Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Getting there

Damp, overcast and depressed – and that is only my mood.  And the weather?  This is supposed to be the first day of spring?  It is only listening to the Today programme on Radio 4 and laughing at the weather forecast in Britain that I keep my sanity!

However, the simple reality of today is that it is the ante-penultimate day of term and I have just ascertained that the last day will be taken up with a “Fun” run and other sporting activities – which would seem to indicate to me that my academic expertise will not be needed and it therefore follows that . . . I wonder just how unobtrusive I really can be!

The day has started with an English class being given over to the kids to work in groups to perfect their presentations and use their statistical results to produce pretty graphs.  Whatever.  It does mean that I am, yet again, sitting at the front of a class doing something else.

What I should be doing, of course, is revision for my forthcoming examination, and I do have electronic copies of the books from which to plan my final note taking – but it is too early and I am far too lazy to get down to such serious work when there is a subdued air of festivity about.

I met one of my jollier colleagues at the school gate this morning and she was bemoaning the fact that she has yet another meeting to look forward to tomorrow after school.  At present the School on the Hill is trying its best to emulate the slogan of The Windmill – “We Never Close!”  Perhaps not the best of comparisons: a strip club and an educational institution, but you only need to ponder for a few seconds before the parallels become telling!

As a piece of sheer self-indulgence I have bought a ten-disc set of Nielsen’s Orchestral Works.  The number of versions of the symphonies that I now possess is rapidly approaching obsession, but listening to bits and pieces of the music which is now safely lodged on a corner of the hard disc in the iMac I was taken over yet again by what I heard.  I am not sure that the sound quality is quite as crisp as some of the other interpretations in my collection but it is another example of a way of understanding the music which I welcome.  It is also about time that I left the tried and tested path of the symphonies and started to learn some other music by this composer.  He may now have overtaken Sibelius in the number of discs of his music that I have.  I must do something about that!  My original favourite must reign supreme!

With Sibelius it is easier to own discs which trace the tradition of his music being played from first generation enthusiasts in Britain like Sargent, Barbirolli and Beecham up to the young conductors of the present day.  You have a greater choice with Sibelius because he has always been relatively more popular than Nielsen, so the discography is more extensive.

The day tailed off into little more than baby-sitting and in desperation I turned to a Swedish detective novel that has been lurking in my Kindle for some time and it allowed me to pass the time while the kids allegedly got on with their project work.

Two working days to go!

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