The Youngest of the Darling Daughters has joined a Rock Choir. I am pleased on two counts: (i) because she is doing something just for herself for once and (ii) because now we will have another topic of conversation as
we exchange Choir-Related anecdotes.
My choir is not what anyone would call a "Rock" choir. All our members have, like me, reached what Young Faris would term A Great Age and while we are not as sedate as
that would imply, we don't exactly rock. Especially given the compact size of the hall where we meet which is more given to swaying from side to side. Gently.
It was my first day back at choir today after
the long Summer break. Sessions actually started last week but Mr B ( with me in loyal attendance) had an inconveniently-timed appointment at the GP surgery. Apparently I didn't miss much as last week's session was chaotic according to my friend Sue (as in
Sue 1, not to be muddled up with Sue 2 who sits next to Sue 1, who in turn sits next to me - are you keeping up? I could draw a seating plan if that would be helpful?) I was curious to know exactly why it was so chaotic. It seems we have lots of new members
which made Myra's task of checking names and collecting fifty pences from everyone so much more, well, testing. As a result the session was twenty minutes late in getting underway. The natives were getting restless which was not surprising. By the time they
had been taken through their vocal exercises there was little time left for the pleasure of singing along.
Certainly it was noticeable this morning that the ranks of the alto section (or "failed sopranos"
as I call us) have been mightily swelled by newcomers who may well, I say hastily, be proper altos, rather than failed sopranos. We filled up three whole rows - in the past we have been lucky if we numbered five of us all told. Sue 1 said last week we had
to form a fourth row. Fancy that!
There have been changes to the hall, too, over the Summer with the addition of barres - not as in bars at the windows, you understand, but barres for aspiring ballet dancers
to cling onto while they are executing their plies, ronde de jambes and battlement tendus. No, please don't ask me to explain - the only ballet movements I remember from my Darling Daughters' early ballet lessons are "good toes, naughty toes."
My friend Ann joined the alto section last week - but this week she forsook our ranks and returned to the safe haven of the sopranos. I wasn't there last week, of course, so it can't have been anything I said. Maybe she felt
a little intimidated by the proximity of the dominant male section - even without Mr B, who stayed home today, they were in Full Voice.
I quite like sitting so near the fellas because they keep up a running,
somewhat irreverent commentary on proceedings. Example: "How many of you would describe yourselves as tenors?" our esteemed conductor, the Redoubtable Muriel asked them. "More like fivers," was the response. Okay, it doesn't sound so funny, written down like
that, but it made me laugh. And you should have heard the comments about "wanton wiles" as we sang Haste Ye Nymphs. Those of delicate dispositions would have felt the need to block their ears.
the cafe was crowded with members of the Bacon Bap Brigade. There was such a lot to catch up on. Because today was the World's Biggest Coffee Morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, there were delicious cup cakes, rich fruit cakes and squishy cream cakes
on sale as well as the usual bacon baps, vegetable smoothies and cheese scones. I bought a cheese scone to take home to Mr B. Never let it be said that I do not Think About His Stomach as well as mine.
was mourning the passing of her dog. She has his ashes on her mantelpiece and has left instructions that when she joins him in the Great Dog-Walking Pastures of Heaven, her ashes should be mixed with those of her beloved pooch and scattered on the South Downs.
I was sad for her. I was, however, happy for Roland and Shirley who are off on holiday to Dubrovnik. In Mr B's absence, I told them the story he would have told them, had he been with us, of our magic moment walking the walls of the Beautiful City, when at
midday one church bell after another chimed in glorious harmony. It was a Shivers Down The Spine Moment.
I would have lots to tell Mr B, I contemplated as I munched on my bacon bap. But the best was yet to
come. The Redoubtable Muriel, fresh from a conversation with the Centre Manager, came to tell us that, if we would be prepared to change our start time from 10 a.m. to 11.45 a.m. then we could move into the Main Hall, with its high ceiling and vastly better
acoustics. We would have room enough no matter how large our alto section became. The idea seemed to win approval all round. Mr B will like it because he won't have to rise so early. I will like it because we will be able to meet for coffee beforehand and
for lunch afterwards. I told the manager of the cafe about the possible change of plan. She seemed happier than almost everybody. Funny, that.
There's nothing like singing to raise the spirits, whether you're
with a Rock Choir or a Sway From Side to Side Choir.
If we make it into the Main Hall we, too, will be rocking....