Monday, October 28, 2019

O Fortuna

Yesterday we encountered what's lately become a rare commodity -- sun! I took Olga to the Heath for a good long romp.

Although many of the trees are still green, or just going yellow, the light seems different at this time of year -- mellower, with long shadows.

Olga, of course, ran around like one of Pasteur's mad dogs.

We paused for a quick photo beside the cricket batting cages on Hampstead Heath Extension.

Olga lost her tennis ball while chasing and barking at a squirrel. That's no big deal -- she's got a million of 'em. But then, tragedy! While walking through Golders Hill Park on the way home, she dropped her Kong, and it rolled under a fence and down a small hill into a pond. I have retrieved that Kong from all manner of disgusting and awkward places but I just didn't have it in me to go after it -- at least, not immediately. So as I write, it's still in the pond, and we are Kongless.

(I must admit, though, that I'm hatching a plan to go back for it. We'll see.)

Dave and I went Saturday night to hear the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra perform Carmina Burana at Royal Albert Hall. We went with a bunch of other teachers -- we had access to free box seats provided by one of the families at school. (Woo hoo!) Most of us know Carmina Burana's opening and closing piece, "O Fortuna," and for years I've believed it was the music used in the film "The Omen." (I even blogged that the last time I saw Carmina Burana, when I lived in New York.)

Inspired, Dave and I rented "The Omen" yesterday. And no, the music is not "O Fortuna," although it is choral and has a vaguely similar disquieting sound. (Apparently "O Fortuna" has been used in many other movies over the years.)

Finally, I also have to correct something I said in yesterday's post -- I discovered via Google Street View that the old Kapok Tree Inn in Clearwater was not entirely demolished. Parts of it still stand, and for years it's been a music store and apparently a wedding and event space. Most importantly, the large kapok tree that stood outside the restaurant is still around!


  1. As you surely know, I am the kind of fellow who is always reluctant to correct other people's mistakes. However, on this occasion I cannot let your heinous error go by unremarked. You referred to "cricket batting cages" when as all red-blooded Englishmen know they were in fact "cricket nets"! It is surprising that this matter did not crop up in your citizenship exam!

  2. At least it has a new life as a wedding venue and the tree is still lovely. I went once with my grandparents during my undergrad years. I hope you find that Kong!

  3. Oh! The Tragedy of Being Kongless!
    Poor Olga.
    What a very cool thing that the Kapok tree is still there.

  4. I haven't been to the orchestra since I left private school after 7th grade. I would always sign up for the annual field trip to the orchestra and invariably would fall asleep during the performance.

  5. Poor Olga. Dogs can look so sad when they are disappointed. I just know you'll get that kong!

  6. It's hard for me to think of O'Fortuna in conjunction with Ozzie Osborne but there are couple of reference on the link you added. I also learned that the ASU marching band plays it at certain times. Who knew?
    Don't fall in the water retrieving the Kong.

  7. That piece of music is quite stunning and I especially liked the fireworks! : D

  8. Lucky guys! I think that you may be the luckiest of all! Funny that you would choose Andre Rieu , though it is a slam-you-against-the wall- piece of work, I joined his facebook page for a while, but his over the top Lawrence Welk fashion made me groan too much. It just become too cornball. But I do appreciate, mind you, I am not entirely becoming old fut-ish, just an occasional moan, Olga will need some extra good bed time stories, without KONG. Spares?

  9. It's one of those pieces of music which only entertains in one part

  10. Oh no, the Kong is gone! I hope your plan works!

    That kapok tree is lovely. Old trees have seen so much; if only they could tell us about it.

  11. YP: You can bet that whenever I mention anything about cricket, I'll get it wrong!

    E: The Kapok Tree Inn was definitely a grandparent-ish place!

    Ms Moon: Isn't it? I'm so glad they preserved it. It's a beautiful tree. I wonder how they protect it during freezes.

    Ellen: Yeah, that's always a risk, but it's hard to fall asleep during "O Fortuna"!

    Red: I'm going back for it this morning. Fingers crossed!

    Sharon: Yeah, I never knew that Ozzie used it until I read that Wikipedia page. I sort of remember it in the movie "Jackass," though.

    Catalyst: Needless to say, we didn't have fireworks in the Royal Albert. Did you notice that the singer on the left-hand side in that video clip clearly doesn't know the words?!

    Linda Sue: I don't even know who Andre Rieu is. I chose that clip because it was so dramatic! But yes, it is kind of cornball.

    John: This is true. Beyond "O Fortuna" it's pretty forgettable.

    Jenny-O: Find out tomorrow! :)

  12. The Kapok Tree Davie location was the one that became a nature center. Poor Olga!