Bernard and Katherine
wish you a very
and a peaceful and joyous
We are enjoying a busy but not too hectic life in Oxford (and North Northumberland, above), still vowing not to use that irritating retired couples’ observation that we can’t understand how we ever had to time to work. For a start, our mornings are considerably shorter than those of people who do work: we regard our regular morning runs as “early” when we get out before 9.30.
Having two grandchildren seems to keep us occupied: Rowen and Bonnie are very loving, and unfailingly hilarious company. They constantly have us in stitches – and, we suspect, know precisely what they’re doing to achieve the result.
We’re both doing music, orchestral (Katherine) and jazz (Bernard). 2023 offered Bernard opportunities to play the trumpet in his beloved traditional/New Orleans/Chicago style, while continuing with the Abingdon Swingtime Big Band: you can click on the jazz link above (or here) to see and hear his small band, Three’s Company, in action. Bernard is also still Chair of Governors at The Purcell School for Young Musicians.
He’s still writing music: this year’s “new work” (a tradition on these cards for more than 20 years), a lullaby entitled Love so deep, was actually performed precisely a year ago, just after Christmas, for Bonnie’s christening in Uppingham School Chapel (text at the bottom of this page). Nana (Katherine) managed to hold things together and not cry when singing, while Tristan valiantly navigated the tenor line under the eagle eyes and uncompromising musical ears of the Trafford girls… Click to hear it:
Katherine made the christening cake, of course
So how about something Christmassy? One piece (not a new one) comes to mind. Sadly, in 2023 we lost our close and very dear friend Colin Douglas. We first met him and his wife Anne as near-neighbours in Wolverhampton in 1981, and embarked on countless musical adventures with them.
Colin and Anne at Rachel and Ben’s wedding, Uppingham, 29th December 2019
So, in tribute to Colin, this year’s carol (a repeat from more than 20 years ago) is Bernard’s cheeky reworking of A Great and Mighty Wonder: Colin’s inimitable tenor voice takes the melody in a couple of verses: Eleanor, Rachel and Emily (Colin and Anne’s daughter) soar angelically on soprano; Anne, Katherine and Bernard, more shepherds than seraphim, remain somewhat more earth-bound. Click here:
Happy Christmas, with all our love,
Katherine and Bernard
Love so deep
I thought my heart already full,
Unsure I had more love to share:
But now I see you, beautiful,
My new-born baby lying there.
My love I find a wondrous thing,
A constant stream that never stalls.
Spreading, as a mountain spring
Goes hurtling to the waterfall.
The heart, it truly does expand,
Enfolds the love that rushes in.
Each time I take you in my hand
I feel the surge once more begin.
I saw you wriggle, stretch and yawn:
I’ve watched you change and thrive and grow:
Since the day that you were born,
I’ve felt that love’s relentless flow.
Now, when I lay you down to sleep,
My heart is full, yet still it leaps:
That same response suffuses me,
Throughout my soul, my love’s so deep.
Words and music by Bernard Trafford