Tuesday, September 21, 2010

First nights

Tonight I am typing this at my own little table in my own little apartment - an exciting First Night and an exciting moment. It was somewhat less exciting earlier when I discovered  - when I was already wet - that the hot water wasn't going to join me. However, I have now figured out which of the many switches in the cupboard it is necessary to turn on and adjust (it is some kind of off-peak timed arrangement), and I am hopeful that the morning will bring a piping hot shower.

I spent a leisurely morning at Hamburg's Hotel Louis C Jacob - a place I can't recommend too highly - and Christian (who had driven me to the opera last night, and then picked me up) continued his good work and drove me to the airport. The flight back was prompt and efficient and on time; but then the weak link emerged: UK Border control. There was a one hour queue to pass through immigration this afternoon. I used the Underground to come back into the city this time, which took me directly from Terminal 5 to Kings Cross Station (aka home), but the trip was an hour long because of all the stops it makes at god-forsaken little platforms out in the boondocks.

However, I was in time to freshen up - a cold shower is certainly freshening - and go join Kyle and Andrew (the latter newly arrived home from four weeks in Darwin) for another First Night: opening night of  'The Makropolous Case' at the English National Opera. This is a Janáček opera, written in Czech originally; but the ENO's claim to fame is that it performs all operas in English. I must say that this was a help in unravelling the rather convoluted storyline, which involves a 336 year old woman who is still beautiful, and a court case that has been running for 100 years. It was an excellent production and great singing.

The ENO's home is the ornate Colisseum Theatre just off Trafalgar Square. It took me only ten minutes to get there, door to door. Wow.

In other news, Birkbeck has released a draft timetable for the MA. It is rather obscure, but it looks like my optional subject in the first half of the year will probably have to be 'Schopenhauer and Nietzsche'. Scary. In one civilised touch, there are never any classes on Friday. Excellent. I foresee more weekends away. For study purposes, of course.


  1. For study purposes? Annette, you disappoint me! J