A Music Retreat

Earlier this year, several properties in and around Joslin came up for auction and I seriously considered making an offer as I felt that perhaps I should “downsize”. My current property in which I have lived since about 1986, is more than 120 m long and about 15,5m wide. It backs onto the linear park and the creek, it’s often called a river but that is a misnomer. Anyway, eventually I decided whilst I am still physically and mentally agile, that rather than sell my present property I would add a retreat down the back which would look over river from the back fence. I have called it my “music room” as it would certainly be space that I retreat to, to listen to music or to play my recorder. As always the pictures and plans will hopefully demonstrate the concept much more clearly than words.

Music Room1



Lots of glass. Not sure that the finished structure will have a RED roof!

The glass blocks are part of the bathroom/shower recess.


The view from the back!

Why the Recorder is not an instrument of the orchestra!

Great social get together at home on 23rd December, 2016. its the end of my fourth year of learning to play a musical instrument from scratch! – the Alto Recorder. In the brief video, captured on an iPhone 5 – an unashamedly way of suggesting that this method may be a contributing factor to any perceived amateurish hiccups – the ensemble comprises Wing on piano, Caryl on Bassoon and Charles and Jonathan on Oboe. If your complaint is that you can’t hear me , that is in truth a good thing. Let me explain – if the Recorder is not sticking out like a sore thumb, it means

  • I am in tune
  • I am playing all the notes correctly
  • I am ‘on time’ … and of course there is a fourth and final explanation
  • I am not really playing it at all but mouthing it.

make sure then volume of your device is set at around 50% as the sound distorts on maximum volume!


for those of you who are interested , it is part of the First Movement – Larghetto- of The Sonata No 4 in F major for Treble Recorder and basso continuo.


Yasmin and me


NO …I have become a grandfather again….OR perish the thought, a GREAT grandfather. This is Yasmin, the daughter of Charles the oboe player! The moist spot on my trousers is nothing to worry about.

Finally this is our dessert and what must it be for an Australian Christmas?  Made by Margaret with 10 eggs…. she did not disclose the volume of cream.







The Christmas Musical event.

Practice makes perfect! Sonjia Bradtke and I run through one of our numbers for the Xmas Soiree on the 23rd December. The rather amazing open mouth of the pianist at the end, is NOT an indication of pain, but rather the mouthing of the final high note of the chorus!!  Trust me!

Vivienne and Gracie the Collie are the audience. My playing can’t be THAT bad as Gracie is sleeping peacefully.

So what happened by 9pm?

Sadly the evening had deteriorated. The music had increased by a factor of several hundred decibels, so had the ambience,  if that is the correct description, of a melding between the local RSL club and a gay disco….. Not that I have been inside either establishments, I won’t say “never”.  I would say that at least one difference of the Saturday night dance at the Waldhotel Sommerberg, was a fair amount of thigh slapping as opposed to buttock slapping in a gay disco. I have no idea what would be slapped in a RSL club.

However there were redeeming features of the German music – it was amplified through high quality Bose speakers, hence without distortion and the music in general had a recognisable melody! 

Both of these characteristics of course would immediately disqualify a potential gay  disco DJ who must play distorted deafening sound of a genre to which  my daughter is unashamedly attracted, its known as “beat, bass and bang” I think? Why she is drawn to such a cacophony is beyound me – thank god it is either autosomal recessive  or passed on via maternal mitochondrial DNA. 

this hund slept contently oblivious to the constant stream of waiting staff who adroitly side stepped the whole night.

the poodle checks out

delightful! the breakfast tables are set up for families with a reindeer for the children !