Saturday, 9 November 2019

Singing Like a Bird............A Crow!

This week we  had the Mayor's Remembrance Service at St Mary's.  That was on Thursday evening and was reasonably well sung.

On Friday evening we had our normal choir practice plus an extra half-hour's run-through for our annual Chiltern Brewery Christmas Shop opening.  About 10 carols - some of which we knew!

Today (Saturday) we woke to freezing fog followed later by torrential rain  and made our bleary-eyed way to the village where the brewery shop was waiting to greet us like old friends.

We did a h alf hour stint went home for lunch and returned for a repeat of the programme at 2 pm.

There were only 6 of us but we did our best with our lovely Chris on her keyboard.  The sound was....well ....different.

This afternoon we had each tried a tiny thimble sized drop of one or two of the fabulous range of drinks they sell and it had improved our approach to the music if not our voices so much that we had quite a few compliments from customers.

With two services tomorrow, one in church and one in the market square we will know what to do if the sound is not as good as it should be.

Strange that don't you think?

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Life resumes

I know it's only just October but already we are beginning to sign up for the choir performances  in which we intend to take part.

So far, we haven't had any inkling as to just what we will be singing but our 'boss' needs to  know what potential is available.

The long boring months of summer are soon to be replaced by anticipation and a degree of excitement, as well as a lot of hard work.

Since mine is a fairly solitary existence most of the summer, there is the feeling of being taken out of the cupboard, dusted down and prepared for use once more - and I love it, and welcome it.

It hasn't been quite as bad as this sounds but nevertheless I can't help feeling as though the 'stop' button has been replaced with 'go'.

This evening's choir practice was just October's music but by the end of the month we should have at least some idea of what this Christmas has in store for us.

We have inevitably lost a couple of our youngest members to University but hope to recruit some more soon.  Unfortunately the two who have just left are both really good musicians and will be greatly missed.

These days we make a really good sound and need to keep recruiting good new members to replace the inevitable fall-out each season.

Unlike a village church where the choir if any, will be relatively stable, St Mary's is an urban church and the population is constantly changing.

The fact that it is also the County church of Buckinghamshire and a Grade 1 listed building leads to rather high expectations - not easy to meet.

At least the bats show their appreciation (at least I think that's what it means), by doing an occasional fly-past when we rehearse, accompanied by less welcome tokens of their 'approval'.

"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord", and if you can't, buy him/her some ear plugs.

Sunday, 11 August 2019


Today it is ten years since my husband John died.

Not all anniversaries are happy ones.

An ex neighbour, still a good friend is picking me up at 1.00 to take me to put flowers on his memorial stone and to clean up the blue granite so it sparkles again.

He loved blue, and his maternal grandfather came from Aberdeen, home of granite, so the stone was the best I could do.

As it is August, there is no choir for a month at St. M's and I do not sit in the congregation to take  part in a service where I can't sing.

This means no church until Sept.

Soe people find it odd that I choose to miss a whole month rather than attend what for me is not a 'proper' service.

It is after all the singing which is my personal approach to Christianity.

I miss the choir, I miss my other friends in the church and I miss John.

Mercifully Sarah my lovely ex-neighbour understands my skewed thinking and we will havbe a coffee and a good long catch-up chat after we have visited John.

Thank God for good neighbours, good friends and people who do not make judgements.

Friday, 26 July 2019

Quite a week

A week when temperatures in this dry neck of the woods have reached the sizzling level of 37 degrees.

After a few days of barely being able to move without being drenched in sweat, aware of smelling less than fragrant (even five minutes after a shower) and when trying and failing to cool my hot little house I am praying for rain and COOL.

How anyone can actually enjoy this sort of weather totally defeats me.

Add to that the acquisition of a new Prime Minister and cabinet with all that that implies and we have a page for the history books.

It has been a week for all the 'dark horses' to come galloping out of the shadows to joust for their places in the political circus.

