HelenEdith's Blog

The minutiae of my life, plus website updates and book reviews

Archive for January, 2008

Entry for January 26, 2008 – Concert: Performing Pleyel

Posted by HelenEdith on January 26, 2008

I performed the second and third movement’s of Pleyel’s Bassoon Concerto in B flat as the final item in this evening’s Bromley Music Makers concert.

The preparation of this piece hasn’t been ideal: a chest infection over Christmas put paid to practising over the holidays, but Rosemary Chater (my accompanist) and I have been meeting to rehearse regularly during January and we had our interpretation synchronised and everything coming together a week and a half ago.

I continued to worry about the piece, as it seemed to be going downhill in the final week, but it turned out all right on the night. 🙂 Rosemary’s main worry was a page turn. She prefers to turn her own pages, but one of the turns was tricky, and this afternoon she was at the Bromley High School and had access to a grand piano and practised her page turn there, as a grand (which is what she played on tonight) has a different music stand from an upright, which is what she has in her own front room. Her page turning this evening was flawless!

It was the 250th anniversary of Pleyel’s birth in 2007, but we couldn’t quite get the piece onto a concert programme at the end of last year, but as I said tonight, Pleyel’s birthday wasn’t until June, so he’s still 250 in January 2008, and it’s therefore still valid to perform his music in celebration of his 250th.

If you want to know more about Pleyel, there is an informative Wikipedia article; and the Pleyel Museum at Ruppersthal in Austria, where Pleyel was born, has a website which can be viewed here in German, or here translated into English by Google.

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Book Review: Barbara Delinsky – Variation on a Theme

Posted by HelenEdith on January 12, 2008

I borrowed this book from the library based on the name Barbara Delinsky on the cover, but found this book rather disappointing. Barbara Delinsky has written much better books in my opinion. Even the main character, Rachel being a flautist didn’t really redeem the book in my eyes.

Rachel meets Jim, who is a private detective working for Rachel’s father. The meeting comes about because Rachel’s father needs a heart operation and is refusing to have it, or to tell Rachel that there’s anything wrong with him, so Jim takes it upon himself to fetch Rachel home from where she’s touring with the group she performs with and despite being very different, they fall in love.

There are some humorous moments in the story, and some very sad moments, and the mystery about Rachel’s origins ends up having a considerable bearing on the story, but it still isn’t Barbara Delinsky at her best.

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Book Review: Loretta Chase – Mr Impossible

Posted by HelenEdith on January 12, 2008

This is a historical romance set in Egypt after the Rosetta Stone was discovered but before it was deciphered.

It took me a long time to read, and I kept wondering whether to give up or keep going, but I got to the end eventually, and quite a bit of the storyline is staying with me, so I think it was worth the effort.

Rupert Carsington is the fourth son of the Earl of Hargate, and he’s a bit of a loose cannon, which is why his father’s sent him to Egypt, well away from England. Daphne Pembroke is a widow and a scholar. I should add that she’s a young, attractive widow! She and Rupert are thrown together when Daphne’s brother is abducted.

They have lots of adventures as they junket around Egypt and sail along the Nile, and as this is a romance, they fall in love, too.

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Entry for January 05, 2008 – 2007 Album for Jessie

Posted by HelenEdith on January 5, 2008

I got my set of 2007 pictures printed and into an album for Jessie and gave it to her when she came for “Christmas” dinner on New Year’s Day.

It’s a mixture of pictures which have some significance to Jessie (even if tenuous like living reasonably close to Biggin Hill) plus a few that I put in because I liked them. I also included a few from our October holiday, as a few good holiday snaps are always worth including!

She also got a double page spread of pictures of Stephen and me this year. There is one of each of us holding an owl at the Working Bygones Show, plus one of Stephen looking wicked which I took on the day we unpacked our new cameras. I took that picture with an old 135mm lens. I do like to mix the old with the new!

I think Jessie’s favourite picture from the 2007 album may be the Royal Red budleia, so that is what I’ve shown here.

If you want to see the whole album, click here.

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Entry for January 05, 2008 – Delayed Christmas Dinner

Posted by HelenEdith on January 5, 2008

We were busy on New Year’s Day having our postponed Christmas dinner. Apart from Stephen not getting the living room tidied up and the table clear and Jessie electing to eat off a tray, things went pretty much to plan. Oh, and I overcooked the brussels sprouts, which therefore met with Stephen’s and Jessie’s approval. I prefer them more al dente myself and meant to fish mine out early, but got carried away carving the turkey.

When I collected Jessie, we drove by the house in Hayes Lane with the Christmas decorations, but the owner was up a ladder dismantling them, so we knew not to take Jessie home that way!

Instead, we drove through Orpington High Street and admired the lights there. Chislehurst High Street also had good lights this year, as did Royal Parade.

I photographed the Royal Parade lights during December, and I’ve picked one of the pictures from then to display.

We were busy on New Year’s Day having our postponed Christmas dinner. Apart from Stephen not getting the living room tidied up and the table clear and Jessie electing to eat off a tray, things went pretty much to plan. Oh, and I overcooked the brussels sprouts, which therefore met with Stephen’s and Jessie’s approval. I prefer them more al dente myself and meant to fish mine out early, but got carried away carving the turkey.

When I collected Jessie, we drove by the house in Hayes Lane with the Christmas decorations, but the owner was up a ladder dismantling them, so we knew not to take Jessie home that way!

Instead, we drove through Orpington High Street and admired the lights there. Chislehurst High Street also had good lights this year, as did Royal Parade.

I photographed the Royal Parade lights during December, and I’ve picked one of the pictures from then to display.

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