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January 25, 2016


An echoed experience here, albeit at an infinitely lower level; my score resting on a music stand and my singing doled out an hour at a time. It's the intensity of the sessions that leaves me exhausted, given that I cannot truly read music and must concentrate as if for my life on the bits of the score I can understand. This combined with the physical nature of singing brings about a special tiredness which I remember from choir-practice evenings as a treble and which sent me scurrying home for slice after slice of Marmite toast.

Hubris perhaps, misguided (given my age) perhaps, but no doubt a feeling of privilege. To retreat into a world where hearing and speech predominate except in one detail. My two sheets of score are too floppy on the stand and are supported by a more substantial score picked up at random by my teacher. A fairly lengthy vocal piece derived from the New World Symphony (not my cup of tea) but with a gracious proviso for the singer: one may or may not adopt the regional accent employed in the text.

My lessons occur at ten on Monday mornings; thus the week starts brilliantly and I drive through Herefordshire's narrow, winding roads in a state of pre-exhilaration which belies my age.

What takes the place of the Marmite toast now, Robbie? I think it's fantastic that you're taking on this challenge (and why the hell not? I say) and have been enjoying reading about its highs and lows, so to speak, on your blog.

Meat-rich casseroles, piles of spag. bol., various cuts of Welsh lamb (the best in the world). Since I've been on the 5:2 diet for more than two years I need to fuel up on the off-diet days. No room for Veganism, I fear; I've also got a novel to write (now 12,000 words in).

Beth, such painterly photos, especially the top one. And I love your words, your spirit, as always.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.