Sunday 31 March 2013

Happy Easter

Saturday 30 March 2013

Spot the missing word

Out shopping today in John Lewis Food Hall ( tis Easter food shopping time...) I walked past the token receptacle thing where you get to put a green tiddlywink in a container for a charity. I'm sure I spent enough to get at least one... :-(

Anyway, one of the charities was the Cabrini Children's Society.

The word missing from the blurb underneath?


Thursday 28 March 2013

Pange lingua

At the Bottom of Clare's post on the music she will sing tonight is the recording we made last summer. It was an intense two days and a lot has happened to me in the last year, so apparently we recorded that too....

Tonight we sing

The Propers
Ave verum plainchant at the Offertory
Adoro te devote at Communion
Pange lingua plainchant with alternate polyphonic verses by Palestrina, the prince of music.

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Crux fidelis

Apparently, I am on this though I have no recollection at all....

Liebster Award

From Counter Cultural Father and Eccles.

11 fun facts.

1 My birthday is on Christmas Day.

2 I have crazy wallpaper round my fireplace.

3 I like growing stuff and then cooking with it. When all is said and done I am two generations away from subsistence farming in the Co Kerry. Not too many tomatoes there, more beef and dairy farming.

4 I like it when people are witty and funny, which is one reason I enjoy teaching in a boys' school.

5 I once spent an afternoon sitting in Trafalgar Square with a school friend singing along to Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture recorded the previous evening at a school concert on her dictaphone, whilst Paxman's bashed a massive dent out of the bell of my horn that happened when I fainted and smashed it in an orchestra rehearsal the morning of said concert. (Still played the last movement of Strauss 1 and accompanied her in Kreisler's Praeludium und Allegro.)

6 A little boy asked me in front of a class this year if I went to the school. No?

7 A boy from school once gave me his seat on the Tube, which elicited some strange looks as I don't wear a badge announcing that I teach where he goes to school.

8 When I went to see the Teresa Carreña Youth Orch with some boys, I caught one of the trackie tops they were throwing into the audience during their encores. They were brilliant. Normally, I hate sitting behind the horn section of an orchestra. They were superb. I gave the trackie top to a boy, of course.

9 I have a 98 year old trinational -born in Argentina, of Irish parents and married a Frenchman in 1938- Great Aunt, living in Paris, who worked for Time Magazine after she was widowed in 1951 and needed to support herself and three children. She was skiing well into her 70s.

10 My Grandmother should have been a buyer for a West End store.

11 My other Grandmother was WI county president for Caernarvonshire in the 1960s. ( Feel very afraid.)

Ben's questions

What inspired the title of your blog?
My Dad likes bara brith.

Why should people read your blog?
I don't think anyone should read it. It's just here if you want to.

What is your personal favourite post on your blog?
The post I wrote before the Rome blognic.

What has been the most popular (most viewed) post on your blog?
The picture of delphiniums.

Which post on your blog has attracted most comments?
The one on Introits last Sept, I think, though several were just my replies, so that probably doesn't count.

What other hobbies or interests (beyond blogging) are you prepared to admit to?
Gardening in the summer, baking all year round, swimming, walking, going to N Wales. Making plum jam when next door's tree obliges.

What are your hopes for the new pontificate?
That people will shut up whinging, get on with whatever they are supposed to be doing and see what they might learn from Pope Francis, even if he isn't a wax work of what they think the Pope should be. ( Do you detect a note of irritation? I hope so. Some of what has been written on the Catholic blogosphere in the last couple of weeks is utterly disgraceful.)

Where is your favourite place of pilgrimage, and why?
The Miraculous Medal Shrine on the rue du Bac.
Our Lady appeared there.
I got my present job on 8th Dec.
I like old fashioned Catholic piety a lot and it's filled with lots of good people.
I spend all day surrounded by heaps of energetic teenage boys playing musical instruments and asking me questions and I'm very happy to be almost silent during the holidays.

Who is your favourite spiritual author, and why?

Which of these questions did you fid it most difficult to answer?
See previous.

Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?
I've never been a member of any political party and will most likely be spoiling my ballot paper at the next General Election as there are now no parties who even vaguely have anything to do with anything I think is important. I wrote, 'none of the above, ' across my ballot paper at the last Local Election.

If you are the blogger not yet included in all this, here are the questions to copy.

What inspired the title of your blog?
Why should people read your blog?
What is your personal favourite post on your blog?
What has been the most popular (most viewed) post on your blog?
Which post on your blog has attracted most comments?
What other hobbies or interests (beyond blogging) are you prepared to admit to?
What are your hopes for the new pontificate?
Where is your favourite place of pilgrimage, and why?
Who is your favourite spiritual author, and why?
Which of these questions did you fid it most difficult to answer?
Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?

Alternatively and noting the change to Roman numerals - a traddie meme, I fear...

