When I arrived at the Heene Community Centre this morning for my Singing for Pleasure choir session, I thought I had turned up at the wrong place for a minute. All the chairs had been set out in a completely different
order, facing in a completely different direction. However Myra was still sitting at her table, just inside the door, hand held out to collect my 50p and there was the smiling face of my friend Sue, pointing to the seat beside her which she had saved for me.
Okay, so it was in the front row which is not where we usually sit, preferring to blend into the background in the second row back, but it was definitely a Seat Meant For Me.
I wouldn’t have been surprised at all had I turned up in the wrong place as I had not had the best start to the day. I had travelled some way from home, for example, before I realised that I had been so occupied with remembering to take letters
for posting, a carrier bag for shopping and my mobile phone for emergencies that I completely forgot the bag containing my red singing file which was still hanging on the hall cupboard door where I left it after last week’s session. “It’s
only me!” I reassured Mr B, as I let myself back into the house - just in case he might have suspected me of being a burglar, don’t you know? He seemed surprisingly unsurprised, to be honest, but perhaps he knows to expect the unexpected where
I am concerned.
Obviously this detour home made me late so I had to drive round and round looking for somewhere to park before settling on a place which I must
have passed at least twice before on my rounds. I arrived in a rush, just before the start, to see the new layout of chairs which was clearly not completely to the approval of our esteemed conductor, the Redoubtable Muriel.
Perhaps because we all knew Muriel would take some convincing, we all sang our little hearts out this morning. The new layout brought us all closer together which meant that we sounded very much more
tuneful. By the end of the session, even Muriel went as far as to say that we had sounded more like a choir and less like a mere singing group. This was progress indeed.
So what did I think about the new layout, I hear you ask? Well, maybe one or two of you did, those who care one way or the other. This is not a criticism of those of you who frankly would not be bothered how our chairs were set out, because I completely
understand that the Daily Blog does indulge, from time to time (okay, make that regularly) in Random Ramblings of no consequence whatsoever.
Anyway, I did feel
a little naked, sitting in the front row - in a vocal, not a sartorial sense, you understand. But I particularly liked the fact that I could not see the clock from where I was sitting. It meant I didn’t have it on my mind all the time that time was ticking
by, bringing the close of singing ever closer and wishing time would stand still for a little while.
We were fewer in number today because of a Questers
Quarterly Meeting going on at the same time. As I couldn’t be in two places at once, I opted for choir as I had a doctor’s appointment which I could manage so long as I left the Heene in plenty of time. I only mention this because there could be
an issue if all 40 members of the choir turned up another week and some found themselves sitting eight rows back.
In the new layout, as well as not finding myself
clock watching, I also could not gaze, in between songs, at the rather sweet paintings of seaside scenes which remind me of my Foursome when they were littl’uns. However there was a great view out of a side window where new leaves were clothing a tree
in green, while still showing off its structure. This thought had been put into my head by Muriel herself, who is a One Woman Nature Lesson with a particular emphasis on All Things Arboricultural.
We sang songs in which women were named: Sally, aka The Girl I Left Behind Me; Lilli Marlene of lamp-post fame; and L’il Liza Jane. I wonder who she was, that Liza Jane and where she came from? Muriel mused aloud. I
couldn’t help drawing attention to the fact that we knew where she lived, according to verse 2, a place where roses grew and chickens came to the kitchen door...
We sang Uncle Tom Cobleigh, with gusto, and it reminded me of Mr B, when he was still able to come to choir, and used to bellow out the names of Uncle Tom’s mates, saving his greatest relish for ‘Arry ‘Awke of course. And we sang the
Song of Peace, Finlandia, which I love for its recognition that, just as we feel patriotic about our country, others feel the same way about theirs.
off with a well-known ABBA song. Muriel says we always sing this song the way we think it should be sung, rather than the way the sheet music dictates and she may well be right. Be that as it may, it was a fine way to finish off our morning session of Singing
Thank you for the music!