The onset of spring

Copiare il vero può essere una buona cosa, ma inventare il vero è meglio, molto meglio. (To copy the truth can be a good thing, but to invent the truth is better, much better.)

Giuseppe Verdi, letter to a friend

IMG_3006Farley and I sat in his garden yesterday afternoon, first for lunch and then for reading.  We’ve read a chapter each of the past two weeks from Woman (by Natalie Angier) and then something from The New Yorker, yesterday focusing on Adam Gopnik’s recent work.  So, as you might have guessed, the weather has warmed although the mornings are still cool or cold, but by mid-day the sun has warmed the air.

I walked back to the casita through Parque Juarez, and vendors who sell the largest of pots for planting shrubs and trees and cacti were setting up their wares in preparation for Candelaria, which marks the end of Christmas and the unofficial beginning of spring here.  The park will be overflowing with vendors selling herbs, flowers, succulents, and other plants beginning this weekend,.

Monday night I hosted a dinner.  Once a month the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship offers Cenas, and this month three of us hosted quasi-pot lucks at each of our homes.  Eight people attended here in the casita and based on the thank-you notes, people seemed to enjoy the evening.  The roses pictured were purchased for the occasion and offered no aroma, a quite remarkable feat.  One of my guests was Australian and he reminded everyone that Monday was Australia Day and so the wines that appeared were for the most part Shirazes and Australian Chardonnays.  In honor of the day I asked the guests to name five Australian music groups:  the first response was the Bee Gees (and Roger said, “sorry, English”) and then someone suggested Olivia Newton-John (and Roger said, “sorry, she’s from New Zealand).  Someone offered “AC/DC” and “Kylie Minogue” and only Roger and the someone knew of the groups and that the groups were Australian.  Being Americans and of a certain age, the group lost interest in the game.

I learned from Diana, who’s now in Bali, that BC, who moved from San Miguel to Tijuana, is recovering in San Diego from having been caught in an apartment building fire in Tijuana.

For the next two months the Pro Musica organization offers the bulk of its concert season, including a performance of La Traviata [based on Dumas fils’ novel The Lady of the Camellias (Camille)].  La Traviata translates to “The Fallen Woman”, which is totally appropriate for San Miguel’s female population, many of whom have come face-to-face with its cobblestones.  While I would love to attend the opera, it will not have an orchestra (just piano accompaniment) as there is no way to fit both an orchestra and a stage performance in Teatro Angela Peralta – there is no orchestra pit – and so, without a performance of the lush Verdi score, I’m perplexed.  I’ll likely go as it’s a chance to dress up for an evening.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands


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