Weekend Coffee Share… 26th November, 2018.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

Well, before I get much further, I should tell you it was much husband’s birthday earlier in the week and we had a wonderful lunch out together at a restaurant across from our local beach. The weather was stunning and we had such a relaxing time. Well, it would’ve been more relaxing if a group of young whippersnappers weren’t discussing their investment strategies and how much money you should leave in the pot. I was very tempted to ask them to ****up and tell them that some people actually like to enjoy life. Go out for lunch to get away from all of that. I can guarantee that when I was their age, I wasn’t discussing investment strategies. However, eventually the bright sun forced them inside and out of earshot.

IanCooper38_lg-300x226

By the way, my apologies on the food and beverage front today. About all I can offer you is tea, coffee, water and some great music. I’m sitting out at my desk listening to Ian Cooper: Hard Axe to Follow featuring  violinist Ian Cooper, guitarist Tommy Emmanuel and Maestro Tommy Tycho. This where my story gets rather humbling, which is hardly surprising for someone who bills themselves as: “The Closet Violinist”. Even if you’re shy, if you have a modicum of talent, someone eventually drags you out of the closet into some kind of public arena. Wants to bless the world with your magic. Not so for a poor closet player. They either leave the door, shut or slam it in your face. People can be so insensitive!!

Anyway, as I said, I’m listening to Ian Cooper Ian Cooper and this piece of music is vaguely familiar and moving out of the background, until I’m wracking my brain trying to work out what it is. Indeed, I’m even glaring at the back of the cover, and still not getting any wiser. Clearly, I should’ve finished my cup of tea before I began this simple, yet apparently ambitious task. The peanut butter sandwich clearly wasn’t enough either. As it turns out, much to my embarrassment, they were playing a reinvention of Dvořák’s Humoresque . I say much to my embarrassment, because I’ve been learning this piece for over the last three months. I guess it’s a bit like when you’re introduce two close friends, and have a temporary memory lapse and can’t remember their name.

Meanwhile, the Closet Violinist is hard at work. For those of you with even a toe in the performing arts, you’ll know that the end of the year is concert season. So, I’ll actually be coming out of the closet and will be playing a duet of Danny Boy with my teacher at the end of year concert. Last week, she gave me a big tick of approval and said she’d be stoked if I played like that at the concert. Yet, I’m still working on it.

Perhaps, I shouldn’t be surprised that practicing more, produces more practice and consequent improvement. It’s so exciting to be polishing off a handful of pieces and I’ll soon be moving from the Suzuki Book 3 onto Book 4, where I start learning concertos. It struck me that even if I’m only learning concertos, that I can’t keep saying that I can’t play the violin anymore. We Aussies can be an understated bunch. So, I think I’d now describe my playing as “could be better, could be worse”. How’s that for confidence and self-esteem? To be honest, I’m just grateful when my violin doesn’t squeak or do its infamous cockatoo screech. While the violin can be such an incredibly beautiful songbird (even when I play it), it can also be so cantankerous. Yet, I must say I was encouraged recently when a newfound friend, who is an incredibly talented musician, said all musicians wrestle with their instruments. By the way, as you may be aware there are definite parallels between mastering an instrument and conducting a passionate love affair…the love, the intensity, arguments, silence and all too often a parting of ways possibly after a physical break of some description.

Amelia at Nursing home

Our Daughter performing her contemporary solo at a local nursing home. Photo: Dancin Mates.

This weekend, however, it wasn’t my turn to shine. My daughter performed with the Dancin Mates Dance Team at a local nursing home. They did the opening number from the upcoming annual concert and they each performed their solos. It’s been awhile since my grandparents were living in nursing homes now and this is the only time I visit one these days. I’m really pleased my daughter is involved with these performances, as it’s important to try and cheer up people who might be doing it tough and bring a ray of sunshine indoors to people who may not get out all that often. Even just being themselves and wearing their dazzling costumes would be enough to brighten someone’s day but then to see them dance, is utterly magical. Some of these young people are in the process of transitioning into the professional dance world and so they weren’t just seeing people with nowhere else to go. My parents also came up to watch which was very special for us.

There have also been some challenging times over the last few weeks. My health is doing well and my endoscopy and colonoscopy haven’t picked up anything too nasty. However, I have a friend battling advanced Motor Neurone Disease and things with her have been really difficult lately. There were a couple of days where I was so angry about it and ended up finding solace on my violin, which isn’t something I’ve consciously done before. After all, as a beginner, all that screeching is hardly relaxing. I have also been listening to some violin music and that’s been very cathartic as well. I think the tone of the violin, especially when it hits the high notes, really releases the anguished or troubled cry of the soul. Any thoughts?

