Monday, 13 May 2013

Grabbing horns, bobbing along, childhood nostalgia, and a little history

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I last wrote! I’ve been a crazy kind of busy, and by the time I ever have a moment to sit down and write, I feel like whatever has happened is suddenly rather irrelevant (it’s not just a case of nothing interesting happening, honestly)! I can’t deny I am a lover of being busy and I certainly feel as though I have an awful lot of purpose at the moment, which is never a bad thing! So I write to you with some of the ‘best bits’ of the last month I suppose; just to prove that I haven’t just disappeared into a deep, dark cave somewhere (although there’s still time).

Something that this year has taught me is that I need to grab opportunities and take risks. In a nutshell, there’s been a lot of bull-grabbing – or at least the horns of bulls. One pretty big ‘event’ over the past month has been my weekly swimming lessons! I’m still pretty ashamed to admit that I’m an adult taking swimming lessons, and apparently it’s quite unbelievable that someone who loves water as much as I do can’t actually swim in it? The decision was spurred on by my visit with a year 4 class to the public swimming pool where I had my own school swimming lessons. Memories of watching all of my classmates move up into the ‘big pool’ until I was the only one left in the ‘baby pool’ surrounded by many floats and with no clue how to actually move came flooding back, and the fear of slipping, falling in and just sinking slowly to the bottom made me think it was perhaps time to face my fear. I’m almost at the end of my 6 weeks of lessons now, and my confidence has certainly improved no end; so much so that I will definitely be booking in more lessons, and not just because I still can’t actually swim on my front but because I really enjoy bobbing about, and the exercise can’t be doing me any harm?

View of the Church from Cromer Pier
Talking of swimming, took a very lovely trip to Cromer a few weekends ago (not that I even paddled actually, it was FREEZING and very, very windy so I was a little too wrapped up). The last time I was there I’d been singing in the Church with the Festival Chorus and getting very chilly! It seems I’ve been experiencing a lot of nostalgia this month, because this time I was reminded of trips there with my family as a child when we would stay in West Runton and go off to Cromer for the day just for a change of scenery. I think it may have brought out my inner child slightly as I got all excited along the pier, and was a little over-enthusiastic about the Henry Blogg Museum where I made my very own medal with a fancy press. I have a bit of an affinity with the RNLI as my very own Grandad was on the lifeboats, and apparently in a picture or two at the Museum – which I thought I’d made up so sadly didn’t spot him this time – I’ll just have to go back.

My 'medal' from the Henry Blogg Museum
I’m not usually one for an interest in history, but personal history is always a little more appealing. My violin and bow have now been in my possession for (I think) about 10 years (how awful is it that I can’t actually remember how old I was when I got them even though I remember the whole experience so very vividly??) but I’d never actually looked into the history of my violin until very recently. There is an old concert programme that has sat in the case since the day I took it home, and I’d had a quick flick through it and kept it because it was quite cool having a programme from a concert that the previous owner had performed in.
Concert programme from June 1960, newspaper cutting of a
 photograph from the performance, and my beautiful violin
Little did I know that the owner was actually a pretty big deal in the violin and orchestral world, as concertmaster of the Hague Philharmonic for many years of his musical career! Theo Olof actually only died last year, and has left a huge legacy behind him – I can’t help but wonder if I’m even meant to have his violin or whether perhaps it was stolen many years ago and is still in the process of being recovered? For anyone who has got a bit lost/bored by this last tit-bit, MY VIOLIN IS ON GOOGLE IMAGES, it’s cool. He's also on Spotify performing a bit of Britten (quite apt for this post I'd say):

I’m deluding myself if I think that all of this would ever fit on a postcard. Hoping to have a little more time for ramblings so I won’t have to let a load out at once again in the near future!