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.
It is good to savour such moments. For all life’s challenges there is still scope for pure unadulterated pleasure occasionally. The garden looks astonishingly beautiful. I think it looks heavenly. Perhaps music in the garden next year?
You’re right. I felt like I’d been given a glass of water and only then realised I was desperately thirsty – if that makes sense. Our friend’s garden is host to many wonderful events.
Absolutely stunning photos. Sounds like you had a fantastic time. The weather’s been so fantastic here in the UK hasn’t it? 🙂
The weather certainly added that extra level of sublime.
What lovely gardens! Nature’s symphony of Peace. 🙂
Yes, music and beautiful gardens – and great friends. I could not have asked for more.
Certainly sounds like my definition of civilization. The British definitely know how to create and appreciate flower gardens. A couple of years ago I took a narrow boat out for a tour near Nottingham and stopped off at Chatsworth. Incredible. Tell me Hilary, is this love of gardening genetic? 🙂 –Curt
Well one of my daughters is cramming her London balcony with tomatoes and flowers, and my mother had me cutting broccoli and shelling peas at an early age, but I go for the nurture explanation in this case. Once the Brits catch the gardening bug they tend to get a bit obsessed.
I’d say obsessed just about covers it. 🙂
Wonderful photographs. Love the quintet.
Thanks. The music was a knockout.
So much fabulous music goes on in sometimes tiny churches. Sublime is one if my favourite words so happy you had such a fabulous time 🙂 Charlotte
You’re right and we were lucky to have friends who knew we would love this chance to hear some.