All posts filed under: Good Life

Life’s what you make of it

Potential trauma today. Excited little chap popped from the car like a cork from a bottle, and bounced to his sport class this evening. Only to find it cancelled, with the message unreceived. He took it really well. Disappointed, grumpy, but really digging in.  There was nothing for it but ice cream. When you see this, there’s no other way of saying it. Life’s what you make of it. 

A nation (and an idea) in sound

I’m listening to the John Williams soundtrack for the film “Lincoln.” It’s magnificent: pure Copland at times with its scoring, full of soaring melodies that could only be American. There are Wagnerian moments, snatches of Civil War tunes, a lovely string quartet. It makes me wonder which other nations have a musical sound which is so easily and indisputably part of their national character, which reflects somehow in that intangible way their history and the ideals of their founders, as well as the endless physical variety and expanse of their country? Perhaps the closest is the new South Africa. The kids in my band have been learning to play Nkosi Sikelei Afrika, with a simplified history of the song and the movement (and then nation) whose anthem it became. Any other suggestions?

I wish I had this talent

Chris Glynn is dad of one of my great kids in the band, and a magnificently talented illustrator.  This sketch is from our Christmas concert in the Millennium Centre.  Check out more of his fabulous work here

Counting down

I’m sitting in a concert hall listening to the pre-match ritual. Harpist is tuning. Trumpeter is checking some corners. One of my fellow horn players is alone up at the back of the chair-and-stand-filled empty stage, quietly blowing some warmup notes. Ushers are checking the last chairs as players drift in and out, increasingly metamorphing from the colourful daywear to the black unity of the concert gear. Love it.

Gin o’clock

One of the unusual literary things everyone should do at least once is to read the Bond novels in their original form.  Ian Fleming was at times a fairly awful person, and the novels are sprinkled with appalling sexism and racism at points.  But in matters of booze, they’re hard to surpass.  I’m posting this with a pint of Dr No gin and tonic. Fleming didn’t, but I’d recommend Bombay Sapphire.  Enjoy. Bond ordered a double gin and tonic and one whole green lime. When the drink came he cut the lime in half, dropped the two squeezed halves into the long glass, almost filled the glass with ice cubes and then poured in the tonic. He took the drink out on to the balcony, and sat and looked out across the spectacular view.