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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Is anything else going on?




The frenzy of The Game continues to increase. On Catalan television there is virtually non-stop coverage of the game which is not happening until tomorrow.

Various pupils in our school are going to Rome to watch the game (it is, after all, that sort of school) where the flights and tickets have been provided by relatives who own major enterprises in Catalonia.

It is hard not to feel a certain resentment about the monied ease which informs many of the pupils we have the privilege to teach. And yes, that was ironic.

In desperation, to try and get away from the relentless coverage I have delved deep into the murky depths of the internet radio and have, purely in self defence, listened to Radio 4, Radio 2, Radio 3, Radio 7 and The World Service. As the radio is a Roberts it is ridiculously easy to use and makes my other internet radio (you didn’t seriously think that this recent acquisition was my first did you?) looking like something from the late Middle Ages.

An internet radio offers you the world in sound – though you soon discover that it is strangely samey until you get to the good old BBC. Thousands of stations and so few worth listening to!

Talking of something ‘worth’ listening to I have now completed working my way through the 5 CDs of the ‘Anthology of English Folk’ which I bought in Andorra. I have been listening to the disks as I have been going to work and on the way to and back from the opera.

The disks mark an amazing journey from reasonably authentic sounding songs through a woeful degeneration through time to songs of such surpassing self indulgent pretentiousness that almost defied belief. One singer (who I hope was on strong drugs, because I wouldn’t like to think of a chemically undamaged mind producing what I was listening to) appeared to be making up the lyrics (and indeed the tune) as he went along. I would actually offer you a quotation from one of the songs but I refuse to listen to such rubbish again.

It seemed very unfair as I had just come out of a very disappointing production of ‘Fidelio’ and I could have done with something a little more uplifting.

The programme for the new opera season has arrived and the attempt to understand the various options has begun. As is the case with all opera houses the attempt to understand how to get the best value from the various offers is virtually impossible.

The one thing which is patently clear is the vast expense if I want to go to everything. As every opera company always seems to want to make its customers suffer I note with weary resignation that we are promised a performance of ‘Tristan and Isolde’ at almost 5 hours and a marginally shorter performance of ‘Der Rosenkavalier’ Just to keep me happy they have included a production of ‘The War Requiem’ and a selection of other events of popular appeal and things I’ve never heard of.

Whether I go to any of these is linked to whether the owner of our flat actually condescends to give me back the six months rent which is held in an infamous aval bancario which gives the opportunity for a variety of useless parasites to suck money from me for no apparent purpose. The owner has said that he needs to think about it. Think about giving me back my money! I can feel myself building up a head of outraged steam so I should, instead think of serene things to calm down my rage.

For a while.
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