Friday, October 29, 2010

Operatic Floral Tribute

A couple of months ago, I participated in the world premiere performance of pianist, performer and music educator Geoffrey Lancaster's new version of Henry Purcell's opera, "Dido & Aeneas". The original prologue to the opera had been lost over the centuries, so this version was a lovingly restored version by Lancaster himself, using choruses and dances from other works of Purcell's, changing words where necessary to fit the original dialogue. I was lucky enough to be asked to play not only Venus, Goddess of Love, in the new Prologue (in which I got to wear THE MOST AMAZING COSTUME EVER - see pics), but also the role of "Second Woman" in the opera itself, which Lancaster slightly adapted to take on more of a sisterly role to Dido and Belinda (ie. sharing the aria "Pursue thy Conquest, Love" as a duet with Belinda).

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The First Skype Non-Bake Bake-Off! (Part 2: Notes from the Other Side)

Well, I know that I've been wanting to do a date online, because I love the idea that we transcend distance barriers. :-) My original idea was to actually go out to a diner or cafe and enjoy breakfast (a versatile meal that can be had at any time of day). However, Pam was quick to point out that there will be a lack of internet. :-\ Well, maybe we can find a reliable source of public wi-fi at a dining establishment that will be open at comparable hours in the future. :-P

So, here is a little bit of what happened on my end, with a slight assist from Pam's original entry:

Date: Sunday 17 October 2010
Time: 2330 AEST (DST)/0830 EST *Well, on my end, the first photo taken was about 0959 EST, but Pam got the general idea. :-)
Activity: Non-Bake Bake-off! *Wait, this was a competition? No. 1: Lemon Cheesecake

The Recipe

Friday, October 22, 2010

My Birthday Rose (5 July 2010)

Though we had been "official" for just over a week, I went out my front door on my birthday to find a beautiful long-stemmed red rose balancing neatly against the door-frame, in cellophane packaging, complete with a green spray and dew-drops on the petals. Magnificent! I have never felt so special and appreciated. It was my first birthday away from my island home of Tasmania, and the first birthday that I was going to spend without family and friends (though three Canberra-based friends rallied round in the evening and we went out to a great dinner at a hotel). I think the loveliest part of the rose was having something so special right there in front of me that was tangible evidence of Joe's consideration and affection.

A couple of days old in this picture.

Me, with my beautiful rose.

Thank you, Joe!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The First Skype Non-Bake Bake-Off!

Joe had heard about a friend of his in a long-distance relationship who had come up with the perfect idea for long-distance dates: simultaneous movie-viewing! This friend of his was in America, and her beau, in Canada. Luckily for them, they shared a timezone, so they were able to go and see movies at the same time in their different cities, experience it at the same time, and talk about it afterward - just like a real date, sans the physical aspect. This was recognised by us to be a terrific idea, but unfortunately, our timezones are not too flexible when it comes to movie viewing. At the moment, we're fifteen hours apart. We were fourteen hours apart, but then Australia moved into Daylight Savings Time. Soon, America will fall back out of Daylight Savings Time, so we'll be sixteen hours apart! Argh! Not conducive to being able to view a movie at the same time. If I went to a 9:30pm showing of a film, it'd be 6:30am at Joe's house.

My lovely Joe had a brainwave. Let's have a baking date! Previously, I had sent him a recipe book published by an Australian company, one in a series of cookbooks released by The Australian Women's Weekly magazine (which is a women's mag, as every good Aussie knows, that is released monthly). I agreed that this was a terrific idea. What we'd do is both follow the same recipe at the same time, sharing the experience together via Skype. Joe leafed through the recipe book until we settled on doing the very first recipe in the book: lemon cheesecake!

Olive Juice (In Three Words or Less)

I know the first time I wanted to tell Pam that I loved her. I probably felt it a long time before that moment, but this was the first moment that I thought, "Why am I scared to say it? It's true. I think about her every day. I want to know what she's thinking and if she's thinking about me. The thought of her fills me with so much peace and happiness. Why not say it?"

Well, for one thing, Pamela was a friend, still. Further, she was a friend I never met...physically, at least. You see, Miss Pamela Andrews resides in Australia. Always has. I reside in the United States of America. Always have.