Saturday 16 December 2017


“For forty years I have played the oboe, and still I never know what is coming out. It is a perpetual anxiety. But maybe this is good - I have never the time to get myself bored.” - Marcel Tabuteau 

Johann Gottlieb Graun (27 October 1703 – 28 October 1771) was a German Baroque/Classical era composer and violinist, born in Wahrenbrück. (His brother Carl Heinrich was a singer and also a composer, and is the better known of the two).

Johann Gottlieb studied with J.G. Pisendel in Dresden and Giuseppe Tartini in Padua. Appointed Konzertmeister in Merseburg in 1726, he taught the violin to J.S. Bach’s son Wilhelm Friedemann. He joined the court of the Prussian crown prince (the future Frederick the Great) in 1732. Graun was later made Konzertmeister of the Berlin Opera in 1740. He composed over 50 songs and other compositions.

Graun’s compositions were highly respected, and continued to be performed after his death: “The concert-master, John Gottlib Graun, brother to the opera-composer, his admirers say, was one of the greatest performers on the violin of his time, and most assuredly, a composer of the first rank” wrote Charles Burney. He was primarily known for his instrumental works, though he also wrote vocal music and operas. He wrote a large number of violin concertos, trio sonatas, and solo sonatas for violin with cembalo, as well as two string quartets – among the earliest attempts in this genre.

He also wrote many concertos for viola da gamba, which were very virtuosic, and were played by Ludwig Christian Hesse, considered the leading gambist of the time. Despite the popularity of his works, Graun was not free from criticism. Burney noted that some critics complained that, “In his concertos and church music ... the length of each movement is more immoderate than Christian patience can endure.”

Here is his Concerto in C minor for Oboe, Strings & Basso Continuo with Heinz Holliger, oboe Camerata Bern Alexander van Wijnkoop.
I. Allegro 00:00
II. Affettuoso 08:17
III. Allegro molto 15:19

Friday 15 December 2017


“Life is better than death, I believe, if only because it is less boring, and because it has fresh peaches in it.” - Alice Walker

One of Summer’s delights is the fresh stone fruits in season. We bought some delightful peaches yesterday and this dessert was made to use up the last few very ripe ones. 

Peach Clafoutis
2/3 cup plain flour
1/3 cup self-raising flour
1 cup caster sugar
5 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
40g butter, melted, cooled
1 cup milk
1 cup pure cream
5 ripe peaches, peeled, stones removed, sliced (you may used drained canned peaches)
Flaked blanched almonds (freshly toasted), to serve
Vanilla ice-cream, to serve (optional) 

Preheat oven to 160°C fan-forced. Grease an 8 cup-capacity ceramic baking dish.
Combine flour, sugar and eggs in a bowl. Stir to combine and add vanilla essence. Add butter, milk and cream. Whisk to combine.
Arrange peach slices in prepared dish in a regular pattern. Carefully add flour mixture so as not to disturb the fruit.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until just set. Stand for 2 minutes. Sprinkle with flaked almonds to serve. Ice-cream on the side, if desired.

Tuesday 12 December 2017


“Scotland should be nothing less than equal with all the other nations of the world.” - Sean Connery

Welcome to the Travel Tuesday meme! Join me every Tuesday and showcase your creativity in photography, painting and drawing, music, poetry, creative writing or a plain old natter about Travel.

There is only one simple rule: Link your own creative work about some aspect of travel and share it with the rest of us. Please use this meme for your creative endeavours only.

Do not use this meme to advertise your products or services as any links or comments by advertisers will be removed immediately.
Inverness (from the Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Nis [iɲɪɾʲˈniʃ], meaning “Mouth of the River Ness”) is a city in the Scottish Highlands. It is the administrative centre for the Highland council area, and is regarded as the capital of the Highlands. Inverness lies near two important battle sites: The 11th-century battle of Blàr nam Fèinne against Norway which took place on The Aird and the 18th-century Battle of Culloden which took place on Culloden Moor. It is the northernmost city in the United Kingdom and lies within the Great Glen (Gleann Mòr) at its north-eastern extremity where the River Ness enters the Moray Firth.

At the latest, a settlement was established by the 6th century with the first royal charter being granted by Dabíd mac Maíl Choluim (King David I) in the 12th century. The Gaelic king Mac Bethad Mac Findláich (MacBeth) whose 11th-century killing of King Duncan was immortalised in Shakespeare’s largely fictionalised play “Macbeth”, held a castle within the city where he ruled as Mormaer of Moray and Ross.

The population of Inverness grew from 40,949 in 2001 to 46,870 in 2012. The Greater Inverness area, including Culloden and Westhill, had a population of 59,910 in 2012.  Inverness is one of Europe’s fastest growing cities, with a quarter of the Highland population living in or around it, and is ranked fifth out of 189 British cities for its quality of life, the highest of any Scottish city. In the recent past, Inverness has experienced rapid economic growth: Between 1998 and 2008, Inverness and the rest of the central Highlands showed the largest growth of average economic productivity per person in Scotland and the second greatest growth in the United Kingdom as a whole, with an increase of 86%.

Inverness is twinned with one German city, Augsburg, and two French towns, La Baule and Saint-Valery-en-Caux. Inverness College is the main campus for the University of the Highlands and Islands. With around 8,500 students, Inverness College hosts around a quarter of all the University of the Highlands and Islands’ students, and 30% of those studying to degree level. In 2014, a survey by a property website described Inverness as the happiest place in Scotland and the second happiest in the UK. Inverness was again found to be the happiest place in Scotland by a new study conducted in 2015. 

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Sunday 10 December 2017


“Without anxiety and illness I should have been like a ship without a rudder.” - Edvard Munch

I’ve been stretching myself too far, spreading myself too thin, and have felt a bit off colour the last few days. I’ve been cutting back some of my activities and hope to resume “normal transmission” soon. Thanks to a couple of you who have been kind enough to enquire where I have been. Your concern is appreciated, I'll be back to normal in a couple of days...