Just finished a two-day course with 35 teachers in Salou, a beach resort an hour south of Barcelona. A lovely town, but apparently quite deserted in November—we found one open restaurant in the whole town and enjoyed a fabulous meal of grilled vegetables with local goat cheese. Many folks in the course new to the Orff approach and it's always a pleasure to open the door to the wonderland of possibilities beyond the norm. As often happens in Spain, I found these teachers from the local music schools to be socially warm and humorous, intellectually sharp and probing, musically bold and skilled. A highlight for me was playing some of the improvisational games I usually do on Orff instruments with violins, recorders, clarinet and more.
Now winging home after a marvelous two weeks of sharing music with some 200 kids and 120 teachers. Awaiting me back in San Francisco is a Thanksgiving dinner with my sister and family, a visit from my mother-in-law, a Skype visit with my new grand-daughter, colder weather than Spain and Portugal, the final touches put on my new book and holiday films at the Castro Theater. Meanwhile, a 4 a.m. awakening, quick flight from Barcelona to Frankfurt and now a few odds and ends before boarding the long flight back home.
• Frankfurt Airport is enormous. Employees ride bicycles. (Though a subsequent Google search found it much smaller than Denver area-wise and 9th in terms of passengers. Oddly enough, Atlanta’s airport is the busiest in the world in terms of number of passengers.)
• There is no row 13 on my United Flight.
• Some people at the airport bar are drinking beer at 8 a.m.
• These tiny glass smoking rooms would make a Martian pause: “What the hell? *$%@”
• European passport control rocks! Grab, stamp and wave you through. End of story.
• European security rocks! Get to walk through with shoes on!
• European hotels rock! Featuring:
— Small TV’s that don’t lord over the whole room.
— Two or three pillows instead of 15.
— Reading lights you can read by.
— Breakfast with real food and real plates and silverware.
• The term “odds and ends” came from lumberyards—odds being pieces irregularly cut at the sawmill and ends the pieces trimmed from the ends of boards.
• This is a rather odd posting, but luckily, I’ve reached the end.