My Dad used to live next to a bit of common land where a gorgeous flock of white geese used to hang out. The day before half of them were slaughtered for christmas tables, they all went really really spookily quiet. They stopped cackling all day and just stood stock still…they knew their fate before it happened. Poor old geese.

This post is dedicated to all the teachers who have just finished term. Have a lovely break…And for all those people who wish they had the same holidays as teachers…..think again! It is no holiday as most teachers by now are completely burned out and will need a week sitting in a dark room under a duvet to get some strength back from all the giving out they have done. Sadly the chances of doing that are far removed at christmas…so my heart goes out, with my six geese to the full-time teachers!

And teachers on their first day of holidays spare a thought for the self-employed as I shall be spending 10 hours away from home today…most of it beside the pitch as MK dons leading 200 Milton Kenyans in song! Hope it does not get too cold. And one little gripe today regarding the Gareth Malone…I wish he would stop being billed as a choirmaster…if he is a choir master, that makes me a choir mistress…yuk. Can you call yourself a choral director pleeeeeeeeeeeezx.

Up at my idea of the crack of dawn…you can say that in the winter and it is actually true! Got on a train to Milton Keynes . Met at the station by  the lovely BST. and delivered to the Stables Theatre for a practice for our  Mk Half-Time choir next weekend at the MK Dons v. Preston game. We had a good turn out and got through the piece…… sounding great!

Have a really quick listen …about 20 seconds  of bits of the medley recorded on  my tiny little camera. ( I am loving the snow effect on wordpress at the moment, everything just seems a little bit more festive) Had time for a giggle and a cup of tea too. There are still some more people who are just listening to the downloads and registering to come on the day for a rehearsal in the stadium and singing in the half time slot. What a lovely bunch of people, and what a great way of getting some locals together, as folks  are coming from all the local choirs from the rock, gospel, community and other choirs around….plus a few people who are not in a singing group at all, and just fancy trying singing in a big group!

The session flew by and before I knew it I was back in Euston. Time to do me blog for the day, have a swift snooze (drat I missed that window) before MBG coming over for a quick practice as we are doing a little friendly set at a local party, two guitars and voice, mostly covers. Two other sets of locals playing too. Then I shall spend Sunday mostly doing very little!

Oh  yes…quick update on the state of Christmas Cake number one…eaten only by Mr P….no sharing as yet.

SONG OF THE DAY – Then Came You

Bishopsgate Singers ( Dionne Warwick and the Detroit Spinners)

first time singing this  on Monday…lovely!

… but sometimes it feels like one. I think I am having a sort of diary-ish sort of time, and that is ok. Here  I sit, accompanied by the drilling of  the TV presenter’s new basement being built and the humming of my computer speaker, still wondering about doing a blog everyday for 2011. It has been an extraordinary process. Some days I have absolutely no idea what I am going to write, and if I think of the amount of hours I have spent over the last 11 months,  correcting my dreadful spelling, well it is staggering and amazing. So some pictures and musings from yesterday, which was another action packed day in then life of. I went to Edgware in the morning and got back on an empty train, again. It did not stay that way  for long, and by about Colindale it was half full. A man felt the need to make me take my shopping off the seat next to me so he could sit right up close, although there were loads of empty areas in the carriage, and then promptly put all his luggage on the empty seat next to him and  got his smelly fish paste sandwiches out, at which point I took a little stroll down the carriage with my big rucksack and shopping bags. There are some strange people about…..

I went home, cooked a large lamb stew, which should have lasted for a couple of days, but somehow got completely polished off by the end of the evening. I took a train to Bletchley to look at the MK Dons football stadium, in the dark, which was fun. This is where the  Milton Keynes Half-Time Choir (still time to join!) will be  singing so I  had a little yodel in the empty stadium, and saw where our allotted seats were…. I then went to  The Community Centre in Wolverton, which is part of Milton Keynes, but  an older part of town where they used to build trains, to have a practice with some of the lovely people who are going to sing in the stadium. We had a practice last week and this week, to break the ice of the piece which is a 4 part acapella medley of  ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone, and All You Need is Love” …it is going to be great, and I have done practice downloads so people can still join the project and listen to the downloads from the The Stables website. The songs sound a lot better with a massed choir than just me singing them as a practice piece. They sounded amazing last night, I can’t wait to hear them all together on the 10th December. I got a late train back the Euston and saw this train in the station and thought how much fun it would be to go on the sleeper and end up in Scotland in the morning.

