Wednesday, 24 June 2015

New Growth

To come home after traveling can sometimes feel a bit frustrating; the chores of daily life - washing up, paying bills, not to mention the not always so glamorous piano practise - stand out in stark contrast to the carefree life "on the road". I am extremely lucky in that coming home means returning to such a beautiful and exciting place however, which only very rarely causes me this kind of frustration, and never is this more true than during spring and early summer, when everything in nature grows at such an astonishing rate that you hardly recognize the place after a few days absence.

In the days immediately prior to my leaving for London last week, I planted a lot of seeds in our brand new raised bed garden. (Most of the seeds went in much later than what is normal, but the whole raised bed arrangement simply wasn't ready before!) Most of these seeds had not even started to sprout when I left, and even those which had sprouted where no more than a centimeter or two above the ground, as in the case of the broad beans in the pictured above. Now, if I had stayed at home I would have been out there checking the progress of all this at least three times a day, which means I would hardly have noticed any change every time I checked, whereas now that I had been away for six days the rate of growth seemed simply alarming! 

The same astonishing rate of growth applies to the five little piglets that our sow Bonnie gave birth to just over three weeks ago. Here they are as I came out to feed their mother this morning. I think they thought 6.30 was a little early for breakfast as they decided to stay in their cozy straw bed, yawning and snoozing as I was taking their picture.

Finally, on the subject of things home-grown, something of a different nature which appeared (hot off the press!) in the mail yesterday:

This brand new anthology of Swedish piano music, from the 18th century up to the present day, was compiled by my esteemed colleague Hans Pålsson. Hans has done a great job in selecting a large variety of shorter piano pieces ranging from the most familiar works by Sjögren, Peterson-Berger and Stenhammar to rare treats along with a generous portion of new music by both women and men. I feel proud to have played a small part in the production of this volume as a proof-reader, and obviously the divulgation of Swedish music is a pursuit which is close to my heart, which makes me doubly pleased to have been involved. Do I need to mention that I wholeheartedly recommend this new anthology?

Off to Stockholm now for some rehearsals for the concerts in Saxå later in the week.

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