Friday, 23 March 2012
Word of the Day - Loveliness
I know that "loveliness" is the collective noun for ladybirds and a very beautiful collective noun it is too. But it also sums up my feelings about the night out I had on Wednesday night with Richard's stepmum, Carolyn. Lacking inspiration, we had bought a ticket to the ballet for her for Christmas. She had never been to the ballet before but was looking forward to it and it was a lovely evening. Just me and Carolyn - we had a nice meal beforehand in a slightly trendy but not loud and shouty Mediterranean restaurant/bar. We ordered a spanish tapas sharing platter and a glass of red and nattered our way through until we were nearly late for the performance! I'm glad we weren't though as it was - wait for it - lovely.
We saw a performance of "Beauty and the Beast" by the Northern Ballet Theatre, a company based in Leeds. I have seen several of their productions over the years - Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights, Carmen - and have always enjoyed their approach to ballet. I have seen other, more formal and more famous, ballet companies and prefer the NBT's lyrical, theatrical and fluid approach. Thankfully they don't stray into the "Modern Dance" spectrum either, which I find a bit tedious and "up itself". They seem to specialise in telling a really good story. They go all out to get the plot and characters across using ingenious sets, stunning costumes, outstanding lighting, fresh choreography and, of course, gorgeous musical arrangements.
I'm not an expert in ballet at all but (adopt northern accent here) "Ah knaw what ah like, tha knaws...". And I like the Northern Ballet with their unpretentious but lush style.
So, it was great to go back after a few years and see that they're still as good. Actually I think the lighting and sets were even better than I remember. And to take a newbie and see it all through her eyes highlighted how special a night at the ballet can be. I glanced across at Carolyn from time to time to see if she was enoying herself and doubt she even noticed. Her gaze didn't waver and she said at the interval (my football training makes me want to call it half-time!) "It's amazing, you can't take your eyes off them!". Which is exactly how I feel about it. Absorbing, gripping, beautiful - just a feast for the senses. The musical score suited my mood too - very romantic and french - Saint-Saens, Bizet, Poulenc. Aaah. Food for the soul.
I think we both enjoyed spending time together too. We see each other quite often at family meals with Gordon and Rich, at darts and dominos etc or other events but have not previously been out, just the 2 of us. I found it great to be able to have a nice girly chat about all sorts. She's not that much older than me 10, maybe 15 years (about the same as the gap between me and my sister) so I reckon we could be pals more than "inlaws" which is nice. Maybe with the gradual disappearance of my mum, I've been missing that sort of friendship?? I hadn't been aware of it but suspect that it has been a void in my life for a while now. I think she is in the same boat as she doesn't have a daughter and I could tell she is wistful about the former girlfriend but one of her son (although she would have been a lot younger, obviously!).
So, new beginnings and a new friendship. Lovely.