Friday, June 30, 2006

The driving force behind crime

Interesting opinion about consumerism in yesterday's Guardian's comment is free... .

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Red perfection

The loveliest and sweetest smelling red roses in the garden.

Monday, June 26, 2006

About football

What better time than now to watch Monty Python's hilarious Germany vs. Greece match?

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Portugal 1 - Holland 0

What an ugly and painful match to watch and, I imagine, to be a part of. Never had so many cards been shown in a single World Cup match before. The referee, Valentin Ivanov, must have been out of his wits to show some of those cards and he really let things get out of control. Both Portugal and Holland showed a considerable lack of sportsmanship and, in the end, we were all just glad extra time wasn't needed after the usual 90 and some minutes duration of the match.
Such bitter disappointment at Luis Figo for his head-knocking attitude; he is usually quite the gentleman.
I sincerely hope Portugal behaves better against England next Saturday and that the referee is, at least, sane.

Butterfly's Wings

Playing on the iPod is Chopin's Etude no. 21, in G flat major, op.25, no.9, better know as "Butterfly's Wings". The famous 'Black Key' Etude consists of only one white note in the entire right hand part, which consists of fast arpeggiated triplets.
In his latest book "The Intermittencies of Death", Jose Saramago, Portugal's only Nobel Laureate in Literature, conveys his opinion (through the book's main character, which is human death) that this brief work by Chopin is the musical portrait of human life: It's "a rhythmical and melodic transposition of each and all human life, ordinary and extraordinary, because of its tragic brevity, its desperate intensity and also because of those final chords which were like a suspension mark left hanging in the air, in vagueness, somewhere, as if, hopelessly, something had been left unsaid."
This work by Chopin is, like previously stated, better know as "Butterfly's Wings" and I have no doubt whatsover that Saramago had for long pictured the said butterfly as the Acherontia Atropos he later briefly featured in his book and on its cover. The Acherontia Atropos, or Death's Head Sphinx Moth, represents death because of the clear outline of a skull on its back.
Sometimes I love Saramago.

Friday, June 23, 2006

What YOU should know

Using a mobile phone or an iPod during a thunderstorm could kill you, doctors warned today.
Three doctors said using such devices in stormy weather could increase your risk of being struck by lightning.
The effects of electrocution were also likely to be more severe as the metallic components of phones and portable music players could act as a conductor, causing potentially lethal internal injuries, the doctors wrote in a letter to the British Medical Journal. ---
Read the whole Guardian article.
June 23 (Bloomberg) --- Bird flu was spread directly between members of an Indonesian family in the first laboratory-confirmed case of human-to-human transmission of the lethal virus, a World Health Organization official said. "We have seen a genetic change that confirms in a laboratory that the virus has moved from one human to another.'' Clusters of human cases in which the virus was transmitted from person to person, including to health workers treating infected patients, may signal the emergence of a pandemic strain capable of killing millions of people. --- Read the whole Bloomberg story.
And, last but not least, with so many terrorist plots being uncovered (here, here, and here), it is almost certain that many more remain to uncover.
Bleak outlook.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Villanelle

Paul Cezanne(1839-1906) - The Black Clock (1869-71)

Time can say nothing but I told you so,
Time only knows the price we have to pay;
If I could tell you, I would let you know.

If we should weep when clowns put on their show,
If we should stumble when musicians play,
Time can say nothing but I told you so.

There are no fortunes to be told, although
Because I love you more than I can say,
If I could tell you, I would let you know.

The winds must come from somewhere when they blow,
There must be reasons why the leaves decay;
Time can say nothing but I told you so.

Perhaps the roses really want to grow,
The vision seriously intends to stay;
If I could tell you, I would let you know.

Suppose the lions all get up and go,
And all the brooks and soldiers run away?
Time can say nothing but I told you so.
If I could tell you, I would let you know.

poem by
W.H. Auden

Xanana

There's a guy that works at my local supermarket collecting and driving trolleys (around here you don't have to pay to get a trolley) who is the spitting image of Xanana de Gusmão. Somehow I have to manage to get a picture of him and put it side by side with Xanana's to see if they're identical twins or if they're just twins...this one is Xanana.

