Monday, April 02, 2007

The orchestra wife's guide to surviving Aldeburgh

1. Watch Tony Palmer's film about Benjamin Britten to check the place's raison d'etre.

2. Pack heated pad for cold tootsies. The Suffolk coast is that land that climate change forgot to warm up, even if it may one day swallow the whole place.

3. Book lovely b&b in exquisite village of Orford and spend happy evening at the Butley Orford Oysterage. They catch their own fish and have their own oyster beds.

4. Discover that am wearing same daily uniform as Vladi - blue jeans, brown leather jacket and floppy hair. I should have been a conductor. Next life, perhaps.

5. Find tranquil corner of office buildings to tap on word processor while hubby and co slog out guts in the hall. After much trial and error, discover that the ladies' bandroom is the warmest spot in Snape, having no windows and therefore no draughts.

6. Eat too much breakfast and drink way too much coffee.

7. Concert part 1: wallow in Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings, favourite piece that Tom hasn't played for donkey's years.

8. Concert part 2: enjoy world premiere of lovely new piece by Mark-Anthony Turnage, then hair-raise through stunning Britten Frank Bridge Variations, a piece that Tom has never played before at all.

9. Hit the A12.

10. Realise that forgot to say to Tom, "WHERE'S YOUR VIOLIN?" before setting out for home.......