Sunday, 1st January, 2023

[Day 1021]

Today has been quite an interesting day for a variety of reasons. I have quite accustomed to watching the New Year in on my own, complete with a small glass of whisky and my mobile to message New Year greetings to family and friends. Meg is normally tucked up safe and sopund in bed but on this occasiopn she decided to stay up and watch the proceedings. So we saw the New Year in together, drank our whisky and then I installed Meg in bed whilst I pootled around a little before finally coming to bed. First thing this morning, I decided to embark on a little audio experiment. I have discovered a CD hidden in my collection with two of my favourite choral works upon it and I wondered how well it would sound on the little BoomBox (CD player) I bought recently and installed in the bottom of a bookcase. The volume control was turned up to maximum and did not distort the sound but I wondered if I could give things a little tweak by moving the BoomBox to sit on a little stool nearer to our settee which actually gives me an extra metre and a half which certainly improved the volume of the sound somewhat. I was just wondering what the effect of a longer power cable would be as the existing one is a fairly standard 1.4 mtres long. My glance fell onto the bookcse and on one of the shelves was a bit of coiled wire and wondered what it might be. It turned out to be a power cable which was 2.9 metres long i.e. exactly my heart’s desire and I had no idea I actually possessed it. (How does one explain that, by the way?) So my little audio experiment ended with complete success and Meg came to join me on the settee whilst we listened to ‘How Lovely are they dwellings’, probably the most famous and certainly the most played track of Brahm’s German Requiem. By now, the morning was advancing somewhat so we made a quick oats-and-bran type breakfast as we we had intended meeting our University of Birmingham friend in the Waitrose coffee bar. However, our breakfast was (pleasantly) interrupted by our friend who suddenly had the thought that Waitrose might not actually be open so we decided to meet on our usual park bench, each bearing a flask of coffee. This we did and I brought along a container of Stollen which we put between us and all enjoyed. We must have spent a good half hour or more chatting away before the chill started to get to each of us (an occuptional hazard of sitting on a park bench rather than walking) so we all struck out for home. Once we did reach home, Meg and I enjoyed one of those fish meals that cook in the oven and I have to say that we really enjoyed it after the surfeit of Christmas fare to which we have subjected ourselves over the last few days.

The afternoon brought two particular treats, completely different but delightful in their own ways. I must confess that I am not a great listener to Radio 3 which can be completely esoteric much of the time but we do enjoy a rendition of either The Messiah or a Matthew/John Passion broadcast typically over the festive seasons of Christmas and Easter. But I noticed in the listings that there was going to be an hour long programme illustrating the music of William Byrd (Elizabethan contemporary of Thomas Tallis) with commentary from seasoned choristers who had an intimate knowledge of Byrd’s work. This was one hour of relaxing and uninterrupted pleasure (and justified the relocation of one of our DAB radios so that we could listen to it easily) Shortly afterwards we viewed a very well reviewed animated cartoon entitled ‘The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse’ which was inspiring and philosophical and designed to be enjoyed by people of all ages. Some people do not have favourable impressions of this film but the artwork was stupendous and I personally found it absorbing and inspiring. So we had two bonuses this afternoon. In the late afternoon and frustrated by an inability to watch any internet-sourced TV (I only got a blank screen when I tried to access it) I pulled out the television to see if there were any evidently loose connections. I did not not find anything but I made sure that every connection was well seated and when we got the TV back into position, we found that things were now working. So absolutely delighted by all of this, we promptly got onto YouTube and got a broadcast of ‘La Traviata‘ up and running, sung by Renée Fleming and Rolando Villazon. This we have seen several times before but we never tire of it so we are basking in the tunefuleness of it all whilst we have got everything working as it should. Occasionally I have buffering issues when accessing YouTube but we are hopeful of no interruptions today and so far, so good. What an audio/TV filled day but one that has made today both super relaxing, enjoyable and memorable.