The title of the blog today might be a little bit misleading as I was not at the doctors because of been ill.I was at a clinic / practice as part of a community programme where different musicians play at a GP Practice each week .
The practice forms part of a much bigger community programme which involves a cafe where patients can get a drink and a bite to eat . New mums can meet each other thus cementing the community together.
it has been a very busy week for me and tomorrow I am demonstrating the harp in a local school . I will be taking along a few harps and some mini instruments to get the pupils involved in the project.meanwhile back at our farm Dave is busy making heads , arms and bodies for the ventriloquist dolls he makes which are based on characters from his books. The Book of Caris and The Book of Anon . He continues to write and is currently working on his third book and is researching more and more historical legends.
Many of you might know that sometimes when I come down for breakfast I am quite often met with a harp been laid right across the kitchen table having new strings or been patched up.
This is what happens when you are married to a harp mad woman who has played with Led Zeppelin , Guns and Roses and is friends with Fleetwood Mac.
Fiona Katie spend hours and hours making her harps look old and one year she did too much of a good job as it just so happened where she was playing the antiques road show was on.
Spotting Fiona katie with the harp one of the professionals dashed over and before he could even open his mouth a crowd had gathered around .
“Ha Ha” “Thats a Beauty” then he said this is a rare 17th Century italian triple harp he declared in excellent condition look at the patina where it has aged he declared. “Can you play it he asked “? Yes replied Fiona Katie
Then he looked again
“Tell me where did you get it he enquired “? in front of a crowd of about 40 people which had now gathered
“I made it n the kitchen table two weeks ago” she said grinning and the triple down the middle is a chocolate box ribbon to cover up my bad joinery. The crowd laughed and he took a big swig of his wine and walked off very quickly indeed. We never did see that bit aired n the television program but Fiona Katie did get a call from Mick Fleetwood couple of weeks later to see how she ws and to wish her a happy christmas.
I have put a link to Fiona Katies last interview with out local journalist
We live on a small farm in Haworth West Yorkshire
Fiona Katie my wife designs, plays , and builds harps.
Many people think that farming is a easy job and that a idyllic life but the truth of the matter is that is is incredibly hard work and life and death can occur quite quickly.I remember when I started in farming a few years ago and was told the first thing to remember is that wherever their is livestock there is also deadstock .
Today I was reminded of those words I had heard when I found out I had lost one of my closest companions Dennis,. even though I am hardened to death and I do not fear it in many ways this has nevertheless upset me.
Dennis was not a person he was in fact our pet goat (named after a person called Dennis who is the Illustrator for “The Book of Caris )but nevertheless I loved him like many love a pet dog or pet cat and he always seemed to have a lovely smile on his face.
Fiona Katie my wife was very wary of Dennis especially when he would stand on his hind legs and said that he smelt (which he did) and I have to admit he was incredibly strong.
Dennis would often at one time torment the neighbours .
Dennis would walk out of the farm gate along the track down into the manor house at the end of the track and would feast on the rose gardens. He would then walk back to the farm and sit at the side of his wooden shed and pretend he had never left the farm.
His actions infuriated my neighbours and cost me many bottles of wine as recompense for his actions.
Seeing the chap next door red faced with anger moaning that Dennis had eaten his prize rose bush called Oscar nearly caused me to choke as I tried to stifle my laughter inside (Yes naughty I know but you had to be there to appreciate the situation)
Fiona Katie found Dennis on his bed this morning and thought he was just asleep.
Sadly he had passed away in his sleep .
Dennis you will be very sadly missed by me for sure . But maybe not by our neighbour .
Sleep well my friend .
Here in Yorkshire we are been invaded by Helicopters, Americans , and reporters as we gear up towards the weekend both routes out of our farm are cut off because the roads have been sealed for the Grande Departe – The Tour de France. All that is good about Yorkshire is been televised —Benjamin Till – The BBC should be using the music from a Symphony for Yorkshire since the music covers all parts of Yorkshire where the The tour de france is this weekend . We will of course be telling people about this wonderful piece of work. I was fortunate enough to be part of over 200 Musicians all from Yorkshire who took part in the Symphony for Yorkshire about 4 or 5 years ago now . here is the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jx4TSXJT1CE