Casa Rosales

Casa Rosales

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The 'P' Spot

This also works.....
A strange thing happened to me this week. I nipped onto one of my favourite blogs, Knitsofacto, where there is always so much to enjoy in the form of words, pictures and lovely ideas. On this particualar day, the post was about "wool, flax, cotton, steel" and the most beautiful little bit of embroidery I've ever seen. (Do come back again, won't you?)  And as I was looking at it, the hairs on my arms and the back of my neck began to stand on end and I felt tears pricking my eyes and a lump coming to my throat.

And thanks to Annie on Knitsofacto, I have finally been able to name the thing I've always known I had but didn't know what it was called. It is, as you may have guessed from the title of this post - my 'P' Spot. Annie - your beautiful piece of embroidery on that wonderful material and the immaculate photograph you published was......PERFECT. You hit my 'perfect' spot!

I've always had a tendency to moments of strong emotion, mainly when listening to music. So many pieces set me a tingle all over - too many to mention all of them - though I did mention a few in an earlier blog, where I called my reaction a 'frisson'.

This same rush of a sensation - a physical sensation - I remember feeling from a very early age. It can be brought on by any number of things...( and yes, I think I'm very lucky!)

At one of my primary schools, I sat next to a girl, who had the strange name of Jane Graves, who was, as I remember, rather prim and unfriendly but who had the most perfect handwriting - I would sit and watch her making letters and words with absolute fascination. It may be that she would have been friendly to me if I hadn't watched her writing so obsessively. Jane's writing made me tingle.

By happy coincidence, as I reached secondary school, my best friend was an excellent artist - indeed, she now makes the most amazing works of art in the form of cakes - check her cakes at Scattercake - and I was able to take my penmanship-worship to a higher stage. Just to see her pick up a pen, pencil or brush set me off - she held her instrument of work in a way that was just right. Touched the 'P' spot for me every time.

Other things that have, in their time, been judged as perfect according to my in-built system include the sight of Torvill and Dean skating the Paso Doble at the 1984 Olympics. As I was neither very patriotic nor into ice dancing, I can only assume they too hit my 'P' spot as I found myself in tears every time I saw them in this particular performance - and checking it out on YouTube, it still has the same effect!

Looking out across the Sierra Nevada does it to me too - you may have noticed how I love these mountains from previous posts - they are perfect. The film, 'A Room with a View' is positively stuffed with little 'P' spots ('p') for me - the images of Florence and Tuscany and Kent, the sound of Kiri Te Kanawa's beautiful singing and the immaculate timing of many of the lines - particularly Daniel Defoe's cringeworthy Cecil! I adore watching the film and it never fails to deliver the expected quota of tingles.

And of course, music. From Mozart's Requiem, which, in it's entirety probably has the most 'P' spot hits for me; to the third of Richard Strauss's 'Four Last Songs'; to the amazing chord progression that David Willcocks puts in the last verse of 'Oh, Come All Ye Faithful' (chords leading up to 'Word of the Father'...) - I have a whole catalogue of pieces, tunes, chords and moments that sum up what the word 'perfection' means to me. Most of them are, like the Willcocks piece, just a short series of chord progressions or a change of key or a particularly well-hit note.

Here are just a very few moments in no particular order any more would be pure indulgence: I hope you enjoy them too.

'Beim Schlafengeh' - from 'Four Last Songs' by Richard Strauss, sung by Gundula Janowitz

'Prelude and Fugue No.1 in C Major ' by J.S Bach, played by Friedrich Gulda

'Cello Suite No.1' by J.S. Bach, played by Yo Yo Ma (don't listen beyond the music!)

'Caruso (Te voglio bene assai)' by Lucio Dalla, sung by Pavarotti (and basically anything this man sings sets me off but this is just amazing.)

'Misereri' by Gregori Allegri, sung by the University of Nottingham Music Society with a divine solo soprano

And I think you might listen to this too 'Perfect Day' with Lou Reed and co. Listen out for Heather Small at 1'34 and 3'15, Courtney Pine at 2'40 and Tom Jones at 3'26 and think of me! (Beware, there are some awful noises at the very beginning...)

Hope there are a few 'P' spotters out there.  Do share - let's set the world wide web a-tremble.


  1. Hello Annie:
    Oh yes, we are at one with you here. That tingle of excitement running down the spine which just indicates that one has witnessed a great moment, however mundane it may appear on the outside, it is all about the sensational effect on the inside.

    What an absolutely delicious selection of 'P' things you give us here, many of which we can identify with too. We should definitely add Rachmaninov to the list and many 'P' moments, how lovely!

  2. Yes, Jane and Lance - I could have included SO much here but, like picking one's desert island discs, it's pretty nearly impossible to hone it down so I went with what was doing it for me on the day. And rainbows - absolutely - and really good thunderstorms too! And..and..and...lovely comments on my blog... :-)

  3. I'm going to have to come back to this Annie, am feeling far too "P spotted" out to come up with anything sensible....meeting new grandaughter yesterday has left me in an emotional heap. I foolishly tapped the link to the Pavarotti and have been in floods ever since. A great post, but just too near the spot for me to deal with right now. I will return ! xxx

  4. Oh Janice - so sorry, the Pavarotti link probably should have a warning! So delighted to hear of the new addition to your family. I hope you do come back and share some of your own 'P' spots - I'm sure you have plenty!

  5. Me too, me too !!! But I never imagined anything I did would hit that particular spot!

    This is such a wonderful post Annie :D

    Films ... yes to A Room with a View and something about The Station Agent does it for me too.

