Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Breathing Haiku

Vespasian Cough
 (after Shiki)

The snake has grappled
my throat.  I think I am about
to re-enter stone.

Note: as well as my own respiratory condition and the Roman Emperor's last joke, this is loosely based on a piece by Shiki, written shortly before his death from tuberculosis:

Masoaka Shiki (1867-1902):

hechima saite tan no tsumarishi hotoke kana

The snake gourd blossoms.
My throat is blocked with phelgm.
I am already a Buddha.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Becoming Victor Meldrew

Dear David,

I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to you because I have recently discovered that you are a trombone alumnus on the National Youth Orchestra! We are having a major clean up of our data base and are keen to reconnect with as many alum as possible and we apologize for not being in touch sooner.
   If you would like to stay connected with NYO and hear about our concert and be updated on our database please could you email me your telephone number, address, DOB and the dates you were in NYO for. We are also holding a Family Alumni day at the Royal Albert Hall on 6 August at 12.15 we would love to see you there. If you are able to attend please do let me know and I will send you more information.
  Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and I hope to be in touch with you soon.

Best wishes,

Emma McGovern

Development Officer

Dear Emma McGovern

thank you for your kind message today informing me that I was an alumnus
of the NYO, on the trombone, and inviting me to reconnect with your
orchestra and organisation.
 Unfortunately, I am in fact 56 years old and have never played a
trombone in my life. Excited as I am at the prospect of a new career, I
am afraid my total incompetence at this instrument, as well as my
precarious claims on 'youth', require that I decline your gracious


David Bircumshaw