Thursday, January 25, 2007

Huge achievements..

Richard and a gang of workers are about to finish a house they have been working on for the last 2 years. It's a huge house and a huge achievement.

inspired by Yarnstorm's blog entry about a Victoria sponge...I made one of my own to take to the site to help celebrate the penultimate day's work.
Let's hope that blokey builders like cake, maybe I should be taking a slab of beer & some pork pies.


Look what's out in the woods nearby...

Look what Richard brought home last night from Harriets .......
and it's been snowing. Not enough for drifts worthy of photos, but snow just the same.
I'm loving it.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Charles Wood

In my next time round in this wintry world I want to be a "Teacher of harmony & counterpoint", like Charles Wood.

Our organist David has sent me some information about a beautiful Anthem we are doing this Sunday with the choir at East Harling Church.

Called "O thou the central Orb", it has the most sensational imagery, (written by H R Bramley) in it of circling Angels & glorious light.

Here are the words.

"O Thou the Central Orb"

O thou, the central orb of righteous love,
Pure beam of the most high, eternal light
Of this our wintry world, thy radiance bright
Awakes new joy in faith, hope soars above.

Come, quickly come, and let thy glory shine,
Gilding our darksome heaven with rays divine.

Thy saints with holy lustre round thee move,
As stars about thy throne, set in the height
Of God’s ordaining counsel, as thy sight
Gives measured grace to each, thy power to prove.

Let thy bright beams disperse the gloom of sin,
Our nature all shall feel eternal day
In fellowship with thee, transforming clay
To souls erewhile unclean, now pure within.

H R Bramley

I can't stop singing it. Hopeully the obsession will pay off when we actually have to sing it on the weekend.
I don't have any pictures of Central Orb's but I do have one of the choir at S S Peter & Paul.

And one of Mard's latest cloud photos from Australia..fairly insiring too.

Here are David's notes from various sources...

Lionel Dakers, formerly Director of the Royal School of Church Music and editor of the
New Church Anthem Book (OUP 1992) and its accompanying handbook wrote :

‘This is one of the best and most rewarding examples of the romantic church music which emerged in England at the turn of the 19th / 20th centuries. The words are majestic and the spacious music even more so, emphasising the theme of God’s radiance awakening new joy in faith and leading on to a quick succession of various statements in which the music builds up in intensity and volume towards a great final climax. For most singers, organists and listeners alike, this is the epitome of church music romanticism at its most telling.
The richly sustained broad vocal lines are supported by an equally fine organ part. Projecting a warm and generous tonal texture with expressively- shaped contours is very much part and parcel of the scheme of things. The composer highlights the climaxes in an impressive and exciting way, the organ contributing greatly towards this. The ternary shape of the anthem lends itself to a colourful treatment in which the quieter, though no less urgent, middle section Come, quickly come is in marked contrast to the forceful outer movements. The final section is very fine, with the organ lending its weight to the build-up towards the triumphant Amen.’.

From Wikipedia
‘Charles Wood (June 15th 1866 – July 12th 1926) was an Irish composer and teacher. Born in Armagh, in present-day Northern Ireland, he studied at the Royal College of Music and Cambridge University, where he later taught harmony and counterpoint, becoming professor of music in 1924. For most of his career, he worked at Gonville and Caius College, first as ‘organist scholar’ and then as a fellow. He was instrumental in the reflowering of music there, though more as a teacher and organiser of musical events than as composer. Like his better known colleague and former teacher, Charles Villiers Stanford, he is chiefly remembered for his Anglican church music. He also wrote eight string quartets, co-edited three books of carols and was co-founder (in 1904) of the Irish Folk Song Society. His pupils included Ralph Vaughan Williams and Herbert Howells.’
The Charles Wood Summer School was founded in 1994 in Armagh to promote his music and Irish connections.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Edie's party

We went to Buxton on the weekend to Edie's 18th birthday.
Here are a few embarrassing snaps of the ensuing mayhem. You had to dress as someone whose name began with the same leter as yours. So Jordan & Ricky the rocker rocked up to join Dolly Parton, Jesus, Edie the Egyptian with Marius the Morrocan. a marvelous rabbit, a few Romans, Al Capone, the beautiful goddess Lakshme,
I've never used so much fake tan in all my life.Gita the geisha various members of "Little Britain",

Amy as..... what was Amy dressed as?etc etc. We had a ball.
The Langleys are one great family & it's hard to decide which of the girls is the most beautiful, but I think the birthday girl just made it.

Friday, January 19, 2007

zebedee latest...

