Monthly Archives: September 2011

And no bells ring..

I like my new telephone, my computer works just fine, my calculator is perfect, but Lord, I miss my mind!  ~Author Unknown

Cellphone

9 months old and defunct

How quickly we have all become dependent on the trappings of modern day living.  Particularly our mobile phones that we take with us everywhere.

I can still remember the original mobile phone I had.  It was as large as a brick and had its own carry case that I slung over my shoulder.  I wish I had a photo of that one.  We also both had car-phones – tres chic and frightfully avant-garde.

On Friday I dropped my latest phone into a deep puddle of water as I was getting out of the car.  It didn’t seem to do it much harm.  I dried it and it appeared to work just fine.  However, on Saturday afternoon when driving it gave a strange popping noise and died.  I don’t really know how well it was working up until then because several people told me they called me during the time  I thought it was still working.

Anyway, the upshot is that even though this phone is only 9 months old, if it gets wet it isn’t covered under warranty.  So off to buy a replacement.

I have shied away from these smart phones saying I only needed mine to make and receive calls and texts to and from grandsons, to use as a phone book and very occasionally to take photos.

iphone

Several hours later the deed is done and I am back home.  In a couple of days I shall be the proud possessor of a new iphone with all the bells and whistles, most of which I will probably never use.  Oh how we are all seduced by modern technology.

And from a particular favourite of my children when they were growing up:

“Two old chairs, and half a candle,
One old jug without a handle
These were all his worldly goods
In the middle of the woods,
These were all the worldly goods
Of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò,
Of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.”
From Edward Lear‘s
‘The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bongy-Bo.

The Yongy Bongy Bo

From my book published in 1966 - the original published in 1894

Related articles

Kiss Your Frogs

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you until it seems that you cannot hold on for a minute longer, never give up then, for that  is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1811 – 1896  American abolitionist and author.


Frog

I call my sloppy, rambling, unintelligible, boring writing my frogs.
These are the posts that go nowhere.  They are way to the left of no good; they are lopsided and they croak like an army of frogs on the lily pad.  Did you know a group of frogs is called an army?

This is the awful stuff.  It’s swampy and mucky and holds little promise for a good outcome.  I put these things aside and move on hopefully to something I can use.

And then sometimes when I go back to them days, weeks or even months later, a phrase or a sentence springs out at me and gains a life of its own.  Then I have the catalyst for a new post.

So today I encourage you to kiss those frogs. Don’t rubbish them or discard them.  You may be surprised if one or more does turn into a handsome prince and reward you with a great post.

Frog prince

Note – pictures from Microsoft free clipart.

“Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in”
Andrew Jackson, 1767 – 1845
the seventh President of the United States

My September Years

“One day you turn around and it’s summer
Next day you turn around and it’s fall
And the springs and the winters of a lifetime
Whatever happened to them all?”
So sang Frank Sinatra –
listen to the song here

Autumn

As one grows older and has time to look back, we can marvel at the many things we have seen and done.  The people we have met, the places we have visited.  We can also perhaps ponder on the road not taken and the options and opportunities not taken up.

I consider myself to have been immensely fortunate throughout my life.  I was brought up in London during and after the Second World War by two loving and supportive parents.  From reading some of the blogs, I know that not everybody was that fortunate.

I married at a young age (19) and stayed married to that man until he died 41 years later.  Of course, there were bumps along the road, what good marriage hasn’t survived a few of those, but in the main it was very good.

We travelled around the world because my husband worked for an international company and was transferred to different places.  Consequently, my children learned to fit into new places and to make friends easily; they can enter a room knowing nobody and within a few minutes be in the middle of a conversation with a group of people.  Luckily, I have always found making new friends easy.

The busy years were good and full for all of us.  And the years that followed after the children left home,  when we had only each other to concern ourselves with were also very good.  We were able to do all the things we had planned and when my husband retired early we took trips to parts of the world we had always wanted to see.  I had only just started my own business at the time, and as I was some 10 years younger than he, was not ready to retire.  But we often talked about what we would do when I retired.

But as Charles Aznavour sings The thousand dreams I dreamed, the splendid things I planned and The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men (Robert Burns “To a Mouse”) then needed to be adapted to this new life I now live alone.

