Sunday, 13 March 2011


Having been terrified by the Thailand Tsunami and two major earthquakes in Los Angeles, I totally understand the lack of utilities, the misery of losing your friends and colleagues, the frequent nightmares.  I was obviously lucky but I am easily haunted by the past.  I can no longer stand swimming in the sea and I have horrors when I feel an earthquake.  I have sent a donation but it will hardly help those in the midst of trying to make out what has happened. My thoughts go to the people of Japan.

I am in New York and have spent a lot of my time listening to CNN. I have managed to see the Queen of Spades at the Met and Chicago the musical, as well as taking my first singing lesson at Mannes, the music school.

The first night I went to the Met which is a serious treat.  I was impressed by the delicious food, the comfort of the seat and the translation of the Opera in the seat in front.  Red and opulent I listened to the Queen of Spades.  The magnificent costumes and set by Mark Thompson.  Traditional and very Russian this opera shows the huge mood swings of this nation.  I am a great lover of Chekhov and studied at length. It was therefore interesting to see an opera. Tchaikovsky's opera is becoming more popular although he was a huge success in his lifetime.  The libretto was adapted by his brother Modest and based on a short story by Pushkin. It is based on story of a young man in love with the granddaughter of a countess.  The countess is a genius at cards and the young officer becomes obsessed at finding her secret of success, she in turn only lets him have the secret of two cards and gives the other one to another officer, a story of madness. The score is often beautiful. The set is elegant and mesmerising.

I went in the morning to have my hair done at Bergdorf Goodman, John Barrett's incredible salon whose stylists whip your hair into colours and shapes that make any woman feel glamorous.  He has this magnificent spot on the 9th floor at the most stunning shop in New York, I should add that this shop can provide anything and they altered a dress for me in 24 hours which was beautifully done.  I then met friends at Uptown Cipriani's for quite a delicious lunch.  With a friend of my son I had to look for jeans  at Barneys, of course I am a lover of black snakey drain pipes. My views don't change, if you can wear them, wear them.
In any case they were perfect for Chicago, I love this musical.  It is fun to see it over and over again.
I promised myself a ride through the park on horse and cart, which was beautiful at dusk.

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