Jaqui's Daily Blog

Thursday 6th December

Mr B and I have spent much of the day singing. Such happy souls we are.


I expect you're thinking Christmas carols, aren't you? You are reckoning that I have reached such desperation stakes in my bid to tackle an Advent Adventure a day that I have resorted to forcing Mr B into carol singing around the neighbouring houses. A touch of the Good King Wenceslas, followed by a little bit of Holly and the Ivy, and finishing up with a rousing God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. That sort of thing.


Unless, of course, you have been following the Daily Blog closely, in which case you will know that tomorrow, at our Singing for Pleasure Choir session, Mr B and I will be singing, with enormous pleasure, a duet.  How much pleasure we will be giving is another matter altogether.


I have written six verses of Our Song which seems to be an adequate number, neither too few nor too many.  The Summer Holiday songs I compose with and for the grandchilden are ever so much longer because they have to recount, in verse, all the many holiday happenings. Invariably I don't sleep a wink on the night before the kids are due to go home, as I wrestle with the final verse or three.  The Choir Duet took its toll on me, too, as I spent every morning singing in the shower for the best part of a week trying to get the words to rhyme. There are some words, you know, for which there is no easy rhyme. Music is one. Piano is another. Rhythm is yet another. Despite knowing this, for some reason I still wanted to include these words in Our Song. I never learn.


But I persevered and the six verses have now been penned, for better or for worse. Today was all about practising and a fine old mess we got into. First of all there was the question of pitch. If we sang too high, then I ended up screeching like a barn owl. Too low and Mr B was growling away like a bear with a headache. Sonny and Cher we are decidedly not.  Next we had to agree on how fast / slowly we should sing.  Too fast and nobody would be able to hear the words (and marvel over my rhymes?) Too slow and we would risk sending everybody to sleep. Which would be a waste of all that time and effort, even though it might be a merciful release for our audience.


We took a quick break from our Singathon to join the rest of our Questers Group on a trip to the English Martyrs Church in Goring where a truly amazing artist has painted a two-thirds size copy of Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling in Rome on the church ceiling. People come from all over the country to marvel at his work but it was our first visit, despite having lived just round the corner for the best part of 28 years. Another tick on my list of Places I Should Have Visited Before But Never Have.


It took artist Gary Bevans five and a half years to paint his ceiling. Apparently when he started, having gained approval from a Cardinal, no less, he was warned that, once he'd started, he had to finish.  It was a true Labour of Love.


Mr B knows that Our Song has also been a Labour of Love, though clearly not in the same league as the church ceiling, bearing in mind my puny effort only took five and a half days in the making not five and half years. But, like Gary, the moment we open our mouths tomorrow morning there will be no opting out.  Whether we sing too high or too low, whether we sing too fast or too slow - we must finish what we have started.


Wish us luck!

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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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