Jaqui's Daily Blog

Fame is a Face on a Tea Towel

Fame! Apparently it can enable us to live forever. Or, some say, we can all enjoy a rather more modest fifteen minutes of it.


I will get to the point shortly (I usually do - sometimes it takes me longer than other times) but for the moment I will concentrate on the moment I entered the hall at Heene Community Centre where our choir meets every Friday morning for an hour and a quarter exercising our vocal chords. I was carrying, as usual, my Choir Bag which is decorated with charming self-portraits of the reception class at Birchgrove Primary School in Cardiff “where every child is a star.” Sam, Eldest of my (Not So Very Little) Welsh Boys, is featured on my Choir Bag though, being now a pupil at senior school, he won’t thank me for drawing attention to his drawing of himself at the age of five, sweet though it undoubtedly is.


Lots of schools find the production of tea towels, shopping bags and the like a very useful way of raising much needed school funds. I have been the grateful recipient of many such items, including a kind of stocking for the storage of carrier bags which bears a portrait of my oldest grandson. When I tell you he has now reached the Great Age of 21, you will realise the sheer longevity of these precious gifts.


I can never bring myself to use the many decorated tea towels I have been given over the years as I can’t bear the thought of drying my saucepans on a beloved grandchild’s sweet face so these are all kept as pristine souvenirs. My Choir Bag, however, has seen many years of use, while whenever I head out to the shops these days I take with me a bag on which (if you study every face carefully) you will find Faris the Rascal. It is quite superbly capacious. The bag, the bag - not my Rascal’s face.


In my Choir Bag you will find my red file containing all the songs we sing - we have an extensive repertoire, many of the songs bringing back memories of school-days. Some say that we should sing more modern songs but I rather like the Trip Down Memory Lane each Friday morning.


We have a new member of the choir! Even better, she has the most beautiful voice. Best of all, she is sitting with us, in the Alto (aka Failed Sopranos) Section, even though, by rights, she should be seated over the other side of the hall, among the True Songbirds. Our conductor, the Redoubtable Muriel, can’t quite believe her ears - she keeps looking over at us, clearly wondering from whence the wonderful sound is coming. My friend Sue and I beam back at her; no longer will our conductor be able to shake her head and despair of the fact that we don’t seem to be able to sing with conviction. We have a Secret Weapon and we are determined to keep her.


In a couple of weeks time we will be without both our conductor and our pianist - it seemed we might have to miss a few sessions. Then to the rescue came one of our members who thought she might be able to tinkle the ivories though she didn’t want to actually lead the session. Rashly I suggested that we could work as a team - she could play the piano and I would play at being Muriel. Not that I would be able to lead us in our vocal exercises, you understand, or do any conducting. This would be (i) difficult with my Recovering Shoulder; (ii) an act of pretentiousness on my part; and (iii) likely to cause great confusion all round. Especially to me.


What I was going to say, before I interrupted myself, was that on my way in, a choir member nabbed me to comment on my Choir Bag. I was about to point proudly to the self portrait of my grandson when she trumped me. She had a similar bag, she told me - but hers included a portrait of herself! She had worked in a particular school and one of the pupils had captured her forever on canvas.


And I was thinking - those tea towels, shopping bags, carrier bag holders, they last forever, don’t they? The grateful recipients, usually loving grandparents, would never, ever throw them out. 


Fame is your face on a tea towel - captured forever.

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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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