Thursday, December 12, 2013

Music to the rescue!

New CDs – and delivered early.  Rather too early, but at least they were brought to the house which is more than one so-called delivery service used by Amazon ever does!  With self-restraint bordering on the fanatical I actually did not gloat over them until I had completed my Morning Pages.

Those are becoming more problematical.  I am completing them as per instructions, but there are not what we in the OU call ‘freewrites’, that is a sort of free flow of writing where it goes where your imagination and subconscious takes it.  You keep writing at all costs, even if it is only the same phrase over and over again until inspiration takes off again and the imagination flows onto the page.  The theory is fine and I have done some so-called freewrites, but the Morning Pages are degenerating into complaints about the dogs next door and loving descriptions of my morning cup of tea.  There is not much narrative headway to be made trawling through that sort of ordinariness.

I will have to steel myself to write any old rubbish in the hope that somehow my imagination and deeper impulses will eventually turn mere words in to magic phrases that I will be able to use in my writing.  I am not 100% convinced by this, but I do not want to have the same soul destroying experience of going through page after page of drivel that occupied part of my evening today, again.  Ever.

My MPs are going to have to be more akin to prose poems if anything worthwhile is going to come, or rather be pickaxed out of them.  Tomorrow the start of a new approach.  This fits in nicely with my New Approach to the lack of support from the other members of the course, as I unfairly refuse to remind myself that they might have demanding jobs, and by the way Stephen, just how methodical were you when you did your first OU courses all those years ago when you had a full time job and were fairly heavily involved in Union activity as well.  Fair point.  But I don’t care – I need feedback and I need to change the way that I write so that I can create the short stories that I know are waiting to emerge from the remains of what I am still proud to call my brain!  Onwards and upwards!

I have only opened one of the boxes of CDs so far, the one with the rather naff title of ‘The History of Classical Music on 100 CDs – From Gregorian Chant to Gorecki’ issued by Deutsche Grammophon (2013) 00289 479 1048 GB 100.  It calls itself a ‘Limited Edition’ – if it is then it should be grabbed at once by everybody with even a shred of interest in Classical Music. 

This publication is the sort of thing which appeals to me – you can imagine how quickly I bought the (hardback) copy of ‘A History of the World in 100 Objects’ and how things like ‘1000 Paintings You Have To See Before You Die’ is the sort of thing that I find impossible to pass without purchase.  So sucker I might be, but this present box set is an absolute treasure trove.  Yes there are ‘famous bits’ galore, for example the single disc dedicated to Jean Sibelius comprises the 5th Symphony, Valse triste, Finlandia and Tapiola – hardly the most taxing pieces of his oeuvre, but representative and something to get you started if you didn’t know the composer.  And as the orchestra is the Berlin Phil and the conductor is Karajan, not a bad band to have to listen to.  Now I have great reservations about Karajan as a conductor of Sibelius, but he has an interesting take on the music and, after all, it is not as if I do not have one or two other versions to compare and contrast!  Carl Nielsen, my other great Scandinavian enthusiasm doesn’t make it into this history and Gershwin does.  Perhaps that’s fair, but in only 100 discs it is always a question of what you leave out when you have put in the people who it would be criminal to ignore.  But what you do have here is a range of recordings which cover something like one and a half millennia and that is richness indeed.

I have only heard fragments of these recordings so far, well, I’ve only had the thing for just over twelve hours, but how wrong can you go when you are being offered the riches from Deutsche Gramophon’s amazing back catalogue.  Don’t delay, buy today – and at bargain price from Amazon!

My stomach has not recovered from eating the pinchos we had for lunch.  I think it is such a long time ago that I had red meat that my digestive resources are finding it hard to cope.  I do hope that this is the case as I think that I could survive quite easily eating only chicken and pork rather than beef and lamb.  I am certainly eating more fish that I used to, although I am not convinced that smoked salmon is quite as healthy as the poached cod that I once made for myself with Toni preserving a look of haughty distain throughout.

Sunday is approaching which is my traditional weigh day.  What will the scales say this week?

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