early this morning
General life post...
Family - Jackie went in for surgery to remove the breast cancer tumor today, in addition they are removing four lymph nodes to check if the cancer has spread. I told her the positive stories of recovery that all of you and others have told me and they seemed to help calm her nerves a bit, that is until a "friend" who used to be a NHS nurse told her, "Oh well, there's always the MRSA to worry about, be sure to take a spray bottle of disinfectant with you." Yeah, well done lady. That plunged poor Jackie into a deeper depression so to help distract her from her troubles we took her and Philip out to lunch at a restaurant in an old converted church.. it was gorgeous inside, with huge stained glass windows and wooden beams (the food exceeded expectations too). Jackie arrived in an understandably low mood, especially after a scheduling error on the trains that ensured our connecting train left the platform just as we arrived, but after several hours of talking to her and a large plate of scallops her mood lifted. She said the afternoon "was a tonic" and that it really helped her, she certainly seemed to feel better by the time we said goodbye to them. Normally every year I cook Thanksgiving dinner for friends and family here, but as Jackie will be recovering from her surgery I've dropped all plans for this week and will be spending it in Southampton to help her out around the house and keep her company. She wants me to bring "all my teas" and asked if I would make her my ginger fish soup.
Health- I've been surprisingly flu/cold virus free this year, normally by this point in autumn I'm flat out. I thought perhaps my diet of mostly fruits and vegetables was finally paying off and it probably has helped, but I think the main factor is that Macsen doesn't work in the centre of London anymore and hasn't since January. He has a built up immunity, but brought back all sorts of lovely viral gifts for me from the tube and train. He doesn't take too kindly to being called a plague rat, though. :)
As if my body thought I was getting off too easily this year I ended up bedridden for most of a week recently due to neck spasms. This is a reoccurring problem with my back/neck that I've had since childhood, usually it triggers if I physically over-extend myself, other times it can seem to come out of the blue. The pain is intense and I often can't move or get up, there have even been times when Macsen would have to pick me up and carry me to the bath. I wasn't immobile this time, but I managed to chew up a whole pack of my french homework pencils from the pain.
I was recently prescribed physical therapy for my ankle from my fall in Sicily last year as it still hasn't fully healed, but I haven't started it yet as it's felt much better in the past few weeks.
Future Plans - In this post I spoke of possibly moving away from London in a year or so from now, but some big news I received recently may change those plans. It appears that my step-mother Gael and her fiancé Angelo may be moving from Italy to London within the next 4-6 months! I would want to take as full advantage of finally having some family living in the same city, so if they do end up moving here we'll put our move off to further in the future. Gael and I are already full of daydreams and excitement about this as we've hardly seen each other for the past 5 years. It's already been an improvement just having her in (nearly) the same time zone since she's moved to Italy, it's made keeping in touch so much easier now that we don't constantly have to worry about calling each other at awkward hours.
Our travel plans for christmas keep changing.. we intend to spend it with Philip & Jackie and we've considered Lisbon, Krakow, or Palma, but now with Jackie's health we may decide on somewhere closer to home such as Lyon. It may seem strange, but I was most looking forward to Poland as I have an affinity for the music and art that comes from there. P&J went there a few months ago and they loved it more than they expected, so even if we end up not going this time Macsen and I intend to visit during the spring and I'll try entering the Wieliczka Salt Mine photography contest.
I recently went to a Philip Glass concert at the Barbican. He was performing 3 concerts there; one with Leonard Cohen, one with Patti Smith, and one of his Music in 12 Parts. I chose the latter because I thought it sounded like the purest Philip Glass experience out of the three and at a marathon 4-hour running time over a Sunday afternoon to evening it really was! We ended up sharing the audience with Leonard Cohen himself and director Mike Leigh, this was probably a once in a lifetime concert for many people so it attracted a wide variety of all ages and while not all of them made it for the full 4 hours most people stayed to the end to give Glass and his tireless ensemble a standing ovation. It was such a privilege to see him live.
Knowing the relentless nature of the piece I had second thoughts about dragging Macsen along as it may only appeal to hardcore Glass fans, but he ended up enjoying it more than I predicted here:
Naomi: hello, how are you?
just listening to Philip Glass's "Music In 12 Parts" and hoping you don't divorce me on Sunday
Macsen: well I'll take a book and if I hate it I can go read somewhere
Naomi: bring a big book :)
Glass's desire to realise this marathon decisively reflects the influence of Indian raga and Indonesian gamelan culture, where a performance can be an all-night affair. The other common denominator is trance.
Carefully crafted repetition, layering, lengthening and shortening of phrase, tightening and broadening of harmony create a dizzying hypnosis, visually symbolised by the gentle rocking of both band and audience.
Then again, minimalism is a grand theatrical illusion. The repetition lulls the ear into a false sense of security so that when the change comes, be it the simple sharpening of a chord by a semi-tone or a stark leap into double time, it has the effect of a tidal wave after a calm sea.
Glass's sound palette bridged times past and present. The ensemble had a stately middle ages quality yet there was something Futuristic about its otherworldly liquidity. Time stretching was thus the order of the long, rhapsodic day. - The Guardian
This is Glass's seminal work. The hours passed painlessly in a faultless performance, Glass's psychedelic acoustic games exhilarating. The roars and whistles of the standing ovation from a packed house proved just how seductive minimalism remains. - The Independent
I'm going back to the Barbican in a few weeks to see Zbigniew Preisner perform his new work, called Silence, Night & Dreams, but what I'm even more excited about is that he will be performing pieces he scored for Kieslowski films such as Trois Couleurs and La Double Vie de Veronique. He'll be signing copies of his new cd after the concert, but I may also take my dvds of those films to see if he will sign them as well. This is a rare performance by Preisner so if you live in London I highly recommend catching him while you can.
Zbigniew Preisner - Silence, Night & Dreams
"finally our lives are longer, but it's not so deep like it was 10 - 20 years ago. what's happened
is this technology doesn't help us in our life, we are finally more alone."
Friends - Finally last but not least, a very happy (and sexy) birthday to both t_pot and habibi! t_pot has a lot to celebrate recently with marrying a gal he met on lj. I know so many couples who have found each other here, it is great to see. :) Speaking of lj friends I had a dream the other night that achariya lived next door to me and she asked me to look after her daughter, Alba, except that when she brought Alba over she was tiny, a mini-Alba who could fit in the palm of my hand (as if she could possibly get any cuter).
sure MRSA is an issue, but it's not like it's a freaking pandemic where everyone who goes near a hospital gets it. What a scare monger. Yes, wash your hands, don't stick your fingers in open wounds, etc. AKA, behave like a responsible and considerate human and the per-individual risk is pretty low.
ahh lucky girl. phillip glass is amazing live. i always consider the one time i got to see him here one of my best life experiences.:) (though darn what i would have done to see glass with cohen!)
and bestest healthy thoughts to jackie.
ahh we're both lucky girls! :D
I would have loved to see the concert with Cohen as well, but it was the first announced here and sold out quickly. I heard mixed reviews of it in the end, but still I wouldn't care.. any more time spent in the presence of them both would be worth it.
thank you for your kind thoughts. :)
What did you see him perform? I would love someday to hear his Qatsi trilogy scores, music for piano, etc. performed.. maybe I will get luckier than I already feel for having him caught him this once. :)
thank you, and that comforter is too soft.. hard to pull it off in the morning! ;)