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27 March 2011 @ 11:21 pm
This is a very annoying time of year, as I am hideously overworked and underslept. The work is being knocked over one task at a time (today I have been translating French craft instructions* and designing a pattern for a toy dog. Oh the diversity!) but I am missing my free Wednesdays. The next three are going to be taken up with work, and the last two have been mostly taken up with medical stuff. Having had everything from my eyes to my right foot tested of late, I am happy to report that I am in exemplary health, save for wholly unfair gallstones and a right foot that has 'significant remodelling', but not in the bit that actually hurts. Typical.

However, all this work means that I am considerably behind in good news and ramblings. Most of the latter will have to wait, but I am bringing on the good news. The first and best bit is that the Linwood College Orchestra is going to Europe! A couple of large donors came on board, but all the small donations have meant that the two players who had to drop out because their families could not afford to cover more of the bill are now going, plus the kids will have food money, rather than a month of chips and pommes frites! Thank you all for the coffees and teas that have been sacrificed for music!

Here is a copy of the thank you note that came out from the orchestra's conductor:

Linwood Orchestra trip still on

In view of the large earthquake in Christchurch recently, and the imminent departure date of the Linwood College Orchestra on its European tour we thought we should send a message to all of our supporters.

After the earthquake we felt that the tour would be impossible, but thanks to the spirit of determination of the students, families, the school and its Board of Trustees, our spirits have risen from the ashes, so-to-speak, and we feel that it is very important to take this opportunity to get our lives back on track. Music and the arts are the soul of a people and continuing with the trip will play a large part in getting beyond the “coping” stage; towards building our future.

Your contribution has played a very important part in enabling the trip to happen in the first place and, in thanking you very sincerely for that, we would like to make a few further points:
1 The tour is definitely still going ahead. A highlight will undoubtedly be playing at Westminster Abbey as part of the ANZAC Day commemoration service.
2 If you wish to read more information go here: http://webcentre.co.nz/linwoodcollegeorchestratour/
3 If you wish to see the orchestra while they are touring, the itinerary is also available at the above link. Unfortunately some concerts that were originally planned have had to be changed or cancelled due to various logistical issues.
4 We have had to cancel our original pre-trip Gala concert. However we are giving a free concert at the Aurora Centre, Greers Rd (Burnside High) on Monday 4 April at 7.30pm to thank the community for its support and as a dress rehearsal for our performances in Europe. If you would like to reserve tickets for this free concert, please phone or email Susan Gill, gill.susan@gmail.com, 359 3537. We would be delighted if you could attend.

Thanks most sincerely for your support – we have valued every donation or other kind of support particularly as we have struggled over the past weeks. It has encouraged and inspired us to continue to work towards making this long-held dream a reality.

Tony Ryan
Orchestra Conductor and Tour Leader

We have a new State government, conservative, but the small c type and led by a good old-fashioned cardigan politician who I personally quite like, despite not being a conservative myself. Sadly, not enough of their policy platform has been released for me to make any sort of statement of expectation about the next few years, but they would have to work very hard to be worse than the government they replaced. Though some of the new cabinet are a bit on the lupin side. Still, no difference there!

The weather has finally cooled enough to allow a blanky at nights. BLISS.

And finally, it is not good news that Diana Wynne Jones has died, though it is peace for her after a long battle with cancer. But it is excellent news for us that she lived, and wrote. Her stories have always been remarkable for their imaginative vision and for their deep humanity. People are real people and do things for real reasons, even when they are also evil witches or cranky older sisters. Her Black Maria is genius in that the evil aunt within is actually evil. Generations of children have breathed a sigh of relief at the knowledge that sometimes, your older relatives are complete and utter witches, or, you know, the obvious.

If you have not had the joy of reading her books, now would be an excellent time. You can start almost anywhere, and she has multiple good series, as well as some hilarious non fiction. If you have ever liked any of my stories, you will love hers, as they are better -- richer and deeper. If there is an afterlife, she and Joan Aiken are probably having a lovely cup of tea even as we speak and cheerfully reflecting on the fact that a whole generation of English-speaking readers (and writers) praise their names with regular devotion.

* This is in itself a recipe for hilarity as I can only speak or read one language at a time, and so the afternoon has been spent with me having moments of intelligence -- 'Piquer, yes, that can be stitch as well as sting, and endroit contre endroit is right sides facing. HA! I AM BRILLIANT!' -- then being interrupted by Mr B, then returning to the work to find myself going 'Er ... something, something by hand?'

terachan , for this reason I will be replying to your lovely comment AFTER my magazine deadline, as I wanted to reply in (tragically not very good on my part) Italian, but have not had any brain space to compose it. Sorry! I fully understand if you think I am appalling -- appallingly tardy at least!
Nennenenne on March 27th, 2011 01:41 pm (UTC)
I got the e-mail about the orchestra as well and I'm thrilled that they are going.

