Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Swan Lake and unexpected links

A link between Great Grandad Ted and Cousin Betty?
In one of life's strange linking loops of coincidence, I received an email from Ted, the great-grandfather of our grandson Luke, suggesting that he was genetically related to one of Ann's cousins in California. This links Luke, if somewhat remotely, to his Grannie Ann which is great - she has always been fond of him, and this coincidence seems to bring them closer. Ted is 94 and bright as anyone. He is fully computer literate, and able to produce huge, complex family histories from various programmes he uses. We are sorry never to have met him, for he wasn't at Ben's wedding, and says he is now too infirm to face up to meeting new people.

Again by coincidence, Ann and Edwin were out in Switzerland over the weekend to meet this cousin Betty and her husband, who are over doing a tour of Europe. They rapidly discovered that Switzerland well justifies its ranking of "most expensive place in the world". Just a short taxi ride cost them £60. At dinner, the wine was £100 for a bottle, so they had to make it last for the meal and go round all four of them. Betty and Don paid for the meal - it must have cost a fortune, and it was only in a 3-star hotel!

Swan Lake

violent wings,
no velvet down
but an angry battering
male aggression,
no nurturing softness
death's masculine tragedy.

Last night we went to a filmed performance of Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, made famous to us in Billy Elliot. I did not know quite what to expect, being so used to the classical "Bolshoi" treatment, but we forget that swans are equally male as female, and can be very aggressive, and I was bowled over by the sheer aggressive power of these male swans. Their ferocity was deadly, and the whole updated interpretation of the cold mother and the desperate yearning for affection of her son the prince was as riveting as it was convincing, bringing to mind our own Prince Heir and his turning to nature for the affection he craved. I highly recommend seeing it to all ballet buffs.

Swans at Clare Park

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