Sunday, 1 August 2010

Cheesed Off? Not Anymore!

The proper way to start off a blog after a gloomy last two posts. The day I got back from France, I started my first day of my second session. I was in my room for all but an hour before I decided to check my email only to notice my class time had changed. I had ten minutes to run to class, but I made it. My expectations were set pretty high after my last session. The lively, engaging, and critically intimidating class was what I was hoping for again this time around, but I think I hoped for too much. My class on the European Union was utterly boring. To give you an idea of how boring this class can be, the girl sitting across from me had her eyes rolling to the back of her head constantly on the second day. Yep, I speak the truth. This guy means well, though, and hopefully the next three weeks will be better.

After my second day of class, I headed straight to London with my friend, Henry, to see the Bolshoi Ballet perform Serenade and Giselle. Boy was I excited: 1) I'd found someone who wanted to see a ballet with me in England 2) I'd found someone other than a girl who actually appreciated the ballet and music as much as I did. How much better can that get?? I don't think anyone can fathom the excitement I was going through. The train from Falmer to Brighton was closed for some reason, so we took a bus into Brighton and caught the train from there. Once we got to London Victoria, we walked around losing ourselves on the way to Covent Garden, which was actually pretty fun.

For dinner, we stopped by at a pub and I had "Salmon with aromatic noodles." It was actually quite scrumptious. I was caught off guard. Not sure what it was, but just trust me on the fact that it was good. If you want proof, I finished my food. (And for those of you who know me, I never ever finish my food.)
The dessert looked cheap and so delicious. My growing stomach was caving in and I hadn't been really eating out in restaurants because I'd been stingy with money. So I took a chance. Might as well have fun on a day out in London before a ballet, right? Right! Here's our amazing dessert which cost a little over 4 pounds. Mmm... delectable little things they are!
On the left, you have a sticky melted toffee cake. In the middle, vanilla ice cream with dates. And lastly, a mint chocolate fudge cake. Om nom nom... if I could have it again, I totally would! But not before I exercise excessively for a week before and then make sure I exercise after that. Haha

Can you see how mouth-watering this stuff is??
Yes, we finished it all. I ate almost half of each, but my stomach couldn't take anymore and the gentleman easily cleared my portion. Waste not. :P

We bought our tickets for the tube to get to Covent Garden after dinner and made it 20 minutes before the show-- perfect timing. We wandered around for a bit before taking our seats, and I took a picture of these miniature costumes. Most of the tutus are either from Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty. There's a catch, though: they are over 1,000 pounds each. :(

This is the Royal Opera House on the inside. If you ask for my opinion, I might be partial from my ballet teacher's instruction, but the balcony is the best place to watch a ballet. I'm sure it's not just her opinion as an instructor but also from the standpoint of her when she was once a professional ballerina. The audience tends to be critical and the top is where you see the formations clearly.
The program first started off with Serenade which was a ballet created by George Balanchine to the music of Tchaikovsky's C Major for String Orchestra, Op. 48. (I loved playing this when I was in an orchestra, by the way. It's the most amazing feeling ever.) At first, I was skeptical about how the piece was being played by the orchestra, but as I imagined myself as the dancer... I started to appreciate the tempo that it was being conducted at. Things were more drawn out and I could feel how the dancers were interpreting and expressing the music. The only thing I could not come to compromise with the conductor's interpretation was with the dynamics. Seeing as I've played the piece before and heard it played in many different ways, I knew the song by heart. There were parts where he really didn't do the piece justice by not pulling out the dynamics more expressively-- those parts to me were climaxes leading to other sections of the piece.

As far as the dancing for Serenade went, I was pretty satisfied with it. The diagonal lines that happen in the first and fourth part were a little off the further upstage it went (at least for stage right). Also, one of the most elemental choreography formations was changed slightly and I wonder why that was. It's a pretty big part of the choreography, and I'm sure they had enough dancers to make the proper pyramid-like formation. Hm. Oh well. In comparison to the one I saw in SF, I'd say I think I liked the SF one better for a few reasons. The orchestra had more command in their music and the choreography/preciseness of the dancing was very well held together.

The music for Giselle was wonderful. No complaints from me on that. Perhaps because it was a different conductor with added instruments. The girl who played Giselle did everything wonderfully. Her variations lived up to my expectations except that I felt she was missing a bit of innocence in the beginning with her first variation. Overall, however, the dancing left me completely emotional and tugged at my heart. I asked Henry how he liked Giselle and I was happy to know he appreciated all the small little things I did, too that no one else normally catches or is aware of. :)

The next day, I just went into town to relax and just browse around. Instead, I found myself actually buying things, which is pretty weird. I never really shop, but I ended up getting a new wallet and a new jacket. :) Unfortunately, the pants that I wanted to go with the jacket were out of stock for the time. :(
The sizes here are so different! Every time I browse, I get confused. Normally, I'm either a 00 or 0, but over here, I'd see sizes 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, and sometimes 16?? Occasionally, I'd see even size 4's but only in some stores. I finally figured out that 4's are like 00's and 6's are 0's. It took me trying on the clothes to find that out, though, because staring and being confused at the lack of small size numbers was doing me no shopping good. Curiosity pays off. :)

Alrighty, well it's pretty late. When I get the chance, I'll update on the next three days. I'm knackered! Good night :)


  1. Oooh that melted toffee cake looks amazing! Utterly droolworthy! I'm so glad you were able to enjoy the ballet =). The opera house is beautiful and I loved the picture you took of the display of tutus! I unfortunately have not had the opportunity to see a ballet, though when I went to London, I was able to see Phantom of the Opera =). Wonderful!

    And oh my gosh I love that Lipsy bag! Sooo cute!

    Oh and I was curious, as a new blogger, do you know why my profile picture doesn't show up on my icon under "Followers"? It just has that generic head for me =(

  2. In response to the last post, I was uncontrollably happy to be back once I set foot in Luton airport. That's how I knew this was a place I belonged. It just feels right-- almost like home! :)

    That's too bad you didn't get to see any ballets :( You definitely should when you come back. I'm trying to see Chicago and Les Miserables, still. Phantom of the Opera in London sounds amazing, though!

    It's weird, I think I like the fashion here so much more than back home in the US. Lipsy London is kind of like Victoria Secret's except... not. Haha, not sure how to explain it, but I see myself buying things from there more.

    And as for the followers, I think you are signed in as a different google user! (It says Catherina with some numbers behind it). If you follow me with the blog you are using now, your picture should show up like when you comment me. :) That is just my guess, though.

    And thanks again so much for reading this! I love knowing this is read and having insight or reactions. It's like having people along with me on my journey. :)