Monday, September 6, 2010

News after one week

It is just on one week since I arrived in sunny England. Well, the week was indeed sunny - balmy days reaching around 20-22 degrees, not a spot of rain: until today, which is colder and definitely involved rain. Moreover, the workers on the Tube are on strike tomorrow. Is the honeymoon over?


Today I spent a la casa in Earlsfield. The dogs are back. Yes, Greta and Kaiser have come home from their luxury dog kennel and made sure my morning began energetically by attacking the kitchen garbage bin and strewing its contents from one end of the place to the other. They looked extremely sheepish about the whole incident, so I forgave them.


I had a manicure today in Earlsfield also, with a chatty manicurist, a young lady who lives locally. On hearing that I had emigrated from Australia to Britain, she was genuinely puzzled. 'But so many of my friends emigrate out there!' She couldn't understand why I would want to leave that land of sun and beaches and opportunity (aka Australia) for...well....Earlsfield. She tried to put a cheerful face on it, but couldn't resist some dire warnings, mostly concerning the upcoming winter weather. She seemed to consider Australia to be a land of plenty where a man could follow his dreams. She told me that  friend of her parents had immigrated there, loved it, and instead of being a butcher, as he was in England, he was now a prison guard. Clearly things are better in Australia.

Apartment update: I think I'm in to St Pancras. The flat I wanted is not available on a long lease, but an alternative has been offered (with a cut in rent), so I said 'let's do it!' The alternative is on the 4th/5th floor - it's two stories, and a little bigger, though not as light. It is built around the huge wooden structural beams that hold up the roof of the building, and has a view over the glass roof of the station. I'm still waiting on the bit of paper to sign. I'll feel happier once that's done.

I have also spent the day musing on how to get to more opera in Europe. I am investigating the German version of 'Bliss' by the Hamburg Sate Opera - conducted by Simone Young. I have a ticket to the Bolshoi's 'Eugene Onegin' at the Teatro Real in Madrid next weekend - Andy Goodwin, Australian tenor extraordinaire, is singing:
This link includes a video of his Lensky aria in 'Eugene Onegin' - listen and weep. The performances were almost sold out, so I grabbed a ticket. Now to find a cheap hotel (I am supposed to be living 'la vie boheme', after all), and flights to Madrid. It is good to have several reasons to go to Madrid for the weekend.

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