15th August 2017

>> Pen of the Week <<

capital TThe annual nextar feasthe annual nectar feast has begun.  In the garden a profusion of bright yellow flowers bloom on top of long stalks and attract bees from all over.  The back yard is just like a busy airport with flights arriving and departing, and I can watch the bees for hours on end (see photo on right).  It seems to me that the plants are a little later in blooming this year but the entire summer seems to have been extremely capricious as far as the weather is concerned.

This little introductory blurb is beginning to resemble a half-yearly occurrence but I shall do my best to update it every month from now on.  Part of the problem with regular updates is that often there doesn’t seem anything new to report from one month to the next, so I have decided to write about not just the musical things but to go ‘off-topic’ and talk about other things as well.

I won’t make myself very popular saying this, but I for one am glad that the teperatures have now come down to a tolerable range (18°C - 24°C) as, after experiencing several days of 42°C (107.6°F) in the south of France I realise that I have a rather low melting point!  Still, in these more tolerable conditions, if the sun shines, one still has the impression of a lovely summers’ day.

August is well under way and all the various musical activites are starting up again: this week my church choir Laus Deo has two services to sing and the Shanty choir will also be performing next weekend at a festival in Leidschendam.

In France there was lots to see and do.  Highlights of my visit were the opera Aïda in the amazing Roman amphitheatre in Orange; the stunning Palais idéal du facteur Cheval in Hauterives; visits to winemakers and eating at La Pyramide in Vienne.  All very inspiring, especially the Palais idéal in Hauterives, which is truly the stuff that dreams are made of.

The focus in the next few weeks will be on getting some compositions and arrangements finished and getting the studio in shape for the next season.  There are a number of unfinished pieces that I began, only to cast aside because of the pressure of other work, which really deserve to be finished. We’ll see how far we get.....  Yesterday was the most glorious sunny afternoon and today, as I finish writing this, it seems almost as if yesterday were the summer’s swansong and today autumn has come (and of course today is the day that I always walk the dog — more about that next time.....).  I had better get going.

As usual, the weekly programme for the lunchtime organ recital can be found on the Orgelmuziek op donderdag page; every week I post a picture of Pen of the Week with its corresponding ink, and very soon I shall update the Agenda page with the concerts and events that have been planned for next season.

Best wishes and enjoy the last bit of summer,