I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Am I really a grown-up?

You remember my casual: "I am toying with taking singing lessons." They're now on!

Next Monday in Little Dewchurch (Hereford has many such villages; quite near is Weston Beggard) I shall open my mouth before a stranger and... what? When I was eight imagining myself singing in public constituted a recurrent nightmare. But I'm a grown-up now. I'm not going to lose sphincter control, am I? Be sent home in the company of an older child?

The moment will tell.

One aim is to be able to sing Schubert's lovely song: An Die Musik (Here's to music). CLICK Janet Baker.

Chosen because of its narrowish dynamic range. But I must also get the stresses right. Here's the first line:

Du holde Kunst in wieviel grauen Stunden
(You gracious art, during so many grey hours...)

I don't read music. Here's how I've notated:

Du holde Kooonst # IN # wee>ee # feelgrauen Stunden.

The moment will tell.

Hardline Hope, a novel (9494 words)
Residents who wanted could chain their bikes to steel hoops cemented into concrete at the entrance to the tower block. Few did. The chains had been strong enough but the bikes had been removed bit by bit, leaving two rusty wheels and a mangled frame which had, over the years, virtually transformed themselves into conceptual art. Getting a bike into the lift would have required artful juggling but the problem didn’t arise since the lift had been inoperative for two months.

Lindsay’s bike was light enough not to have been a problem on the stairs but only without the five-kilo bag of potatoes strapped to the carrier. Five kilos because that was what her mother demanded; saving 5 p on a combination of smaller bags.


Avus said...

Well done, RR. Actually putting your thoughts into words, into action. I shall await your first experiences with interest. ( But try to go easy on the "sphincter control!)

Sir Hugh said...

I reckon you become "grown-up" when you stop exploring - full marks for continuing to do so.

Here is part of a reply to a comment on my post from last summer walking from Boston to Abbotsbury. The route passes through two disused railway tunnels:

"..yes, I was like a little boy anticipating the adventure of the tunnels,..."

I shall be watching the Deutsche Grammophon catalogue with anticipation in the coming months.

Blonde Two said...

My son's girlfriend, spending Christmas for the first time with us, told me that she wouldn't be a grown up until she could make herself like olives and tomatoes. Don't grow up too much just yet Robbie, remember Peter Pan!

Blonde Two said...

Oh and another thing. Did you stand in the supermarket (I presume Waitrose) holding a 5kg bag of potatoes in your hand and weighing up (got to love a duel meaning) its potential for your story? I hope that you did.

Lucy said...

Well I hope youre grown up enough for your voice to have broken...


mikeM said...

Tenor or bass? I'm assuming you're not a counter tenor/sopranist.

Rouchswalwe said...

Ach, das freut mich sehr, lieber Robbie! Singe, singe ...

Auf, ihr Brüder! Ehrt die Lieder!
Sie sind gleich den guten Taten.
Wer kann besser als der Sänger
Dem verirrten Freunde raten?
Wirke gut, so wirkst du länger,
Als es Menschen sonst vermögen.

~ Goethe

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Bravo for going ahead with the lessons. I take it the teacher was impressed with your introduction. Hope she's a good teacher and that you'll be singing all the way home.

Roderick Robinson said...

Avus: Thanks for your encouragement. However, going easy on sphincter control would I imagine have the opposite result to what I hoped for.

Sir Hugh: It's an exploration that could lead to bad news just as well as good. There's no guarantee that simply wanting to do something will be enough to bring it about. Humiliation could be just around the corner. The only certainty is that any result - good or bad - will provide raw material for written work.

Blonde Two: You'll forgive me if I say Peter Pan always seemed just a little pervie.

Many holidays spent in France have convinced me that kilos are "heavy". On the other hand kilometers seem "light".

Lucy: As a treble I sang without worry or consideration. Only when my voice broke did I realise what I'd lost. I suppose I'm now trying to retrieve that loss, sixty years after the event.

MikeM: Baritone would suit me.

RW (zS): Quick flick through, I think I agree. But more work needed.

Natalie: I have to be careful It's reality I'm after.

Lucas said...

To sing An Die Musik is a great idea and will definitely repay the study and practice that may be involved. I really look forward to hearing your version which I hope will be on Youtube. A very Happy New Year!

Roderick Robinson said...

Lucas: It's hard and getting harder.

RW (zS): Probably terrible, but here goes:

Brothers - honour songs, the equivalent of good deeds.
Who can advise errant friends better than the singer?
Behave well and you'll (live?) longer
(Very freely) Than those who pursue lesser ends

Rouchswalwe said...

Robbie! I like your rendition very much ... it positively sings. The only word I'd tweek a bit is "wirken," which might be captured a bit more as Goethe meant it by translating it as "sing" ... which of course will affect the last line ...

Brothers - honour songs, the equivalent of good deeds.
Who can advise errant friends better than the singer?
Sing then, so that your deeds will continue longer
than those who pursue lesser ends think possible

What do you think?

Roderick Robinson said...

RW (zS): Only your generosity of spirit would prefer mine to yours. Even so I appreciate your response. I felt I had to expose myself to error given that I ponce a lot regarding French. And to tell the truth I couldn't make head nor tail of the last line; now I see how everything fits together and - notably - the big misunderstanding I made with the pronoun. But above all your original gesture was very pleasing.

It is now 06.40; I am due in Little Dewchurch at 10.00. I am apprehensive but not incapacitatingly so. I want it to work if I feel I'm entitled. At my age there are few big changes in life other than the biggest one of all. This change is the result of assertion and, as I see things, an assertion confirms I'm not merely floating.

Rouchswalwe said...

I'm cheering you on, dear Robbie, with a song in my heart!

Ellena said...

"Wirke gut......" Goethe is always right.
"take action wisely and you will act longer....".
Keep doing but do wisely. Think twice before skydiving without a helmet.

Roderick Robinson said...

RW (sZ): Thanks for that; now you have the answer.

Ellena: I acknowledge your much more accurate translation. Mine was never going to be any more than a guess.