Friday, June 27, 2008

post 101!

I just realised that this is the 101st post on our blog! Yey! So much for the "I'll never be able to post anything on the blog" moments.
I love Fridays! I always have - even in school, when went to my cello lessons on a Friday afternoon and to my orchestra rehearsal in the evening. Although strictly speaking I don't have a 'real' Friday/weekend anymore since I left university. However, I try to stick to a Friday routine and because I love the mosaic tool so much you can see what I've done today or am still doing.
Initially I only wanted to share this with you. Sorry guys it's in German - even with a slight dialect, but I'm sure you'll get the idea about knitting on trains. You can even see a man knitting and to what the Europacup can inspire! Also note: important for knitting is a bottle of slow gin to keep the knitting needles well oiled. :-) Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Five Minutes?

Five minutes for a to-do list that could keep me running until Christmas, five minutes to realise I have too much to write about to fit it into one blog entry, five minutes that I spent to think if I wanted to write bullet points, but obviously decided against it, five minutes I spent looking out of the window enjoying the sunshine, five minutes to update the blogroll...

Talking about time, I found this lately and I'm seriously thinking of getting one. I severely dislike (borderline to hate) the mobile phone alarm clock in the morning. I just need to make sure I put some nice music on, not necessarily classical though.
Although classical music makes an interesting subject for conversation. Last Saturday while hunting a black dress for G, we sat on the tube (Underground) from Richmond to High Street Kensington and got to talking to a stranger. Yes I know, I usually never talk to strangers (at least not more than one or two sentences) and if it wouldn't have been for G the conversation wouldn't have been very long. But within the very short period of time that the tube ride took, we were chatting about music festivals in Germany, Buxtehude, and the Chinese music week on BBC3. It actually reminded me that I wanted to look into Buxtehude vocal pieces which I had totally forgotten about. Thank you stranger!

Also on the singing front: Our Waiting Room concert has been found 'outstanding' in the Music and Mind season review and we have been asked back for the London Opera Vocal team for this year's summer course. How much fun can you have, working with friends? KL and I have been a terrific Wotan in rehearsals years ago - time to revive this while working on the third act of 'Die Walk├╝re'. If you find yourself in London on the first weekend of August, come along to watch us work in the National Opera Studio. As far as I can remember from previous years, you can listen to the final concerts on the Sunday or come to observe (on donation basis). If you're unsure if this is somthing you'd like to do, this is the time to find out! We'd love to see you there.

On the knitting front I nearly finished the second pair of baby pants for the 'twin set'. I would have finished it already if I had remembered to take the second colourway with me yesterday. It didn't seem to be the best day for knitting though: G took all her knitting and left the needles at home...

Five minutes it will take me to go downstairs and make myself some coffee. What a great start to the day!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Days of nothing

After the madness of the weekend (and some mean food related headache on Tuesday) I enjoy sitting here looking out of the window. It's sunny, there is a light breeze - all I need now is a coffee . Hmm this involves moving (kitchen is downstairs) and I'm quite comfortable here... maybe after I finish writing this entry. Our camera still refuses to cooperate and housemate J was so kind to offer hers. The trouble is: she has been doing double shifts for weeks and I haven't seen her for days. I heard her leaving early in this morning so I know she is still around... I have finished my baby pants for my sister's friend and I'm currently on the second one - she is having twins. So far you just have to take my word for it that they are really cute.

The only thing I have done today was this mosaic meme I had wanted to do ever since I saw it on the yarn tootin' blog.It was fun! I apologise for not giving the accurate source of my pictures but my computer is funny today and didn't let me save all the locations. I'm not about to tag anyone, but if you like to play along the rules are simple (and it's contagious here is G's mosaic)
A. Type your answer in flickr search; use only the first page to pick an image
B. Copy and past your picture URLs into fd's mosaique maker

The questions are:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Madness - and gratefulness

Is it ever going to be summer this year? This morning the sky was bright and blue and enthusiastically I was wearing a skirt to meet our friend HC for breakfast before she starts her estival activities in the UK this year coaching in Glyndebourne. G, HC and I used to share a house for a while and I really miss her and our crazy Monday morning conversations about the meaning of life. But coming back to the summer outfit, by the time we went home at about 1pm my legs had a nice blue-ish colour and for the rest of the day I abandoned the idea of summer clothes.

I'll leave the story with the 'cat Nazi' and the slight madness that followed to G for another post. In any case, instead of visiting the cat we went to Ikea last weekend and bought lots of stuff and an assortment of boxes and shelves to organise all our things: music, CDs, DVDs, books and - yarn!

With order re-established, I virtually didn't leave the room in days in order to finish our press pack for our Body&Voice - Voice unlimited Project! From about 20 hours of material (concerts, workshops etc) we created a short video about our ensemble - only 2 minutes long and not too bad for someone who's not a technician in the first place. Eventually we'll put it on our YouTube site, so you can see for yourselves.
I'm so proud of our Body&Voice Project. A project that unites singing and body works with a team of experienced singers and practitioners; oh, just go over to our Body&Voice website where G just put the English site in place.
I had this idea for years, but only last year I found a team of practitioners who believed in the project. We received the most amazing feedback in our workshops last year. In about a day our amateur singers (who generally only sung in the shower) not only learned a couple of opera choruses (some in two parts) but happily performed them at the end in a mini staged version - and last but not least had loads of fun.
As an interesting side effect, our practitioners loved the singing so much that they joined in the singing classes like it would be the most natural thing to do and one of the participants has now joined a choral society. We usually get a lot of comments from people who think they are 'not cool enough' or 'not good enough' to join a singing workshop. Excuse me, but if you love to sing then you are definitely cool and good enough to do it (I'm not saying you will become an instant professional).
Who knows - you might find that you're actually much cooler or better than you think you are - and let me tell you the surroundings of the abbey where we will be doing the course this September are spectacular. So grab your favourite partner and/or friend and go to Germany for a weekend. There is loads to discover!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Don't tell me you added butter, too?!

I often read "it was one of THOSE days"... well, it certainly was one of THOSE weeks. If at all possible, I was more tired this (Monday) morning than I had been on Friday night after a week of working over-time every day.
The working week ended with M and I making some Risotto on Friday night (we often cook together), both not being able to eat much of it, deciding that it must be tiredness. The Risotto lasted us until Sunday, when M had a look in the butter dish (to butter a toast), wondering out loud where all the butter had gone.... she had only put a small piece into the Risotto - wait "You put BUTTER INTO THE RISOTTO, TOO?!" Well, let me tell you it tasted lovely and lasted for three meals for both of us. :-)

It was a very nice weekend with a spinning meeting in J's garden on Saturday morning (I still don't spin but was knitting happily on another baby hat.... more about this in a later post and no, I'm not pregnant). But from the moment M and I returned home, we were glued to our computers editing away at a promo DVD for our vocal ensemble. Oh, the memories - apart from the understandable problems in listening to oneself perform (I should have done this differently, not the right breath control here, so-and-so messed up this bit), it was a journey into reminiscence...
Apart from being absolutely shattered from not having slept enough and having worked through most of Saturday and all of Sunday, I loved every minute of it! We really built up an ensemble out of nothing despite M's sometimes debilitating illness and my having to earn money in non-singing jobs to make ends meet. This weekend's journey to past concerts and projects really made me want to fight for our little tiny corner, making a difference in some people's lives by performing for them and enabling them to make music as well (any encouragement is more than welcome, especially as M has been rather poorly in the last few weeks!).
So up, up and beyond.....