The places we still had left to visit after my husband died will remain unvisited.  Travelling is not nearly as exciting or interesting on one’s own.  Who wants to marvel at a fantastic view or a beautiful painting if there is nobody to discuss it with then or later over a glass of wine?  These things and places will remain unvisited by me.  In some ways I am now an onlooker in life.  I see others doing the things we planned.  I see others walking into the sunset holding hands and am slightly envious that they still have each other.

Having said that, I am still making memories each day, with my friends and family.  My grandsons never fail to amaze me at what they do, what they already know and what they are learning.  They certainly will learn so much more than I’ll ever know.  How lucky am I that I get to share in parts of their lives.

“But now the days grow short, I’m in the autumn of the year
And now I think of my life as vintage wine from fine old kegs
From the brim to the dregs, and it poured sweet and clear
It was a very good year”

Apart from a couple of hiccups along the way – a brush with osteomyelitis and breast cancer and the death of my husband and both parents, all my years have been good.   I am very thankful for that and look forward to the next years being as good.

And just because I like this picture and Marilyn Monroe’s quote –

Red Shoes

If only I was still able to wear those heels I would really be in my element!

“I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot!”Marilyn Monroe

French for Brunch

Simply Paris signbrunch m (petit déjeuner tardif et copieux remplaçant le déjeuner).

Today I had brunch with a group of women.  I knew one of the four women but the other three were strangers to me.

These women meet on a regular basis for brunch and French conversation and I was invited to join them today.  Hopefully, they liked me enough to allow me to become part of this group.

Bread

Selection of bread at Simply Paris

My French conversational skills are quite limited, but so then were three of the others.  The fourth woman was the coach/teacher.  This woman was born and raised in Skopje, Macedonia and after deciding that Economics was not for her, she changed to Languages and in particular French for her degree.

She arrived here in the mid 1990s with her two small children and husband, speaking no English.  How hard life must have been for her then.  A new culture, no friends, no way of communicating and two little children.  But  she is a survivor and although I have only met her just once, this is very obvious.

She decided to share her love of the  language with others and runs a series of informal classes teaching others to communicate in French.

As we were leaving and standing at the counter to pay, a complete  stranger came up to me and said “I think you look great”.  What a lovely and totally unexpected compliment.  It rounded off a very pleasant couple of hours.

Do you ever think of paying a stranger a compliment?  I have been known to on occasions but with the effect that this woman’s words had on me, I know that I shall be paying compliments to strangers again.

Then it was time for Lotte and me to go for our walk.  As it was such a lovely day we ventured out to the south coast – 10 minutes in the car.

Inter Islander

Inter Island Ferry

We saw the InterIslander going out from Wellington harbour.  On such a beautiful clear, sunny afternoon  there would have been fantastic views and opportunities for photographs from the upper deck of the ferry.

Rugged coast

This is very rugged coastline and quite dangerous to shipping. This is where one  of New Zealand’s most talked about maritime disasters occurred.  In April 1968 Cyclone Giselle hit Wellington at the same time as another storm which had driven up the West Coast of the South Island from Antarctica. The two storms met over the capital city, creating a single storm just as the inter-island ferry Wahine was crossing Cook Strait.  51 people lost their lives in the sinking.  Click here for TV coverage of the disaster.  It is interesting to hear the coverage and the frightfully BBC type reporting and voice.

Warning sign

We just love signs in New Zealand and this one caught my eye.  Apparently the Moa Point Wastewater Treatment Plant occasionally discharges a mixture of fully and partially treated sewage through its ocean outfall pipe into Cook Strait.  Hence the warning.

Houses

These houses clinging to the shore and the hillside are only about 10 kms from our bustling Capital city.  Wonderful on a day like today but I imagine quite frightening in one of the many strong southerly winds that hit this coast.

Manhole cover

On September 1st (before my gmail problems) Hallysann at Photographic Memories posted some photos of covers and so I thought I would add one of ours.  It’s nowhere near as attractive as those that Hallysann found wandering around Oxford but it’s the best I can do for today.

