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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 07 Jan 2015, 17:45

Glad the interview went well...it means that any future interviews shouldn't be so nerve wracking for you.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 07 Jan 2015, 18:57

Well, not all interviewers will be as amiable and fair as the one I had on Monday. There will be a plethora of fascistic power-obsessed ones who like to humiliate and torture good (but poor) working class folk who need work :?
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 07 Jan 2015, 19:07

Whilst sat in the infamous Stirchley bottleneck today it was a lovely surprise to hear Gareth Glyn, the Radio Cymru 'Post Prynhawn' presenter who doubles as a composer, talking about one of his recent works based upon Celtic mythology in pre-Roman Britain (I think either Louise Fryer/Penny Gore/whoever said it was entitled 'Godofin'). I'd ONLY ever heard Gareth speaking Welsh before today, his PM-style news magazine was cumpulsory listening for me when I was learning Welsh. I'd listen on my Sony Walkman on the way back from work in Shrewsbury!

http://garethglyn.info/
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 08 Jan 2015, 08:57

Today is the 8th January but the chav family over the road still have a huge 'Happy Christmas' holly wreath on their front door, made even more odd by the fact that the lights and tree went down last week!!!

We had some lights too but they said Merry Christmas, not screamed it.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 08 Jan 2015, 18:44

All our Christmas stuff is still up until tomorrow when Kathleen's coming to help us take it down, organise it and put it away. Not bothered about bad luck - hard to see how this year could be any worse than last.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 08 Jan 2015, 21:02

I didn't even think for one minute that it was bad luck to leave ones Christmas decorations up this late (unless one is a member of the Orthodoxy). Just a bit inappropriate, like Easter eggs and summer clothing in the shops in January sort of thing. Aldi over the road from the Edgbaston Cricket ground have pallet after pallet of mince pies, Christmas puddy, stollen and Christmas cake in. Sainsburys have all sold theirs. Who's been a naughty little overbuyer then???

I've been constantly baking since lunchtime, pasta with meatballs and pasta sauce for lunch, 24 ginger nuts, 24 Shrewsbury biscuits, lamb chops with spuds and veg, tomorrows lunch and some Ahmed's banana jellies. Oh and a Pavlova drying out in the oven. Why can't I get my meringue nice and stiff without overbeating my egg whites??
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 09 Jan 2015, 19:28

dave brum wrote: Why can't I get my meringue nice and stiff without overbeating my egg whites??
You're asking ME?? :shock: :roll: :lol:
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 09 Jan 2015, 19:36

Well, my Shrewsbury biscuits were lauded by Rob, Sultan and Shazia at the shop today.

And my wife spotted Mabel Mucklethwaite in work today, buying tiles!!!

I've found a way of making a nice stiff meringue, instead of adding sugar to the egg whites, melt it and boil it to 120 degrees. THEN beat it in a bit at a time so the sugar cooks the egg whites BUT it has to be done on full speed otherwise you'll end up with a boiled egg!!
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 10 Jan 2015, 14:57

I never actually said why my meringues went wrong, although the mixture had a lovely sheen on it, it was a bit sloppy to say the least.

My understanding is that for every egg white use 50g of sugar, whip up the whites to the stiff peak stage and then add the sugar a bit at a time. The eggs were at the stiff peak stage without overbeating, but as I added the sugar the mix just went flat and sloppy. Does this mean I actually did overbeat them without knowing it or should I have added the sugar and beat the mix until I got the stiff peaks back...or should I have folded them in. This is Delia's method here and consequently should be foolproof.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 10 Jan 2015, 17:36

Home made Eton Mess tomorrow with my home made meringues as it really is too sloppy for a pavlova. Shame the mild weather seems to be at an end in the Midlands, otherwise the strawberries might actually kid me that it is actually summer. The fact that we can actually now say that it is 'mid-January' rather than early January makes spring that much closer!
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 10 Jan 2015, 18:18

The bulbs seem to be coming up already here and there. Hope they don't drown!
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 10 Jan 2015, 19:02

Yes, we could well see 15cm before they come up any more. Church should be nice and cold for you tomorrow Gill, the escaping draught from the air chamber in the organ will only add to the need for fingerless gloves and warm cushions :mrgreen:
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 10 Jan 2015, 22:27

