Monday, February 19, 2007

Bethday...dawns a new dream

Beth turned some mystical and unpronouncable number on Monday.

The preparations included everyone (except me of course) getting coiffed by a professional coiffeuse...she looked at the results of our home cuts, shook her head as if I to say I'm a hair stylist not a miracle worker.

Saturday night Beth and I went to the Grand Theatre in Bordeaux to see Rigoletto by Verdi. We drove into the teeth of a very impressive lightning and rain storm (talk about life imitating art)...It was our first opera production. The element of spectacle was handled to great effect. The set design consisted primarily of two concentric and revolving discs, each of them raked at a steep angle, sort of like titled carousels. The discs revolved in tandem or independently providing a variety of floor arrangements in very smooth efficient transitions between scenes. This production opened with a sequence somewhat reminscent of the debauchery scenes in Eyes Wide Shut, needless to say, no one went to sleep right off the bat. We had the lowest level balcony seats literally hanging over the orchestra pit. The musical elements were terrific, the singers and the orchestra...two enthusiastic thumbs up from each of us.
Afterwards in the lobby as the crowd slowly exited, we went to purchase a program (about 10 euros) as a souvenir but the young woman at the corner informed us that this was impossible, programs could only be purchased before and during the show, not after. She gave us that serenely diffident look that I've run into more than once or twice over here (someday I'll tell about my encounter at the swimming pool with the surveillant).
Disappointed, we turned to leave when a woman interposed herself in front of us. She was petite, grey haired and quite impeccably dressed. She held a program out to us. "It's practically new," she said smiling. "Here, take it." Utterly disarmed, we stumbled over ourselves to thank her. She was benignly indifferent to any offers to pay for the program.
It was a sweet punctuaiton mark to a lovely theater experience. We went to a nearby cafe for a glass of wine and an almond tarte, walked back through the old city to our car and drove home.
Then yesterday we went to have a Sunday meal with Hamed, his lovely wife Sophie, and their adorable twin eight year old daughters whose names I cannot spell but which sound like magic spells. We sat outside in the jardin for awhile...our kids took awhile to ease into the situation but thanks to the sweet dispositions of our host in a short time the kids were playing happily together. We arrived a little after noon and left for home around seven. It seemed effortless passing the time with them. Amazingly there was almost always food and drink present. For dinner we had a provencal soup called pistou, followed later by basque dish featuring veal, onions and garlic.... in between there was pate and after the last course there was the cheese plate. We capped the whole thing off with a yummy chocolate gateau made by Beth. It was wonderful, good food and even better people.

Today was sunny so we went to the beach. Tomorrow we are leaving for a week in Provence.

We've rented an apartment in Arles. We're hoping for decent weather. We'll be in the country of Marcel Pagnol (Jean de Florette) and Jean Giono.
We asked Tess what we should pack for the trip - her response, "Underwear and toys." A natural born traveller.
I'm leaving the laptop at home, taking a week off from blogging so I'll catch you up as best I can on the other side of this vacation...much love.


Anonymous erin said...

Happy mystical birthday to Beth, and have fun, be careful in Provence! Much love, and we all look forward to the stories when you return!

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Brenna said...

Happy Birthday! Sounds amazing. The theater, the food, the people, just good memories. Hope you have a restfull week away.

11:44 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home