It really hasn't been the best of times just recently (this is not a whinging bid for sympathy, just stating facts!).
Not even the least of my problems was the demise of my beloved cat George (seen draped across me on my last visit right) at the age of 12. He was the most magnificent cat I ever met - an avid talker, full of character and loyal and friendly as a labrador. Usefully for an opera singer, he was completely impervious to music. I remember the first time I sang with him in my arms - I started very softly, virtually whispering so as not to scare him. Nothing. I increased the volume a bit. Nothing. Eventually I was wandering around the house singing Wagner at full belt with a large relaxed tabby slung over my shoulder - he simply didn't care!! Perfect. He will be missed.
Other horridness included the news of a friend's serious illness (all I could do was offer support and enlist the help of my wonderful Japanese friend and witch, Masayo...), visa card fraud which is irritating and complicated to sort out, my best friend here setting off on a new stage of her adventure on a different continent... oh, you know the sort of thing - "When sorrows come, they come not single spies, But in battalions"...
Anyway, yesterday my British agent forwarded a stinging rejection from the Spanish touring company I auditioned for recently, and interestingly, instead of it being the last straw, it has made me oddly cheerful! You see, they didn't just not like me, or say they'd been looking for something different - they actively hated me!! Sounds weird, but really, as an artist, I would rather provoke the extremes than sit safely in the middle. I freely admit that I am a singer whom people tend to either love or hate - and strangely, evidence of the latter brings to mind several instances of the former, and reassures me that I am on the right path. Odd but true. Like my dear departed feline, I have learned to walk my own path, and am happy with that.