September 13th, 2004

zombie... zombie... zombie...

No, we have not yet watched the newly-acquired Shaun of the Dead DVD, but the above is a fairly accurate summary of the amount of brain activity going on in front of this computer at the moment.

It's been a busy and fairly varied few days. Thursday evening, we went round to see caffeine_fairy and chomper99 for the first social engagement involving both pairs of us being Old Married Folks, instead of just myself and rotwang. There was yummy dinner and silly games; all very fine.

Friday evening was our dose of culture for the week month year. Some friends of mine from Berlin were in town to go to the Proms and had invited us to come with them, so we sat in a box (nice tickets!) and listened to soprano Anna Netrebko singing various operatic arias (I'm too lazy to type all the details; the full programme is here) followed by Shostakovich's Symphony #5. Despite the BBC site referenced above describing it as his most popular work, I don't recall having heard it previously; possibly way back in the days of O-level Music, I suppose.

On Saturday we met up with our German friends again for the BBC's Proms in the Park concert in Hyde Park. The idea is that there are separate concerts around the country and that all of them link up for the last twenty minutes or so of the main Last Night Of The Proms. We reached Hyde Park in time to spend about 20 minutes trying to get into the concert area (well, okay, 20,000 people, fair enough). The promised rainstorms failed to materialise except for a very brief shower, but it was extremely windy (which, when you're sitting on the ground for most of the evening, makes for windborne grit in places you'd prefer not to have it; eyes, hair, butter...)

The concert itself was fairly varied in terms of content as well as quality. Bjorn Again were excellent. Evelyn Glennie started off well but suffered from a poor choice of final piece. I'm sure the rather quiet and contemplative stuff would have gone down a storm in a proper concert hall, but on a windy evening in front of a very large audience, most of whom were not sitting paying quiet attention but were chatting to their friends, it wasn't really working. The cute Mexican tenor whose name I have forgotten was very good. The Corrs are unfortunately Not My Thing.

I'd've liked to hook up with the Albert Hall feed a bit earlier so that we could have heard all of Sousa's Liberty Bell; we came in just at the end of it and then sang/hummed/clapped our way through Pomp & Circumstance #1, Fantasia on British Sea Songs, and Jerusalem (and the National Anthem; two verses rather than one, shock, horror). I wasn't entirely sure what our accompanying Germans would make of the flag-waving insanity but they seemed to enjoy it ;)

And then... Sunday! (which will be detailed shortly)

More knots tied

On Sunday, after fortifying ourselves with the weekend's second round of bacon butties, we (myself, rotwang and DodgyLodger) headed towards Wantage, to be present at the wedding of triskellian and smiorgan.

The ceremony itself was understated and pleasant, with a reading by secretrebel (SR, can you email or comment with the title and author of that poem again? I'd like to find a copy). There was pretty harp music (sadly, for us towards the rear of the hall, fighting against the noise of two small children; not screaming, just not really able to keep quiet. I remain of the opinion that there are times and places for small children and weddings aren't one of them) and singing. Previously there had been scones with cream and jam, and then later on we had dinner (which included a lovely veggie curry salad) and after that there was music, lovingly hand-selected by the bride and groom (we think!), most of which was much more to our taste than what you usually get after weddings ;)

It was great to see the two of them so very obviously happy, and it was also good to get a chance to catch up with a lot of our friends that we don't see nearly often enough, either due to scheduling conflicts or because they're not very local (or both). wimble and bateleur already have pictures up; mine will follow at some point when I have recharged the digital camera battery...