Friday, September 02, 2011

Furry friends

This post is mainly for my Son-in-Law. He, Daughter 1 and Grandson are down in Worcester so that Grandson can experience the other half of his genetic heritage and meet his extended family and friends. So we're guinea-pig-sitting. Brownie, Cupcake and Pumpkin are the most carefully tended guinea pigs in the country, with their diet scientifically controlled: it features supplements of vitamins (multivitamins and extra vitamin C), probiotic powder and cranberry juice. We take our responsibilities seriously and are following the detailed instructions to the letter. Look, SIL, here they are, capering about and perfectly happy. And yes, they're drinking. I've seen them.

We're also enjoying a flying visit from Son and his young lady. So far, they've eaten mainly toast.

And it's - well, not positively raining, but dull and damp. This summer's been the dullest and dampest since 1929 or something (this may be slightly inaccurate but 1929 came into a newspaper report somewhere). Anyway, it's been fairly rubbish. I met some nice people from Wisconsin yesterday and they said that their summer's been terrible too - so hot and dry. Truly the world has its variations.

And here's Sirius having a drink.

Having mastered (well, sort of...) my first tune on the piano, I've now started to practise "What a friend we have in Jesus", picked more or less randomly from the hymn book. Well, I did make sure I chose one with only one flat. But each hand has two simultaneous notes!! Very tricky! Chords, I suppose you'd call them. I haven't quite mastered this.

I recently read an article about Benjamin Grosvenor, a young British pianist, in which he said he practised for eight hours a day. This might explain why I'm not so good as he is. Possibly ten minutes every three days isn't likely to have the same effect. And I dare say I ought to be practising scales or something. Still. It's quite fun - in a very frustrating sort of non-fun way.


  1. Weather's rather nice here in Worcestershire, especially first thing in the morning.

  2. I LOVE the hint of unstatement pervading this post. The Guinea pigs and their diet, the lack of fulltime piano made me laugh out loud!!

    How about a new career as a dry, laconic, older lady stand-up??? You could play the piano too, seems very in vogue with comedians these days!

    Lesley xx

  3. Your tales of the piano made me laugh too.

  4. You're so funny. And I'd just like to feed the pigs vitamins, probiotics and cranberry juice, while the son and soon-to-be-DIL get toast??? I LIKE it LOL!

    I love klunking around on the piano -- it sounds like you're having fun. Unfortunately our piano is hopelessly out of tune -- meaning, it can't really be tuned. I've been trying to consider options that don't involve spending a lot of money and I can't really come up with any. ;-( Practice, Practice!

  5. I'm also smiling over this post. Typical Isabelle-mixture of day to day nonsense - and I mean that in the nicest possible way!
    10 minutes every 3 days does not make one a concert pianist! I'm doing a similar thing; I'm taking a one day drawing workshop in October, and have borrowed a stack of library books on sketching etc. to upgrade my rusty skills. I told Ken it was because I don't want to make a fool of myself on the day by not being able to draw as well as everyone else, and he said 'how do you know they will be any better than you?' Love that man.

  6. Sirius should give lessons to one of our cats...they seem to like to try that trick too.

  7. Ah, but do the guinea pigs like the piano practise?

    I thought a chord had 3 notes at once?

    Sorry your weather in stink - ours is quite pleasant...I have been gardening like crazy.

  8. I regretfully confess that I think guinea pigs are among the least interesting of creatures, whereas cats are endlessly interesting, and far better looking.
    Over here, the spring has sprung and the flowers are gorgeous, and I am already starting to fear the onset of the heat of summer.

  9. Onlt toast for son and his young lady? No cranberry juice to wash it down? And when are you going to break the news about the badger?? Is this a smokescreen? And when will you be leaving the country??

  10. I think if they were in the habit of lavishing that kind of loving care on guinea pigs they probably needed a baby.

    Did you find any videos of cat's drinking, there was a really good one on youtube of a cat at a tap, a bit like your Sirius. Its eyes looked all tranced out and weird!

  11. THREE notes at once? With each hand? Well, that's a distant dream.

  12. Yes to practising scales. Chromatic ones preferably. Then arpeggios. And when you make a mistake, have someone slap your fingers with a ruler. It's how I learned to play, all those years ago. Taught by an elderly woman who referred to Wolfgang Amadeus as Moz-ett. Happy days!