stop you playing music,

No,when your son pays you a flying visit,it’s so much like home!

It struck me recently that this has been the first year that I can remember that I actually got a flu jab,purchased at the Pharmacy.When I had it,I felt that sense of :”Oh well,at least I won’t get the dreaded flu.”

As the time went by,I began to clock up the sheer number of colds that I had contracted,or should I say viruses.It seems odd that the first year I get inoculated against flu has been the year when Vera Virus has visited my 59 year old body the most.Now,As you will know,I’m no scientist,so I make this rather intense ,self pitying introspective comment about myself without any proper evidence,but ,from my own point of view ,it has been worth writing today in my blog,

We are bombarded by information,imperatives,the “You must do this,get that,it’s life or death,it’s never been more important”,you know ,those type of things,but sometimes ,you have t trust your own gut feeling.Now Vera virus won’t kill us,but to be laid low and to feel that the sheer effort of reaching for the remote is a feat in itself surely has some merit in our social biography.

My need ,of must do exercise has been affected by my Vera virus,and don’t get me wrong,I haven’t ever had any adverse affects from knowing anyone called Vera,it’s just my quirky way of personalising it.There have been times when I’ve visited my GP feeling like the living dead,only two be told my a dismissive GP:”Oh,it’s just a virus,take plenty of Orange juice and paracetamol ,so it left me wondering just why ,if it’s so Just t important,why I can’t function.Now,if you agree with my GP,and yes u are most surely in the intelligent camp there,because they have all that training and self care not dent cleverness to get with it.But,if there is just that little voice that comes on in yu r mind,like mine that says,they just don’t know why you feel so I’ll,sleep they just palm you off,putting the emphasis on the fact that “it’s just a virus”.

Now,this muse ,although on one level,is a rather backhanded polemic on the dismissive nature of the medical fashion,is ,to me at least,an attempt to stand up for the joe average ,but joe average who feels terrible.You see,after you have left the surgery ,where your doctor has quickly established that you just have “a virus”,how do you feel when you come out?Yu see,to me,coming out ,not clutching a prescription ,not waiting at the reception desk to make another appointment is a bit of a let down,and you get the sense that those online GPS were th their apps might quite appreciate the virus consultation.But,by calling it the Vera Virus,I’m somehow promoting it to a more esteemed Robles,one where you have to take notice.

Now,before I completely take leave of my senses ,I might tell you that I have prefixes for the common cold too,and for toothache and back pain but I fear that if I elaborated ,my readership would defect to the Trump twitter account where all the true crazy stuff can be found.

Have a great rest of the day.

Thank you for indulging me .


Two men discussing Chopin in a Pub.

As I sit ,listening to the Chopin exudes by the American Pianist,Murray Perahia,my mind is transported to a live recital by Perahia that I attended with my son at the Barbican theatre over ten years ago now.In fact,the Chopin he played then became part of a studio album that is now playing.

He is ,of course,technically brilliant,but also,very authentic,with voice and phrasing that is ,to be sure,unique.With the retirement of Brendel,The infrequent on the concert platform of Ashkenazy,and the scandalous crime of the British public being denied Zolotov on the stage,I suppose Perahia has reached that height ,along with Kissin,of a true living Pianist genius.

As the revolutionary is art is ally played now-my rendition is rather a bashed out version in comparison-he transfers me into that world of Chopin in all his personalities .Its just music for the gods,balm to the confused and downhearted,and grace to the human.What wondrous gifts these masters left us,and also the fact that their music is still played throughout the world again and again.

Our music business now can sometimes be a thin membrane of music masquerading as art when it is purely prurient and lacks substance .Chopin ,and in this instance,his Etudes stand the test of time,of world wars,of cultural change,of poverty,of abundance,of every will of the wisp non sensical mush that has permeated our consciousness to still speak to us.Chopin cleanses us from the emotional pollution of insincerity and feeds us from the brain to the heart with fortified beauty,tangible in structure,not make believe,but real,yes,totally real.

Murray delivers a Chopin that stands up with the greats,talks to me along with millions of others,he has something to say,and,after he has said,I remember.Just like after his recital all those years ago,his playing stays with you until you start to referee yourself musically while waiting for the dreaded circle line to see its way clear to turning up at Moorgate.

So,From feeling a little agitated,I feel rejuvenated and I have to thank these wonderful artists for doing that for me,and as I pen this muse,it’s always a joy to express what I think and feel.Now,Wether it’s a joy for yu to read it is entirely a different matter,but there you go.My muse is,and always will be,my ramblings on an event,a memory,a music experience,or associated artistic comment.Thank you for indulging me .

Now,my son makes his living from music on the operatic stage so his perceptions will be more attuned than mine,but I remember that concert and our post concert chatter as if it were yesterday.

The Key that unlocked a school boys heart!

