Honouring Matilda Mae on 2nd May

Today a Royal Baby was born. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Kate and William, welcomed a beautiful baby daughter this morning, 2nd May. I was so happy for them and it made me surprisingly uplifted and broody, too! But my thoughts and energy today were with another family.

Because today, 2nd May should have been…would have been the 3rd Birthday of my friend Jennie ‘Edspire‘s beautiful baby, Matilda Mae who died of SIDS on the day she turned 9 months old. And I know they are celebrating her birthday-in-heaven today down at Coombe Mill in Cornwall. Coombe Mill is their special place where they went to scatter Baby Tilda’s ashes, a place their twins Esther and William, and now their rainbow baby, Bea, really love and find peace and comfort in. They are celebrating their special angel birthday girl with pink and purple, with presents for three of their children who can open them on their sister’s behalf, with bubbles and stars… all special things that say Matilda Mae to them.

And I remembered her in thoughts all day and sent presents too and hoped my love reached them, but mostly I thought about writing this for Jennie… to let her know My Plan to honour Matilda Mae on her 4th Birthday, 2nd May 2016.

I feel a bit silly writing about this, my next Matilda Mae fundraising event, when I haven’t even blogged properly about my Matilda Mae Violin Marathon, successfully completed on 3rd July last year. I have hours worth of videos of me playing, alone and with others, chamber music, scales, solos, tears, joy, laughter, champagne and most of all, lots and lots of money raised (£2,700 or thereabouts) for The Lullaby Trust. I feel guilty often for not blogging about it, after all the money given, all the support of so many people, but the truth is I wouldn’t know where to start and remembering it makes me too emotional. It is probably, after giving birth to my two boys, one of the best, most meaningful things I’ve ever done with my life, but for some bizarre reason I can’t bear to think back on it. It brings up too many emotions. I will do it one day, I just don’t know when…

So, onwards and upwards and eyes forward, I am again planning another musical marathon of sorts, to remember Matilda Mae, but this time I’ll have a little help (I thought people might get bored of hearing just me on violin for another 26.2 hrs!). I hope to do it on 2nd May 2016, what will be Matilda Mae’s 4th birthday in heaven (That number is so big, it just doesn’t seem right, but it is indeed so…)

Matilda Mae ‘Musical Marathon’ House Concert for The Lullaby Trust

My hope and plan is to repeat the marathon theme of last year, but instead of playing alone this time to invite all the musicians I know (thousands!) and any of their friends from far and wide, my family, my pupils, my friends’ pupils, my colleagues and quite simply ANY musician, professional or amateur who would like to be involved, to join me at my house for a mammoth, marathon Longest House Concert!! I will be throwing open my doors, like I did last time, but this time there will be space set aside for a proper audience, with my living room filled with chairs, and if the weather is good, also in the garden. There will, of course be champagne served along with the music only this time, entry to the concert will be £10 per ticket. People can donate too if they can’t make it, and I will live-stream on the internet again like before. I hope audience will come and stay as long or short a time as they like, come and go at any time and that friends will stay and jam through the night again like last time! If there is a lull in proceedings, where no musicians are around to play at any given point, myself and Remus and even our little Gabs – now a pretty decent little violinist! – can fill the gaps and keep the concert going but with any luck I will be able to organise timings so that the concert runs continuously for…. however long it may be!!! (And it could be VERY, VERY long!!!) This is the main gist of my idea, anyway. I have plenty of details to work out and some of the main features may change (including the date… I’m aiming for around her birthday date, but I want Jennie to be able to attend so it may need to move.) But with a year to plan it and fundraise, I have time to work it all out and make it a musical marathon Matilda Mae would be proud of.

Happy Birthday in Heaven Tilda. See you Next Year at your Special Concert.

NW6 to NW11: Two kids, a grand piano and a truckload of stuff

So it seems just ridiculous that we made our Big Move up the Finchley Road, from Flat to House two and a half months ago now and I still haven’t blogged it, but that’s pretty much my pace at this blogging thing. So here we are in mid-October, having moved on 2nd August and it’s time for a little retrospective….

You probably all know, because I whinged on and on about it, that we had to up sticks at short notice and move out of our three bed flat on Broadhurst Gardens, NW6 (and area I LOVE, by the way) and you’ll know if you read my bi-monthly posts that we found a great house just up the road in Childs Hill, with plenty of space, a playroom for the boys and a garden, for not a wildly different amount to what we were paying in rent for our old place! We couldn’t quite believe our luck, yet here we are two months later actually living here.

Meanwhile, we had to get all our stuff out of one place, and into another. So somebody had to pack. And that somebody was my husband. I was in Cornwall, sunning myself with the boys, attending my grandmother’s funeral and getting emotional about the move. Because that’s what I’m good at. My husband is good at packing. Now that’s teamwork 😉

Gabriel’s Space Party was really the last day we properly lived in the flat with our stuff around us and knowing this I took some photos around the place in the aftermath of the clear-up that evening (while watching Andy Murray win his Wimbledon Final). I had a good look around and tried so hard to take it all in and store it in my memory properly, because my God, we had a good six years here, and how many memories were made here and how much we loved this place:

The following day we packed for Cornwall and the next time I saw the place, it looked like this:

Watching the piano movers trying to squeeze our Steinway Grand round the spiral stairwell was nerve-wracking:

And then the amazing people from Alexanders Removals turned up. These guys were the best removal men I could ever imagine. They were quick, careful, friendly and when we bought them lunch and coffee half way through the packing they were so sweet and gave me a little pep-talk (I was very emotional that day!) and were really understanding. We couldn’t have wished for a better experience. Moving is a stressful nightmare, but if you have to move, use them!

Then we were left to lock up:

 

My eyes looked upon empty rooms, but my brain saw this:

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

As if one goodbye wasn’t enough for the day, that morning I got a call from Gabriel’s former nursery mentor, asking was I coming to the “Graduation Ceremony” today for the ones leaving for Primary School? I hadn’t known anything about it!! But there was no way I could let Gabs miss it, it would have broken my heart so even though it was a major inconvenience and Remus wasn’t that happy for me to bail on him mid-move, I took Gabs for his last goodbye to all his friends and teachers. It was so worth it:

By the time we got back (to the new house, not the old!) the removers had unpacked almost everything and were about to leave and we were left with the very, very long road of unpacking and settling in ahead.

So long Flat 3.... Thank you for the memories.

So long Flat 3…. Thank you for the memories.

Gabriel’s 4th Birthday – a very belated account

This gallery contains 2 photos.

This is going waaaay back to July now but it being such a crazy Summer I never did have a chance to blog about it properly. Our lovely eldest boy, Gabriel turned  4 years old on 4th July and had … Continue reading