Friday, 4 March 2022

Friday 4th March - Supercilious Sheep

 Today's window - or should it be a hatch, I wonder in my Noah's Ark is of the most supercilious sheep I have seen in a while.

 Sheep in the plural - they both look remarkably stupid. Which is not surprising when I looked up the accompanying Bible verse;

For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

My class at school was regularly made to sing the verse 'Perverse and foolish oft I strayed' in hymn practice by ourselves as a punishment for chatting instead of obediently singing like the 'good' pupils. The only thing worse than this was to be made to sing the verse in a small group, or maybe by yourself. 

(the rest of the verse draws to a happy ending, which was not always the case with hymn practice).

It is the annual World Day of Prayer today - friends went to the service (the church was packed!) and brought back the service booklet for me, and a packet of seeds which has handed to everyone. I shall read through the service tonight and discover what the seeds are about.

The box with the Postcard Project arrived today - Ang has made an amazing 'stamp', sewn to the postcard, The camera on my phone is not cooperating so no picture yet... (I'm hoping it just wants charging or restarting or something).

There were also a couple of pieces of cloth for me to practice on - I mentioned that I was looking for some. I spent the afternoon unpicking the part-completed stitching on the tray cloth, and then washing both pieces in very hot -  ow! ow! ow! - water and Shout! stain remover. My hands have never been so clean! The outlines have lifted from the tray cloth and faded from the other piece, so now I can think about how to arrange the practice stitching.

before washing

after washing (I've turned the smaller piece over)

I've started playing again! I'm teaching a student to play the Bach Fantasia in C minor

I was trying to demonstrate how it would sound on a harpsichord (I have a Roland digital harpsichord)
 so I swept the accumulated dust off the keyboard and onto the floor - and discovered that I was completely at sea! The keyboard is much shorter than a piano keyboard and I couldn't find my way around. 

So I have promised to learn the first 16 bars by her next lesson on Tuesday. I will be playing it at a far more sedate speed than the recording! My main problem is that I will have to memorise great chunks as I don't have time to look at the music and focus on the notes through the correct part of my varifocals and then look down to the keyboard and find the keys through a different part of the lens. I've been searching for a solution to this problem for years, trying different lenses, glasses, bifocals, reading glasses, everything. 

I've been working on this piece for two days using every trick that I know, including colour-coding the different sections, and I've got the first 12 bars moderately secure. Four more to go, and then try and put the sections together. It's a challenge!

Aha! Panic over - the phone was too flat to operate the camera. All's well. I give you... 'the Queen'


  1. Ah, that stamp is brilliant! I am excited to see what happens with this project with you and Ang!
    Oooh, that Bach looks hard! Good luck with learning it! Your digital harpsichord is very nice!!x

    1. Isn't the stamp amazing! There is a harpsichordist playing it at the speed of light in a remarkably casual manner; I am going at about half his speed at the moment!

  2. First. Planting seeds is a better tribute to God than rituals in church -my opinion. She gave us seeds as a lesson in respect for our world!

    Also: Have you tried straight "spectacles". I am old and my vision is poor, but shurelely the keyboard and music are at similar distances? I have many pairs of "Poundstretcher" glasses (fortunately my eyes are similar) and power 2 is perfect for "screen" distances (and the keyboard, which I need to "read"). Power 3 is better for reading in bed! If this helps anyone, feel free to publish!

    1. First; take care, Chris....!

      'The kiss of the sun for pardon,
      The song of the birds for mirth,--
      One is nearer God's heart in a garden
      Than anywhere else on earth.'

      but I agree; religion, and the divine, are more than rituals.

      If only reading glasses from the shops would work! But one of my eyes needs a stronger prescription than the other... I don't know why switching between keyboard and fingers is so hard, maybe I'm just getting old, but memorizing can make for a more fluent performance.

  3. Good to see that the linen washed up satisfactorily. Now WDP is over, I shall try and get my head round my next contribution to the postcard

    1. WDP is always an undertaking if you are involved in doing the service - I am guessing that you thought this would be your fist 'year off'? It was for me, as I am not attending committee meetings services at the moment. Ah well, we can breathe again until next year!