Thursday, January 24, 2008

Fiddle lurrrrve

The fiddling is progressing nicely, I think. The neighbourhood cats have grown bored with singing in sympathy and my family have managed to get their synchronized winces almost under control. I did have a fairly cringe-making play with a good friend who can play fiddle beautifully ( despite not having picked one up for seven years ) when I tried to play alongside her, I sounded utterly godawful. She was too kind to wince, or fall on my throat with a Stanley blade to ensure my future silence but merely played on, in a deeply capable fashion. With twiddly bits and vibrato, and the odd lighthearted -  hmm, we'll just try that again, shall we? -when the correct thing to say was Debi, put that bloody fiddle back in its case and for the good of mankind, take up macrame instead.

I sounded horribly out of tune, wince-makingly dire, in fact. I could barely cope with the realization of how crappily I was playing, but it was the first time for, er, thirty three years ( aaaaarrrrrghhhh) that I've played with another real, live person rather than a recording. But hey, nothing that a concentrated period of playing scale after scale won't cure. Like thirty three more years of practice and I might be getting somewhere. When my good and kind fiddle-playing friend left, I spent the next two hours playing and playing and playing, to try and salvage some possibility that I might be able to make a sound that was, in even a small way, tuneful. 

I did have one of those rare moments of utter stringed bliss this morning, playing along with a Peatbog Faeries track, for some reason it suddenly took off and achieved altitude with what felt like little effort on my part. I flew. The notes came by themselves and for a brief five minutes, I was exalted.

Tomorrow, I'm heading off early to the shores of Loch Lomond to take part in a Babies & Music day. Whatever that may be...I'm not planning on playing music, haven't actually been invited to do so, but I will be reading some of my books to very small people which should be a riot. I will put my fiddle in the back of the car, though. Just in case. There was mention of a mini-ceilidh for tots, and that has distinct possibilities. And it's Burn's Day, and that always makes people slightly more open to all things heederum hoderum.

The pins are back in gainful employment as well - I'm knitting a hat with earflaps for our youngest daughter - one that won't get her teased in the playground, but which will keep her warm through this rather arctic spell of weather we're enjoying. This is the second time I've knitted it - first time round it was waaaaaaay too big, and rather than hand it over promising that she'd grow into it ( that is, if she grew up to weigh ninety stone), I decided to rip it all back ( small choking sobs) and start again. Should be done by the end of the weekend. It's lovely yarn- a dark grey chunky marled wool, with details picked out in one of those weird synthetic fluffy yarns which were all the rage for scarf-knitting a few years back. The syntho-fluff is in bright, hot colours - pinks and golds and bronzes, which look very fine against the grey marl. And I think I've managed to use syntho-fluff in sufficiently small quantities to showcase its rather weird beauty which is lost when it's used to the exclusion of any other yarn.

Right. Must go and have a wardrobe crisis. What to wear for a January day with babies in a vast draughty youth hostel on the shores of Loch Lomond?*

Later - Idiotically, moron here wore a woolly sweater which more than lived up to its name. Somehow I managed to forget that I heat up bigtime when reading to and talking with vast hordes of children. And  I'm not exaggerating. I had over seventy babies plus their parents.YIKES!!!

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