Monthly Archives: October 2012


Well, I’m supposed to be laying low, given my puniness this week.

So I slept until 8.  Then made homemade buttermilk biscuits to slather with homemade apple butter and peach jam (not at the same time).  Then I swept the main floor of the house.

And then took out the overflowing recycling bin.  And did two loads of laundry.

And now it’s 11.18 a.m. and I’m at the computer.

I guess I’m feeling more energetic today.

But there will still be a nap this afternoon.

I have music to compose, to sing in a few weeks on a Webster University composers’ concert.  And I brought office work and computer home with me this weekend.  And I’m going to see Annie tonight at the Touhill for the Variety Club performance.  My wonderful senior Jordan is in it, as is my new voice student Caitlin.


The recuperation and healing from this latest insult to my body is still underway.  I went to bed at 9.30 last night after falling asleep during the last ten minutes of an Indiana Jones movie.  At about 1 a.m. I was awake with a coughing fit that had me up and angry at everything for about an hour.  And then I slept for six hours.  I’m coughing less today.


And on another note, I shaved the week’s growth of beard yesterday, but left a small moustache and a patch below my bottom lip.  I suppose I’m deciding about having some facial hair fun for another week.

Delta Sky Miles

These people are funny, or at least Virginia Wilson, Program Director.

I received yesterday an envelope from Delta Sky Miles.  In it was a notice that I’ve not flown with them since July.  Then they offered me a chance to receive ‘premium’ magazines by using some of my miles.

“Failure to complete a qualifying activity by the aforementioned date will result in the continued dormancy of your account.”  Continued dormancy?? 

Try “Failure to get out of bed will result in your continued rest.”  Or “Failure to cease praying will result in continued pleas and petitions to God.”  Or “Failure to open this envelope will cause you to lose this amazing opportunity to squander your Delta Sky Miles.”

I mean, really.  Can I not just let my miles accumulate?


This has been a lethargic week.

I’ve been tackling items with gusto at school.

But home?  Collapse and veg.  Those are my tactics this week.

The cough and general ill-health doesn’t help.  I spent two hours with my MD yesterday, including a chest x-ray; he decided to send the x-ray on over to radiology for consultation.  I could clearly see some sort of cloudiness in the lower left lobe, so some sort of infection is likely present.  The doctor has me on a high-powered antibiotic, and told me to call him in a week if I’m not feeling better.

So I’m sleeping as much as I can.  I’ve pretty much cleared out Saturday in order to be able to rest and relax.

And life does go on!

Howells project


The Howells project is continuing.  Paul Spicer shared a number of details with me, as did Adrian Partington in Gloucester.  Both of these men, former students of Howells from the end of HH’s teaching days in the 1970s, complemented each other in what they remembered, what they shared, and even how they told stories.  I was happy to keep probing, and to hear the reminiscences.

Sir David Willcocks

The centerpiece of the HH research this trip was the visit with Sir David Willcocks.  I have blogged about him previously this trip, of course, but I find him very much on my mind as I return home.

Sir David is now nearly 93 years old.  He’s small of stature, although I imagine in his day he stood taller.  He can still command a room!  His most striking attribute: his eyes.  They twinkle and sparkle.  And he has a perpetual smile that makes his eyes seem even more kind and wise.

Sir David spoke several times of the importance of having fun whilst singing.  I asked him about this, and got exactly the explanation I expected: those who sing should find it enjoyable, for more and better work will be accomplished when the choir is having fun, and the community that the fun creates will translate into joy and meaning and substance in the choral sound.

Dressed in his dark corduroy trousers, a striped shirt with tie, and a gray cardigan, a pot of tea on the table between us in the drawing room, Sir David sat in his chair and talked of his youth and early training.  When I probed him for more about Howells, he responded with happiness and wisdom.  I was aware the whole time that I was in the presence of one of the gods of music in the UK (and the world), but I felt as though I was just talking to a trusted and respected elder.  Of course, having one of the Corgis dozing at my feet (and resting on one of those feet) made for a cozy and homey atmosphere.

The next steps are to seek out a few more people who knew Howells, before they slip away from us, and see what kind of scholarly product I can glean from the recordings and notes that I started this week.