Well, it's been quite a week. Thanks to everyone for their birthday wishes on Wednesday -- I had a perfect birthday and felt showered with love and good thoughts. I am very blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life, and it was a nice day to remind me of that. My parents were up for the day, as they were flying out of Ottawa that evening to visit PetDoc and Noise in London (we go in 26 days! wheee!), and my grandmother (whose birthday I am honoured to share) and my Aunt C came along as well. We had a lovely lunch out at one of my favourite restaurants, and Serdic was even able to slip away from work long enough to join us for lunch. After lunch we retired back to our apartment for cake (Serdic's famous cheesecake) and a visit, then I took the folks to the airport and saw them off to London. After dinner I went to a choir rehearsal (one of my choirs is singing at the Ottawa SuperEx next week, so we had a quick rehearsal to brush up some of last season's repertoire) and got to make music with my friends, one of my favourite things in the world to do. All in all, a great day.
I was also spoiled rotten, as usual. My big present this year was a joint effort between Serdic and my parents -- a digital SLR camera. It is quite a camera, I have to say. Definitely a huge step up from my old one, and, I'm not ashamed to admit, more than a little daunting. There are just so many dials and buttons and numbers that don't (yet) mean anything to me. Serdic decided I needed a better camera after I had those photos noticed online for the Quebec exhibition and the online travel guide. I do think, without blowing my own horn too much, that I do have a fairly good natural eye for photography, and I definitely enjoy it, and so Serdic decided it was time I had better equipment to work with. This camera is definitely that, and very intimidating, but I'm really looking forward to figuring out all the bells and whistles and learning how to take even better photographs. I'm hoping to get out and about a lot over the next few weeks so I can figure this thing out before we go to England!
I was given lots of other generous and thoughtful gifts, of course, and I am grateful for them all, but I just want to mention one other one. It is well known in my circle that Strongbow (English cider) is my drink of choice when we go out, and everytime we go to a pub where they serve it in Strongbow branded glasses, I lust after them and wonder if I can get away with smuggling them out in my purse. So my friend Pixie called around (by which I pretty sure she meant badgered and pleaded) all the pubs in Ottawa until she found one willing to sell her four. So now I have my own set of Strongbow glasses. Isn't that cool?
The festivities continued last night as Serdic and I attended a performance of Wicked at the NAC. I have wanted to see Wicked for at least five years now, so I was very excited when it was announced it was coming to Ottawa, and even more so when we got tickets for my birthday week. And the show last night did not disappoint. For those who are not familiar with it, the show is based on a novel by Gregory Maguire which presents an idea of what the Wicked Witch of the West's side of the story might be, and how she came to be "wicked." The score is one of my favourite scores written for the theatre in the recent past, and it was performed beautifully last night. All of the actors were strong and the production values were top notch. The act one finale, "Defying Gravity," was for a long time a sort of theme song for me (I particularly liked the line "And if I'm flying solo, at least I'm flying free") and last night it blew me away. The special effects in that number (I won't give it away) are stunning as well. All in all I loved it and never wanted it to end, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys theatre (it's playing here for the next two weeks).
I'll leave you with a few photos taken with my new camera, a couple of Miss Bella, and a few of the lovely flower arrangement Serdic's parents sent me for my birthday (isn't that sweet?).