Tag Archives: Handel

Tuesday morning

Tuesday morning on the farm.

I have a candle lit to dispel the gray gloom and to bathe in light the weathered yellow plank walls of this cozy kitchen. An oil lamp is on the sideboard, but I have no paraffin oil to burn, so a candle must suffice.

The walls in the kitchen appear to be original planks.  Over the stove is an original brick flue, with a twin in the living room.  This was where the coal or wood stove was vented; the stoves would have provided the only heating in the house, back in the day, with a stove in the front room and one in the kitchen.

Nelson has now spotted the horses in their enclosure to the east of the little white farmhouse.

The problem with Nelson on a farm is that he has apparently never seen a big animal, so the bull on the other side of the (electrified) fence seems to him to be a challenge.  And challenge to perhaps engage.  I had him on a leash, of course, so no engagement took place, and the bull, brought in from a neighboring farm in hopes of making bullocks, as it were, munched on grass and completely ignored the little varmint.

Now it’s the horses that need engaging.  We shall see.  I brought apples to feed them, so we will take a (leashed) wander over there soon enough.

We both had a restless night.  Nelson seemed to be disturbed by a couple of moths flying around, a price we pay for life on the farm.  He was up and down all night.  Truth be told, so was I, thanks to a noisome chattering fan that seemed slightly out of kilter, and my poor decision to turn off the air conditioning on a muggy but cool night.

We had a rainstorm come through around 5 p.m., and at 11 p.m. we were still getting a shower.  The pond was glorious in the rain, and mist-shrouded this morning at daybreak.

Our first morning walk in the dewy grass led to me doing battle with a horsefly that was determined to dive-bomb.  Fool me once . . . fool me twice . . . but the third time . . . well, the string of expletives I unleashed upon the little flying creep must have scared it away.

Nelson meanwhile sniffed and peed (and pooped) thoroughly.  There isn’t a fencepost that hasn’t been marked by the little terrier.

Connie, my host, has a wee dog too.  Sugar.  She’s black with some white markings, and looks like she has some poodle in her.  She’s a sweety.

Today is, in the communion of saints in the Episcopal Church (USA), the Feast of Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Frederic Handel, and Henry Purcell.  Reading their hagiographies at Morning Prayer reduced me yet again to tears, something that seems a near-daily occurrence.  I think the tears are a release from the weariness with uncertainty, our national devastation of leadership, the pandemic, the state of the world, and much more.  I’ll own these tears if they keep me out of therapy. (And so far, they have.)


Rainy Friday in London

I’m back at the hotel for a few minutes before heading to the Abbey for Evensong.  We have rain today, sometimes just a mist, sometimes a real pelter.  Walking is a bit more of a challenge thanks to puddles and splashing cars.  But I wouldn’t trade rainy London for most cities in the sunshine . . . .

In other news, the Duke of Cambridge was in the news today.

I made my way by bus this morning up to Holborn to visit the Sir John Soane Museum, and could have spent the day there were it not for other things on the agenda and some rude and unsocial French teenagers.  Getting on the Tube (now that the skies had opened), I went up one stop to Russell Square (singing the ditty from CATS, “Up, up, up past the Russell Hotel . . . .” as I stepped out of the station) and walked over to the Foundling Museum.  Think orphans.  Tens of thousands of them in the 18 and 19th century.  And Handel, who performed Messiah in 1750 in the chapel of the Foundling Hospital, and achieved even greater immortality.  The museum, still part of an orphan and child-service organization, has a wealth of Handel memorabilia.

These were both new stops for me in London.

I lunched in the cafe at the Foundling Museum – a ham and cheese and roasted pepper toastie, plus a piece of almond blackcurrant tart.  And then I picked up my books from Foyle’s, and took the bus back to Waterloo Station.

Evensong awaits in an hour, after which will be dinner with one of our Webster alums.