He turned the key of the old Edwardian door:Its mechanism,rusted by years of decay and the sea it,refused to budge.Examining the key ,its sheer size dominated the seat of his hand,and he took a piece of granite laying to the side of the path to remove some of the rust.He applied force,but not too much,not wanting to damage the key ,the means of discovery.He had wondered why the Estate agent had been reticent to show him around herself.She was a pleasant girl,more YTS than young precessional,but sincere and willing to try.After what seemed quite a concerted amount of industry with this grandfather of keys,he tried again.As he did,and with a little more force,he felt at least that there were signs of the lock being released.Ever mindful of the place,or,to be exact,the place the house had had on his esteemed friend,he pulled the key out again,preferring to extract more rust particles to its outer layer.It might have only been a rust membrane he thought,but this was the only key that the previous owner had had,he being dead now for over 15 Years.The Estate agent had acquired it via the executor of his friends will .

At this point,some background might be useful to put some flesh on our story as our imagination in this case would never arrive at the actual real events of this story. As children,they had developed a close friendship at Humphrey Daley Grammar school in West. Cornwall in the 1960s,and Dean and Chris formed a bond of sorts.Yes,like many teenagers,they had their ups and downs,but a mutual liking for science and engineering,added to a hatred for Rugby,sort of drew them together in a rather obtuse way.You see,their school prided itself on its passion and ability for Rugby,with many an old boy going on to play union at a higher level when they left.Dean and Chris though,were not of that ilk.Their needs were not met on the Rugger or football field.As their schooling progressed,Chris seemed to excel in the academic disciplines that were central to the schools ethos,and he would have been an ideal head boy ,if he had indulged the school by making a presence of loving sports,but pretence wasn’t part of his DNA,facts were.Dean struggled to keep up with the demands of Grammar,but he was hard working,honest,and loyal,and all these traits drew him to Chris.During their lunch breaks ,they would talk about their goals of getting into the Camborne school of mines,or maybe getting a job at Hollmans,the main employer in the area.

As things turned out,it would be Chris who would surpass all expectations,gaining a place at Cambridge to study natural sciences,before travelling the world with his company and achieving great things.Dean,on the other hand,managed to get in at Hollmans ,where he worked in the engineering department.Of course,as folk do,especially in the pre social media days where it is easier to stay in touch,they drifted apart with Dean thinking that Chris had moved on to much greater things and to mix wth far more important people.

So,I’m Dean,and I’m here with this key ,rusted through disuse and time,but the key is to the family house of Chris Candy,who had been killed along with over 2000 others at the world trade centre ,or,as it is now called ground zero.Chris had never married,folk said that he was married to his work.He had moved to the states with his job where later he set up his company.All this was new to me ,it just seemed like another world.From what the Estate agent had informed me ,the house had been in Chris’s family since it had been built,but I had never visited it,as Chris lived at St Just and I the same .In fact,we lived quite close to one another and often spent time with one another.So,you see,I was in the dark about the existence of this place,but my respect for my schoolfriend was such that I couldn’t refuse to have a look as such to see if I could return the house to its former Edwardian splendour.

Not to be put off by this hiatus to my entry,I applied some WD40 to the door lock and reinserted the key.This time,after far more force than I was comfortable ,I felt the catch release,and that Frankenstein creak as the door became a jar heralded me int the hallway.It was,as expected,bare,but with an acoustic made more interesting by those high ceilings ,it struck me that this was a substantial house,use to bring a home,neglected by the demise of its family.As I realised that by entering a home that had been in a family for generations,I had been given ,not just bricks and mortar,but a heritage.Yes,the people who once graced its rooms were long gone,but the memories that must have been made here were dormant ,ready to be u locked as such-hopefully ,with a key that isn’t so rusty.

It was almost as if the place was hallowed,not just a house,but special,at least to me.As I looked around it,employing my practical head on,made sensitive by a lifetime of machining metal,making tools,studying drawings for mining equipment et al.So,in this house ,even though the signs of neglect were there,even the sorrowful state of many of the walls,with the damp coming off the sea doing what it does best,that is ,to ravish and destroy,I still fell in love with the place.

As I did,as I kept to the agreement ,my mind went back to our motto that Chris and I had As school friends :True friends forever ,loyal forever,curious forever.We made that vow together when we were 12 and I still remembered now.As I did,I almost forgot to open the other letter that I had promised only to do after I had looked around the house.Having surveyed the whole of it,having fallen in love with it as much as you can by a house of other people’s memories,I owned the letter.

Reading it’s contents gave me the surprise of my life,for contained in it,was not only the deeds to the property but a cheque made payable to me for the complete restoration of the place.It had one stipulation ,and that was that the house should now be called:”Humphrey Davey house”!Im not an emotional man,but something in this whole thing ,this trust,this relationship summoned me to my childhood at our school,our motto,our friendship.Yes,we had grown apart,and I was as much responsible for that as Chris,but he had not forgotten me.Even though he had died tragically,the only person that he truly trusted to look after this house,the heritage of his family,was me.For a while,I had only just made a cursory glance at the cheque because I was so taken up by the memory of us at school and the name change,but when I looked again at the amount ,I had to do a double take,for it was more money than I had ever seen written out.Referring back to the covering letter,it appeared that the money was for me to restore the house as I saw fit and to live off the left over amount.It was as if Chris had had that motto etched on his soul from a child,had never forgotten Dean,even though Chris had moved away from Cornwall,left the country as it were,but Humphrey Davey was still in his heart.