Lotte tired

By the time we had walked for about 30 minutes and Lotte had done some socialising with other dogs she met on the walk, she was ready to return home.  She is now ensconced in front of the fire – her usual place.

And just because I like this quote I shall finish with it today

I’m an excellent housekeeper. Every time I get a divorce, I keep the house.
~ Zsa Zsa Gabor

Life Surely is a Dance

In the sense that there was nothing before it, all writing is writing against the void.”  Mark Strand, 1934 –
American poet, essayist, and translator.

Sitting in front of the blank computer screen at 10.30pm on Friday night I could not think of anything to write about today.  Are you old enough to remember that when school finished eventually, we all wrote in each others autograph books?  Well the snippet that comes to mind right now is –

Head weak, brain numb,
inspiration wont come, can’t write,
bad pen, best wishes, amen.

So I am writing into the void.  No wonder the blank page or in my case, the empty computer screen, is so frightening.  This void is not my usual habitat.  I am a creature of city streets, beaches and bush. My inspiration is born in these things, and of course, family and grandchildren.

And as is always the case, I did think of something.  Today I thought of a book I have entitled Lilian Too’s Book of Gold.  It is subtitled “Wise Ways to Health, Wealth and Happiness” and contains 365 daily reflections.

Book of Gold

I haven’t even thought of this book for ages but looking for enlightenment I turned to the page for September 16.  Today’s reflection is entitled “Life is a Sacred Dance”.  And thinking about that I know that “when movements are coordinated and sure there is so much grace and when there is also music life becomes a celebration!”

Life is supposed to be a celebration but so often we get mired down into all the things, both small and large, that upset us and work together to spoil our days, so that we forget to be thankful and to celebrate all the good things in our lives.

Most of us have so much for which to be grateful.  Oh sure, there are those aches and pains that we have to deal with; those pesky neighbours or workmates; that rude clerk in the store or any one of a hundred things you can name.  And certainly, there are those things that really drag us down.  The death of a friend; a family member with a terminal illness; an unexpected bill to be paid; the end of a relationship and further afield the mine disaster currently being played out in a valley in Wales and the huge chemical fire in Canberra, among so many other things.

Many of the things about which we worry do not impact upon us personally, and in most instances, there is nothing we can do about them.  Death is something we have to face whether our own or a loved one’s.  Relationships will end either by us or by the other person involved.  Health whether ours or somebody else’s, will be compromised and we have to find a way to deal with all of these things.

But we also have to find time to celebrate our lives.  To remember all the good things for which we have to be thankful.  So today I am making a pact with myself to celebrate all those things for which I am grateful and tomorrow I shall be adding to My Gratitude List.

And to prove that Pollyanna is alive and well and living in Wellington, NZ here are some of the lyrics from a favourite song:

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat
But always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean

Whenever one door closes,
I hope one more opens

Promise me you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance; I hope you dance.

 

 

 

 

Thursday Lunch

“The caterpillar dies so the butterfly could be born.
And, yet, the caterpillar lives in the butterfly and they are but one.
So, when I die, it will be that I have been transformed from the caterpillar of earth to the butterfly of the universe.”
John Harricharan, award winning author, lecturer and businessman.

MPH Logo

Today I went to the hospice to serve lunch for the first Thursday in several weeks.  Firstly, a friend’s husband died and she needed my support, then there was a memorial service for another friend who died last year and last week I had the lurgy so I couldn’t take my germs to the patients (or the staff).

All of the patients were new to me.  They don’t seem to stay in the hospice for any length of time, but rather come for a few days or a week and then go home, to return again at a later date.  Quite often they are there to have their medication sorted out or perhaps just to give their carers a much-needed break.

So I had to introduce myself to all of them.

One patient was surrounded by her two daughters and some of their small children.  That was a noisy room with children laughing and competing with each other for Granny’s attention. Apparently, another daughter is about to give birth any time so she wasn’t visiting today.

Another patient was celebrating with her husband.  They had just heard that their daughter had given birth to their eleventh grandson – he was one hour old.  The grandfather had been to see mother and child and reported to his wife (and me who happened to be in her room) that all was well.  The baby was strong and thriving and the mother was radiant.

