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Showing posts from February, 2020

Rest in peace

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Grandad’s photo clattered off the back of the  mantlepiece as Julie and David watched Strictly  Come   Dancing . The frame glanced off their boxer,  Alfonso, who woke up with a loud woof and  lumbered towards the kitchen in search of biscuits. ‘How on earth did that happen?’ said David. ‘Shh,’ snapped Julie, who was lying sprawled across the sofa in her onesie. ‘The scores are in.’ David got up from his armchair and picked the photograph up from the rug. ‘Lucky the glass didn’t break. Really odd. It’s never done that before.’ ‘It’ll be a vibration from the lorries outside. Move out the way; it's Anton Du Beke.’ ‘Anton Du Lally, more like.’ The Viennese waltz was drowned out by a crash in the upstairs bathroom. This time, even Julie looked up. ‘That can’t be a lorry’ said David pulling on his slippers.’ I’ll go and have a look.’ He returned a few minutes later. ‘Well, there's a funny thing. The shaving set your Grandad bought me for my fiftieth was ly

The Violinist

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Stravinsky, Shubert and Tchaikovsky. Jacob's violin honoured their memory in the cold street for an hour. Perfect pitch, not a single note missed, not a semibreve off-key. Beads of sweat peppered his collar despite the chill. His concentration never wavered; the intensity of sound heightened by a sense of sweet revenge, edging closer with every sweep of his bow. Catgut, metal, horsehair and wood. Sticky resin irritating his skin, yet on he played until the last strains of the Shubert melody died away. On the final note, the metal e-string snapped and recoiled like a spring. Pain seared through his fingers as the string curled around the violin’s neck. Always the e-string. In the distance, Big Ben struck seven O’clock. Jacob bent down, inspecting the empty fedora hat at his feet. The commuters of London showed no love for his music, but he played for himself, not for them. His violin returned to its case; Jacob walked the short distance to the Cellar bar he had chosen