The Eccles questions and a Lobster.

(i) Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
What's summer?

(ii) How many roads must a man walk down?
In some snowy parts of the British Isles at the mo, all of them.

(iii) How long is a piece of string?
A light inextensible string, a stretchy one in a question using Hooke's Law or some garden twine?

(iv) Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Who indeed. Can't get the staff these days.

(v) Why did the chicken cross the road?
It was sunnier or shadier on the other side.

(vi) Who is the fairest of them all?
Need to go to the rue du Bac for the answer.

(vii) What shall we do with the drunken sailor?
Check out Purcell Dido and Aeneas

"Take a boozy short leave of your nymphs on the shore, / And silence their mourning / With vows of returning / But never intending to visit them more."

(viii) To be or not to be?
To be.

(ix) How much wood would a wood-chuck chuck if a wood-chuck
could chuck wood?
I have sung that song and I don't remember the answer.

(x) Where did you get that hat?

(xi) What's in a name?
To quote Sondheim in West Side Story

The most beautiful sound I ever heard:
Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria . . .
All the beautiful sounds of the world in a single word . .
Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria . . .
I've just met a girl named Maria,
And suddenly that name
Will never be the same
To me.
I've just kissed a girl named Maria,
And suddenly I've found
How wonderful a sound
Can be!
Say it loud and there's music playing,
Say it soft and it's almost like praying.

I'll never stop saying Maria!

The most beautiful sound I ever heard.

And Eccles's questions if you fancy a puzzle.

(i) Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
(ii) How many roads must a man walk down?
(iii) How long is a piece of string?
(iv) Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
(v) Why did the chicken cross the road?
(vi) Who is the fairest of them all?
(vii) What shall we do with the drunken sailor?
(viii) To be or not to be?
(ix) How much wood would a wood-chuck chuck if a wood-chuck
could chuck wood?
(x) Where did you get that hat?
(xi) What's in a name?

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Seasonal Photocopying

Had one of my periodic rummages on the TES website to see if there was anything of use today and found some mildly interesting stuff for AS Level. Took it off to turn into booklets for the class and happened on one of the Classics teachers doing something similar. He summed up Latin revision as, 'I can't reduce the language down, they just need to learn the @&£! endings.'

I handed over my bundle of Easter holiday fun. They already have all the past papers and mark schemes and we've been through everything that has ever come up ever. Yawn. Brightest boy says, ' So basically, we just need to learn it all now.'

Yup, 'twas ever so.

'Funny,' I said, 'Mr X was saying something similar earlier in the Print Room.'

Monday 25 March 2013


Not been blogging because I have barely been at home and then left my iPad at work on Friday - my bag was full of Triduum music, so I didn't notice that I didn't have it - and had an internet free weekend.  Plus so much in the blogosphere has been so awful, silence seemed like the best policy.

When not working I have been in bed. Fun.

By this end of term it makes little difference what time I go to bed, I'm so burnt out, but it's nice to think you are making an effort in that direction.

Thanks for the award thingy CounterCultural Father and Eccles.  Won't be able to do the thing just yet.

Post Palm Sunday

Clare has a recording of Hosanna filio David, made last summer.

There's always next year.

Friday 15 March 2013

Thursday 14 March 2013

Following the conclave

I was thinking a few checks during the day etc would be the way it went, but fate intervened and early on Tuesday morning I went down with a stomach thing. So did my mother. We think the cutest member of the family may have something to do with it, though he seems OK, thankfully.

You have to try very hard to feel aggrieved really. He is adorable. His Daddy was bedridden on Sunday. Do the math etc.

Anyway, despite being only slightly conscious, it did mean that I sort of followed the Mass from St Peter's and saw Mgr Marini closing the doors. I'd have been happy for him to be elected, but his clothes are the wrong colour to be considered. Next time...

By yesterday, I had returned to food of the bland variety and had to turn down a kind invitation for an Indian, scrambled eggs on toast being as far as my culinary imaginations would take me and I'm exhausted by doing anything. ( Just put some washing on, now need a rest. )


That meant I happened to watch the white smoke and the announcement. All very exciting. I quickly switched to a mixture of Vatican TV and Sky and later Al Jazeera- very respectful and willing to enter into the spirit of the crowd. At least Sky don't talk all the time, although they didn't seem sure what the new Pope's name was until they got it on a wire. Quite scary really. What else don't the news people get? They too had someone unable to give the usual English translations of the prayers. Centuries and and centuries etc at the end of the Gloria Patri.

All I can say about The Today Programme this am is for their sake I do hope my mother was not listening because the item about Latin was so awful it defies description. As to our friend Bernhard, someone ( in a white coat, ) needs to take him aside...

I've never even heard of our new Pope Francis which is all very exciting.

When Pope Benedict XVI was elected I read his half dozen easy books.

