I arrived safe and sound here in Wolverhampton and, with my gracious host, enjoyed a lovely evening walk in the park and a pint of real ale while listening to the not-so-far-off cries of the Wolves fans – that’s the local soccer team. I’m staying in the house where Percy Young wrote many of his books – both the musicological ones and the ones about his beloved football team, the Wolverhampton Wanderers (alias the Wolves.) I am allowed to play Elgar’s piano in the front room – a piano given to Percy Young by Elgar’s daughter. Puchased by Elgar in 1902, this piano lived in Plas Gwyn, Elgar’s Hereford home, and was the piano he composed at while writing many of his greatest works, including The Kingdom (1906) which sends a bit of a shiver down my spine! I played through the first scene of The Kingdom this morning before setting out to start on my own work.

Elgar's piano

The front room is stacked high with books and scores and furnished with high-backed chairs with turned wooden legs. There are many other bits of Elgar memorablia here, including paintings, parts and scores, and the best of all – Elgar’s shaving mirror!

We’re off to bell-ringing practice tonight, and I’m hoping some of the players will let me film them.

Elgar's mirror

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3 Responses to Arrival

  1. Emily says:

    Well Steph, Glad to hear that you are safe and being welcomed and set for the first part of your adventure. I’m again up north looking across Georgian Bay, contemplating our wonderful ambitious plans for Pax Christi’s 25th anniversary, maneuvering details for the choir which you’d usually just be dealing with, planning the agenda for the 1st full Board of Directors’ meeting with the new board, starting to visualize and brain-storm about future healing retreats and fund-raisers here, and still allowing the healing of this place to penetrate me. Creativity in a different form. I love the pic of you reflected at Elgar’s piano — may the energy of creativity that flowed for Elgar flow for you.
    Till next time, E

  2. Julie Nash says:

    Sounds lovely…I have enjoyed seeing as many English churches as I can. 1000 years of history–wow.

  3. Jo-Ann says:

    It’s sounds like you’re off to a great start! I, too love your portrait in the mirror.
    My own reflection is beginning to show a greenish hue. Enjoy your stay and write something wonderful for us to sing.


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