How lovely to think that as these two lives are coming to an end, other new lives are just beginning.

And when I came home I read this post from Winsomebella and I thought again how great life is.  I think grandparents have the best of all worlds.  They have these small people to love, to nurture and to assist in so many ways.  Many grandparents in today’s world also have the responsibility of sharing the raising of these children.  I have responsibility for my grandchildren only until they are returned to their parents.

And I thought of how quickly the years pass and how these little folk grow and become their own people.  They change, they mature, they learn and they repay all the love, kindness and help given to them by their grandparents many, many times over.  I only wish my late husband had stayed around with us long enough to see his grandsons grow into the strong young men they are each becoming.

“To be a really brilliant grandmother remember what it was about your own that you loved most, then imitate her.”
Judith Baxter – 1938 –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Godwits Are Here

No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.” ~ William Blake (1757-1827)

Godwits en route

Photo by Bob Gill.

We know it’s spring here when the first Bar-tailed Godwits appear in the South Island.  The Bar-tailed Godwit is the holder of the longest non-stop flight by birds covering about 11,000 km from Alaska to New Zealand. And then at the end of our summer, they do the return flight, another 11,000 km back to Alaska to breed.

In preparation for this long, non-stop flight to New Zealand, that can take as many as 10 days, the birds stock up on fat during the early fall in Alaska.  They use their pencil-thin bills to gorge on tiny clams, the size of a fingernail, found in the mudflats of south-west Alaska.

They put on so much fat that their body shape is totally changed before they start their journey and according to Bob Gill, who studies shorebirds at the USGS Science Centre in Anchorage, “They probably use all of that fat and then burn protein (muscle) for added energy.”

Gill and his counterparts in New Zealand and Australia, have been tracking the flights of these birds for several years.  They have proved that the birds make their migratory flights without stopping as in an experiment two years ago, they implanted satellite transmitters into several of the birds.   And they say that no other creature has ever demonstrated such a feat of endurance.  Read more about these birds at the Alaska Science Forum

Christchurch Cathedral Before 22.02.11

Christchurch Cathedral after 22.02.11

Christchurch Cathedral on 22.02.11

Traditionally, when the birds are first seen in the South Island of New Zealand, usually in the second or third week of September, the bells of Christchurch Cathedral ring out to welcome them.  However, because of the major earthquake in February, the bells are out of commission and this year the bells of another church in Christchurch were rung.

So the headlines in the Christchurch Press today read The arrival of the  Godwits in Christchurch has been marked by the bells of St Paul’s Anglican Church this year.”

The organiser of the bell-ringing at St Paul’s, Bill Thew, says the church’s bells are similar to those at the cathedral and it takes eight people to toll them. He also said that the church had suffered some damage in the earthquake but the bell tower is unscathed.

As an aside, does Sarah Palin claim the Godwits as part of her constituency of voters?

At about the same time that the Godwits were seen, another visitor was arriving some 360 km to the south.  And the bells rang out in Dunedin, marking the arrival of a Royal Albatross (tagged and named Rob ) at the world’s only mainland breeding colony at Taiaroa Head.

It was the second year running that Rob was the first springtime arrival.

“After spending almost a year at sea and with most birds circumnavigating the southern hemisphere in that time, arriving back to Taiaroa Head within a few days of their previous arrival date often astounds me,” Department of Conservation ranger Lyndon Perriman told the Otago Daily Times newspaper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Love Story

“One belongs to New York instantly.  One belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years”  Thomas Wolfe – short story writer and novelist, 1900 – 1938.

Masha - Love Story

Photo - NZ Film Festival

I have just returned (10.30pm) from seeing yet another movie.  This one is by NZ Director, Florian Habitch.  Habicht is an Auckland film director who took up the Arts Foundation’s Harriet Friedlander Residency in New York in late 2009.  We are told ‘He  was under no obligation to do a jot of work, let alone return with the opening night movie for Auckland’s 2011 Film Festival. But return he did with this strangely odd movie ”  Habitch was the inaugural recipient of the award and has justified the Arts Foundation‘s choice.

