Short trips out

This week happens to be the half term holiday.  Monday was the Spring Bank Holiday.  It doesn’t seem long since the last holidays at Easter.  Not all that long ago the holidays would have been better spaced as the Spring Bank Holiday has replaced the Whitsun (Pentecost) holiday, Whit Monday would have been 9 June this year.

The part of the country where I live has been favoured with good weather (mostly) for the weekend and the early part of the week.

Unusually I have had two outings in as many days.  The first was in the countryside and to an art exhibition with a friend who has moved away and was back on a visit.  The second was with hubby to revisit my blogging friend, Fletch the Perchcrow.  Regular readers of my blog (or his) will remember that Fletch was recently kidnapped and had quite an ordeal.  He is back in the beautiful garden, chatting happily with visitors.

Two Bloggers

Two Bloggers

However his story continues to provide interest; there is now a romantic thread to it.  He was happy to stand alongside a blogging friend as you can see in the photo.  After all we were both short-listed for the first UK Blog Awards!

Talking about being short, I am five foot tall.  I spotted the sign, which marks the water level in the 2009 floods in Cockermouth and stood next to it.

Flood marker

I’d have been under water!

I know the water level was around eight feet in the street where Wordsworth House is located.  Work is currently underway to improve the drainage in the town.  It is business as usual for the local shops and pedestrian access is unaffected.  There is also free short-stay parking.  (I am short of different words in this post too.)

I was privileged to be allowed to try out the harpsichord.  I rushed into the first piece, which I recognised in the book of music being played expertly.  It was my first time on a harpsichord, although I have played a spinet, which is a sort of harpsichord.  It behaves rather differently from a piano as the strings are plucked rather than hit by hammers.  The piece I had chosen has never been one of the favourites I return to over and over again.

The photo doesn't show the wrong notes!

The photo doesn’t show the wrong notes!

It is a Bach Gavotte. I did not turn the page to see if the Musette was there as well.  (I have the music in The Hundred Best Short Classics Book 2, which includes some of my favourite pieces to play.  In mine the trills are written out in full, unlike the copy I was playing from!)  I played it without repeats and was a little distracted by the movement of visitors around the room.  I never play well, when I am aware of an audience!

Last year I met Fletch’s assistant, Amanda – the head gardener.  This time I operated a machine in the summer house and listened to her account of the effect of the flood on the garden.

Fletch has another assistant, Alex, whom I hadn’t met, although we had communicated by electronic methods in the past.  After we had completed our tour, I managed to meet her.  As Alex shares an office, I should perhaps apologise to Rachel for chatting and giggling while she was on the phone!

I was telling Alex (among other things) about the torrential rain, which cut short my driving practice on the way there.  It was an isolated outbreak!

Alex blogs about the second novel she is writing.  We agreed that blogging is a way of being accountable for achieving goals.


Z is for…

A zither is not unlike a gu zheng, being a flat (horizontal) many stringed instrument.  Other related names are cittern, cither, cithern and gittern.  These are all stringed instruments, but of various shapes.  I somehow managed to omit them from my posts for C and G.  I was not intending to make an exhaustive list for the A to Z challenge.  Have you found any serious omissions in my posts?

I hope my musical meanderings didn’t make you zzzzzzzzzz!


Y is for…

Why is Y so difficult?  I am including a youth orchestra and a youth choir.  A well known manufacturer of musical instruments is Yamaha.  Some people refer to their instruments by the brand.  A Yamaha might be an electric organ…

…but then again it could be a motorbike.

Here I’d like to know about you, patient reader.  What is your favourite instrument?  Do you play an instrument?  If so, which one(s)?  Did you begin in your youth?