Monday, 10th July, 2023

[Day 1211]

Today was one of those rather gloomy days in which it looked as though as it was going to rain in little bursts right throughout the day. So after we had breakfasted we had to decide how to make the best of a rainy day. What we decided to do was firstly to collect our newspapers and then to go off and visit a little Age Concern shop, not on the High Street but about a mile or from the centre of town which is quite easy to access and often has some quite good little bargains. Whilst there, we did not find anything for Meg but I did pick up a little Bush DAB radio for less than £10.00. Once I got it home and gave it a good clean it was incredibly easy to scan and to set the particular presets that I wanted (which should be an easy task but is made a little difficult on some DAB radios) I managed to get the stations I wanted, had to replace one missing foot with some little round felt pads of which I had plenty in stock and then located a manual which is near enough for my purposes even though not the exact model number. I can see why someone has got rid of it as some of the Menu items cannot be accessed but this not concern me too greatly as I have got the DAB audio signal and quality of sound in the stations to which I listen to the most and therefore this is quite functional for me. I have found some batteries that fit inside it so it will be OK for the occasional use when I am sitting out on a garden bench.

Meg and I lunched on some barbecued chicken thighs which were pretty tasty and which we served up with a baked potato and some broccoli. The weather seemed to be brightening somewhat this afternoon but we still have some washing waiting to dry so I am keeping an eye upon the weather. We bumped into our next door neighbour when we returned from our little venture out this morning and he was busy sowing a bit of extra lawn seen and fertiliser upon his lawn what he hoped to be a few hours before it started raining again. As the gardening books say ‘Choose a fine day’ or ‘Choose a suitable day’ but this advice is more easily given than followed.

This afternoon, after we had our post-prandial cup of tea and a bit of a rest, I invited Meg to join me in our newly commissioned ‘Music Room’ as I had a little domestic job which I thought it would be nice for us to do together. When I was in the charity shop this morning, I was on the look out for some loose fabrics that could act as a sort of loose covers for the stools we have in our music room. I alighted upon what turned out to be a duvet cover, perhaps, for a child’s bedroom but in some rather classical looking blue stripes. Meg and I arranged these on a couple of adjacent stools to form a sort of impromptu bench and, in the fullness of time, I intend to have a variety of musical manuscripts arranged upon this arrangement such that I can quickly locate what I am seeking as the spirit takes me. When this little task was completed, and we were taking pleasure in our work, we decided to have a quiet sit down and listen to a CD of Sacred Choral Favourites that I had got loaded into one of our music centres. We then gave ourself an almost impromptu choral evensong with some of our particular favourites. These included the Fauré ‘Cantique do Jean Racine‘, Brahmn’s ‘How Lovely are Thy Dwellings‘ from his German Requiem and Mozart’s ‘Ave verus corpus‘ We followed this up with two other versions of ‘Ave verum corpus‘, one by Elgar and the other by William Byrd. So we had the most incredibly restful, not to say uplifting, little concert of our own choosing. This then led me to wonder how often choral evensong is broadcast and it only took a few seconds to discover that it is always traditionally broadcast at 4.00pm on Wednesday afternoons on BBC Radio 3 from a variety of churches and cathedrals. Also available, as it happens on Radio 3 today, was a choral evening song from Lincoln cathedral which I am playing now, as I blog, broadcast from Lincoln Cathedral and commemorating the 400th anniversary of the death of William Byrd. So one way or another, I feel that we have hit a rich seam of broadcast pleasure to which we can look forward week by week. I am reminded that one of my music and art teachers, a very close personal friend who died a few years ago now, used to listen almost ‘religiously’ to Choral Evening Song when he was working on a design in his work as an architect. I now realise that he had a point so that is one more thing for which I need to offer him thanks. He also introduced me to Mozart’s ‘Piano Concerto No. 23‘ and the Mozart ‘Clarinet Concerto‘, both of which remain my particular favourites even some 65 years after I was first introduced to them.