#100happydays

My first 13 #100happydays posts, all in one place…

Day 13 #100happydays

A last visit to the beach with this boy.

Day 12 #100happydays

Prosecco and lemonade at The Llawnroc Hotel with all my favourite peeps, bar one.

Day 11 #100happydays

Happiness is a flower from my boy.

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Day 10 #100happydays

My favourite small people, homemade cappuccino and Cornish skies.

Day 9 #100happydays

Sunny Cornwall! ♥️ My Boys ♥️

Day 8 #100happydays

♥️♥️♥️ REUNITED!!! ♥️♥️♥️

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Day 7 #100happydays

Feeling pretty proud of myself. Both boys’ rooms cleaned and tidied, with love, ready for them coming back home next week. Can’t wait to join them in Cornwall tomorrow. Been a long 10 days.

Day 6 #100happydays

Like an idiot I forgot to take a photo today, but I had a lovely dinner out at Cafè Rouge with the husband and got a free glass of wine.

Day 5 #100happydays

A few hours late… Remus played a stonking performance of Brahms Concerto last night in Bucharest on an amazing Strad! While I was in London rehearsing Chekov’s Three Sisters at school. Thanks to Roza Zah for the photo.

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Day 4 #100happydays

Didn’t catch a photo of it but saw a fire rainbow in the clouds this morning. And as much as we are phenomenally behind and got shouted at a lot all day, I love playing Natasha in Chekov’s ‘Three Sisters’ as well and am really grateful to have the chance to be studying what I really love to do.

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Day 3 #100happydays

My 100happydays Day 3 moment was hearing my sons’ voices on the phone. I miss them so much. ♥️

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Day 2 #100happydays

A fun little acting job for Thom Hoffman and a walk in my favourite street in London this morning.

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Day 1 #100happydays

If you’d like to join in, go to 100happydays.com and register!

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Waltzes and Lullabies

lullaby-trust-badge-150x150 Today, the FSID (Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths) changed its name to The Lullaby Trust, a move of which, as a musician and provider of music for babies, I can’t help but approve. The newly named Trust does vital work raising money for research into Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and provides bereavement support for those affected by infant death. This is a cause very dear to my heart as my wonderful, brave, inspirational blogger friend Jennie found her beautiful baby daughter Tilda dead (of SIDS) in her cot on 2nd February, the day she had turned 9 months old. Since that day this amazing lady, while grieving has thrown herself into organising blogs to raise awareness and events to raise money in Matilda Mae’s memory, trying to make sure this devastating thing happens to as few parents in the future as possible. It was her inspired idea for us all to blog on a Lullaby theme to raise awareness of this wonderful organisation and their new branding. Here is mine, written with love:

You would think, being the owner of a small business running concerts for babies (Classical Babies) and mum to two small boys, that lullabies would be prevalent in my day to day life. But the truth is, until recently I had rarely sung lullabies, or played them at my concerts, for a couple of reasons:

One is the sad truth that my life, personal and professional is already just so full-to-bursting with other types of musical form – from television theme tunes to the Sibelius violin concerto I hear my husband practising every day, to my mobile ring tone or whatever I’ve been rehearsing or recording with whichever orchestra I’m working with that day – that I just forget! Another reason is that I have babies and toddlers of varying ages at my concerts and while we’re all trained to associate music for little ones with lullabies and nursery rhymes, my experience has been that the music that best draws their attention and delights all ages the most, is something a little livelier, something with a regular, rhythmic beat which they can really feel with their little bodies and dance, move or twirl to! Something more like this:

Or this:

The closest thing I really got to a lullaby in my house was this, gorgeous slow movement of Mozart’s Concerto for two pianos. I used to put it on repeat when both my boys were tiny babies and napping on a soft blanket on the floor while I put my feet up with a mug of tea. If you’re not sure you’ll like it, listen from 7:00 mins in to the end.

But really, lullabies had been notably absent from my home, which is strange for a musician and stranger for a mother.

Then, in the days after Tilda’s death, remembering something Jennie had tweeted about how Matilda had loved ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’ (incidentally, always my favourite as a child too) I suddenly had an impulse to sing it to my little 20 month old Lucian after his bath. His face broke into a HUGE beaming smile, and I realised with a pang of shock and guilt that I didn’t remember ever singing it to him, at least not in the last year, and he loved it. How was this possible?! I had sung it to Gabs, my three year old many times but somehow, with a second child and so much other music in my head, I had failed to pass on that most basic of mothering legacies to my gorgeous, dimpled boy! Now, of course, I sing it all the time and he knows most of the actions and points up to the sky when I sing “way up hiiiigh!” and giggles. That day after the bath, the first day, after beaming at me for singing it to him and with so much love in his little eyes, he opened his mouth and said his first string of three words: “Dinkle, Dinkle Daaar!” and looked proud as punch with himself.

All because of Matilda Mae.

By the way, Matilda, ‘Twinkle, Twinkle” is Lucian’s clear favourite, just like it was yours and is mine. Thank you for that.

And I love it all the more because it was originally written by the composer closest to my heart, Mozart and later set to 19th century English lyrics. Here is Mozart’s original version:

Mozart ‘Ah je vous dirais maman’

So from that day, and now even more so from researching this post, I’ve rediscovered lullabies and remembered that there’s something so powerful and transformative about them in all their forms, whether in the original classical forms or played by a music box, with their original lyrics or one -off, silly ones, improvised by a mother bending over a changing mat to make her baby smile, lullabies have such an important place in a baby’s life and I’m so happy I brought them back into mine.

This non-classical version of Brahms’ Lullaby (written originally in German) is really simple and sweet. Something about the woman’s natural, untrained voice and the English lyrics makes me think of my Mum and sweeps me off into memories of my very early childhood. It’s like a balm to my soul. I love it!

For my last choice of music, and to tie all the threads of this post together, this piece by Brahms is really a Waltz but feels just like a Lullaby. It’s so peaceful, restful, innocent and pure.

Baby Tilda, this is for you. Sleep peacefully, darling.

xxxxx

xxxxx