A funeral for a digital camera: RIP my dear Nikon

Right, I don’t know what’s going on. I’ve been trying to write something substantial and intelligent all day but nothing I wrote was convincing enough, and I deleted everything in the post after only a few paragraphs. Is this writer’s block or have I worsened over the year? I am dissatisfied with my writing, therefore I am not happy with what is there for me to write about, which suggest how bored I am with myself, my surroundings and views on life. Hm, I don’t often use the word ‘bored’ since it suggests that you, the person experiencing boredom, are so idle and unimaginative that you can’t even find another way to enjoy life. Which is absurd because life is bloody brilliant if you make it so.

In fact, I don’t think I am bored. I’m just hormonal. There are still a few years before I am no longer eligible to use this teenager excuse for lack of consistency.

That’s funny; I’ve actually written a paragraph that communicates my thoughts and deviated from what I intended to write for this post.


In the absence of linguistic ability I turned to focus on a skill which I had ignored for the entire year:


Now I shall explain the theme of my two most recent works.

During the summer, my Nikon went into camera retirement. He wouldn’t focus properly which resulted in whole bunch of useless smudged NYO concert photos, nor could he switch on and off without the lens spasming violently as it closed in and opened out.

I decided it was time to have him put down and say farewell. Nikon, it’s been a wonderful two years seeing the world and capturing memories with you. The photos you produced were so beautiful; I especially liked how you smoothed out people’s skin in portrait mode and made us feel better about ourselves.

May you Rest In Peace and drift into paradise with your family, whom I’ve never met.

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Oh no! NYO 2013 is over!

Wait, what, where, how, why?! Really? Has it come to an end?


The NYO Prom happened last Sunday. A culmination of a year’s work; the highlight on our calendars. They say our concert was the first ever to be completely free to the public, tickets, programmes and all. Even I failed to grab hold of extra tickets. After only 8 minutes, they were completely sold out. On top of that, it was celebrating bicentenary of the Royal Philharmonic Society, offering a world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s “Frieze”, and NYO’s first go at Beethoven 9.
– “Simply unmissable” – as one Irish newspaper put it.

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Photo courtesy of BBC Proms: “Ode to joy, ode to joy, ode to joy, ode to joy!”
Yes, those are the words to the 4th movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, as declared by certain members of the NYO.

Strangely, I was not feeling very nervous about playing the notes live on Radio 3 (filmed for TV broadcast next month). There was another matter which occupied my mind: my new concert dress. I had been pretty adventurous in my choice of performance outfits overall, pushing the boundaries further and further in each successive concert.

This one, however, was my most daring yet. Not because it was short, or big; but because it was excessively, spectacularly, sparkly. Endearing as it sounds, I feared it would attract unwanted attention and make me stick out, like a naive girl who tries too hard to attract people at primary school Christmas discos.

As we made our way onto the stage at 7:30pm, I was still questioning the appropriateness of my attire.
“Jacob, are you sure it’s fine? It’s so sparkly, arghhhh…” Soon I forgot about trivial things, and found myself heavily engrossed in the music.

Oh my god, it was so amazing…

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Church of Fot – EUCO Budapest Tour Part 4

(NYO have just published my post – have a read here.)

Meanwhile I have one batch of photos left. Don’t fret, this is the final post on Budapest.

On the penultimate day of the tour we performed in Church of Fot, at the unusual time of 11am. The church service concluded at this hour, leaving us barely any time to set up the stage and no time at all to rehearse! Outside the church, the sun shone fully on a very exhausted EUCO, the heat made worse by our black concert wear. We were all exhausted from the previous night’s antics…

But we still managed to pull it off! (Even if the maestro’s shirt was a bit creased.)

The Church of Fot photos are all courtesy of Michael Tang.


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St. Michael’s Church – EUCO Budapest Tour Part 3

On the third day we stayed in the centre of Budapest. The second concert took place in St Michael’s Church, situated in the middle of a street of restaurants, cafes and shops – tourist haven you could say.

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The Town of TaTa – EUCO Budapest Tour Part 2

A couple of weeks late, but here’s the EUCO tour continued!

The following day we travelled an hour from Budapest to the town of TaTa for our first concert.
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‘I strongly encourage you to have a burger’

Today my mother and I went to a vintage car fair. You’re probably wondering how a field full of automobiles could interest me, so much that I spent half my day looking at them. Clearly I have ‘better’ things to be doing, as I am always told, and should be using my time more wisely. But I decided to go out into the sun and enjoy another exotic cultural excursion – or to admire the art and craft of the automobile – even at such close proximity to home.

Here are a selection of photos from the day!

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I was completely beguiled by everything. Unfolding bonnets and all sorts.

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The size of the cars! (Yes, she looks like me; but no, this is not me.) The little blue one opens up at the front of the vehicle!


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Wish we had a boot like this…



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Having a wee chuckle at the engine?

Ho, ho, isn’t she a beauty!


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This gentleman had his own vintage car, along with a working car-horn! According to the document in the wooden frame (below) his grandfather gave it to him.

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Heaps of cars…

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A very pungent stall, its toxic fumes smelt from miles away.

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Me, clearly outshone by the attractiveness of the vehicles.

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This elderly couple had just won 1st prize for their car! Everything about their look screams vintage; the pipe, the goggles, the lady’s real mink fur… Ahh!

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My mother strongly encouraged me to have a burger; as if the pastoral surroundings gave the food more health benefits or symbolic importance.

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Cars older than 100 years!

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…And to finish, a personal favourite from the whole day. I later saw it speeding down the dual carriageway.

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Hope you enjoyed my little adventure. Bed time now.

Wonderful things happening next week! Monday and Tuesday are rehearsals for the Edinburgh University Chamber Orchestra Budapest Tour. Then we’re off to Hungary for several days!

On that note, I shall see you in Budapest. Goodnight.

January 25th 2013 – Robert Burns’ Night – Patriotic

Happy Burns’ Day! Today is the birthday of our celebrated Scottish poet, Robert Burns.
Last night, we had a lovely Burns’ Supper at school.

Mini and I decided that the dining room would be fine with just one St Andrews Cross flag; the other two acted well as dresses:
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NYO Rehearsal & Backstage Photos

Changing a violin string in Leeds Town Hall:

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Sleepy violinists:
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Now we are in London!
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Getting ready for the concert, ‘iTunes’ vigorously brushing her teeth:
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Second violins!
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NYO Day 4 – New Year’s Eve and all that.

Happy New Year! I’m sure everyone celebrated marvellously. At NYO we had a Fancy Dress party, a change from the traditional Ceilidh on New Year’s Eve.

The theme of the fancy dress was, aptly, N Y O; you had to pick something which began with those letters, either as a single act, your friends or with your section. The Second Violins transformed themselves into Nerds. We pulled it off rather well I think! All you need, as a girl, is messy hair (easily done, as it’s always like that), big glasses (3D movies), bow ties, braces, freckles, a bizarre walk (easily done) etc. Later I put my hair in bunches.

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Halloween Celebrations! (+ The Scottish Parliament)

Happy Halloween! We celebrated in school with lots of activities and cakes and dressing up.

Unfortunately I was one of three handling the cake-stall and could not take any pictures of the fantastic costumes on show. Baking is always very popular and the stall is always very busy. A few photos from the day:



Yes, I am a panda.

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