Sunday, 28 February 2016

Sunday Summary | Bubbly like prosecco

Dear FOQ

Welcome to this week's Sunday Summary, and a very warm welcome to anyone who may be visiting this hive of self-indulgence for the first (and probably last) time.

Well! What an action-packed week it's been. (If you call shifting furniture for about three days straight 'action-packed'. And no, friends, I only made one trip to IKEA. Check out me and my restraint.)

This week, as I hang in delicious limbo between ending at one workplace and beginning at another, I have mostly been ...

Sort-of Reading

I just cannot connect with this book.

I Cannot Even.

... Perhaps this means my literary tastes are a lot more pedestrian than I'd like to admit. But it's hard to enjoy a book in which it's nigh-on impossible to identify with any of the caricatures characters or pin down a true sense of place, as the period of the writing is fairly nebulous, and I find myself clinging to vague culture references to buoy the book. Quite frankly, I don't care enough to invest that much interest.

Let us park that one and move on.


Grey's Anatomy

I swear, it's a disease. It's a compulsion. An addiction.

{I know. ... I'm still going to yap about it though.}
Oh but my admiration of Yang has certainly been circling the drain of late (to use medical-drama lingo). The whole cover-up of Burke (by name, by nature)'s hand tremor was dragged out for much too long. ... Several episodes later and they've split up anyway. Pity. Or, not.

And why does Derek so blindly pursue Meredrip in spite of her complete lack of substance?!

I've been veering towards #TeamAddison with every passing episode although the random episode set in LA was a little pointless until I realised that the premise was being set up for sister series Private Practice. Anyway. Derek Shepherd?

{Quite, Bailey.}


... to live, actually live, classical music, performed -- did I mention? -- live.

On Thursday I stepped into St Matthew's Church for one of their weekly -- and yet my very first in fourteen years of local residence -- Lunchtime Concerts. This tradition brings classical music, and accomplished classical musicians, to the local community for a nominal donation (£3 is suggested but the abilities on show are worth so much more).

This week's treat was a recital by musicians Eulalie Charland on violin and Maiko Mori on piano, playing first four movements by Schubert, followed by three romantic pieces by Clara Schumann and with a highly narrative piece, involving some very nifty fingerwork, by Ravel, 'Tzigane' ('gypsy').

{Video still with music: Not the Ravel played on Thursday, but these are the musicians. who, together with cellist Lawrence Durkin, also form the Trio Aquilon}

Y'know how when you listen to classical music your mind drifts onto other things? You find yourself watching the fingers of the pianist and the violinist and wondering how actual magic can come from, essentially, assemblies of string and wood.

Or wondering why the energy inside the church is different during Lunchtime Concerts from any other time.

Good-different, but still notably different.

If you're 'local' and free on a Thursday around lunchtime I would highly recommend the Lunchtime Concerts -- a little niche of culture in the middle of a busy town.


... at my leaving drinks at the Sindercombe Social on Shepherd's Bush Green because yes, friends, I will venture into London if it's by choice and out of rush hour and to see my Work Lovelies.

And what a superb and flattering turnout it was. It was the perfect farewell to almost nine colourful years in one company and most crucially a wave-off by folks I consider my friends as well as my now-former workmates. Again I say, thank you, people.

{The obligatory panorama | apologies to the decapitated ones ...}
{Freelancer friends, named for Ma's benefit: Jillian and Gary}
{Me ol' team, minus our little Clarey | l-r, Sarah. Sue, Charlotte, Jillian
and Miranda in t'front}
{Me even older ol' team | l-r, "Dr Pritty", Jude, Steph, Jane and Catherine}
{Former 'work husband' Marty-mart | available
to double as De Niro when needed ...}
{Lovelies: Jude, Katie, Jane}

{Last dudes standing | back, Anna, Joe, Ryan; front, Steph and Jude} 
{We totally jushhhht mishhhhed the penultimate train but ishhh OK ...
we're on the lasssssht train out o' Dodge ...}
And in spite of folks' best efforts in lining up the merlot, Pete B, Birthday Buddy o' mine, I spilled no red wine over any white shirts.



... Horsham (via Horley to stop in on Charlie albeit very briefly!).

Because Horsham is pretty, and I'd only been there once, and very briefly, for Queen Jos' birthday shenanigans back in November. (Plus my season ticket/Gold Card expired on Friday so what better way to celebrate its imminent demise?)

As I was rightly led to believe, Horsham is even prettier by day, especially along Causeway, arguably one of the prettiest, best-maintained old streets in the region:

{It's a little pink passageway! | ... OK, that
sounds like a euphemism.}

{Bonus fact: author Hammond Innes lived in one
of the houses in this road once upon a time ...}
Plus, there is a beautiful, restored 19th-century church there, St Mary's, which boasts a plaque in honour of the town's poet son, Percy Bysshe Shelley:

{Shelley, bigging up the Horsham massive | Image
via here}
not to mention breathtaking stained-glass windows and proper old-fashioned choir stalls.

Oh, did I mention there's a glorious bandstand in the centre of town?

And if Leo DiCaprio wins an Oscar for The Revenant this looks to be the perfect place to celebrate:

Jury's still out on this peculiarity, mind:


I'm not going to say a whole lot more about the magnificent a cappella piece that we in Voicerox Choir have been working on this term, or any of the other pieces that we've been learning and practising. Ohhhh no.

You'll just have to come along to this free performance next Saturday and hear us for yourself.


Incidentally, I can tell when you people are skim-reading, heck yes, because there was a perfect opportunity for you to procure some chocolate from me last week ... but y'all missed your chance.

It would have been the good stuff too.

Maybe something with sea salt or chilli or orange oil in it.

And you could have saved it for after Lent and everything.

... But being the generous soul I am, I'm giving you another chance to WIN SOME CHOCOLATEY GOODNESS if you are able to spot the glitch on the delightful £1 tote bag I picked up in Horsham, in a well-known emporium of products flogged for a paaaaaahnd (because I needed something in which to carry this beauty:

and I'd forgotten to ask the charity shop for the obligatory 5p carrier.)


Aside from the sentimentalised slush that must have been copied verbatim from someone's collection of old Just Seventeen stickers (#atch #natch #soz #boyf), can you spot the error?

Pinterest Pin of the Week

I has no relevant web links this week.


(Not really soz.)

Well, I'd better iron my uniform, sharpen my pencils and pack my bag, for tomorrow begins the new work adventure.

Wish me luck?

qb xx

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