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Sharon Bill Author & Music Tutor

National Trust Photo Pic n Mix

Here’s a pic-n-mix overview visiting different National Trust locations, featuring pictures that haven’t made it into more organised videos. Places include Hardwick Hall, Dunham Massey, Lyme Park, Bodnant Gardens, Biddulph Grange and Shugborough Hall. Whether it’s art or nature you’re after, there’s something for everyone. It also looks like lots of cups of tea were a prominent feature - but we were out to enjoy ourselves! These trips always inspire me and re-invigorate me by filling my mind with beauty, resting my spirit and causing me to aspire to do better. I’m so grateful for the work that the National Trust do and for the time that the volunteers give to afford us so much pleasure.

Rudyard Lake New Year's Day Walk 2020

Rudyard Lake is a beautiful place and was the perfect destination for a wintry walk to bring in the New Year! It has always been a popular place to visit - in the Victorian era thousands flocked there to enjoy themselves. Rudyard Kipling’s parents loved the lake so much that they named their son after it. We walked the whole circuit around the lake via various public footpaths (about 5 and a half miles in all) and were amply rewarded by some unexpected delights, such as a miniature steam train and an abandoned gothic hall) in addition to the expected natural beauty. After a long walk a mug of tea and a scone from the lakeside cafe was just the ticket. A perfect way to begin 2020.

The Snowman Flute and Piano Duet with Pinky Doodly Off the Cuff

The theme from ‘The Snowman’ by Howard Blake is a timeless classic. Over the Christmas holiday period my daughter (Pinky Doodly) and her husband came to visit. The gents went out and left us on our own for an hour and we decided to have a rummage through some old music. We hadn’t played this song for about 10 years so we thought we’d blow the dust off the cover and give it a go for old time’s sake. This little video is our one-take play through - faults and all! We really enjoyed revisiting this beautiful melody and it was so lovely to re-live some memories from when we played this many years ago. Even more years ago, I used to play a different arrangement of this piece when I was young, and my sister would play the melody at the top of the piano. Our little dog used to join in howling every time we played it. How lovely to enjoy a nostalgic play through - even if it is a bit rusty. I hope you enjoy joining us in our little trip down memory lane!

Christmas Carols at Wightwick Manor

What a joy to play Christmas Carols at National Trust’s Wightwick Manor, on the beautiful Bechstein Grand Piano in the Grand Hall next to priceless Pre-Raphaelite paintings! It was such a joy to be part of the Christmassy atmosphere, amid the beautiful Christmas decorations around the timeless beauty of a house so full of timeless examples of the arts and crafts movement. It certainly felt like a fitting tribute to the Mander’s family.