Working full time doesn’t half take up a lot of hours!!!
It’s been a long time since I last wrote but there have been some exciting events so I thought I’d do a quick summary.
One of the big ones was going to sing at a fund-raising ‘soiree’ in Catterline, near Aberdeen. I took the children up with me to stay with my in-laws, and they then stayed on the following week after I had come back home.
On the Friday evening I went off to a practice with a load of people I had never met before, and with long lost friend Nigel (I last saw him 35 years ago) who has never heard me sing before. I felt incredibly nervous – it made me realise how singing solo in Cumbria feels somewhat ‘safer’ as people have heard me several times now! Having had an active social life recently with quite a few late nights, a fair amount of alcohol and not always as much singing practice as I perhaps should, when my voice didn’t carry at all I felt awful and thought perhaps it had gone for good.
On the Saturday morning I went back down to Catterline, this time with Bella in tow. I ran through my solo items with the accompanist and – phew – found I could still sing. I think it was just that the stuff we were doing on the Friday evening was very low for my voice. Bella also got a small solo part for the evening and in fact proved to be (well, as far as her biased mother is concerned) the cute factor of the performance – she sang ‘The sun has gone to bed and so must I’ (from the Sound of Music song So Long, Goodbye) perfectly in tune and in the right place, and several people in the audience could be heard to go ‘ahhh…’ as Rona, one of the other performers, then picked up her and carried her ‘off stage’. I’m glad to say that my solos went OK too, especially O Mio Babbino Caro. And I got some lovely flowers, which Bella insisted on sharing with me.
My parents came up for several parts of the holiday and have proved very generous with time, energy and money. We went to eat out at Brampton’s best and my favourite restaurant, Capernaum, several times: in fact I sent my parents down there for a drink the first evening they arrived as the children had exhausted them by the time I got home from work! I also more recently had a birthday lunch in there, which was lovely – friends who hadn’t eaten there before all said they’d go back.
The big event I’m preparing for at the moment is singing at Capernaum on Friday 25th September, along with Deborah (Hewertson-Tisdall) and Ray Ducker (both of whom sing in Eight + 1 with me): and we have three accompanists – Jerry King, David Sutton and Martin Johnson. It should be a really good evening and as it’s already fully booked we’ve got another date in the diary for Friday 20th November.
Meanwhile choirs and so forth have all started up again – I start with Cumbria Opera on Monday; have solos at a Civic Gala Dinner on 1st October (which means I shan’t be able to eat much nor drink until after I’ve sung); and then Eight + 1 has its second concert in St. Cuthbert’s, Carlisle on 22nd October. I’m awaiting some info. from the Red Cross as funds from some of these events are going to go to their work with refugees in Italy and Greece – but they haven’t got back to me yet (if they don’t maybe I’ll switch to a different charity). The number of refugees fleeing the fighting in Syria is huge – it sounds as if about half the population of the country is either dead or fleeing. Obviously it’s always tear-jerking when you hear about a child dying: but my thoughts are also with the parents. They must be so desperate to leave their homes and risk their children’s lives – then to actually lose a child must make them wonder if life is worth living.
And on that note I’m going to go to have some lunch: I have an accompanist coming to my house in an hour for a practice for the 25th September event.