Traditionally Sunday morning in Hillhouse is iPod shuffle time.
As Robin has been away so much this year we have lapsed in this most enjoyable pastime.
But this morning we did put shuffle on, and the first track to play brought a smile to our faces, and a grimace from the children, as in Pavlovian fashion they thought it was Monday.
The reason for this is that the track was, 'Mr. Blue Sky' by the Electric Light Orchestra.
But why should Mr. Blue Sky make our children think it was Monday?
Well, it is because we have found it a very effective means of motivating reluctant schoolboys to embrace the day.
It doesn't have to be Monday.
We use it most days of the week.
I'll set the scene.
All had breakfast.
All watching the hands of the clock as they progress perilously close to the time we need to leave the house.
Two long faces.
The solution is simple.
You turn on the iPod, select ELO, pump up the volume, and then all dance around and sing along to this wonderfully enthusiastic and optimistic piece of music.
When I say 'we', I actually mean me and sons numbers one and two.
Robin is usually looking on with amusement, or, far from home imagining the scene.
But it isn't just random gyrating.
We each have our own little part to play.
For example, the harmonies are planned out and practiced to perfection.
All three of us give virtuoso 'air guitar' performances for the guitar solo, and we each have our own lines to deliver.
Mine being, of course, "Hey you with the pretty face, welcome to the human race," in which I use artistic licence to gesticulate wildly at both boys as it wouldn't do to show any favouritism.
By the time we reach, "Today is the day we've waited for," we are singing in unison and all more than ready to launch ourselves out into the world.
There is a down side.
We may all be motivated to 'carpe diem', but the whole process requires a minimum of five minutes.
Like most houses on a weekday morning, there's a very tight schedule.
The result is the school run becomes just that. We run all they way there, arriving just as the bell is ringing.
But it's worth it.
However, you don't need to have children to use this particular 'Hillhouse tip' to start your day in a positive fashion, anyone can try it.
To help you on your way I have posted a video to get you started.
'As always, it was sheer pleasure to observe Robin Hill's remarkable fluent technique: everything looks easy when he plays it.' Colin Cooper- Classical Guitar Magazine ----- 'Wonderful for their (Hill & Wiltschinsky) precision, touch and clarity of sound... refined virtuosity, the achievement of a long interpretive process.' Il Giornale D'Italia (Rome) ----- 'I loved your CD and thought your technique and performance were fabulous...' Rick Wakeman