The Youngest of the Darling Daughters has sent me a text. "Disaster!" it reads.
The next few minutes are filled with dread as my imagination runs riot. I can think up
dozens of examples of disasters, each of them more unpleasantly scary than the last. This is the problem with having A Vivid Imagination.
Sometimes being able to conjure up something from nothing can be a
distinct advantage. Take long, boring train journeys for example. As terraced houses with long gardens backing on to the railway line flash past me, I love to imagine who lives in each one. Sometimes there are giveaway signs - a colourful kiddies' slide; a
football goal set defiantly on what might once have been a grassy lawn but is now a patch of mud; a couple of stripy deck chairs with their backs to the railway (inhabitants clearly in denial.)
I find it difficult
to watch a film, take in a play or read a book without imagining what is going to happen next. There are times when I reckon my Imaginings are (i) more exciting; (ii) less predictable; and / or (iii) more sensible. On such occasions I need to remind myself
that the author / playwright will definitely have had his or her own imagination in play and, let's face it, it is their film / book / play not mine.
Our choir conductor, the Redoubtable Muriel, is always
having to remind us that the composers of the many songs which make up our extensive repertoire (what we may lack in finesse, we more than make up for in melodious quantity) knew how they wanted their compositions to be sung. If that means curbing our imaginations
and singing the correct notes, rather than the ones we think are the right ones then that's what we should be Doing. Muriel, being fair-minded, does concede that if the song in question is one we have heard so many times that we are as certain as certain can
be that we have it right, it is much more difficult to correct ourselves. Occasionally she gives up the Unequal Struggle and allows us to sing it Our Way. I know a song about that....
I imagine, however, that
you want to know all about the disaster. Well it was, indeed, potentially, disastrous. Last night grand-daughter Hazel and her brother Jack took to the stage to perform in Joseph. You know, he of the technicolour dreamcoat. Jack was Joseph, Hazel the Narrator.
You probably don't even have to know much about the show to guess that these are Major Parts. From all accounts they were shining stars, as Mr B and I (proud and biased grandparents that we are) knew they would be.
Then early this morning Our Hazel woke up feeling really, really ill. It was hit and miss all day as to whether she would be well enough to take to the stage for Friday night's show. Her mother and brother decided to come down to ours as planned on
a flying visit to the dentist, leaving the Poorly One to the tender ministrations of her papa. I have to admit that my sausage casserole and apple pie and custard were not enough to take anybody's minds off the disaster playing out back home.
As they departed, dinner eaten, dentist visited, a text came through from the depths of the Poorly One's duvet: "Feeling genuinely worried now" was the plaintive cry. Oh dear, oh dear...
The news didn't seem to get any better. Our Girl has put everything into rehearsing for this performance, how could life be so cruel? "Any news?" I text, hopefully, at a little after six.
in!" the Youngest of the Darling Daughters replies, though she adds that, up until half an hour before, this had seemed a highly unlikely outcome, the Poorly One looking poorlier than ever.
I try to curb my
Imaginings. I concentrate on telling myself that, once you put Our Hazel on a stage, she always shines like the star she is. If anyone can pull this off it is Hazel. I just want to hear that everything went well; sitting here, miles away, not knowing what's
going on is No Fun At All.
Finally, the news I want to hear - the Friday evening performance has had the audience cheering once more. The Narrator has told the Joseph story with her customary brilliance and
nobody would have known that she spent the whole day cuddled up in a duvet feeling Sick as a Parrot.
Bravo, my Golden Girl, for fighting through it. The Show Must Go On - and thanks to you, it did.
You are, indeed, a Super Trouper...