The first thing I'm going to be asking Mabel on Tuesday is for tips on how to play even semiquavers/fast notes as there are a few pieces in CTM book 2 that I struggle with, plus she picked me up on it in my last Book 3 HW piece. I'm using the metronome on a slow speed (58 cbpm) to help me, which still produces quick albeit manageable SQ's.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 10 Jan 2015, 22:52

...plus I also see the UKPP's newest member is one CabbageFace. He or she has not yet met me....
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 11 Jan 2015, 16:07

dave brum wrote: Church should be nice and cold for you tomorrow Gill, the escaping draught from the air chamber in the organ will only add to the need for fingerless gloves and warm cushions :mrgreen:
It was warm enough with the 6 heaters going. AND the fingerless grubs.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 11 Jan 2015, 16:10

dave brum wrote: tips on how to play even semiquavers/fast notes as there are a few pieces in CTM book 2 that I struggle with, plus she picked me up on it in my last Book 3 HW piece. I'm using the metronome on a slow speed
You do precisely that and speed up as and when you feel secure at that speed and feel that they're even. ADAD is a brilliant method for teaching these things except you've played them as crotchets and minims, mostly. If you read them as SQs, you'd be there.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 11 Jan 2015, 19:09

I've had to slow down on one or two pieces (I picked this week's repertoire pieces deliberately as they all feature rows of semiquavers) but I think they are uneven because I try to rush them, and that is the habit I have to break. Tension in the hands is no good for playing these quick notes and only time will sort that out. But I'll still ask Mabel.

Then on the radio this morning I heard Flight of the Bumblebee. Bet that's a reight bugger to play!!
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 11 Jan 2015, 19:34

Gill the Piano wrote:
dave brum wrote: Church should be nice and cold for you tomorrow Gill, the escaping draught from the air chamber in the organ will only add to the need for fingerless gloves and warm cushions :mrgreen:
It was warm enough with the 6 heaters going. AND the fingerless grubs.
Last time we went to Worcester we went in the (Anglican) Cathedral and the organ console on the main instrument is like a little musical bachelor pad. It's an enclosed room, obviously dominated by the quadruple manual/footboard/stops on either side but there is heating facilities, CCTV pointed at all of the entrances and key places in the building, hi-tech communication (to God perhaps?) and tea and hot drinks facilities. Oh, and CUSHIONS for optimum posterial comfort.....Fanny Fosdyke and your half an organ, get digging for gold and forget those seven deadly sins.....
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 11 Jan 2015, 22:55

Nicolini has left us. Goodbye.....thanks for the conversation and take great care. And good luck with the :piano;
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 12 Jan 2015, 11:12

I didn't get that job I was interviewed for a week ago, I've just been informed I was not shortlisted for the second interview. But at least watching Life of Brian has put me in a positive frame of mind. Je ne suis pas Charlie. Je suis Brian.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 12 Jan 2015, 18:38

Never mind, you're off the blocks. Onwards & upwards!
My friend is a cathedral organist(not in this country) and the organ has been rebuilt, But is he grateful? Nah. The organ console is now down in the main body of the cathedral. It USED to be in a cosy loft with an armchair and a kettle and nobody knew if he was reading the paper...
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 12 Jan 2015, 18:51

So if anything I've slowed down my Rondo and Arabesque (ie the semiquaver pieces) to 56 dcbpm for Rondo (6/8 time) and 72 cbpm for Arabesque (2/4). Very very sloooooow but my SQs sound even. Mabel will probably tell me to do summat else tomorrow. Next Sunday, when I do my next week's golden oldie list, I'll increase the nome speed by a notch.

Got my 'St.Mabel' tune ready for tomorrow. It can be used for 'O God Our Help In Ages Past'.

I'm still a bit perplexed by Nicolini. I do sincerely hope it's nothing I have said. I thought she was okay.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 13 Jan 2015, 20:58

Wife in a funny mood again and it's nothing I seem to have done. It's because she cannot watch her football team on BT Sport. Can someone please tell me why people behave like this. We're talking about a bunch of overpaid prima donnas here, which subscriptions from television channels pay these people and also feed their stupid egos.

Compared with what went on in Paris last week and what is still going on in Palestine, in Syria, in Sierra Leone and under various bridges in London every evening, silly football is absolutely NOTHING.

