Suddenly autumn is well and truly here. We haven’t worked out how to turn the heating on, and our landlady was nowhere to be found today, so I am sitting here writing this wearing a big jumper, my new hat (from the bargain bin in Tesco today, but really quite warm and with a bobble) and two pairs of socks.

This morning we had the weekly trip to Tesco, this time to stock up for the whole week. Lots of veggies (I live with the other vegetarians), as well as ginko supplements that will hopefully stop me loosing circulation in my fingers when it gets cold. Then we went on to the most wonderful organic farm shop, despite having already bought all our fruit and veggies. I think Trevor just wanted to show us around.

The rest of the day was practice, lots of scales and exercises. Trevor gave us a particularly devilish one called the ‘Pinkie Polka’ for the workout of both pinkie fingers. We had to sightread it in class yesterday while Trevor stood there looking smug, and I’m determined to get it working. It will be slow progress though, after a solid 15 min of work it still sounds sloppy at crotchet = 50.

Our repertoire for this week is Andante et Scherzo by Louis Ganne, one of the French book pieces that I haven’t played before. I’ve made some good progress with the Scherzo today, but will need to be economical with my time tomorrow as there is so much to get done. I’m hoping that solid practice with a metronome and gradually increasing the speed will get the notes into my fingers enough to play them fluidly on Thursday. Our orchestral excerpt for the week (from memory, as Trevor lightly dropped in) is Après-midi, and I feel that there will be plenty of scope there for further discussion of my vibrato deficiencies.

On our evening walk I ended up as Trevor’s partner (he picks someone each night), and actually had a really good conversation with him. I’d been rather dreading it, as I’m still getting the feeling he finds me a bit over-sure of myself and talkative. I asked lots of questions about his life and career, and told a few stories of my own, mostly about travel. The conversation reminded me what a knowledgeable, experienced old man he is, and I came back to my final hour of practice with a renewed desire to please him. Too bad that my lips gave out after 30 min!

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