I’m sorry I haven’t updated the site for a while; I have been very busy with work lately. I have now been working at HMV for three weeks. It took me the first two weeks for my feet to get used to it but I am no longer in constant pain.
On the 4th Malcolm took us to the Reform Club to see the Medici String Quartet perform. This was where Phineous Phogg (or something) set out from on his trip around the world in 80 days. It is a magnificent if somewhat gloomy building styled after a Roman house/palace. I imagine it must be very pleasant to sit and read the paper in the morning. The quartet performed in a very intimate setting and they were extremely good (duh!). They all had wonderful instruments which no doubt helped. They played Haydn’s ‘Bird’ quartet which brought back memories of the Divertimento performances:)
After the concert, which also included Beethoven’s Op.59 No.1, we repaired to the dining room for dinner (or was it supper?) It was very nice food accompanied by very nice wine and we returned home with very full stomachs.
Unusually, I had a whole weekend off work so we went to Greenwich. Londoners will tell you what a wonderful place Greenwich is; “delightful” they say. I suppose it is much nicer than a lot of London, but that isn’t necessarily saying much. Still, it is a very pleasant place with nice antique shops and it has a much more open and clean feeling to it than, say, Oxford Street. It has quite a nautical air about it.
The Royal Observatory is very fine indeed. It sits atop a hill in the lovely Greenwich Park and has a great view of the Millenium Dome and the City. It is filled with globes, astrolabes, telescopes and wonderful models of the solar system. They are superbly crafted from brass with little gears and springs and most are 200 years old.
The Observatory looks down on the Maritime Museum, a large and occasionally perplexing building. It has some interesting stuff in it, especially if you like boats, but there were some exhibits, like the model of an All Black doing the Haka, that I just couldn’t figure out.
London, the safest city in the world
Rewinding to Wednesday over a week ago, I had finished a drink at the Woodstock, the local for HMV Oxford Street. It was about 10:30pm and the staff had gone to the pub after another long day setting up for ‘HMV’s biggest ever sale’ (it happens every year) which started the next day. As I was walking to the bus stop with Neal he made an interesting comment. He said, ‘You know, I was walking along here one night when I saw a guy get shot.’ Ooooooookaaaaayy…
A night at the opera
On Thursday we went to the amazing Colliseum to see the English National Opera perform Monteverdi’s Orfeo. Unfortunately I was seated behind a human bear but what I could see by craning around his shaggy head was excellent. I would have preferred a more lavishly baroque staging rather than the stark minimalist one, but the music was simply wonderful. I spent a large portion of the evening with my mouth hanging open in a stupid grin. It really was fantastic.
One of my workmates has suggested I join the choir he sings in. It is the East London Chorus and they are performing Monteverdi’s Vespers soon. Although they are an amateur group they are conducted by Murray Stewart who also conducts the London Pro Arte Orchestra so it might be good to get to know him.
I have to take my holidays in a couple of weeks. I get about a week off. We may go to Paris for a couple of days as its only £79 on the train. Actually its only £35 to fly to Edinburgh. Or maybe Amsterdam (£50). Decisions, decisions…