Tuesday 9 August 2022

Great Acts of Kindness

A random subject to write about and do believe me everything is honest and true and not elaborated for effect. The first act of kindness which lives in my memory is the occasion when I was driving back from Southampton.The last week of the tour and as I live in the home counties not an impossible commute. I was driving my Citroen Dyan (an unusual sort of car with many little quirks about it). I had planned to drive to the South of France to the Tortelier classes to which he had invited me, which was pending and I was SO looking forward to it with nervous trepidation.It was mid week and I was happily setting off for home from the theatre where we had been performing the opera for the week and we had just a few more days to go. It was raining stair rods and I pulled into a garage outside Southampton to get petrol. Those indeed were the days as someone scuttled out and came to my car I asked for petrol and an oil top up. Fine, I did not need to get out of the car I was comfortable and dry and I had my Hill cello with me.Note, not left at the theatre. Off I drove,.... the plan was to take the A303 and I was beetling along until the most horrendous grinding noise came from under the bonnet of my car the dark the lonliness of the road nothing to see in either direction. Every Womans' dread......I opened the bonnet and there was oil absolutely everywhere. like everywhere. The quirky Dyan has an oil filling tube which has a clip that must be pressed down and locked.The 'helpful' garage man did not do this probably because he was being soaked through.Of course it was not an easy situation. These are the days when I belonged to the AA and I knew that I needed to find a phone. (The car I own now has its own rescue service) Anyway back to the story..... After getting really upset I thought and looked again at where I was, fortuneatly the rain storm was a summer rain storm and I was not wearing a coat and the rain had stopped. What to do, what to do,? Ah, thank goodness I see a house further up the road with some lights on, It was a tidy step but I could do it.I left lights on inside my car and outside of my car and locked it with my cello inside and strode toward the house in the distance.The car looked like a little bubble of light. As if by magic a little black mini pulled up travelling in the same direction I was walking. They leaned across to speak to me. 'What happened?' I said 'I wasn't sure but I needed the AA and the car was not going to move as it was' They said 'Hop in, we can take you to a garage' I said that they didn't need to do that but they insisted that I got into their car. They drove me some little way and the garage was open but just about to close and they were not enthusiastic to come out to my car but said'You can phone the AA from here'.. I did just that and I waited and waited and felt lonely and worried.Eventually a little grey Morris Minor with a gantry arrived and I was relieved. I explained what had happened and we drove back to my car. I was met with a horror because one side of my car was missing.So I had a crippled engine and half a car and believe it or not my cello was still in the car untouched happily in the case.The significance is that the drivers side was missing and we know that the AA ask you as routine to go and sit in your car.I know that the little black mini unbeknown to them saved my life. Had I gone to the house I saw up ahead to phone, I wouldn't be here now.We called the police( from somewhere?) to report everything and they came and said that the A 303 is one of the most dangerous roads in the UK and someone had been killed on the very spot where we were standing a week before. The name Sutton Scotney still gives me the shudders years later. You may wonder what did I do after crying to the AA designated garage man that had come to help, I was driven to a Citroen garage eight or nine miles from where I live it was the nearest one and then I was then driven home.I arranged accomodation for the rest of the week in Southampton and booked a ticket to the South of France and my ticket was charged at a heavily discounted student rate so a partial win.Cat taken to the cattery in a rush. if only the car had been totaled but it wasn't it needed to be fixed bit by bit..... Groan and it was. The chassis of the Citroen is two long iron/metal bars from front to back and the wheel hubs and doors are bolted on therefore the side was easily ripped off by a passing lorry it was suggested to me. I enjoyed my train journey and life changing sojourn to the South of France and had a day in Paris killing time on the way there until I was to catch my train at 8pm to the South. That day was SO eventful but that is another blog. ............................................................................................................................................. The second act of kindness is strange because there were multiple kindnesses on that particular day. A friend was going on a trip to her family in New York and asked me to collect her from Heathrow on her return.For some reason as the day to collect her approached it became clear that my car would not get me to Heathrow possibly due to some fault or legal requirement with which my car temporaily did not comply. It could have been fixed but there wasn't time and quicky I should add, it was not the same car, not a Dyan.A very kind and efficient man who used to repair my car I phoned and asked him what I should do. Without a second thought he said (let's call him Fred) Fred will drop you off to Heathrow . No! I exclaimed 'really that is amazing are you sure? That would be fantastic I'll pay for the petrol'. He said 'No need don't worry Fred doesn't mind'. So that is what happened I checked on the arrival time for the plane and we were there waiting and the surprised look on my friend's face when she saw a completely different car to mine waiting for her.We arrived back at her home and she had been away quite a while and we were drinking coffee and it became apparent that there was something wrong with her fire.I am not sure whether it was a wood burning stove or just an ordinary fire place but to get to the point . This angelic transport 'angel' asked if my friend had chimney sweeping brushes and she said yes and the transport angel immediately set about cleaning/sweeping the chimney. We were highly amused at the bizarrenss of the situation so many good deeds done by one very kind gentleman who did not think it was such a big deal by the way, but we were astounded, and delighted and grateful.'No charge my dear,happy to help' was his attitude and philosophy for life.

Saturday 30 July 2022

Admin plus

Originally written before the pandemic and left as a draft and now it is time for this brain child to be born.I have decided to write again and let you in to another little part of my life. I have been in a period of ordering the past and registering arrangements I had made for cello and classical guitar duo. I spent some considerable time going through the processes. The most interesting was the recordings finalising track lists on which I played in the 70s and how the process of logging who played where and when has now become much more ordered.It was originally in the hands of the Musicians Union to locate people sometimes ten years or more after the recording in order to pay them their royalties it has happened to me on two occasions.However the extraordinary fluke was that I had studied at universities, I had packed up my home in boxes it had been stored in an acquaintance's home in a spare room and locked and then after that put into 'professional ' storage. Just a few weeks ago there was a question about my playing on an iconic recording (I didn't know that it would be iconic at the time) however the writer of the music was a person who had written more that 3.000 adverts for television which you would have been bound to have seen. I certainly played on the Martini advert in any case and maybe one or two others. See my blog on recording...you go there, you play the music, you leave.There was some question about whether I had in fact played on that recording. I had all sorts of ideas as to how I could prove it. My diary for that year was one that started in mid year and went through the following year complete, conveniently leaving the first half of the year missing.I don't know whether such diaries are made now. It is lovely and has a red leather bound cover. Anyhow the important point I am making is that I went to a box opened a file and on top was the remittance for the very recording I was needing for proof. Everyone, even the Musicians Union were astounded and so was I quite frankly.... so fortuneate!. Why would I have kept the remittance for something that I did in the 70's I do not know but it was WONDERFUL to behold!! Regarding my cello and classical guitar arrangements each one needs to be traced so that if they are out of copyright the coast is clear to make arrangements of compositions. I have spent literally yonks in the British Library doing my homework looking at the original editions of works by composers that are out of copywrite seeing best how I can arrange them. Some works have been arranged many times by others already and that is something to be very careful about.