Friday 30 March 2012

Rosaries and protests

I think the actual chant is too coarse and crude for here. I did wonder if the people shouting know what a rosary is. Some of the twitter stuff tonight mentions how great it was to make so much noise. Well it's not an image of womanhood that I aspire to. The usual stuff about all the prolife folks being men. Well I'm a woman and there were lots and lots of us there and it's great that there were lots of men too. Oh yes and old people, but they have as much right to pray as anyone else. Without wishing to over dramatise, what did the jeering crowd sound like on the via dolorosa?

Bedford Square Tonight

I was there along with lots of people. Same sort of atmosphere as the Rosary Rally, but with very loud shouting and banging coming from nearby. Not terribly pleasant. Great stuff to have a Bishop to rally round. All very well organised, but then Catholics are very good at falling in with whatever is going on.

Wednesday 28 March 2012

Practising with the iPad

It's proving very handy for all my chant needs on trains. Trains are the place where I learn music. Also great is that you can download a score from The interweb as a PDF, stick it in iBooks and then listen to the music on iTunes, if you like. Very handy indeed. When I was a student locating a score and a recording of quite a lot of stuff was hard, so this is a marvellous. The instrumental teachers at work say that boys are now downloading music and putting the iPad on piano music stands to practise. Quite cool.

Nearly there

After the three concerts and two parents' evenings in 8 days, Olympiad, hopefully it's time to tidy up, plan a bit and sort out the music for Holy Week. Actually I have, it just needs producing into daily bundles. Yesterday's concert, which was my night in a sense ( the responsibility sense) at work went well. The boys played well and the audience were happy. Job done. I used the adrenalin fix I was still on early this morning to tidy up a bit and put the washing on. In registration I discussed with my form the ups and downs of such things. You do have to be very hyped up to play a concerto or step out in front of an audience and conduct, because you have to be able to focus entirely on what you are doing and you can't really get it wrong. then you are all hyped up and can't sleep. If you are me you then wake up very early, completely wired and yet exhausted and have to teach. My form are all musicians and several of them are about to be in a youth opera production, so have four nights of this. One of them was already on his fourth mars bar of the day at 9 am. We decided a caffeine+mars bar IV drip stand was the way to go. I still haven't really crashed and I only had 4 hours sleep last night. How people who take drugs function, I know not. Doing concerts is a much better legal high cos you get to make people happy, with all the edgy risk-taking my nerves can take and some. Just have to post the music back to Germany now.

Sunday 25 March 2012

Barroux App

Or Abb Barroux or something. A 69p addition to your Catholic app, to go alongside Liber Pro and iBreviary. It's very smart.

Friday 23 March 2012

Thursday 22 March 2012

50 k

Oh yay.

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Lots of music

On just now, which is good, but unsustainably busy. Basically, I have three concerts in eight days, playing viola, then horn, then conducting. Pity the conducting is last, cos that takes the most concentrating. One of the things that gets me is having enough clothes, because part of the magic of my life is that this is in addition to teaching and doing two parents' evenings also in this time frame AND the clocks go forward this w/e. I'm going to bed. :-)

Saturday 17 March 2012

St Patrick's Day

Happy feast day.

Friday 16 March 2012

Not just window dressing

The CTS Bookshop just by Westminster Cathedral has all of its handy tomes on marriage in the window just now. And all of its handy pamphlets too.

Wednesday 14 March 2012

None of the above

Not an option on ballot papers in general elections. I may have to write it on myself next time.

St Asaph

It's got a cathedral, what more do you need to be a city? bet it's been the a while too. Bangor Cathedral is mighty old. And an Indian restaurant. Cosmopolitan to boot.

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Olympic Beethoven

One of the set works for AS is the first movement of the Beethoven Violin Concerto. It would be fair to say that the class have not thus far been taken with it. Until today. By the wonders of an iPod we listened to Jascha Heifetz, shaving an amazing 6 minutes off Itzak Perlman and suddenly they like it. It's fast and then it gets harder and he seems to accelerate through the bar, at one point parting company with the orchestra. And we like the sound. A lot. the young minds we focused by the fact that last week I pointed out that the mythical time in the future when they actually learn it well enough to recognise where each time the second subject crops up in the movement is RIGHT NOW. Oh and the test tomorrow. Better finish writing it, I suppose. Gold medal.

Monday 12 March 2012

The cyclists are planning another trip

After the great success of the cycle from Blackfen to Rome, two years ago, our intrepid cyclists are off to Land's End this year.  Ending with Mass on 21st July.