The last about yesterday

Last night we wanted to go out for dinner at our favourite pub, which is in a windmill by a beautiful lake. I was looking forward to trying their moussaka for the first time. When we got there, however, it was closed for refurbishment (it opens today!). We ended up going to another pub, by another lake, which is also very nice and where we could appreciate the rowing and canoeing practices that were going on.
After dinner, we drove around for a while as it was such a beautiful evening (it was too cold and windy to walk comfortably as we were dressed, though). We stopped by hubby's work to visit his new office, where the girls had a field day writing on the white board and pretending to be "business women" (they can't even begin to imagine, yet, how dreadful it really feels to be a "business woman"; they just see the glamour of it).
After leaving the white board covered with messages, we finally headed back home to blow out the candles, which were bigger than the birthday cake. They say it's unlucky not to eat a slice of birthday cake on a person's birthday (I wonder who it's unlucky for...), so although none of us felt much like having chocolate cake at 9.30 pm, we managed to eat a thin slice each. The leftovers will be for the girls' friends when they come over during the rest of the week.
Some more birthday phone calls received (I'm always amazed at the number of people that still call me or send messages on my birthday: I'm fully aware that I haven't tended well to some friendships in the last few years; yet, I guess true friendship survives all that...) and it was time to put the girls to bed (well past their bedtime!).
A big thanks to all of you, near or far, who helped me have such a great day! Thanks for caring and for all your efforts!
And that's the last about yesterday!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Portugal 2 - Mexico 1

Didn't see most of the match but what I did see of the second half was a bit disappointing. Will Portugal survive the match against Holland next Sunday?
Brilliant performance by Scolari, gesticulating and passionately lecturing Nuno Gomes as he was warming up to substitute Helder Postiga.

Birthday cards

The longest day

As the sun spirals its longest dance,
Cleanse us
As nature shows bounty and fertility
Bless us
Let all things live with loving intent
And to fulfill their truest destiny

--Taken from a Wiccan blessing for Summer

June 21 is when the Summer Solstice occurs in the northern hemisphere. Solstice, or Midsummer, means a stopping or standing still of the sun. It is the longest day of the year and the time when the sun is at its maximum elevation. Here, where I live, surise will be at 4.40 am and sunset at 9.26 pm. The day will have approximately 17 hours of light and 7 hours of darkness.
This date has had spiritual significance for thousands of years as humans have been amazed by the great power of the sun. Many stone circles and other ancient monuments are aligned to the sunrise on Midsummer's Day. Probably the most famous alignment is that at Stonehenge, where the sun rises over the heel stone, framed by the giant trilithons on Midsummer morning.
The Celts celebrated Midsummer with bonfires that would add to the sun’s energy, Christians placed the feast of St John the Baptist at this time and it is also the festival of Li, the Chinese Goddess of light.
Traditionally, in Britain, St John's Eve was seen as a time when the veil between this world and the next was thin, and when powerful forces were abroad. Vigils were often held during the night and it was said that if you spent a night at a sacred site during Midsummer Eve, you would gain the powers of a bard, on the down side you could also end up utterly mad, dead, or be spirited away by the fairies. Indeed St Johns Eve was a time when fairies were thought to be abroad and at their most powerful (hence Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream).
Like other religious groups, Pagans are in awe of the incredible strength of the sun and the divine powers that create life. For Pagans this spoke in the Wheel of the Year is a significant point. The Goddess took over the earth from the horned God at the beginning of spring and she is now at the height of her power and fertility. For some Pagans the Summer Solstice marks the marriage of the God and Goddess and see their union as the force that creates the harvest’s fruits.
This is a time to celebrate growth and life but for Pagans, who see balance in the world and are deeply aware of the ongoing shifting of the seasons it is also time to acknowledge that the sun will now begin to decline once more towards winter.
When celebrating midsummer, Pagans draw on diverse traditions. In England thousands of Pagans and non-Pagans go to places of ancient religious sites such as Stonehenge and Avebury to see the sun rising on the first morning of summer. Many more Pagans hold small ceremonies in open spaces, everywhere from gardens to woodlands.

--Adapted from a BBC text

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Nursery rhyme

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child must work for a living,
But the child that's born on the Sabbath day
Is fair and wise and good and gay.

