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April 2010 Archives

April 1, 2010

Snow at Landrick in April

Just when we thought that the snow had gone, there was a fresh dump in March, which lay on the ground here for longer than most people could believe. For all the hot air talked about global warming, the issue is climate change and to what extent human activity is causing it. We narrowly escaped having to refit the chains to the car, but our garden project which began last November (and was suspended because of the weather) still hasn't resumed.

Here is the view west from our kitchen window, with Bramble, who gets frisky whenever there's white stuff, heading off in the distance:


And here is the view west across Threat Moor, both shots take at lunchtime on 1 April 2010, no fooling, honest:


April 3, 2010

Little Tiger Cub Amy wins her stripes

Every Saturday, grand-daughter Amy goes to Little Tiger Cubs, a fun and fitness club for 3-5 year olds. It meets in the Braeport Centre, Dunblane, and for 45 minutes the children do exercises and play games that will lead, if they stay with it, to Taekwon-Do (Korean martial arts). There's a national network of these: Amy's class is run by the Taekwon-Do School which Stephen Rooney (6th Dan) founded in Alloa in 1990.

The Little Tiger Clubs are taught by the wonderful Liane Rooney (herself a 5th Dan, and Stephen's sister) who has terrific rapport with the children. She sets high standards for herself, too: I was asking how she got on in the recent European Championships in Barletta, Italy, and she was a bit crestfallen: "only" a gold and a silver! Her expertise comes across in her manner, and the children knows she is no push-over. What is brilliant is how she organises and motivates them, letting them compete while also gently teaching that winning isn't everything. They played a chasing game wearing animal tails: the object is to grab as many tails as you can while trying to retain your own. Below is Amy in the act of a tail-snatch:


Anyway, today she earned her stripes and 1st Cub certificate (having completed ten classes), so she is looking pleased and proud, with the formidable Miss Rooney:


Today was also the day of her Easter treasure hunt at Landrick, in which I had rewarded intermediate clues with tiny sugar eggs and the main treasure was virtuously chocolate-free: Emily Gravett's wonderful hardback "The Rabbit Problem". Amy is starting school in August, and certainly seems to be growing up fast and becoming a really interesting little person.

April 8, 2010

An aerial view of Landrick

I finally redeemed my birthday voucher for a flight with East of Scotland Microlights where Sandy is training as a pilot. He also had provided the voucher through his company Gift Experience Scotland. The arrangement had been postponed three times because of weather (high winds, blizzards and deep snow) but fourth time was lucky yesterday. Gordon Douglas flew me north-west high, high above the Forth, west over Castle Campbell and along the spine of the Ochils, past Dumyat to circle over Landrick.

House and garden look very different from the air, in fact its dark colours and treelined setting meant that at first I was afraid I'd struggle to locate it from above. But here it is:


Gordon had told me that we weren't allowed within 500 feet of inhabited buildings, but I pointed out that our house stands on its own and the only occupants (Keir and his visitor) wouldn't mind. Clearly we swooped low enough to attract their attention, because they came outside and are standing by the curved path, with Bramble barking vigorously at this aerial intruder:


Gordon then suggested we buzz them, which seemed a terrific idea to me, so we climbed and swooped, skimming the tree tops at about 120 mph. The G forces were so extreme that there was no question of using the camera, but it was very exciting. Almost incredibly, within 90 minutes of leaving East Fortune airfield we were back there on the ground. At this point, Sandy was waiting for the microlight (a Quik-R) to do some more solo work, so I took a few pictures of him taking off and landing:


April 14, 2010

Chamber Philharmonic Europe

Last night we went to Dunblane Cathedral for the first time since the Roseneathe Singers' powerful, agonising performance of Britten's War Requiem. The prompt was, once again, daughter Helen getting us tickets. Unlike the War Requiem which is difficult in parts to listen to, difficult sometimes to deal with Wilfred Owen's devastating poetry, this turned out to be really easy listening. We had Vivaldi (topically Spring from the Four Seasons), Albinoni (trumpet concerto) and Mozart (Divertimento) followed by Bach, Purcell (trumpet sonata) and Grieg. It was lively, professional and uplifting, performed in the intimate setting of the choir stalls of the cathedral.

The orchestra was unusual: the Chamber Philharmonic Europe is very cosmopolitan, with the trumpet soloist Russian, the lead violinist Hungarian and no two other players of the same nationality. With only nine players they achieved a tremendous orchestral voulme in the Grieg (Holberg Suite). The charming young violinist who did the announcements also played (but she didn't identify) a haunting encore. It was so hauntingly familiar that I had to look it up later on YouTube and found that Keir was spot on in his suggestion of Massenet's Meditation from Thäis. You can choose from dozens of performances; I liked Itzhak Perlman (but not the naff visuals) and (amazingly, from 1928) Fritz Kreisler.

How useful to be able to track down unannounced encores while still fresh in the mind's ear ... and how generous of Helen to send us to this concert which we would otherwise never have known about.

About April 2010

This page contains all entries posted to Jacquetta in April 2010. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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