blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

"Failed again!"

My father used to say that when we hadn't done as well as we ought to have done, on various occasions. Usually he said it in a humorous tone of voice. but often enough to give me a permanent guilt complex in adult life; I feel like apologising for having failed to keep my blog updated this month.

I am at the international airport again, once more about to set off on a transatlantic trip. It's not good to think that the only time I seem to get to write my blog is at airports. We are going to visit the British contingent of our family as well as some old friends, and Chris has a conference to attend.

At the beginning of January, work began on a long-delayed winter edition of the Flying Club's magazine or newsletter, Crosswinds. I was the one responsible for its creation, this time. I had handed over the job to Alan a few years ago, but am sad to report that for this edition I had to write his obituary: he was a quiet person, worth knowing, now sorely missed. Too late, I now wish I had persuaded him to do some music making with us, because people who knew him better than we said that he was an extraordinarily good musician. Apparently, his favourite music was Dowland's. RFC Club members remember him as the pilot with the silver (unpainted) tail-dragger, a Cessna 170 that he flew solo all the way to Whitehorse in the Yukon and back, before he fell ill.

Hours were spent polishing up the multiple drafts of the latest Crosswinds newsletter, many hours, although the finished result is only 12 pages long, with 100 copies now printed. It really makes me appreciate the phenomenal amount of work that must go into any newspaper published daily.

Wearing my other hats, I've been organising weekly German conversation mornings (as usual) and a couple of group walks on snowshoes for diplomats and their Canadian friends. I co-opted Chris to help with the first of these events --- this was at the Rockcliffe Flying Club, too. When we came in out of the cold (a very stiff breeze down by the river, that morning) Chris told all the snowshoers about the fun we have flying, and spontaneously offered a short ride in the Club's flight simulator to four people who were there. They loved it and one of them, Judith, later brought the rest of her family along for another go in the sim. They speak German and Chris wanted to practise his German, but the children preferred to speak English.

On another day, I was at an insightful talk by a lady originally from Kabul, who described a visit there last year with her daughter to re-unite with family members who still live in that city. She effectively demolised some of our preconceptions about life in Afghanistan, showing us slides of Kabul as it is nowadays.

I have been teaching English to my new Syrian friend and her family, trudging through the snow to reach her house from the nearest bus stops. She gives me a warm welcome.

This time last week we were at a chamber music concert in New Edinburgh, with a string quintet playing (quartet plus double-bass). They gave a nice performance of Dvorak's string quintet plus some shorter items for the same combination.

That's all I have time before before we board our flight. "More tomorrow", as my dad also used to keep saying, once upon a time. I may have the chance to visit his grave during this trip as we shall be staying within travelling distance of it. An inspired teacher and musician, are the words carved on his gravestone, under which we added this: "I shall be made thy music" --- Donne.

No comments: