Sunday 3 July 2016

Sunday 3rd July - What's up?

It looks like nearly a month since I last "wrote" a letter to y'all.

Well, here you are...

Dear Everyone,

I find it increasingly hard to remember what I have been doing yesterday, let alone last week, so here are some random highlights:

I got stuck in stationary traffic a week or so ago on the northern bypass. No idea what was gong on, but our two lanes were chockablocka, and the two lanes going the other way were empty. A police car squeezing down the middle of our cars provided some excitement, but otherwise I had plenty of time to sit and stare. Which is when I noticed these great curds of unfolding Giant Hogweed at this end of the Nature Reserve.

So I snatched a photograph through the windscreen of my car as nothing else was happening.

It's not that clear unless you know what to look for. I managed to get another glimpse a day or so ago, and it is even more spectacular, but no photograph - I'm usually going past at about 50 mph and fully occupied with getting into the right, or rather left, lane in order to get home, so not much attention to spare for Hogweed, Giant or otherwise. 

What else? Deer on on the road through a forestry plantation near the local scout camp? I was alerted by seeing the back end of one disappear through a gap in the hedge, so had already dropped my speed before a second deer bounced out of the trees and trotted up the road in front of me, scouting for its exit. I've been a bit cautious along that road since then.

My father has been expressing an interest in trying out a smart phone "I'm jealous of the way you all keep pulling out your phone and just looking things up on the internet". So we got hold of one of the younger generation's discarded smart phone (not our son or daughter), and charged it up to see what it would do. What it did do was to get very hot, and then hotter, and then very, very much hotter, with no sign of stopping getting hotter, and also refuse to power down. We were about to go out, and as it would have been inconvenient to come back to a pile of ashes and rubble where the house had once been standing, we put it on a concrete slab down the bottom of the garden with a tin tub on top. I reckon someone has had a near escape from a smoking trouser pocket... 

The Summer Term is slowly drawing to a close (unless you are teaching at a private/public school in which case it probably has closed already - not that I'm jealous or anything). Last week two of my teaching programmes ended for the year. Another two finish this week; it means a series of "concerts", or maybe "show-and-play" might be nearer the mark. So you would think that things were winding down, but no; there's another samba workshop to do, and extra lessons in preparations for accompanying some music exams. I spent last week wrestling with a Brahms song, slowly upping the speed on my metronome until I could scrabble through it at 152 beats per minute. Which is roughly 300 notes per minute, Which is 5 per second. Luckily it is quite a pretty song - just as well, as I have it stuck in my ears as an ear-worm.  

My pink teaching bag is slowly going from its tidy, start of the week state

to stuffed with a whole load of random bits of paper jammed in any-old-how

so that I abandon it and just pull out what I think I might need for the day. So, tomorrow I will be packing a djembe, a ukulele, a giant print-out of the words of Yellow Submarine printed in three colours (for the ukulele lesson, Red for C, Blue for F and Green for G7 in the hope that they will accompany the song with an approximation to the chords), a bucket full of descant recorders, and a selection of piano music in case any of my piano pupils forget their music. Also mp3 player, guitar amp, packed lunch.... ah, and my lesson plans and three different ID cards! And waterproof jacket. It is Summer, after all.

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