Blog 8: January

It was so nice to be home again in the UK for a few weeks during the Christmas break. I enjoyed plenty of time off and it was lovely to spend time with family and friends. I didn’t have a lot in the way of playing, but did perform Handel’s Messiah and Scheherazade. It is great to be back in Mannheim to enjoy the short amount of time left.

January has been a good month focusing on practice and enjoying the remaining time with my friends here. I got into a good routine with my classmate Boğaç with practice and going to the gym a few times a week which was a really good start back to the year. I also had some headshots done with my violinist friend Dumitriţa. I thought I should have some photos done to remember my time here and there is no better person to ask in the Hochschule for headshots!

I spontaneously planned a trip to Munich to visit my old school friend from Wells, Felix. It was so nice to see him and catch up, yet strange to be able to speak a bit with him in German having always spoken deliberately bad German with him and our friends at school… I came back to Mannheim and met my NYWO friend Joanna who is also doing an Erasmus exchange in Sweden. She has been traveling around visit other international friends and it was so lovely to catch up with her too.

The following weeks included Mikko-Pekka’s last visit of the semester, a final visit from Hans out contrabassoon professor and more inspiring lessons with Ole. I have learnt so much about reed making and contra playing and am extremely grateful for the lessons I’ve had from the visiting professors here. We enjoyed more badminton with Ole (all being defeated!) and really making most of my final few weeks with the class here in Mannheim.

Thank you for following my blog and I hope to see you at the next one!

Ashby x