Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wednesday 6th May 1942

Went into Cairo, alone this time. Very hot, very thirsty. In a nice cool shady street I saw a thermometer which registered 104F. That was at 4p.m. Wonder what it was in the sun at midday?

I quickly reached “Music for All” and collapsed into a long chair. “Lime juice and soda, with ice,” I instructed the wog. (Thinking of the poor buggers in the bluey at the same time.) As soon as he brought the tray I told him to bring another. Then I had a pot of tea and my thirst began to be eased somewhat.

A trio was playing. I went along and asked if they could play Chopin?
“Yes.” “Valse in C sharp minor?” “The pianist can. It is difficult for strings.”

The violin and cello players then vacated the stage and sat down near me. The small lady pianist was out of sight, behind the large piano. And then suddenly, almost magically, it started, those lovely notes came creeping out, ever so gently, and the violinist waved his hand and whispered, “Voici.”

At last, I heard that beautiful thing played again!

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