Christmas greetings from . . .
. . . J and C
The best-laid plans . . . we had intended to wish you a merry Christmas and base our greetings on the sense of joy and quiet achievement surrounding Christopher's mother's 100th birthday, but the snow, deep and crisp and even, prevented us getting any nearer her home in the north of Scotland to celebrate with her than Luton airport.
So in the absence of any centenarian input here's a poem by Siegfried Sassoon:
Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields; on--on--and out of sight.
Everyone's voice was suddenly lifted;
And beauty came like the setting sun:
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
Drifted away ... O, but Everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.
Clearly Sassoon had the event below in mind when he wrote this. Sound on, do please watch it through to the end, even if you've seen it before.
Meanwhile, a Christmas lucky dip into our 2010 doings brings up:
Hush, do not wake the infant William, born to Fiona and James on August 28th, a brother for Eliza, and apparently destined to become a night-club bouncer
First performance by C.'s choir Les Jeudistes and the Thalia Quartet (the photo was actually taken at the second performance, in what was once a lowly cattle-shed attached to local château) of C.'s cantata L'Imitation de Notre-Dame la Lune. Dedicatee of this work, head tenor Jean-Claude, in centre, hawk-like in his attention to the conductor.
We welcomed Ad Hoc Voices, a small choir (standing around all in white) based in Sevenoaks, paying us a return visit after our World Tour of Kent and Sussex in 2008. Which leads us to next year's adventure: Les Jeudistes' World Tour of Ross-shire, Nairnshire and Inverness-shire in early May.
Yes, we do all kinds of other things than rejoice with heart and soul and voice about choir events and the arrival of grandchildren, but a lot of energy is devoted to spending time with J.'s mother, in a wonderful retirement home that we're tempted to put our names down for, and with C.'s mother (ditto) in far-flung Scotland. Entre deux mers, as you might say. Ho ho ho.
Happy Christmas! Joyeux Noël !
Happy New Year! Bonne Année 2011 !