November Catch Up…

This blog has been quiet for a while so I thought this week’s post should address that and get you all up to date with the last few months of 2014 – my favourite time of the year for a number of reasons.

For the first gig of November I was playing for a Vintage Wedding Exhibition at the Bowden Rooms in Altrincham with the lovely flautist Anna Rosa Mari.

flute and harp wedding fayre

We definitely kept it professional (profesh??) at all times:

Instant Anna Rosa and me

Next on the agenda was Bonfire Night – a rather weird claim to fame I can make is that I went to the same school as Guy Fawkes. I think everyone who went to St. Peter’s School in York has to mention this at some point during November 5th.

Now then, I am a tall girl, but in the huge crowd that gathered in Platt Fields Park in Manchester to watch the bonfire all I could really see was the fire, on the screens of the smartphones of the people around me. I don’t get why you would take a picture or a video of a big fire? Just enjoy it guys! Anyway, after the fireworks we rushed off for a Rusholme curry on the way home, the perfect way to warm up after standing outside for most of the evening. I think this needs to be our new Bonfire Night tradition.

The day after Bonfire Night is my Dad’s birthday so we decided to make the drive over to York to surprise him – these are appropriate for a man in his early eighties right??

Dad's birthday presie

The following weekend I had three gigs! Three gigs in two days! The first was a Fauré Requiem in Doncaster in honour of Remembrance Day:

Lest We Forget

Then on Sunday I was playing for a wedding in Bury:

wedding flowers 9th Nov

This was then followed by another Fauré in St. Ann’s Church in Manchester.

Faure St Ann's

I’m sure you’ll gather that this weekend was slightly crazy – it’s so good to be busy though.

On Tuesday 11th November it was my birthday so I decided to visit Dough in the Northern Quarter with a few friends, the food was amazing and we had a really lovely evening:

Birthday Dinner

I also received this beautiful necklace from Marten, I don’t think I’ve taken it off since then! I love it:

Birthday necklace

The rest of the birthday week could have been a little more pleasant to be honest – it involved a dentist visit and spending a lot of money on my car to get it through its MOT. But enough of that! Let’s move swiftly on to the 22nd of November. I had a gig in Sheffield (my favourite) to play the Debussy Nocturnes and Holst’s The Planets. This gig was rather exciting as the other harpist was Calum Macleod and we could fit both harps in his van! So that meant no driving for me! I could definitely get used to that.

I’d never played the Nocturnes before, they are amazing – especially the third movement Sirènes, you can actually hear the mysterious song of the Sirens over the swirling sound of the sea and the waves – it’s breathtaking. The Planets will always be a favourite of mine too, the violence of Mars, the beauty of Venus, the mystery of Neptune, and Jupiter, the tune of which used to be a favourite hymn at school (who remembers the classic 295 ‘I Vow to Thee my Country’?)

Planets 22nd Nov

Fast forward to the end of the month, the final gig of November was at Leeds Uni, playing Stravinsky’s Symphony in three movements. This piece is very cool and I suggest you have a listen if you’re unfamiliar. There’s lots of harp and the part is substantial so it’s a really good project to get stuck into.

This post was originally going to be November and December but it’s become so big I’m going to have to split it into two separate posts. Stay tuned for more craziness in December’s catch-up post.

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