Early June update

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Wifi has been horribly bad most everywhere I’ve booked, and the hotspot I bought has been useless, so I haven’t managed to keep up my pages (or emails). At the moment I’m sitting on a low wall using citywide public wifi in Nîmes as Margaret explores the museum of “Romanité” that Kristian and I so enjoyed a couple of weeks ago. I’m managing to create this post but five attempts to connect my phone and laptop have failed, so I will have to add images in the coming days.

So, the update. Have been extending time in Avignon, where I arrived May 26 with Kristian. Margaret joined us the 27th and we all went to the opera, seeing Tchaikovsky’s “Dame de Pique.” A rather odd staging, musically half-satisfying, a great male ballerina that I could rarely see, level 2 balcony seats with hand/protection rails right in one’s line of sight … Very disappointed with Avignon’s Opera, but of course a fun night out, no matter.

Kristian had to leave in the early morn after that, and Margaret and I have stayed on in Avignon. We will depart early this Thursday morning, for Montpellier where I booked opera tickets for Handel’s “Giulio Cesare” that eve. A true favorite of mine! “Se pietà di me non senti” … “Piangerò a sorte mia” … Hoping for a much more satisfying experience and fervently hoping to like the soprano singing Cleopatra. Oh to reincarnate Lucia Popp – ! Since, have been very happy with Lisa Saffer’s disc of arias for Cuzzoni. How will it go Thursday? Anticipation!

Meanwhile – we stayed on in order to take an excursion on the Rhone down to Arles (where Kristian and I had made a day trip). We’ll have the cruise with a little (negligible, I imagine) lunch on board, a guided tour for an hour on arrival, and then two hours free in town before cruising back. Expecting a lovely day out.

Margaret and I will stay in Montpellier for a week, with several daytrips to arrange (Narbonne, Béziers, Camargue, Sète, Pézenas) – will have to figure out something about Montpellier in just a day or two. I’m here trying to see where I might want to live, so this is a quick, brief survey, so I can decide where else to spend time, once on my own again.

I still intend visits to Arne and Inge in Vallebo / Faxe Ladeplads, and to Diana and Bryan in Deal, Kent, but neither trip is scheduled. Impossible to make plans without good internet. I also still plan to spend most of the summer in Turkiye, and to join up with Kristian somewhere – Turkiye or France – the first half of September, and head back to the US at the end of that month. Details fluid, will be posted.

Weather is sunny and warm, flowers are blooming everywhere, linden trees in bloom make the air heavenly, cooking at home after shopping these markets is a treat and meals out are fun, wine is good and cheap, we are happy and healthy and enjoying all we see. Good vibes, good times.

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