Sunday, October 08, 2006

three tasks


Three gentle tasks for an Autumn Sunday.

They had to be gentle because I am suffering a horrible bout of food poisoning and my poor kidneys are as exhausted by it as Julian’s back is from smashing down the kitchen he never finished a year ago in preparation for the more upmarket version we can now contemplate and which involves a washing machine. (Hooray!).

Task Number One:

Was to deal with the big brown packet from the Prince of Chimay.

Next week, while my colleagues are off on a tour of South America, I am off a Belgian castle to play continuo cello for the International Baroque Singing Competition. A little preparation is needed, especially since I am to be the personal guest of the Prince and Princess and I’m sure I’ll want to hang out as much as possible.

I made a start by taking the orange glo-pen to the enormous packet of music submitted by the candidates, highlighting the bass line throughout. (This is so that I do not skip to the wrong stave and lurch immodestly into the melody prepared with such diligence by the singer.) Sitting with the autumn sun warming my calves, I leafed through the paper goodies, getting a sense of them like feeling the shape of presents under a tree:

‘Horace and His Lute’
‘If Music Be The Food of Love’
‘Ego Flos Campis’……………

(I marked a question mark by some of them, like the medieval one with no notes. Not sure how to play that, so I’ll know to ask when I arrive.)

Task (well, hardly a task) Number Two:

Was to go for a run, but jiggling my already unsettled insides around on stony paths was not an option, so I went for a walk instead. To my delight, my husband came with me. Not one to be lured off the path or the pace (got to get that heart rate up), I usually resist Julian’s forays into the woods to look for mushrooms, but today I was feeling meditative. We found ourselves in a dappled fairy glen of lit up oak leaves, russulas and boletes, and strangely curling lichen which read like a Farrow and Ball colour chart:

Borrowed Light
Calke Green
Mouse’s Back
Vert de Terre

Task Number Three

Was to round the house with the sun, set out twelve espresso cups in preparation for sanding the edges and painting gesso on to Julian’s postcard-sized boards. As I applied the delectable substance to smooth surfaces and rounded corners, the sun now beating the back of my neck with it’s three o’clock insistence, I concentrated on making them fit for the finest pomegranate before setting them out to dry on the cups.

A nice autumn Sunday.

Now it’s time to light the fire.



Anonymous Natalie said...

Ruth, my Sunday was cheered by seeing and hearing you on the telly tonight, playing your cello under the trees. This is an amazing bit of serendipity because I never, ever, turn on TV in the early evening and in fact hardly watch it at all as I'm wholly immersed finishing the Gd book. But since I absolutely had to sew a hem on a pair of trousers, I switched the box on to have something to distract me from the boring task. Behold it was a BBC documentary, on "Wild Provence" and lo! there was Ruth, and a glimpse of the terrace of your house with Julian in the blurred distance. All too brief, no doubt over-edited, and I'd love to have your beautiful playing of Bach accompanying the whole programme, instead of the musical smorgasbord they added on. But anyway, congratulations and I'm delighted to have been able to make this unexpected visit to your home environment. I only know parts of Provence around Uzès and Montpellier but hope to see these wilder areas some time.

9:46 PM  
Blogger ruth said...

thanks natalie! hope your book is going well by the way...

i was so embarassed by everything in that prog they filmed at 8 am when we had got back extremely drunk from a wedding at 4. hence a very slow sarabande! anyway glad you liked it and always chuffed to see you here.

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Natalie said...

Well, the hangover wasn't noticeable at all!
I'd like to email you about something that won't fit into this box but can't find your email address - could you email me then I'll reply? Thanks.

augustine DOT nda AT blueyonder DOT co DOT uk

2:04 AM  
Blogger Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Glad you're being gentle with yourselves. Get well soon.

8:47 AM  

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