Blue ribbon

Aug. 21st, 2017 21:58
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Posted by Mary

It was lucky that I went to school assembly the day the prizes for the cross country carnival were handed out.

We suspected V had done well because he had nonchalantly said that he had been in a race with all the eight and nine year olds and had come eighth or so. But at the same time, it was over a 2km distance and this was the same kid who grumbled his way through athletics all summer where the longest race for his age group was the 500m.

But he was right, because he was the winner in the under 7 boys category, and the ribbon was given out at the Mother’s Day assembly:

Blue ribbon

Much more recently, he’s added a second blue ribbon to the set, this time for the 100m at the school athletics carnival, so he’s doing well at both extremes of distance right now.


Aug. 20th, 2017 21:37
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Posted by Mary

V’s class hosted the weekly assembly in the lead-up to Mother’s Day this year. He was, as always, embarrassingly touched that I agreed to go to a school thing for him.

It was actually something of a setup. They held up best Mum awards they’d made and sang a humourous song about how mothers love them despite their naughtiness, and that far they were in on the joke:


Song for mothers

The part they thought was serious, but wasn’t, was the part where they’d all written a descriptive essay about their mothers in the style of documenting animal behaviour, which several of them earnestly read out to an an audience of hundreds while their mothers cried with laughter in the back of the hall.

Mother essays

I don’t generally like holding children’s earnestness against them as a gag, especially not for Mother’s Day. But V inadvertently got me back, because his description of me is pretty telling. Or damning. Your call.

My Mum information report


My Mum Information Report

Type: A type of human being that is female She is loving friendly kind nice and caring A mum is someone who has at least one

Appearance: my mum lives in a house on a street She can usually be found in the front room on the computer

Diet: My mum lovier chikin cake and ice-crim wich is all heathy food

Special Features: My mum likes to go to the Pub with Dad at night

Behaviours: when mum is not bisy She is usually in her bed

Things mum does not like: mum gets cranky when i be norty and intrupt her

Interesting Fact: that she in the best

I’ve put it up on the wall beside me at work.

Nightafternight playlist

Aug. 19th, 2017 23:43
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Posted by Alex Ross


New and recent recordings of interest.

Tyshawn Sorey, Verisimilitude; Sorey, Cory Smythe, Chris Tordini (Pi Recordings)

      [I wrote a brief comment for the New Yorker website]

Daniel Lentz, River of 1000 Streams; Vicki Ray (Cold Blue)

Poulenc, Choral Works; The Sixteen (Coro)

Czernowin, Wintersongs; International Contemporary Ensemble, Steven Schick, Jeffrey Gavett, Kai Wessel (Kairos)

Randy Gibson, The Four Pillars Appearing from The Equal D under Resonating Apparitions of The Eternal Process in The Midwinter Starfield 16 VIII 10 (Kansas City); R. Andrew Lee (Irritable Hedgehog)

Pfitzner, Die Rose vom Liebesgarten; Erin Caves, Kouta Rasanen, Andreas Kindschuh, Astrid Weber, Jana Buchner, Tiina Penttinen, Andre Riemer, Chorus of Oper Chemnitz, Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie, Frank Beermann conducting (cpo)

Scott Wollschleger, Soft Aberration (various works); Longleash, Anne Lanzilotti, Karl Larson, Andy Kozar, Corrine Byrne, John Popham, Mivos Quartet (New Focus; out Oct. 17)

Little Gryffindor

Aug. 19th, 2017 21:58
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Posted by Mary

In a fit of inspiration on a long car trip a few months ago I decided to subscribe to Audible, so we could play the Harry Potter audio books to V. Which has proven to be quite an undertaking of course; we’re halfway through book three now, I believe the entire recording lasts for almost a week. We’ve also already had to start taking breaks from it at V’s request because he was having nightmares, and this isn’t even the point in the series where the characters are dropping at a regular rate.

But he’s largely enjoying it.

Some moments of V and Harry Potter:

1. He is alive to the mystery elements of the books. He is constantly disappointed to remember that Andrew and I have read them, and therefore cannot participate in lively guessing about what might happen next. The latest variant of this request is to cast our minds back to when we hadn’t read them, and tell him what we thought the solution to the mystery was in more innocent times.

