Jaqui's Daily Blog

A Windy Miller, Bob the Builder and Singing for Pleasure

Last night was what the Middle of the Darling Daughters would call a “Windy Miller.”


It is noticeable that, since the M of the DDs gave birth two and a half months ago, she has suddenly remembered all the old nursery rhymes and silly songs which she learnt at her mother’s knee.  Or, perhaps,from Children’s TV in those days when it was limited to just a quarter of an hour’s Watch With Mother in the afternoon and Children's Hour before the Six o’clock News.  Being a Thoroughly Modern Mum, however, she is not averse to introducing new meanings – hence a gusty, windy day or night is now officially known as a “Windy Miller” after the character from Camberwick Green. If you are too young to remember Windy Miller first time round (yes, the Daily Blog is visited by readers of all ages from teens to too-old-to-mentions) then I suggest you try You Tube for a quick lesson in retro rhyme.


Getting back to the point, when we woke this morning it was to find that several fence panels between our back garden and next door’s had succumbed to last night’s “Windy Miller”. Mr B said our neighbours probably would not have realised the damage, given that they would have been off to work very early in the morning. He insisted on sticking a post–it note on their front door to advise them of the Panel Problem.


Now, as I am sure you all know, I would not change Mr B for anyone or anything. But when our next door neighbour arrived home mid-morning and explained that her fella had not only seen the damage but had already ordered the replacement panels and was preparing the ground for a quick repair – well, I must say I was impressed.  This begs the question: why marry a banker when you can marry a builder?


We couldn’t hang around to watch Bob the Builder (whose name is Brian, same as Mr B) mending the fence because this afternoon our Choir was performing In Concert for the Rustington Methodist Church’s Ladies Fellowship.  Apparently we have been performing for them once a year for several years and they keep inviting us back so we can’t be all that bad. At least we looked the part in our black skirt or trousers and bright red tops, clutching our red folders in which all our words and music were filed.


It was a surprisingly large audience waiting to hear us sing.  Before the start, our conductor, the Redoubtable Muriel, asked me to sit in the back row, on account of my height.  I could not help noticing, however, that the Choir Members she directed into the front row were as tall, if not taller than me. This led me to suspect that Muriel may have sussed out that I am not the Best Singer in the Class. I had hoped that the fact that I always put so much feeling into my singing might have been enough to guarantee me a front row seat, where I could smile / look soulful / sway jauntily from side to side as required by the songs we were singing. Sadly my musical antics are obviously Not Enough for the Front Row.


Being placed in the back row meant, at least, that I got to sit next to Mr B.  He never minds sitting in the back row, being altogether more modest than I and less inclined to smile / look soulful /sway jauntily to the music. But then, he also sings rather more tunefully than I do so he doesn’t need to resort to actions in quite the same way.


We started off with our Marching Song (“boom boom, boom!” sang Mr B, lustily,beside me) and moved (almost) seamlessly through Funiculi, Funicula (love it – always reminds me of Italian holidays!), I Want to be in America (we fluffed a line or two but you couldn’t fault our vim and vigour), Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves (my favourite but I think we lost it a bit half way through) and finishing strongly with a couple of songs from The Sound of Music and our musical finale. Even from the back row I could see that most of the audience were joining in with us – whether out of enjoyment or because they had taken pity on us, I’m not sure but I will take it that they were enjoying our singing.


Afterwards they treated us to tea and biscuits in the coffee lounge and were fulsome in their praise of our singing.  I think I can safely say that they were a kind and gentle audience.


One of the announcements made at the meeting concerned an absent friend's birthday. The Fellowship was sending her a birthday card, the Leader told the assembled group.  Now very frail and in a care home, the Birthday Girl would sadly not know that it was her birthday, she explained, “but of course we know.”


That summed them up, really, our caring, sharing audience.  It was a pleasure - and a privilege - to sing for them.

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Stephanie | Reply 15.05.2013 19:54

That's lovely, keep singing, smiling and swaying x

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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