Saturday, March 03, 2007

Bits and pieces

In Istanbul I had bought myself a little notebook for jotting down ideas and things; fits into my purse and also doubles as a shopping list sometimes. Not sure that it is ideal writing notes in it whilst sitting in the front row of a concert.....Found the following note of 20 January:

According to an article in the Independent, mental health is helped by birdsong. Research has shown that people who had lung operations needed less pain relief and were far more relaxed. The name of the person describing the research? Dr Bird. He is medical adviser to Natural England, a countryside agency.

An article in a German woman's magazine tells the story of Plinius the Elder and his 'Natural History'. He suggests hollowing out goat dung and fills it with vegetable seeds, before planting it - which is supposed to give them a great start in life. I can just see it... sitting in the Italian sunshine of an evening whittling away at your goat dung, with a glass of red wine by your side. Someone should tell the Rwandan farmers (though my horticultural education suggests that the poor seeds might be a bit overwhelmed by all that goodness).

Another article in the same magazine mentions a Spanish guy who travels to performances of Verdi Operas all over the world. Wow! Now I can understand people doing that for Wagner (I can't really understand that...) since there are not that many of those expensive and long performances around, but Verdi? The Vilnius Opera House alone has four of his operas in their current repertoire; everyone does Verdi! How does the guy cope?


Anne Hollows said...

Hi, Your blog is amazing - hits all the right chords with me - I work from time to time in Vilnius, am travelling to Tibilisi to work at the university for two weeks at easter (staying at the Beaumonde), and have a viola playing daughter who is currently teaching in northern Tanzania playing Bach suites on her cheap third viola on the slopes of Mount Meru. If you will be in Tibilisi between 10-20 April we (colleague plus partners) would love to meet up. Keen to know what is on in terms of music but can't locate web sites. Keep writing!

violainvilnius said...

Incredible! Is your colleague perchance called Jo L....? The Beaumonde is about 3 minutes below my house ....though I am told it now has a slightly edge of town branch, too.

Unfortunately I will not be here just at that time; leaving 5 April, returning beginning of May or so. Try www.opera.ge for the opera; there's also a site called www.etbilisi.com which is quite good. Definitely also try out the Theatre; in the Rustaveli theatre they do a wonderful Hamlet (you can hire simultaneous translation equipment - hope that offer is still on in April, but even if not just take a synopsis and you can follow it (treat it like opera)). Tonight I am checking out their 'Twelfth night', also with translation. Opera House and Rustaveli Theatre in spitting distance of the town Beaumonde.