Finish Jack Vettriano puzzle, Record memories, Go to the Proms – numbers 28, 34 and 36

None of these is related, but they are all complete so I thought I would capture them together.

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Look carefully and you’ll see it is a puzzle!

Jack Vettriano – an artist I very much admire and my favourite work of his is the Singing Butler, the subject of the puzzle. I did worry that it was taking me so long it might put me off the picture but I’m pleased to say it didn’t. The people were relatively easy to do but then it got to the sky and that was a real challenge! I could sit there and look at it for 15 minutes without seeing where a single piece could go and on other occasions would whack in 5 or 6 in quick succession. The trick I discovered was to go for the little and often approach as I ended up not being able to see the wood for the trees. Finally, the number of pieces dwindled until the final one fitted into place. It’s given me quite an appetite for puzzles, which are great fun but very time consuming. I’ve also discovered quite a community of friends who like them too and that makes me very happy. My Jack puzzle is now on its second lend and there are more lining up to have a go. So far everyone has agreed with my verdict on the sky!

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My five year memory book

Recording memories is an ongoing thing. As luck would have it, my daughter bought me a five year memory book. You don’t need to record much each day, after all it is only a fifth of each page. But it’s perfect for me to note down what has happened each day. Most of it is not very interesting and there is a lot about what I spot down by the river while running. Now all I have to do is fill it over 5 years!

And the third item for this post it to head off to the Proms. The first time I went to the Albert Hall for a Prom was one of the first times I headed to London with a friend without adult supervision! It’s so long ago I have no idea what we saw. In 2014 I was fortunate to go to the War Horse Prom. On the eve of the centenary of the outbreak of World War I a special Prom commemorated this anniversary using actors to depict the carefree nature before the war and the horrors that came after. Puppets from War Horse also took their part, with the adult Joey coming up through the floor where the Prommers stand to a cannon firing. Michael Morpurgo was on stage showing his thoughts as he wrote War Horse. Gareth Malone was there with the Military Wives Choir, they sang a particularly haunting version of Home they brought her Warrior Dead with a few of them carrying empty boots they laid on a sheet centre stage. This was then folded over the boots to look like a dear warrior. It was all very moving and incredibly memorable.

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The cast for Beethoven’s 9th Symphony

So although the Proms is not a new thing to me, it was something that I wanted to continue. And so in the summer of 2016, we headed to the Albert Hall for an altogether different experience. The Proms really are accessible concerts, the tickets are reasonably priced and the concerts short enough to keep the interest and enthusiasm going. This time it was Beethoven, his ninth symphony including the choral Ode to Joy. Our main problem was the heat, it was an unusually hot day and up in the circle the heat just rose off everyone below us. Thank goodness for a programme to waft. This was a most enjoyable concert with a fabulous choir and soloists. The venue of course is first class. One day I might even get to the last night!

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The beautiful Royal Albert Hall Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0