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Friday, 20 March 2009

Thursday 19th March

It was once again a beautiful day. I spent a pleasant time in the garden with Barbara just listening to the birds and wondering what tree it is in the next door garden but one which has what looks like giant catkins hanging down, but certainly not a willow tree.

Then Helen Lunt came and sat with us for a while, before we went indoors for the next effort in the project to record on video as much of my music as possible. This time it was God's Rainbow Promise, words written by the daughter of the Downend church treasurer for an ambitious flower festival in Christ Church, Downend. I hope to get the result on YouTube today.

While we were working on this Norman and Liz Parker came and formed an audience, bringing, as always, interesting conversation. Liz brought a Taize tape which I listened to in bed and found comforting.

That wasn't the only music. Dear John Smart, the fine violinist whose father lives in Street and who had lessons from Peggy Milne as did Barbara, came down all the way from Cheltenham, where he is playing in the English Touring Opera orchestra in three operas including Magic Flute, and spent about 3 hours with us. When I heard he was coming I asked him to bring his violin, and then wondered what ever I could manage to play to accompany him. In the end I dashed off a little piece to give him as a memento, calling it Album Leaf for John. He took the little tune and his musical wizardry made it into something good to hear. That, too, is to be available on the blog soon.

John looked up the national press reviews of his operas, and they were really very enthusiastic, mentioning the 'small orchestra' in glowing terms. Good for them.

Somewhere in the background people were delivering bits of equipment to make my life easier. There is a second wheel chair, said to be even better than the original one. There is a device to keep bedclothes from pressing on my feet when I feel the weight is too much. What care and ingenuity we receive these days. 70 years ago my whole experience would have been, I guess, little but increasing pain and distress. Now it is all about managing the pain. I have upped my morphine dose, and the result yesterday appeared to be a burst of energy, followed by sleepiness. And now awake at 5 am. I just go along with it. Still dark. Birdsong outside.

Today's visit is to be from Tony and Mary Joyce, who were in Downend Vicarage when I went to the parish in 1998. They are using their bus passes to get here. Good for them, good for the environment.

Then I look forward to Dolly and baby at lunch time. The weather forecast is excellent.

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