The year marches on…

…and so does the indomitable Contessa and her often less-than-happy band of singers in the Chamber Opera Group of Lucca. “Family Concerns” will hit the bookshelves in the next couple of weeks…

COVER DESIGN with Hannah LBF webpic

This year’s London Book Fair seemed to be even more busy that in previous years, with strong representations for the far east and central Europe. Thanks to Hannah V. for her support and for holding the first copy of the new novel!

We have taken up Tai Chi and attend a class once a week. It has certainly helped with posture and balance and it also has an almost soporific effect in that it seems to slow things down to a more comfortable pace of existence. How many times do we hear people complaining that the modern rat-race of our society is far too frenetic and just plain wearying? Although conceived as a martial art, Tai Chi is a series of gentle body movements that has developed the defensive aspect of the art into an almost balletic series of movements. One of the flautists in our East Grinstead Concert Band spent some time on the Far East and recalled going to his office every morning past parks filled with people doing their Tai Chi “form”. I am inclined very strongly to agree that there is definitely something in it, otherwise the parks wouldn’t be full of people doing it!

We recently attended a performance of “AMADEUS” from the National Theatre in London, but via the streamed link to our local theatre in Tunbridge Wells. Well, despite misgivings about seeing it “second-hand”, the whole experience was terrific. Excellent performances all round, including an orchestra on the stage (who played from memory and kept popping up as and when required) and closeups of the cast that would have been impossible “live” in the auditorium. We’ll definitely do that again next time there is something on that appeals. Anything to save the over-priced and overcrowded schlep up to London!!

As I write I am listening to J.S. Bach.s “Christmas Oratorio” – yes, I know it’s long-past Christmas, but Johann Sebastian is “any time and always” music, which brings me to my final question for this post: what is it that makes someone a genius, the lack of which makes someone else simply mediocre? J.S. takes off with such energy and enthusiasm right from the first beat, whereas poor old Salieri (Mozart’s nemesis in Amadeus) – despite being the court composer to Joseph II or Austria – never actually gets going in my opinion. Both were talented, well-trained and musical and yet J.S. has that mysterious something that makes you want to listed again and again. I once had a CD of Saleri’s music and never really got past track 3! Poor chap….

 

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