Weekend Roundup, Spring Edition

On Friday night I had my cello lesson where some things fell apart, and others worked. I guess overall it was good, but there were parts that left me really down. This is the part of the-tearing-apart-current-technique process I hate. I know to expect sounding awful while my brain and muscles struggle to implement new info, but it doesn’t do much for feeling good about yourself or your work. A new étude that my teacher assigned had me trying to figure out what it sounded like, and I finally made the connection: it was in the same key and rhythmic pattern as the piece my teacher had suggested doing for the spring recital back in January, the Bach Gavotte from the third Suzuki book, a piece I love. I shared this insight with her and she was slightly taken aback, because we haven’t started it yet and usually she prefers students to present a polished piece they’ve worked on for a good long time. So there was miscommunication: I expected her to assign it when she thought it was time, and she perhaps forgot or had just been thinking aloud. She suggested doing the Lully Gavotte instead, but told me to work on both as the Lully has lots of stuff we can apply to the Bach, and if the Bach is good enough we can do that. We have three months; we’ll see what happens.

Saturday was our spring co-coven all-day retreat. I was up at six baking a double batch of cinnamon buns that I’d mixed the night before. We left at quarter to eight to drop the boy off at his local grandparents’ house, pick up the last-minute supplies we needed, get gas, then pick up our two coveners and get to the workshop site (theoretically for nine, but we didn’t make it there till nine-twenty because of traffic and losing a bit of time at every stop). The morning was great: the cinnamon rolls and tea or coffee, then our opening ritual that invoked the energy of the elements in various ways to bless the weather, our creative pursuits, and new beginnings or reawakenings, then a good talk on shield theory, and a discussion comparing and contrasting the handling of energy in Reiki and magic. Lunch always arrives surprisingly quickly, and it was fabulous: cannelloni, honey-garlic chicken, salad, and homemade bread. The main ritual was a guided meditation, after which I had to leave for a replacement rehearsal at orchestra as we’d lost two earlier in the season due to weather and March break.

The rehearsal was good work. Things are starting to come together, although I have determined that I have White Stick Syndrome. This is similar to White Coat Syndrome in which people’s blood pressure skyrockets at hospitals or doctor’s offices, except in my case when the conductor turns around and stands right in front of me to conduct our section I completely lose any ability to read my music and play things I know perfectly well. Sitting second chair has its hazards.

Two and a half hours later I went back to pick up the rest of the crew. We dropped them off and picked up the boy, then went home for dinner. In my quest to turn my son into a fellow Vaughan Williams fan, At the end of dinner I played the Wasps overture for the boy so he’d know it at the concert, and then the March Past of the Kitchen Utensils which came next on the CD (why are there no recordings of this to share? I am sad, it’s a great piece), doing a puppet show for him with my hands over the half-wall between the living room and the kitchen while telling him this was the wooden spoon marching past, this was the ladle, and, timed to coincide with the crashing chords, this was the meat tenderizer, THUMP! He giggled so hard he almost gave himself the hiccoughs and kept saying, “Do it again, Mama, do it again!” I promised him we could do it for HRH one day with the real kitchen utensils, and we went through the tin of spoons and such by the stove to figure out what we would use. I may even break out the fabric stash to make little cloaks for them, and possibly acquire googly eyes to stick on with a bit of blue-tack for extra fun.

Sunday morning I felt awful. I’d worn myself out on Saturday, so the sinus cold that I’d been fighting for the past week gained the upper hand. I took sinus medication, which pretty much knocked me out, and I spent most of the morning in a doze wherever I was sitting. While HRH vacuumed, I showed the boy the live feed of Molly the wild barn owl sitting on her eggs, the first of which was due to hatch Sunday. It’s absolutely fascinating to watch her; barn owls are incredibly elegant, and knowing there was an owlet working on chipping its way out of the egg made it hard to turn the feed off. The first one hatched while we both napped and HRH was out getting groceries, and then the feed went down, so we watched a recording of the owlet instead. (The feed is back today, thank goodness; the servers crashed because so many people were watching it.)

As it was the first weekend of spring, we celebrated by going out for ice cream. We visited the opened-last-summer Bilboquet location in Pointe-Claire village, which has seats inside (our regular spot doesn’t) and it was just as fabulous as everyone who’s enjoyed the downtown location has ever told me. The boy had straight chocolate, I had chocolate with white chocolate-vanilla slabs and nuts in it, and HRH had tire a sucre ice cream, vanilla swirled with real maple taffy from a local cabane a sucre. It was incredible. It’s a limited-time availability thing, so, um, we’ll be going back next Sunday so we can all have some before the season is over. It snowed on Sunday, too, enough to cover the grass again (although it melted overnight) and there was something peculiarly decadent about sitting on the stools at the front window, eating ice cream while watching the snow fall.

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