Having eaten a hearty cooked breakfast at my bed and breakfast near Stirling, I felt totally replete for my long 535 mile drive south to Sussex. My sat nav tells me I will arrive at 17.37 - it clearly has no idea about driving rain, snow and the urgent need for strength 10 coffee ! I will be lucky to drive up the school lane by 9pm!
The reason for a post however is that I heard a very interesting Desert Island Discs on the radio as I battled the blizzard. It was Dr Carol Black, scientist and well known leader of various and many medical institutions. Her opening gambit was about her family and how she was the first to go to university, the first to be head girl of her grammar school and has gone on to break the glass ceiling with regard to women academics.
She described her father very vividly. He was a fine bass singer who received a voice scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, but had foregone it as he was the eldest of eleven children and his parents urgently needed income from a 'real' job to help the family survive. So he went to work in a local factory.
She said that because of her father's love and talent for singing she had grown up surrounded by opera and vocal music, indeed her first choice was 'The Trumpet shall Sound' from The Messiah !
She felt that the chip he had on his shoulder ( her words) and the regret he had throughout his life because he could not fulfil his dream was where she learnt her 'Go for it' attitude. How right she is. I have over the years, taught many students whose family have tried hard to dissuade the singer with stories of the hard life of a performer, even trying to undermine their talent in an effort to 'save' them from what is perceived to be disappointment and heartache.
The truth is, if the talent is there, let them have a go, and support them with all your might. If they succeed well that's wonderful, if they don't then they gave it their best shot and are no worse off, ( and nowadays will still be the proud owner of a splendid Bachelor of Music degree.)
She was inspirational, have listen on Iplayer if you get the time !