Musings in Martinborough

I’ve found another lovely Martinborough blogsite. I may have mentioned, en passant, that just for fun, I belong to a singing group. We were requested to sing along with a talk given by one John MacGibbon at Wharekaka, the retirement home in Martinborough, a few weeks back. Our first gig!

We were to illustrate a talk , organised by the University for the Third Age, to be given by an illustrious musical historian. John MacGibbon is a writer and publisher, and musical specialist who spent 10 years researching a book on the history of the piano in New Zealand, “Piano in the Parlour”. I told Mum she should come along to this talk and she thoroughly enjoyed it, as did we all. But sadly, we singers were appallingly bad. We did have a tiny excuse, in that we only had one practice the day before and we hardly knew the songs. David Kershaw accused me of whispering. The songs  – ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’, “Just a Song at Twilight’, ‘Rule Brittannia’ and other old favourites – were scaled too high so we sopranos were screeching. Oh, my we were embarrassing. Heaven knows how, but we managed to get two new singers out of it. Maybe they recognised we need all the help we can get. Poor John! Anyway, I was so impressed by John’s research, and his talk, that I ordered a copy of his book for Mum. It’s only $50 and well worth every cent. Independent publishers deserve all the support we can give them – go to Ngaio Press  and see how beautiful this book is.

Then I discovered John divides his time between Wellington and Martinborough where he owns a house, right next to the St Andrew’s Church where, over Easter, he was lucky enough to hear some members of the horn section, including the leader, of the  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra practising for their Martinborough concerts, one of which was in our church. We didn’t know about the concert and thought we were late for church. When I was little, we were always late for church. Always late for everything, because my mother was delightfully disorganised. As a result, today I have an irrational phobia of being late. I arrive at airports hours ahead of departure. I sit on my bed all ready to leave home at least 30 minutes before we’re due to depart. I arrive at appointments or parties and drive around the block so I don’t embarrass the host by arriving early. I’m a geek when it comes to punctuality. I hate people who keep me waiting and I think deliberate lateness is the height of rudeness.

But I digress. Because John MacGibbon’s blog is cleverer than mine and he can post videos, you can hear clips of the concert by going to Martinborough Musings.

When I set up this Redbank James Wineblog, I took as my inspiration a blog from New York State, called Bedlam Farm and it’s nice to know that’s one of the blogs John MacGibbon enjoys as well. Cheers for Martinborough blogs.


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