It would not have been my choice to start off a New Year this way.
I had all these plans, you see. I was going to bring order back into our house, clear the laundry which
has been piling up till it has overflowed from what my Darling Daughters, when young, liked to call "the Dirty Basket." I was going to buy a set of thank you cards and write them all, with carefully considered words of appreciation for each of my welcome gifts.
I was going to start on a first draft of my book. Oh, the plans I had for this second day of 2015!
Instead both Mr B and I have succumbed to the Dreaded Bug which (I am aware from messages from many friends)
has laid low a good proportion of the country over the festive season. That is why, instead of carrying out any of the worthy tasks listed above, I have resorted to tucking myself up on the sofa with a pillow, a blanket, a mug of Lemsip - and "The Sound of
Believe me, if you are feeling down I can recommend Julie Andrews. Nobody else would look at the drapes hanging at each window of her bedroom and exult : "Play clothes!" No other children, apart from
the Von Trapp Seven, would be seen dead wearing the resultant garb, quickly run up overnight on some ancient sewing machine by their Governess Extraordinaire. I am with their father, the stern Captain with the Broken Heart just waiting to be sewn up by Fräulein
Maria. "Do you mean to say," he growls, in his best Martinet With A Heart of Gold (albeit broken) fashion, "that my children have been cavorting all over the place wearing CURTAINS?" You might imagine that this would spell curtains for the Fräulein, but
then it would have been a very short film and we wouldn't have had the pleasure of shedding a tear or two over the Edelweiss.
To be frank, I am not entirely sure the Fierce Father used the word "cavorting".
I may just have made this up. For accuracy, I would have to consult the family's Number One Authority on The Sound of Music, aka the Youngest of the Darling Daughters. For years this was her favourite film of all time (indeed, it possibly still is) and she
knew every word of dialogue, every lyric.
Ever since Mr B and I holidayed in Austria eighteen months ago, I have cherished memories of the film's setting. We stood on the very steps where the Von Trapp children
practised their Doh, Re, Me. We would have danced round the fountain, too, just the way they did - except that the temperature in the sheltered garden was approaching 100 degrees and exhaustion won out over exuberance. We visited the beautiful church where
Maria married her Captain too.
It's the first time we have watched the film since that holiday so I kept asking Mr B, between sneezes and snuffles (some mine, some his) whether he recognised this place or
that. Was that the same mountain train on which we chugged up to the heights? Mr B was either non-committal or, possibly, asleep. I decided for myself that, yes, indeed, it was the very same train. There was nobody there to contradict me and if it helped me
feel better, where was the harm in it?
If I hadn't been so snuffly, then I would certainly have been singing along. "I am sixteen, going on seventeen," I would have carolled, blissfully forgetful of the fifty-one
years which separate me from my sixteen year old self. "Somewhere in my youth or childhood" - soulfully - "I must have done something good..." Not to mention yodelling "High on a hill was a lonely goat herd," even though this is my least favourite song in
We sing songs from this musical at our choir sessions - indeed they were included in the programme which our conductor, the Redoubtable Muriel, put together for the Community Centre's Christmas Fayre.
One of the sopranos sang "Edelweiss" as a solo, though Mr B and the other fellas all felt strongly that it would have been better sung by the Male Section. It was, after all, Captain Von Trapp's party piece, strumming away on his guitar for accompaniment so
sweetly that it melted his own heart as well as those of his children and, of course, Maria the Never To Be Nun.
Despite my concerns about the curtains and how long poor Maria must have stayed up into the
wee, small hours sewing them up into play-clothes, there is no doubt that The Sound of Music is a feel-good movie of the very highest order.
Am I feeling better? I hear you ask. Well not exactly, but give
The Von Trapp Family and I are working on it...