Catching up with things

Lots of things happened this week! My French friend had her third daughter, mom and baby are both well. I made two little hats for Baby V. (again, you might say) from the itty-bitty hats in white and pink. For the first time I added little labels, care instructions, etc. as I won’t be seeing my friends any time soon, I thought it might be safer to include these bits of information.

I have finished my first Monkey sock. I thought I was the last person on this planet who hadn’t knitted one. Well, as it turned out, I wasn’t! G started to knit one after me – but I must say she finished her pair of socks already!

I read the last Harry Potter book… and this will be all I say. My friend J hasn’t finished the book yet, and has threatened to kill everyone who will tell her how it ends. She avoided newspapers and television all week, not to have the end spoiled. Since she might read this I will just say that G and I have been reading it to each other (so the other one could knit :-). Although I’m convinced that Steven Fry is a zillion times better at reading this book than me, it was huge fun.

I went to my first Proms concert this year. It had the world premier of Peter Wiegold’s work ‘He is armoured with’ commissioned by the BBC. G, T and I were standing in the gallery of the Albert Hall and had a perfect view. My friend K and I have been working on PW’s song cycle ‘Les Roses’ for some time now (we have played it to him once and I WAS really nervous!) and have built a recital around it, featuring all sorts of flower songs. Naturally, I was curious to listen to the new work, which was according to K nothing like Les Roses.

To say it straight away I found it quite scary. Starting from the huge amount of brass, the Telegraph advertised it as the 100 trumpet piece, that included Fanfare Trumpets of the Band of the Coldstream Guards standing at the rear of the arena (must have been warm under those hats) Uzbeks playing traditional instruments, the karnay trumpet (six foot long valveless instruments) and timpani war drums. There was a ring of trumpets in the gallery (one lot about 5m away from us), 16 tubas in the arena, 24 trombones under the organ, two brass bands in the stalls and a solo trumpet and solo trombone in the middle of the arena in what looked like a boxing ring.
And yes, before anyone asks, it was loud! It was quite colorful too, the Uzbeks were wearing traditional costumes in blue and gold, the Guards had their uniforms and the res
t of the musicians ‘normal’ concert clothes. Due to the different positions of the musicians I felt surrounded with music. It added a sort of chasing/hunt effect. I quite liked it, but writing about it doesn’t do this piece much justice as visual and acoustic senses had so much input, it feels like talking someone through a delicious meal. It’s not the same, you have to experience it.

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