The new ringmaster fills me with dread and fear for the future of this battered country.

Words have been spoken which might encourage hope in anyone less cynical than I, but, words are the easy part, what follows will decide our future position on the world stage as well as in our own country.

Boris and his Greek chorus have the unenviable task of seeing Brexit through to the end, with the risk of  leading us out of Europe without any form of agreement being reached.

It will be interesting (and terrifying) to see how the UK looks in November.

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Spoilt for choice

Justin case you thought I had stopped breathing (if you had noticed my absence that is), it is my diluted delight to inform you that my life has been so dull recently that it seemed ill-mannered to inflict the details on you.

Nevertheless, here I am again, still with nothing much to say but determined to say it anyway.

In this neck of the woods we have had no rain for so long that the gardens are crackling from their lack of moisture, added to  which the humidity is (for me anyway) frankly, Hell.

My gloom has been lifted by the amount of TV sport I have absorbed in the past couple of  weeks.

Never remotely interested in sport for the bulk of my 84 years, I have grown to love cricket, 6 nations rugby and Wimbledon more or less despite myself.

Having sung at a wedding at St. M's this morning I returned home in time to see the magnificent Womens' Final at Wimbledon, and tomorrow on my return from church I will have one eye on the Mens' Final and the other on the England/New Zealand World Cricket Final.

What on earth I will do on Monday I can't imagine.

Never has my "Old age" free TV licence seemed more valuable.

Sadly from next Summer I will have to pay for it.

Oh well, progress I suppose!

Will have to leave this non-report and go to water the garden.

Back again soonish (I'm afraid).

Saturday, 1 June 2019

Highly Recommended

Once again Prince Donald has opened his treasure chest of wisdom with some "advice" for the poor uninformed citizens of the UK.

"Boris" he trumpets, (pun intended), "would be a good choice for Prime Minister".

The sheer bloody impertinence of the man is breath-taking. 

Having established such a haven of peace, business acumen, successful inclusiveness on his own shores, he now feels he is in a good position to advise other, failing governments around the world on their best way forward.

Admiring, as I do, the excellent Mr Johnson, I can only hope that the recommendation and verbal support of this supreme orator will be sufficient to ensure that he never has the faintest chance of being voted into the top job.

Are we really not in such trouble already that we need 'help' from the Blond Buffoon to add to our political miseries?

I have some advice for you Donald.  Butt Out.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

........."On the other hand Lord"

Anyone who remembers "Fiddler on the roof " will recognise the title of this blog and the context.

The terminally undecided main character was always weighing opinions in the balance unable to decide  between them.

That is the story of my life.

Never more so than at present, when having just given up one more of my regular weekly voluntary positions, I find myself wondering if I should have gritted my teeth and carried on.

But, no, there is a time when we have to make up our minds how much of the time we have left should be spent doing things which we no longer enjoy and some of which are becoming chores rather than a pleasure.

Now I am down to just two activities per week at St. M's.  Wednesday 'meet and greet' and Fri and Sunday choir member.

I suppose at the age of 84 I should be content with such a limited amount of activity, yet i find myself wondering what I can now find to fill the time I will have to spare.

Although I no longer do any real gardening and have someone once a fortnight to try to hold back the advancing army of weeds etc. I still potter a little and can never make up my mind whether to be pleased about rain (ruining my lovely tree peony, pictured above), but feeding and replenishing all the drought stricken other shrubs.

Likewise putting out yet more peanuts, bird seed and suet feed-balls for the birds, I detest seeing the evil little squirrels getting the lion's share and at the same time am glad that they at least are not a vanishing species.

Watching the antics of the worlds' politicians as well as our own home-grown ones, statement and counter  statement, arguement and counter argument claim and denials I feel as though there are no absolute certainties, no total truths, no one particular viewpoint which undeniably the right one.

It seems that the older I become, the less certain I am of anything, so that if I live to be truly ancient I will by then no nothing at all.

Is it time I fell off the twig?