She even had some flowers earlier today as I sneakily called into Waitrose on the way back from Mabel's.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 14 Jan 2015, 19:34

In the immortal words of Chas & Dave, 'Ain't No Pleasing You'!
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 14 Jan 2015, 20:39

Bloody football. I would ban it if I were King of Britain.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 15 Jan 2015, 11:39

I see Fanny Fosdyke has signed an online petition calling for the reversal of cuts at our flagship Library. We agree on SOMETHING!
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 15 Jan 2015, 18:20

dave brum wrote:Bloody football. I would ban it if I were King of Britain.
When I'm Queen, all televised sport will be confined to one satellite channel and all proceeds will go to charity - NOT a sports based one.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 15 Jan 2015, 19:31

We have discovered a hole in our roof last year and water is now pouring in. I went up in the loft earlier today and found a load of soaking wet insulation, but the plasterboard was cracked in 2 places which was causing the leak. So the ceiling came down along with all the rotten wooden joists and cracked plasterboard. I've contacted a roofer to repair the tiles and possibly the felt on the outside, I have a bruised right temple due to a piece of falling plaster, and the room is full of farage, so I need a hippo bag.....

Oh and I have bone dry hands, not good for piano practice!!
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 15 Jan 2015, 21:04

We had water naffing in through the kitchen skylight (closed) last night too. It's squishy man...
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 15 Jan 2015, 21:49

Roofer never did return my call. Hope he doesn't try to ring in the morning because it's my day at the shop.

I think I'll need a plasterer as well. Has Eric ever done plastering??? I tried it once and I made a right c*ck up of it. It looks so darn easy but it's far from it.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 15 Jan 2015, 22:15

He rough plastered the bathroom but wouldn't attempt a smooth finish. Got a plasterer 5 miles away...but I doubt he'd go Oop North!
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 16 Jan 2015, 07:14

I watched another couple of YT videos on the subject last night. It all seemed so simple - where you stand, how much plaster one has on one's hawk, only use one side of the trowel, smoothing down, no going right up to the edge etc. Yet plasterers charge a fortune for their services despite there being more of them than roofers around. I cannot afford to pay a plasterer when I already have to pay a roofer so it's a catch 22 really. However putting up plasterboard and re-laying the loft insulation...I can do that!!! (and the electric light fitting too!)

I know it's not the ceiling of the Sixteen Chapel.....what would Michaelangelo had done with a trowel and a hawk???
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 16 Jan 2015, 18:48

The trouble is that the better someone is at something, the easier they make it look, leading to hammerchewers thinking 'I could do that'. Mind you, nothing to stop you having a go and then getting a plasterer in to put it right!
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 17 Jan 2015, 17:40

Still no callback from this roofer. If he doesn't want my business other people will. But now I have to wait until Monday and I have a gaping hole in my roof which is only plugged up by a bit of expandable foam.

This from the prayer section of the local Church newsletter:-

For all who cannot be with us to worship for whatever reason

Does that include troubled waters between the orga...sorry Director of Music and humble lowly parishioner??
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 17 Jan 2015, 20:56

Irritating when people don't ring back. But what irritates me is when I get home at, say, 3pm, ring back someone who left a message on my answerphone only for them to say 'O, you weren't in so I rang someone else and they're coming tomorrow...'
So I've wasted ten bob telephoning them and they're getting someone in to tune their piano who is sooooo good and in demand that he's sitting at home by the telephone and can come the next day... :x
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 17 Jan 2015, 21:39

I'm going to have to do just that on Monday as I'm now stuck. The sooner the roof is mended the sooner the new plasterboard can go up. But at least I have a Hippobag now, so all the farage from the old ceiling can go before I can chisel round the edge so I can whack the new plasterboard up when the roof is done.

Then it's up in the loft again to ensure the new ceiling doesn't affect the neighbouring rooms before I get the insulation laid....and Then it's the plastering. Fun.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 18 Jan 2015, 21:00

One day, I shall get around to posting a picture of my piano homework for this fortnight.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 19 Jan 2015, 18:02

Bloody tradesmen! I have just had a roofer call on me as I have a loose tile and some torn felt. I told him the work that needed doing, which was a replacement tile and felt repair, and subsequent leak repair. Pretty easy stuff. I did not once ask him to give me a quote for total replacement of the roof. I even said that apart from that leak, the rest of the roof was okay. So why did I get a quote of £2700 for total replacement of the roof?? I asked him for a quote for the work that needed doing in plain, simple English that even a Daily Star reader could understand.

