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Absent friends

Post 1

MMF - Keeper of Mustelids, with added P.M.A., is now in a relationship.

smiley - sorry I haven't popped around for ages. It is rude and I apologise. I generally haven't been around when you have been, apart from early morning when I am getting ready to fly out of the door.

However today I have recently returned from a mini-London meet, so thought I'd drop by.

I am still not smoking! smiley - applause and thank you for your support when I gave up. It was appreciated, and your smiley - thepost is on my work wall, as a reminder and a boost to my determination.

Life otherwise plods on. The London Meet went well last weekend, with HooTooers from Germany, Sweden and Canada attending. it would be great if you could make it to one in the future.

Anyway, again apologies for not smiley - theposting for so long.

smiley - sadface

smiley - musicalnote

Absent friends

Post 2


smiley - cheerupHi Neal!

How lovely to hear from you.!smiley - hug

smiley - yikesSpooky too! I was about to email you with some pictures today.
I was thinking of you when I caught a blue heron with my camera while I was out bike riding on a trail along a river.

I'm not actually at home. I'm posting this from a hotel suite in another state. I'm off to perform as a soloist in a concert of Haydn's Creation Mass at a concert hall in an hour!

So you caught me just as I'm off to warm up my vocal cords.

Your London meet last weekend sounded like a very enjoyable one. smiley - envyI'm just a touch jealous. But, who know, I may just make one of those meets and turn up to experience one for myself!

I'll send you some pics when the concert is over and done with.
Oh! The other reason I was thinking of you lately is because I'm singing the Mozart Requiem on Sunday!
smiley - laughWhat brilliant timing for you to get in touch with me!

Anyway, I'd best get to work and make some music.
Have a goodnight's rest and I'll see you later!

Sweetest of dreams to you Neal!smiley - smooch

Your pal,
smiley - spacesmiley - spaceCyn

Absent friends

Post 3

MMF - Keeper of Mustelids, with added P.M.A., is now in a relationship.

Cynthesis, you always seem to be performing such wonderful pieces. How I smiley - envy your talents.

I am currently listening to 'Prelude A L'Apres Midi D'un Faune' just before retiring.

I have regularly meant to smiley - thepost just not had the timing right. smiley - sadface Other things on my mind!

Have a good performance tonight, and shall think of you.

I wish you well.

smiley - goodluck and good night/ evening/ morning as appropriate.

Your forgetful friend, Neal.

*PS Feel free to send the photo. It will be appreciated.*

Absent friends

Post 4


Hello Neal! Thanks very much for the photos that you sent me! *giggles* My, but you've got a most impressive garden... The performances in Oregon went very well. The last one on Sunday was Mozart's Requiem; which I always feel privileged to perform with excellent orchestras and choral groups(and get paid for doing so!). After the concert we stepped out into a really awesome sunset lit sky scene that took everyone's breath away." I took this photo of the sky but it doesn't capture the full impact that being there at the actual moment did. Anyway, it happened to cap off the Mozart concert experience rather spectacularly and couldn't have been better timed or planned! How are you doing? I hope you're keeping hydrated and coping as best you can with the extreme temperatures you've been having in London. My friends in the city are staying clear of the Underground and finding alternate means of transport or driving in with their cars this week. The friends I've been in touch with have been feeling completely drained at the end of the day just dealing with the heat. Did I read somewhere that you were suffering from migraines lately? *sigh*I hope they're on their way out or completely gone by now. That's just terrible having to go to w*rk with a migraine headache but especially so in this heat! Take care, Neal, and I hope you're feeling well today. Is there air conditioning where you w*rk? Here's another photo I thought you might like. He was on my hotel balcony every morning to breakfast on croissants or raspberries with me during my stay: Sending you cool and comforting thoughts. Your pal, Cyn

Absent friends

Post 5

MMF - Keeper of Mustelids, with added P.M.A., is now in a relationship.

