So the reality of this fantasy is quickly coming to a close. We are scheduled to fly home on 18 June. 5-weeks from Friday I think.
I really can’t describe all we are feeling at the moment. We are trying to put off thinking about it, but planning for the summer and the start of the fall keeps getting in the way. What has really brought us back to reality is that Sarah has been in contact with the head mid-wife where she works, and now has her schedule for the first week we are back. We arrive in the US on Friday and Sarah will be in the office early that Tuesday morning and on call for 24 hours 1-week later… welcome back!
In the mean time life here has been near bliss. My mother took the family to Paris the first week of May. She flew over and met us, paid for the trip, and managed to get both of her wallets stolen on the Paris subway. Lost drivers license, passport, LOTS of money, and credit cards. Folks at the Police Stations were eventually helpful as were the folks at the American Embassy. Funny point of the week was going into the Police Station to report the theft where Sarah said to the policewoman at the front desk (in French) “Excuse me Madam, do you speak English?”. The response: “No.” And no further movement. Zero reaction, nothing. Sarah asked “Anyone?”. And eventually the policewoman motioned to another officer who helped translate. But watching her “drop the shade” after saying NO was funny (or will be funny in coming years). Mom was able to get a temporary passport 2 mornings later and though it was a bit of a downer to have that violation we were still in Paris!!!!
And, Hannah turned 14 while we were there. In the photo section I have uploaded a few Paris photos and one of her on her birthday in Paris. She seems so old….shudder to think how that makes us seem.
On the banding front we are in the midst of lots of work with both bands: This weekend is the Grand Shield Spring Festival in Blackpool. Lindley is competing in the lowest of the 3 sections and our test piece is Lalo’s Le Roi D’ys (The Kind of Y’s). Very nice pice but of course some very nasty bits. Huge euphonium solo near the end that goes up to several top D’s. Our euph. Ian sounds really good. Then it is on to Whit Friday and then a recording. I’m excited about the recording project as I’ll be doing a solo on the disc. Also, for Whit Friday, Atlantic Brass Band flugel player Jack Deal is flying over to play with Lindley. He’ll be here for the Thursday night rehearsal and then heads back home on Sunday. This is actually quite helpful to Lindley as our flugel Nicola has just announced she is pregnant and really doesn’t want to march all over Yorkshire Cheshire/Lancashire (in the West Pennines) until midnight on 28 May. Since we have not seen Jack since August it will be great to reconnect. We are hoping to take him to York for the day on Friday. He’ll be heading to Wales to climb Snowdon on Saturday!
For B&R, I’m still playing 4th man through the start of June. We played last weekend in Bridgewater Hall as part of the Brass Festival. King conducted and we played with 3 guest soloists. Show was actually quite good but a bit of a “lip bender”. After the show Amy Gilreath, Professor of Trumpet at Ill. State U. came back stage to say Hi! So cool to see her and chat for a bit (she also pointed to my lip and said “Looks like you bruised it” Ha!). She was there soloing with Laylend and was hanging out with Murray Greig who pointed out I was playing with B&R. B&R has a show this weekend (I’ll run over after the contest with Lindley), a show up in The North (The Sage in Gateshead) next weekend, and then Whit Friday.
The family also has a couple of trips yet to do. After Whit Friday we’ll head to Scotland for 5 days. We’ll be sure to post some photos of Loch Ness and the steam rail journey from Fort William to Mallaig (The Jacobite). It is rated the most beautiful rail journey in the world and featured in the Harry Potter film where the flying car was almost hit by the train. Then just before we come home, the 4 of use will do 4-days in Switzerland to hang with JC Dobrzelewski and some American trumpet folks from West Chester University and one from Rowan. We’ll do a couple of trumpet ensemble concerts and then head back to the UK for our last 4-days.
Just can’t imagine where the time has gone and what a mad rush it seems to the end. I also can’t believe what an amazing time we have had.