2. V decided that he would go to Book Week dressed as Harry, on the grounds that they have a lot in common. They both wear glasses (V was found to be long-sighted a few months ago) and they “both have an enemy.” Harry’s is a dark and powerful wizard, and a rich bully. V’s is J— in his class.

3. At some point I wondered out loud whether V was a Gryffindor. Andrew gave me a disgusted look and reported that V had taken to jumping up and down on the couch cheering when Gryffindor had successes in their Quidditch matches. Yes, Andrew said, he’s a Gryffindor.

Homemade Watermelon Soda Float

Aug. 14th, 2017 16:30
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Posted by Sara Chatfield

I love watermelon drinks, and this one is kind of the ultimate in awesome watermelon drinks.  It starts with a super pink watermelon puree, sweetened with simple syrup.  Then add seltzer to make homemade watermelon soda -- a perfectly delicious drink on its own.  But to really take it over the top, vanilla ice cream turns the soda into a float.  It's a great summer dessert -- pretty, sweet, and so delicious.  Although I made this with vanilla ice cream, I bet lime sherbet would be really tasty too.

Homemade Watermelon Soda Float (adapted from Bon Appetit)
Makes enough for a group, depending on how large you make them

For the watermelon concentrate:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 small seedless watermelon
1 T lime juice

To finish:
Vanilla ice cream

1. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.  Seal and shake.  Shake periodically as you work on the rest of the recipe until the sugar is completely dissolved.  (Note: You can substitute store-bought simple syrup here if you prefer.)
2. Cut up the watermelon into cubes.  You should have around 8 cups, but you can pretty much eyeball it.  Puree using a hand blender, regular blender, food processor - whatever you have handy.  Strain through a fine-mesh strainer.  You should have around 4 cups of juice, but again, it doesn't have to be exact.
3. Add the lime juice and about half the simple syrup.  Taste, and add more lime juice or syrup to taste -- you want the concentrate to be pretty sweet and intensely flavored.
4. Chill the watermelon concentrate.  When you're ready to serve, fill glasses a little more than half full.  Top off with seltzer and scoops of vanilla ice cream.  Serve right away!


Aug. 14th, 2017 21:57
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Posted by Mary

V, who adores families, neighbours, best friends, and all other forms of human connection, of course loves Mother’s Day and similar. Hence, this chalk message in May:

Mother's Day message from Vincent

♥ mum you are the best love vins

The location he chose is pretty sheltered, and the message remains three months and change later.

Salzburg Festival 2017

Aug. 14th, 2017 11:31
[syndicated profile] therestisnoise_feed

Posted by Alex Ross

Power Play. The New Yorker, Aug. 21, 2017.

Unfortunately, because of a misunderstanding late in the editing process, the print version of the column claims that Peter Sellars compared Nelson Mandela to Leopold II, the Austrian Emperor. The comparison was, of course, to Tito, the forgiving ruler in Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito. The error has been corrected in the online version.

10 years on

Aug. 13th, 2017 22:02
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Posted by Mary

Andrew and I were married ten years ago on May 6 2007.

Mary Gardiner, Andrew Bennetts (by Jo Gardiner)

In ten years: two children, one PhD, two house moves, one house purchase, three surgeries, one cancer diagnosis, one life threatening illness, one business, four new jobs, many passport stamps.

We took none of those things with us for our anniversary weekend in the mountains:


More pictures from our anniversary trip.

Wagner in Omaha, 1887 and 1895

Aug. 11th, 2017 16:47
[syndicated profile] therestisnoise_feed

Posted by Alex Ross


The first article records a visit by the National Opera Company, during its troubled nationwide tour, with an array of operas that included Lohengrin. The second observes the arrival in Omaha of Walter Damrosch, the New York Symphony, and a distinguished retinue of singers, including Johanna Gadski and Max Alvary, for performances of Lohengrin, Tannhäuser, and Die Walküre. Click to enlarge.


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August 2017


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