Silence descended in showers of gold at about 9pm.... only after I put Rossini's Petite Messe Sollenelle (the little solemn mass) on. Quite nice actually - it's been a long time since I've listened to it, and I'm enjoying rediscovering the very ornate, quite operatic music, especially the Cum Sanctu Spiritu and Gloria. It's also quite unusual to find music of this kind that was originally scored for harmonium and two pianofortes, rather than organ.
I remember being introduced to this setting years ago in Wanganui and being fascinated by the interaction of the two pianos and harmonium. It was a really good choir too, and I loved the work so much that I used my birthday money that year to get myself a really good recording of it.
On the not-so-good side, there was another workplace fatality this afternoon, this time in Blenheim. I've lost count of how many that makes this calendar year - there's been more than 10 reported in the news since the beginning of 2009, and the numbers will be well up on the 2007-2008 stats. It's one of the times that I hate working in health and safety; when I hear of another workplace fatality or injury, I keep thinking, "What more could we do to prevent this happening?"
New Zealand's workplace accident rate is one of the highest in the Western world - we are 4x more likely to die during the course of our work than in the UK (and that doesn't include when you're travelling for work), and 2x as likely to die here than in Australia. I felt really sick last year when one of the companies we had audited had a major incident (double fatality) - we had highlighted the possibility in our report and they had done nothing. There are lots of reasons why that might be: a weak enforcement regime, the Kiwi "She'll be right" attitude, etc, but in the end the reasons aren't the important thing: Kiwis not coming home to their families at the end of the day is.