Can you guess on what day of the week I was born? Yes, that's right, I'm a Wednesday's child!
Mum and Clara are Monday's children, Dad is a Saturday's child (what else!) and Ana and my little sis are Friday's children. My middle sis is a Thursday's child.
Only know one person who was born on Sabbath day and everything checks except for the gay!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Madrid Daily Photo Blog

This is an update on this post: as of June 9, Madrid also has a Daily Photo blog. Check it out here. Now I'm just hoping Vienna will join the ring so that all my favourite cities are covered.

Madrid 1998 - Puerta del Sol

Spelling checker test

Eye halve a spelling chequer,
It came with my pea sea,
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rarely ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
I'm shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect in it's weigh,
My chequer tolled me sew.

I dedicate this poem, not my own, to my former boss MJ.

Digital thermometers

I just took my temperature using three different digital thermometers and I repeated the readings on each one several times. I made absolutely sure I used each one correctly. Turns out my temperature ranged, in a two minute period, from 35.2ºC to 39ºC.
Why is it that home digital thermometers, even relatively expensive ear temperature reading ones, are so unreliable? Give me a mercury thermometer any time (I still have one, which I used in the end: it read 38.2ºC).
I feel absolutely rotten. I've had a really bad cough for more than one month now, my head aches, I've got chills every now and then and I'm completely lethargic. Yet, while I manage to go on, as I still do, I refuse to go to the GP, much to hubby's dismay. Never did a doctor do anything for me and I've learned to distrust them profoundly. Unless something is obvious, to them and to me, they really don't have much of a clue about what's going on; you end up wasting your time and your health on them. In the end, their common sense is just as good as mine so I'll just skip the bother.
So, when I feel really bad and don't know what the heck is the matter is with me, I take a couple of paracetamol tablets and, whenever possible, sleep it off. It's worked so far, as I'm still here.
I know I shouldn't be saying this; it's very irresponsible for someone with small children. Please indulge my momentary need to divulge how miserable I feel. I do promise to go to the doctor's if I don't feel better by the end of the week.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The arrival of Summer

Does something not look right?

Father's Day

Today is Father's Day. The girls gave their dad a couple of cute cards and woke him up especially early to do so (poor dad!). I'm making a nice dinner and that's the only celebration we're having. There's been too much partying in the last week already.
Clara's best friend's birthday party is also today. Both Clara and Ana were invited (Ana is adored by all of Clara's friends, most of whom don't have siblings) and they are there right now. The house feels really strange and empty without them on this warm Sunday afternoon. I know I should make the most of their absence to relax but I never really can. The back of my mind is always worrying about something or other when they're not with me. Especially when they are miles away, as is the case.
Feels good, though, to be sitting out in the garden with my laptop and silence all around. Hurray for wireless networks.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Portugal 2 Iran 0

Portugal had not gone past the World Cup group stages since 1966, when it went on to a semi-final defeat at Wembley. Now, it is once again in the knockout stages.
It was a good match - a little on the rough side - with two great goals by Deco and Cristiano Ronaldo and 14 corner kicks awarded to Portugal! I thought Figo was in great form (but that kick to his face must have really hurt a lot) and Luiz Felipe Scolari...well, Scolari with his outbursts and expressions adds a very entertaining dimension to the game (what a contrast with cool Sven Goran-Eriksson!). Scolari is great and he seems to know what he's doing.
GO PORTUGAL !

Writing

often it is the only
thing
between you and
impossibility.
no drink,
no woman's love,
no wealth
can
match it.

nothing can save
you
except
writing.

it keeps the walls
from
failing.
the hordes from
closing in.

it blasts the
darkness.

writing is the
ultimate
psychiatrist,

the kindliest
god of all the
gods.

writing stalks
death.
it knows no
quit.

and writing
laughs
at itself,
at pain.

it is the last
expectation,
the last
explanation.

that's
what it
is.

poem by Charles Bukowski

Friday, June 16, 2006

The state of the blogosphere

  • Technorati now tracks over 44.7 million blogs
  • The blogosphere is doubling in size every 6 months
  • It is over 60 times bigger than it was in 2003
  • On average, a new weblog is created every second of every day
  • 20 million bloggers are still posting 3 months after their blogs were created
  • Technorati tracks about 1.2 million new blog posts each day, about 50,000 per hour
  • The blogosphere is multilingual, and deeply international
  • English, while being the language of the majority of early bloggers, has fallen to less than a third of all blog posts in April 2006.
  • Japanese, Chinese, English, Spanish, Italian, Russian, French, Portuguese, Dutch, and German are the languages with the greatest number of posts tracked by Technorati.
  • Language breakdown does not necessarily imply a particular country or regional breakdown.

