Monthly Archives: June 2012

the year of playing the piano – 4 cylinders

Am writing so hard at the moment no time or thoughts to blog. I have many reference books open, and many books of poetry and all manner of other stuff, including a book on bullshit (philosophy of). I’m doing almost everything in 1794, with occasional journalistic forays into 2012. I’ll resurface when I resurface. Goldberg Variations ongoing. Last night, I dreamed I was playing them in the Albert Hall. A dream for me. Nightmare for everybody else.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

the year of playing the piano – an author’s best friend

The author’s best friend is not a trusty Mac or the iCloud: it’s the delete button. I’m sorry if I’ve said that before but I’ve employed the delete button so ruthlessly all week that ‘delete’ and, for some reason, ‘n’ are wearing away on my keyboard. I’m drunk with deletions and, clearly, ‘n’s. I’m going to sober up by making omelettes for supper. Who knew a Wednesday could be so full of interest.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

the year of playing the piano – how prescient is this

If Balzac were alive now, he’d be weeping at his own prescience. Here he is, describing what happens when, in his words, we ‘smite the lyre at every trifle’ and ‘publish our emotions indiscriminately’. He’s actually speaking of Mme. de Bargeton, one of his creations, but he might have been speaking about many users of Facebook and Twitter. ‘She squandered superlatives recklessly … and the smaller things took giant proportions … she began to type-ise, individualise, synthesise, dramatise, superiorise, analyse, poetise, angelise, neologise, tragedise, prosify and collossify – you must violate the laws of language to find words to express the new-fangled whimsies in which even women here and there indulge … She palpitated, swooned and went into ecstasies over anything and everything.’ Print these words out. Stick them where you can always see them. Do not wear yourself out with what Balzac calls, quite brilliantly, ‘chronic admiration’. I’m not naming any names – yet.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

the year of playing the piano – all in a day

Today, after some procrastination, I settled into my book and actually achieved something. Procrastination included Facebook, several newspaper sites (including one with much showbiz – what on earth can that have been …), then, for no discernible reason, gymnasts, closely followed by many YouTubes of Lucinda Green, nee Prior Palmer, who was a bit of a heroine in my youth as there was no horse she couldn’t ride, no jump she couldn’t jump and no medal she couldn’t win at least three times. I haven’t thought of her for years. I wondered if she was still with us, both physically and metaphorically speaking, and was pleased to discover that she was, I just hadn’t noticed her. I shall notice her more in future. Nostalgic procrastination barely feels like procrastination at all.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

the year of playing the piano – b and d

Just a reassurance for anybody who thinks I’ve abandoned my Goldberg in favour of real life: I haven’t. Every day, on I plug. But if I described every practice note, or even every practice day, you’d want to murder me, and I’d want to murder myself. But today, it was definitely a Bach day, and then a Debussy day. It could have been BB, Bach and Brahms, or even BR, Bach and Rachmaninov – there, that’s a surprise, but yes, I occasionally embark on Rachmaminov, and wish myself ‘good luck with that’ – but after aria, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (1st part, you’d not want to listen) and 7, it had to be Debussy, for the simple reason that the Preludes were already on the music stand and I was too bloody knackered to get up and find anybody else. I must get the dogs trained up for music hunting. Currently they just sleep as I play, and occasionally yawn. I think that’s their form of applause, and shall carry on thinking that until they tell me otherwise.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

the year of playing the piano – slobdom

It’s a long time since I watched the telly all day, but I watched it all day yesterday in a kind of jubilated stupor. Then, when all was over, I watched the concert, which I hadn’t seen the night before. After that, my eyes were so square I could barely see my way to bed. Those concerts! The best bit is watching the ‘comedians’ trying to square their ‘right on’ images with their (and, doubtless, their agents’) craving to be part of the great jamboree. Better to have Rolf Harris’ or even Gary Barlow’s genuine sycophancy than the comedians’ ‘I’m really too grand for this’ sneeriness. Still, that’s all part of a Great British Occasion, I suppose. No television today. Well, not the watching sort. Am off to a lovely Scottish Television party. By tomorrow, I hope my eyes will have resumed their normal shape. Obladee obladah.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

the year of playing the piano – jubilations

We watched the pageant on the telly – not the BBC’s finest moment, we thought, and the Jubilee was scarcely a surprise. Off with some heads. I also imagined a ‘pageant master’ was some kind of medieval office dusted down for the occasion, and he’d be in a splendidly pageantish uniform: vermillion, perhaps, with feathers and a dancing dog. In the events, though I’m sure he’s fearsomely clever at pageants, he was actually a grey man in grey.

I do, though, want to say a large thank you to the Queen for the extra day’s holiday, which has made it worthwhile for daughter 2 to make a royal progress home. I do like hearing her pad about (daughter, not Queen, though the Queen would be very welcome to pad about too). Now I’ve an urge to eat some trifle. Jubilations to all.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment