"This is the violet hour, the hour of hush and wonder, when the affectations glow and valor is reborn, when the shadows deepen along the edge of the forest and we believe that, if we watch carefully, at any moment we may see the unicorn."

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween - It's Time for Magical Things to Happen!

What?  You don't like how my street is decorated for Halloween?
It has been a noisy, dirty two weeks up and down Wood Street as PG & E  replaces our gas pipelines......  sigh....rumbling trucks, the buzzing of drills, the yelling of men.....  every day, Monday - through Friday - 7-3....and still two more (at least) weeks to go!

However, I did see they very nicely brought along their own *Witch* - so of course, I had to share with you.

Enough of this....time to share REAL Halloween decorations!  I took a walk around my neighbourhood late this afternoon and photographed some of my favourites. 

This "Skelly-Ghost" hangs freely, and the wind whips him about......I know he will scare people tonight when it's dark

Hmmmm...do you think the headstone refers to our Ex-Governor?

Even the Bay is in the *Spirit of Halloween*....the fog, drifiting in, like a Magic Spell, JUST over the centre of the water...I love when this happens!

Although we couldn't do much (or really anything) outside, my neighbours did decorate their front doors.  Here's my friend Athena's door.  (She helps feed our Feral Kitties.)

And my neighbours in #2

Here's my front door with my Autumnal Wreath.

 My "Halloween Tree" Center Piece

The Spirit of Marianne's Sjimmie, soaring over the magical night sky....sprinkling good wishes and yummy treats for every one of you!

Happy Autumn!  Happy Halloween!


♥ Robin ♥

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Animal Wednesday - Mimi - the *real* Blue Dog!

 I am just back from visiting a dear, dear friend, Joyce, and her wonderful dog, Mimi!  Mimi is a Border Collie/Healer and bears a remarkable resemblance to the *Blue Dog*!

Don't you agree?

Joyce and Mimi
(Mimi IS named after the heroine in Puccini's *La Boheme*)

I had a wonderful, warm, sunny three days in Santa Rosa (about two hours north of SF).  And....though the leaves were not turning much when I visited Lo, KJ and Mim a few weeks ago, I did see some gorgeous colour in Santa Rosa!

Joyce and Mimi, thank you so much for a wonderful time!!!!!  I already miss you both !

Happy Animal Wednesday !!!! 


♥ Robin ♥

Friday, October 21, 2011

"Whole Lotta Shakin'"

Yesterday, I was here...

For an afternoon rehearsal of this...
*Xerxes*  by George Freidrich Handel

I was sitting under this..

Suddenly, the building began to SHAKE!!!!  Really shake.....  two huge jarring jolts!

Our Maestro stopped the music....the few of us sitting in the audience, looked at each other, looked around....and Maestro Summers announced that "Yes, we just had an earthquake"!  I looked up at the chandelier....memories of what the 1989 Loma Prieta Quake had done to it.... but nothing was moving....  our *Diva*, Susan Graham, who was in the midst of an aria, had felt nothing!  We all laughed (nervously) and made jokes about how large a quake it had been..(it was "only a 4.2"....but as it was centered just across the Bay in Berkeley - we really felt it)!  Rehearsal did continue....  after all, the "Show Must Go On"! 

Later that night, I was in the gorgeous Castro Theater..watching a movie at the "Berlin and Beyond" Film Festival ....

When.....yes....MORE SHAKING!  

An aftershock!  But, hey, it's San Francisco...and we're *used* to this....
*trust me, one NEVER gets used to it*!

By the time I arrived home, I was tired....but made a cursory search of my place to make sure everything was still standing.... it was....so I was off to bed.  (Perchance to dream -in unshaking peace! )  A-ha-ha!


♥ Robin ♥

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Animal Wednesday

It's Lo's Emma - (aka the *fierce*  Squirrel Huntress)!  Here she is, on *Squirrel Alert*....looking for the infamous Squirrel,  Short-t!  (Whom I did actually *meet*!)

Here is Bliss - (aka *The Princess*), demanding a neck massage!  I just fell in love with this beautiful furball!

Here is Koa, the *Star* of SF Opera's *Heart of a Soldier*.  Koa's *owner* lives quite near me and we run into other from time-to-time!  Koa is the sweetiest *Goldie*.....on or off the Opera Stage!

I had to include a picture of my beloved Bofie......although it has now been over a year since I last hugged and kissed his face, he is still my doggie.....

I love him and miss him.

Here we are in upstate NY amid the Autumn leaves - three years ago.....

HAW to all!


♥ Robin ♥

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Catching Up

Ah, the Willow Ball is over... (attending a *Virtual Ball* may seem a bit strange to some of you, but Suki and I can attest to how much fun it is)!  Last night, I was back at the Opera House attending a final dress rehearsal for *Don Giovanni*.  (Now, there's a man who should have attended the ball!) 
I was reminded that I have been remiss in posting any of my Opera Tidbits (with the exception of *Heart of a Soldier), so I am going to publish some.

You might remember that SF Opera did have a live simulcast of *Turandot*, our season opener, a few weeks back  at ATT Ballpark.  Here, in a nutshell, is what it looked like.

And a few photos of the cast backstage.

The *Prince of Persia* - soon to be executed - posing with *The Executioner*.  All sets and costumes designed by David Hockney.  They look pretty jolly..considering...

 Liu the Slave Girl who loves Calif, the hero.... with the Imperial Guards

 *Ping, Pang and Pong* - the Imperial Court Advisors with some of the *Priests*.
 Don't you love the makeup!!!  More *Imperial Court Counselors*.