Pity most of my favourite blogs have been discontinued in the last few months.

It isn't science fiction

Earlier this week, famous physicist Stephen Hawking declared the Earth is now so dangerous that humans must find a new home if the species is to survive. But where should we go? This article in today's Guardian weighs up the options, from the mountains of Mars to the acid clouds of Venus.
Remember Moonbase Alpha in "Space: 1999" ?

Mozart: Piano Sonata no.8 in A minor

Playing on the iPod is the second movement - Andante Cantabile -of Mozart's Piano Sonata no. 8 in A minor K310/300d, composed in 1778.
Ronald Brautigam plays the fortepiano.
Surely Mozart's music also gives us a glimpse of God.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Understanding God

“When you have for the first time in front of you this 3.1 billion-letter instruction book that conveys all kinds of information and all kinds of mystery about humankind, you can’t survey that going through page after page without a sense of awe. I can’t help but look at those pages and have a vague sense that this is giving me a glimpse of God’s mind.”

--Francis Collins, the director of the US National Human Genome Research Institute and leader of the team that cracked the human genome (taken from here).

Margaret Atwood

I've just added Margaret Atwood to my "favourite contemporary authors" list. "The Blind Assassin" is one of the best books I read this year (it has certain similarities with Ian McEwan's "Atonement", which I also really enjoyed). I'll write about it later in Codices. Meanwhile I recommend its reading to anyone who enjoys good literature.

Piano

Salvador Dali (1904-1989) - Necrophiliac Spring Flowering from a Piano with a Tail - 1933

Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.

In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cozy parlor, the tinkling piano our guide.

So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamor
With the great black piano appassionato. The glamor
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Family heirloom

Approximately seven years ago I inherited a very old and dear piano. It was on it that my sisters and I played our first tunes when we were kids and before us our father and before him his father's sisters. It was bought by my great-grandfather at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century and it has played a cherished and irreplaceable part in our family's life during more than a century. And what a century it was! It lived through wars and revolutions, births and deaths, it witnessed profound personal tragedy and it survived it all. Innumerable dear hands have played it, derived and given pleasure through it. A great many heartfelt emotions have been expressed through it, in good times and in bad, by people I love, loved or who where loved by them.
Its sound was always deep, moving and nostalgic.
I had left it too long without being tuned and properly cared for. It's a survivor but nonetheless it is old and deserving of the respect and caring old loved ones deserve.
I had it looked into and tuned today. It's back in the best possible shape for its age and it sounds great again. The very sound that inhabits some of my fondest childhood memories.
I hope my daughters will take good care of it.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Today









Clara's birthday party, Stoke Goldington and Woburn Safari Park.

Six years ago, today

Clara was born on June 12, 2000, in Lisbon, at 16:25. She weighted 3100g and measured 48cm from head to toe. She was a perfect and beautiful baby and she took a lot of less time and effort to be born then her big sister Ana.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Dinner on a hot summer's eve



Chicken Korma with white rice, fresh green salad and spicy naan bread, washed down with a very chilled Mateus Rosé. Last but not least, the very freshest English strawberries.

Karate grading

After a very sweaty 3 hours (it was over 30ºC inside the gym - no air conditioning), my lovely Ana is now a Karate blue belt.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Full moon on a hot night

Lovely

Mum and Dad brought the hot weather with them from Portugal. It's over 30º C and not a cloud in the sky. Lovely weather to be out and about and we certainly have plans to do so, even though I think Dad really prefers to be home watching the World Cup.
There are several events happening around here to give this weekend an even more festive feel: Bon Jovi's concert at the National Bowl, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, a couple of important flower shows and car boot sales.

