Sunday, 6 August 2006

Summery summary

If there are too many summer weekends like this, there is a distinct risk that my usual cautious pessimism will vanish altogether. Already, I find myself grinning happily for no reason at all. Not only is the 'glass half full' but it's rather near brimming.

I blame the weather. It's like SAD - seasonal affective disorder, but with the opposite effect to the usual depression caused by wintry lack of daylight - hardly a disorder however in this particular instance: SAO (for order) perhaps?

Anyway, I went to a lovely concert at Snape Maltings the other night. It was the Britten Sinfonia, playing music by Ravel, Sibelius, Vaughan Williams and Mozart, plus the world premiere of Michael Zev Gordon's oboe concerto, which has been commissioned by the BBC - because of this the concert was being recorded by Radio 3. After the concerto was played, the composer joined the soloist, orchestra and conductor on the stage - how wonderful it must be, to hear your piece played in public for the first time in such a fabulous setting.

I went on my own, which allows time and opportunity to watch one's fellow concert-goers. My neighbour was alone too, a man in his fifties or sixties - he had an almost unlined face but snow-white hair. His hands caught my eye, initially because of his rings. Unusually, he wore a ring on each forefinger, but on no other finger. He had very lovely hands, quite small with slender fingers and particularly well-manicured nails. It was because of the shapliness of his forefingers that he could get away with the rings, which I admired; both gold, one a slender triple coil ending in a rounded, flattened oval, and the other a plain band, decorated only by an intricate, though understated, knot. I arrived after him and he had to stand up for me. The seats are firm and I always take two cushions "You're well padded" he said, smiling, then "Oh! I mean, um to sit down, er...." I assured him I'd taken it in the least personal sense possible and we both laughed.

4 comments:

Life of a Banana said...

Cruising at the Snape Matlings. How intriguing. I hope the plot will thicken. I look forward to hearing more about Mr Manicured Nails.

Z said...

Well, we didn't actually make a date......but I'm going again on Tuesday.

PI said...

I'm so grateful for this weather- it makes me less regretful that our wings are now clipped somewhat.
Nice to start even the briefest of aquaintences with shared laughter. I always took a cushion to read at Talking Newspaper - the chairs gave me cramp and I always wanted to asure them that I didn;t have piles. The committee then decided to get new chairs.

Z said...

I always feel a little self-conscious, taking in piles of cushions - for, of course, if I'm going with other people I take padding for them too, as otherwise I'd have politely to give them one of my cushions. Several times the ushers have assumed I'm one of the promenaders (who, at Snape, sit on the floor, rather than stand) and have been puzzled when I show my seat ticket.
I'll be sitting on the floor for one concert in fact - those tickets are great bargains, at the front in the middle for only £5. The acoustics are so good there that it doesn't matter where you sit.