Etched Behind Eyelids | June 2018
An evening walk up in the Lickeys.
I’ve got my violin back from Moseley Violins. I’m really happy with the setup and sound now. I’ll probably stick with the Flesch rest as it fits me much better than the Teka I’d been using for years, but I’ve ordered in an ebony rest to swap with as the rosewood looks a bit funny with my ebony tailpiece and pegs.
I’ve not yet found an E string I like. Dominants are okay* for the lower three strings, but the E sounds really harsh and piercing. I’m hoping that either the Pirastro Gold E or Larsen Tziagne E will be a good alternative to the Dominant E. I’d like to experiment with other string brands for the lower strings too, but at £50 or more per set I’m a bit nervous to try new strings in case I don’t like them. At least E strings are cheap.
*I say okay because although they’re better than the cheap steel strings I used to play at school, they’re not perfect. There’s quite a lot of bow noise when I play them, although that could also be my technique or my cheap bow. There are so many variables it’s hard to tell. I like the Pirastro so far. It blends with the Dominants quite well and doesn’t have that horrible tinny sound a new Dominant E has.
I love the smell of freshly cut wood. There has been quite a lot of forestry work going on up at the Lickeys in the past year as they attempt to get the plant disease ‘Phytophthora Ramorum‘ under control. Two winters ago they felled a lot of the larch trees on the upper slopes. One Saturday evening this month we found a new pile of logs and new forest clearance just off the main path, so I assume they found a new patch of the disease and needed to clear the trees to allow the light through. I really love coniferous forests as they’re evergreen and the height of the canopy makes me feel really small. I actually prefer them to ‘native’ English woodland which can be a bit scraggy in appearance. I’m sad to see the larch trees felled, but hopefully the bilberry and ferns will fill the gaps.
Freshly baked sourdough, the instruction sheet from String Zone that came with my new strings (I quite like the design, it’s a nice touch) and a pair of useless sunglasses. Useless because I still squint with them on in bright sunlight. This year’s small mirrored sunglasses trend is a pain in the arse as it’s impossible to find sunglasses that are big enough and dark enough. There’s no point in me buying more expensive glasses as I sit on them or they break or get scratched, so sadly I am a slave to whatever happens to be ‘in fashion’ at H&M when I want a new pair.
I only bought this piece of rosin in November but we have hardwood floors and needless to say, it’s been dropped. I melted it back together in the oven in a silicone cake case, which sadly had to be binned afterwards as it disintegrated. Oh well, at least I have a solid piece of rosin again.