The film is a love story but really not in the sense one would expect.  It embraces documentary, fiction, New York city and many of its inhabitants always gregarious and ready to be filmed, summer, sex, romance and just about everything else one can imagine in a movie.

The movie opens with a scene of a young woman walking along the pavement carrying a piece of cake on a plate.  She then hops onto a train where she is seen by Habitch who follows her when she gets off.  They take off in separate directions with the plan to meet up halfway.  But of course, this doesn’t happen. In a conversation on Skype with his father back in New Zealand, he decides that she must be Russian and as many Russians apparently live in Coney Island, this is where he decides to spend his energy and his time looking for her.

Masha and Florian

Photo - NZ Film Festival

They do meet up again and the rest of the movie is spent filming his Love Story.  It is a strangely moving film, interspersed with conversations with a wide variety of New Yorkers, from many walks of life, each of whom gives him a different slant to put into his movie.

I don’t know that this is one I would recommend.  We had tried to see it at the NZ Film Festival in August but unfortunately, it was on only for two days and sold out early.

The movie was quirky, interesting and different but dragged a little in the middle and seemed to be trying too hard.  It was a very low-budget movie and at times this showed.  However, if you do get the change to see it, let me know what you think.

And dinner at a local Indian restaurant rounded off the evening very nicely.

And click here to listen to Sinatra singing New York, New York.  The video has a selection of great scenes of New York too.

“If I can make it there
I’ll make it anywhere
It’s up to you
New York, New York.”

New York Skyline

© Tomasz Szymanski | Dreamstime.com

A Year of Firsts

‘It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,’ the Queen remarked.
Lewis Carroll , Through the Looking Glass.

The year was 1956 – how long ago I hear you gasp.  And are there really people alive today who can remember that far back?  Well yes and I am one of them.

Several things that happened that year make the year stand out as a Year of Firsts.

I had left school the year before and celebrated my 18th birthday in 1956.  The First Birthday now freed from the confines of school and so frightfully grown up and independent  – although still living at my parents’ house as one did in those far off days.  No flatting for us!

Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole 1919 - 1965

A few days before my birthday I became Engaged to be married.  So, First Engagement.  Nat King Cole sang ‘Too Young” but 2 eighteen year olds knew better.  We had a great party inviting all our friends and relations, as I was the first one amongst the cousins to become engaged.  I sported a very large 5 diamond ring and thought I was just the happiest girl in the world.

However, we were Too Young and the engagement fizzled out quite soon and the next year I met and married my Dashing Young Scotsman.

Royal Opera House

via Wikipedia

My fiance’s mother and stepfather were classical music aficionados while my parents were more light, contemporary musicals.  So that year with his parents,  I saw my First Opera at Covent Garden aka The Royal Opera House  and my First Classical Music Concert at the Royal Albert Hall.  And I shall be forever grateful to these two people for introducing me to both opera and classical music.

Dancing class

Dancing class from my sister

I had been very keen on ballet having studied for many years.  So I  had seen a couple of ballets but they took me on my First Visit to Saddlers Wells.  At that time, Saddlers Wells was synonymous with the ballet.  Since that time the The Royal Opera House has been home to both the ballet and the opera.

Nut cutlets

My fiance’s mother and step-father were vegetarians.  This was very rare some 45 years ago and there were very few vegetarian restaurants.  Fiance’s mother was very resourceful and always managed to find a vegetarian restaurant close by the venue.  So then my First Visit to a Vegetarian Restaurant and my First taste of nut cutlets.  One must remember that nobody was experimenting with vegetarian food then and it was bland, tasteless, uninspiring and uninviting.  It certainly didn’t convert me to vegetarianism.

So in all 1956 stands out as a year of firsts and though I have moved on so far since those far off days, I still remember the visits to the opera, orchestra and ballet with those people.  Incidentally, even though I broke off the engagement my ex-fiance, my Dashing Young Scotsman and I remained friends for many years.  I wonder what happened to him.