Hi Cyn,

This is just a very short smiley - theposting as I have been training all day, and been entertained by the Trainers all evening, so I am feeling a bit squiffified.

I loved the photo of the Blue Jay. One of my favourite birds when I visited the USA in '75

It is very hot, for England, here, My flat does not drop below 30C which is where the migraines hit in. I've been free of them for around 15 years but now they are back with a vengeance.

Never mind. Life goes on.

Keep being wonderful, and singing my favourite smiley - musicalnote (How I wish I could still sing!)

and I'll speak soon.

Take care and stay smiley - cool

Neal x x

Absent friends

Post 6


smiley - cheerupHello Neal!

Just popping by with a smiley - hug and a hi!smiley - smiley
smiley - sorryto hear that you've got another smiley - headhurts...hope it passes very soon and that the rest of your evening is much more comfortable.

I'm just packing my smiley - musicalnote scores and evening gown for my trip up the coast to another Bach festival. The next performance is this Sunday night and I'll be singing in Bach's St. John Passion.

I decided to drive the 250 miles to the venue tomorrow, which should take around 5-6 hours. The scenery is fantastic! Highway 1 hugs the coast all the way up to where I'll be and there are all sorts of cliffs with birds and interesting coves and isolated beaches along the way. I don't have to be at the dress rehearsal tomorrow until 7PM, so I can take my time and have a leisurely drive and then check into my hotel in the afternoon. I think it'll be a nice way to spend my birthday!smiley - magic

smiley - bigeyesIf I see any interesting birds along the way, I'll take a photo and send it your way!

Hope your weekend is a smiley - coolcooler one! You really do need a break from this horrendous inferno of a weather pattern.

Please take care and feel better soon, okay?

See you in the usual places...smiley - somersault

smiley - hugs and smiley - smooches from your pal,

smiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spaceCyn
smiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - orangebutterfly

Absent friends

Post 7

MMF - Keeper of Mustelids, with added P.M.A., is now in a relationship.

Hi Cyn,

The smiley - headhurts will go eventually. The heat and intense sunlight doesn't help. Never mind. Next weekend I am off to Brno in the Czech, to see the Band's Accordianist get hitched! I don't know if I told you he is one day shy of a tear older than me! smiley - yikes That is frightening! It could have been me! smiley - laugh Which reminds me

smiley - whistle 'Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday Dear Cynthesis! Happy Birthday to you!' smiley - kiss Hope you have a good time.

Also in a fortnight, I should be at my Dad's for the 41st Annual Broadstairs Folk Festival.

Luckily one of my fiddles is already there, so saves me taking one. Should be a good time, and I have a season ticket this year, so maybe I can find some good bands again. Last year was expensive as I ended up buying half a dozen CD's of bands I enjoyed.

Have a great trip, and I always appreciate wildlife photos smiley - ok.

Most of our birds, to my eyes, are a little dull, but I smiley - love them. Just be careful driving. I know it means little in the States, but 250 miles in the UK is almost a two day trip!!! smiley - laugh

Take care and enjoy.

smiley - kiss

From your sticky pal across the pond.


smiley - musicalnote

Absent friends

Post 8


smiley - cheerup Hi there Neal!

I hope you're a lot less stickier and more comfortable (no more migrainessmiley - grovel, please)now that the weather has given you a merciful reprieve.smiley - hug

smiley - biggrinThanks again for the very sweet birthday greetings that you sent to me. The hotel that I was staying in had wireless internet service so I didn't miss any mail while I was gone.