I did a bit of baking through the week. It started out with attempting to make a birthday cake for my husband using GF flour. I don’t know what happened because what went into the cake doesn’t resemble the recipe and then the cake didn’t rise. While I was waiting to decide its fate, the dog decided to help herself and Geoff heard the tin crash on the floor and half the cake was gone by the time he got there. Golly. These dogs are quick. Fortunately, there had been two layers. By this stage, the logical thing was to throw it out. However, I must believe in raising the dead after all. I broke the cake up and decided to do a variation of a family dessert…Chocolate In-Betweens. In the original you have chocolate mouse in between sponge fingers which have been dashed with sherry. In this version, there was chocolate cake smothered in cream, splashed with Frangelico and then covered in the chocolate mouse filling from the original cake recipe. The patient was removed to the fridge to rest. Much to our surprise, the result was incredibly scrumptious and will be the beginning of a new thing.

In terms of blogging, I’ve been a bit quiet this week and only participated in Friday Fictioneers with: The Secret

Well, on that note, I’m heading off. I hope you’ve had a great week. This has been another Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Eclectic Alli.

Best wishes,

Rowena

 

 

8 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share… 26th November, 2018.

  1. New Journey

    OH my I can remember back in the day when I might of been able to get into that position your is making look easy. What a gorgeous little thing she is and how wonderful she is sharing her love of dance with the elderly, I am pretty sure they were thinking the same thing I was, LOL, back in the day when I was young and nimble, LOL SO sorry for your friend. But I am glad you picked up the violin and found the peace and comfort it can offer. Music is magical for sure. Glad your test results came back with positive outcomes. That’s always a nice ending to those invasive test. Been thinking of you a lot lately, sorry I have been absent from here, but really I do not know where the time/days go, especially since its only my husband and myself, of course, Chika included. Sending much love your way. XXKat

  2. Rowena Post author

    Lovely to hear from you again, Kat and I have been wondering where you were. At least one of the residents at the nursing home commented on how they used to love dancing and their teacher passed that onto the students and told them they can be her feet. I have worked through my feelings about what’s happened to my friend and am on top of them again. I went on one of my little escapes after my followup appointment at the hospital today and went over to Elizabeth Bay on Sydney Harbour to photograph the block of flats my grandparents lived in when they first got married in December 1940. They stayed there less than a year but I wanted to check it out, also because the block of flats was art deco and interesting in its own right. There is a park just around the corner which fronts onto the harbour. It’s only small but has an intimate feel to it and people were having picnics there after work tonight and it felt very relaxing. A few dogs there too. Could imagine my grandparents having a picnic there together and watching the yachts sail past on the harbour.
    BTW I’m sure Chika takes up some of your time.
    Things are getting quite busy here and I probably shouldn’t have gone to Elizabeth Bay but sometimes you just need to get away and be impractical. I arrived home about 10.00PM.
    Hope you have a great weekend.
    Love, Ro

  3. New Journey

    Sounds like a wonderful escape, glad you took the time for yourself. Yes Chika does take up some of our time, its really like having a 3 year old around, demanding attention, then if its to quiet you need to go check on what they’re up to. LOL she does keep us young!! I just find that here, I have so much more to do than sit in a chair hiding from the heat! If nothing else, just being on the deck playing with my flowers, something I couldn’t have in Yuma, to dry. Feels like home and theres always something to be done. RIght now we have decided to tear down the growth of an ivy type flower on the deck, it was a good thought to help keep privacy there for the hot tub, but the bottom half is dead and actually starting to be the home to little knats, and the top is green and lush. SO its all going, slow process but were gaining on it a little each day. Suns out and going to be a whopping 60 today, LOL we love the weather. Miss my family in Yuma but not the weather!!! Hope your off to a great week. Love ya…Kat

  4. Rowena Post author

    HI Kat. You wouldn’t believe it. WE have leftover cake in the fridge and Geoff and I have been struck down with the runs. The man upstairs either has a good sense of humour or enjoys persecuting his human playthings.
    Didn’t know you had a hot tub. That sounds like fun and so relaxing. That said, with the heat today our beach could be a hot tub. If my tummy was okay I’d be tempted to head down there for a swim.
    Good on you for clearing the place up and getting it to your liking. When I was over in Elizabeth Bay, I saw quite a few blocks of flats which were overrun by vegetation. Looked rather intriguing. In the city, I’ve seen a few apartment blocks with what they call vertical gardens which green up the city. However, that doesn’t stop them looking like a swarm of invading triffods to me.
    I’ve been exhausted after the weekend today and the gastro bug doesn’t help. I could operate on more of an even keel if I didn’t try to extract the marrow out of life but i want to feel my heartbeat and not just be watching the clouds fly past. Besides, on a day like today, there aren’t that many clouds to count.
    Your little Chika is such a blessing and you need to keep the blood pumping. Our dogs really add so much to our lives, especially the two pups with the way they interact.
    Love,
    Ro

  5. New Journey

    Sure hope the bug has passed through and on its merry way. Its a cool 36′ out here this morning, but the sun is teasing us. We really do love being back in cooler weather. Makes you feel human again. Hope you both feel better XXXXX

  6. Rowena Post author

    Thanks, Kat. Roasting hot today. Don’t know why I’m clicking over the keyboard instead of basking in the air-con.
    xx Ro

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