Welcome back to Hilltop. Since my last entry, it has pretty much been down to business with teaching my Home School Connections course online, the last two weeks on Tchaikovsky, Vaughan Williams, and Copland. Next up is Mr. Brahms.
But we had an interesting meeting at our house! Four young men, Vanderbilt music majors I have taught and enjoyed knowing, are aficionados of the “Inklings”, a discussion/supper group that included Tolkien and C.S. Lewis at a pub in Oxford, and they are now officially, by tribute, the “Stinklings”! We made them some Shepherd’s Pie and Sticky Toffee Pudding, talked a blue streak, and watched the movie “Tolkien” together last Sunday night.
Upon their departure we had a wonderful visit from my old college chum and roommate, Woody Chastain, for a couple of nights. We had the best time catching up and enjoying meals together and talking about everything. He lives in Wisconsin but promises to come this way again and see us before too long.
My new Epoch Times article for November is on the composer George Butterworth, a friend of Ralph Vaughan Williams, who was tragically killed in the WW1 Battle of the Somme. He left behind just enough music for us to believe he would have been just as important or more so than Vaughan Williams, had he survived. We remember all the fallen of WW1 on November 11, called Remembrance Day or Poppy Day in the UK.
I have made further revisions on my novel, Tales from the Realm of Faerie (named after my new symphony), and am grateful it is under consideration by some potentially helpful sources. I don’t hold my breath about anything like this, but I am thankful for anything of mine that is even taken under consideration, which is not always an easy thing, itself.
Crystal and I will be eating all sorts of special celebratory foods this week, leading up to All Saints Day Eve (Halloween) like my Pumpkin Soup, and watching all our rather innocent films, like the Disney cartoon version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Wallace and Gromit) (No horror films! We hate those.) How fun.
I finally finished reading the third and final book of The Lord of the Rings, which I’ve been working on for a whole year, off and on. I have moved on to Flush, a novel about Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning as told from the perspective of their Cocker-Spaniel dog, Flush, by Virginia Woolf! Along with that, I’m reading a collection of Irish folktales and fairy stories edited by William Butler Yeats. I once had the privilege of meeting Yeats’s son in, of all places, Tokyo, at a music conference where my music was being played – he being quite elderly himself at the time, but very charming and dignified when we had breakfast together each morning.
The deer have almost finished off the acorns in the front yard, and the garden is fading, but the plants are all perennials, so we look forward to their return in the spring. It’s getting to be that magical time of fall.