Monday, 10 November 2008

Two landmarks in one weekend

On Saturday, Keira played in a piano graduation concert at the Opera House in Sydney. The children learn the piano following the Suzuki method and each year they are invited to play in concerts at the Opera House if they have passed their level during the year.

This was the third time that Keira has played in one of these concerts and I think it's the first time I have ever seen her anxious about it. The concerts are great in that they are meant to be a celebration of the hard work the students have done. They need to be dressed very smartly (lot's of boys in mini tuxes!) and they play on a grand piano in the Utzon Room which has a large wall of glass that makes you feel as though you are right in the harbour.

But, the standard is very high and Keira was worried that she would make a mistake (which many kids do and it isn't a big deal but Keira is quite tough on herself). Of course when her turn came she played beautifully and I could see that she felt good about herself afterwards.

After the concert we made a very quick dash back up the Mountains, because Keith and I had a school function at the very beautiful and historic Collits' Inn to get to.

This used to be run as a restaurant/b&b, but a family from the school bought it recently and now it is their home. They opened it up to us on Saturday night for dinner and I can't tell you how wonderful it was. We all arrived in the late afternoon when it was still light and could have a good look around. The Inn was built in 1823 and has been lovingly restored right down to the original room that the Governor would stay in when they were moving convicts through the area. In fact the previous owners who had done a huge amount of work in building up a library of the history of the place, left everything intact on the property when they left.

We had a guided walk around the cemetery before dinner, where there are 62 people buried from the area including the poet Henry Lawson's father. Apparently one of Lawson's poems is about the murder of one of the Collits' daughters (some sort of love triangle back in the 1800's!).

Then it was on to dinner which was served in the original barn and afterwards the owner and another father from school played their guitars and sang until late into the night. By then everyone was in very good form and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Sunday saw me a little tired and weary, but the weather was fantastic so I sat in the sun and watched Cal and his friend learn how to put up a tent for their first overnight camping expedition with the school this week. Listening to the patience in Keith's voice as he gave instructions from the side was a little amusing as well!

(Photos of Collits Inn from the National Trust, I of course forgot to take my camera . . .)



M said...

What a great experience to play at the opera house!

BTW I love the photo of your shadow on the grass. Fabulous.

Jennifer said...

Congrats to Keira -- two years in a row! Great job -- such a great reward for all those hours of practice!