Monteverdi: suet musicke


A long delayed post, in which our protagonist finally puts up a frivolous account of the last days of his holiday

Since coming back to Petersfield, it seems amazing that I can have whiled away a whole fortnight with so obliviously, but I have managed, in a quiet way, to fill the time. As far as I remember, the first event worth highlighting since the last post was the Monteverdi prom. The music was fantastic and the performance only just short of scintillating; the one abrubt disappointment was the sad realisation that, after hearing it dozens of times, I had never properly paid attention to the arrangement of the texts. In Reformed circles, there is some argy-bargy over whether Song of Songs refers primarily to Christ and the church or sex, both with some good arguments either way, while Monteverdi seemed to think it had something to do with Mary. Still, the sound was great.

A “guard’s pudding”, with lovely mincemeat layers
Figure 1. A “guard’s pudding”, with lovely mincemeat layers

Another little feature of home life I will miss is the constant bevy of suet puddings I have used to drown my melancholy til it have an excess, and surfeiting, the appetite may sicken and so die. (Well, food has not quite such a big part in my life, but suet does somewhat curtail nocturnal musing.) We have enjoyed plain, with breadcrumb, syrup, raisins, mincemeat, apple, and other varieties, and I can happily eat a 6 oz pudding in a sitting. College will be amazed to see me so fat. Now, the content on this site is generally rather serious and pretentious, so I will take the opportunity to act a bit more like a normal blogger, just this once. Having read about a totally irrelevant event in my life in tedious detail, behold, you can even flick past it impatiently it in full colour.

Joking aside, the time has been fairly well spent, with a highlight in the next couple of weeks being seeing my grandparents properly. The sequence of weddings this summer has made me see the family more than I normally would, and it has been really wonderful to suddenly wake up and see that, it seems almost overnight, I enjoy not feeling part of family rather than disconnected. Perhaps that is just part of the slow growing up of someone who has to work hard to pretend to be sociable. I appreciate my uncles, my aunts, my cousins more than ever, and the grandparents most of all. Righteousness lasts to the third generation, at least, and I felt this summer like I somehow knew my (paternal) grandfather much more as if I had only just started to understand the concerns and rewards of seeing children grow up. I know more of the things I disagree with and find odd, but can only see the quiet love of Jesus centred in a warm way on the richest doctrines of all. He has aged well having trusted in Christ and seen the fruit of it. Can my generation ever expect to see grandchildren eager to persevere and join us in heaven? Our family is a challenge to us and a support. I visited my other grandparents too in Devon last week, and saw the quiet way they are managing to cope with the new arrangements and change and find enough activity to steadily go on. Health is tough thing to watch shifting in others, as their friends die slowly, but grandpa Putnam never lets out any Angst, instead happily relating details all day about the interesting people he has known over the years. I saw more of my cousin James’ new fiancée Sue as well.

Some home silver soldering with a puny blow-torch
Figure 2. Some home silver soldering with a puny blow-torch

Besides family then, on another frivolous note I repaired my coffee machine this weekend. The life of the broken Gaggia Achille has been tortured, but my home brazing to fix the broken mounting, plugging up the plumbing, and tinkering with the wiring to bypass some switches have finally healed it. Because bloggers can and so Caroline will cringe, I post a picture of the silver soldering.

In a move that will shock but hardly surprise college group, I have kept up the trend of cultural education by working from the back forwards. I bought a job lot of less contemporary films and am dutifully working my way though the films of the forties and fifties now, and just about managed to finish them fitted in around my last minute reading, happily leaving me with nothing left to tempt me to waste my time on during term.