Bank Holiday special

Hi everyone. Today is the last day of May, Bank Holiday Monday, and it’s going to be a blistering day of sun, sun, sun. As we all know, both April and May have been extraordinarily cold and blowy, so this is not before time. I resolutely wore my thick winter shirts and jumpers (not to mention a t-shirt/vest) until I was forced to get a box of summer clothes out of the loft on Saturday. And yesterday, I went to church and in my best ‘Michael Portillo’ trousers and flowery short-sleeved shirt. In the afternoon I met 22 New Sussex Opera singers at ‘The Dripping Pan’ (that’s Lewes FC’s ground) where we sang Handel’s Acis and Galatea to a man mowing the pitch.


After playing for the service at St Michael’s, fellow organist, Peter Hanson (who had just played for the service at St Thomas a Becket) met me and we went to Cote Brasserie for lunch. We hadn’t booked and they made it sound like they weren’t sure they could squeeze us in, but we were soon sat at a table where we had a very nice late breakfast. Nearly two hours later we left and there were many tables that had remained empty all the time. It’s a very nice place to eat – so do give them a try.

Suddenly there are lots of concerts happening – mostly small recitals with audience size limited. Here are the ones that I’m involved in:

Friday 4 June at 6pm at St Anne’s Church, Lewes.
Ruth Kerr (Soprano and Piano) and Nick Houghton (Piano).
French and English Song including songs by Faure, Hahn, Amy Beach (American) and Madeleine Dring (English) interspersed with Faure’s Dolly Suite (4 hands). Tickets £10 email Nick

Sunday 6 June at 3pm at St Michael’s Church. Lewes.
Rachel Fryer (piano) playing some of Bach’s Goldberg Variations and some newly composed companion pieces by local composers. Tickets with or without donation through Evenbrite

Sunday 13 June at 4pm & 6.30pm at The Flint Halls, Folkington Manor, nr Polegate, BN26 5SD
Julia Bishop (baroque violin) and Nick Houghton (chamber organ) playing music by Biber, Schmelzer, Bach and Buxtehude. Tickets £20 plus booking fee

Sunday 20 June at 3pm at St Michael’s Church, Lewes.
Organ recital by Nick Houghton. The first recital on the newly refurbished organ. My programme will include works by Buxtehude, J.S.Bach, Frank Bridge, Faure, Peter Racine Fricker and Georg Mushel.
You can probably get in on the door, or secure you ticket here (with or without donation)

The garden

Last Thursday we went to Merriments – a garden centre in Hurst Green about an hours drive away from us in Eastbourne. We bought lots of nice new plants including two new Dahlias which I’ve planted alongside my dahlias from last year which started to appear a few weeks ago. We also discovered Strulch – a garden mulch made from straw, and it claims to be a slug deterrent! You can see that I’ve put it round the dahlias. Unfortunately the slugs had already eaten some succulent dahlia shoots.

Late last year I took a cutting from our two year old Blackcurrant. And to my great delight, here is Baby Blackcurrant:


And here it is next to Mummy Blackcurrant (on the left) and a new red flower we bought (sorry, I can’t remember the name of red flower).

I haven’t been very successful takings cuttings. Most of my Geranium cuttings died, so I’m really pleased with my blackcurrant success.

Right, now I’m off back to the garden to warm up in the sunshine. Have a nice day.


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