It’s been a busy time over the winter – well that’s my excuse for not posting anything, but here’s a little round up of thoughts and happenings since my past post.

My visit to Hong Kong, Singapore and Penang way back in June ’16 was a truly memorable experience. The end-of-course dinner for the 2015-16 CT students was an occasion tinged with sadness, marking as it did the end of this course in South East Asia and indeed anywhere else, but the jubilant gathering of 100+ Hong Kong CT holders the previous evening, was a fantastic celebratory event. Goodness knows how many million digital images were created that evening and the number of musical performances, fashion show and other distractions all provided happy hunting grounds for the phone cameras. It was lovely to catch up with Bill, Dorcas and Petina, and lots of other friends in Hong Kong, and likewise Su-San and many former CT students in Singapore. The social round was so hectic that I was glad to have organised for myself a 2 day recovery spot at the E&O in Penang, where I thoroughly enjoyed being a tourist and visited Kek Lok Si temple and the Penang Hill.

On the work front it’s been a busy time with several projects underway. The most intense work has been collaborating with ESTA, the European String Teachers Association, to help them develop their new PG Cert (string teaching) qualification in partnership with Chichester University. The course begins on 6 May at an ESTA weekend at Saffron Walden, when the main presenter will be Nicola Benedetti. The first cohort of students are just getting started on their pre-course tasks and it looks all set to be a busy but exciting year of study ahead.

My book, ‘Learning a Musical Instrument, a guide for adult learners’ was published in January and seems to be doing well and although the projected course from Hong teachers with Peter Harris didn’t get off the ground we’re still working on something for 2018, which is now looking very promising indeed.

Band-wise, the Rhythm and Blues band had a great time at the Bedford river festival on a gloriously sunny day last summer, playing to a large crowd in the early evening. A couple of weeks later, the Plus 5s Morgan band played for MOG 16 at Horwood House in Buckinghamshire as part of the MOG 16 annual Morgan Sports Car Club event and, just a few days after that, members of the band headed for France to a venue west of Dijon to play at a party organised and hosted by the band’s singer and her husband. With temperatures in the high 30s and even recorded as 43 on the car thermometer at one point, we played to an appreciative crowd on a beautiful summer’s evening having enjoyed a fantastic roast chicken dinner cooked on site.

In between the South East Asia trip and France I’ve been able to spend lots of time on the Isle of Wight and, of course, at home, with some lovely midsummer, late summer and autumn weather to help. The Morgan’s passed it’s MOT, had an early Spring service and is running well.

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