Posts Tagged ‘Pavarotti’

Puccini inspired by Dutch nursery rhymes? (Klap eens in de handjes)

August 27, 2019


As a very young child  my mother and her sister, ‘Agnus’, used to sing typical little musical ditties to us. I still remember many of them and of late they seem to have made a return to my brain. I hope this isn’t the beginning of brain-loss, or worse dementia, and will cling to the life-craft that it might well be due to our iPhone transmitted musical soirees that we are now having instead of the nauseating diets of dreadful news on the TV. I mean, how many more times do we have to hear that sending war ships and surveillance aircraft to the Straits of Iran (Hormuz) are part of a ‘de-escalation’ of tension in the Middle East?  And, not to forget the images of the burning jungles of the Amazon?

With Helvi’s arms needing daily exercises to return to previous levels of usage, including bringing food to mouth or other functions normal for hands and arms, we thought that listening to hours of wonderful music might help. All I have to do is type in ‘Pavarotti’,  push an app on the iPhone, and voila, wonderful singing of operas. One piece we particularly like is Puccini’s,  ‘Oh mio Bambino Caro’ sang by Maria Callas in 1965.


Isn’t this sublime singing? The odd thing is that I feel Puccini could well have been inspired by those traditional Dutch nursery rhymes dating back hundreds of years and handed over from generation to generation. I sang the same Dutch songs to my grandsons and they still remember. The song they remember most is ‘Klap eens in je handjes’. Here it is, and it almost brings me to tears taking me back to those good times when we were sung ( helping verb, otherwise ‘sang’) to by our parents and when we ended up teaching them to our kids and now us to the grandchildren.

Now tell me, listening to this old Dutch children’s rhyme can you hear Puccini’s Oh Mio Bambino too or am I going cuckoo? Is there still hope for me and should I eat more Tofu?

Conversation Profound

January 9, 2014

G.”Good morning; sleep well”? H.”Yes, you”? G.”Yes, like an angel, but I lost my sock.” H.”Angels don’t lose socks.” G.”I forgot to take them off and fell asleep and during the night one of my toes cramped. I took the sock off my cramped foot and put it on my hand so I would not forget and lose it in the morning and yet, now it is gone.”

H. You are always turning the bed in chaotic bundle with your restless roaming around between the blankets, I am not going to strip the bed completely to find your bloody sock. I am sure it will turn up. Why do you go to sleep with socks on? G. Ok, I’ll just walk around all day wearing one sock. H. (exasperated) Jeez, get another pair from your drawer, surely you have more than one pair? G. Yes, but I already lost a pair of my best pyjamas, I don’t want to lose anything more at this stage of my life. H. You are mad, make coffee. G. Ok dear, pronto. Please, find my sock. H. Don’t worry, why concentrate on what’s not here at the moment; be positive!
G. You know me well enough, I am not going to be positive till my sock turns up. H. ( laughing) You are mad.

My coffee making is two heaped table spoonful’s of Arabia coffee into a stainless steel plunger type device. After pouring boiling water into it, I let it stand while I open the blinds to the outside world from our lounge/dining/kitchen room. Milo is outside looking in. There has been a bit of drizzle and still he slept on his cushion instead of his the luxe dog house with sheep wool underlay and alpaca fleeced cushions. Milo is a bit wet.

I let him in and he sniffs the coffee with his nose pointing upwards at exactly the spot on the kitchen bench were the coffee is still settling in its hot liquid environs.

After a few minutes of reflecting pensively on what could have happened to my sock I pour the coffee into the two white tapered mugs. Next some milk. I put in 2 sugars for me and just one for H. I then stir the lot. I take one mug to H. who sometimes prefers to read in a bit. If she gets to a page she thinks I might find interesting, she will read it out to me. I think that is such a lovely thing to do. I mean being read out to.

This morning, when I entered she triumphantly waved a sock around. H. Here is your ‘stolen sock’. It was under your crumped up pillow. Why do you have such unsavoury nocturnal habits? First sleeping with socks in the middle of summer. Then you put one on your hands. On top of that you put it from hand to under your pillow. What’s wrong with you? Did you do that at home too? Did your mother not ever tell you to take socks off? .

G. I don’t know dear. But she did warn us to sleep with hands above the blankets. How is the coffee? Is it strong enough? Can you taste that I let it brew extra long this morning? I put just a bit of sugar in it and stirred it well. Let me know if you would like a second one. If you do I’ll put the kettle on again. H. Lovely coffee, thanks. Don’t sleep with socks on. G. No I won’t. G. takes the missing sock and turns optimistic.

It is going to be a good day.