It was a beautiful morning when I got up, balmy breeze, sunshine ...but the clouds have gathered now so I expect we're in for another dowsing.
Oh, I got my new VDU specs for work. They're great for reading and the VDU but anything further than 6 feet from my nose is very fuzzy indeed! I've bought one of those specs cords so I can hang them around my neck if I need to see further!
When the visiting optician was fitting the specs, which actually simply plopped on my ears/nose and didn't need alteration, I asked if he'd have a fiddle with my old (second best) specs since the previous evening, fed up of fuzzy vision (I'm using my 'spare' pair at the moment) I'd pushed the specs up and over to the right and 'hey presto', I could see!
Nice man altered the nose bits so I can see much better with them.
My new (from December) varifocals, which I took back since they seemed fuzzy, too, were replaced since apparently they were missing about 2mm of vision in the right lens on a very narrow reading area anyway.
The optician was very good and obliging and since the frame had also chipped, they replaced the frame. Trying on the new pair, yesterday, the assistant noticed that the new frame had chipped in a couple of places and when she ran her nail over it, the paint simply peeled away. We had a look at similar shaped frames (so we could use the same lens - which actually, they'd changed from Nikon corridor to Varilux for greater reading area, I believe!) but I didn't like the colours, so have chosen yet ANOTHER new frame which will require yet another set of lens - since the lens element of the specs was about £250 and they now have a useless set, I have to commend them for sorting the problems which were created by the manufacturer. And denying that I was the 'customer from hell', which is how I felt!
That sorted, I had a little promenade around the market place which was choc-a-bloc with people buying Mother's Day gifts and flowers. There were absolutely TONS of flowers, and each of the three or four stalls were double their usual size.
Gave me a bit of a lump in the throat, actually. Families being together today.
Tora called me last week (the US Mother's Day is in a couple of months' time, I think) and she'd been panicked into thinking it was last week. Bless her. She said she'd call me today so I'll make sure I have my mobile close by at Cheeky Boy's.
It's a family celebration there today, with CB in the chef's hat with a starter of smoked salmon (I believe), roast pork and all that goes with it and I've made a chilled lemon flan for the pudding.
Hmmm, is it a pudding or dessert? There is a difference, etiquette wise, but I can't remember what it is. Lemme think ...........
OK, just grabbed my etiquette book .... "Pudding ... never 'sweet', 'afters' or 'dessert' (except when describing a fruit course), is always eaten with a spoon and fork, with the exceptionn of ices and sorbets, which are consumed with a small spoon alone."
Wow, I've just learned how to cut cheese off the board. Well, I learned anyway, that if you're taking a slice of a wedged cheese, you cut yourself a lengthwise slice, not one across the tip and you cut a wedge out of a round cheese. AND you cut yourself off a small bunch from a big bunch of grapes, not grab 'em off individually. Mind you, I DO do that anyway, cos empty grape prongs just look so untidy sticking up off a bunch!
Michael Parkinson's jazz prog is on the radio. I've no idea why I'm listening to it, apart from the fact I don't want to listen to Radio 1 .. I know I'll try to find Radio 4. It's a bit hissy ... possibly interference from the computer. Oh, just thought, I could put the TV on and get them digitally, I think.
I was watching/listening to a really interesting (to me) programme in the wee small hours. I think I started watching it at 1am and one prog ran into another, on the same theme and before I knew it, it was 4.30am! Mind you, since we 'sprang forward' an hour overnight, I expect I lost an hour there! It was about Vivaldi and La Pieta. An English lady (name escapes me) has been going thro the Venetian archives and finding info not previously revealed. She said it was funny reading it, thinking ... "Oh I must go find more about this." Then she realised there was no more because she was the first person to be reading it!
A group, a female choir and orchestra, had travelled from Oxford to play/sing pieces which Vivaldi had composed solely for female voices for the orphans of La Pieta.
Apparently, in those times, a number of children were born malformed through veneral disease and suchalike and people would often just dump the babes in the canals. An alternative was set up whereby the babies, girls, could be left in a drawer, a bell rung to draw attention and they would then be brought up in the orphanage. The mother's would often leave a token ... half of something, a coin, a picture etc, in case they ever had the opportunity to get the baby back and would produce the matching half.
Some of these young ladies were not too pretty to look at and in the church there were 4 galleries for the orchestra and singers with screens thro which the ladies could be glimpsed by flickering candlelight, but obscured, of course. Some of the performers became stars in their own right but they stayed within La Pieta for donkeys years. Presumably because they chose to because it had become their home.
So, the first prog was the history of all this, told by members of the choir/orchestra and the second prog was a performance of Vivaldi's Gloria. I was really enjoying it but the beautiful music kept sending me to sleep and the lateness of the hour I eventually gave up and went to bed, wishing I could have recorded it for later viewing.
One amusing thing was the fact that there was one lady with a wonderful bass voice. At the time when Vivaldi's music was first performed, people believed that there must have been a man snuck in to sing the bass but it was certainly proved that women can be bass too ... in a manner of speaking!
And talking of singing .... I had a go on the karoke last night! Only the second occasion I've been mad enough to do it!
A group of Morris folks got together for a dinner in Boston at a pub and in another bar was the karoke set up. Nipping thro for a ciggie, Helen dared me to 'have a go'. There were about 5,000 songs to choose from and it would have taken a month to look thro them all and by D I was flagging, so I chose Doris Day's Que Sera Sera. I really enjoyed it and people were laughing a singing along, too! I did do one more, alone .... from Oliver - As Long As He Needs Me. Which Shirley Bassey would have laughed her stilettoes off hearing my rendition but it was great to let rip!
Then one last go as the guy was about to finish up and a bunch of us, 5 I think, did our rendition of YMCA. I was charged with going to book a spot for that and since I was in a rather inaccessable place at table, I had to crawl under the table, go out a conservatory door, thinking I could then walk around the side but found I was in a fenced area, so I climbed over the 5ft fence (to the amusement of peeps inside the conservatory ... even more so cos they could see a gate which escaped me!) and charged back into the pub !!
It was a most convivial evening. Well, apart from 3 people who left without eating cos the food numbers had got mixed up and while they weren't going to have to go without, they chose not to wait. Shame really cos we were all being served at different times so they wouldn't have been eating alone.
The main course of a roast, which some selected, drew some ribald comments but mostly the plates were cleared if only cos by 9.15pm we were pretty darned hungry. The banana split was too sweet even for my taste and had 'squirty' cream on it, yeuk and I noticed that other's who'd made that choice also just scraped the goo off the banana and ate only the fruit!
It was all about the company though and I took some piccies. The biter did get bit, I have to confess and someone got quite a good piccie of me with the mike in hand, belting out the Doris Day song!
I may pop by the crematorium on my way to CB's. It would have been my mum's birthday yesterday and followed closely by Mother's day it would be nice just to spend a few moments 'near her'.
There were circumstances strange and sad, though nothing sinister, around my mum's death, thirty-one years ago and losing her was a blow, one that I didn't feel when my father passed on.
Once or twice, once in even Dallas, a most unexpected place to expect to see her anyway, about seven years ago, I thought I caught a glimpse of mum,but of course it wasn't her! I followed the lady in Dallas around the shop just because I wanted so badly for the lady to be my mum! Daft woman I am!
Well, I'd better get myself sorted, bathed and dressed.
I'm at home the next few days, hopefully with my head buried in my accounts! I do SO want to get those off my plate!