After next week, my Friday mornings are going to be a lot less, well, musical.
It has been decided that our Singing for Pleasure Choir will take a slightly longer Summer
Break than usual to allow our conductor, the Redoubtable Muriel, to recover from recent health set-backs. She is still her Redoubtable Self, you will be pleased to hear, but in her 93rd year you can't blame her for taking time to recuperate fully. It would
be churlish of me, in the extreme, to object - but, oh dear, how I will miss belting out "Lullaby of Broadway" or sweetly interpreting in music (and in my own inimitable fashion) that nightingale singing away in Berkeley Square!
The Bacon Bap Brigade is still going to meet up in the community café some Friday mornings. The fella who runs the café turned a lighter shade of pale when he heard the news about our long Summer Break - he relies on us, you see, to swell
the Friday coffers - so we acted swiftly to reassure him of our continued patronage and need for sustenance. Though without the discipline of a 10 a.m. start, some of us (that'll be me, then) may well forget where we are supposed to be. If I were him, I would
cut back on his usual order for sliced bacon and granary baps, just for the duration.
We do, however, have to rehearse for our performance at the U3A Open Day in July so a Practice Session has been pencilled
into the diary for one Friday in July. Muriel suggests we could sing the same programme as we did at the Strawberry Tea as she thinks we will be performing to a different audience - but, of course, it will be more or less the same people listening into our
Warblings. The Redoubtable One is going to have second thoughts which will doubtless be communicated to us in due course.
Someone complains that our red files are bulging with so many song sheets that they
are becoming impossibly heavy. The files, that is, not the song sheets. Would it not be sensible if our conductor could inform us each week what we would be singing at the next session? That way we could do some advance preparation and only bring with us the
music we need, week by week. The Redoubtable Muriel retorts that, at her Great Age, she finds it easier to live one day at a time, rather than look too much into the future. Besides, she says with irrefutable logic, it will do our muscles good to be tested
by the weight of our red files. You can tell, can't you, that our Esteemed Leader, like the Iron Lady, was not for turning this morning.
All my friends want to hear about the Golden Wedding so I proudly produce
my IPad (which, surprise, surprise, I just happen to have with me, tucked safely in my Birchgrove Primary School tote bag with my red file and bottle of Aqua Pura) and play them the clip of the four eldest grandchildren singing "Already Home." As expected,
everyone comments on how talented they are, how amazingly, how beautifully they all sing. As also expected, nobody says that they have obviously inherited their musical prowess, their tunefulness, their effortless harmonising from their grandmother i.e. me.
You can almost see them all silently wondering how one such as I, who hides away second row back in the alto section, unable to reach either the high notes or the low notes, could possibly have four such musically talented grandchildren. I say, proudly, that
the choice of song was mine, all mine. Nobody seems to think that this counts.
Back home I tell Mr B all about my morning. His day, thus far, has been less eventful than mine, unless you count the excitement
of a reminder from Specsavers that I need to have my eyes tested. He says he used to have a good voice himself and reminds me how grand-daughter Hazel once asked him to sing a duet with him at a Limelight Theatre Group party. They sang "You'll Never Walk Alone"
and it was, it is true, rather moving. I reflect on the fact that nobody has ever invited me to join them in a duet. Mr B, loyally, refrains from commenting.
our prolonged Summer Break, I shall not give up on Singing for Pleasure. I shall just have to trill along all on my own. I shall sing as if nobody is listening.
Believe me, it will be all the better for them...