Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Happy Easter, everyone!

... I'm off to spend a few days with my mum in Kent. A peaceful lunch out tomorrow, a peaceful Good Friday walk in the countryside; then probably gardening and cooking proper home-made hot cross buns on Saturday, eating them on Sunday, another healthy walk on Monday... Peace and quiet and open air, in the springtime, in my mother's garden. Bliss.

Last night I was at a tremendous performance of Debussy's "Pelléas et Mélisande" at the Barbican. Favourite Baritone was on stunning form and the rest of the cast were also terrific, especially the small parts and Laurant Naouri's deeply intense and quietly terrifying Golaud. I started off thinking quite calmly and intellectually "ah, this beautiful music, those delicate scintillating sounds, ooh the strings..." and was gradually, inexorably swept up into a semi-stifled, rapt tension that left me shaking. Wonderful (& such a relief that it was a concert performance and so not buried under directorial concepts).

FB has been in the wars again, though; it appears he's broken his left (dominant) arm for the second time in less than ten years. Poor, silly chap, he is an accident-prone numpty - but his voice and his artistry are still second-to-none.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Scream scream scream...

I know carnivores eat meat. I know that to eat meat, an animal has to be killed. I know this is perfectly natural and normal (except when it is on the scale at which which most meat-eating human beings eat meat - we are after all omnivores and can derive all our nutrition from non-meat sources without too much difficulty, as with my lunch of Finn Crisp and ripe Brie, yum, delish). Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I'm not one of those vegetarians who would try to force a dog to eat vegetarian food; I know that carnivory is part of nature.

I just wish it didn't have to take place under my bedroom window, over an unpleasantly protracted period, in the small hours of the morning.

I got up after about ten minutes of screaming. The predator, needless to say, was a fox. In the dim pre-dawn light, I couldn't even make out what it was that was being killed; it was small, probably a rat, but all I could see was a shadowy shape moving on the road surface. The fox was following it with a sort of skipping gait, snapping at it as it shifted; skip, snap, scream, skip, snap, scream... Finally the fox managed to get a good grip, and disappeared under next-door's parked car, from where the shrieking went on for a while longer, slightly muffled by the chassis above. I went back to bed, very wide awake, and managed to get back to sleep about 6.30.

Consequently I'm feeling tired and a little blotto today, despite the sunshine. When I went to get my lunch I told a colleague I was going to "look for some crisp bed and cheese". Now that's a Freudian slip and no mistaking.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

New PCs at work

I think the correct text-speak would be OMG!! Our new PCs have just arrived at work - only two months late.

And they are complicated. Oh, technology, my enemy and my friend in one. >sigh< I'll be a while getting used to this.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Guess what? - a busy weekend...

Lately life seems to be amazingly busy. I don’t know if it’s something to do with the burgeoning energy of spring, or simply that I have over-booked myself badly for March and April. I’m not complaining! – it’s lovely to be busy; to be seeing friends and family, going to concerts and ballet and opera, working in the garden, cooking, drawing, writing and so on. It’s great – I hate being bored.

This weekend was certainly hectic. Talking to the bank manager on Saturday, while not exactly fun, was at least useful (I was making arrangements about my savings, so it was the good kind of bank manager interview, not the painful kind). Trying to get my summer clothes sorted out on Sunday was less fun, owing to what I’ll politely call waistline issues. It’s left me with a pile of needlework to do, too, plus I didn’t get the job finished so now have a pile of summer clothes lying on the floor in an unwearable tangle. But - I also made a good chick pea curry and an excellent Spanish omelette, and cleaned the bathroom, and had a spin on my bike admiring magnolias and cherry blossom in other people’s gardens, and nearly did something awful to my back with five hours’ straight working in my own garden (which is still pretty immature, meaning everything is very short and I am bent double the entire time). And finally, after being galvanised by a friend into going out on Sunday afternoon, ended up having white wine and ice cream in a pizzeria on Southampton Row with some more of her friends who were on their way to “Aida” at the Royal Opera. They had standing room tickets, so on balance I didn’t envy them too badly, much though I love “Aida”. But intelligent company is always good, especially on a sunny afternoon with added wine and ice cream.

‘ “My idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.”
“That is not good company – that is the best.” ’

(Jane Austen “Persuasion” - but I’m quoting from memory so may have got it garbled).

Friday, 8 April 2011



Thank God, it's Friday.

Even if I'm not sure what I'm doing this weekend, and I basically want a weekend about six days long to do everything I want to do; still, Oh Lord my thanks, Great Mother my thanks! - it's Friday!

And it's sunny weather. Bliss.

See you all on Monday...