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bbc: tudor monastery farm

This is how I’m going to spend my free time for the next few days, I think! From the end of the intro: “This is the untold story of the monastic farms of Tudor England.”

What.

From the BBC’s website:

Historian Ruth Goodman and archaeologists Peter Ginn and Tom Pinfold turn the clock back 500 years to the early Tudor period to become tenant farmers on monastery land.

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stephen paulus, ‘the road home’

I have a vague memory of listening to Conspirare’s recording of Stephen Paulus’ The Road Home on loop, possibly after one of my choir members told me about it. (Or was that another piece?) My mind and desk were strewn with thoughts and scores for the college chamber choir’s upcoming season, and I had repertoire decisions to make. Something prevailed–I can’t quite remember what anymore–but I decided not to include this piece. Too sentimental, I likely thought (okay, so I’ve mellowed now); too difficult for just eight or so. (A little, I would still say!)

It’s something that I feel some mild regret about nowadays, especially the more I listen to it, and the more entrenched I am in church music, where there are simply fewer opportunities for this kind of stuff. I wonder where that feeling comes from; that I would, if I could, like to make beautiful music as much as listen to it. A kind of grasping envy, like that that makes us want beautiful things for ourselves instead of being able to just admire them? In part.

Over the years, as my own awareness of my limitations has grown, I’ve been perceiving in glimpses the line that separates that kind of envy from something purer that is aimed only at returning a gift to God, multiplied as He would have it be. In a way, that’s why this dumpy little blog exists; for me to pass a little beauty along, in the hopes that it might call to the gift in you who are called to be His co-creators.

See below for a real, earnest use of the word awesome. It’s beautiful.

And as a bonus, the piece recorded by the Dale Warland Singers, the original commissioners. (So interesting to compare the two recordings.)

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There may just be something bizarrely timeless about Chinese romantic pop. Based on the instrumentation and arrangement of this, I would have wholeheartedly believed that it was a song from, oh, 15-20 years ago that I’d simply managed never to hear before.

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It’s 2 July! Which, in years past, would have been the feast of the Visitation; but that’s been moved to 31 May, a chronologically more sensible date. In any case, I went to go look up the propers. Here’s a rather nerdy recording of a medieval setting of the propers of the Blessed Virgin Mary from Worcester. Happy feast!

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real-life training in critical thinking

You might be surprised, but I enjoy reading tangentially work-related stuff, even though I don’t understand quite all of it. (And of course, helps to get a handle on how other people write about money!) Today’s highlight was this, published in the Business Times over the weekend: Annabeth Leow’s “Sherlock Holmes of Shenton Way”, about forensic accounting in Singapore. White-collar crime is fascinating (to me), but what I really liked about this article in particular was this aside from a lawyer:

Sometimes companies may think that, as a corporate lawyer with no litigation background, I will be a pushover. But, being the mother of a 19-year-old boy, I’ve had every excuse and deflection in the book thrown at me, and have developed a healthy store of scepticism.

Separately, the highlight of my night/morning commute is often Matt Levine’s Money Stuff column. It’s a riot. He also called something a “Chestertonian-fence problem” (i.e. don’t take down a fence before you know what it’s for, lest you send people merrying careening off a plateau into a chasm) the other day, which I much appreciated.