The harp player fell of the stage and banged his head badly …

No – it was not me – it was the first line of a book that a member of my audience was reading.  I was playing for the patients in the Doctor’s surgery which I do regularly and looked up to find a whole row of old men having a fit of the giggles.   I often get booked to sit and play the harp in the most unlikely places where there is stress or where people just need cheering up etc and I play and chat and play again.  They came and showed me the detective novel and I read it out to the large room of people.  Big grins all round!   There were a number of very poorly babies and toddlers so I tried lullabies – no success so after a brief discussion with my audience we decided to put my bells on and try a different tactic.   It worked!   The little ones were dancing and apparently my new friends (who had given up trying to read) informed me that men tap their feet but women don’t … certainly in that Doctor’s surgery!

The hens are confused.

I stuck homemade eyes and a large conical nose onto my fluffy, sausage duster, stuck the whole lot onto a massive cushion and tied two smaller cushions on the sides.   I then rigged it on top of the step ladders and stood it on the balcony overlooking the wood and paddock.   Amplifier and microphone set to the weirdest echo settings and I started my Easter Egg hunt with a conversation between my 10 year old stepson and ‘The Simomurf Bird’.   He respectfully answered all the Bird’s questions and promised he would find all her stolen eggs.   I love treasure hunts and successfully dodged two rams and 20 hens to lay all the clues and hide the eggs.   The weather here today was beautiful with not a drop of wind so I could balance the eggs in trees and on top of walls.  The hens were completely confused with the pink and golden eggs and I resisted the temptation to hide them in the hen house.    I placed an egg on the tractor seat – Stix, the cats, favourite sleeping place and he guarded it from a safe distance.  One of the hens started laying eggs on this seat and I didn’t notice for a while because Stix was laying on top of them!   I am playing the harp in the Doctor’s surgery again this week and I have two new pupils which is wonderful.

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.

A trip to the Doctors with a harp in tow

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.

Besides Harps

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 .


Teaching / Website update

This morning we discovered that part of the wall had collapsed at the side of the field and our sheep were having a good nosey at the opening which had appeared we were left with little choice but to rebuild the part which had collapsed which took about twenty minutes. The afternoon was spent teaching pupils on the Welsh Tripleharp.

Dave my husband continues to work on redesigning my website 
Eventually the plan is that my Blog, Facebook, twitter and my website will all be linked together and should auto update

As part of the continued process of  re-designing the website Dave has scanned more than one hundred thank you letters from Brides and Grooms I have played for, Recitals and concerts I have performed as well as Charity fund raisers

I hope to be able to display many of the cards and letters I have received from all over the world on the website soon