Marmalade Sandwiches and Violins

70 years: We’ve been celebrating our Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. People have spoken of her value to the nation and international reputation. Many have reflected with respect on her personal integrity, service to others, faith in God.

1 conversation: What will stay in the minds of many will be the conversation between the Queen and Paddington Bear. It speaks volumes of her humour, humility, humanity… and the marmalade sandwich that she keeps in her handbag!

70 years: Antonio Stradivari made his first violin in 1666.  Over the next 70 years he designed and crafted more than 1,000 violins, still considered to be the finest in the world.

1 conversation: As a boy Stradivari loved to listen to music, but could neither play nor sing. A gentleman encouraged him: ‘There are many ways of making music. What matters is the song in your heart.’ Apparently this conversation changed his life and motivated him to make violins.

70 years: I reflect on 70 years… friends and family… teaching, church, studying… places visited, activities enjoyed… success and failure. Life has been full.

1 conversation: I’d been a Headteacher for a number of years. Anthony, an ex-pupil, came to see me. He told me of his successful studies, training to be a teacher, job, future plans:

‘And you said I’d never achieve anything!’ Apparently it was one parents’ evening, 10 years previously. I couldn’t recall the conversation. I felt awful and apologised.

1 conversation: A few years ago I was contacted by Simon. He attended but was on the fringe of a Church Youth Group I was leading around 1980. I hadn’t seen him since.

‘I just wanted you to know that the epilogue you gave one evening changed my life.’ Usually during the epilogue he went out because a girl or a cigarette were more important… On this occasion he stayed in…

Musing: ‘May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight… 1 conversation… today.

2 thoughts on “Marmalade Sandwiches and Violins

  1. I never believe it when people say their teacher told them they’d never achieve anything. It makes a good backstory though.

    Many teachers may well have thought that of course. I know I did and I certainly know that many of my own teachers thought that of me.

    Oh to be able to go back and do what “Anthony did.


  2. Thanks Alan. I certainly don’t recall the initial conversation that he says took place. Whatever I said that was what he heard and remembered 10 years later! As he was so insistent it would not have achieved anything to argue about it..


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