Saturday, February 16, 2008

A few days away...

It's been good over the last few days to be rid of Chirbury and Marton YFC's 'theme song'. It's been one of those irritating tunes that has taken root and accompanied me everywhere and seemingly forever - or since rehearsals started anyway.

The good news is it's been replaced by snippets from the Magic Flute. Hooray! Unfortunately, I suspect this is not a permanent arrangement as we are back in the village hall tomorrow night rehearsing prior to putting the show on for local people. I thought it was too good to last.

However, there are worse things to whistle than Mozart so I'm making the most of it. My inspiration was Die Zauberflöte which was Wednesday evening's treat at the Royal Opera House, and in turn the excuse for a few days in London. The Times critic generously bestowed a 3 star rating on the production and while I'm no expert I'd say that was about right. (Would that I were able to go to the opera sufficiently often to be truly critical....) The Eyechild joined us. While he has spent many a happy (?) day working in Covent Garden I think this was his first time inside the Opera House.

We travelled from the top of our low mountain, via Birmingham to London. It seemed as if the entire nation was in transit, lugging sorry bundles of possessions and weeping, sticky children from north to south. Maybe bulging trains are a holiday phenomenon; it was half-term after all. We shoe-horned ourselves into windowless seats and travelled hopefully. The woman in the seat behind me breathed heavily from New Street to Euston. This ugly sound was relieved only when she spoke. Her sole topic of conversation was '2 train tickets from Aberystwyth' - so no eavesdropping consolation there then.

However, when we emerged into the sunshine London looked good and croci and other spring flowers were indeed blooming in Gordon Square.

I'm almost ashamed to say that I left
Art to Alan this time and concentrated on shopping and schlepping. (I have become a Uniqlo junkie - affordable cashmere in jolly colours.) We met up again to take the DLR to Greenwich, a short journey which fills me with no little awe. The docklands city-scape I would like to describe as futuristic, but it isn't futuristic - it's here and now. And Wow! Is it de-humanised and brutal, this edifice of concrete and steel that rises above the oily black waters of the city's once bustling docks? Possibly. Nature seems a stranger here.

We viewed my brother's new premises in Greenwich. You're after an antique map or print? Curious about the minutiae of Admiral Lord Nelson's life? Try the Warwick Leadlay Gallery in Nelson Road.

There was just enough time before catching our train home to mooch through the Enlightenment Gallery at the British Museum. This finely honed young man poses idly on his plinth way above head height. His smooth marble limbs are safely out of reach of any hand that might wish to caress. Who is he? I'm afraid I can't remember. I'm very fond of this quirky gallery which reveals the way in which collectors, antiquaries and travellers during the age of enlightenment viewed and classified objects from the world around them.

Then another crowded train and another windowless seat, out of the city, into the suburbs, into a countryside washed with weak spring sunshine. The Long Mountain comes into view at last. Then we're home at last in the Kingdom of Trelystan. My hens have laid 3 eggs. I am still whistling a Mozartian theme and the clear evening sky promises a fine day tomorrow. Can't be bad can it?


snailbeachshepherdess said...

I do envy your culture trips to the big bad must be years since I did that...dont think I could cope with the windowless seats, the weeping children and the heavy breathing though!

bodran... said...

Elizabethm as promisede to take me to london. i've never been there and i'm sure i'll love it.xx

GeraniumCat said...

I like the Enlightenment Galleries too - glad to hear the crocuses are still going strong. I shall check them out again next week.