Wintry Sun

Strange times. Life appears to have returned to normal, yet the threat of COVID lingers in the background. Much remains unclear.

We are in winter. Nevertheless, London has enjoyed some sun and a warmer than usual start to the year.

A week ago, I took a stroll in the local park, revelling in the combination of sunlight and fog. I snapped up some photos. The following appears in original colour and then in monochrome, with minor modifications re: cropping:

lulled by silence, traces of spring, a hint of sunshine”, Lawrence Estrey, from The Calm Before The Storm

Boxing Day Mist And Rain

Yesterday, it rained.

I ventured out to the local park about ten minutes away and got caught in the rain. The park, though small, contains ample woodland and feels somewhat rural, despite the location and proximity to the London Underground.

I enjoyed the contrast from the previous day, which had been busy with lots of food and drink.

I attach a photo collage of the walk.

Mist on Boxing Day 2021

Till next time!

August Bank Holiday, and Mozart Sonata in C, K545

That time of year again. Summer is drawing to an end and dusk falls earlier each evening. Another year has passed, uncertainty persists.

Today, I made a piano recording of the Mozart Sonata in C, K545, sometimes dubbed “Beginner” – an odd description, given the technical demands throughout. This delightful work contains two movements reminiscent of a piano concerto ( hence, my questioning of the description “Beginner”), followed by a playful, though difficult, short final movement.

I really like this Sonata, and include the link to my recording here:

I think the main reason I chose to do the recording today rests with a novel I worked on regarding an August Bank Holiday back story. Ten years ago, I published my first novel, Secrets by Lawrence Estrey. The results were mixed, with a leading London Literary Agent describing the first 33,000 words as a page turner but later choosing not to represent me.

The story, a psychological thriller, starts with disjointed scenes that took place on a August Bank Holiday, which sees the protagonist as a boy of ten running from danger.

I’m not sure what to do with the novel after a decade, but still feel attached to the characters and Lancashire landscape in the North West of England. So I thought I’d share the opening of the novel. Happy reading and listening!

They say a group of teenagers saw me on the field that August Bank Holiday Monday. One called over, asked if I was all right. I didn’t answer, apparently. Just continued stumbling in the direction of home, sweat dripping from my face. The teenagers didn’t hang around. They assumed I had sunstroke. If I had seen myself, I would have probably thought the same.
Others noticed me wandering along the main road towards the estate where we lived. Drinkers in the pub watched me stagger like a drunk. I continued walking. Up the hill, through a ginnel, past the church. Down the hill, along alleyways of back-to-front houses, to the car park at the bottom of the estate.
Dad was out with your dad that afternoon. They say your mother saw me and came out. ‘Where’s Craig?’ she said. ‘What happened, Alan?’
They say I muttered two words.
A name.

Coming To London, An Anniversary

Twenty-four years ago today, I arrived in London from Exeter.  The day always evokes a mixture of feelings. Pride that I made it work, to the best of my abilities. Nostalgia for a different life, for Exeter. The Roman city. The summer evenings.  The lack of responsibility. 

Devon, the place where I’d studied. 

It took me a long time to get used to London life, but now I can’t imagine living anywhere else. 

New Site, MyPianoBio

I’ve completed a basic draft of material for the new site and it should go live in the next few weeks.

MyPianoBio, a sister site to this one, contains the story of my musical journey, culminating in my experiences as a recital pianist, newly arrived in London.  

It also picks up on several other themes.

Many thanks again to WordPress for the powerful online publishing tools! 

Snow, At Last

At last, the first sprinkling of snow has come to London and this morning I had to take special care as I walked down the driveway to the main road.  Meanwhile, the weather is generally bleak and cheerless.  Winter. I keep busy with my preparation for the third novel, piano practice and language studies, and brave the weather for exercise when I can.

Hurry up, Spring!