Doing the right thing at the right time


4.00 a.m. strikes as St Mary’s Church clock ticks around another night, and in the stillness a tawny owl calls from its roost in the old burial ground below the rectory garden wall. The stars are shining brightly, and randomly I am thinking of my runner bean seeds.  The pods are still mostly green and I need them to turn yellow and then brown and dry up.  I fear they are going to rot on the plants, and that I have waited too long before leaving them for saved seed.  It was a late crop this year and I don’t think I will have my own seed for next year’s sowing.

Not doing the thing at the time, that you know you should do, can leave some long term effects.  It goes for my recording of Grieg’s Holberg Suite.  Simon is playing a movement of this lovely music on Sunday morning as his voluntary (it is already on the website, if you want to fast forward the service to the end and have a listen!).  It goes back a long time, but as I was building my LP music library in the late 1960s, early 1970s, I was in a record shop in Romford and bought a copy of the Peer Gynt Suites No 1 and No 2 with the Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Franz Donauer.  When I got home, I found that the record in the sleeve, was, if fact, the Peer Gynt Suite No 2 and the Holberg Suite played by the London Pro Musica Symphony, under Matthew Bowers.  The shop assistant had put the wrong record into the sleeve.  I played it, loved the Holberg Suite and kept it, rather than going back.  It did occur to me that someone may today be listening to the other record from the wrong sleeve the other way round.  I should have taken it back, of course, but I have enjoyed this recording for the past fifty years - and I think I will put it on now!

John Mann