Free Mozart

Free good-quality Mozart downloads here.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Congratulations are in order

After an epic odyssey that lasted six head throbbing months, our house is finally ours! Now we'll have to roll up our sleeves and start extensive maintenance work because the landlord was a slob.
But first we'll celebrate with the very special guests who are arriving tomorrow! Hooray!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Euthanasia

In the Guardian today: "One of the country's leading experts on medical ethics today calls for doctors to be able to end the lives of some terminally ill patients "swiftly, humanely and without guilt" - even if they have not given consent. Len Doyal, emeritus professor of medical ethics at Queen Mary, University of London, takes the euthanasia debate into new and highly contentious territory. He says doctors should recognise that they are already killing patients when they remove feeding tubes from those whose lives are judged to be no longer worth living. Some will suffer a "slow and distressing death" as a result. It would be better if their lives were ended without this unnecessary delay, Professor Doyal writes in an article in Clinical Ethics, published by the Royal Society of Medicine. He calls for the law and professional guidance to be changed."

I hope this issue is widely debated. One of the guarantees of a civilized and technologically advanced society should surely be the right to die a dignified and - whenever it's possible - a painless death in the presence of a terminal illness. Shouldn't pointless prolonged suffering and distress be avoided at all costs?

Why is the discussion of death - a certainty to us all and to all whom we hold dear - so much of a taboo ?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Cloud 9

Perfection

Late afternoon in the garden

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Zeitgeist

In the last couple of months I've been hearing a lot of seemingly serious talk about Happiness.
The BBC aired a program called "The Happiness Formula", in which Andrew Oswald, professor of economics at Warwick University, argued that advanced western economies should concentrate less on growth and more on the wellbeing of their citizens. A book, "El viaje a la felicidad", was written by Eduard Punset, a renowned Spanish economist, with a happiness formula based on scientific data. A bunch of articles have appeared on a bunch of papers discussing happiness from a "scientific" point of view.
Are we entering a new era in economics or are we just witnessing a serious case of schizophrenia?
I agree with Oswald when he says, "If you're poor, and can't feed your children, theories about the economics of happiness don't matter. But in America and western Europe, a lot of us don't need a TV wider than the one we have, or a third car."
However, as I see it, he is missing the point: the wider TV and the last model car or mobile phone have been wired into modern society's notion of happiness (even if it's ephemeral and leaves a bitter aftertaste).
Well then, is happiness now not what it used to be? What is happiness? Can it be scientifically defined and analysed in Economics? Oswald claims it can. I have my doubts.
I don't think it's enough to say "You don't need that to be happy". I also think that no one (especially not an economist) is entitled to say "You need that to be happy".
After all isn't happiness a most private and individual thing ?

Monday, June 05, 2006

Tosca at Covent Garden

"An artist turned rebel, a sadist and an actress driven to murder: it can only be Tosca. After some 40 years, one of the most popular of operas in The Royal Opera repertory is to receive a new production. Puccini's score combines such great set pieces as the Act I 'Te Deum', 'Vissi d'arte' and 'E lucevan le stelle' with a tense drama of love, politics, jealousy and, ultimately, tragedy." - taken from the The Royal Opera House site.

It's directed by Jonathan Kent, with designs by Paul Brown, and an amazing cast that includes Angela Gheorghiu (Floria Tosca), Bryn Terfel (Baron Scarpia), and Marcelo Alvarez (Mario Cavaradossi).

Needless to say it's sold out. Even if it wasn't I wouldn't be able to go... maybe in another 40 years time.

Watch 3 minute ROH video about the new production here.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Blenheim Palace

Yesterday we decided to make the most of the beautiful weather and go on a long drive to visit Blenheim Palace, home to the Dukes of Malborough since the 18th century and birthplace of Winston Churchill.
The beauty, taste and opulence of English countryside palaces never fail to dazzle me. Woburn (home to the Dukes of Bedford) , Leeds Castle and now Blenheim Palace are indeed worthy of admiration (Blenheim has been a World Heritage Site since 1987). Not only are the grounds breathtaking, the palaces architectural masterpieces and visitors provided with close up encounters with history, through excellent preservation of contents and skillfully designed exhibitions, but also, the "lived in" look makes all the difference: this is actually somebody's home!
All of us loved it - it has to be one of the most beautiful places in England - and the girls were exceptionally excited with what one of the lady guides - the very nice and posh one in the State Dining Room - said to them: if they really liked the palace, maybe one day they could get married there. I'll have to keep playing Euromillions.
Photos over in Lovely Places (only exteriors, cameras not allowed inside the palace; for inside photos visit the palace's official site: http://www.blenheimpalace.com/)



Friday, June 02, 2006

Easy Winners

Playing on the iPod is Scott Joplin's rag Easy Winners, composed in 1901.
I might just win Euromillions ... if I play.

