It has been an extraordinary month…lots of stories to tell, but not all today. What with the theatre vocal coaching, jazz and rock summer schools, gigs, singing servicemen               ( Eh! Luigi! whereas my spaghetti), the glut of  trombone players in my life, Olympics I do not really know where to begin.  As a footnote and  complete diversion to any logical narrative flow I should warn any Mrs Worthingtons that If you want your daughter to make it in the music business, do not get her a trombone. Get her to learn the bass guitar, as that seems to be the missing instrument in the band these days.

But first of all, let us start with today. Needed a walk as spent too much time cooped up in a train yesterday so we did a circular walk to London Zoo and back,  about a five mile round trip. So had a quick look in Walden Books and the fabbiest arts and craft shop near the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm called Slanchogled which is Bulgarian for sunflower.

Noticed by chance that the Roundhouse has a BEACH! that’s me on the stool in the  red trollies) sand  deck chairs, a screen to watch the Olympics and table tennis. They also have a happy hour with double cocktails ( I only had ice-cream..honest!) at a later time in the day…we were there in the morning when it was mostly kids. Managed to get a quick game of ping pong in before kids started drooling over the table in an orderly queue for a game after us. All very  urban Brazilian, with the railway and the blocks of flats.

Quick pop into the zoo to check the pelicans were thriving, and then a cuppa and a large sugar free flapjack in le cafe du coin in Prince of Wales road before we walked back home. Right . Better do last minute preparation for a day of Singing in Harmony at the Bishopsgate Institue tomorrow….not too late to join us.

SONG OF THE DAY – The Love I Lost…Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes.

If all goes well we might be singing this in 4 part acapella harmony tomorrow. Gamble and Huff…great songwriter…a real piece of musical history.

One of the nicest things about the singing days I am invited to lead is most organise ‘lunch to share’. Now how does this work you may ask? Very well, as is happens. I always have this slight trepidation that every one will bring humous, and I have to say, I have been to workshops in the dim and distant past where yes, there has been a plethora of plastic pots of humous and mountains of french sticks on the long table clothed  trestle table. I think seasoned workshop attendees have,  over the years  realised this just won’t cut the mustard and  many people are much more adventurous with their contributions to the  lunch table. This weekend the spread at the vegetarian school ( yes there is such a thing) included home made  risottos, samosa, falafals, a multitude of colourful salads and fruit dishes,  breads and crackers of all persuasions, home made cakes of all shapes and sizes, and even a bit of humous to boot! Last weekend  in a non vegetarian village hall the lunch to share was as varied and delicious. Often people are really good about putting little labels with their dishes so people know exactly what they are letting themselves in for….fantastic!

One last story of the vegetarian school, the venue for the singing workshop got moved at the last minute, so there was a  lady  attending the workshop who was a bit miffed as she had bought all the ingredients for a mighty fine fish salad only to be told that we had moved to a vegetarian school! Ah well, her family will be well fed.

SONG OF THE DAY – JOsie ( live) -Steely Dan

I am still totally a DAN fan ….I must go and see the Nearly Dans…a tribute band. The bass man in this  live version is so on it and the backing vocals are mighty fine, they  fade out on the intro of Deacon Blues…mmmmmm

Oh I do like this cartoon one of my tenors GA sent me. He drew it after last month’s singing adventure by the sea in  Wales  organised by the marvellous Roxane Smith.  We were a mixed bag of singers from  all parts of Wales, Lancaster, Exmoor, London and other exotic places.

It was billed as a weekend of ‘pop,’ led by ‘yours truly’. A very small handful of people seemed a bit shocked that we were singing pop and not gregorian chants…strange – possibly not read the small print. Some great new friendships were made…some were not…ha ha. That’s me in the middle, waving my arms about, trying to be in charge, drawn to a ‘T’… with my regulation check shirt on…( note to all arm wavers, check and tartan are good patterns to wear – disguising  buckets of sweat in their multitude of colours and stripes. ) GA has possibly gone for a  little exaggeration in the ‘swooning’ of the sopranos over the basses, but there was a little going on, one particular bass  nearly got kidnapped and taken to Lancaster.

SONG OF THE DAY   Viva La Vida -Coldplay

We learned and  sung this in 4 part acapella during the weekend. For some reason a couple of men, closer to the age of Coldplay, took a dislike to this song. When I went back to London and I told a bunch of kids of about 8 and 9 olds from an inner city school that some people did not like this song, they were disgusted! How could anyone dislike ‘Viva La Vida!’? Ah!!!!

So 2 versions today. The original( 99 million hits on youtube!!) and the other by PS22, a bunch of fantastic inner city kids   in New York ( nearly 3 million hits)…well worth watching both as it gives you a focus on the song…..which is, in my humble opinion a great piece of writing.

Mr P. took this picture on Saturday night on a beach in Wales. There is extemporary close harmony singing going on around this fire, with the waves crashing in the very close proximity. Fireworks happened..yippee!…I sadly missed the sparklers as I had to retire to my bed so I was bright and breezy enough to run another whole day of singing on the Sunday. Stayed in a youth hostel riight by the sea, so could hear the waves all night…lovely.The 5 hour train journey each way was quite a chore though…I am seriously clocking up some public transport miles this term……Image

Right …..back to the marvellous metropolis.