miscellany of moments.
polished, plucked and perfumed
I set off on my great adventure.
Evening dress is the norm at Glyndebourne.
From way, way back in the cupboard,
this was the final choice for my particular interpretation
of evening dress.
I need not of worried, because people-watching there was
absolutely blooming bliss.
Velvet in every hue... stoles, floor-length capes crumpled and moth-eaten.
Manky mink, crappy coney, sequins-a-go-go, kilts, with and without drawers,
hand-tied dickies, dicky bows on elastic, straining silk waistcoats on bulging bellies,
looking for all the world like pigs head brawn.
The upper classes at play...
don't you just love 'em!
Foot fetishists would have had a field day.
Wellies clarted up with horse-muck,
strappy sandals, sensible grown up Clarks type shoes.
Bobby socks, pop socks, stockings and tights.
Flute in hand I clocked them all.
As I'm sure they did me!
At my feet a woman fell. I was going down the concrete stairs;
she was coming up. The crash was deafening: her glass of champagne
spilt. As I bent to pick her up, enquiring all the while if she was okay,
'I'm fine, I was just admiring your pashmina,
the only hurt is my pride!'
Sitting in the stalls I nearly fainted away when joined by
Adonis, throat wrapped in cashmere scarf.
During the first act, he applauded and called
many times in a deep, deep treacly tone.
I was in heaven.
another flute of bubbles...
when in Rome!
I watched with fascination a lady handing out these
pastilles to her family.
I was instantly transported back to my childhood.
My lovely mum used to buy them for me whenever I had
a sore throat. The funny thing was driving there,
I had been thinking about her.
Strolling over to me she said
'Were you here last week, you look awfully like a lady
I was talking to?'
I took that opportunity to ask about the sweets.
Offering me one, she said she had bought them from the shop.
I was warming,
the glow not entirely champagne-fuelled.
The cast and production were superb.
The opera I had vowed I would see
one day live at Glyndebourne...
I was there, savouring every moment.
I had taken everyone's advice and decided
to join a sharing table.
All my fears were unfounded. Alright, yes Robert and
his partner did know a lot about opera. They were
there from Munich for two days at Glyndebourne for his birthday.
At no time did they make me feel uncomfortable at my total lack of
As I left the table, they went to shake my hand, to which I replied
'Sorry, no can do!'
Oh dear, she probably has a thing about gay men,
perhaps they thought.
I indicated they were required, nay expected to
be clasped to my breast-plate.
All terribly Brunhilde, don't you know!
I turned to go, then with a thought turned back and said
'Robert, have you a programme?'
'No I haven't!'
I said as I proudly gave him mine.
Back for the final act, I got chatting to the handsome young
man. He informed me that he was in fact an opera singer.
I was curious to know about when he discovered
he could sing. He said late for him, and anytime have a go.
I laughed and said I've just been singing in the rehearsals for
'Oh What a Lovely War'
and my fog-horn voice didn't sit well with the sopranos.
He was there to support the cast, many of whom he had worked with.
Didn't I just know It!
'What a way to earn a living!'
Modestly he agreed.
At the end of the night, a few steps ahead of me up the stairs,
he turned and wished me well in our production,
and not to forget to give it some welly!
Driving home through the Sussex and Kent countryside
on so many levels I was one happy contralto.