Saturday, September 21, 2013

Culture Night

Just home from a most amazing night.

The orchestra I play with, who rehearse just once a month (as opposed to Band, which is twice a week!), were invited to play in Castletown House for Culture Night.

Culture Night is a fairly new phenomenon in Dublin, where lots of places open their doors/ hold events free of charge. Buildings that are normally closed to the public open up for the evening too. There is always a great buzz around the city, and the country too, as the popularity of it has spread nationwide now.
Below is a picture of the beautifully restored Hunting Room, where we played.

We played in Castletown last year too. This year was even more special for me! We had been working on Beethoven's 7th symphony for much of last year. It is very challenging, even for great players. The 2nd movement featured in The King's Speech. We played it at our summer concert in June, in a church in Co. Kildare.
But this time, the 1st Horn guy was unavailable, so I was on my own, which to me is terrifying.
 However, I decided to "feel the fear and do it anyway", got down to some serious practice over the past 2 weeks, and did it!

Castletown is a most beautiful place; the grounds are amazing, and it's just 30 minutes drive from my house!
 I went straight from work, so had about 20 minutes to walk around and take these pictures.
 Isn't it beautiful?

Lest you think it's all meadows, peace and quiet, there is a small airport nearby, so planes are overhead if you care to take notice!

I am so thrilled to have played a very difficult piece of music, and solo Horn! All the work was certainly worth it, and has given me a  new-found confidence.
On a high!!! And once again, I reflect on and express gratitude for, this marvellous musical journey that I am on. It has already taken me to places I would only have ever dreamed of, and I have made fantastic friendships along the way.
There is no destination here, it's all about the journey. A good philosophy for life!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Don't know where to start, but here goes..

It ironic that I hadn't time all summer to write a post, barely had time to comment, and now that school's back, and band's back, found time! So much to catch up on, better make a start.

Hubby and I had a lovely Italian holiday in June. We had a Silver Wedding anniversary, and coincidentally our flight was that day, and even better, there was a performance of Aida in the Arena in Verona. Yippee! Got a train from Milan to Verona.
It was very little extra to go 1st class, so we did, and free Prosecco was included! yay for Italian trains!
What better annniversary food than pizza. Delicious!
This is where our luck ran out.
As we began to eat our food, the rain began, and did not stop all night.

There was water running down the street, like a little stream.

There was great debate as to whether the opera would begin, and we got all the detail: if it doesn't start, you get a refund, but sometimes it starts, stops a few minutes later, maybe restarts, and so on. In this case, no refund!
We made our way over to the Arena, which was full of excitement, people wondering if it would start.
We waited half an hour, but the rain showed no sign of letting up, so we went back to our hotel.
Next morning, the sun was shining again. The opera had not started. Wise decision to go home!
To be continued....
I'm not sure what Blogger is doing to my pics, will try to rectify this tomorrow!