For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

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Friday, 26 January 2018

A modest return

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'

Today I went for what I would call my first proper walk since the knee replacement op. 57 days ago.

In the seventeen years I have lived in Arnside I can only remember one occasion driving up to Sizergh Castle and having a brew in the café. Today I set off from their car park on the most perfect little walk I have done for some time. Starting up an ancient lane I then doubled  back to climb gently on perfect cropped grass to reach a 126m spot height with expansive views to the Lake District hills covered in snow. A steady descent, again down old lanes brought me back to the car park and the café for a pot of tea and a jam scone. That was a round of 1.92 miles - I walked very steadily using my poles and took 1.83 hrs - average speed: 1.05mph, but I did stop for quite a few photos, and I certainly wasn't rushing, rather trying to prolong the overwhelming enjoyment of getting out again, especially with discovering such attractive new terrain so close to home.




A pleasing example of some crude blacksmith's work - pity about the Philips screws.



On parkland estates one chances to find such bespoke gates 

Steady climb on pleasant short grass to high point and Lake District views




Sadly I will be attending brother Nick's funeral on Monday next. We did have a few good walks together over the years, but Nick was a passionate sailing man. Here are two blurry photos from a good day we had in Wensleydale on 30th March 2004 - note the wellies rather than boots


Conny Tammy Currack summit

Addlebrough summit. The trig point had been removed

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Jazz in Arnside!

Long time no post.

Knee progress has been slow, or is it just me being impatient?

Last Wednesday I saw Mr. P for my nominal six week check up. He was pleased with the amount of bend and straightening I have achieved, and he assured me that the pain I am having at night is still to be expected - in that respect over the last week I have at last been sleeping for decent chunks of the night. The only excursions to the world outside have been those of necessity, for shopping etc., and my life has been a matter of even more routine than normal. But on Friday, and yesterday I actually went out to walk for the sake of it, albeit using the crutches. Friday saw me walk a total of about half a mile, up to the chapel from my house and round the cemetery and back. Yesterday I drove down to the village and walked about a mile there and back along the front to investigate Moochin' About, a new jazz themed café that has opened opposite the railway station. I find that my leg is operating in normal walking mode, rather than stiff and peg-legging, and back at the car I ditched the crutches and had a go just using my walking poles, and I reckon that will now be the way forwarded with gradual increments in distance.

Moochin' About is tiny, sporting one long communal table, and a couple of other minor seating arrangements. I had a good Americano, and an enjoyable ricotta and roasted red pepper toasted panini sandwich. Jazz plays via a hifi system, iPad and Spotify. On entering I said jokingly to the Iranian girl in charge "I've come to hear some Sonny Rollins". Although she was not familiar with that name she was keen to search Spotify and play one of his albums. I mentioned SR's album (vinyl l.p. in my case) Way Out West, and in particular a favourite track of mine: I'm an Old Cowhand, and she obliged by finding it on Spotify. Rollins' style is effortless and on this track he improvises fairly close to the melody. I chatted with the girl and said I would like to be able to play like that. Wisely she said, "Ah, but if you were playing you wouldn't be listening as you are now" which is an interesting point. I have often wondered how much, and what kind of enjoyment professional orchestra players get from the music they are part of creating.

Click to see Moochin's website
Click for youTube link to I'm and Old Cowhand

Friday, 12 January 2018

Nick's funeral.

I am not sure if anybody reading this blog would want to know about funeral arrangements for my brother Nicholas Robinson. I often get more than a hundred page hits per day, but I have no idea where most of them come from, as comments seem to get ever sparser.

The funeral is on 29th January at 2:20 pm at Stonefall Crematorium, Harrogate - HG3 1DE

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Brother Nick

I am sad to say that I had news from Nick's daughter Kate this morning that my younger brother Nicholas Robinson had died this morning. He had been suffering from Alzheimers for several years and I visited on Christmas Eve at the nursing home near Darlington knowing that he was very frail and unlikely to survive more than a few days. For over a year he had not recognised family and had an apparently soulless existence, but the tragedy is one just doesn't know what is going on in the mind.

My elder brother Rod (the subject of the post before this one) has written on his blog about Nick in words that convey much of what I feel and anything further I may write would only be less eloquent repetition.

Click here for link to Rod's blog - post title: "Released" 10th January

Monday, 8 January 2018

Singing at eighty plus

Big Brother (RR) who comments here has been taking singing lessons over the last eighteen months. At the age of 83 that is somewhat remarkable. RR, whose background was journalism as a magazine editor, and in retirement a writer of several novels, has now published Opening Bars, an interesting account of his music lessons to date.

The book is published on Amazon at  a modest £6.95, and even allowing for a little bias on my part it is a very worthwhile read for anybody with a passing interest in music, and even more absorbing for people with a deeper knowledge and love of vocal classical music.


https://www.amazon.co.uk/Opening-Bars-Roderick-Robinson/dp/1843279339/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1515438584&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=opening+bras+roderick+robinson

Here is a copy of the review I have put on Amazon, and I know RR would be grateful for further reviews.


I have to admit to being younger brother (78) of the author , but that would not lead me to write anything other than an honest review. I read the book in two non stop sittings with interest and fascination. I enjoy listening to music, both classical and jazz but I have no ability whatsoever in playing an instrument, singing, or reading music. I thought I was familiar with the extent to which Big Brother embraces music as an irreplaceable part of his life but then found myself surprised at his even deeper knowledge and grasp of its technicalities, recently enhanced I guess by his involvement with this
project, and especially at the age of 83! It is surprising from the depth of detail that RR has already assimilated that he opines that he has only so far scratched the surface, but he identifies many of the even more sophisticated techniques and skills professionals develop. I welcomed the clarity of the writing and avoidance of technical jargon combined with lots of the more subjective analysis of the role of, and the relationship with his teacher
V - It seems RR was very lucky in finding such a teacher, and that has now been proved over a meaningful period. This is certainly a worthwhile read for any enquiring person to experience a truly vicarious insight into the business of learning to sing seriously, and also as a valuable source for anybody contemplating taking lessons in other subjects.






                                 
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Knee progress is slow. I am having a lot of pain at night and not sleeping. I drove the car again yesterday after speaking to my insurance company, but for the moment I intend to keep that to a minimum. I have a follow up appointment with Mr. P the surgeon on 17th January.