18 January 2006

Good rise, good sit. Start the day well.

Back to wrestling with The System That Doesn’t.  Proving pretty unpredictable. Our ‘help’, a consultant in Holland, puts in long hours on our behalf fixing problems which then create other problems.

Today I solved one such by myself, and felt a measure of self-respect return.

Lunchtime, read the account of a Guitar Craft course in Eric Tamms’ book about Robert Fripp, and found much to identify with. Our course was gentler than that.

Evening, and to Kirkliston Parish Church for the local heat of Young Musician of the Year, in which Pestilence was performing (with great reluctance) a violin piece by Vivaldi. Madame and her dad had attended this event last year and found it gruelling. I thought it was going well at first – all the performers were good – in particular a girl who played Debussy’s Claire de Lune, and one of Pest’s friends who sang ‘All That Jazz’. Then, while the judges were deliberating, three songs from a soprano, fine, and a time-filling speech by someone from the Rotary Club, who organised the event. Now he was in a difficult position, everyone knew he was just filling time, but as it dragged on past 15 minutes, even his wit and good humour were stretched. With some relief he handed over to the judges, one of whom launched into his own speech, as banal and self-important as the Rotary guy’s effort had been informative and modest. Then the prizes – Pest didn’t win anything but her friend won the vocal section – then, no please no, the vote of thanks to everyone under the sun on behalf of Rotary, delivered with Gordon Brown-style Presbyterian pace and gravity. By this time my meditative calm had evaporated and I was on the point of kicking the pews. A grateful Pest and I made for the car like the clappers and she chose to be rewarded with a MacDonalds drive-through on the way home.

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