Jaqui's Daily Blog

My Sojourn in a Winter Wonderland

Considering how few preparations I have made so far for Christmas, you may be surprised to hear  just how much wandering I am doing in a Winter Wonderland. 


 When I think how worried I get when I have to drive in wintry weather (“I really, really wish I could still drive...” complains Mr B who used to take a snowy road as a personal challenge) why on earth am I dreaming of a White Christmas and invoking the weather forecast to let it snow?


Why am I, who doesn’t even like nuts, verbally salivating over chestnuts roasting on an open fire and castigating reindeer for their unfair treatment of the Red Nosed One?  This, in my view, is tantamount to bullying and should lead, if not to exclusion, then at the very least to a ban on the Partaking of Carrots.


It’s all down to the fact that our Singing for Pleasure choir has been booked (loosely speaking) for three Christmas events and it has fallen to me to (i) draw up the programme; (ii) liaise with those who have asked us to sing; (iii) time our performance to ensure we sing for long enough, but not too long; and (iv) create a PowerPoint presentation to assist in a sing-along-a-carols at a Christmas party. I have taken an executive decision not to refer to these as “concerts”, instead calling them “appearances.” As in, now you see us, now you don’t? as somebody asked.


Our first “appearance” is in the communal lounge at a block of flats where one of our members lives. Apparently there will be mince pies and sherry. My stomach, of which, as you well know, I Am Always Thinking, was not at all happy to learn that I will not actually be present on this occasion as I will have disappeared for a long weekend with the Youngest of the Darling Daughters. I am confident the choir will not miss my vocal efforts.


The following day, our choir will be singing at the Heene Community Centre’s Christmas Fair. We will be first on, after the Mayor has declared the event officially open. We will wear our uniform of red tops and black shirts or trousers - at choir yesterday morning, I struggled with untwisting my tongue and announced we would be wearing red tops and black shorts, thereby provoking hoots of derision from the male section. I know, from experience, that we are not required so much to perform as to provide a pleasant Christmassy atmosphere in the background as people swarm around the stalls set out around the hall, laden with festive fare. We will also be competing with the sound of excited littl’uns queueing up to visit Father Christmas in his grotto. When I say “we”, I am not being strictly accurate as, once again, I will be notable by my absence (see above for my excuse / reason.)


I will, however, be with the choir for our third “appearance” at the Worthing U3A Christmas Party where, once again, we will be kicking off proceedings by leading a festive sing-a-long. As we will be singing for our supper, we have all been given free tickets, thereby saving us £2 each. Every little helps, they say. 


We are under strict instructions not to sing for longer than twenty minutes in order to make time for all the other excitements on the afternoon agenda, including quizzes and (note-worthy as far as My Stomach is concerned) food. Hence at yesterday’s choir session, while everyone else was warbling merrily (on high) I was timing the songs on my mobile phone. On our first run through we were a little short, so it was decided that we should sing the first four songs through twice. There was a resounding cheer at the end when I announced that our amended programme had lasted 17 minutes and 46.04 seconds. 


 The PowerPoint presentation was, I have to admit, my idea. What on Earth was I thinking about? It’s a good few years since I prepared such a presentation and, to make matters worse, I’m not sure where I will find the program on my aged laptop which I tend not to use these days since Mr B bought our first Us Pad. Amazingly, it all came back to me but I am now left hoping that there will be somebody Technologically Expert on the scene to click through the slides so that I can, at least, sing. In my fashion, in my way.


I am receiving daily emails from choir members querying dates and times, saying they don’t have the words to Rudolph, and does it matter if they wear a deep pink top instead of red. Morag, our lovely pianist, says she is sure I will be glad when it is all over. 


And yet - well, it’s my first taste of Christmas 2019. I need to make the most of it and not worry about anything. What will be, will be. It will be alright on the night. Please feel free to add your own cliché as preferred.


Me? I’ll just keep on wandering in my Winter Wonderland...

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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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