Well, 2015 was an odd year, lots of good things and lots of bad things in the world. I guess that’s generally the case but the media and social media seemed to bring us all down somewhat. My feelings towards the end of the year are perfectly described by the fiddle player Thomas Hardy in The Darkling Thrush (think he wrote some plays as well…….!).
This year I’m going to stay informed, but stay positive – my goal is going to be (as ever) to add to the general happiness in the world.
The Darkling Thrush
BY THOMAS HARDY
I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-grey,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.
The land’s sharp features seemed to be
The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.
At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.
So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.
A quick look at the gig list shows an intensive few weeks ahead – particularly looking forward to supporting Kate Rusby on the main stage at Broadstairs Folk Week – Their 50th festival this year, our second visit! Amongst other things Dave’s running a guitar workshop – that should be a hoot, I’m looking forward to picking up a few tips myself….
I’ve fitted up the fiddle I’m making and strung it up “in the white” so that I can shape the neck whilst it’s strung – I thought this would make sense – it also meant I could have a good play and get an idea what it’s going to sound like………… and I’m very happy!
So, shape neck, finish edgework, refine nut and fingerboard, scrape the whole fiddle and then time to start the varnishing.