I have travelled the length of England this last week to give concerts for The Book of Caris – all on ‘word of mouth’ recommendation – a big thank you to you all. My dad always said that music would ruin the foundations of our house, which were Roman. Consequently we had no records, TV or radios – except for Radio 4. He owned 2 records – one was of jazz banjo and the other was Tom Lear – both 45s. We did have 2 grand pianos though in the massive drawing room and he encouraged us to play everything from Fats Waller to Beethoven. Built to withstand sieges it had a well in the centre and two huge fireplaces (one of which we named Stone Henge) that didn’t quite line up but faced each other across the pianos. Getting in and out of that huge room was difficult as it was originally built without a door at ground level so a passage way wound through the thick walls. The windows were taken out to get the pianos in. My sister and I played the pianos at the same time – how lovely I hear you say – trouble was we both had completely different tastes and played our own thing regardless. Eventually it was decided to sell one of the pianos! I used to play for hours and hours in that room in the dark with my eyes closed, just feeling my way and loving the music. I am playing the harp at the Towneley Hall Heritage Day next Sunday 11th September 12-4. Hope to see you there.

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