A Night at Black Dyke Mills with Seth Bennett, Dave Widdop and co

Really enjoyed the reception and venue last night – thank you Black Dyke Mills.   They weren’t joking – it was cold, but there were settees and comfy chairs where people were snuggled up under blankets with hot water bottles.  Lots of wine bottles and picnics at the chairs and tables.   Luckily they had a pa system as the space was vast and my expensive microphone decided to break alas … I have another one but it needs a mic stand which at the moment is being used as a ‘gibbet’ to dry a batch of hands for some more puppets we are making!  One of our parrots, Bennie, is still very sweetly saying ‘hello’ to the rabbits who now live opposite her!  She is absolutely fascinated and spends here time watching them from her low perch.  In the summer last year when we moved the parrots outside in the sunshine they were all quite happily chatting away to the hens who came to peck at any seeds thrown from the cages.

I have a harp named Vernal made at the Spring Equinox a few years ago.   A huge amount of work went into this harp and it included a specially designed section to hold the ‘luted’ soundboards into place down the centre.   Alas the rigidity of the structure has resulted in a slight deadening of sound.  It throws out some power but apparently the sound isn’t brilliant … yet.   There is so much stress from 122 strings that things may change over the years!   All my harps are named and this harp was beautifully painted by a friend of mine.  It depicts a naked woman and flowers – very subtle so at first people don’t realise.  The harp names all end in ‘AL’ because the first harp was made out of an old garage aluminium shelving unit  and my kids nick-named it Big Al.   It was followed by Celesti-Al, Ang-Al, Purp-Al, Beautif-Al, Pythagor-Al, Nautic-Al, Tropic-Al, Cordi-Al, Hand-Al, Vand-Al, Cathedr-Al, Mediev-Al and Fin-Al.  The ‘Nudey Lady’ harp is officially named Vern-Al and unofficially named Virgin-Al but some people call it – I don’t like the ‘F’ word but add ‘Al’ … 🙂    Don’t forget if you live near Bradford there is a concert next Saturday 28th at The Black Dyke Mills, Queensbury.   Doors open at 7.15 pm and you can bring your own wine.   I shall be playing a harp made with inlays especially commissioned by my husband Dave whilst visiting Sorrento.   The harp is called Chorus (we have moved on from the Als!) after the harp player from Dave’s Book – The Book of Caris.   The music and stories from this book will be featured at this concert – it spans influences from ancient Persia, Aethiopia, Celtic and is absolutely fascinating.   See you there? x

Next concert in 2 weeks time!

I promised you details so here they are:   The Black Dyke Mills have opened a new venue in the their mills in Queensbury.   They say it can be a bit chilly so wrap up but you can take as much of your own wine and beer as you want …  you get to listen to me and jazz bassist Seth Bennett (playing separately that is – but you never know!) and its on 28th March – starts at 7.15 pm.  There’s enough room to just turn up on the night and I’m told its a very interesting space.   If you want to get it all booked up email me on      info@tripleharps.com

I played at the local school again this week and (out of a class of 30) 6 children announced that I had played for their parent’s weddings!   We have two more additions to our house – I have called them Cordelia and Cedrick but have absolutely no idea if they be does or bucks.   I suspect when my step son sees these very cute baby bunnies he will re-name them and perhaps we may know if we have sister and sister by then (fingers crossed!!!!)    More soon …

The ‘pecking order’ at our farm is very simple – the hens rule.  When we feed the donkey, the sheep, the dogs or the cat – they are there, getting in the way, taking on animals far bigger than they are and succeeding.   They adore cat food and chase the cat off so that he lurks around the corner too scared to come out.  We either feed him on top of the tractor (which seems to be a hen-free zone) or when they have gone to bed.  He likes the tractor and often crawls in through the broken window to curl up on the seat (which is very plush – not the serviceable plastic vinyl as you would expect).  The phone has gone mad – brilliant news – everyone wants a harper (or harpour as it would have been once upon a time …)   Talking of stories – I am also in demand for my storytelling and music.  The next venue is a newly set-up one in the old Black Dyke Mills.  I haven’t been to see it yet but a fabulous space I am told.   It will all start in an ancient Persian well with a lost child and a genie, 2,000 years ago …    The music is set in the style of the time and is fabulous.   The stories are based on real people and based on the music and books by my husband, Dave Widdop.    I know you will say I am biased but they are truly fascinating and as you already know I only play the very best music from all round the world.  Date and times to follow when we have it all sorted but next month … (The Book of Caris and The Book of Anon by David John Widdop)

A rainy Saturday

I looked out of the window on Saturday morning and the rain was coming down in great sheets across the valley , the sky was ashen grey and the whole house felt a lot colder.

Dave was unwell and had picked up a bit of a bug. Normally this would not have held him back but his immunity is not as good as it should be and he laid on the sofa for most of the morning in front of the fire . After a light lunch , Dave and I decided that we would head off to Hebden Bridge which is a small mill town located just over the moors from ourselves. I purchased some hooks to hang clothing from over the wood burner and we went for a cup of tea in the famous “waterwheel” cafe

Dave just had a cup of tea and I joined him but had a small bun
Dave was fascinated as just outside is a river and the cafe owner has made the most of it as the cafe has a archimedes screw which is computer controlled.

Dave also noticed the picture on the wall of a skeleton playing the harp and just had to get a photo of it as he found it highly amusing