Dragons and Gold

Hej! Long time, no see! Apparently arranging life after university is a busy process. That and there’re just so many distractions. Especially when it’s such lovely weather as we had in July. Have you had a moment to just sit and watch the world go by?

DSCN1969

I’d say the flutterby wanted to read, but I hadn’t written anything on that page. Not then, anyway.

My favourite part of July, though, was the week I spent at the Proms. This year is Wagner’s bicentenary, so there’s lots of celebrating. Leastways, there is in the classical music world. Brilliant for me (I’m something of a Wagner-obsessive. I just love his music), except for the obscene prices. So I was delighted that the BBC Proms were doing semi-staged concert performances of a handful of his operas, including my favourite: the four-part cycle about a ring of power: Der Ring des Nibelung. I’m also something of an obsessive about the Germanic legend on which the cycle is based – the Nibelungenlied or the saga of the Volsungs.

I admit, my preference is for the saga. The lied is a good tale, but it lacks that which makes the saga such fun: the mythological aspect. The lied tries too hard to be historical, I feel. The saga has a dragon. And semi-valkyries. (It’s not quite sure if Brynhild is a valkyrie or a shield-maiden.) And dwarves. Magic and mystery. Much more fun.

Have you been Promming? If so, are you a gallery or an arena person? My friend and I chose the gallery (we also figured that climbing the stairs to the top counted as our exercise for the week. Especially that week, when we attended five operas). There’s nothing quite like live music. I’m still speechless as to how awesome it was. There was an almost perfectly timed thunderstorm after Das Rheingold. Just what’s needed to lead into Die Walküre, given the fury of Wotan at Brünnhilde’s disobedience.

There Be Dragons…!

There Be Dragons...!

I’ve always liked dragons; dragons are awesome. There’s something so wonderfully graceful and elegant about the fire-breathing winged lizards. And they’re nearly always beautiful jewel colours. You don’t often find a pastel pink dragon sleeping on (probably) her stash of silver. Not even the dragon in Shrek was a pastel colour.
My dragon, whom I have named Fáfnir, came about because I felt that the black coffee table was, frankly, boring and required livening up. Fáfnir is the dragon from the Saga of the Volsungs/Nibelungenlied/Wagner’s Ring Cycle who steals the Rhine-gold which causes lots of problems. So I gathered poster paints and glitter glues and paint brushes, found a picture of a dragon which I could copy and drew a dragon on the table top. Then I settled down to listen to Radio 4 as I painted. Fáfnir has been varnished to help protect him from the dangers and rigours of life and one day, I plan to cover him with a glass pane. Just don’t steal any of his treasure-hoard! Don’t even try…