WPC: One Love……Love Music

“If music be the food of love, play on; give me excess of it…..” ~ Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night.’

For this Week’s Photo Challenge, Anne McCarthy has chosen the theme ‘One Love’. Can you imagine a world without music? I certainly can’t, and as long as I can remember, music has played an important part in my life. The love of music is something that has followed me since I was a child in the 1950’s when my small fingers first touched the piano keys at a boarding house in Blackpool where our family was staying for a week’s holiday by the sea. I was probably five-years-old, and standing up could  just reach the piano keys. I managed to pick out ‘God Save the Queen’, with one finger, and my dear mom, thinking that I absolutely must be a child prodigy, decided to send me for piano lessons when we returned home. Well, I wasn’t a child prodigy, but learning piano did nurture my love of music.

Music with the power to heal and uplift the human spirit, has often been called the universal language, and is always so welcome when it just seems to pop up on my travels. I can’t resist taking photos of musicians who have added to my pleasurable sightseeing experiences, and Italy yielded a few such photos, like this street musician playing the well known love song ‘Besame Mucho’  whilst an elderly couple had an impromptu dance on the sidewalk. Such a special memory.


At a rooftop restaurant also in Rome, we were serenaded with the same song.


In the Piazza San Marco in Venice, the music group at the Grand Cafe, had many diners feeling the love and up on their feet dancing.


Even at a small lunchtime venue in a back street of Venice, a merry band of musicians appeared to make our meal more special.


So there you have it; My ‘One Love’ is a combination of my love of music, my love of travel, my love of Italy and all this of course in the company of my darling hubby the love of my life.




CBBH Photo Challenge: High Tea and ‘Food Glorious Food’.

Food is the subject of Marianne’s CBBH Photo Challenge this month. When I look back at my blog and Facebook posts, I’m amazed to realise just how often, food features in my photos. I remember saying long ago, that life would be much simpler if we could rather take nutritional pills every day, instead of having to think of what we were going to cook, and then having to clean up the kitchen afterwards. Over the years, my attitude to food and cooking has changed drastically, and I now really enjoy dreaming up tasty meals and baking scrumptious desserts. Eating well, is one of the great pleasures of life; don’t you agree?

Hubby’s early Father’s Day present from our daughter, required absolutely no effort on my part. It was a gift voucher for ‘High Tea’ at our favourite 5 star hotel just up the beach. He did wonder why I had laid his clothes out on the bed, and told him to get out of his shorts and T-shirt, and to be dressed by 2pm, but I managed to keep the venue a secret until I chauffeured him through the gate, and then presented him with the magic red envelope.


High Tea at The Oyster Box Hotel is renowned for its sumptuous treats, from freshly baked scones, pastries, quiches, cakes, finger sandwiches, spicy savouries and extensive cheese platter. It’s not an occasion to be hurried, so a leisurely afternoon of sheer indulgence was on the cards for the two of us. (Click on any photo to see the drool-worthy images.)

Duke Orsino said in Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night, “ If music be the food of love, play on; give me excess of it, that surfeiting, the appetite may sicken and so die. That strain again! It had a dying fall. Oh it came upon my ear like the sweet sound that breathes upon a bank of violets; stealing and giving odour. Enough, no more! ‘Tis not so sweet now as it was before.”

I was reminded of this quote, as I listened to the piano player who ‘tickled the ivories’ that afternoon. He wasn’t the usual pianist, and I suspect, may have been one of the waiters who had been roped in to help out. Being a pianist myself, I do hear every note that is played, and I’m sorry to say that he sounded to me like a beginner, practising playing by ear. He started off with a few bars of  ‘I’m In The Mood For Love’, which then progressed into a very abbreviated version of Beethoven’s ‘Für Elise’, which inexplicably morphed into ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus’. We had lots more bits and bobs of various songs, as well as some very obvious wrong notes. It was so awful, but very entertaining too, and gave me a few chuckles. He looked so intense and really was trying his best, so I decided not to shoot him, even with my camera. LOL!


For my Blog Hop this month, I would like to recommend that you visit, Tina at http://travelsandtrifles.wordpress.com/. Her photos are out of this world, and I know you’ll really enjoy her ‘Extra Special Destinations’ post.

My second recommendation, is LuAnn at ‘Paintyourlandscape’. She and her husband Terry are full-time RVers from the Midwest, and I just know that you’ll love tagging along with them on their fascinating adventures to really interesting and beautiful places.

To take part in Marianne’s CBBH Challenge, and to see other entries, just click on the badge below.




‘Don’t Shoot the Piano Player’ for Ese’s Challenge

Ese’s ‘Shoot and Quote Challenge’ this week is “Music.”


Just recently, I was reminded of this quote, “Don’t shoot the piano player; he’s doing the best he can.” I wondered about its origin, and found that it originated about 1860 in the ‘Wild West’ of the USA. Oscar Wilde saw it written on a sign in a Leadville, Colorado saloon, when he visited in 1882, and since then, it’s become a well known saying. I guess it was meaning that it wasn’t the pianist that was at fault, but the piano that was out of tune.


Some of you may know that I play the piano, and this talent has landed me with some rather onerous tasks in the past. Just before Christmas, someone at our club decided that he would like to put on a Broadway-type musical production in May, and asked me if I would be good enough to play the songs.  I told him that I will be leaving to go back to South Africa at the end of February, so couldn’t help out. Not wanting to be thwarted, or deposed from his hobby horse, he then suggested we just do nine songs as a ‘showcase’ which could be ready to perform in the last week that I’m here. Auditions were held, and quite well attended. The enthusiastic singers are all in their 70’s to late 80’s, so you can imagine that the voices are somewhat past their best, but nevertheless it was decided that the show will go on. So, after having committed myself, I find that I have to not only find the music on the internet, legally down load it and learn it, but the guy whose idea the whole thing is, actually can’t read music at all, and wants me to do all the donkey work. I don’t want to disappoint these sweet people, who are so excited about the whole thing, so have hours and hours of practice sessions lined up, to try and get them ready for their paying audience on the 22nd February. Mr Organiser downloaded lyrics from various internet sites, in tiny print that you need a magnifying glass to read, and complete with all the strange ads that pop up when you visit these sites. He handed them out to everyone last night,  just before the first practice session, and when I came to play the songs, I found that what I had on my music, was not the same as what they were singing. What a nightmare! So now I have to sort that lot out too. Last night I kept waking up with my head full of  ‘Comedy Tonight’, ‘Magic to do’, and ‘Tradition’ from Fiddler on the Roof. I have 33 pages of music to learn before Monday, so I don’t think I’ll be around on the blogs very much, but will try to pop in if I have a free moment. Please wish me luck.


Now I think I know what Duke Orsino in Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’, was getting at when he said, “If music be the food of love, play on; give me excess of it, that, surfeiting, the soul may sicken and so die……………..Enough; no more; tis not so sweet now as it was before.”