Siege Diaries 1/23/2022

An anniversary of sorts. It has been four years since I completed Leningrad: Siege and Symphony and took my first dive into the music of Dmitri Shostakovich. I listened to that symphony over and over and over for about two weeks on my commute while I dove first into the history of the siege itself, but at a certain point I decided to go deeper into the music, stopping first at the familiar 5th and 10th symphonies, and within a month or two just completely immersed. In April, I’d see the 5th live for the first time, and soon my dormant interest in classical music had been revived and augmented.

I have now heard ten of the symphonies live, along with five of the six concertos, two quartets, both trios, the quintet, the Michelangelo suite, and an assortment of other works. The music has kept me going through this siege that threatens to outlast its Leningrad namesake, and revived me this past fall when I was able to hear performances of three of the symphonies (one of them twice) and Trio no. 2 played live.

And I continue to pour my gratitude into my needlework. My thirteenth Shostakovich embroidery is in full colour, the first to take that bold step. With some luck and diligence, it will be finished this week.

I’ve progressed past this now, but the hoop has been shifted so it’s hard to see the whole thing.

Because we’re back in a modified lockdown, the Coronation event where I had volunteered to serve as event steward was virtual–and it actually worked out wonderfully. The ceremony was prerecorded outdoors, on one of the coldest days of the year, and then the rest of the day was given over to classes, games, bardic things, contests, and the like. There was an amazing session led by Viscountess Moria about how Ealdormere became a kingdom. I hosted a very successful (and fun to research) Monty Python trivial contest, and sat in on a friend’s dye alchemy class. It turned out to be everything an online event could hope to be.

As part of that filmed court, a cat named Bob was given an Award of Paws, and his people were given Court Baronies. I got to make all three of the scrolls; the latter two decorated in the margins with some of their clowder.

Next weekend the online Cloth of Gilt event will be taking place, and I’m going to take this as my opportunity to complete my Rus’ opashen (coat). The final item I need to complete them arrived this week. With no upcoming scroll assignments until we get past the need for virtual events, it will be nice to have a focused clothing project to work on. I had originally hoped to have this item done for Coronation had it been in-person. I have some wonderful blue Sartor fabric and five braid closures, along with a salvaged black Persian wool coat.

We had a huge snowstorm last Monday, and the streets are still not completely clear. This how it looked before our neighbour took the snowblower to the driveway.

So, the siege continues. We are supposedly opening back up to limited capacity for restaurants and concert halls in about a week, but the large venues are going to be limited to 500 people, so I have no idea what that will mean for a Toronto Symphony concert scheduled for early February. Everyone is speculating that this wave of the omicron variant has peaked; only time will tell, but clearly the government wants it to be over. I remain hopeful for concerts in about two months’ time. For now, I’m happy enough, in semi-hibernation, in a cold, snowy January. I have cats and Shostakovich and projects to keep me entertained, and even an online Table Topics contest tomorrow.