Monday night I went to my rehearsal for the Sunday concert, and it was quite an ego-booster for me. I got a lot of kudos for my playing, but I think I only really stood out from the crowd because the concertmaster was absent and, therefore, couldn't lead the string section, and the oboes were really out of it -- out of tune, playing their own tempos, etc. The cellist was great, though. In Baroque music, the cello and the keyboard make up the basso continuo, which is the backbone of the music, consisting of bass line and harmony, and we were totally in sync.
At this rehearsal, I saw the other two singers for the first time, the soprano and bass. The soprano, who has a lovely voice that sounds perfect for Baroque music, was "plus petite" (smaller) than me! I was in awe (and staring with my mouth wide open) as I saw this tiny person produce a voice that boomed out of her very thin frame. The bass had an equally beautiful voice, but he also had an incredible physique and stunning visage. He looked like he stepped out of a razor commercial. Actually, he was unshaven, but had the perfect face to show off any shaving product. I told my friend Sophie, who showed up to turn pages for me, that I would set her up with him if he was "celibataire" (single).
Yesterday, I had my first group French lessons in a long time. Only two students, including myself, were present at a given time, so it was nice to get all my questions answered and not feel self-conscious. We amused ourselves quite a bit with the final exercise which took half an hour. The other student and I took turns reading descriptions of yoga poses in French while the other person demonstrated the poses. The first pose made me look like a Buddha, with my hands joined above my head, and one knee bent so that the bottom of my foot was touching the inside of my thigh. I was balancing on my other leg for quite a long time, which wouldn't have been possible if I hadn't studied ballet in Berkeley with a rigorous teacher for about four months before moving to Paris. My fellow student, a Brit who was in semi-retirement and had been living in a suburb between Paris and Versaille for fourteen months, had the bad luck of getting all the poses that required him to lie on the floor, either on belly or back. We didn't actually make him do them, though.
I cooked dinner for some lovely friends of ours last night. We started out with a cheese plate (which, in France, is normally served as the dessert course -- and you must also serve your cheeses in odd numbers, so we had three cheeses) and baguette, moved onto a chowder with prawns, had a simple salad of baby greens dressed with my balsamic vinaigrette, followed that with the main course of roast pork loin and green beans sauteed in garlic and butter, and finished it all off with a very chocolatey-moussey dessert which our friends brought. All this food was accompanied with some beautiful red wine. Throughout this entire dinner, Maylin was sleeping on the floor in the hallway, some of the time sleeping with her knees and head on the ground and her butt in the air. We assume she was hiding from our dinner guests and had just konked out. I didn't move her because I didn't want to wake her and risk missing out on half the dinner, and plus, it was really funny to see her in these strange positions. Maylin also has a history of sleeping standing up, bent over the couch or a chair.