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The Music of (our) Life

If its July, it’s Prom Season. To maintain marital harmony during the next two months (July-September each year), Mr.R and I have reached a unstated agreement of sorts, which is working wonderfully to our individual advantage. Most evenings from 7.30-9.30, we part ways. Mr.R watches/listens to the concert on BBC3/BBCRadio. I move the laptop to the spare room or the bedroom and catch up with my writing. I don’t interrupt him during these two hours, not even for dinner. I stay out of his way and gift myself two hours of uninterrupted writing time. It is a blessing, I think, to have time out for yourself. At times like this I remind myself of how important it is to continue doing the things you want to do, to be able to retain your individuality even though you are part of a couple. A verse on Marriage from Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’ comes to mind…

..Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.


We went for our first (for this season) Prom concert at the Royal Albert Hall on Wednesday. Mr.R and I both took the day off spending time at the National Portrait gallery looking at an exhibition of the “World’s Most Photographed” and others. The Prom itself was fun. We waited for tickets for the ‘Arena’ (the non-seating part of the Albert Hall, which is packed each evening with the most dedicated prommers – they even have season tickets to stand!) and the line stretched long beyond the block. Managed to get in eventually. This was my first time in the Arena. The atmosphere was marvellous. We were a few yards away from the orchestra stage. There were the BBC cameras all over the place – the Proms go out live every evening on telly and radio. There were people sitting on the floor and some standing. (You can get an idea from the picture.) When the orchestra plays, most people in the Arena stand and listen, and some sit. Whatever you choose, it’s simply marvellous being so close and breathing in the silence. My favorite bit of listening to classical music is revelling in the silence that absolutely must accompany it. You cannot listen to the music with noise around; it just doesn’t go together. The silence just envelopes you and even though there are a thousand people all around you, some close enough to be breathing down your neck, you can hear a pin drop or a tummy rumble.


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