26 June 2007

Cupcakes, a castle, and Queen

This weekend's highlights were: 1. watching my two-year-old nephew open his birthday presents in Vermont, and 2. getting locked in a citadel.

How, you might ask, and how?

The first was made possible by the wonders of videocam technology. We got to be there with the rest of the family as he ate the chocolate frosting off of his cupcake and then proceded to open various presents, with wide eyes and appreciative "wow!"s. How did people ever get by with just plain old e-mail--you know, in the olden days?

Then, on Sunday, we traveled to Namur, a city about an hour from here, because my choir performed there as part of the country-wide Festival of Music. Our rehearsals and performances didn't start until late afternoon, so the Mister and I took an early train and visited museums, and then after the first performance we decided to climb up to the large citadel overlooking the town and its two rivers.

Unbeknownst to us, it was well past closing time, and as we strolled through the complex of walls, hills, towers, paths, and stairs, a groundskeeper shouted to us that he was about to close the gate, if we wanted to get through. We crossed a small bridge that spanned a deep moat, walked through the wall via a tunnel, and he locked the gate behind us.

Still unaware of our predicament, we calmly attempted to descend a path winding around a church, only to encounter another locked gate. We climbed back up, and found a group of three girls who were in the same boat (or, ahem, moat) as us, having been ushered through the gate by the same keeper (who was now nowhere to be seen). They had tried an alternate path, which also led to a locked gate. Circling the immediate area, we could see that we were entirely closed in; we even climbed up the mound of an archaeological dig on the top of the escarpment, only to find a long, tall fence with pointy arrows on top of it. The other side yielded a nice view of the scarily deep moat.

I was beginning to get worried I might not make it to my evening concert! We finally called to a passerby through one of the locked gates, instructed her to find someone, and only after she had discovered everything was closed did another keeper happen to pass by. Phew!

After a quick refueling stop at an outdoor table, it was off to the evening concert, which was quite the event: four pianos, a choir, drums, sax, cello, clarinet, and soloists, at the beautiful Theatre du Namur. A rough English translation of the concert's title is "Crazy Pianos!" and it was indeed pretty crazy. We performed everything from the Beatles and the Blues Brothers to Gershwin, Orff, Mozart, Ravel, Fauré, and... Queen.

I have been asked by the editor of the choir newsletter to write a poem about the show. I said yes, and then was instructed that it "must be funny." I have written here before about how not funny I am, but hopefully I can come up with some drivelly couplets.

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