Yet until the roof is done, I can't put any plasterboard up. Round, spherical objects.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 19 Jan 2015, 18:20

He's either a chancer or wasn't listening. I hate that...
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 19 Jan 2015, 18:26

I don't think he is a cowboy. I think he just wants to create jobs that do not exist. Apparently they don't make our roof tiles any more and he is going to have to ring round reclamation yards to get some. Of course, other roofers may already have some. But I do need this leak sorted as soon as possible and dawdling is not an option here. He SAID he would ring back tomorrow, which means Wednesday a telephone call to the next person in the list (number three).

Just watching Flog It. Old Serrell's on.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 19 Jan 2015, 22:05

Can't warm to him since I found out he used to be a games teacher. Ugh.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 20 Jan 2015, 16:37

I saw him once at the Victorian Christmas Fayre in Worcester one year. He was walking down New Street in a very heavy and thick duffel coat flanked by two blokes. Why does someone like Philip Serrell need two minders??? Still I admire his ability to keep warm on a freezing cold December day.

I played at Keep Fit today. The piano has quite loose keys and I don't have to press down hard on them...is that a good or a bad thing Gill?? It is quite easy to play but it isn't easy to get good dynamics on it though.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 20 Jan 2015, 17:17

It's old and sloppy, and the springs are tired and worn out so there's very little resistance, making it feel easy to play.
It's why kids with old pianos often don't like their teachers' pianos because they have to WORK!
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 20 Jan 2015, 18:07

Mine (digital but weighted) is quite hard to play but I always say to Mabel how easy hers is to play compared to mine even though the keys are by no means loose. At her summer adult learners concert (around a week before she fell down the stairs) she said that she especially bought the Kawai acoustic she has just for ease of playing. Her students are overwhelmingly children whose fingers aren't going to be that strong and I guess they will struggle on a piano like mine.

I do like the one at KF though. Max (who leads the class) always likes my playing. She went to Costa with myself and my wife after class. Those songs she plays from the 80s really make me feel old and grey. Wish she'd play a bit of Beethoven or Chopin for relaxation music.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 20 Jan 2015, 19:23

Here it is. My piano homework. Note the stretch of a 10th at the beginning of the 3rd line that Mabel cannot do but I can just about manage:
P1050234.JPG
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 20 Jan 2015, 19:51

I have never played a plastic pig which felt truly like an acoustic piano. Some time ago - ten years or so? - Kawai had a piano which had adjustable touch so you could have a light or heavy touch or anything in between...not sure if they still do them.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 20 Jan 2015, 21:27

I was practising it this morning at class but I'm now starting to have a bash at it more than twice daily. So far I'm up to the 10th leap and I've had a go at the RH quavers and triplet quavers. The pieces are now beginning to sound like real, proficient pieces of music and Denes Agay's methods are really quite admirable and indeed user friendly for both kids and adults. I know Mabs swears by his books and quite rightly so.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 21 Jan 2015, 17:26

The end of the piece has been reached, with six days to go to my lesson. Now it's a case of practising and practising it, most notably in the area of the 10th stretch that presently disturbs my timing.

Mabel's away at Eyam youth hostel during half term week with the choir, but looking at the calendar it shouldn't affect my lessons in February, on the 10th and 24th either side of the holiday. Last year I had my first meeting with her just before she went away.
The world's unluckiest piano learner, quite possibly.

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dave brum
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 21 Jan 2015, 17:45

I've mentioned about Fanny Fosdyke's spinet piano on here before, as far as I'm aware she still teaches on it. It sounds okay, the weighting is okay but it squeaks and rattles when it's played, itself offputting to a learner. So what causes that in a spinet, Gill?? The piano was an 18th birthday present in 2000, so she told me before things turned sour.
The world's unluckiest piano learner, quite possibly.

Gill the Piano
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 21 Jan 2015, 18:07

It might be a merkin piano - they seem to like spinet pianos. Any teacher's piano gets a caning, particularly in the middle. The key bushes (which are supposed to stop the keys wobbling and knocking) might be shot - the tuner could turn the batpins slightly as a temporary fix, but really the keys should be rebushed with new felt. It might have 'floating centres' made from plastic which tended to squeak as they got old, but I would think 2000 was a bit late for those. I don't suppose you remember what make it is?
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