Friday, September 18, 2009

The world's a stage

Work on completing the repaving of the streets is rapidly nearing completion. Most of the work on the Kingsway road crossing is also done, though not yet tidied up and open for the free flow of traffic. Recently there's been more work being done at weekends and evenings as deadline chasing dominates each passing day. Paul Mannings yesterday smilingly showed me his computer screen displaying the last few weeks of his three year long project managment diagram, all on one page.

After the midday Eucharist today, one of our two regulars named Mary felt so poorly that she could not go upstairs to the tea room for lunch and a natter with her four mates, as she always does on Friday lunchtimes. In fact, none of them went up. All off them sat together quietly in the front pew, surrounding her with their tender, gentle, un-anxious care. It was a very moving scene. Mary was feeling embarrassed at the fuss she thought she was causing, and not keen that an ambulance be called, but in the end detemined common sense prevailed, and four green clad paramedics soon turned up and treated her with equal warmth and kindness. She took some persuading to go with them to hospital for a check up, still bothered about putting people out, and in the end one of her friends went with her.

It was a busy lunch-time in the tea room too, as we were a volunteer short with Allan in Italy. Abby Alford and a photographer came in, interviewed a few people and took some pictures for the 'Echo', all to celebrate the renovation of the church part-paid for by tea-room funds. Philip was off sick, so I had to do the weekly newsletter before going home for an early supper, and the first autumn evening at the opera.

The WNO put on a superb production of Verdi's tragic romance 'La Traviata', set in fin de si├Ęcle Paris with sets looking like paintings by Toulouse Lautrec. Violetta was played by an aristocratic willowy Greek soprano called Myrto Papatanasiu, with a marvellous voice, well up to the demands of the role. She made me think about Maria Callas, inevitably, I suppose, though her voice is not so strident. Beforehand, I thought it was an opera I didn't know at all, yet many of the arias turned out to be familiar (from BBC Radio 3, I guess), even if the story was not.

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