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Belshazzar

14 March 2005

Chazíz weekend: Saturday, went down to Durham with Gail to have lunch with Jean and Roger on the occasion of his birthday. Other friends came to pick us up from there and whisked us off to their haunted old house in the country, where we did more eating and yet more drinking and then lolled around in the hot tub till near enough midnight, while the bitter wind played in our hair and the warm water sloshed about and a dog-fox barked in the valley and all of that stuff. And so more drinking before bed, where I lay awake all night waiting for the Green Lady to come and get me. Yikes.

And Sunday, by contrast, was almost entirely sober: an idle hour in the house and then a long wait at the railway station for a damní bus to come and pick us up, as the trains couldnít be bothered to run. And so - eventually - home, for an idle afternoon before I went out to join a friend at Handelís Belshazzar. Iíve never known whether one sees a concert, or hears one; but whichever, this was three hours of pure happy-music. The soloists looked to be having as much fun as the audience, and I just know the chorus was, because I turned out to know several of them. And I do love being sung to. Mob-handed like this, or individually with a guitar, or anything in between. Lieder or Gregorian or Gershwin, doesnít seem to matter. Just so long as someoneís hitting notes in my direction, I am content. When I go back to Taiwan, Iím going to take a chance on the local variety of opera. Five hours of incomprehensibility in the pentatonic scale. Thatíll be a test...


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© Chaz Brenchley 2005
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.