Our little excursion for the weekend was a trip to the bi-weekly Wye farmers’ market this morning, which was enjoyable but rather short, with Trevor whizzing us round all the stalls at quite a brisk pace. Nevertheless, I got some nice bread and tried a selection of gourmet chutneys which were delicious but would have been rather decadent to buy!

Otherwise, practice was once again the order of the day. I managed to play through all six pages of the Moyse finger exercises at crotchet = 116 (from memory of course) without it feeling like a total disaster. Trevor emphasised on Thursday the importance of the tempo being just at the edge of what was possible, putting the pressure on and making it hard. It certainly felt hard this morning, but there is a wonderful satisfaction having got through it all.

Melodic minor scales are continuing to improve, but my augmented and diminished arpeggios haven’t. They seem stuck at crotchet = 84, and I can’t say that I’m remembering them any better than I was this time last week. Is it because I wasn’t practising them regularly before coming here? In an attempt to improve them, I’m going to try two things tomorrow: starting my scales practice with them, and also doing a couple of exercises from the Complete Daily Exercises in my first two hours of practice. Hopefully this will kick them up a notch or two.

Then it was on to studies, and it feels like everything I’m practising at the moment is to do with articulation! I’m finding it frustrating because Trevor highlighted my articulation as another area for improvement on Monday, and I can feel that it’s not up to scratch. So I’ve been practising the beginning of the articulation section from Trevor’s Practice Book 3 – short notes produced only by the abdominal muscles – and am feeling some improvement. However, preparing all these studies rather feels like I’m trying to run before I can walk. I know the notes in Andersen No. 4 need to be shorter, but am having trouble achieving this with all the leaps! Tricky one.

Lots of lovely people brightened my day today – both by email and post. Mum sent my slightly over-large pair of super-warm mittens that I bought in Helsinki, making sure that I’m wonderfully prepared for winter, Grandma and Grandpa sent a card, and a family friend in Cambridgeshire wrote to say I can go and stay for a weekend of Christmas craft in November. It’s nice to feel so loved.