July 2023 Newsletter

Welcome to the July 2023 Newsletter. So I thought that I might be having a quiet month but we know that isn’t my style. This month I got a new roof and solar panels. Along with the interior and exterior building works being completed. I have now organised the whole of the middle level which now consists of a sewing room, office and spare room along with the epically long room. Also, I’ve been setting up a music room on the top level. The builders have left for now they’ll be coming back for more work in a couple of months.

Music Concerts

Cocktail Hour #1

The month kicked off with a Sydney Symphony Orchestra cocktail hour Concert. Featuring music by Britten, Prokofiev and Bridge. It was a lovely way to start the month. The program was an unusual one with interesting instrumentation. It started with Benjamin Britten’s Phantasy Quartet for Oboe and String Trio. Benjamin Britten was taught by the next composer on the program, Frank Bridge. The piece performed was Lament for two violas. The last piece was Sergei Prokofiev’s Quintet in G minor for oboe, clarinet, violin, viola and bass. Check out the playlist if you want to hear it.

Cocktail Hour #2

The second Sydney Symphony Orchestra cocktail hour of the month treated us to a wind ensemble concert. 2 Bassoons, 2 Clarinets and 2 Horns. An absolutely lovely program. The concert was called Beethoven and Mozart but the standout piece was the Seiber. The concert kicked off with Beethoven’s Sextet in E flat major. The second piece was Serenade for Six Wind Players by Mátyás Seiber. I had never come across his music before and it was lovely. I found this article on the Royal College of Music London website about his life. The last of the pieces was Mozart’s Serenade in E flat. Here’s the playlist if you want to check it out.

North Sydney Symphony Orchestra

I played in my second North Sydney Symphony Orchestra concert for the year. This time at Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s Verbrugghen Hall. We played three pieces. Sibelius’s Finlandia followed by Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and ending with Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8. I love Finlandia so I really enjoyed getting to play that. We were very fortunate to have Kristian Winther as our soloist for the Concerto. I had the pleasure of hearing him as the soloist for the Eight Seasons concert in June. I’m not a big fan of the piece but it did sound awesome. The Symphony No.8 was a challenging piece and it was a relief that it all came together in the performance. I think it sounded pretty good. Hopefully, the recording of the concert will go up soon on the YouTube channel. The next concert is on the 24th of September at Verbrugghen Hall.

Double Bass Section of the North Sydney Symphony Orchestra


This month I hosted 2 Japanese boys, Ryota and Ryoga, for 4 nights on a cultural homestay. Obviously, with names as similar as Ryota and Ryoga, I nicknamed them Ta and Ga. hehehehe They arrived on a Sunday. We had a sausage roll for lunch then went up to the lighthouse and enjoyed the view and finished off with a Mr Whippy ice cream. All I had to do was feed them and drop them off at the local community centre each day. Where they went to the Blue Mountains, Taronga Zoo, the museum, the Opera House and on a harbour cruise. I also took them to craft night and tried to teach them how to crochet. hehehehe.

Things from the net


While you wait patiently for me to get my act together with my photos from the most recent trip. I stumbled across some videos that I put together for the 2018 trip to Copenhagen and Hamburg. Great food photos and beautiful buildings.

On the tele


Tour de France, Cricket and Motorsport. Just normal for this time of year.

Rob Bell

So I was looking around for something non-sport related to watch and looked in my favourites on SBS coming across the Secret Life of the Lighthouse series. Knowing that there is a new season due I was a little excited. I was a little shocked to find SBS has pooped up and put Building the Impossible in there instead. All good it’s still Rob and Engineering. So check it out here and hopefully soon the next season of Secret Life of the Lighthouse will appear in the same spot. While writing this I’ve found season three under the specials tab. Very exciting more Rob and engineering.

Time Team – New Episodes on YouTube

Time Team is back with new episodes coming out on YouTube. In the most recent episode, they dug holes in Norfolk to locate an Anglo-Saxon Cemetery. I’m really enjoying watching the new tech that they have. Unfortunately, Baldrick, Tony Robinson, isn’t hosting but they have Gus Casley-Hayford, of Tate Britain’s Great British Walks fame, instead.

Future Excitement

In very exciting news I’ve been accepted to the University of New South Wales to do a Graduate Diploma in Mathematics. I start in September. I’m very excited and a little scared. It will be wonderful to challenge myself. In other exciting news, I have ordered a Gigster. Fulfilling a teenage dream of owning a Vibraphone. It is being custom-built for me in St Louis and should arrive in September. I’m getting a blue one. In preparation, I’ve been listening to a variety of vibe players and have put together a playlist if you want to listen along.