Our health insurance in the LSO doesn't cover injuries caused by taking part in winter sports. Quite understandable really. Hurtling down glassy slopes and breaking a few fingers may not be good for your violin playing.
Sitting next to Niall Keatley, our new 3rd trumpet, on a recent flight, he said that he knew one of my nephews quite well. "In String Fever?" I asked. "No," he said. "This one wasn't a musician."
It turned out he was talking about Harry Broadbent. They were in NYO together.
Harry as a youngster got Associated Board Grade XIII with distinction on violin, piano, and percussion. And then played percussion in the NYO. Not a musician indeed. Just because he didn't join the profession!
We got to talking about Harry's brother Graham, and their cousins who make up the rest of Stringfever. And how about ten years ago they came to Provence to practise. It was there that they put their History Of Music together.
Niall "What a great place to go and practise. Can anyone come?"
And so the idea of setting up a practice retreat available to anyone was born. A place where people could come practise and relax. Or even relax and practise.
"All you need is a website." said Niall. . . . something like "Nigel en Provence"?
In January every year Giles, the first violin in Stringfever, likes to arrange an outing to the mountains for family and friends. And as you may know, he rarely misses an opportunity of doing something a bit daft.
After mixed success with cordless bungee jumping, and also difficulty in getting into extreme ironing, this year he decided on something less dangerous. "Let's make one of those music video thingies." "Sort of a family bond movie."