A very mild Winter

Before I start talking about our little music group with its trials and tribulations, I have to say that this year it’s incredibly mild for February, which gives credence to global warming. Lots of daffs are in flower and I even had to recently cut all the lawns in the gite gardens as the grass is growing too well. It really feels like April instead of the depth of winter. 

Dis-chord in Brittany! 1

Next week we are hosting our first stays of the year – it’s a course run by a lady called Victoire Slakey on PSYCH-K. I have no idea what this is about but Victoire seems to have invited an American guest over to do the teaching and the course itself is full. So we will see later but it’s a good start to the year for our business.

What is going on with our music group?

Dis-chord in Brittany! 2

On the music front, at the moment things are going well too. Our band, a typical Brittany music group called “L’Harmonie ”, is expanding, and we regularly welcome over 20 members at each rehearsal with another 12 students or beginners in an earlier class. It irritates me that there seems to be no quality control, though – anyone can just turn up at a practice, claim to play well enough and end up ruining the repetition by playing badly. I think there should be a first-stage repetition class and if a candidate is deemed good enough, then he/she can advance. For example, there is a new guy in our sax section who turns up with an alto and claims he has spent 3 years studying with the Ecole de Musique, but other than warming it up couldn’t follow the music at all. This chap is the type that really irritates Paulien – 60 years old and showers in aftershave. Fortunately, it’s all going to change as the director is retiring at the end of the year: he is 82 and has bad eyesight, meaning he doesn’t follow the score too well. The next chef, Jean-Marc, is much more democratic. He actually listens to us and if we say we don’t like something, then we don’t play it. It’s as simple as that.

A very pleasant gig

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Tomorrow, we have a gig booked at one of the many retirement homes in Lannion. We all enjoy playing there but there is a small issue: every time we play, one of the residents starts singing with the band! It’s a bit painful to the ears, not to mention that it affects our concentration, but no one has the heart to tell her to stop: staff, fellow residents, or band players. But despite this small issue, it’s mostly a good gig. We are always invited to tea or coffee with homemade cakes after the gig, and the general atmosphere is always very jolly and pleasant. We tend to play there once a month or so, and we all really look forward to it as it’s always such a pleasure. 

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