Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Back In Scotland

Less than a week after arriving back in Framlingham from France we were back on the road heading up north to Scotland to see our daughter Sarah and partner Duncan and granddaughters Rose and Melody. It wasn’t the best timing but Sarah and Rose have birthdays this week and there is no way that we wanted to miss them.

Before heading off we managed another visit to Snape Maltings on Saturday morning for a concert by the excellent Arcanto Quartet. This quartet of highly talented musicians Is made up of two violins, a viola and a cello and they played some beautiful pieces by Brahms and Mozart. It was truly lovely stuff but, in one section of the concert, piano virtuoso Pierre-Laurant Aimard joined each of the musicians for a series of (thankfully short) duets. I’m beginning to think that I’m either tone deaf, a Philistine or both as these pieces were universally dreadful for me and sounded like cats mating. Much to the obvious displeasure of the woman in the seat next to me I couldn’t bring myself to applaud these duets however finely they were performed technically. She and most of the others in the audience applauded wildly with shouts and whistles and cries of “bravo” – I just thought of the story of the King’s New Clothes.

Snape is a fabulous setting for a concert hall but the organisers of classical concerts like this must worry a little about their audiences. We went to two concerts last week and, despite being retired, we were amongst the youngest in the audiences for both performances. The average age must have been seventy plus. Without new audiences the future outlook for the concerts looks bleak.

Up in Scotland it’s great to see Rose and Melody growing up. We’ve done some helping out around their house in preparation for Rose’s birthday party and we’ve also been able to bring Rose back to play on the caravan site playground.

Yesterday Melody got her first pair of shoes. She’s not walking yet but she’s not far off.

And I had the chance to get out on the bike for an hour. After all the cycling in France I thought that I might fly up the local hills around St Andrews but no, I managed them competently but they are still quite a struggle.