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seeing as it’s the queen’s birthday long weekend and her actual birthday is on the same day as mine (21 April) i think i can safely claim this as my personal long weekend also. i do have a list of honours; i need to get myself a governor general type lackey to give them out. if i manage to get that sorted by the end of the weekend, those who will be receiving medals will hear from him in due course.

it’s sunny and blue skied for the first time in about a week. i absolutely love rainy weather, but the fact that it’s still cold and sunny at the same time is kind of pleasing.

i’ve had an interesting weekend. mum and beth and i have been at the opera house singing the Mozart’s requiem in the Sydney Philharmonia Choir’s ‘Big Sing’. basically you get sent the score and rehearsal CD a few months before the event and you’re supposed to practice on your own. then on the actual weekend you have a sectional call on the saturday for about 4 hours (tenors and basses in the morning, altos and sopranos in the afternoon). on the sunday the entire choir rehearses with piano from 10am to 4.00pm, then with the orchestra and soloists for another hour – a looong day – and then we perform the work at 6.00pm.

i don’t think there’s anything quite like this event anywhere else, and although it was expensive (though thanks to our generous friend beth we didn’t have to pay) i think it’s worth it. there were around 1200 singers this year, which filled two thirds of the concert hall. there were stacks of people who weren’t from sydney (mostly interstate as opposed to elsewhere in NSW), and a handful of people who weren’t even from australia, which is kind of cool. the majority of choristers had never sung the requiem before, so the fact that it actually sounded pretty good was amazing! (and it is such a gorgeous work too) although some sections were less…um…precise than others, some bits were incredible. the dies irae was big and powerful, the lux aeterna lines brilliant and majestic. the fugues even kind of worked in parts, though there were bits where i just stopped singing rather than add to the muddy mess. but so much fun! claire was playing cello in the orchestra and afterwards she said the orchestra was in the green room looking quite surprised and saying that it actually sounded halfway decent.

claire and mum and i then went out for dinner. we went to the spot to vino vino, a restaurant that used to be quite good but seems to have changed owners and was disappointing this time around. the menu was boring, the food okay but not very interesting, the prices tending towards expensive, and the service kind of…weird. anyway mum and i were so tired and hungry by that stage it didn’t matter so much – we just needed to eat – but we probably won’t go back there again. i walked up the road to the sugarplum cafe and bought a 1 litre tub of gelato (tiramisu, almond, macadamia, hokey pokey, some biscuitty crunchy thing, and black sesame), which we took home and devoured. i felt like staying up all night watching movies, but watched the end of guys and dolls and then suddenly felt rawther weary, so went to bed.

now i have this whole bright blue day ahead of me and i’m not quite sure what i’m going to do with it. i was thinking of heading into kinokuniya to wander around and look at books, which i haven’t done for a while, but there is always the downside that then i will end up spending money i don’t really have. still, i haven’t wandered around the city on my own for a while, maybe it’s time to do that again.

for the moment, i think i’m just going to have breakfast and play the piano for a bit.