Sunday, 10 August 2008

In which I am mistaken for a member of the orchestra

This weekend: more culture. It is practically pouring out of me and pooling around my silver sandals. Obviously it is raining a lot too. But still. I may as well be Melvyn Bragg. Lord knows, I'd love to have hair that thick.

Friday was West Side Story at Sadler's Wells, which was sometimes excellent but, ultimately, strangely unmoving. This is a significant flaw, clearly, since by the end of West Side Story, you should by rights be too distraught to connect one palm with other and applaud. I don't like to point the finger, but Tony, with his sensible chinos and buttoned-up pale blue shirt, just didn't seem to be the kind of man you fall in love with across a dancefloor. Maybe it was because I had been watching the introductary coverage of the Olympics earlier that day, but all I could think of when I looked at him, from our seats in the far reaches of the upper-upper-upper circle, was Matthew Pinsent...

...who has many excellent qualities which I lack – commitment, courage, strength, a history of getting up early – but impassioned leading man material he is, perhaps, not.

Then, on Saturday, back to the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, for which I wore a black dress. While we were sitting in the bar beforehand, sharing our table with a lovely all-male couple ('They're very friendly, the gays,' said Mrs Jones) one of them asked me if I was playing in the orchestra. Hmm. At least he didn't ask me to clean the table or fetch him a gin and tonic. Perhaps I just look like the kind of person who spent their childhood indoors practising scales rather than running around breathing in fresh air and sunshine (actually, that is exactly what I look like). 

But on with the show. Mrs Jones and I found ourselves in quite brilliant seats –  very close to the stage in an actual posho's box-type area, with room to stash your shopping and hooks to hang up your coat. The orchestra were right beneath us, playing the Romeo to our over-excited Juliet. 

We could see every bead of sweat on Charles Hazelwood's forehead. We could read the sheet music over the shoulders of the double basses. We did have binoculars. But anyway. Only a couple of weeks ago, when Miss W and I been in the same venue, gently perspiring in our cramped seats in the gods, we were wistfully wondering what it took to sit in one of those boxes. And now I know. Like the secret of good skin or a long life, it is old-fashioned good fortune, and nothing more. 

That was the last good fortune of the weekend. So much for the Canadians being a race of warm, friendly checked-shirt wearers. After I booked a hotel in Nova Scotia online last week, one of them has been attempting to take my credit card details out for a spend-up. O Canada. Bryan Adams would not endorse that, I am sure.


Chris said...

Dear Miss Jones,

I have spent most of last evening and a deal of this morning punctuating winding sessions with my infant child (I the winder, she the windee, I should emphasise) reading the entirety of your outstanding blog from soup to nuts. It is without doubt one of the grandest things online and - if I were the kind of person to ignore those little pleas which are automatically placed at the foot of emails emanating from fuel-guzzling corporate behemoths to think of the environment and not print things out - quite possibly one of the grandest things offline as well. It is funny, funny, funny and has caused me to snort coffee out of my nose IN SPITE OF MY NOT HAVING DRUNK ANY. It is also a beautiful example of elegant writing.

I'm not one for blogs, generally, what with having burpy children to oversee and a pile of middle-class washing up like you would not believe (oh yes, Donna Hay, it may well only take a few short minutes to whip up a salsa verde, but you make no mention of the effort needed to persuade filaments of roughly-chopped dill off the mezzaluna blade and into the compost caddy, do you?) However, I do feverishly check Lord Marbury's excellent blog every thirty minutes or so just in case John McCain has called it a day, and intrigued by his recommendation came to have a looksee. Now I have two blogs nestling in the bookmarks bit of my Firefox browser, amongst the links to directories of Saniflo engineers and online level one Italian grammar flashcards.

Long may this excellent enterprise continue. In summary: well done, congratulations, good luck and buongiorno.

I remain, &c.

C. Addison, Gent.

Miss Jones said...

Dear Mr Addison

Thank you, you are extremely kind, although I fear your mind is addled by the stench of sterilising fluid and fresh herbs. Nevertheless, I am very glad you have joined my band of literally ones of readers. I may never achieve the frenzied work rate of our mutual friend Marbury, but I will strive to uphold my corner of your bookmarks bar as best I can.

Warmest regards

Miss Jones (Miss)