Fin-land, cold air: GRRM: Croome Again

This above picture is a famous one  of the Late John Lennon, showing him enjoying some leisure time. On The wall is inscribed the legend " Safe As Milk. "  This is a  reference to   Captain Beefheart's first LP record release.

Clearly proving John was listening to good stuff in those days !


This year marks the 150th anniversary of Jean Sibelius's birthday on the 8th December 1865. Born in Finland, the composer's birthday is celebrated each year by a flag day known as ' The Day Of Finnish Music. '

There you see,  you feel better for knowing that don't you ?

Sibelius's music bears marks of the sparse and cold landscape of his native Finland.  He tends to use all his orchestral instruments in short bursts of energy playing one off against the others. Thus, in the second  movement of  his second Symphony, double basses start followed by 'cellos then woodwind. This is repeated until the whole orchestra takes up the theme.
Recently, I attended a concert in the Pittville Pump Rooms , in Cheltenham, with the Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra.

It was a splendid location for such august and grand music.
 The concert programme consisted as follows:
" Finlandia." a bright and breezy tour de force of nine minutes duration.

" Concerto For Violin and Orchestra in D minor. " This featured Tamsin Waley- Cohen, who played
                                                                                    with sensitivity and increasing passion and when
                                                                                     I learned from DM that she was a cousin of
                                                                                     Sam Waley-Cohen, the Amateur Gold Cup
                                                                                     winning jockey, I knew she was riding for a
                                                                                     powerful finish !

                                                                                     Here she is playing " The Lark Ascending " by
                                                                                     Ralph Vaughan-Williams.


After an interval, the concert concluded with the moving, but oddly enigmatic  "Second Symphony. "

I was very impressed with the playing of the Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra who played with the verve and vigour that the music demanded. The baton-pointing was in the hands of my namesake David Curtis.
 I must say, he beats me in the musical department, but I have  him  in the hirsute stakes !


I have just finished reading another novel by George R. R. Martin GRRM ( of Game of Thrones fame) "  Dying Of The Light "  and have added  a review on my other blog.

GRRM's Books.


Last Tuesday ( 27/ 1 / '15 )  D. and I visited Croome Park, near Upton upon Severn, in Worcestershire.
A National Trust property, which we have been to many times, it was ' Capability Brown's, ' first landscaped garden. The Trust have been restoring the garden to its former glory. Read about their efforts here:Croome

As we walked around the ground, it was good to see some early snowdrops coming out to play.

A newly opened walk took us past the Ice House, over the bridge to reach the Rotunda.

The bottom picture shows a view from one of its windows.

 Always good to see some tree-planting, going on  in the park.

Walking riverside , we suddenly  noticed in the branches of some trees, sculptures of game birds.
What fun.

Looking across the river  we saw Croome Court covered in scaffolding.

I understand, when finished there will be a sky cafe affording great views over the park.

Croome lake looked tidy and attractive as we walked around it.

Finally as we walked back up the slope, we noticed how well the vegetation have prospered over the years.



A very enjoyable walk in the January sun.


Well, we seem to have successfully negotiated the month of January and now  face February- the 'brink' month; either on the brink of despair or on the brink of Spring. I choose the latter.

That said enjoy the week ahead,


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