Monday, August 18, 2008

I AM HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Lake Geneva from above

Did I mention I was home?

But after all this talk of where home is, perhaps you wonder where I actually am? Or maybe you checked the dates and know. But anyway, I am here, on Vancouver Island, in my house, feeling very happy. Almost all my stuff is unpacked, the dogs are home, I'm not as jet-lagged as I thought I'd be, and I am currently uploading bazillions of pictures. Still have to sort them though........gross thought. I am on the first gigabyte of three and a half, and on this card (one gig) alone, I'm only on 94 of 706. Lots to go. :)

...

Ooooh boy! My computer is full! Great! So I am going through my pictures and deleting yucky ones so I can fit the new stuff in.

Okay, let's get started with the details, shall we? They may be in no particular order, so don't worry if you get lost, just go back and re-read or ask me what I am talking about. It's an hour or two since I wrote the first paragraph now (picture trouble) so the jet-lag is starting to catch up to me and I am not sure if my writing skills are completely up to par.

You may remember that last winter I tried snowboarding and failed miserably. Well, that day I fell rather hard on my left upper arm, and it hurt for days...quite painful. Well, somehow, in the last day or two, probably through lots of suitcase lifting and "Hey...I'm a girl!" type thoughts, it is acting up again. I thought it was fine, but obviously there was some further damage. It's the one spot I haven't had worked on by the massage guy. Actually, my left shoulder was bugging me too....so maybe that has contributed. Anyway, I am done complaining...let's get to the good stuff.

The flight back was great. It was wonderful getting in in the evening, so we could go to bed whenever we needed to, and didn't have to wait around falling over and crying from absolute tiredness. Very welcome, although we did wake up at 5 am. Haha!!! I admit, I am very excited about the fact that I won't be on any more 8+ hour flights any time soon. Yayyyy!!! But everything went very smoothly, and considering the longevity of an overseas flight, it was fantastic. :)

Blonay....where do I start? At the beginning? In the middle? Little bits? Well, the whole 'course' started on Saturday, but I arrived on Sunday morning, because the last evening of the Galway masterclass was on Saturday evening. More about that to follow...just want to keep the suspense up and the readers reading...because I know there are some readers reading who are particularly interested in reading about the Galway masterclass, am I right? :D

...ow this arm hurts. Jen, I will really try, but I think this is going to hold me back from some of my gig practice this week....

So when I got there I had a rehearsal with my flute/oboe/clarinet trio almost right away, and we basically just read through it together. We had all had the music a short while before, so we'd at least seen it, which was good. Then we ate lunch and I lounged all afternoon. Actually, that isn't true, I practiced for 2 hours in there, but basically between 2:00 and 6:00 that was all I did...so say 2 hours of lounging. :) Also, I met an amazing young lady named Jess, who just happened to also be vegetarian, (Woohoo!!!) so we both went to the kitchen together and mentioned our veggieness, as we had eaten, I believe, just broccoli and potatoes at lunch because it was mostly meat. They were ever-so-kind, and after that, every meal that had meat came with another small dish of something extraordinarily tasty and meatless, just for the two of us. I think the BEST one was the tofu with awesome tomato-y sauce. Greatly wishing that was in front of me now.


FOOD...so tasty. We ate outside for all but two nasty-weather meals.

In any case, it was great, because Jess was in my room! I shared it with 3 girls, Jess, (from Australia) Julia, (from Germany), and Emilienne, (from French-speaking Switzerland) all sweet girls, and all oboe players. In fact, the other flute student who had registered had a family crisis, and I was the ONLY flute student there. Although, it was really good to have so many different instruments around to learn from. The first evening, several of them went down to the pub, so I just decided to stay in our room and read, and Jess had reeds to make, so I ended up asking millions of questions about reed-making, and basically got an amazing run down of how it all works. Fascinating, I must say, but I am rather glad that I don't have to make flute reeds. Ha! Anyway, it was a good time to get to know someone. :)


Julia, Jess, and Me, enjoying the view out a neighbour's balcony.

