Forgot to blog!

My mind was occupied by various things today. Mostly pain from Sciatica or something similar. I tried doing yoga in bed a few nights ago and pulled something in my lower back so I’ve been trying to rest it and it has got a little bit better. I did go to choir but wasn’t happy standing up to sing. Very annoying. Any art on the way? No just trying to delete some photos as my phone is 90% full!

Singing trip

We are just back from a day out to the Black lion at Consall forge near Cheddleton, Staffordshire. It was a singing social. A group from our choir decided to take a minibus and just enjoy the day. We saw the steam train that runs through the valley, people kayaking on the river next to the railway. Walked over the canal that also runs along the valley below the pub and lots of singing, under a gazebo at the pub and also in the minibus. More photos to follow, but I had a bad night’s sleep again, so I’m going to have a nap!

They played jazz

At the three counties open. There was a small group of musicians playing gentle music. I think it was jazz. They were in a corner, just taking up a small space by one of the doors. Three hundred or so people milled past them, looking at pictures, photos, paintings. The band played on. I don’t think any of them were hit by out flung elbows, but it was a lucky escape! As the evening progressed more people arrived. The ‘one glass of wine’ policy seemed to be relaxed. Two hundred and more unmasked people mingled and breathed on each other… And I felt worried and anxious. I’d forgotten to take a mask. I was like a baby taking my first steps… Very nervous.

Whistle

I used to whistle a lot when I first started working, usually because I was happy. Then someone said to me ‘a whistling woman and a crowing hen brings the devil right out of his den!’, they didn’t think whistling was ladylike.

I didn’t whistle much at work after that. But I had a tune that I would whistle to call in our cats and have used it ever since we started keeping them. It’s a short tune, but I think it gives them an idea of where I am. It also is high pitched so that it cuts through the traffic noise instead of shouting which can get jumbled up with other voices.

I kept whistling the tune when one of our cats went missing. I didn’t know if he could hear me but I hoped he knew I was calling him. After eight days he came back, very thin and ill, but I think the whistling helped him know he was wanted.

Certainly most of my cats listen to my whistle and come when called. Only one ignored it. She would come to the back door then ignore me. As if to say, you are not my mistress! I’ve found one of them will jump up on my lap when I whistle and another gives a loud purr-miaow when I whistle at him.

Whistling is a challenge. I like trying to recreate bits of classical music, like the flight of the bumblebee or old hymns. As I just tried that the cat lying down on my right lifted his head, went purr-miaow and went back to sleep again!

Sunday entertainment

Today only

Animal Apocalypse, a musical look at the plight of our planet. It should be very moving and thought provoking.

Bethesda Chapel, Albion Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. A methodist Chapel that is being restored to its former glory.

Today at 3pm. 3.7.2022 Tickets through Eventbrite or by donation at the door.

Featuring words, music and poems. With Sean O’Callaghan and the Clay Chorus. Devised by Robert of Etruria and Gred Stephens. Choir leader Kate Barfield.

We have been rehearsing for this for several weeks now. It’s come together really well, with the choir learning harmonies to some new and old songs, and the readings touching on the statistics of environmental issues together with classic poems and words. Should be a good event.

A long day…

Gardening, Yoga, Choir practice

All in one day!

Poppies to pot

Marigolds and lobelia

Plants bought needed tending.

Then oh!

Blissful Yoga

But with stretches

The Cobra and Sphinx

That have made my legs ache.

Finally, singing

Bunting still hanging

Samoan and Maori

English, fragrent and flowery.

So much in a few hours.

A good rest?

That will be best

X

Been out singing!

The two choirs I’m in were both out for performances today. First Loud Mouth Women (seen here in a sketch from 2019), and then Clay Chorus, a mixed choir for Soprano, Tenor, Alto and Bass.

Louds sang by the Guildhall in Newcastle under Lyme. We were outside singing at the artesan market.. We sang a mixture of languages to represent the Commonwealth. These included Maori and English. Including Wahine MA and Frejaro Ma Revee.

From Newcastle I went to Penkhull. We were due to sing outside the village church but it was too wet so we sang inside the village hall. Clay chorus sang six songs spanning the reign of Queen Elizabeth the Second. The room was packed with people holding an indoor picnic. We sang and other groups entertained with Rap music and dancing and drama. I’m thoroughly tired out now!

Hand cranked music

Using a handle, the owner of this small but pretty organ was playing at the Etruria Canal festival today. The birds on to of the organ sang and whistled too. They could work independently of the organ and it was good to hear their beautiful sound.

I think the mechanism must drive bellows that sends air down the different pipes of the organ. I didn’t look at the mechanism but it probably runs on cardboard/wood slats with holes and slots cut into them to hold the organ stops open for different lengths of time in order to play music. Presumably the music changes speed depending on how fast the handle is spun round.

Portraits

Sketch of the choir I’m in from 2019, when we could meet up in person and sing. We have got back together after a period of trying to learn songs over Zoom. Not easy, you can only copy the choir leader, not sing together. If you try everything is out of sequence. Now we are back together and learning choral pieces. Proper three and four part harmonies. We even have new members joining us. Just have to remember to do a lateral flow test before we meet.