Sunday, June 2, 2019

Concert Day

Dave left for work early yesterday morning, wearing his suit and ready to help conduct the end-of-year high school music concert. He and his colleagues had to spend the day moving instruments and setting up the performance space, a big church in Marylebone. Olga and I were left to our own devices.

I spent the morning in the garden, tidying up and doing some minor jobs. Two nights ago Olga flew out the back door, chasing a fox that darted past in the twilight, and ran headlong into a potted delphinium, smashing the pot and leaving a spray of debris across the patio. It looked like it had been struck by a meteor -- which I suppose, in a way, it had. A canine meteor. Anyway, the plant itself was fine -- we just popped it in another pot -- but I had to sweep up all the shards of terra cotta and the pebbles that I'd put in the pot to keep away the squirrels. (The fox got away safely under the garden fence, and Olga, fortunately, is indestructible.)

I also planted our two cosmos seedlings.

Otherwise, Olga and I lay on a blanket in the sun. I finished Sally Rooney's book "Normal People," which frankly I expected to like more than I did. I found the main characters incredibly frustrating. For two people who were purportedly in love, they couldn't communicate very clearly and they kept having misunderstandings that derailed their relationship. I wanted to scream, "Would you please just TALK to each other?!?!?"

I was having such a great day at home that I really didn't want to go to the concert. I had to force myself into the shower and out the door, but these are the things we do for love, after all. I took my camera down to Marylebone intending to photograph the performance, and only when I got there did I realize the camera battery was completely dead. So basically I was hauling a bag the size and weight of a boat anchor for no purpose at all. I was not amused.

I got coffee at a Starbucks before the show and saw several kids from school wander past as I sat at a cafe table on the sidewalk. They never seem to know how to behave when they see me out of context (in other words, away from school). Do they greet me? Do they ignore me? I get both reactions.

Anyway, of course the concert wound up being terrific, as it is every year -- I never fail to be surprised by the skill level and performance abilities of our students. We heard everything from Miles Davis to Stravinsky to Puccini to African choral music. In the end I was very glad I went.

And then I came home and had an evening gin & tonic on the garden bench, waiting for Dave to reappear after the instruments and equipment had been repacked and transported back to school. (If you're wondering why I didn't stay and help, let me just say -- they have a system. I'd be in the way.) I know he and his music department colleagues feel a huge sense of relief having that concert behind them!

(Top photo: A pharmacy in Marylebone. It's been in business for more than 200 years, since 1814!)


  1. That is surely your best ever photograph of Olga. It's like a book cover. I can imagine a title emblazoned across the top - "Olga - The Enforcer".

  2. What a fabulous pharmacy! Over 200 years old and still looking good. I wish I could say the same about me when I am that age! The photo captures the charm perfectly. I wonder what it looks like inside?

  3. Best ever photo of Olga. Best ever!

  4. The things we do for love, indeed!
    I agree with Mr. P. That picture of Olga is the very best.

  5. I sat through a 2 hr. 500+ class high school graduation just to see one grandchild walk across the stage. yep, the things we do for love. and yeah, great picture of Olga.

  6. Sounds like a great concert. Beautiful photos especially the one of Olga. The perspective is really great.

  7. I always had the same feeling about our bands. I was amazed at how ell they performed. My kids were in the band program and I was a amazed at the skill they developed.

  8. Beautiful picture of Olga and the garden. I can see why you love living there.

  9. The bands in our kids' schools always put on great performances, too. It's amazing how much skill the teachers can develop in the kids, and how much the kids can learn, in just a few years (or even one). And the discipline that goes into learning an instrument translates into other aspects of a kid's life. It's an all-around good thing.

    I hate it when characters (books or TV or movies) don't just talk to each other. I guess that's how the suspense is generated in some "feelings" stories, but it drives me nuts!

    Olga looks positively pensive in that shot. Not a bit of goofiness in sight! I like it, but I like her goofy shots just as much. lol

  10. Awesome portrait of Olga it would look great framed, glad that the band was a great success.

  11. I hate being dissapointed by a book much more so than a movie

  12. Love the photo of the pharmacy. And that photo of Olga is great. I hope you have it printed and framed.

  13. (Note - the following is what happens sometimes when I type on my iPad. Is it possessed by the spirit of James Shatner? Inquiring minds want to know! Anyway, it made me laugh, so I'm leaving it.)

    That. Description of the book you read. Sounds like. Every Harlequin romance ever - SO ANNOYING (((not to mention Harlequin romances are not. All. That fabulous. Anyway).

    I'll jump on the Olga bandwagon - wonderful photo of her!

  14. I love the photo of Olga, also. It almost looks like she's been cut out and glued onto the photo of the garden. A very unique quality. I'm trying to get through a book I'm not crazy about. It's one in a series, and I'm afraid if I give up and quit I'll miss something that will be important to the next book.

  15. YP: She does look very purposeful in that picture, doesn't she? Like, you wouldn't want to mess with her.

    David: I didn't go in. I was amused by that stack of Claritin (or Clarityn, as it's spelled here) in the window. Probably much different from the remedies sold when that pharmacy first opened 200-plus years ago!

    Alphie: I thank you and Olga does too!

    Ms Moon: Our roses are looking so good right now. And of course Olga ALWAYS looks good.

    Ellen: Ugh. OK, you win.

    Robin: I had to take it at a low angle to get all the roses in the background, but it DOES work, doesn't it?!

    Red: It's amazing to watch a kid play an instrument capably. Especially if, like me, you don't play any yourself.

    Allison: It's definitely a good time of year!

    Jenny-O: She's goofy even in her pensiveness, LOL. And yes, that's exactly what was frustrating -- the lack of communication between the characters seemed like an artificial driver of the storyline more than something that would really happen. Real people would have a conversation. You know?

    Comox: It's framed here on the blog!

    John: Well, a book is definitely a bigger investment of time!

    Catalyst: Dave keeps saying we should frame some of my pictures, but honestly, I don't see the point. I'm happy to have them live online!

    Bug: HA! I LOVE that. It IS very Shatner-esque. (He's William, though. His character is James!)

    Sue: I guarantee you no cutting out or Photoshop was involved! I hope that book series gets better. It would be a drag to keep reading just to understand the next book, and then have IT be bad, too!

  16. I KNEW something didn't seem right - ha!