I could never…busk

What a gem!  It’s the (late) summer of 2016 and I was eating lunch outside with a choice of the riverside, or a shady bench in the town centre.  I chose the latter and found myself parked up next to David Hamer who happened to be setting up his french horn for a bit of busking. Here’s a snippet of my lunchtime musical accompaniment:


Nothing unusual about that, until you realise that David is 13, plays in the National Children’s Orchestras and, as it turns out has some pretty wise words for anyone . I checked with mum, Fiona, before having a quick chat with him about his approach to busking, being nervous and just getting on with things.

I was totally inspired by this chance meeting and agree wholeheartedly with those words of advice: it doesn’t matter if people judge you, you’ll probably never see them again. Inspired enough for me to busk?  Well, I could never do that…

I could never…play the bass flute

I’ve played the flute since I was at school but it was only a couple of years ago that I discovered there was more to flute playing than the “normal” flute that most people are familiar with.  With a glorious mellow tone, there is the alto flute (bigger than a regular C flute) and a bass flute (even bigger than the alto flute).

Within my flute group I volunteered to play the bass flute for a piece.  How hard can it be for someone who is an experienced flautist?  Harder than it looks is the answer! After a couple of attempts, I consigned my bass flute playing to a nice cupboard  that I didn’t have to think about it and other people can do it.

However, it bugged me.  I wanted to do it, but for about a year I haven’t gone near it.  Something I thought I could never do.

On a flute retreat in beautiful Cornwall, I had an opportunity to sort this thing out once and for all.  In the penultimate session: ensemble playing here was my chance.

I’m hoping that this explains even if you think that someone is confident in what they’re doing, they may not feel the same.

Take a look at my video (password: doinglife) to see how I got on, and for some tips on doing something you thought you could never do.