1 EAGLETON NOTES: Travelling

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Thursday, 29 June 2017

Travelling

I left the Island on Sunday. After two days of gales The Minch was calm and the crossing was good. I had hoped to take some photos to accompany a post but, frankly, ever since I left home the weather has been dire and definitely not conducive to landscape photography. 

However most of the UK had been basking in record hot temperatures for June so  I packed accordingly but knowing that it was cooling down. Which meant that I brought mostly short-sleeved shirts. "Big mistake. Huge!" to quote one of my favourite film lines. I have four warm long-sleeved shirts with me. Oh dear. It's 11℃  and pouring with rain in Glasgow.

However I'm about to drive over to Tweedbank on the other side of the country where, according to the weather app on the phone it is 4 raindrops whereas here it's just 2. Hmmm. 

The last few days has been a wonderful round of eating lunches with friends and catching up.  Yesterday we managed (after 4 tries on Monday when we couldn't park anywhere near) to drop off five boxes of LPs at the Oxfam Music Shop. 

The to Oran Mor for A Play, a Pie and a Pint. The play turned out to be an hour long opera Tosca: The Henchman's Tale. It was brilliantly done. By coincidence for the evening we had been invited to see Verdi's Otello as a live streaming from The Royal Opera House, Coven Garden with Jonas Kaufmann makes his role debut as Otello in Keith Warner’s new production of Verdi’s thrilling Shakespeare-inspired opera, conducted by Antonio Pappano. It was streaming to 1001 cinemas across the world. It was the first time I'd been to such a streaming. However for me, and Verdi is not my favourite opera composer, the star of the show was Maria Agresta's brilliant and moving Desdemona.

I'd never been to such a huge cinema before: Glasgow Cineworld. By 2003 it was the busiest cinema in the United Kingdom by admissions, having attracted over 1.8 million patrons that year. It has 18 screens over 6 levels, and can accommodate more than 4,300 people. Its most distinctive feature is the huge glass curtain wall on the east face which houses a system of criss crossing escalators which are lit neon blue during the hours of darkness.



17 comments:

  1. Your shortage of warm clothing reminds me of the time we went on a road trip at Christmas time. It is usually hot around that time and we had all summer clothing. On the very first day, the first place we stopped was snowing! We froze through that night and i bought fleeces for everyone the next day.

    I hope you have a wonderful time, food with friends is a good start!

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    1. Thanks Kylie, food with friends certainly is an excellent way to spend time.

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  2. You are such a culture vulture Graham! But living on Lewis I guess opportunities to attend significant cultural events are rather more limited than they are on the mainland. The only opera I have ever seen was "La Boheme" at the Buxton Opera House. We enjoyed it but I found it slightly weird - the story all unfolding in song and in Italian too. I much prefer English.

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    1. YP I have loved ballet since I saw one of the famous companies (The Australian Ballet I think) perform Swan Lake. Music and drama have always been an important part of my life (as a spectator). I'm glad to see that you're content with English and not just Yorkshire as a language.

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    2. I'm not quite sure what happened to some of the words in that last comment YP. The ballet performance of Swan Lake to which I referred was at the Commonwealth Arts Festival in 1965.

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  3. You can't win them all. So you get wet and cold but see some awesome theatre.

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    1. Red I've always been good at playing The Glad Game.

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  4. Graham, we have been to several live streamings at our cinema, including i think the best Shakespeare production I have ever seen (King Lear). The lovely thing is you can see everything, and hear every word. We shall be going to The Magic Flute in September (one of our favourite operas). I'm glad you had such a good trip.

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    1. Frances I certainly thought it was more revealing and enjoyable than some productions I've seen in the flesh. I used to be an avid Shakespeare watcher but I find Othello a difficult play because jealousy and duplicity combined in such a malevolent manner are so alien to me. I rather envy you The Magic Flute experience.

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  5. You'll be pleased to know that it's not long-sleeve weather here (and hasn't been all month), but it is currently raining for the first time in weeks. This is wonderful for the garden as the plants and ponds were really suffering after the heatwave, but we're hoping that the weather improves before you and Dad arrive.

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    1. Helen I'm very relieved to hear that. I'm in The Borders at the moment and it's a balmy 10℃. However we are hopeful of a walk this afternoon if the rain stays off.

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  6. Verdi is my favourite opera composer! Which reminds me - it has been ages since I last went to see an opera or ballet performance. I have never been to a streaming, but by Frances' comment I think it not such a bad idea after all.
    You probably have occasion to do some washing, I hope, so you won't run out of clothes. Otherwise this would be a great excuse for some clothes shopping :-)

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    1. Well, Meike, I suppose you and I had to have something over which we were not as one. I'm of the school that thinks Verdi should have been allowed to follow his own wish and that Aida would have been his last work when he would have gone out on a splendid high. But then I am definitely in a minority. It's odd really. I listen to a lot of opera but, however much I try, I just can't come to love the later Verdi.

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  7. Sounds like NZ weather - 4 season in one day, very typical here. Btw I know that quote - was it from pretty woman where Julia Roberts said it to the snooty sales ladies?

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  8. Wow that's big for a cinema. We only have one commercial cinema here in Borås but it's nowadays divided into six auditorums. 558 seats altogether. I just looked that up - haven't actually been there in many many years. Nowadays I usually wait for films to be released on DVD and watch them at home... The name of our cinema is 2001 and has been for as long as I can remember - i.e. the mid 1980s when I moved here. (The name surviving its own prophecies of the future, kind of like Orwell's 1984...) Back then I still only had an old black and white TV and did actually go to the cinema occasionally. :)

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    1. Monica it's actually also the tallest cinema in the world apparently. Like you I, too, usually watch my films on DVD or Netflix (as I did The Crown which rivalled the best of series that even the BBC can produce).

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