We have just had one of those rare experiences – a mini holiday that exceeds all expectations. From the moment we arrived for a two day visit to old friends (plus two days in London afterwards), life, which was OK, became sublime.
The weather helped as we sat out long into the evening, after a great meal, just talking. The following day we relaxed yet further. I had forgotten deck chairs even existed. We were able to catch up on tasks, ask advice for vexed questions (such as book covers), and forget briefly the list of things undone that are never absent at home.
Later we visited the astonishing gardens of Great Dixter. The ultimate challenge to the tidy or colour-match-obsessed gardener.
In the evening we arrived at the Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh for the last concert in the Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival http://www.peasmarshfestival.co.uk. We picnicked in the churchyard on delicious foods made by our friends, then went into the church for a Brahms violin Concerto, some exquisitely played Debussy and, after an interval, a Schumann quintet.
The church is tiny, the dais for the musicians, already accommodating the Steinway Grand, is tiny and we had front row seats (click on the link above to see rolling photos of the church and dais). The cello was less than two feet in front of me. I have never, never, experienced such a powerful, energetic musical rendition. Each performer was at their peak in this final piece of their final festival concert. Their joie de vivre was quite extraordinary.
The players were international: Anthony Marwood (violin), Richard Lester (cello), Magnus Johnston (violin), Benedetto Lupo (piano), CarlaMaria Rodrigues (viola); the venue a tiny parish church in a small village in East Sussex; the effect an astonishing musical experience and a privilege.