Apologies for recent lack of communication. Things have pretty much wound down for the summer on the opera scene here in Europe, but I was busy using the last weeks to keep the momentum going. Well, that and (certainly in the past week) visiting other countries, figuratively or literally!
The figurative comes from celebrating Independence Day on the U.S. Army Base at Wiesbaden. It's just up the road from me and I'd never visited before... but goodness, it really is America in miniature. Bowling alley, hotdogs, ribs... but most of all, Americans in all directions, and all celebrating 4th July with gusto. And with such *pride* in being American, not to mention good humour (I apologised for being British a few times and always raised a laugh). The fireworks were splendid, too (even though an officious soldier kept on moving us back and back until we ended up sitting rather inelegantly on the tarmac road. Whatever.) - the photo is of a firework on slightly longer exposure, which I posted as part of an album on Facebook, and a friend commented astutely that it looked like music. I have been contemplating it ever since and trying to hear that particular symphony (Scriabin and his synaesthesia come to mind...).
The literal was hopping over to France for a camping trip with friends this last weekend. Now camping is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when most people meet me, and certainly my friends were a little amused when I set to erecting the tent with gusto, dressed as always in lace, embroidery and sparkly stuff. As I explained, my father would never have forgiven me for not knowing one end of a mallet from the other. I ended up with sore hands (pride meaning that as long as someone else was toiling to hammer in tent pegs through what felt like solid rock, I was not going to give up. (At one point, a group of Dutch blokes walked past as I whacked a particularly recalcitrant peg and the rubber mallet head flew off. They were highly amused and let out a stream of ribald comments. Minutes later, I asked my friend what I should do next. "Oh, you could do the guys on the other side of the tent please," was his answer. "Not really my type, but they certainly seemed keen," was mine...) (guys = guy ropes, hammered into the ground with previously-mentioned tent pegs in order to prevent the tent sailing off into the night when the inevitable gale arises, for those who don't get the joke...).
It was such a pleasure to speak French for a weekend, even if I was three times mistaken for Belgian. I suspect that being taken for German last time made me think about my consonant sounds, particularly the "r", and modify them... but not quite enough. I am certain, though, that *should* some work in France come off, my French would make a dramatic reappearance. Fingers crossed. And should some work in Germany come off, well I'd be pleased too; and of course I continue to try and improve my German. In both cases, rain, or rather summer (indistinguishable at this point; rather like the English weather has followed me, damn it) has suspended play and I shall have to wait until the start of next season to hear anything concrete.
So... a few weeks of being unable to really chase anyone up career-wise. Pleasepleaseplease let there be sun!! When it shines here, it is absolutely perfect, and there's the most wonderful open-air swimming pool just down the road. Meanwhile, of course, there is practice to be done most days. Just because there are no auditions planned for the next few weeks doesn't mean that I can let the standards drop. My job at the moment is to keep my audition repertoire fresh, learn thew new stuff thoroughly, and not get downhearted because there isn't as much work around as I would wish. And the occasional trip to a foreign country, whether real or imagined, certainly helps in that respect.