Augustus was very happy during his weekend stay. I cautiously venture to suggest that the little boy loves his granny. Certainly, I was very well kissed yesterday. We went to the church as I said, and I held him while Weeza ate her bacon sandwich. He’s not quite old enough to pucker up and go ‘mwah’ but he loves being kissed, and he reciprocated with enthusiastic – well, I can only call it snogging. Open-mouthed on his part, mouth to mouth, honestly I’ve not been kissed with such a mixture of innocence and enthusiasm for years … actually, taking both those words, probably ever. It was adorable.
I had grabbed the music to take along, but hadn’t actually looked at it. As you may know, the clarinet is normally pitched in B flat and so plays a whole tone lower than music written for the piano, flute and so on. So I have to transcribe it up. This can be fine – let’s say the piece is written in F major, with one flat. It goes up to G major with one sharp. E (four sharps) to F sharp (I dunno, whole lots, every bugger is sharpened it seems) is totally bewildering. Yesterday’s effort, from A to B, was possible, but maybe I should have looked at it beforehand. I was winging it a bit in the first verse.
In other news … I spent an hour or so in the dentist’s chair this morning. That is, the chair provided for patients, I didn’t make him sit on the floor by pinching his own. I’m very impressed. He uses an anaesthetic gel on your gum before he injects the local anaesthetic, nowadays. Usually, I go mentally through times tables to distract myself at the dentist (17 being my favourite) but I was feeling particularly relaxed today, so turned to music instead. Snatches of Coward, Wilson and J Roddy Walston (Don’t Break the Needle) later (none out loud, obv, it might have sounded like wails of pain), I found myself singing a song called Sei Nicht Bös (here) which gave rise to a memory from long ago.
As I’ve said before, my father died suddenly in January 1970 and events continued to go downhill that year. Once record kept my mother and me going. She bought an LP called “Elisabeth Schwarzkopf Sings Operetta.” We listened to it over and again, I can’t describe how those songs and her voice sustained us. I’m listening to it now on Spotify and it’s another of those records that I can’t evaluate because it means so much to me, from that time, that I have no critical appreciation. I simply love it.