Daily Archives: December 2, 2016

The New Adventure

Last week, HRH had the honour of being sworn into the Royal Canadian Naval Reserves at HMCS Donnacona. He has been working toward this for almost an entire year, and we are all very, very proud of him.


We couldn’t be there; the timing was awful for kids and bedtimes, but Jason, our friend in the RCAF, attended and took photos and video for us. (And this would have probably been impossible without Jason’s support throughout the process, so thank you, Jason!)


HRH went through a mind-numbing number of tests, evaluations, more tests, had paperwork returned because a letter I wasn’t dotted correctly, and made several trips to our family doctor for information, attestations, and referrals. He starts his training to be a Marine Engineering System Operator at the beginning of January. Parade night is on Thursday evenings, plus they put in one weekend day a month. So he’ll have mentally and physically stimulating time out of the house at least once a week, the way I do for music. He gets to study something he finds really interesting, and get paid to do it. As a part-time job to complement his full-time one… it’s pretty ideal. He gets to combine his desire to learn and study something new with his desire to pay down some debt, and it appeals deeply to his huge patriotic streak.

He has had nothing but support from his supervisors and the administration of the college he works at; they’re all enthusiastic about it, which makes life easier. During the recruitment process one of his supervisors was contacted for a phone interview, and he spoke to them at length about how great HRH was and what a good fit he’d be.

Next summer will be basic training, so plans for summer break are on hold at the moment until we know what the dates will be. We’ll roll with it!

Did we mention we are proud of him? We are. We’ve encouraged him every step of the way, and are looking forward to this new adventure in the family.

The State of Cello

I’ve had a kind of horrible fall, in retrospect. There were bright moments (RHINEBECK!), but I’ve been worn down by various things we’ve been juggling. We’ve had to limit a lot because I was fighting for the final payment for the project I did this past spring, and one of the things I had to drop was cello. I just couldn’t afford it. And with the level of work required for the fall orchestra programme, plus the demands of the group pieces for our Christmas recital… I didn’t have enough energy left over to work on my personal stuff anyway. So no lessons, and no working on something to play at the recital. This is the first time in eight years — sixteen recitals — that I haven’t had a solo piece. And I was fine with that.

I started lessons again mid-November, focusing on the orchestra music and recital group pieces. The chamber orchestra concert has come and gone (it was lovely, thank you for asking; my highlights were Delius’ A Song before Sunrise and Butterworth’s Banks of Green Willow), and so at this week’s lesson, after reviewing the group pieces for recital, I pulled out my Suzuki book and said, “Well, you told me to look at the Squire piece when we broke for the summer. I haven’t touched it in about four months, though.” “Let’s play through it and see what happens,” my teacher said.

Well. It turns out that the work I did on it myself at the beginning of the summer was so good that in her estimation, it is currently at almost a playable level. Which means if I had pulled it out three weeks ago, I might have actually been playing a solo in this recital after all.

I’m still okay with not having the stress of a solo piece, although solo playing is much less anxiety-inducing than it used to be. But I’m a teensy bit regretful. And also kind of impressed with myself for having done such a good job on it alone so far, and months ago at that. It makes me wonder what I could actually do if I took this whole thing a lot more seriously rather than managing to get maybe a max of ninety minutes of playing in each week.