♦ 7th October 2017
he summer is definitely over and autumn has begun. Unfortunately, so has the season for colds! There is a particularly nasty one circulating at the moment (which I caught) and I am keeping my distance from all the singers that I come into contact with! Last year September was the busy month but this year it looks as if October is going to be even busier.
There are two concerts with choirs: one tomorrow in Rijswijk with Cantemus cum Corde, and also one at the end of the month with Quattro Stagioni. The Zoetermeers Mannenkoor have a choir festival on the 14th October — this time it is a home match in Zoetermeer.
The day before, I will play at St. Stephen Walbrook in London. Last year there was a problem with the trains and I finally arrived at the church ten minutes after the concert was due to begin! I am praying that this year that all will go well, but I shall travel armed with a plan B (and a plan C!!).
Last Saturday was the Tilburg Pen Show, and after not being able to go for several years it was a date that I guarded jealously. One of the most enjoyable things about a pen show is the opportunity to meet up with other pen enthusiasts and discuss fountain pens, but it is also a place to discover unexpected treasures or purchase pens at special discounts. The picture shows the pens that I came home with: a Pelikan 140 piston filler with a ‘manifold’ nib (used for making carbon copies); a Penol pen (a Danish maker who made pens for Parker but later branched out on their own); a Wahl-Eversharp lever filler with a flexible nib (and a really gorgeous green striated finish); and last but not least, a Delta Sea Wood pen with a fusion nib. I shall certainly enjoy writing with these lovely pens!
A few days ago I had to play on a historic instrument: an organ from 1833. As far as organs go that’s not particularly old but the older an instrument is, the more uncomfortable it can be to play because of the non-standard interface. This instrument had a pedalboard with about half the usual notes on it but spread out over the same width as normal. This means that no single note is where you expect it to be, and this makes playing the correct notes very draining on the concentration. This is the second time that I have come across such a pedalboard in the Netherlands. There was also a very nice concert grand Bechstein in the church, which I also played.
The weather has taken a cold turn and this week will probably be the last in which I can cycle without wearing gloves. Dusk is falling earlier and earlier and I realise why this is my favourite season of the year.
Hope you are also enjoying the beginning of autumn,