Pope Francis is not a prolific author, so a different approach will be needed.

And now some celebratory tulips.

I walked up to the end of the road to gauge my strength for yomping to work tomorrow....

My BBC Complaint

The reply

Dear Miss Leutgeb

Thank you for contacting us.

Please be assured your concerns were raised with the relevant editorial staff at Today, who explained that:

“We wanted to ask Cardinal O'Connor what he made of the latest revelations relating to Cardinal Keith O’Brien and the impact it might have on the Catholic Church in the UK and on the Papal vote in Rome. We felt these were important questions to pose and of interest to listeners. We felt John’s line questioning was tough but fair, and allowed Cardinal O’Connor to make his views heard.”

We felt this was a fair and accurate summation of the effect instances of paedophilia have had on the Church in recent years.

I’d like to assure you that I’ve registered your concerns on our audience log. This is a daily report of audience feedback that's made available to many BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive Board, programme makers, channel controllers and other senior managers.

The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content.

Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.

Kind Regards

BBC Complaints

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Wednesday 13 March 2013

Viva il Papa

Veni creator

From The Chant Café.

One of the things we will be singing at the Confirmation Mass next week.

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Location:Sistine Chapel, Rome

Monday 11 March 2013

Pray for the Cardinals

Borrowed from The Papal Visit on Facebook.

Sunday 10 March 2013

Laetare Sunday in Portsmouth

Bishop Egan says lots of great things and then reminds us that we are supposed to be able to sing the chants of the Mass that pertain to us in Latin.
Penultimate paragraph here.
Portsmouth has lots of rather good musicians like The Newman Consort and of course the sisters at St Cecilia's just across the water at Ryde.
Things are on the move. Lucky Portsmouth.

PS I got the link from the all seeing, all knowing, Fr James Bradley of The Ordinariate via Twitter.


Laetare Sunday

Saturday 9 March 2013

Stupid, but

From @papalchimneystack

If you mostly go to the older form of the Mass, you can stumble a bit in English, I find.

I'm sure they use English .....

Monday 4 March 2013

Loving that news coverage

Today. Now we know that Cardinal M-O'C's style of oratory is not best suited to 8.10 interviews on R4, but the tone adopted by John Humphrys was incredibly hostile. You'd think he was interviewing a war criminal. The introduction alone was dreadful, so time for a complaint.

Not brilliant at all, but better than nothing.

The suggestion that the words Paedophile and Priest were [ no dates given, naturally, ] almost synonymous is untrue and I wonder if the script writers ever would consider how offensive to Catholics or indeed Catholic Priests such glib alliteration is.

In the porch of my Church is a notice telling you how to report people for abuse. It lists the diocesan and parish representatives and then says to phone 999 in the case of immediate danger. Hardly a recipe for a cover up.

I cannot think of any other group in this country which is subject to the vicious questioning and relentless negativity that Catholics have to put up with on the BBC.

Cormac Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor is over 80. I am not aware of another man of such an age subject to the lengthy, hostile questioning that he was subject to this morning and btw, the correct way of addressing a Cardinal is, Your Eminence.

Your reporting of Catholicism bears no relation whatever to my experience as a Catholic in Britain.

Thank goodness for the Internet. It is entirely possible to follow all the events from Rome without having recourse to the BBC.

@Papalsmokestack is what I shall be following.

Sobering Reading

A while back I got iPieta and last week stumbled into the collected sermons of St John Vianney.

I read about 10 of them back to back on the train one day last week.

Sobering stuff for a sobering time.

Sunday 3 March 2013


Mac has a clip of the Marian anthem at the end of today's Missa Cantata, which is as it is. People hear what they want to hear.

What is good is that the very small children at Mass, even those not singing will grow up hearing this music. That's down to their parents teaching them the chants. The Missa Cantata is merely the opportunity to sing what they already know.

Being as it's Lent it's time to crack open The Matthew Passion.

Adopt a Cardinal

Over 200k people have adopted one.

Here if you haven't yet.

Saturday 2 March 2013

Adopt a Cardinal

Just in case you haven't here.

My one is from Brazil.

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Attende Domine

Way back in Oct, we recorded a few things and this was one.

Roy, our sound engineer, has popped them onto CD and Clare into MP3 and here it is.

There are four of us singing.

As in Brighton, in Blackfen we too have been singing it every week, thus far in Lent.

Personally, I like the repetition.

So far this week I have played Shostakovich 2nd Piano Concerto, Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, Tchaikovsky Sleeping Beauty, Mussorgsky arr Ravel Picture at an Exhibition, Saint-Saens Danse Macabre and Berlioz Carnival Romain. Then I have conducted Elgar Pomp and Circ. 1, Britten Simple Symphony, Mendelssohn String Symphony No.2 and a pupil's AS Composition.

I'm not interested in musical novelty at Mass.

Friday 1 March 2013