Not very easy on an oboe

Today was certainly one of two halves. From plumbing to plucking, from city to country. As Mirinda said later on, we do live an odd life.

Waking up in the flat, I worked on researching a few more soldiers while I waited for the late morning appointment I had with Collin the Plumber. True to his word, he called me at 11:15 to say he’d just finished a job in Greenwich and was on his way to me. I’d been wondering what ‘late morning’ actually was but I reckon 11:15 is pretty accurate.

Collin came up and checked out the problem, made sure I was happy with the tap I’d picked then went and told his son what tools he’d need for the job. Son of Collin then turned up and applied himself with great skill and patience to replacing the spurting tap with one that only leaked water where it’s supposed to.

As I said as he left, it was a shit job but he did it perfectly. He agreed with the shit job description given the fact that the inlet pipe had rusted and needed a good deal of persuading to remove and the hole cut for the original tap was smaller than the new tap required. Still, with a large quantity of noise, he managed to get the tap connected and running dutifully down the drain in about an hour.

Under the sink at the flat

I tidied up, then left for home.

And the train trip was the complete opposite to yesterday in that it ran on time, wasn’t crowded, the guard didn’t yell at us every ten minutes and no-one decided to jump into its path. It was almost enjoyable.

Arriving home at just gone 3pm gave me half an hour before we were headed out to Hindhead Music Centre for a bit of Cuban.

Mirinda’s guitar teacher, David, was having a lesson with a Cuban guitarist/composer called Eduardo Martin and he’d invited people to watch. Of course it was all in Spanish but fascinating all the same. David is a delight to listen to but when Eduardo started playing it was sublime.

Along with Eduardo there was also another guy, Ahmed Dickinson who was there to play with him later in the evening – he also translated. Both of them were lovely guys and I was amazed at how much Spanish I actually understood.

David was accompanied by the lady who regularly plays oboe with him. She had both oboe and cor Anglais which she explained were double reed instruments as opposed to the single reeded clarinet. She also demonstrated some amazing speed and dexterity when David felt the need to rush through one particular piece. By the time she finished she was puffing. A lot.

Eventually we headed off for a drink and mezze plate at the Mill before returning for the evening’s entertainment.

The Mill

And what an entertainment it was.

We started with a short talk on the development of Cuban music, spoken by Eduardo and translated by Ahmed.

Eduardo Martin tells us about rhumba

Quite fascinating to say the least. The room then filled up as the guys began the concert.

The music was divine. I don’t think I’ve heard better guitar in my whole life. It was an honour to sit and listen. They were both extraordinary. Superlatives are lacking in how good they were. Two people at the pinnacle of their art. Truly exquisite.

Ahmed Dickinson

The concert was all too quickly over and we all filed out of the music centre, thanking both Eduardo and Ahmed on the way out.

As I said, it really was a day of two halves.

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1 Response to Not very easy on an oboe

  1. Mirinda says:

    Watching David in a guitar class was certainly a very unusual lunch break for me! I was pleased to see he struggled with one piece and couldn’t finish it. Hah!And the concert was fantastic. So odd to have such incredible musicians play at our eccentric music centre in haslemere. Even odder they will be performing in a little church on the Isle of Wight soon.


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