Friday night I went to karate class and played at slicing invisible enemies with a wooden sword. I love
that sort of thing!
Saturday morning Houston and I drove up to where our horses are boarded and got them seen to by the horsey dentist. (Gads, the tools they use to file the horses' teeth are intimidating in the extreme.) Then we rushed back in time to get Margaret to her Saturday drama class, and I dropped off Act II Sc. 1 for the teenagers to look at that afternoon. I'm still having a hell of a time ending the scene, but maybe the kids will have a good idea.
As soon as drama was done, we drove up to Sydney. We started off doing a bookstore crawl (there's a neighborhood of a few square blocks that has tons of really cool bookstores). We went to the ABC Shop (NOT the same as the ABC stores in Hawaii!!), where Margaret, with her own money, bought the first season of Black Books
on DVD. I'm so proud of my little geek child. Then we went to Galaxy, a specialist speculative-fiction bookstore, then Abbey Books, an extremely high-quality independent bookstore. We finished up at Kinokuniya, a megabookstore (I gather it's a branch of a Japanese chain of megabookstores). And, of course, whenever anyone leaves a bookstore empty-handed, Baby Jesus cries, and we can't have that
Next, we ate a truly phenomenal dinner at Redoak Boutique Beer Cafe
. Fascinating varieties of beer, unbeLIEVable food, excellent desserts, pleasant enough service, nice surroundings. It has become our new "we need to celebrate something" place. Alas, rather pricey, but it was worth it. We were, in fact, having an early celebration of a world premier of a new piece by noted composer Houston Dunleavy scheduled for the next day. We returned to the car, distended with good food and drink, and drove to the Peggy Glanville-Hicks Composers' House
, where we stayed for the night by the generosity of a friend and composer, Tom Fitzgerald.
The next morning we went to mass at St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney, where they have a solemn sung mass at 10:30 on Sundays. The ordinaries were from the Palestrina Missa Papae Marcelli (Pope Marcellus Mass), and the homily was by Archbishop George Pell, for what that's worth. I confess I don't find him a very compelling speaker, and spent much of the sermon thinking about other things.
After mass and lunch back at the PGH House, we went over to the concert venue, a Uniting Church with the pews all ripped out and absolutely the worst religious art I have ever seen in my life on the walls. And I've seen a lot. Clearly someone is still a slave to the 70s (flexible worship space, "relevant" religious art). However, the acoustics were very good, and the concert went very well. Houston's piece is a four-movement duet for violin and cello; each movement is based on one of the places that he found particularly memorable -- for good (Grand Canyon, Chicago, New York) or for ill (Los Angeles) -- on our trip home last year. The Chicago movement in particular went over very well (I heard at least two people come up to Houston and said "You must have really enjoyed Chicago").
Back home to Thirroul in the evening, to collapse into blissful sleep.
We are not a normal family....