The little man is now 8 pounds 1 oz

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

New year new buns

Just in case you were wondering, operation 'Buns of steel' is still happening... there was a brief respite over Christmas while a lot of chocolate was eaten, but now it's all systems go.
Richard & I are off to our friend Edie's 18th birthday party at Buxton in the High peak distict on the weekend. It's a fancy dress party. You have to come as someone whose name begins with the same letter as you.
After much consideration (and a brief moment where I thought I'd maybe go as Jesus!!) I thought I'd go as Jordan!!!!!!!!! So buns of steel has been happening all week in order for me to bare my midriff to the world.
I went charity shop-ing to look for a giant bra that I could stuff but couldn't find one. I think balloons may have to do. Anyone out there got a really bad pink mini skirt?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Still here

Just to let you all know that I'm still here and still having fun....

Friday, January 12, 2007

One for Kelly

It's been ages since I allocated computer time has been completely taken up with trying to get our new notebook to work properly.

I know it's not an Apple but we bought it from Dell online & they have been absolutely marvelous....but there is a large anti-virus company Mc...e who have been absolutely apalling. Their only support phone number is one that costs a pound a minute...I got so frustrated with their crap lack of support that I must admit I spent a couple of pounds telling them in no uncertain terms just how unhappy I was...

Still no resolution & still no wireless router even though Dell have sent me a 2nd one absolutely free of charge...unfortunately it's exactly the same as the old one...

Poo poo poo......

All I wanted was a computer that worked. No such luck yet.
Still it looks good

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Years Eve's

We went to London for New years eve.
We stayed with an old friend of mine from Primary school, Prue, who rang me recently out of the blue & asked us down. Wowee kazowee it was amazing.
Prue works as a barrister in the middle of the most hallowed of Halls....the Inns of the Middle Temple.From Wikipedia...."The Middle Temple is one of the four Inns of Court exclusively entitled to call their members to the English bar as barristers. (The others are the Inner Temple, Gray's Inn and Lincoln's Inn.) "
'The Halls', where you have to dine seven times before you can become a barrister are so atmospheric. We were lucky to get in, Prue knew the man on the door, there was no one else there.
It is near the Royal Courts of Justice, within the City of London."The beautiful lantern that hangs in the hallway. The image of the lamb carrying the Knights standard was everywhere.
A "Parliament hinge". (Well Richard is a carpenter.)
Elizabeth the first.This was the headquarters of the Knights Templar in the 13th century. Here we are outside the ancient Temple Church...It was like being in the middle of a film. The Da vinci code or Harry Potter or Shakespeare in love, or Bridget Jones diary. Here's a photo of Richard & I coming out of the doors that Renee Zelweger & Hugh Grant come out of in the 2nd film, 'The edge of reason'.

After exploring Middle Temple we went off to see the Velazquez exhibition (on Heather's recommendation, thanks Heather) at the National gallery.It was sensational. I remembered that he had painted a lot of the Spanish court but I'd completely forgotten he'd painted the 'Rokeby Venus', one of the very few nudes surviving the Spanish inquisition & its censorship. So beautiful in real life. She has the most amazing figure and you can almost touch her skin.
After the exhibition, we were starving so Prue guided us to the oldest restaurant in London ...Rules I had no idea it was so famous..we had the seat under the portrait of Maggie Thatcher. Here's a photo from their website

I ate smoked salmon with soda bread, capers & finely chopped shallots & then golden treacle sponge pudding with warm vanilla custard, yum yum yum. Richard had some yummy lobstery thing & then sticky toffee pudding. It was so festive in there & sparkling with Christmas baubles & greenery. So nice on a cold winters afternoon.
The next day was New Years eve. We went for a huge walk along the Thames. Over the amazing Hammersmith bridge.

We went out to dinner at a fab French restaurant in Chelsea called the Brasserie. Great food but very loud. We were so full from our late lunch that I could hardly eat anything, what a terrible waste. We left early as it became unbearably noisy & went with Prue's delightful friend Richard back into the city to catch the fireworks at the embankment on the river. We just made it in time.
Four minutes to midnight with a view of Big Ben in the distance. At last the crowd quieted & we could hear the mighty bells doing their stuff. The crowd noise came in a huge wave on the end of the bells & rockets came shooting off The Eye as we stood & watched.
(Not my picture but one taken by James O Jenkins from this website)
I have never been so excited in all my life. Here we were watching one of the most amazing firework displays in the whole world. I was jumping up & down whooping with delight. Afterwards we went back into the hallowed Halls in the Middle temple where Richard lives & drank champagne as he played violin to us.
We caught the FREE tube home at 3.30 AM with a host of other happy revelers. Boy what a night.