Tuesday, 13 April 2021

'That'll eat well...'


About forty years ago, the Scrobs Family moved to their first house in our village. It wasn't a huge place, but was semi-detached, had a decent garden, and, because it had been 'unattended' for several years, needed some desperate TLC.

Of course, it was a labour of love; the girls were still quite small; I would be up in London most days, and we worked our socks off each evening to decorate, mend, build and tincturise as we've always done before and afterwards!

When we'd moved here, Senora O'Blene knew more of the village than I did, as she'd worked as a teacher here for some time, and had lived in various 'digs' locally. We just loved the place. It was in a quiet lane, the car was safe outside, and we could just afford the mortgage, so all was well.

After a few days, we started to venture forth to visit the various local shops, as we were in need of such items as bread, ham, beer etc. The first place we went to, was rather quaint. It was the local butcher, and being somewhat suspicious of 'country' shops, I wasn't over-happy about going there, but as they were near neighbours, I entered the shop with nerves a-tingling...

How wrong could I have been! The family there were an absolute delight! We got to know them all personally, and whenever I went in for the Sunday joint, David (the butcher), would wink and suggest a beef cut, which he 'knew', would meet our money, and the one I best remember, was a 'Leg of mutton', joint. It is as the pic above, and while it definitely isn't 'yer actual' sirloin or fillet, it was a fabulous joint to roast and carve!

One abiding memory of David was his habit slapping his huge knife down on the joint while he called to his wife, Margaret, who sat in a glass cupboard nearby and took the money, 'That'll eat well'! We knew he always gave us a discount, as the price list above the chopping blocks was totally incoherent!

We miss him dreadfully...

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Is that sacred music?...

Scrobs is interested to read that Vaughan Williams' 'The Lark Ascending', has been voted by Classic FM, as the most popular piece of music played here.

I'm not surprised, as it is indeed a beautiful masterpiece, and such a lovely way to use a few spare minutes to hear the joy of aliveness and country.

Ralph Vaughan Williams has for most of my life, been a favourite composer because one day, I was in the car with my dad, and a bit of 'The Sea Symphony' came on, and we were both lost for words! We talked about the music for ages afterwards, and I bought him the record at the following Christmas. I just love the whole lot of it, from start to finish, and because the record he had was this version, I always preferred the soloists' ways of putting the music across!

In the Classic FM list, are several other pieces which are favourites, and quite rightly played regularly because people like them. A sure way to get interest is to pop in a few 'In Paradisums', and of course, everyone knows and loves the Gabriel Faure version, and so do I. My dad was actually listening to this one November night and it was some sort of premonition for him as he had a heart attack a few minutes afterwards, and was very poorly for a few weeks, but recovered to get a good Christmas party going a bit later!

I don't really rate some of the very modern versions of 'In Paradisum', some of which are mentioned by Classic FM, as anyone can knock out few notes on Garage Band and get a result, but as it's twenty-eight years today since we finally said goodbye to the old chap, I'd like to copy my absolute favourite composition of 'In Paradisum'. It is by Maurice Durufle, and to me, is the most thoughtful, meaningful, hopeful composition I think I've ever heard, with a final few notes which are as exquisite as you'll ever hear!

(I'm in several comments on the post too, but don't let that put you off)!

And to enlighten you on the title of the post, some (many years) time ago, at school, a friend was learning to play the organ. He was pretty good, and as I've always loved keyboards in some shape or form, but been pretty useless at making them work well, I used to sit with him and turn the pages. On one occasion, the chapel was empty, and WDW was banging away at his practice pieces, and then drifted off into 'Hearts of Oak', which received an immediate ticking-off from the Chaplain, who poked his head round the door and enquired in his lovely, stern, Welsh ring 'Is that sacred music'? which reduced my friend to all sorts of emotions - mainly laughter, but much later on!

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Ha ha ha - funny...

Man gets sent to prison, come the first meal break some one says "142" and everybody laughs.  Soon after, another bloke says "19" and everybody laughs again. 

This goes on for a while and the new inmate turns to the man beside him and says "What's going on?  Why is everybody laughing at numbers?"

His fellow inmate says "Oh that?  They're jokes.  It's just that we've all been her so long that we numbered them instead of telling the whole thing to save time."

"Oh, right.  Would anybody mind if I joined in?"

"No not all.  Go right ahead".

So our friend takes a deep breath and says "259".  To his great surprise, the whole table falls about laughing harder than ever. 

So he says "Well, that went down well".

"Yes" came the reply.  "We hadn't heard that one before..."