Coffee with Maestro.

Welcome! Today, you’re in for a little surprise. This week your beverage of choice will be accompanied by the Violin Ensemble and as our first number will be Pirates of the Caribbean, I invite you to join me in throwing on your best pirate rags and we might even dig up some buried treasure if we can ever find X marks the spot.


The Pirate Violinist.


This afternoon, I performed with my violin ensemble at the annual concert, which was held out on a pecan farm this year, complete with a red Massey Ferguson tractor, scarecrows and a cattle dog pup who must have been sent off the Grandma’s for the afternoon! When I say, “my ensemble”, that’s not to imply that I’m the boss. I’m just a humble player and sometimes more humble than others. I’ve really had to rethink where I’m heading with all of this but have decided to stick with it.

Anyway, we started out with our pirate outfits on to play Pirates of the Carribean and later played a Mozart Medley featuring Eine kleine Nachtmusik and what I think it was the Clarinet Concerto. I know that it sounds terrible that I’ve been playing this piece for half a year and I’m not really sure what it was but I’m always behind the eighth ball. All I’ll say is that I’ve never forgotten hearing Meditation by Massinet over 20 years ago which first awakened my love for the violin. It was like being struck by lightening…in a good way, of course!

“Come to the edge,” he said.
They said, “We are afraid.”
Come to the edge,” he said.
They came.
He pushed them…and they flew.”

― Guillaume Apollinaire

This quote well describes how we felt before our performance but then the notes took flight.

So, it’s been a busy week trying to get in sufficient practice simply to hang in there and keep up with the pace. Pirates of the Caribbean has some really fast sections and what with my mobility issues, it can be quite challenging to move my fingers quickly, even though I now observe that I’m typing very quickly, which also involves my fingers but it seems more challenging to play the violin quickly. While plenty of practice leads to obvious improvements, there’s a fine line between sufficient practice and also over-stretching my body and doing damage. At best, I can manage an hour of practice a day, preferably in two 30 minute chunks. I had actually meant to take Voltarin before the concert to feel a bit better but forgot.

Once the concert performance is over, I’d like to invite you back to my place to watch School Spectacular with the family. I guarantee you that you’ll not only be entertained by the show but also my kids’ comments throughout the performance. Just to remind you, by the way, our daughter performed at School Spectacular in the 1500 voice Combined Choir. It was fascinating hearing her talk about it and give us a kind of backstage pass to the action. Mister also went with the school to see it and love it so they were both quite keen to commentate on the performance.

We were watching 16 year old ballet danceur, Thomas Dilley perform and we were all marveling at his incredible talent. Our daughter is currently learning ballet, jazz and musical theatre and our son used to take hip hop classes with Daniel Russell, a former Billy Elliot both in Australia and Broadway. You could say that their family just happen to run the local dance studio but I have to say that it was all meant to be. It was so much more that coincidence or good luck.

Anyway, we were watching Thomas Dilley’s performance when our son, who was completely blown away by his performance, said he was double-jointed, as in he has double-jointed feet. While to a child’s realm of experience, this made perfect sense, as someone with double-jointed elbows, being double-jointed isn’t going to make you a worl-class dancer. Instead, it’s quite the reverse but you might make a great contortionist.

Anyway, when Mister gets an idea in his head, he can be very difficult to dissuade. Dispite our comments to the contrary, he keeps insisting on this whole double-jointed thing. Finally,  Miss pipes up and tells him that he’s simply using demi-pointe and that it’s very rare in ballet to use flat feet.

Well, this really made me laugh and I could just image her poor teacher trying to work out this dancer with flat, double-joined feet!

Unfortunately, this doesn’t take a ot of imagination. My double-jointed elbow used to drive  my tennis coach crazy. It took him quite awhile to realise what was going on with my serves as my elbow went out of joint!

However, this week wasn’t just about performances.

We are coming up to the end of the Australian school year and both my kids will be leaving the local primary school, which has been our community. Mister will be starting high school next year and Miss will be attenting opportunity school.

So, we are now getting caught up in all those steps towards the grand finale, which is the Year 6 Farewell.


Last Friday, was the Year 6 Mini-Fete, which is a fundraiser and a huge party. I’m pretty sure the most popular stall was the sponge throwing, with the teachers, of course, being the natural targets. There was also face painting, a white elephant stall and hair-spraying. Oh yes! We can’t hold any event at the school without a sausage sizzle.




By the way, my involvement in all of this was as the school photographer. I’ve photographed this thing for 5 years now and finally it’s our son’s turn and he and all his friends and peers and stepping into those very same shoes which have come before them and will very soon be walking out through that gate and onto high school.

They’re growing up!

Something tells me, so am I!

I hope you’ve had a great week and I look forward to stopping by and having coffee with you. I need it!

This post has been part of the Weekend Coffee Share at

xx Rowena

15 thoughts on “Coffee with Maestro.

  1. Solveig

    It sounds like you had a great weekend Rowena!
    Pirates of the Caribbean does have some very quick pieces (I remember how impressed I was when my high schools orchestra played it!).
    I cannot have you for coffee until after Christmas unless I break my own rule. With the advent calendar I don’t want to double post, it would not be nice for my participants.
    Oh I send out an email yesterday, a bit stressed, all is solved now I have a piece for the 9th, so no need to stress things. But still I am happy for any piece I get or anyone who picks their date. 😉
    Have a great week! Solveig

  2. Nooce Miller

    I put on a violin performance of Massenet’s Meditation to listen to while I read your post. How soothing and at the same time soaring those notes are! It’s easy to see why you fell in love with the violin. Now I’m listening to Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik. He’s my favorite classical composer. All of your pictures are marvelous! Enjoy this transition time with your children!

  3. roweeee Post author

    I’m so pleased you looked them up. We recorded our performance but it was outdoors and I’m going to see if I can get an indoor recording and post it on the blog if the group agrees. Meditation moves me at a very deep level and perhaps is the cry of a voice crying out in the midst of life’s storms but then all is well.
    I went to the last staff and volunteers morning tea at the school today and met up with an older lady whose mother was the first student. Her Dad had been up the country and had brought home a baby emu which became a family pet and she was telling me how the emu used to walk the kids to and from school. Of course, my ears pricked up and I’m meeting up with her again on Thursday and will film her talking. I of course have a radar for stories like that and am going to film her. Can’t wait!We’ve been at the school for 7 years and I’ve never heard that story before. xxRowena

  4. Terri Webster Schrandt

    You and your family are so involved in culture and leisure, it makes this leisure educator extremely happy to see! Very impressed with your violin playing and your stickongoing to it. Thanks for the coffee and “Caribbean! “

  5. roweeee Post author

    You’re welcome, Terri and thank you very much for your encouragement. I’m just having a crash course in our local history. I was attending a morning tea at the school when I met an elderly lady whose mother was amongnthe school’s first pupils and she told me that her mother was one of 10 children and they had a pet emu who was very much like a family dog and used to walk them to and from school and even go out in the boat with them. I asked her if anyone has ever filmed her talking and offered to film her so along with all the usual Christmas preparations, perhaps in lieu of, I am doing that tomorrow. She’s a real storyteller so it’s going to be great! Stay tuned! xx Rowena

  6. roweeee Post author

    Thanks very much, Merril. I’m just glad that I’m getting us to all of these and have made any scheduling mistakes yet. I am proceeding from task to task with the agility of a learner driver in a manual car! xx Ro

  7. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

    Well done on what sounds like a great performance of Pirates of the Carribean and the others tunes. There is nothing quite like the pre-performance nerves followed with a successful performance and that quote says it all.
    The spectacular with comments would be fun to watch. Kids conversations are wonderful.
    I understand you feel you are growing up. I feel positively ancient as I see the children I watched go from primary school to high school now with children of their own making that same transition. The fete looked like fun. Hope you enjoy both their new schools as much as hopefully your children will. Cheers Irene xx

  8. roweeee Post author

    I think we’ll fit in well with the new schools. It looks like I’ll be working on a history project of their current primary school for the 90th anniversary in 4 years time and that will keep my toe in while we move forward. I have made a lot of really good friendships myself there, including with the teachers but there’s no reason I have to move on completely. That said, I’ve had enough on those readers the younger kids use. I did my time with those! xx Ro

  9. roweeee Post author

    I have seriously contemplated writing school readers. It probably wouldn’t make a penny but it might spare a few families a bit of suffering.

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