walatsedgelyparksmall

Hello! I hope you’ve been enjoying the first days of 2015. We travelled down to England to spend some time with my mum and dad — the latter of whom is pictured above, on tenor sax. Its been quite a while since I’ve heard my dad play. One of the worst consequences of my stroke was its effect on my hearing – more specifically, on my ability to apprehend and process sound. This meant that my relationship to music – one of my great loves – changed radically overnight. I virtually stopped listening to the radio; never put on a CD, and found live music a particularly difficult – often even painful – experience. I will write in more depth about the changes and improvements I’ve noticed recently another time, but let me tell you that it meant an awful lot to me just to be able to sit at Sedgely Park rugby club last Sunday with Tom and my mum and actually enjoy hearing my dad’s music again. As well as being a superlative sax player, my dad writes great jazz tunes, and recently composed a piece entitled Rhythm St Annes, which commemorates the (to me) momentous day when I managed to walk from St Anne’s to Lytham a few months after my stroke. It was really wonderful to hear him play it. We had a lovely afternoon.

It might interest you to know that my dad (Wally Davies) the drummer (Nigel Cretney) and the pianist (Gerry Tomlinson) all attended the same Prestwich primary school in the 1940s. All came of age in the vibrant 1950s and 60s Manchester jazz scene and all are still playing jazz today, around the North West.

I’ll be back soon with some knitting. Happy new year to you all!

54 thoughts on “playing in the New Year

  1. Here’s the post from Kate Davies where I first learned of her stroke 5 years ago. I kept following her links to get more of the story. I spent 2 days thinking about her and the consequences of a stroke.

    I like her writing style. Is there anyway we can research what the books she wrote on the lives of 18 C. women?

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  2. What a lovely surprise to see my good friend, Dave Turner playing bass with your dad! As well as being an avid knitter I’m a jazz pianist, and my husband plays tenor and soprano saxophone. We work with Dave regularly – he’s a lovely guy. Small world! Talking of knitting, though, I’ve made quite a few of your gorgeous designs, and in fact I’ve finally managed (after two years, and many other projects in between) to get Rams and Yowes off the cable needles tonight! Stay well and happy, Kate.

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  3. Oh kate, i will be very interested in reading about your experiences with listening to music since the stroke! I have a brain tumor discovered and removed four and a half years ago. It was in the cerebellum, the balance and muscle coordination center of the body. Auditory processing continues to be very very difficult for me. One of the things most immediately apparent was that I couod no longer listen to music. My children and I, prior to the brain tumor, had the rasio and CDs on all.the.time. Bnt then I couldn’t anymore. What I couod listen to was and is the ‘simplicity’ of church music (choir singing, or the organ playing, and I could still ring handbells). And my son on the piano, that’s ok (thank goodness!) Anything complex, multiple instruments, not at all. …. Only very recenly have I been able to listen to classical music, but again, it can’t be too complex, not orchestrical. Just one or two instruments …

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  4. To lose my ability to walk sounds scary! But to lose my ability to feel and comprehend music sounds scarier!!! You have been and still are on a real journey, an eye opening one! To lose the ability to walk, to knit, perhaps, and to music – this must be such a realisation, that could only lead us one way! And they are all intertwined, …

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  5. My husband enjoyed the photo – he was given a second-hand alto sax for Christmas and is making the first tentative notes with it,

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  6. Music can be such a joy… my daughter is autistic, and certain kinds of music affect her in different ways. Jazz seems to be a favorite of hers :0) Happy New Year Kate!

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  7. Kate, Here is a resource that you and your dad might enjoy: http://www.kuvo.org It’s a jazz radio station based in Denver, Colorado, USA. They live stream their programming on their web site and offer a free app as well. KUVO is a public radio station with very little advertising and is considered one of the best jazz stations in the world. Classic and contemporary jazz, blues, and music of the Americas is featured.
    Thanks for your wonderful blog, it’s truly a delight!

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  8. Hola Kate – I’ve always loved the knitterly aspects of your blog – but read todays and thought how odd – you seem to hail from my part of the world-ish (Prestwich/Bury/Ramsbottom) and now live just down the road from my son (who’s at Stirling Uni, I drive up and down to it …a lot) and now I find myself staring at a photo of Sedgely Park Rugby Club, just down the road from my family home. I went to Cuckoo Lane Primary School in the Heaton Park area (which replaced the British School in about 1970?). I live in Dubai now – a long way away from Prestwich, but still knit, blog and long for a home in my husbands native Scotland… Glad to hear that your slow recovery is on-going and that your musical experience in Sedgely Park was a good one.

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  9. Kate, Congratulations on enjoying live music once again….and enjoying what sounds like a steady progress toward your pre-stroke self. Happy 2015. Gail

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  10. Kate, Thank you for sharing. Am so thrilled that you are able to enjoy your father’s music again. Music is simply a gift and to not be able to hear it is simply awful. Certainly hope that your recovery continues and makes tremendous strides in 2015. I always tell my loving husband that our health is everything. My 98 year old mom had a stroke 3 years ago and I never want to see anyone that sick again. We are blessed that mom regained her speech and most of her abilities. new Year bouquets to you from cold Rhode Island.

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  11. Isn’t it wonderful how knitting meshes with other things we love, music, scenery, etc. Thanks, Kate, for sharing your closer connection to music with your dad.

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  12. Hi Kate, Happy New Year to you and yours. I have just started a new blog/website and I linked to your site on my most recent post: http://herbsend.weebly.com/blog/knitting-for-the-zen-of-it I also have a link to you on my “links” page. I hope you approve. If there is a problem with my doing this, please let me know. I am hoping that some day, you may link to me.