Btw, did you get my photos from Yahoo in your mailbox yesterday?smiley - doh I might not have put h2g2 on the subject line...smiley - ermand they might have gotten dumped. Sorry in advance if that happened!smiley - blush If you haven't received a Yahoo photo invite link from me, just let me know and I'll send another.smiley - ok

The drive was a nice one. I stopped off at a Benedictine hermitage because one of the monks invited me there for lunch when he heard I'd be in the region. The hermitage is 800 acres of prime coastal land overlooking the Big Sur area. Unfortunately it is being considered by the U.S. government for use as a naval test bombing range! I was absolutely horrified to hear that, because the region supports a lot of wildlife and sealife found no where else and the cliffs are friable but home to many cliff dwelling birds. I'm really hoping that these military test plans just don't go forward.*sigh*

The hotel in Carmel, the Highlands Inn, had a lovely balcony view towards Point Lobos(a wildlife refuge for seals and sea lions). I spent a lot of my spare hours there just enjoying the air and the scenery when I wasn't rehearsing or performing.

On my way home, I made a 14 mile, 4-wheel drive trek up into the hills above Carmel to visit a zen monastery for a vegetarian lunch. I'd gone on retreats there for the past 10 years. It's at 5000ft. elevation and is known for its bakerysmiley - weird, believe it or not! But they really do make superb bread and cinnamon rolls there! I learned some of my baking techniques when I took their 'zen and the art of bread baking' retreats several times in a row in past years.smiley - laugh

These are what you'll encounter with the photos that I took. I thought I'd better give you some brief background info in case you might wonder why the coastline and wildlife shots include some robed monks thrown in for good measure!

smiley - wowThat should be a great trip to the wedding in Brno! You're really getting in some wonderful travel experiences this year.smiley - bigeyes I hope you take pictures there, too.*hinthint*

smiley - rolleyesYou're always joking about your age, Neal!
smiley - tongueout You're not at all old! Your friend(quite close in age to you) is getting married at the prime of his life- whenever someone falls in love and finds their life's partner is the time they're at the prime of their life!smiley - laugh It's not that smiley - ghostfrightening nor is it all that uncommon!*...shakes her head and give him a poke*smiley - silly

The folk festival sounds like something I would attend if I was still living in the UK. Full folksmiley - musicalnote immersion for a week seems quite alright by me!smiley - cheers

Speaking of smiley - musicalnotemusic, I went to see Crosby Stills, Nash & Young at the Hollywood Bowl last night. It was a fantastic concert! They played 34 songs; a mix of their classics and some new material off of Neil Young's 'Living With War' CD.

smiley - smileyI'd better go and practice the Handel I'm to perform this Friday night in Carmel again.

Hope your day was a good one and that you'll have a relaxing evening.
Take care and I'll see you around later!

smiley - hugs and smiley - smooches from your road crazy friend,

smiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spaceCyn
smiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - orangebutterfly

Absent friends

Post 9


smiley - cheerupHello Neal!

I'm just popping by to wish you a wonderful time at the folk festival!
*giggles* You'll just have to resume your cuff link fashion show for your fans when you return...please.smiley - grovelsmiley - laugh

My backyard has had some colourful visitors this week and quite graciously posed for me and my camera.

Other than loafing about in the backyard, I've been up to pretty much the same old stuff. My next Mozart concert will be in Canada at the end of this month, which I'm looking forward to. I'll just have to remember to pack my luggage a little bit differently...*shrugs*smiley - smiley

Take care (don't get too carried away with the Morris dancingsmiley - laugh)and enjoy yourself, Neal!

smiley - hugs and smiley - smooches from your pal,

smiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spaceCyn
smiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - orangebutterfly

Absent friends

Post 10

MMF - Keeper of Mustelids, with added P.M.A., is now in a relationship.


I am impressed.

An english Robin!!!

I was so depressed when I saw an American Robin, which is really a red-throated Thrush here.

I hope you have a good time in Canada.

If I had your address I'd send you a postcard, but I'll send you a select group of photos, although the weather looks inclement.

I must admit to feeling a little guilty, as your photos are putting mine to shame, as is your musical ability. I guess I'll have to find a skill I'm good at.

*No, Neal, Tiddlywinks won't do! And you know you are no good with the handkerchieves and Morris dancing. Get off that car!!!*

smiley - laugh

I'll chat again when I get back.