A funny moment on the tube on the way home. I had tried to phone Mr P. on my way home and got no reply on either the home line or the mobile, and I started to worry and  my vivid imagination concocted a scenario of me finding  him dead at the  bottom of a ladder or something as mundane ( vivid imagination can be useful but deeply tragic sometimes). I started to descend a downward slope, thinking about how I am having to get used to being an old lady, as my face has moved south so quickly over the last little while that I hardly recognise myself, and now would also be partnerless.  I sat there surrounded by a full tube of people almost in tears, when a young black man at the other end of the carriage started shouting at me. He was wearing his jaunty pork pie hat and  I recognised him, as he spends most of his life smiling outside the local shop with a guitar in one hand and possibly a can of beer in his other. He suddenly shouted down the carriage at me ‘hey you in the hat!…do you like Bob Marley?’ I nodded and at that moment  got off the tube (it was my stop) I walked along the carriage toward where he was standing  at his open door and he said to me something along the lines of that phrase…’if I was a few years would be the girl for me, but I am on the rebound at the moment’ and the doors shut… it made me howl with laughter as he must be 15 years younger than me and I am feeling 15 years older than I am… I know he is a bit mad..nice mad, possibly a bit blinded by my funky hat. It was just a really funny little thing to happen when I was sitting on the tube, in my mind gearing myself up to  being a widow and behaving with  the appropriate grace I feel I should have when I lose Mr P. …talk about changing the mood…….

I got out of the tube, rang home again and Mr P. had reappeared as if by magic. Ha ha . He’d been to the local pub to meet his new ‘Green’ Friends and forgot his mobile…..

SONG OF THE DAY I Shot the Sheriff -Bob Marley

Live at the Rainbow -major regret in my life is that I never got to this venue that I have walked past thousands of time…since its closure. And major regret that I never saw Bob Marley live…what a magnificent man and what a band! A little quote from Wiki ” Marley faced questions about his own racial identity throughout his life. Although Marley recognised his mixed ancestry, throughout his life and because of his beliefs, he self-identified as a black African He once reflected:

I don’t have prejudice against meself. My father was a white and my mother was black. Them call me half-caste or whatever. Me don’t dip on nobody’s side. Me don’t dip on the black man’s side nor the white man’s side. Me dip on God’s side, the one who create me and cause me to come from black and white’

His fathers roots where from Essex which makes me very happy to think that I could also be blood related to Bob. Long shot I know but …would that not be so cool? So Cool…yes

A heartily good choral day. Yesterday I ran 3 singing sessions. 90 primary schoolers learning carols, the school choir 4-8 year olds and the first session of the Milton Keynes Half-Time Choir which was a triumph! There is a little boy in the  school choir who is about 5, and always asks me if I can open his snack wrapper before  we start choir, yesterday he looked at me twice and told me how nice I was looking. That sort of tickled me, that a little boy would notice that I was looking nice, and that I was actually looking any different than usual. The  school choir is doing good ( better than my grammar). There are some great little singers, one who sings so loud, particularly the words at the end of each line. There are three  4 year old children who are the most well behave children I have ever met, and sit through a whole hour of rehearsal without a twitch or a wiggle or any type of signs of distraction at all. There is another child  who in full glorious voice always finishes each line about 5 words before anyone else. I did make a whimsical joke about them winning the prize for finishing the song first and the child came up at the end of the practice to pick up their prize…ooops!

I was a bit nervous about the  Milton Keynes Half-Time Choir, but it was a brilliant session!  There is still time to join the project as there is another rehearsal 1, next Thursday. About 55 singers from MK and the area turned up and we learned most of the piece we are going to sing in glorious acapella 4 part harmony, at  half-time on the 17th Dec at the MK stadium. We are learning the piece by ear and there are practice tracks on the Stables website to listen to in between.

Anyway, it is dear Mr P’s birthday today, so might be having a little trot round somewhere nice in our fair city, or we might just stay at home and put the heating on. Happy Birthday Mr. P. x x x x x x x x x x x

SONG OF THE DAY- Light My Fire -The Doors

On my train journey home from Milton Keynes I got into the tube at Euston and there was a cool, alternative,  hip looking young lady sitting about 5 seats away from me, reading her  large hard back book, donning her wide leg wool trousers, converse trainers,   constantly tousling the bleached blonde blonde short mop over her eyes, and listening to her ‘personal ‘ stereo which as we know is not…check out my blog on apple speaker-headphones. Suddenly I recognized the track. I stood up and wooped. ” I win the prize! I name that track! The Doors, Light my Fire”. Alternative hip girl did not notice, as her headphones were so loud, but the other 3 blokes in the carriage, fortunately found the outbursts of a middle aged woman,  funny, and one said how reassuring it was to be able to hear other people’s music choices rather than just the ts ts ts ts of the hi hat or just the blinking bass, and what a good organ sound it was on the track. Ha ha. Yes very nice organ. Talking of hip, I wonder if Mr. Mojo Risin’ (anagram of Jim Morrison – I never knew that …) was still alive today, and had lost all his hair and put on 30lbs  whether hip altenative young things would still be listening to him….I do hope so.