    The blog is just a baby now and there is not too much there.

    My degree is in design in communications but I did undergraduate work in textiles and 30 years ago I owned a small knitting company. The knitwear was machine made and most of the sweaters were for children. I only hand knit now for family and friends.

    What you have posted on your site, from your textile research, information about wool, your designs, your new place, hikes, Bruce, Tom and his running, to your stroke and recovery, all of it–truly–has given me hours of learning and inspiration. You are one of my more important internet connections and I look forward to your writing and images.

    All the best, Ann Hondrogen http://www.herbsend.weebly.com

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  13. How fantastic to learn that once again you are able to gain enjoyment from music, and even more precious when it is created by your own father. What is the name of his band? It would be good to listen to them. I was amazed to read that you were just a couple of miles away from where I live. I have spent many a happy hour at Philips Park, just beyond the rugby club.

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  14. Interesting, I have a friend who had a stroke two years ago. She loved music but when people tried to play her music after the stroke she would try to cover her ears and cry. People thought she was depressed (yes, she was) but I said, “It hurts her to listen.” Nobody believed me. Now she has some limited communication back she has been able to indicate that it does hurt. Thanks so much for the much more articulate confirmation.

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  15. If you took the photo, I can see your reflection in the glass case just left of your Dad’s head. I heart that!! ( It’s a detail I missed on the smaller size photo on Instagram.) The adult (?) beverage at his feet made me smile.

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  16. Hello Kate, earlier this week I arrived at your blog, enticed by the knitting then stayed for that and your delicious writing.

    I’m so glad that you are experiencing some improvement in your hearing, especially music. My Mum is a little older than your Dad, she experienced hearing loss (in her left ear) after a minor stroke so I have some understanding.

    I look forward to your post and wish a very happy 2015.

    Rose in Australia

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  17. I knew a stroke could affect the brain’s output, but I didn’t know it could affect input and how it is processed. As a musician, and also a knitter who couldn’t survive without audiobooks, I so glad to know you are able once again to enjoy music, especially your dad’s. He sounds just as amazing as you are, and it’s clear where some (or a lot?) of your creativity comes from.

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  18. This is such a amazing recovery (in process, I’m sure)! I can’t tell you how really good it is to read this post, I’m so glad you shared this here so we can be happy with you :)

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    1. Hi Kate, I stumbled upon you during the the insular days of bringing up children and knitting was my time in the evening and distraction during the day. I’ve followed you since and love knitting your designs, and reading your inspirational posts on design and all things wool. I too love walking and the outdoors, Scotland when I can get there but it’s more often the Lakes and then a leftfield came along (must have missed a few posts!)… You have the same roots as me! I too hail from the Flyde coast, and although more central to Blackpool which isn’t for me, I agree the pearly beauty of the sea and beaches and moss is fabulous. Maybe that’s what I should do for my 40th (passed but not celebrated!) celebration a walk along the coast and remember all my lovely family, maybe more satisfying than a gruelling adventure race in a place with which I have no connection. Thanks for the continuall inspiration, love it, love it, love it.

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  19. Lovely. All the best to you and yours in 2015 and special best wishes to Bruce. Remember, whatever it is that you do, it does the job really well so just keep doing it!

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  20. Kate. I am so interested ini your amazing recovery and admire you for being so very resilient. Changes to your hearing must have been so dramatic and devastating. I look forward to hearing more about your steady journey.

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  21. Aah, that helps explain Epistrophy! Glad that it’s more enjoyable for you to hear music and how cool that your Dad plays with his friends from primary school!

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  22. Lovely blog, and wonderful to hear that you are enjoying music again. I have a sort of love/hate thing with music, enjoy some but can’t take repetive or bass heavy. Have also stopped going to action films in the cinema as I find the sound overwhelming. Not that I have any good reasons for it.
    This reminded me of my big brother who plays tenor sax and clarinet in a jazz band a wee bit further North, in the Kendal area .

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  23. Well, I have an inkling now of the wherefores and whys of Epistrophy — you grew up with a jazz musician father! Wow! I sympathize with your hearing difficulties, and I am so glad you are making progress in the right direction. I have a hearing loss for unknown reasons. I wear hearing aids, which are better than nothing, but listening to music — live or recorded — is no longer what it once was. I gave up my voice lessons although I still sing when I’m alone. Like you, there are times when I just can’t listen to my CDs. But, then I remember some piece or song and have to listen to the CD, reasoning that what I hear now is better than not hearing at all. Then there is the Westering Home piece you kindly put on your blog — thank you for that! I have memorized it so I don’t have to fuss about the lack of quality in my computer speakers. I would love to hear your Dad and his fellow musicians – they look like they are having a great time.

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  24. What a momentous and joyful occasion. I look forward to hearing more about this area of your recovery as well as more info on your dad’s music making! What a joy to be able to be reunited with another of your passions.

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  25. So glad you’ve had time to relax after the whirlwind end of 2014. And thank you for sharing the effect of the stroke on your ability to hear and appreciate music. My father had a stroke last spring which seems to be having the same effect. Very hard for an incredibly accomplished amateur musician who has performed for the last 65 years. When/if you have time to write more on this subject, I will listen eagerly.

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  26. They look like a couple happening fellows! Wish I could hear them. I took drum lessons for a bit and loved it. I am so happy you are doing well and sorry for the difficulties you have had. Keep up the good work, you are a brave soul. Love reading your posts and viewing your pictures, you write me more than my sisters.

    Nina

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