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  1. Melody


    Been hearing about major heatwaves across Europe this week - I hope they're more prepared in France than they were when that last heatwave happened and killed so many people. How is it in the UK? As far as I could tell, the temps are a bit lower than on the mainland, but I'm not sure what's on the way. We're having a week of temps in the 90s here and are very grateful for air conditioning. Is air conditioning a thing in homes over there these days, or are you relying on fans and cold drinks?
  2. It can be pretty loud when they get going at the trees, although when they're at the feeder they're attacking a lump of suet, which is at least quiet. The real noise comes from the titmice and chickadees, which help themselves to sunflower seeds from the other feeder (not the suet) and then spend ages happily bashing the seeds to pieces on the metal railing just outside the window.
  3. We've had a pileated woodpecker visit the bird feeder a few times this year. Compared with the other birds we've seen, he's enormous (according to an online source, these things are 16 to 19 inches long). When he shows up, most of the other birds make themselves scarce. This is a photo I found; we didn't have the camera nearby.
  4. In Canada, where signs are usually in English and French, the French signs usually sound more elegant but they're also generally quite a bit longer.
  5. Melody

    Raw eggs

    The thing is, if they can vaccinate chickens against salmonella, why can't they vaccinate humans? Salmonella infection can be picked up from other animals apart from chickens.
  6. I had no idea she was still dancing. I think her Sugar Plum Fairy was the most beautiful I've ever seen. She seems to have been consistently underrated, though, possibly because she was such a non-flashy dancer.
  7. I see HRH is back behind the wheel already. What's the law over there about old people and driving? Back in the day, my husband's grandmother claimed she never had to take any tests regardless of her age because she was given a driving licence for life in the late 1920s. Fortunately she didn't have access to a car, or there might have been real trouble. But people in their 90s are bound to have less than great eyesight and reaction times, so I was wondering what sort of safeguards there are.
  8. Interesting article by Luke Jennings, summing up his years as a dance critic. https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2019/jan/19/luke-jennings-what-i-learned-in-13-years-as-observer-dance-critic-leaps-and-bounds
  9. Life size? How big is the average live nutcracker?
  10. Melody

    Raw eggs

    I posted it in the Seasons Greetings thread in Doing Dance, I think. Here it is again, though, in case anyone missed it, since I think there were at least two threads in different forums.
  11. Melody

    Raw eggs

    Thanks, that makes sense - I noticed that they were always using those Lion eggs, which we don't have here. I think I'd use powdered egg white too, just to be safe. Over here, at least back when I decorated cakes seriously, the only real option for making royal icing was to use meringue powder, which made the icing taste depressingly artificial.
  12. Melody

    Raw eggs

    I've been watching some Great British Bake-Off Christmas masterclass episodes, and I noticed quite often they use raw eggs - either whites, yolks, or whole eggs - in some of the bakes (obviously I mean that the eggs aren't cooked after being added to the mix, not that they're added raw and then cooked). That really wouldn't be safe over here, so I was wondering if there are irradiated or otherwise safe eggs in the UK these days. I gather raw eggs can be safe in Japan, but I don't think it's safe to even use egg whites over here. I sort of thought it wasn't safe in the UK either, but the number of times I've seen Mary and Paul using them, and apparently surviving the experience, I'm assuming it's OK.
  13. Just saw it on YouTube. I really liked it, particularly the attempts to give context to the national dances in Act 3 - looked as though some thought had gone into the storyline, although I'm still not sure about the ending, with Siegfried surviving. I felt a bit sorry for whichever princess he ended up marrying, having lost the love of his life through what he was always going to believe was his fault. The dancing was wonderful; Muntagirov and Nunez are such a joy to watch, and I thought the corps did a great job too. I was a bit distracted by Marianela's tutu not seeming to fit properly - I must say I liked the old Odette tutus better, and it would have helped a lot if her tutu didn't keep rucking up during the partnering. I also wondered about the expense of all those black swan tutus for thirty seconds in Act 3 - I quite liked the addition of the black swans to Act 4 in the old production because it showed how things had changed after the events of Act 3. Just having those black swans appear briefly in Act 3 and then disappear didn't seem to make sense.
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