Before I get onto the main event – Bobby: the last few weeks – can I just do a plug for my inaugural organ recital this coming Sunday at 3pm. It’s inaugural because it’s the first recital on the very recently renovated Church organ. The £55k project was completed at the very beginning of January, but organs are complex instruments and things take time to settle and to ‘bed-in’. This Friday the builders are coming in to put a few things straight and to give it a fine tune before my recital on Sunday. My programme is: Buxtehude: Preludium, Fugue & Ciaccona in C –Read More →

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 DrippingRead More →

Earlier this week, Robin spotted 2 frogs in our pond. By the time she had got her camera, one had disappeared, but you can see the remaining one, alongside our two goldfish.   We don’t really know if these are the result of the frogs spawn we had a couple of months ago, or perhaps this is the frog that laid them. In any case, he/she seems happy enough and to be making friends with the goldfish. Another good piece of news, is that we have just been allowed to ‘adopt’ Bobby, the downstairs cat who had taken up residence in our flat. He doesn’tRead More →

As the weather has been better over the last week, we’ve done a bit more in the garden. I thought you might like to see one of our ferns after I trimmed off last year’s foliage: It looks almost pre-historic – but healthy. In the couple of decent weeks we’ve had, Robin and I visited Herstmonceux Castle Gardens where we encountered this amazing Juniper tree. And I’ve been able to enjoy my lunch in the graveyard at St Michael’s when I practice there. A team of volunteers have been bringing it under control and it looks lovely with all the wild flowers. Let’s hope thatRead More →

Hi everyone. As you may well know, I run a Sunday afternoon series of recitals at St Michael’s. Recitals are an hour long starting at 3pm. Entry is free but I always joke that people pay to get out! And they are always very generous. Since 2013 we have raised several thousand pounds towards roof repairs, and then more recently for the organ renovation, and up to this point, performers have been willing to give their services free of charge. On 1 March last year I gave an organ recital – what was supposed to be the first recital of the year, but as thingsRead More →

Hi everyone. I hope you are all well. I went to Brighton yesterday (check-up at the dentist) and the place was crowded. Difficult to find a parking space and people sitting outside in the sunshine (but wasn’t it still cold?) drinking coffee, even wine at 2pm. Thankfully my teeth were declared to be in good shape. Each time I make the journey to Lewes or (less frequently) elsewhere, I try to do at least two things in order to justify the journey in my own mind. So before going on to Brighton, I spent a happy 2 hours practising in St Michael’s Church in Lewes.Read More →

Hi everyone. Today I think I brought a fresh meaning to ‘hanging out our Smalls’ On Saturday we had an outing to two Garden Centres. There’s a little one in Willingdon Chalk Farm Nursery where we bought some lovely plants: 3 hydrangeas; a Heavenly bamboo (which is not a bamboo at all, but we hope it is Heavenly with lovely variegated leaves); and some Heucheras. Three new Heucheras (in the foreground) and one old one hiding behind the Hibiscus tree which will make it a bit shady there, but apparently Heucheras quite like a bit of shade. And standing proudly behind on the left is a bit ofRead More →

I’ve just looked it up, and Spring doesn’t actually begin until 20 March, but I sense it approaching, and this morning our little Apricot sensed it too: As you can see, it’s a very young tree – placed against our south facing wall – but it’s full of enthusiasm! And I see light at the end of the tunnel regarding Covid and Choirs. I had my jab a couple of weeks ago, so I’m approaching full immunity, and I guess many of my choristers will also have been jabbed. There seems to be a suggestion that we may be allowed to meet again from MondayRead More →

OK, so it’s not very dramatic, but just when we are starting to sense Spring, February comes along to remind us that it’s still Winter. And following on from my previous blog post, Mary Greenwood suggested I needed to cut off the old leaves from our hellebore. So Robin did it – thanks Mary.                   At Christmas we were given an Amaryllis bulb (already in its pot) and six weeks later, here it is: That’s got to be the most successful Amaryllis I’ve ever grown. Really I don’t have much else to talk about. Life seems veryRead More →

The garden: It’s nearing the end of January and whilst I personally feel locked down, I notice the message doesn’t seem to have got through to the garden which is showing signs of emergent life already. The bulbs I planted late last year started poking through some time ago, I just hope that the flowers don’t come to soon, only to be devastated by whatever February has to throw at them. Rhubarb: We love rhubarb and have three plants supplying us very successfully. I was advised to stop picking it around July to give it a chance to recuperate, and I’ve done that for the lastRead More →