Hi Lovely people, Here I am running late like usual with the December Newsletter. Well, December didn’t really go to plan, more about that later. It started okay.
What even more concerts?
Holst’s Planets & Britten
I took myself off to a bonus Sydney Symphony concert with last-minute tickets. I found myself in the seats behind the orchestra in the choir stall front row. It was amazing to sit so close to the percussion and even chat with the players. There were two major themes of the evening the solar system & earth and war.
The first piece was a 50 Fanfares commission from Paul Stanhope. Ocean Planet is a seven-section piece with a journey through the oceans complete with whale sounds, wave machines and wind machines by the percussion section. The perfect way to start the concert.
The second piece was Benjamin Britten‘s Violin Concerto, Op.15. Andrew Haveron was the soloist. The piece was written in response to the Spanish Civil War in the lead-up to World War Two. Andrew was amazing. I really enjoyed the orchestra-only bits (probably a bit more than the solo 😁)
The third piece was The Planets by Gustav Holst. I should have to say much more than that. One of my favourite pieces of all time, especially when it is performed in full. Massive orchestra with 2 sets of timpani, 2 harps, 8 double basses, 4 percussionists, tuba, euphonium etc. The well-known movements are Mars, Bringer of War and Jupiter, Bringer of Joy. My favourite movement though is probably Mercury, the winged messenger. All the movements are spectacular. The piece finishes with the most ethereal ending ever.
To watch a recording of the concert you can head to the livestream on the Sydney Symphony website. There you can also access the program. I have also setup a spotify playlist, which includes the Sydney Symphony performance from a few years ago (I was also there for that one😊)
The next week I went to see Human Nature for their Christmas Concert at the State Theatre. It was great to see them all together, now that Phil has kinda left. It was a fun concert a bit too Christmasy for me but beggars can’t be choosers. Their concerts are always worth seeing. I’m not going to list all the songs as I can’t remember them but there was a great selection from their whole career with bonus Christmas stuff. They also had Bella Taylor Smith as a special guest she was brilliant.
So it was great excitement at my place leading up to Christmas with Christmas LEGO arriving. This year I even built a table to house the LEGO. There was a new kit for the Christmas Village with a music shop, toy shop and a tram. I also got the new Christmas tree and the advent calendar which had me in it hehehehe. Check out the attached photos and video.
Knocked over 4 books for December.
- The Body in the Garden by Katharine Schellman – another period cosy mystery this time with a widow, Lily Adler, in 1815 who returns to London and society after her husband’s death. Of course, she overhears a murder and finds a body in her friend’s garden. Let the detecting begin.
- Telling Tales by Ann Cleeves – the second DCI Vera Stanhope book. I find the way the books are written very interesting. The first third of the book is from the viewpoint of some of the characters around the murder, the second third moves to Vera, and then the last part moves back to the other characters. Challenging you to really guess what the solution is.
- Invitation to Die by Barbara Cleverley – Another second in the series and a historical cosy mystery. This time it’s 1924 in Cambridge with Detective Inspector John Redfyre
- A Dissection of Murder by Felicity Young – Guess what another period cosy mystery. The first in a series featuring Dr Dody McCleland, an Edwardian female autopsy surgeon. I enjoyed the policemen Chief Inspector Matthew Pike and Dr Dody was OK but I didn’t really like the plot. Oh well, better luck next time.
Covid instead of Christmas
The month started so well. It then took a nosedive after I got covid the Monday before Christmas. Proper sick, Christmas was cancelled. I lay on the couch and watched cricket for two weeks while I recovered. Anyway, that’s how it goes. Christmas was rescheduled but more about that in next month’s newsletter.
Happy New Year
To bring in the New Year I watch the Big Bash annual game from Adelaide and went to bed afterwards. Some exciting plans for 2023. I’m off to the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Svalbard and Norway in April for 2 months which is very exciting. Otherwise, Sydney Symphony concerts are booked throughout the year and a trip to Canberra with the girls. I’m sure I will have a few other exciting adventures throughout the year.