Then the rest of the week, the daily schedule was much the same. It was the evenings that were exciting. :) Breakfast, trio rehearsal, lounge/practice, lunch, lounge/practice/lesson, supper, big ensemble practice, randomness, bed. On Wednesday they took us on a little excursion up the mountain, which only cost me 10 Francs instead of 20, because the Basoon guy told them I was 15 without me knowing. Haha! Oh well. :) It was neat, and I'm so glad Jess, and Yves coerced me into walking down the mountain with them. (almost everyone else took the train down) Took us, what, an hour and a half, but it was so pretty, and so Swiss, and we had such fun together, almost taking wrong turns and getting ourselves lost, taking shortcuts across muddy fields, comparing Australian and Canadian drivers licenses, all that, you know. :)


The rest of the 'Hiking down the mountain crew'. Marcel, Zhibai, Yves, and Jess.

And the music part was good too. :) Cormac Henry was the flute teacher, and I must say, he is an incredible player. There were some bothersome moments with the music, too, yes, but all in all, it was a great experience. Plus the food was great! So here are some more pictures!


Everyone!!!!


My roomies; Me, Emilienne, Julia, and Jess.


Me in my trio, Marcel, Emilienne, and me, playing the Divertimento by Malcolm Arnold.


Jess's group. I think they played Milhaud?


The Mozart group



The Chalet that most of us stayed in. Beautiful place.



Our room at a messy moment. Kind of a bad pic. Ah well.


The view from our neighbour's balcony. We didn't have balcony. :(



Two of the Japanese girls having fun on the mountain.



Me feeling very Swiss. Haha!



The cows feeling very Swiss!


So, that is Blonay. Later I will wax eloquent on the Weggis masterclass, WITH pictures, but I am sure you have something better to do at this exact moment...so go do it, then come back later for the rest.

Hugs!
Sheila

PS. I just got a link from Julia (a different Julia, from Australia/Scotland), with more Blonay pics. Lookie!

7 comments:

Mariah said...

Ah, it was nice to read about more of your trip. I'm glad you got home safely! Jessica and Ben just got back from a cruise to Alaska. They flew up to Vancouver then got on the ship there.
Wow, it's hard to believe that your trip is already over. It seems like it just started! Time flies!
Hugs,
Maya

Jen said...

Love the photos. How thrilling to see them all. Wow. This is the BEST blog! Jen :>)

beautifulgraceblog said...

Yay! So fun to read about your trip. BTW, that reminds me, did I ever give you the links to the pictures from my trip? Email me or skype me or comment on my blog or something if you didn't.

Maria Pauline

Marianne Sadik said...

Hi Sheila!
Glad you're all home safe & sound! Great blog and lovely photos! I'm at my other 'home' now - it's mostly wet & windy, but not too cold. Hugged a tree today a la Sheila-the-tree-fairy at some local stately home gardens - not quite as graceful as you though! HAHA Will show you the photo on my return! Off to visit a friend and her 3 yr old for a couple of days tomorrow. Can't wait to hear all about Weggis! 'Talk' again soon.
Hugs, Marianne

Sheila said...

Nice to hear from you Marianne! Missed you sorely at trio rehearsal today, but I hope you're having a fantastic time!

Hugs, Sheila

Idzie said...

Welcome back! Well, I can't really say that since I live on the other side of the country... :-P
But anyway, glad you arrived home safe and happy! :-)
Those are some really nice pictures, as usual, and I'm glad you managed to get some good vegetarian food! I always worry about that when traveling.

Looking forward to hearing more about your trip, and with welcome home hugs,

Isabelle

A Dose of Joy said...

Sheila,

Hello---I honestly was just doing a little looking around on blogger and found your blog home---would you like to know a strange coincidence? I was in Blonay when I was 16 for a chamber music festival and stayed in the same house, and from the looks of your photos, stayed in your exact room. What a small world....
Blessings to you :)
-C