Old folk at lunch

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

An oratorio and a beard



Last Friday I went, as I usually do, to the annual performance of Handel's "Messiah" put on by the Bach society here in Brisbane at the magnificent Cathedral church of St John the Divine. If ever a building suited the music .... St John's is a sandstone cathedral in the Gothic style, said to be modelled loosely on Salisbury cathedral in England. It is rather marvellous to be in a such a vast stone cavern but an Italian would look around and wonder when the real work was due to begin. In the Northern European style, the walls are mostly bare and there is very little ornamentation or colour of any kind. It is an Anglican cathedral so the sermons are never much but the music is often good and they do a good ecclesiastical procession.

Anyway, the music was great as usual and I am still singing snatches of the "Messiah" to myself. Anne accompanied me, much to her satisfaction. She is a "going out" lady and she can never get me to go out enough so she appreciates the rare occasions when I do so.

Then last Monday Jenny put on a small "Bon voyage" dinner for Paul and Sue. They are off on a two-month overseas holiday, mostly in America, I gathered. They will be in NYC for Christmas so I told them to go to the Episcopalian Cathedral on Christmas morning. Neither of them are religious but nor are the Episcopalians -- but they should enjoy the show.

Jenny gave us Korean egg-rolled pork for dinner -- a family favourite -- complete with Kim Chee and Japanese ginger. Yum! No matter how much egg-rolled pork Jenny makes, there is never any left over!

We talked a bit about the various diet myths and Paul quizzed me a bit about my early life. So it was something of an evening of reminiscences. Joe updated me on how his Ph.D. studies in mathematics are going, which I like to hear. He seems to be forging ahead and quite engrossed in his reading. I think he is just as much a born academic as I am.

But the highlight of the evening was to inspect Joe's newly grown beard. He has been shaving it off ever since it started to grow so we had no prior idea of what it would be like. And it is red! He is a genuine "bluebeard". I was quite delighted. There is red hair on Jenny's side as well as on mine so we were rather hoping that he would be a redhead before he was born but that was not to be. Being a blond is pretty aspirational anyway. Women spend a lot of money going blonde. So although I wanted a "bluey" as a son, a 6' tall "bluebeard" is just as good, if not better. My father had red hair and was always known as "bluey".

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