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14 October 2012


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When I read you, there are so many parallels to me that its quite scary! My father's family settled in Aix en Provence, and when I was 18 we came to settle there whilst he taught in a local school. La ciotat was a great favourite place of mine, in fact all the places in Provence hold a special place in my heart. I too have french ancestors, and miss living over there for real.. I love reading your blog because you have many interesting things to say... so hallo, and I will be back again to write or jog a little note.. J

Hello Jeannine. Good to hear from you again and, as you know, I do love a coincidence . . . Funnily enough, one of the Bridgwater choir members told me that she had come to La Ciotat about 20 years previously - to teach for six months.

I have to confess that I hadn't heard of La Ciotat before this trip but I liked it enormously - all the delights of Provence and the Mediterranean, without any of the pretentiousness of some other resorts. Very much a working town, not simply a tourist destination.

So many years since I've sung in a choir, but you remind me of the joys. And to travel and sing in wonderful old buildings in France with an international crew -- splendid! And that video shows how seriously and professionally you take the splendid joys of singing together -- wonderful, thank you!

Oh, how wonderful to have that opportunity!! There is certainly something very moving about singing in a choir, especially performing, and I'm not surprised your eyes prickled - and the fact that your mother sang professionally is even more touching.

How lovely. And yes, I do hear the extra dimension given to the voices by those rafters. Good for you!!

Mater: I know you are a true music lover, so thank you for your kind comments. If you ever have time in the future, maybe you will be tempted to return to singing with a choir.

Jay: it gave us all a tremendous boost after such an intense period of preparation. And after our usual weekly venue - a classroom in a former primary school - singing in that space was an amazing experience.

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Thought for life

  • The House of Breath, William Goyen
    We are the carriers of lives and legends - who knows the unseen frescoes on the private walls of the skull?

Thinking about . . .

  • Daniel Klein, Travels with Epicurus
    I too listen to music more and more. Throughout my life, music has stirred me more than any other art form, and now, in old age, I find myself listening to it almost every evening, usually alone, for hours at a time.
  • Julia Blackburn, Thin Paths
    I began writing because I liked to write things down. I learnt foreign languages because they seemed to enter my head by a process of osmosis.
  • Joan Bakewell, Stop the Clocks
    I live contentedly alone. It's better that way and I am often thoughtful about what has been and what might have been. There are many like me.
  • Patti Smith, M Train
    Oh to be reborn within the pages of a book.
  • Patti Smith, M Train
    Why is it that we lose the things we love, and things cavalier cling to us and will be the measure of our worth after we’re gone?
  • Judith Kerr, Observer Magazine, 22 November 2015
    I don't believe in God. I find it much easier to believe in ancestors. I like to imagine they are pointing us in the right direction.

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