    Music ... can I add Tavener's The Protecting Veil, and John William's music for Schindler's List, oh, and so many, many other pieces.

    And the poetry of John Burnside ... if you don't know then it as a person with a P-spot you need to read it!

    Thank you for the mention Annie x

  6. My pleasure Annie - that little piece of embroider was most definitely perfect!
    Must look up John Burnside - though I should really have mentioned John Donne again - he does it for me! I've left more out that I could put in and wish I could keep adding things but look forward to hearing others' favourites. Glad you like A Room with a View - it also makes me laugh out loud with pleasure.

  7. What a fantastic post, Annie, truly inspirational. I love the concept of the P-spot and could write posts of my own on the subject.

    Allegri's Miserere is high up on my list, though the classic recording of the Tallis Scholars with Alison Stamp, as are the slow movements of many of Mozart's concertos, especially the clarinet concerto.

    Sunrises and sunsets are up there too, especially over water or our Welsh hills. And Torvill and Dean's dance to Ravel's Bolero can still bring tears to my eyes. I could go on and on....

  8. Annie,

    A very enjoyable post. In the interests of sharing, let me have a think ... hmmm ... 'P' spots or moments in no particular order:

    * A number of sporting moments, but in particular watching people win gold medals. Sometimes it is when it is against the odds - for example I am always choked up and can't speak when the TV shows Kelly Holmes crossing the winning line in Athens. Pure joy. Other times it is just because you know how hard they've worked for 4 years.

    * Certain pieces of music: Elgar's Nimrod (because of the war evocation); the mandolin in REM's Losing My Religion; Perfect Day too - because people surrounded Nic and I and sang it to us at the end of our Wedding Day.

    * A number of films: The moment Andy Dufresne escapes and stands up in the river in Shawshank; When Donald O'Connor runs up the wall and backflips in Singin in the Rain; When Mel Gibson shouts about freedom in Braveheart; When Gary Oldman cracks his neck and shivers before rampaging in Leon (Luc Besson's Directing and the music set it off).

    * Some lines in books, which stop me and make me think for several minutes before being able to move on - I'm reading a DH Lawrence at the moment and spent the full 30 mins between Penistone and Huddersfield reflecting on one line.

    * Many, many, many proud moments with my kids.

    * When I see the impact on people who believe and are touched by their experiences in church - even though I am agnostic and do not share it. The power of the moment is tangible.

    * WHENEVER I sit on the shore of Chesil Beach.

    ... There are more :-)

    Andy X

  9. Hi Perpetua,
    There are so many moments - I wish everyone would do a post on their own special ones so we can all share! As ever, I wrote in the spirit of the moment and today, I'd pick a completely different set of 'P's...and it would be a very eclectic mix, including Jamie Cullum and lots more Mozart!
    I was limited in my YouTube links - I couldn't find my own favourite which has Roy Goodman singing the treble line so perfectly but agree that the version with Alison Stamp is excellent.
    Start a trent, Perpetua - do a post on your own moments and let's encourage people to share. There's nothing like a good tingle!

  10. Andy - thanks for this wonderful list. And whilst I do appreciate your sharing some of your 'P' moments here, as I have just said to Perpetua - it would be lovely if you would do a list for people to share!

    I might have to do a monthy 'P'spot posting...I quite like the idea of constantly noting down the things that touch mine.


  11. Ok, I think I'm up to this now. Its been a few days full of P spots. Grandaughter born 48 hours ago, taken back into hospital because she was "juddering"....hopefully just something connected with being jaundiced, and a bit early. She's still there, and its hard for her parents ( and us!). seems to be the thing here doesn't it ? Almost any bit of Brahms'requiem has me shivering emotionally, and Amy Winehouse and various bits of Elijah, Joan Baez singing Joe Hill, and Pavarotti, or preferably Gigli singing "Una furtiva lagrima"
    I'm looking forward to coming back to this idea here, and in other people's posts...great idea Annie. x

  12. Brilliant post Annie and how clever of you to come up with a the P spot as a name for all those spine tingling moments. Yes I have them many of them that I'll need to start writing a list. I might treat myself to a P spot day...a whole day of tingles!

  13. Glad you came back with your lovely selection, Janice. So sorry to hear you're going through an anxious patch with the new addition to your family, though. I do hope she's out of hospital very soon and you can get your 'P' spot cuddles again!


  14. Thank you Ayak - I was quite pleased with my little moment of inspiration! I do hope you'll do a post on your own choices - I'd love to hear what does it for you.

  15. It's like that for me on a sunny day. :)

  16. I loved this blog - the idea of P spot is new to me - but I know exactly what you are talking about. Moments on Dartmoor come to mind - preferably with mist or snow. I have enjoyed exploring your list of P spots - thank you

  17. OK peeps - I checked this out and the 'P' spot is not unknown...check out prostate and the male 'g' spot... oops.

    But I know that you all know what I mean!
    Thank you.

  18. Hi Annie, what a lovely idea. I so recognise those P moments. For me it's when several things come together to make a greater whole - Nat King Cole singing "Let there be Love" - perfect voice, perfect song, perfect arrangement; the film "Shakespeare in Love" - vibrant acting, glorious dialogue and sweeping music; and yes, Torville and Dean (I still cry at Bolero); so many pieces of classical music but especially Faure's Requiem. Thank you for reminding us.


I welcome your comments - it makes blogging even more fun to know someone is reading!