Stay well.

smiley - hugs

Neal x

Absent friends

Post 11


smiley - cheerupHello again Neal!

smiley - bigeyes


I didn't mean the mourning dove on the front of my photo album!
I meant the 21st photo in that album, titled:'is it a bird'.

There's a link to click at the bottom of that Yahoo email to gain access to the album.
The photo is the very last one.

smiley - weird At first I thought it was a kite. You know, flown with a string...
But then it flapped it's wings and swooped down towards the creek.

smiley - laugh

smiley - dohI'd better get back to my supper guests.

smiley - yikesThey're starting to look like vultures, themselves.
Methinks they may be getting a bit peckish by now...smiley - erm

Nighty night, Neal!smiley - smooch

smiley - run

smiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spaceCyn
smiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - orangebutterfly

Absent friends

Post 12

MMF - Keeper of Mustelids, with added P.M.A., is now in a relationship.

First of all, I am worried that you have an English Robin in your Garden. Poor thing, must be totally confused!!!

As to the Bird of Prey, I need to check it out. It looks vulturish, but the primary feathers seem more Kite style.

If you were in the UK I would have said Red Kite, but you are not, and it couldn't be (the Audobon Society would be very excited if it was!)

I'll let you know, but I am away for a couple of days so give me a chance.

As always,

Loads of smiley - cuddles for my friend across the pond!

Neal x x

* Sleep well *

Absent friends

Post 13

MMF - Keeper of Mustelids, with added P.M.A., is now in a relationship.

Hello Cyn,

I hope you are well, and once again thanks for your good wishes.

I never did resolve that Bird of Prey smiley - huh. And still can't. smiley - erm

However I noticed that you have smiley - thepost for the London Meet and, as the self-appointed London afternoon Meet Organiser (only because I live there, and am mug enough to do it) I wondered if you had any preferences, as I prefer to arrange events for non-natives, being unable to visit particular attractions, than locals.

Any ideas, or prefernces, let me know. smiley - cheers
<special smiley - hugs

Neal x x

Absent friends

Post 14


smiley - cheerupHello Neal!

I was glad to hear that your special day was celebrated in a nice understated way with family.smiley - hugVery smiley - cool cufflinks, btw!

The bird of prey definitely wasn't a local vulture but some of the experts in ornithology at the university say that a certain vulture with those markings are found in the Baja regions of Mexico. They're rarely found this far north up the coast of the continent.*shrugs*

Kind of like that robin. I asked about why we had so many of these English robins in my canyon and on the university campus itself. Supposedly, this area is a great favourite with British expats and it's common knowledge that(in a fit of homesickness or nostalgia) maybe some of these people may have brought in some familiar birds from their own native land. The robins have been around the canyon that I live in since at least the late 1970's, or so some longtime residents have claimed. There is a bit of a policy of silence regarding these non-native birds because the person held responsible for bringing them to this Californian British enclave is still alive and lives 3 blocks away from me.smiley - erm

smiley - wow I found out that I'll be performing in asmiley - musicalnote concert 27 April in France! I planned to visit some of my friends in London afterwards for the weekend of 28-29 April - before I even knew of the London Meet scheduling. Of course, my plans could be subject to change, seeing as we're talking about events that will occur 5 months ahead. I'm hoping that my Mum will stay well enough for me to go ahead with these schedules. So far, things look pretty promising!smiley - ok

smiley - biggrinIt'll be so nice to finally meet you in person. I'm hoping that I may join you for the afternoon outing. I'd really like to see the Wetlands Centre, since it was still in the planning stages when I left the UK for California at the time. I only remember reading about the Wetlands in the newspapers then and wondering how they'd manage maintaining a wetlands reserve so close to the city environs. So, if you've got people interested going there, that would be my first preference.smiley - cool

I don't know how much of the evening's festivities I'll be able to attend. The friends that I'll be staying with(they're living in the mews house that I used to inhabit) may have some other plans for me for a portion of that night...but, we'll see.smiley - smiley

