A quick pause to look outside and find something to photograph;
So how long will this promising weather last? I loaded samba equipment, a djembe, a Roland mini-cube (like a small guitar amplifier) and a ukulele into the car, and remembered to add my packed lunch.
The first stop is a small village school, where I teach all of year 3 and year 4 to play the ukulele. I enjoy this one immensely, all the more because I work alongside a colleague, sharing the teaching, sparking off each other, getting ideas from each other. A lesson in which I haven't learnt anything is a wasted lesson in my opinion, and that's just as a teacher!
After a hectic hour trying to help the children work out which finger is which, and where it should go on the ukulele to make a "C" chord, I meandered back to the car.
The best place to park is in a narrow lane down alongside the church. The sun was hot on my back, the leaves and berries in the hedgerow gleaming in the Autumn sun. A blackbird was singing nearby, and there were roses in the churchyard.
What an idyllic place.
Once, a few weeks ago, when I was standing in the lane, I heard an eerie creaking sound, and church bells ringing as though in the distance. Intrigued, I went into the church, thinking that maybe someone was playing a recording of church bells for some unguessable reason. It turned out that the bell ringers were up in the bell chamber (reached by the usual small, low door and narrow twisting stairway) and were either practising, or ringing for some other event. They had closed the louvres at the top of the bell tower in order to reduce the noise levels for the rest of the village, or perhaps just for the school next door.
The rest of the day lived up to the promise of the start. After taking some time to appreciate the peace of the little lane, I zoomed over to teach samba to an enthusiastic crowd of year 5 and 6 children. Back into the car, and a twenty mile journey to the last school. There is a bit of time to fill over lunch, so I investigated a new tea room (very promising) where I wrote some letters and looked round the village. Two more lessons, djembe and samba again, and home to teach piano for a couple of hours.
That would have been plenty of activity for one day, but my parents are moving house more or less as I type, so we dropped round to help with the final cleaning and clearing, and then, too tired to face cooking, all went out for a meal together.
The only food for tired carnivores is steak, so that's what most of us had. I have a feeling I shall sleep like a log tonight.