Sunday, 27 March 2011


...and the livin' wasn't that easy, this morning. The Italians had changed the time of our rehearsal to 11 o'clock this morning so they could all fly off home afterwards. Most of the clocks in the flat change automatically so all we had to do was look after the alarm clock. We got home from the party at 4am this morning, set the alarm for 10 o'clock and crashed.

We woke up at 10am, so all was well, at least until I went into the kitchen and saw that my rehearsal had just started. 'Didn't you put the alarm clock forward?' I asked. 'No, I thought you had'. It was no big deal in the end; they sent the bus to get me at noon and on I climbed, accompanied by one of the other singers who, if she was lucky, might get to warble a few tones later on in the day. She didn't, which led her to complain bitterly that her time was being wasted. She has one page to sing in the entire work and the Italians seem neither capable or willing to plan their work schedule to account for these cough-and-a-spit roles. It must be frustrating for her to be effectively grounded for weeks on end when she could pop off and earn some extra money elsewhere, particularly as her role here is not highly paid. Stil this is bordering on me talking about my workplace, and I want to continue to keep that world seperate from my blogging activities.

The farewell party was very enjoyable and was my first social function as a non-smoker. Keeping off the weed was no problem, thanks to copious decent conversation, bottomless glasses of K├Âlsch and a seemingly unlimited supply of good red wine. The food was good, too, typische deutsche Hausmannskost, and boy, did it go down the right way. There was also a Hamburg speciality which I never encountered in all my years on the Elbe. Can't even remember what it was called.

Certainly the most extraordinary moment in the evening was finding out that one of the guests last night was actually a very good friend's landlord in Hamburg, back in 1990. Most bizarrely, said friend was only in Hamburg because of me: I'd been asked by my employer of the time if I knew someone who fitted a particular role description and I immediately thought of this person. He went on to spend five years more in Hamburg than I, moving to England with his English wife in 2000 or thereabouts.

Mrs Fingers has taken the Fingernails off to a Gospel concert this afternoon. The little ones slept at a friend's last night, so an early night beckons this evening. Tomorrow morning heralds my last bit of English teaching this academic year; as from 11am tomorrow morning, it's all systems go towards Santiago and Bayreuth. I love my life, I really do.

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