Friday, June 21, 2013

Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.




The Russian couple seem good natured and unassuming or as unassuming as a couple with an eighty bedroom chateau can be. They greet us at the door. He tall, forty something, in a three quarter length black frock coat , red trousers and brown calf length boots. The Calvin Coolidge takes lessons from Colonel Sanders look. She a few years younger ( not the child bride of Madame Bay's description ) in a blue silk evening gown  covered in ruffs. Around her midriff a huge red white and blue diamond encrusted bow. Marie Antoinette meets Sverdlovsk by way of Hollywood. He shakes our hand. Seems we both know the same men in dark suits in Moscow. She is holding the front of her gown firmly with both hands. We exchange nods. A bewigged footman offers us a glass of champagne.

The concert in what was the chapel and is now the 'auditorium '. An enormous and largely empty space. Black and white marbled floors, bleached oak panelling, a panoply of stern looking stained glass saints glaring down from the windows. Even though it's broad daylight the chapel has been lit by lanterns. Clustered together in the middle of the nave sixty or so red felt , high backed, chairs. From the Maserati's and Ferrari's in the car park we guess we're among the few non-Russians. Pergolesi's Stabat Mater. Sung very, very slowly. The two , clearly competitive, lead soprano's milking the high notes. Angus whispers to 'the font' that if it was sung any more slowly time would stand still. He's told to behave. We all ignore the Russian owner of a football club who's forgotten to turn off his mobile phone .

An hour with Bob and Sophie in the garden on our return. Madame Bay will be here later this morning to learn all about our evening.


22 comments:

  1. Angus, you're not on any 'medication' are you?

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  2. What a vivid description of the event.
    Angus you were just stating the facts, and I like that.
    Sois sage!

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  3. I think that Pergolesi's Stabat Mater is one of the most beautiful pieces in classical music with its melodies and harmonies--I have heard several versions of it and my favorites is one I heard several years ago by the London Symphony Orchestra. But performed at too slow of a tempo, I know I would be like you in thinking that time was standing still and wishing I was enjoying the garden with Bob and Sophie. I hope their champagne and company was enjoyable!

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  4. Was it 'that' Russian owner of 'that' football club?

    It sounds like a colourful evening.

    Eighty bedrooms....goodness gracious!

    x

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    1. I was thinking of Chelsea FC. But I guess there are several Russian football club owners!

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  5. What an evening, personally I would enjoy Sophie and Bob's antics more! 80 bedrooms, much too large for this gal to take care of. I do enjoy stories of how the "other half" live.

    Karen & Kelly Rathje

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  6. Bob and Sophie standing up at the gate, what a great picture!
    Your Russian evening sounds odd, but what else do we expect from your charming village?!

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  7. Great, falling ever mor e for Sophie!!!! She is a little darling - and so sweet.

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  8. Did you wear your dress kilt to this event, Angus? Me, I would rather spend the evening with Bob and Sophie in the garden, and I loved the picture of them standing at the gate looking out!

    Cheers,
    Jo

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  9. PS. Have the kids had a bit of a haircut?
    x

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  10. Absolutely LOVED this description. You should write books (just occurred to me, maybe you do) . . . I could picture it all. But really, bewigged footmen? REALLY? Did mice turn into horses and lead your pumpkin carriage home?:) Don't know why but the bewigged footmen and the clutching of the dress and no handshake were the two things that put this story completley over the top for me! People! Wow! Some people really behave and live like that? What an experience.

    Oh Madame Bay is going to devour this story.

    Bob and Sophie the perfect dose of wonderful reality. They are looking so huge, another growth spurt I wonder?

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  11. not a single thing to add to all these wonderful comments and questions!
    actually... pretentious as they are... i do love characters and these seem to fall into that category...
    sort of pretentious... but maybe only charmingly eccentric!
    those cuddly puppies!!! softer and more adorable every single day. how can you stand it!!!
    xoxoxo ... nose kisses

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  12. What a treat! You getting to fill-in Madam Bay on the goings on! She must have found it all delicious!! I did :-)

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  13. Sounds like an outing that one could only imagine...I too would rather be in the garden with my lovely pups instead of anywhere else!

    From ours to yours, we send cuddles and scratches. Tucker says he would even share his duck!

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  14. Bob looks so much bigger than Sophie there on the dog bed!

    Sounds like at least your evening out wasn't boring. I wonder what it would be like if time did stand still...

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  15. Xoposho! Will you invite them over for champagne and caviar?

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  16. Bewigged footman?
    Really???
    I am leading a most bourgeois existence.

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  17. A most wonderful description. Would love to know the backstory on your hosts, and Mrs. Russian sounds a bit in over her head. I can make up an entire narrative about how she's been swept along in his rush to oligarchy-hood. Looking forward to hearing what Madame Bay thought of it all.

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