How have you been? I'm really very happy for you and all the months that you've remained smoke-free!smiley - hug That's such a wonderful accomplishment.
smiley - erm How is your back? You mentioned in another thread that your back was giving you some problems...I hope you're keeping as well as can possibly be during those wet, cold autumnal days over there. Most of my friends in London have been fighting off successive cold viruses...smiley - erm and letting me know all about the blow by blow details!smiley - laugh They're all calling for an immediate return of the sweltering summer temperatures that you had not so long agosmiley - doh

Take care Neal, and I'll chat again with you soon!

smiley - hugs and smiley - smooches from your pal,

smiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spaceCyn
smiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - orangebutterfly

Absent friends

Post 15

MMF - Keeper of Mustelids, with added P.M.A., is now in a relationship.

Hello again,

Long time no chat, but after receiving that perfectly timed e-card, I thought I would pop by.
Please check your mail inbox, as I've sent one by return.

I hope you are well, and not tearing around the smiley - earth performing. I admire your stamina. I wish I could do it. It is as much as I can do to carry my gear to Pratt's Bottom, Kent, let alone travel across the US.

I hope you are well and free from the smiley - brr coughs and snuffles everyone is suffering here.

Take care, and thanks for being a good friend...

Would you believe it is 14 days away from saying I gave up smoking a year ago? smiley - magic

Thank you! smiley - smooch

Neal x x

*Ps. I don't think I ever asked you as to how you prefer to be called. Can you advise me, as I don't want to upset you in April. Although I tend to prefer using given names, as that was how I was bought up, you may prefer something different. smiley - ta... N x*

Absent friends

Post 16

MMF - Keeper of Mustelids, with added P.M.A., is now in a relationship.

Hi Cyn,

Just thought I'd pop by and see how you are, as I haven't seen you around for a while.

Wanted you to know I'm thinking of you, and hope you are well. smiley - cheerup

I'll send you an e-mail soon.

smiley - hug


Absent friends

Post 17


smiley - cheerupHello Neal!

Thanks again for all your kind and caring thoughts and the cards that you sent to me while I was away from hootoo!smiley - hug
I'm doing a lot better - still keeping busy, though.smiley - cdouble
Last night I sang at an ecumenical evening prayer service at a cathedral. This was the third consecutive year that I was asked to sing at the 9/11 memorial service. I was hoping it wasn't going to be televised again...but it wassmiley - doh
After I gradually ditched the deer caught in headlamps smiley - yikeslook, everything went a lot smoother. I was asked to do an a cappella Amazing Grace(smiley - groan), a vocalise rendition of a tune from Ennio Morricone's The Mission film and two psalms...but one of the Sikh leaders didn't turn up( or couldn't find a parking space) so I had to sing a nice song called Make Me An Instrument of Your Peace - whilesmiley - musicalnotesight reading!

smiley - laugh Luckily, I'd sung that song before, only needed to use the sheet music because I'd never done that arrangement for voice, keyboard and flute before, andsmiley - weird I like sight reading anyway!

How are you doing? Is your leg healing well? How goes the afternoon meet activities planning?smiley - bigeyes

smiley - smileyHope you've had a lovely day and that you'll soon be enjoying a good night's slumber.
smiley - crescentmoonsmiley - sheepsmiley - sleepysmiley - starsmiley - blacksheep

Nighty night and see you soon Neal!smiley - smoochsmiley - hug

smiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spaceCyn
smiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - spacesmiley - orangebutterfly

Absent friends

Post 18

MMF - Keeper of Mustelids, with added P.M.A., is now in a relationship.

Hi Cyn,

Just decluttering my conversations, and bumped into this, so thought I'd say hi, if you are about... and I haven't forgotten I need to reply to your e-mail... Keep an eye on your inbox over the weekend... Should be something there.

Miss you,

Get well and come back soon.

smiley - hug andsmiley - love


smiley - musicalnote

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