1 I loved my piano lesson today! Between us, my teacher and I have come up with a trick that is really helping me to learn. G started me on some simple duets and they were fun in the lessons but hard to practise as my part sounded odd on its own so I started to record her part and to play along to it. Hey presto! My timing improved and things sounded good! So, now I record G playing each new piece three times, firstly at the right speed so I know what I’m aiming for, then each hand at a learning speed so I can pick it up, getting the timing and the notes right. Then I can play each hand, with the recording playing the other hand, then I can move to both hands together and then play along with the right speed and, finally, I hope, play the whole thing independently! They are all simple tunes but I am having such fun learning!
2 BBC Radio 4 has all week had a fabulous series running called Just So Science. It is excerpts from Rudyard Kipling’s delightful ‘Just So Stories’ interspersed with scientific information about the animal in question. Today it was ‘The Cat Who Walked By Himself’, one of my many favourites. Just read this and feel the beautiful language, the alliteration, the rhythm, the repetition and the humour. I just love it. My Dad used to read all these stories to me so I hear his voice when I read the words. Now that is truly beautiful.
“One evening Bat said, ‘There is a Baby in the Cave. He is new and pink and fat and small, and the Woman is very fond of him.’
‘Ah,’ said the Cat, listening, ‘but what is the Baby fond of?’
‘He is fond of things that are soft and tickle,’ said the Bat. ‘He is fond of warm things to hold in his arms when he goes to sleep. He is fond of being played with. He is fond of all those things.’
‘Ah,’ said the Cat, listening, ‘then my time has come.’
Next night Cat walked through the Wet Wild Woods and hid very near the Cave till morning-time, and Man and Dog and Horse went hunting. The Woman was busy cooking that morning, and the Baby cried and interrupted. So she carried him outside the Cave and gave him a handful of pebbles to play with. But still the Baby cried.
Then the Cat put out his paddy paw and patted the Baby on the cheek, and it cooed; and the Cat rubbed against its fat knees and tickled it under its fat chin with his tail. And the Baby laughed; and the Woman heard him and smiled.”
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3 Don wrote about Agapanthus recently and reminded me of this beautiful picture taken in St Mawes last July when we had our brilliant family reunion. Look beyond the Agapanthus to see the St Mawes Regatta on the water and beyond that to St Anthony Head which is on our favourite coastal walk.