Well 2020 has arrived (and for reference my eyesight is in fact 20-10, which means I can resolve/see things from 20' away which your 'standard' (20-20) eyesight requires you to be 10' away... ).
I had some struggles of various natures in 2019, not least being a series of moderately significant injuries. My sax playing suffered last year and I played a lot less than in recent years, although cello playing has continued at more-or-less normal levels.
Currently, I play cello in three orchestras, last year I did get to play string trios and quartets are few times, which was nice. I missed out on most of the Wirral string days due to clashes with other things (one was a Birmingham concert). However, apart from the Café Ensemble I haven't played in a wind group for over a year. Although I enjoy playing with Maghull, the travel logistics are just too challenging at the moment. Trouble is, I'm struggling to find anything suitable that's nearer to home.
I'll have another look around for groups to play sax in, but I might have to resign myself to it being difficult to avoid travelling at least 25 or 30 miles each way.
Yesterday was a day out to Coventry with the cello for a play day. Coventry is awkward to get to from here as it's 75 miles away and due to my first 30+ miles being on rural 'A' roads and the issues that entails with getting stuck behind agricultural traffic and wagons...
The play day is geared around a concert in April (which I won't be playing in) for orchestra and choir. The work we were tackling yesterday was Mozart's 'great' C minor mass. It's a work I've probably sung at some point. It was a good day - apart from the 2 hours' driving each way....
Latest physio session today on the leg... It is now week 24... Although it is much improved, I have much less of a limp and I am walking about much quicker and more freely, the oedema is still an issue - the calf is quite swollen as is the ankle. Discussing it with the physio today, it will take a while for that to be resolved as it requires restoration of power in the muscles, which is still some time off... One crocked tenor viol. It'll soon be six months since the injury.
People who know me such as the members of the Café Septet are aware that I'm also into photography (why have one expensive hobby when you can have three or four?).
I've been a user of Nikon camera gear since my early 20s (which is worrying now about 40 years ago....).
I currently have two cameras a D7500 and a Z6. Since I managed to rupture my Achilles' tendon at a training session, there is no chance I will play with Chester Centurions rugby team (I'm a bit old anyway...). I seem to have become the team photographer...
Yesterday they played a team from Liverpool. The Chester team is new and has only been playing for less than two years, so winning yesterday was a big deal. It was a tough match.
Here's one of my pics - the original is a 50mb RAW file - this is a 200k jpeg.
I've made a point of going to more live classical music concerts, so I booked a season's worth of tickets. There were only two concerts in the autumn, they're clustered over the next few months. They're mostly the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra playing at the art deco Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool. I am going to most of the concerts in the complete series of Mahler symphonies conducted by Petrenko. So Thursday was the first with #1.
I have previously seen 2, 3, 5, 6, and 8 live, and I've sung in 2 with RLPO in Chester Cathedral some years ago. So this was the first time I've been to a performance of #1.
Substantial orchestra with 8 desks each of 1st and 2nd violins, 5 desks violas, 5 desks cellos, 8 double basses, 8 horns, 6 trumpets, 5 trombones, 6 percussionists...
The concert started with a work I've not heard before by Webern 'Im sommerwind'. Now I associate Webern with atonal music - but this was lush late romantic music. This was followed by 5 Schubert lieder sung by a German baritone and each one orchestrated by a different composer: a modern one, Webern, Brahms, Reger, and Lizst.
Next up is #2 ('Resurrection'), sadly I will miss the third as I will be away.