Glyndebourne... miscellany of moments. Yesterday... 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, she replied... '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 'Bravo!' many times in a deep, deep treacly tone. I was in heaven. Short interval... 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. Eugene Onegin... The opera I had vowed I would see one day live at Glyndebourne... I was there, savouring every moment. Long interval... 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 operatic knowledge. 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!' 'Happy birthday!' 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.
Those of you who are kind enough to follow my blog
will know of my yen...
no don't beat about the bush LL...
to go to Glyndebourne to see
As soon as I saw the advertisement, I decided to check it out.
Falling in a faint at the prices, I came to, determined by hell or high water
to go. Beg, borrow or steal coming to mind as the way forward.
Beg seemed the obvious answer...
I'm not proud. In answer to my begging blog post Yorkshire Pudding found a lady on Gum Tree with four tickets to sell. I asked if she would sell me one, but quite understandably she wanted to keep them as a four or two twos. I wracked my brains as to who I knew that would be interested in going, in order to use the Gum Tree cheaper seats. Ted wasn't in the frame, he doesn't like opera and more to the point, why spend good money on something you don't enjoy, even with the added bonus of keeping the missus smiling, happy, on-side... call it what you will! With a sudden flash of inspiration I had the prey in my sights. 'What about **** they I'm sure would be interested, we could all go... I'd make a stunning picnic!' Desperation creeping in, can't you tell. 'We'll ask them when we see them today!' 'Best check in your diary Lin' I didn't really need to, hadn't I checked a thousand times already. I humoured him, I do sometimes. There nestling in the pages was a slip of paper... an e-ticket for one... for me... in the stalls!
not a very clear photo... I'm shaking with excitement... already 'I was going to wait until the letter arrived, but you were so determined, I thought I'd better stop your in your tracks now!' 'How much?' Cinders is going to the ball! Now here's the rub... I am more than happy to go anywhere on my own, I think it's my only child independence streak. So that isn't the problem. What to wear... it's evening dress that isn't a problem... I'll get the flowing flamenco dress I wore to a ball at the palace (another story, another day) out of the suitcase. Well, that is if the moths haven't got there first! The problem is, do I make myself a solo picnic or add to the mortgage inducing ticket price and pay for dinner? Now there is another option, you can share a table with other solo diners, which I ought to say did appeal. Hold tight... I can foresee a prob., they will all be opera buffs and I'm not too keen to expose my total lack of musicality.
Lamely saying this is the only opera that moves me, and I've always wanted to see it live, will in a sentence, mark me down as the very thing I've strived to avoid all these years. That old adage... It's better to be thought a fool, than to open ones mouth and prove it,
made by Viv - got yesterday, if you don't know her work...
best you trip along and feast your eyes
Having a fit with my leg in the air...
like you do, I suggested to Ted we take advantage of
the two for one offer of tickets for
Grand Designs Live.
Wednesday found us clutching our old dears
rail card, brown luggage label attached to our left lapels
we like intrepid explorers set off.
With wonderment at our intrepidness we negotiated our
way off the train at London Bridge.
Feeling this called for a celebration we made our way to the Mug House
a pub nestling cheek by jowl along the Thames and under London Bridge. Borough Market next for the most amazing selection of Street Food. We were certainly getting in the groove. We chose the Ethopian food which was absolutely blooming delicious. Change out of a tenner for two large portions of chicken, rice and two choices of veg or pulses. Having eaten up and supped up, I could cheerfully have gone home then. Pity we didn't really, because even going on the Docklands Light Railway for the very first time, didn't come close to sweetening the pill of how dire I thought the exhibition was... Think the Ideal Home Exhibition on speed, then you get the feel. The first stand we visited was a stand selling mitts for arthritic hands... says it all really! Ten minutes with my hands in the mitts, the salesman proceeded to highlight the benefits. I was sold, however the price made me think again. The classic get-out... 'We've only just got here, so we'll wander around and think about it!' "Oh dear, that's a pity because we've only got six pairs left!' A likely story thought cynic Lin. (That actually was the truth, because today we have tried to get a pair sent and they've sold out until next week. That'll teach me... clever sod!) Walking away I said 'I can't bring myself to let YOU spend that amount of money!' Work that one out? After a quick flash round I wanted to go home 'I don't like it here!' What a spoilt lump. 'Would you like to wander along the South Bank?' Bottom lip quivering... 'No, I just want to go home!' I wouldn't mind but we got to the station too early to get the Evening Standard. WSD knows when she comes on a Friday night her entrance fee is the ES mag... otherwise... 'No room at the Inn!' issues out of Wicked Stepmother's (WSM) pursed lips. Chapter Two (the following morning) I woke up to a pain-free hand imagine that! Getting out of bed, kicking myself as I did, (not an easy manoeuvre in itself) I thought 'What a clot, what price pain-free?' In my defence I did have a 10 am appointment with a doctor for acupuncture. Asking his advice, even he said two appointments with me would buy the mitts. I then set off to the Decorative Living Fair at Eridge to see my best chum Viv. One of the few fairs she now goes to, luckily for me. On arrival home I showed Ted this...
Preludin and the effects in the days of my early years
(not taken by me... by my mother Doris)
'Oh yes, I've tried them all!'
I nearly fell off the dfs in shock.
'In one exam, off my head on amphetamines,
I wrote a limerick
sixteen times and then walked out!'
I sputtered into my mug of
I knew from first sight I liked her... an old lady, hard to imagine her young. From day one we just got on; even today in class we giggled like naughty school children. Her going to university all those years ago, impressed me. Her being off her face, in some obscure way did as well, don't ask me why? Rich coming from one who ran away from being breathed on by a lad smoking dope. I'm obviously not as wild as I'd have you believe!