Today is very cold but yesterday’s wind has dropped. And at least it’s not raining, as one of my nodding acquaintances said to me this morning. Like many of us at the moment, he seemed to be missing general chat with people you know out and about. He clearly wanted to stop and chat for a little while. It must have been one of those occasions when you really need to pass on your enthusiasm about something. Last night, he told me, they had had a really good evening with loads of music programmes, downloaded or streamed or whatever, of groups and performers he really admired. I know the feeling. Sometimes an experience is so good you just need to talk about it. And then it turned put that some of the folk music he had been listening to also falls into our musical taste. Suddenly you discover that you have stuff in common with a casual acquaintance!
Thank heavens for the magic of modern technology, allowing him to listen to more or less live music in this time of no concerts. But bring on the time when we’ll be able to go to concerts once more. I’ve heard of concerts taking place, probably in California, where all the musicians were in a separate bubble, actual bubbles on stage, and the audience was in a set of bubbles, each with speakers, and a system of intercom so that they could order refreshments and organise trips to the loo. Presumably there were family bubbles so that a group could stay together at the concert. Is this the future of concert going? Will be ever again have the experience of singing along, almost arm in arm, with complete strangers?
On the radio I listened to a programme where an NHS doctor/medical journalist talked about the music that has helped her through the pandemic, along with pieces that have particular memories for her. It was a sort of Desert Island Discs, I suppose, but without the island, the Bible, the works of Shakespeare, your own selected book and a luxury. There was music she associated with her father, especially during his last days dying from cancer. Particularly moving was the Beethoven that one her patients, a colleague I think, listened to with joy, knowing he was about to die of the virus but getting some last pleasure and maybe peace from the music.
If only everyone who has to die of this pandemic could find some peace like that.
The pandemic has brought out the best in some people. There are masses of reports of increased community spirit, people getting to know neighbours they previously ignored and that sort of thing. It hasn’t stopped social media nastiness, however. Despite all,the praise that he has received for campaigning for free school meals for disadvantaged children, Marcus Rashford is apparently one of the latest footballers to be subjected to racial abuse on social media. We love in very strange, and often intolerant, times.
Here is a link to another odd consequence of the pandemic. It seems that Greek language has been invaded by English terms. This has probabLy been going on for a while but the pandemic has led to a host of new terminology being interspersed in English into Greek news reports. This is almost ironic when you consider that pandemic is a word of Greek origin! But you would have thought that they would have a Greek term they could use for “lockdown” and “delivery”, for example. Purists have already been lamenting the increasing prevalence of “Greenglish”, basically Greek written with English letters, which it seems young people prefer for texting, tweeting and so on. The French, of course, have been fighting this kind of thing, largely unsuccessfully, for years! Strange times indeed!
As for me, I am just amused at the ubiquity of “ciao”. The Spanish use it, the French use it, we use it, I even heard it on a Scandinavian detective series the other night!
Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!