But 1956 was not just a big year for me.  Here are some of the other things (rather more world shattering and changing) that happened that year :

  1. John Lennon (15) & Paul McCartney (13) meet for 1st time as Lennon’s rock group Quarrymen perform at a church dinner.
  2. 85th British Golf Open: Peter Thomson shoots a 286 at Hoylake England
  3. Last Ringling Bros, Barnum & Bailey Circus under a canvas tent
  4. Egypt seizes Suez Canal and British government  sends 3 aircraft carriers to Egypt
  5. England retain cricket Ashes, Jim Laker 46 wickets in the series
  6. Tanks are deployed against racist demonstrators in Clinton, Tennessee
  7. Great Britain performs nuclear test at Maralinga Australia
  8. Stravinsky’s “Canticum Sacrum,” premieres in Venice
  9. First transatlantic telephone cable goes into operation (Scotland/Canada)
  10. England’s first large-scale nuclear power station opens
  11. 16th modern Olympic games opens in Melbourne, Australia
  12. Nelson Mandela & 156 others arrested for political activities in South Africa
  13. Japan admitted to UN
  14. Montgomery, Ala, removed race-based seat assignments on its buses
  15. Elvis Presley’s “Don’t Be Cruel/Hound Dog,” single goes to #1 & stays #1 for a record 11 weeks (for a single)
  16. Abigail Van Buren’s “Dear Abby” column 1st appears in newspapers
  17. Britain abolishes death penalty
  18. “My Fair Lady” opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 2,715 performances
  19. Soap operas “As the World Turns” & “Edge of Night” premiere on TV
  20. Grace Kelly marries Prince Ranier III of Monaco.

Do you have a year of particular memories, firsts or whatever that makes it stand out?  I would love to hear from you.

Transmigration

Transmigration – definition
To move from one place, state or stage to another

“Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness and a quiet, unyielding anger.  George W. Bush

Here it is 9/11 already  and has been for the past 19 hours – (7pm as I start to write this post).  So we have heard much of the tragedy from 10 years ago.

This afternoon with a friend, I went to hear the Wellington Vector Orchestra in concert.  The recital was entitled ‘The Transmigration of Souls” and this work took up the whole of the second half of the performance.

You may know this work commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and written by John Adams to commemorate those who lost their lives in the tragedy.but this was its introduction to those of us who live in New Zealand.  It is different and strangely moving.  The child’s voice reciting ‘missing’ following the recital of names of the dead is very poignant.  Added to this are the voices of the St Paul’s Cathedral Choristers and the Orpheus Choir.

“The Choristers numbers up to 30 boys and girls aged between 8 and 15.  The Choristers lead the Sunday Choral Eucharist or Choral Evensong once a month. Each young person learns to work as part of a team and to take responsibility for his or her own performance. Choristers are treated as young professionals and the Cathedral treble programme represents one of the finest musical educations available to young people in New Zealand.”

The Orpheus Choir is New Zealand’s premier symphonic choir of around 100 voices. The Choir performs regularly at major Wellington music venues with both international and national highly regarded musicians and soloists.

The orchestra is conducted by American born, Marc Taddei. who now makes his home here in Wellington. Taddei calls the work “the first masterpiece of the new millennium”.  And adds“It’s one of the most profound works ever written. The work won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 2003 and in 2005 the premiere recording won three Grammy Awards for Best Classical Album, Best Orchestral Performance, and Best Classical Contemporary Composition.”

Adams, the composer calls the massive work for large orchestra, choir, children’s choir and pre-recorded sounds, a “Memory space”.

“It’s a place where you can go and be alone with your thoughts and emotions. The link to a particular historical event – in this case to 9/11 – is there if you want to contemplate it. But I hope the piece will summon human experience that goes beyond this event.

“Transmigration means ‘the movement from one place to another’ or ‘the transition from one state of being to another.’ But in this case I meant it to imply the movement of the soul from one state to another. And I don’t just mean the transition from living to dead, but also the change that takes place within the souls of those that stay behind, of those who suffer pain and loss and then themselves come away from that experience.”

As a member of the audience I could feel the rage, the hurt, the surprise and the unimaginable all depicted through the music.  I was left breathless.  There were some comments that it wasn’t music but I think on the whole the audience was wowed by the work.

I am so glad that I spent a couple of hours on a September afternoon listening to the orchestra.