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It's hard to call this 'autumn'  - Indian Summer is a much more appropriate title. If Keats were writing his Autumn ode again, he'd be hard-pressed to write Stanza 3, for the earlier idea of an unceasing summer would be much more appropriate. To balance the mellow tranquillity of the season, our days seem to have also been times of peace and serenity. (A sort of interlude that will come to a rapid end in May, when so much seems to be happening!)

First, of course, is the weekend of May 5 and 6, with its two performances of Rachel Brewerville's lovely Requiem, In Due Season, set to words from my first published book of the same title. I've been following the emergence of this work with great interest, and was moved almost to tears when I heard the whole requiem sung at rehearsal by the accomplished Adelaide Chamber Singers. It's going to be a rare privilege to be at the two performances and to feel those words, written at a time of loss and anguish, inspiring  this beautiful music.

Rachel and I were interviewed last week by Emily Sutherland, always one of my favourite interviewers, for her 5MBS Kaleidoscope program. If you are interested it will be aired on Wednesday, April 25, at 6pm and repeated on Saturday, April 28 at 11am. That's 99.9 on the dial if you're not a regular 5MBS listener. Or you'll be able to hear it on  a podcast on the Kaleidoscope page on their website. I'm waiting with great anticipation for these concerts  - a superb program of Bach, Schutz and the Brahms German Requiem and, of course, the new Brewerville work. The Adelaide Chamber Singers will be joined by the Sydney Choir of St James for much of the program.

After that, roll on the rest of May ....

Again???

by in Latest News on 12 March, 2018 with 0 Comments

I am never more conscious of the passing of time than when I update this 'News and Events' page. Despite my very best efforts to write something each month, suddenly I realise that my last entry was pre-Christmas -and here we are, mid March, and almost Easter. Again, that sense that life is hurtling by with express train speed, and I'm standing on the platform trying to get aboard!

But such a packed time. First Christmas, and all that it means in our festivity-oriented household, though last year was easy with Christmas dinner at Sam and Wayne's home, and my only job the usual Christmas pudding; yes, with the carefully preserved old silver Christmas coins, a family tradition. How they'll divide those when the time comes, I sometimes wonder ...

January was marked by two lovely times away, first with Felicity and daughters in Canberra, then with oldest son Nick and family in Brisbane. Both times happy reunions with  family members and old friends from previous eras, becoming more and more important as years pass. (As do old friends - but that's a morbid note to sound. Yet true.) Not too much writing in that time, and still no word of acceptance on my historical fiction novel, a source of some concern. I would dearly love to see this book in print. To balance, some lovely things have happened. Poems published in journals, but the greatest pleasure has been the request from a young Adelaide composer to use some of the poems in my collection, 'In Due Season'. as the text for a Requiem she has been commissioned to write for the Adelaide Chamber Singers, a talented and highly regarded group. This Requiem will be performed as part of their two concerts, one at Ukaria, the loveliest of concert halls in the Adelaide Hills, brainchild of and gift to Adelaide from Jurlique's Ulrike Klein, and the following day at St Peter's Cathedral in the city.  This has been one of the most heart-warming things that has happened to me in recent years, and from what I have heard of the composition to this point it will be a deeply moving piece of music.

Apart from this, life goes on, with regular participation in the poetry groups we belong to, and a fun afternoon at Goolwa poets yesterday, where David and I were the guest poets in what the MC described as a 'double act'  - fun to do, as we both love sharing what we write with others, especially fellow poets. And it's been Festival time, both the Arts Festival and the Fringe Festival  - as well as Writers' Week  -  too much to choose from, and so many wonderful things on offer. Perhaps the Glyndbourne 'Hamlet' will live longest in my mind, for an Ophelia mad scene that was shattering in its impact, and a Hamlet who forced me to re-evaluate all my preconceptions of the role. A sad goodbye to Lawrence Olivier, the Hamlet of my formative years.

December - and Christmas almost on us. We seem to have just lurched through a very busy November, and suddenly now we're into all the preparations for the Christmas season. Then, it's one more year gone, and 2018 staring at us. Invitingly? One hopes so.

November was the big wedding month, and a splendid affair it was. I've waited a long time for this ...  was the opening line of my wedding speech, the toast to the bride and groom, and it must have resonated with the audience, as there were gales of laughter. Sam is the only one of my daughters to marry, and my long-anticipated day as Mother of the Bride was worth the wait. It was a truly joyful wedding, and the sight of Sam walking on David's arm down the stone steps and across the rose petal path over the lawn to where Wayne waited at the altar in the rose gardens at Lyndoch Hill was one I will always cherish. The sheer happiness on both their faces as they made their wedding vows was heart-warming, and the sense of love very nearly tangible. It was a low-key event, but the thought and meaning they had put into both the ceremony and the reception in the Lyndoch Hill restaurant made it a very special event, and the eighty guests seemed to respond with the same joy as both sets of parents and the wedding group.

Now it's back to normal life, and into the series of book launches and pre-Christmas events that these months always seem to bring. Yes, I did write a wedding poem for Sam, but apart from that my writing life has been, sadly, on hold. I'm  hunting a new look cover for my Passion Play - the Oberammergau Tales, and we' are still contemplating a trip there next year as a marketing exploration before the 2020 Passion Play. Who knows? It may all happen. Watch this space. But before that, it's Christmas ...

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