Follow the progress (and cycle too...) here

Sunday 11 March 2012

Telling everyone what you think

yup Blogging, but only to people who care to read you. Saying your thing during a Mass, not on. Unless you are under two, of course, in which case you may burble a bit and have the occasional melt down etc. Once when I was at Mass at Notre Dame de France in Leicester Sq, someone was up to no good during the Eucharistic Prayer. I don't know what, but this is central London and pretty well anything is possible. I never looked round. he Priest became visibly tense and looked distracted and then another member of the congregation shouted, 'How dare you!' and that was that. Suffice to say whatever was going on did not go unchallenged. Such was the level of jumpiness after that when someone behind me let a kneeler crash down, I practically jumped out of my pew. Catholic Churches are amongst the few buildings that anyone can walk into unchallenged.

Saturday 10 March 2012

Qualifying words

Heterosexual marriage. Like there's another sort.

Cardinal O'Brien

PS to my ears he sounded quite temperate. But then I don't think sounding a bit annoyed is thew worst thing that you can do. Sounding incoherent and bumbling on The Today programme ensures you are put in the box marked, 'harmless old fool.' Give me a feisty Scot any day. PPS the let the legislation go through and we'll tweak the regulations later approach does not work. What happens now if you are woman who sadly needs to give up her child up for adoption. Can you insist that the child is placed with a married Catholic couple?

Catholics 3

'twas interesting if strange. It certainly showed a cross section of woman who go to the Cathedral, bar religious. I thought they were women too. The mother with the three children, including the off camera, 'I'm down here, hello,' baby in a buggy who kept making his/her presence felt and the lady who had returned to the church after 60 years away were my favourites, because they looked so happy. More of the mother would have been nice and we never got to see the baby, who will need counselling to cope with how I didn't get to be on BBC4 when my elder siblings did. Not to mention the no nonsense, keeping busy and doing good stuff in adversity sacristan. The others were very honest and showed I think that the extent to which you depart from the Church determines your peace of mind. The strangeness, by the way, was in part due to the way the camera only focused on woman in the cathedral, like there were no men at all anywhere. Episode children had adults in it ...

Friday 9 March 2012

Thursday 8 March 2012

Catholics 3

Better go and watch episode 3, all about woman, just in case I need to send an email....

Igudesman and Joo Off to see them tomorrow at Cadogan Hall for their London debut, with old school friend. Not alas to Brighton to hear James MacMillan. Sniff.

Tuesday 6 March 2012


As the happy owner of an iPad, I have downloaded a few books. For a mere £1.99, you can get lots of GKC, so I have. Just as I've never played Brahms 3, despite suggesting it repeatedly in repertoire meetings, I've never read any GKC and that's easier to put right. First up, Eugenics and other Evils and it's all very pertinent. The issue and the manner in which public debate is conducted in this country and how people react to the prospect of things changing for the worse via legislation. If I could work how to copy text into a blogpost I would.

Sunday 4 March 2012

Pretty clear

From Keith Cardinal O'Brien in The Sunday Telegraph on marriage. We remember the Scots setting the tone for the Papal Visit. Now maybe we could copy their example south of the borr on this one. For certain if this become law, there will be many unintended and unforeseen dreadful consequences. 10 per cent of the population are missing after the 1967 Abortion Act.

UPDATE. Who ticked the funny box?
7 million abortions is funny?


Not all cow pat music. Did someone mention the augmented 4th to him? We seem to be playing from the original OUP hand-written parts with m/s alterations and horror the odd extra bar added. It gets worse. The parts have been bound in Sellotape, turns yellow and flakey. Altogether, not a good play.

Saturday 3 March 2012


Never been the most trendy teacher, it would be fair to say, but Junior String Orchestra do seem to like to tune to the iFork. Miss has an iPad... We can hook the thing up to the Hifis too, so great for playing music to classes, when we aren't on the Naxos library or YouTube. Really, it's never been so easy to listen to music.

Friday 2 March 2012


Sorry to be so brutal. Hanging makes me think of Judas. It's awful that the police man blinded by Raoul Moat seems to have decided to end his life thus. I asked Ambulance brother what the worst calls he's been to are and aside from ones where stuff happens and there are children around, he says hangings. In case it is possible to revive people, the paramedics have to cut the person down. Also, they have to proceed carefully carefully since it is also a crime scene. One of our second cousins in Ireland, who had a long history of mental illness, committed suicide in this way and his younger brother found him.


I lked it. I may have sunk to such a level that I'm so amazed to see anything about Catholicism on mainstream TV that is not cynical, nasty and innuendo ridden, that I accept this, but still it had some good moments and the general tenor was very good. There were things that were iffy. And then I switched over. The children were great. I liked the priest. He did mention the devil. He did give you the feeling he was doing his best cheerfully. Yes, I'd like it if everyone was going to the EF Mass, but they aren't. The church was very attractive. So there we are. random thoughts. Oh yes and how great for the children to have all that space to run around in. They looked very happy. And yup, I hate circle time too.

Thursday 1 March 2012

St David's Day

Happy st David's day.