Monday, 13 February 2012

Juliet's birthday

When I came to Gloucestershire, nearly 40 years ago, amongst the first people to welcome me into their circle were dear Christopher and Juliet. In exchange for a bottle of wine, they would feed a fair number of us as we struggled of an evening to learn to sing madrigals, before eventually performing (badly) in public. On a couple of occasions, Christopher's eminent father Richard, teacher of Peter Maxwell Davies, Harrison Birtwistle and Alexander Goehr, came and rapped the kitchen table, in an effort to bring us to heel. Usually, though, it was the cherubic Adrian's more compassionate beat that we attempted to follow.

He it was, still lacking many grey hairs, who (with Christopher and others) sang and played yesterday at the Bathurst Arms, for Juliet's birthday: neither Pat nor Bridget had I seen for years. The rest of us (leaving aside those mentioned of course) all look terribly old.

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