Workable Truce

We have reached a workable truce, I think, the baby and I.
What’s that lovely expression from Nadine Gordimer, our ‘covenant of living together’, a phrase that at present I find impossible to let go.

When I first mentioned it to Sunny Boy, he immediately thought it applied to him, us, and it does. But oh, it so applies globally, a two way stretch, a fluid working agreement for the mutual benefit of all.
I can hear Sunny Boy’s voice of reason in my ear…sounds like compromise which means no one is happy. And yet a covenant implies agreement drawn up between people..signed sealed delivered and promises kept.

I will not bomb your children if you do not bomb mine; I trust my government to do their homework on flammable substances and firms who clad buildings (on the cheap?) because they have mine and my family’s and friends’ best interests at heart. In return I will be a dutiful member of society.  I will not sell you down river and shaft our peace agreement to further my own ends. And so on.

It’s when you reach impasse that troubles start and posturing begins. So many people take up a stance, an intransigent stance and then the outcome is doomed.

Whatever led from grandmadom to politics? Working truce. That was it, and compromise. Backing down rather than standing on a high horse, trust, love. Yes, love would cover it.


Something magical in Harlech



Something magical happened last night in Theatre Harlech when Sinfonia Cymru and Catrin Finch gave their concert.

The intimacy of the iconic sixties theatre, set high on the coast overlooking the Lleyn Peninsular, its round concrete structure at odds with rough hewn granite of the rest, meant the audience was close enough to see Catrin’s fingers fall like silk over her harp strings and hear the lead violin breathe deeply as the music moved him.

The first two pieces, Ravel’s Allegro for harp, flute, clarinet and string quartet and Claude Debussy’s Dances Sacred and Profane also for harp, are linked in a way unique to musical history having been commissioned by rival French harp makers to showcase two different harps: Debussy for the now defunct ‘chromatic’ harp and Ravel for the traditional harp.

The traditional harp won but as tonight proved both compositions stood the test of time, both were exquisite and the young musicians and Catrin Finch, inspired.

Mathias’s Melos for flute, percussion and strings, Op73, and Jacques Ibert’s Divertissement for chamber orchestra drew spontaneous applause and appreciative smiles from the musicians

Copeland’s Appalachian Spring, the finale, performed in its original orchestration for thirteen players, conducted by guest conductor Ben Gernon was simply beautiful and stunned the audience to breath held stillness.

Driving home along the stretch of coast known locally as Good God Corner named after an expletive uttered in awe of its beauty by visiting American airmen in WW2 the sun set was also magical.




Last week I spent  time with poets and writers, both published and unpublished, on a writing course run by the ever generous  Jan Fortune of Cinnamon Press.  We stayed in the wilds of Snowdonia at Pete the Poet’s place and did not have internet access, which is my excuse for the absence of blog spots.

I fell in love with two poems especially, and perhaps the poets too.  KateThomas who wrote about her mother and, I guess,  struck a chord, and Pete (the poet) Marshall.

I know Pete as a performance poet, and very funny he is too. He can also be moving. When we ventured into the hills he read some of his poems inspired by the view.  It was almost like listening to music: the more familiar a piece the more affecting.

Fiestas in Santiago

After mist and cool, by Spanish standards, the last few days, the blue insistance of the sky defies anyone to be down hearted.  Besides, Santiago is hotting up for Fiestas, even without the sun.  Preparations are underway and stages are being errected round town for the many bands already practising daily for the big party tomorrow.

One trio from Rusia play accordian, and two triangular stringed instruments; one perhaps a balalaika and one a huge base version, unmistakably an Eastern European sound.  They play Roll out the Barrel, and I laugh, reminded of pubcrawls, hearing the song played so delicately. Perhaps it is, after all, a sweet folk tune debased by association with first class beer.  Anyone for a pint of Watneys?

St James’ feast day is 25th July, the party, fireworks and all, will be on the eve but the celebrations, so I’m told, keep going all weekend. How lucky to be here welcoming pilgrims, jubilant having walked thier hundreds of kilometers, and for the fiestas.

(Confessions of a technophobe.  Should anyone read this and think a few photos would not go amiss, I’m afraid they must wait, for photos will not appear till after I get home.)