Happy Christmas 2012


Left: My last concert with the Shrewsbury Orchestra

Right: Reuben tries a tenor Sax.

Dear Friends,

This year I shall write of leaf mould: of leaf mould and crocuses, and circles and revolving doors.

In March I stopped playing in the Shrewsbury Orchestra which I had joined forty-six years ago. The conductor heard I was leaving and made a very gracious speech during the concert. I was even presented with a bouquet of flowers.

They had bought it for the soprano who had been singing in the first half of the concert but forgot to give it to her. I had been getting the uncomfortable feeling that I was not playing the flute as well as I used to, so I thought it was time to leave. Fortunately I had practised hard for this last concert and we were playing Nielsen’s 3rd Symphony which is a work I love, and had never played before, so I went out on a high.

I have now taken up the saxophone. It is a lot bigger, heavier and noisier than the flute, and I have a long way to go, but I am enjoying it so far. Bethan, rather more sensibly has taken up the piano.

Also in March I had to concede defeat in the battle I had been waging for two years against the government’s plans for the NHS.  The Bill passed its final stages and received royal assent. This week I have been asked to write a chapter in a book which is intended to be part of the fight-back on behalf of the NHS.

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