Books adapted to film

A month ago, The Guardian asked its readers to vote for the best ever film made from a novel. The results, published in today's paper, are as follows:
1. To Kill a Mockingbird
Robert Mulligan (1962)
Adapted by Horton Foote from Harper Lee's 1960 novel

2. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Milos Forman (1975)
Adapted by Bo Goldman and Lawrence Hauben from the 1962 novel by Ken Kesey

3. Blade Runner
Ridley Scott (1982)
Adapted by Hampton Fancher and David Webb Peoples from the 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick

4. The Godfather
Francis Ford Coppola (1972)
Adapted by Mario Puzo from his 1969 novel

5. The Remains of the Day
James Ivory (1993)
Adapted by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala from the 1989 novel by Kazuo Ishiguro

6. Kes
Ken Loach (1969)
Adapted by Tony Garnett from the 1968 novel A Kestrel For a Knave by Barry Hines

7. Apocalypse Now
Francis Ford Coppola (1979)
Adapted by Coppola and John Milius from the 1899 novella Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

8 .The Shawshank Redemption
Frank Darabont (1994)
Adapted by Darabont from the 1982 short story Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King

9. LA Confidential
Curtis Hanson (1997)
Adapted by Hanson and Brian Helgeland from the 1990 novel by James Ellroy

10. Brokeback Mountain
Ang Lee (2005)
Adapted by Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry from the 1997 short story by E Annie Proulx

11. A Clockwork Orange
Stanley Kubrick (1971)
Adapted by Kubrick from the 1962 novel by Anthony Burgess

12. Doctor Zhivago
David Lean (1965)
Adapted by Robert Bolt from the 1957 novel by Boris Pasternak

13. The Maltese Falcon
John Huston (1941)
Adapted by Huston from the 1930 novel by Dashiell Hammett

14. Fight Club
David Fincher (1999)
Adapted by Jim Uhls from the 1996 novel by Chuck Palahniuk

15. The English Patient
Anthony Minghella (1996)
Adapted by Minghella from the 1992 novel by Michael Ondaatje

16. Brighton Rock
John Boulting (1947)
Adapted by Graham Greene and Terence Rattigan from the 1938 novel by Greene

17. Trainspotting
Danny Boyle (1996)
Adapted by John Hodge from the 1993 novel by Irvine Welsh

18. Rebecca
Alfred Hitchcock (1940)
Adapted by Philip MacDonald from the 1938 novel by Daphne du Maurier

19. Oliver Twist
David Lean (1948)
Adapted by Lean and Stanley Haynes from the 1838 novel by Charles Dickens

20. Schindler's List
Steven Spielberg (1993)
Adapted by Steven Zaillian from the 1982 novel Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Rondo Alla Turca

Playing on the iPod is the third movement of Mozart's Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major, K. 331, the famous Rondo Alla Turca, one of my daughters' favourites for their ballet practices. I've always wished to play it as well as my father did when I was a child. Alas, I never came close, even though my dad was self-taught and I did have piano lessons for a couple of years.
I've just realized with a pang that I miss my dad's piano playing terribly! I remember the delight it always was to hear him play (still is!) and the comfort I felt when that happened long after bedtime as I lay sleeplessly in bed (this didn't happen often, yet, the few times when it did happen were enough to create a very pleasant and cherished impression that lingers in my mind to this day).
Dad: start practicing for when you're here in a couple of week's time ! I'll have the piano tuned !

It's June already!

This year seems to be flying by!

June is one of my favourite months of the year (the other is September): not too hot, not too cold, the longest and brightest days, lovely flowers, tasty fruit, fresh scents, lots of outdoor living, holidays just around the corner and a whole lot of birthday celebrations (Clara, myself, my cousin, two of my most cherished friends and a bunch of the kids' friends)!
June trivia:
No other month begins on the same day of the week as June.
June's flower is the rose or honeysuckle.
June's birthstone is the pearl, Alexandrite, or moonstone.