Cello by Chance

Many of you who read this blog will know that I love to roam around.

Also, if you have kept up to date, that I purchased a very beautiful cello, named Dulcie (“dolce” in Italian means “sweet”)

I started playing the cello again about 2 years ago as a way to console myself….. my thumb joints had become very painful. So painful that I could not bear to play the piano and truly wondered if I ever would again.

Playing the cello, with all its challenges helped to fill that gap as well as compelling me to take great care not to further injure my hands.

Here is where chance crept in. I began to explore how I could apply the Alexander Technique to my journey as a beginner cellist and by good fortune, these early efforts coincided with some marvelous videos that Jennifer Roig-Francoli (a colleague in USA) was putting up on Facebook.

These were so fascinating that my urgent need to master this difficult instrument and satisfy my hungry ambition in a short space of time abated while I payed attention to the more subtle nuances of how I was managing myself while I played.

Because of my driving nature, it would otherwise have been a very frustrating and demoralising time.

Cello by Chance it has become, for without the necessity of taking a break from the piano, I would not have started playing the cello again (I tried some 17 years ago and gave up because it was too stupidly difficult!) or indeed, found such a fine cello and bow.

Another facet in the realm of chance is that I have taken to driving around with my cello in the car and searching out little churches that are tucked away in quiet corners of the countryside. … or in the right kind of weather, playing outdoors at high points and beauty spots.

These magical occurrences really seem to appear very spontaneously, in a similar way to my bike journey, where pianos showed up all over the place….

I love it that this is another way to go around and make music.

Every now and then somebody passes by and apparently really enjoys the unexpected sound of a cello.

Far more portable than a piano and rather less effort than a bike!

Here are some photos of the beautiful places I have taken Dulcie out.

Apuldram near Chichester.

Sunset and then dawn, high above Blaenavon.

Emborough church near Chew Magna‭. ‬

Glastonbury Tor

Ebbor gorge with Glastonbury Tor in the distance…. This was just magical!

Blagdon water

And finally Langport church, where a couple came in and choose “Jerusalem” as their popular request.

Each place has had a unique quality.

Each interaction with passers by an unexpected delight.

There is some more good news.

Thanks to time away from the piano, Alexander explorations, wonderful care from osteopath, Vicky Latchem and maybe a hint of common sense, my thumbs are very much improved…. buttons, page turning, holding a pencil, turning a key etc… all nearly as good as new!

Here’s to more adventures with Dulcie!

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A Child’s Voice


In a box in the loft 400 girls in a tight scroll, yellowed and thumbed at the corners.
Open it up and it whips back shut. Snaps at your fingers like a nasty little dog.
Your little furrowed brow in a face-full of spectacles on the end of the second row.
That one there, she spat on my specs on the way to the festival hall and Phyliss Sellick came out in blue crépe de chine and played Schuman’s piano concerto and I cried.
I was nearly sick on the coach on the way back, I didn’t want to go back and she sat on my hat and pretended to wipe her arse with it. She’s there on the front row. I threw her over my shoulder in judo in lower 5a but I couldn’t get Sarah down, she was too tall. She had dental braces and bits of white got stuck in the bands.
I could wipe them all out. Blot them out. Paint over their faces. Screw up my face tight so I can’t see them.
But they wont go. Eyes noses mouths pushing up through the paint. We’re suffocating too. Look at me look at me. Hair torn out, nails chewed, anorexic. Look. Don’t leave us here. Please don’t leave us here.
All those little girls growing good and bad and shredded and obscenely successful and hidden behind doors. Rolled up in their lofts and out of sight out of mind. Out of our minds.
But open the roll and we’ll snap shut snap at you or tear at your heart or abandon you and you’ll never know why. Or we will stand on a podium and tell you what’s good for you and that education is a privilege and it never did us any harm oh no.
 
Do you remember Flo? She went out of her mind and the teacher said she’d never make anything of herself. She had PTSD for 3 years after she left. And Ginny-cardboard-tights is still in a mental home. 

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Evolution

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Dear Beethoven by Bike friends. It is nearly 6 years since I set out with Sir Galahad.

The journey had many chapters and my life was truly enriched by the countries, landscapes and people I encountered.

The journey has continued, of course and in different forms.

Recently I have decided to place my “journeying” under one umbrella, which will be called “Journey as Art”

Beethoven by Bike seekers and followers, you will be directed automatically to this page, which has a more up to date look and will be a bit more versatile.

So don’t be put off if at first you do not see quite what you expected to see….. all is well, and I hope you will like the new look.

There may be one or two teething issues while people far cleverer than myself beaver away behind the scenes to make it all come together. Please be patient.

It’ll mean that there will be more space to organise and display my art work and I will easily be able to flag up events etc.

Looking forward to the next steps.

Greetings and gratitude

JennY

 

 

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Evolution

Dear Beethoven by Bike friends. It is nearly 6 years since I set out with Sir Galahad. 

The journey had many chapters and my life was truly enriched by the countries, landscapes and people I encountered. 

The journey has continued, of course and in different forms. 

Recently I have decided to place my “journeying” under one umbrella, which will be called “Journey as Art”

Beethoven by Bike seekers and followers, you will be directed automatically to this page, which has a more up to date look and will be a bit more versatile. 

So don’t  be put off if at first you do not see quite what you expected to see….. all is well, and I hope you will like the new look. 

There may be one or two teething issues while people far cleverer than myself beaver away behind the scenes to make it all come together. Please be patient. 

It’ll mean that there will be more space to organise and display my art work and I will easily be able to flag up events etc. 

Looking forward to the next steps. 

Greetings and gratitude

Jenny

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Hanging out with our Hands 

Please forgive my absence from these pages for so long.

I have been immersed in my Alexander Technique studies. 

After a truly inspiring fortnight in Germany with my new friends and colleagues in the German Alliance, I am looking forward to sharing the wealth of variety that I have been absorbing. 

Hanging out with our Hands” will be a lovely playful and profound way to explore many aspects of our hands and how they serve us. 

Do join me, share this with anyone who may be interested or invite me to your area!

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Test

Just testing

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Masks

There’s a lot you can do with wax. 

Layers and layers. 

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