Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Time flies....

Well yes Christmas is a long way behind us now, and well I completely forgot to post some pics from a big event before Christmas.

Last year I missed a very important date. It was Marty's birthday and I was in the air somewhere between Paris and Singapore and hence lost a day and lost her entire birthday. To me that means she is a year younger :) Maybe a tip for all people afraid of aging.

Anyway, this brings me to the point of the present. I can at times be inspired and other times hopelss with presents. This year I decided to buy Marty something she had always wanted and that was to see the Nutcracker Ballet at Christmas time. So I bought tickets to the Moscow City Ballet for her and her parents. It was in the city centre in the big omnipresent dominating spire that is the Palace of Culture right slap bang in the middle of town.

It was one of the snowiest days that we had had so far in Winter and was causing mayhem everywhere. Marta's Mum was coming from the East by train and the train was late and the windows in some parts broken and snow was flooding in to melt, refreeze and form a hidden trap of ice in the hallway of the train carriage. I was teaching and trying to battle through snow to get home in time to look half decent, while Marty was already at home hoping everyone could make it.

Marta's Dad was picking up Mum from the Metro and then coming to our place. With the heavy snow traffic was stupidly slow and so basically they arrived and we left as soon as they dropped off all their bags. We sat in traffic for the next hour or so, and hence we couldn't get a good dinner and had to grab something quickly in the shopping centre across the road from the ballet. I was thinking that something like KFC would make a great juxtaposition to us all being glammed up and off to some highend cultural event like the ballet. But, we found a reasonable restaurant in there that was quick food.
Then off to the men in tights and the fairies, sometimes the same thing no doubt. As it was the ballet we didn't take the SLR camera with us, instead we took Marty's little point and shoot digital. So the quality of photos is not as grandiose as normal. It would have been great just to sit there with a camera and take photos of all the people dressed to the nines for the event. But, as we had to actually find where our seats were and check in our coats first we didn't have time.
Lots of Marble and funny spellings of words I know in English, but aren't quite the same in PolishDon't you love family photos?!
Aren't they just brimming with excitement?
I like the roof detail.

I must say as much as many people from Warsaw complain about the Palace being a horrible place, I quite like it. Especially the decorations, even the hall where we were sitting was quite nice. It was aged yes, but that added to its charm. If only the ballet would live up to this standard..... fact is it didn't. I am not being mean here, nor is it that I am too simple to enjoy the ballet (although this could be part of it). I don't mind seeing people dance I was surprised to admit they were quite nice. The big downside was the lack of a live orchestra. Which is due to the fact the Warsaw/Polish national orchestra was active with the Polish National Ballet a few suburbs away at the National Theatre and of course at Christmas there is no way you could get the Russian national orchestra to Poland! Heaven forbid. So the lack of live music really let it down. I love to hear live music of all types, it sends a shiver down my spine. But listening to a CD of the nutcracker didn't get me going at all.
That said, it was a nice evening and it seemed that Marty and her parents enjoyed the gift. I just wished it had of been a perfect birthday present for her...... maybe next year......

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