Having to languages in your head at the same time is quite easy to get used to I think. It's three at the same time that might cause some confusion.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 27th, 2011 01:46 pm (UTC)
I am afraid that my poor old brain has never been the same since it was muddled by the taxi. If I try to think in more than one language, I start losing track of which words belong to which one. A bit like the predictive text on my phone, which seems to have only learned words while I was in Italy and is forever trying to correct me to Italian -- which is at least a charming flaw!
Nennenenne on March 27th, 2011 01:50 pm (UTC)
That should have been TWO languages of course. Can't edit now.

I love that your phone thinks that it is Italian. *giggles*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 27th, 2011 02:03 pm (UTC)
I always speak fluent typo ;-)

At least it only uses words I already know!
Nennenenne on March 27th, 2011 02:07 pm (UTC)
Good to know. :D

It's a good thing you can understand each other. ;)
Tera: spelled rongterachan on March 27th, 2011 02:05 pm (UTC)
Take all the time you need. XD
I struggle every day to write comments and fanfic in English and I know what it means when your brain does not know in which language belong a word.

Sometimes when I speak (in Italian) I happen to not be able to find a word in my language or to say an English sentence in the middle of a speech without realizing it. It's annoying!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 27th, 2011 02:11 pm (UTC)
I do that with spelling -- a perfectly normal English word might be written as its French or Italian equivalent, or in its Elizabethan spelling. My brain was already a bit muddled at language, and then I was hit in the head with a taxi. Now it is terrible!

And thank you! :-)
Bryoneybryoneybrynn on March 27th, 2011 02:12 pm (UTC)
That's great news about the kids - yay for people coming together to make good things happen.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 27th, 2011 02:44 pm (UTC)
Absolutely! It was a wonderful response! (and does your name person thingy have a beanie on?)
Bryoneybryoneybrynn on March 27th, 2011 02:55 pm (UTC)
It's a brain slug! lol that's how I've been feeling. But, hmmm, in light of my goal setting challenge, perhaps I shall change it to something more optimistic...
Coffeejunkii: bradley and colin are the voicecoffeejunkii on March 27th, 2011 02:41 pm (UTC)
such great news about the orchestra trip!!! i'll have to post about this on my lj :)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 27th, 2011 02:43 pm (UTC)
Please do! That goes for everyone who was so fab about boosting the signal and helping them out!
κάτι τρέχει στα γύφτικα_inbetween_ on March 27th, 2011 04:41 pm (UTC)
Oh no, she's died, and half of her books are oop and I was just wondering about that father in Time o.t. Ghost again last night, autobiographicalness of it all, and that I don't want to read a bio but would like an interactive bio I could ask questions. Without you I wouldn't even have heard.
Lisbet Karlsdottirlisbet on March 27th, 2011 06:23 pm (UTC)
I love your image of Joan Aiken and Diana Wynne Jones having tea in the afterlife!
being_here: Too fondbeing_here on March 27th, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC)
I was so pleased to get that email. It is nice to get some good news.

I was so sad to hear about Diana Wynne Jones. I only met her once (at an event hosted by one of my MA tutors who was her husband) and I embarrassed myself hugely by being a bit of a fangirl, but she was very gracious about it. My husband still buys me all her new books (though he pretends the cats have bought them for me!) and I am sad that there won't be any more.
kestrelsparhawkkestrelsparhawk on March 27th, 2011 09:49 pm (UTC)
Oh no, Dianna ... and yay, Linwood Orechestra.
Oh noooes. I'm wanting more, so much more, and always have. I read the Spellcoats in college and tried to acquire all her books. I used to have Time of the Ghost -- since that was the one I didn't like as much, I may have given it away when I decimated (new meaning) my shelves to fit the new apartment. But she really was the finest, most prolific fantasy writer I can think of. Dogsbody, The Ogre Upstairs, anything Chrestomanci, Year of the Griffin.... oh well, I'll end up typing all the names. I have have The 7 Days of Luke, which I think was her first book? This is all from memory; my sf books are in the living room.

Thank you for posting; I hadn't heard, as inbetween says, without you I wouldn't have.

I got the letter about the orchestra trip. I was so pleased. It's nice to think that somewhere I've made a small difference in the lives of working class kids.
kestrelsparhawkkestrelsparhawk on March 27th, 2011 10:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Oh no, Dianna ... and yay, Linwood Orchestra.
I see I had a typo in a headline. It is time to get offline!