Sunday, December 01, 2013

Grazing, cheering up and light

Sunflower grazing. Still looking back to summer archives.

Our friends Peter and Pammie  take me to visit H in hospital. It is Sunday so everything is quiet. Peter and I go for a coffee and Pammie stays to cheer up  H, who  bored and neglected, which she does wonderfully. Peter (could it be a tactful diversion to take my mind off things?) asks me about my journalistic career. Nostalgia seldom bothers me. Being boring does. I try to entertain. When we return to H she is much more cheerful and so am I. All being well next week she should be home.

Music is a problem. So much to choose from, but an illogical reluctance to engage to closely with the familiar, stops me for a while from listening to anything. Just now inhibitions vanish. Bach's Double Concerto for two violins in D Minor sooths and draws backs back  bleak veils. I think of the evening sky a few minutes ago, back-lit in pale gold and smudged with bold islands of cloud. A transient  archipelago.



Tom said...

Music is a problem, but for me, too little to choose from. Why? Because my hearing is going, and the stethoscopic, purpose-built appliance does not do me too many favours, until.......

Lucy bought some headphones for about a quarter of the price of the current appliance. Lo and behold, I was able to listen to a radio broadcast of an Advent carol service vis the TV. Couldn't believe it! To make sure, I listened to the opening movement of the Grieg piano concerto which, last evening, was unlistenable to. Today, it was great, not perfect, but pretty damn good.

Glad to hear things are getting better on your home front. Wishing you both all the best.

Roderick Robinson said...

One of the problems about visiting someone regularly in hospital is that it gets progressively more difficult to talk "to order". Speaking as someone who usually has no problems running off at the mouth under most circumstances, I found myself quite cast down by this inadequacy. An acquaintance of mine who was successively leader writer on the Times/the DT/the Times/theDT was even more put out when he discovered this visiting his wife during her confinement. To the point where he took practical measures and read Wind in The Willows to her. I doubt that H would have been satisfied by this thin gruel and having Pammie stand in for you is to have a friend indeed.

Choice of music. In simple terms the decision to listen to familiar music is made in the gut and to listen to unknown music in the head. Under the latter circumstances one needs some extra impulse. Charles Rosen was a concert pianist, an academic and an excellent music writer. In one of his books (It may have been The Classical Syle) I had just finished a chapter dealing with the difficulties of playing Brahms (ie, very special) and had been totally absorbed. In the next chapter he wrote enthusiastically about Elliot Carter's concerto for piano and harpsichord; one chapter fed the other and I decided to buy the Carter which meant paying an eye-watering £25 from a source in NY. But it was worth it. As I say, an extra kick in the pants is necessary whereas the Bach double concerto requires no such external assistance.

Lucy said...

Hospital on Sundays, ugh. In the end when Tom was in I just took a book and sat and read, at least I was there. But then that was at the stage where he was a bit too ill to be bored or want much stimulus anyway, it sounds as if H is just restless to be home, which soon she will be. You clearly have good friends in P&P.

That bee and flower photo is truly impressive.

Unknown said...

Tom Glad to hear music is not lost to you. I often think I don't appreciate it sufficently.

RR What I often return to largely because it evades sentimentality and easiness is Philip Glass and other minimalists. It is not affectation, I promise. I like and understand the monotony and repetition.

Lucy It is a difficult time. I like sometimes to stay silent.
I think I posted the bronze sunflower, two or three years ago. Repetition again.