So things really started to bite in January. I went a bit too far and really frightened myself so was very glad when February came round and the sun started to appear again (in many ways).
January saw all hatches firmly battened down as I worked incredibly hard to prepare for my harp exam, and the reality of incredibly tight finances began to really take hold.
As if by magic, on February 1st, things started to shift a little. My social calendar suddenly perked up. With a bleak January behind me, my spirits began to lift (probably assisted by the busy social life I suddenly had!). I made some big breakthroughs with some harp pieces.
I found out on Friday that my exam preparation had paid off – I passed my harp exam with a good mark, which I felt was firstly very fair and secondly reflected the effort I had put in. The first exam under a new system is always a tough one – are you really at the standard you think you are? Do others see and hear what you are trying to project and how you feel in your playing?
My exam report featured the words “Nice and clear” for my Bach piece and “Nice and even” for my Nutcracker cadenza, and I was thrilled.
Today, the temperature outside has lifted almost into double figures. I woke up to the most glorious sunshine lighting up the hills where I live. Some trees have been cut down outside my house, and this has transformed the atmosphere inside.
I’m not sure how often you get a February day in the hills of Scotland where you can happily be outside in a tshirt, so I made the most of it and headed out for a run.
I saw snowdrops, many happy doggies out enjoying their walks, and also unwittingly shared a little boy’s first stabiliser-free moments as he ventured into the unknown on his little bike.
I could see his mum holding onto his saddle behind him, while his dad encouraged him from the side. I remembered this moment very well from my childhood and I called out to him “Go on, you can do it!” as I ran past. I heard his mum shouting “Keep going!”, so I turned round to see how he was getting on. He was pedalling frantically with mum and dad running along beside him. He soon came to a stop (caught slightly by mum!) but was giggling and giddy with excitement as he scrabbled for the floor with his feet and tried not to fall. My heart leapt and I gave him a big cheer!
My phone reliably (!) informs me that the weather looks good for the week. I’m not sure how often you see this in Scotland, but here we go…. a full house.
The title of this post, “Spring Fever”, is borrowed from a wonderful Mark Twain quote:
“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”
The next six weeks are set to be incredibly hectic – the stakes are high but the rewards should justify the hard work that is to come. For now, I’m looking forward to a very sunny week.