Saturday, August 25, 2012
A busy weekend
The Hamburg Philharmonic is in town at the moment so it saves a trip to Hamburg to hear a noted orchestra! And all the players are Hamburgers! Its arrival was of course announced well in advance so at the time of my birthday, Anne bought two tickets for one of their recitals as a birthday present to me. And I actually managed not to lose the tickets! I did lose them actually but Anne found them again.
So I got into my Chinese suit again and off we went to the concert hall at QPAC last night.
The recital consisted of one work only: The Mahler 2nd. It is truly a magnificent work and ideal for the concert hall. It has a large dynamic range with lots of crashing crescendoes etc. so trying to listen to it off a CD or DVD would miss a lot of the impact. The audience gave the orchestra an extended standing ovation at the end of it.
The conductor was a little Australian lady who put enormous energy into her task. She literally danced around the podium and even leapt up and down at times. I found her slightly distracting actually and looked away for most of the performance. She would be a good actor in a Bollywood movie. She obviously loved the music however and did a good job with it.
And today was a lunch in celebration of the birthday of Mr. 1. Matthew is now all of one year old, a year many of us have been delighted to share in. He was actually rather subdued by all the people around him and looked at us as if we had all gone mad when we sang Happy Birthday. Susan lit a candle on his cake and in best toddler style he immediately made a grab for the flame. Susan caught him just in time however. You have to be fast around him.
And something of an unexpected star of the day was Dusty. He is unbelievably good natured. He just sat there in his high chair when nobody was holding him and gave us lots of smiles and no complaints.
Susan as usual put on lots of good food with a large glazed ham being particularly good. I got into the cheesecake too. And there was a pirate theme for the day that Susan had obviously gone to a lot of trouble to set up. I don't know how many people were there -- perhaps 20 -- including all the old gang except for those who are out of town.
Susan had both her mother and stepmother present, which I was pleased to see. There is a strong resemblance in looks between Susan and her mother.
Paul was his usual ebullient self and ate too much again. His latest scheme is to import dubious health pills from China! Being a good salesman he is going to take them himself so I hope they don't poison him. You never know what's in stuff you get from China.
The festive table -- showing the work Susan put into the occasion
Matthew with his Gran (Susan's mother) looking a bit overwhelmed
Dusty -- Mr. Smiles
Caught enjoying a ham butty