November 3rd, 2008


Season of mists

Forgive me for indulging the pathetic fallacy for a moment here, but I've just spent half the evening in an unheated chapel which reeked of frankincense, watching my fingers gradually turning white from cold and lack of circulation, before cycling home through the dark and the glasses-misting, lung-rotting, half-frozen miasma of leafy autumn wetness, and — to cut a long story short — I'm feeling a little bit sorry for myself. It doesn't help that I've coughed so much that my stomach hurts, and my tonsils seem to have swollen to the size of golf balls. I'm not sure how that would translate into weather; hailstones the size of tonsils, maybe. Let's hope the weather isn't listening.

The unheated chapel was Hertford Orchestra's fault, or rather the fault of the other orchestra which had stolen their usual rehearsal room; actually, I think they were trying to heat it (occasional smells of burning competing with the incense suggested a fan-heater somewhere in a corner), but the attempt at heating was almost as hopeless as the attempt at lighting (a couple of desk-lamps trying to provide enough light for about 10 string players), and the overwhelming impression was of a group of survivors of some nameless horror, huddled around their last candle, trying to play loud music to keep the wild beasts at bay before resorting to burning their instruments to keep warm (sadly there were no violas there tonight so we'd have had to start with 'cellos). The fact that the music was Mussorgsky's "Night on a Bare Mountain" probably helped to complete the picture.

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