Archive for the ‘Inspirations’ Category

Remembering Jacob

Posted by Susan Tomes on 5 May 2011 under Concerts, Daily Life, Inspirations  •  8 Comments

A few weeks ago I attended an astonishing concert given by the pianist Jacob Barnes and three of his friends from the Royal Academy of Music. Jacob had been suffering from a rare kind of leukaemia for two years. His presence on the platform was a source of wonder and trepidation to everyone who had […]


Posted by Susan Tomes on 21 April 2011 under Daily Life, Inspirations  •  Leave a comment

The azaleas, camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons are nearly all out now in Richmond Park. Although most of the park is just green, there’s an enclosed park-within-a-park called the Isabella Plantation. Why is it called Isabella? It seems that ‘Isabel’ is an word from the Middle Ages meaning ‘dingy yellow’, possibly a reference to the colour […]

Jane Austen’s house

Posted by Susan Tomes on 30 March 2011 under Daily Life, Inspirations  •  Leave a comment

Here I am standing outside Jane Austen’s house in Chawton, Hampshire. It was touching to see the quiet village in which Jane lived with her sister Cassandra and her mother, and to read about the circumstances which left the three of them dependent on the kindness of male relatives. It was also, of course, infuriating […]

The majestic scenery of the Lofoten Islands

Posted by Susan Tomes on 15 February 2011 under Concerts, Inspirations, Travel  •  Leave a comment

I probably would never have gone to the Lofoten Islands of Norway on my own initiative, but I was very glad that a music festival had summoned me there last week. Somehow I had imagined the islands as smaller and tamer than they really are. In fact, the scenery was quite wonderful. On our drives […]

Concert in memory of Sandor Vegh

Posted by Susan Tomes on 17 January 2011 under Concerts, Inspirations  •  Leave a comment

Yesterday I went to a concert in memory of the Hungarian violinist Sandor Vegh who founded the International Musicians’ Seminars in Prussia Cove, which I attended as a student for many years. Vegh died on 7 January 1997 and for the past few years, a group of string players from various countries have assembled in […]