Sunday, 23 November 2014

St Cecilia's Day Concert

St Cecilia, the patron saint of music
Yesterday was St Cecilia's Day and my choir, the Darwin Chorale, put on an amazing concert to celebrate.
We performed at the local university theatre and had a very appreciative audience. Some songs were in Latin, one in French, and the rest in English.

St Cecilia is the patron saint of musicians and there is a European tradition of a concert for this day with a mix of Christian and secular music.
For our concert we provided a good mix. A string ensemble played some Vivaldi. A small choir performed some madrigals and English folk songs. The whole choir performed some lovely folk songs from Wales, some spirituals, some church music from the 16th and 17th centuries and some modern pieces in honour of St Cecilia. We had an amazing soprano soloist who effortlessly reached top A. It was a joy to be singing with her!

Here is a youtube clip of the Cantique de Jean Racine which is one of the pieces we sang. It is by Faure and is in French. Raccine wrote the words in the 17th century but the music is more modern. This clip takes a while to get going because of the long introduction. Apparently it is sometimes used at funerals. This piece is really lovely to sing as the melody just lightly skims along. I hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Lucky me

I am very lucky indeed.

I do some tutoring. The students who need a tutor often are having a rocky time either in school, at work, or in life generally. But they are choosing to improve the situation. I try to work with only adults but end up working with some children as well. (I do have all the right cards, Police checks, and qualifications for this, except for a formal TESOL certificate.)

One particular student is making quite good progress. M is a dear little girl and I really enjoy working with her. Her mother received a lovely letter from the school about little M's achievements this year.
Mum was so pleased she presented me with an arrangement of flowers. I am so touched. I am paid for this work, and still the family gives me flowers.

Such a nice thing to do; I just wanted to share that there are such lovely parents out there. And I am so lucky.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Moth Orchid

A couple of years ago I bought my husband a potted moth orchid (Phalaenopsis sp.) for Fathers Day.
In the never-failing spirit of my gardening the plant stayed alive but did not flower. Until this year. We have three flowers on the spike. And enormous grins on our faces every time we look at them. So far the flowers have lasted for four weeks. Incredible, seeing the original flowers lasted four days. The petals are perfectly white and yes, they do almost sparkle. In the throat of the flower are tiny touches of yellow and red. There are two tiny tendrils like feelers, maybe this is where the idea of a moth comes in, maybe. Perhaps the cultivar name is Aphrodite.
These orchids originate in Asia, and this particular one is from the Philippines. These plants have half a dozen sturdy leaves and seem to prefer a mild spot in the garden. My friends grow them very easily. Ha. I wish I was so clever.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Melbourne Cup Day

The carved horse is crocodile wood.
We thoroughly celebrated the Melbourne Cup here today at our place.

For breakfast I had made some really delicious muffins - high protein with added chili.

I made a special effort for lunch setting the table with my horses topper. Tasty little pizzas.

And for dinner we had wild boar meat. Very interesting. I would never go out in the bush and shoot a feral pig myself so I appreciated that it was lean and organic. The champagne was excellent too.

The race itself was a mixture of incredible excitement and huge sadness. Two horses lost their lives.

Around town there were many parties at lunch time and I even saw several men in dark suits.