*Turandot* herself...the *Icy Princess*.

 The *Princess* and her Court of Ladies.  I have always loved the greeny-blue of their robes....I always refer to it as *Turandot Blue". (This production has been in the SF Opera repertoire for many years...)
 The *Executioner* and his *Henchmen!   Bwaaaaaaaa...

A *Royal Guard* reading to relax between acts....

So there you are.....everything you *wanted to know* about *Turandot*!


♥ Robin ♥

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What A Night! What a Morning!

What's a girl to do when all five of her Gentlemen are all clamouring to escort her in to Willow Manor? Well, take centre stage, of course....two lovely lads on one side and three on the other.  There were a few gasps when some of the ladies in the ballroon recognised Frederic Chopin (Polish pianist and composer extraordinarire) and Thomas Hampson, handsome American baritone.  Of course, David Lean, (visionary film director), Erich Wolfgang Korngold, (passionate composer of Operas, Symphonies and Academy Award Movies) and E.R. Eddison, author of the unusually powerful and romantic "Worm Ourbourous" books) were also greeted with affectionate hugs and raised glasses.

Frederic, who had promised our beautiful hostess, Tess, to play a few Sonatas on her Bossendorfer Piano, readily sat down (after downing a glass of Champagne) and began to play.  The air was heady with the scent of  the many yellow roses displayed around the ballroom.  The candles glowed like the Baritone Moon we all could see shining through the Ballroom Windows...

Applause all round....  and time for some of Tess' delicious food!  (Mr. Hampson and I DID fly all the way from San Francisco...then jumped into our 1931 Studebaker with David  - who insisted on driving well OVER the speed limit - sometimes I think he thinks he IS *Lawrence of Arabia* and E.R. - as he prefers to be called).   Eric K and Frederic drove the Bugatti.... so you know they were not just cruisin'... Amazingly, we were NOT stopped by the Highway Patrol this year.... 

Anyway, we all were ravenous and were sampling the Scottish Quail Eggs and Caviar, when we ran into the incomporable Suki Poet and W.B. Yeats.  Suki looked ravishing with her new, short, spikey *do*....Mr. Yeats was so happy to see the Beatles had also arrived and couldn't wait for an introduction.

I couldn't resist a trip down to the wine cellar , where my *Twin*, Amanda and I had a rather *adventerous* adventure with John Fowles last year.....lots of "Waiting Room" jokes were bandied about.....if you read "The Magus", you understand.  Ah, memories....  no Amanda, no John, but someone was inside, pounding vigourously...and saying some unrepeatable words.... 

Tommy H and I finally strolled out into a pinkly-lilac dawn....the Baritone Moon waning silver in the West.  We both had a great chuckle about *Baritone Moons*.....

Tommy wanted to sing one of Erich's poignant arias from "Die Tote Stadt"..(The City of the Dead)....  for those in the crowd who were sipping Espresso and eating some of Ms. Blue Sky's elegant desserts.  I thought it was sweetly appropro to end another magnificent Willow Ball.

Brava to our FANTASTIC Hostess!!!!  No one can create such ambiance.....

Oooo....the sun is rising, my feet are aching (Manolos look great...but are hard to dance in....)  Tommy is driving me in the Bugatti back to the airport....
I have to be back in San Francisco tonight for the Final Dress Rehearsal of *Don Giovanni*....  Thankfully, I can sleep on the plane.

What a night!  What a Morning!

Love to all,

♥ Robin ♥

More Rhode Island Photos

These photos bring back memories of my magical week with Lo in Rhode Island.

If you look closely, you can see me trying to photograph a Seagull!  (Mr. Gull is so white, he fades into the railing he stands on..)

Yes, Lo and I risked *life and limb* when we hiked the *Cliff Walk*!  A-ha-ha!
What a magnificent view!

Blithewold.  An enchanting, enormous estate. 
From this viewpoint, you wouldn't know that the ocean is close by.  (Lo had photographed this very scene long before I visited, but I was so struck with this view, I had to shoot it for myself....my *BS* has a real artist's eye....)

The Koi Pond  

Part of the Veggie Garden.....soft, Autumnal colours as we strolled through..

Ah, now you can see the Sea waiting to greet us.  I was instantly reminded of *Manderlay*, the estate of Daphne Du Maurier's classic suspenseful novel "Rebecca"... this could be Cornwall....

And finally, you reach the water.  Listening to the sound of the gentle waves lap onto the shell-covered shore, is there anything more soothing?
I hope you enjoyed coming along with Lo and myself as we explored her gorgeous State!
More to come....
♥ Robin ♥

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Blue Angels

If it's early October in San Francisco, it's FLEET WEEK....and that means the Navy's Blue Angels are soaring and roaring across the city and over my house!  It's LOUD, it's not fun for animals, my home shakes, rattles and rolls, but it still amazes me to watch these skilled pilots fly up and down and over and under at speeds just under the sound barrier.

I captured these shots as they *rehearsed* yesterday.

There are six planes in total....but they fly most of the time in fours..with the other two zooming off in opposite directions.  I don't know if you can *embiggen* these....

No "Angels" in this shot....but this is the Golden Gate Bridge from my roof..... the "Angels" do fly over the Bridge, but even using a zoom on my little camera, you wouldn't have seen them.

As you can tell, it was a glorious, sunny day....  lovely October!


♥ Robin ♥