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.
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* One exception: short stories.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

An official gift

Official gifts between couples glued together for ages can be the very devil. True feelings, it is thought, can only be expressed with a “new” gift and newness in old age can be a hot potato.

How did VR feel, I asked, about a session with V (my singing teacher, sorry about the confusion) talking generally about music and illustrating things vocally. VR, not presently in good health but an avid listener of BBC Radio 3, proved agreeable.

It didn’t start well. In a taster about my progress, I warmed up and discovered the aftermath of my cold had cropped my range 20%. Worse, singing the warm-up Tué Tué, Barima Tué Tué as a round with V, something I’ve done many times, I completely lost the plot. Much worse still, V was suffering from a cold and her upper notes were denied her.

From then on V was bloody marvellous. Explaining how students have to be discouraged from “swallowing their consonants”, positively illustrated by an artlessly pure-voiced Norwegian soprano. “Listen,” said V, “you can hear her Ss.”

Then V’s relationship with her own teacher, a glorious mezzo capable of tonally matching the trumpet in a church piece, eventually (in my opinion) outdistancing the yard-and-half of brass tubing in the matter of subtlety. And I speak as an ex-trumpeter.

V, using voice and piano, to reveal the contrasting textures of a Michael Head song cycle and how they combine. V, most of all, unable to contain her enthusiasm, admitting to singing round the house. Disappointed by those who only sing when they’re paid.

How did it go? I asked VR.

“For two hours I didn’t know I had shingles.”

As one on the outer fringe of this world I felt both stirred and comforted. Brexit and physical frailty forgotten.


  1. How wonderful. Wish I could have come too.

  2. So very satisfying for you both, RR.

  3. Your musical posts are so wonderful!

  4. All: Should I really celebrate something that is mainly selfish? For two hours I listened to music and talk that shed light on music. Contributing too, but probably because I can't keep my mouth shut.

    Afterwards I realised that at no time did I think this was a remarkable development. That music from being mere enthusiasm had turned into one of the norms in my life. Well perhaps. But was there a snob element? Was I secretly proud of having "crossed over"? No longer just a listener but now also a doer, however imperfect?

    Alas, alas.