The main character in the children’s book “Wonder” declares that everyone should enjoy the experience of a standing ovation at least once in their life.
Well, it wasn’t exactly a standing ovation I received from members of my Singing for Pleasure choir this morning - many have reached a Great Age making leaping spontaneously to their feet a trifle hazardous - but it
was certainly a seated ovation. What a truly splendid welcome!
I had been so very determined to make this, the last meeting of the choir before Christmas. Had
not Sue (my friend and partner in crime as joint leaders of SFP) and I spent many pleasurable moments in each other’s company planning a Christmas Celebration to mark our first end of term in (sort of) charge. We had enlisted to our cause Kevin, who
runs the café at the community centre where we meet. He was, if anything, even more excited at the idea of supplying Christmas Nibbles for us songbirds than we were. Nor, in case it had crossed your mind, was
it the thought of profit which excited him - we actually had to suggest increasing his proposed payment per head because it simply didn’t sound enough to us. I guess he must enjoy listening to us, singing away every Friday morning, our assembled voices
floating, mostly tunefully, throughout the centre.
So, come 10 a.m. this morning, Sue’s lovely fella Roger picked me up to transport me in style to the community
centre. In the foyer I carefully divested myself of my coat, replaced my “Robot Sling” (as the Trio of Rampaging Rascals call it) and walked into the Shelley Room to rapturous applause. Well, rapturous may be over-egging it but it’s how it
sounded to me.
By happenstance, we sang several of my favourite songs from our extensive repertoire, including Funiculi, Funicula - which always reminds me of
long-ago holidays in Italy - and Spread a Little Happiness which I like to think of as my “theme song.” Somewhat ridiculously, given the whole point of the song, as clearly explained in its title, the singing of this brought treacherous tears to
my foolish eyes. I can only imagine it was thinking I hadn’t, on certain occasions over the last three weeks, lived up to the advice:”Even when the darkest clouds are in the sky / you mustn’t sigh and you mustn’t cry / just spread a
little happiness as you go by. Please try!” Oh, dear, I was so very trying!
You will be relieved to hear that my Teary Moment didn’t last long - I
dried up very quickly, as soon as we started singing about figgy pudding. There is nothing sentimental about figgy pudding. Among the other Christmas favourites we trilled was the Gloucestershire Wassail Song which Sue and I agree is just about the strangest
of seasonal songs, introducing, for example, the concept of “Dobbin’s left cheek” and how it would make a great pie. No, I don’t really understand it either...
After an hour of singing, Kevin and his Café staff arrived bearing plates of Christmas nibbles, flasks of tea and coffee, flutes and “fizz”, all set out on snowy tablecloths artfully - and speedily - decorated with
festive poinsettias. We knew it must have appeared a Festive Feast when people started taking photographs of the sumptuous spread. Kevin - you did us proud! We rearranged our chairs into a big circle, everyone chatted to everyone else. Several members kindly
kept me supplied with cups of coffee and plates of food, recognising my inability to juggle both one-armed.
Due to (totally foreseen) circumstances, there won’t
be as many such celebrations for me as usual this year - though next week I am doubly determined, after today, that our Nomination Whist crowd will enjoy an afternoon of festive fun. I haven’t been able, sadly, to prepare the customary end-of-term Scores
on the Doors, with prizes for Best Average, Most Improved and Highest Score but strangely no Whist players seem too upset about this.
This morning was, however,
a special occasion, everything I wanted it to be.
Between us Sue and I - not forgetting the Inimitable Kevin - definitely managed to Spread a Little Christmas
I am all a-glow...