Friday, April 07, 2006

Magic moments!

After my burst of bad temper last night, perhaps it's just as well that I'm taking today and tomorrow off as far as possible, to just be a mummy. I was in danger of missing my children altogether as their Easter holiday ends just 2 days after Easter, which means that there's little point in the traditional clergy break then. TeenWonder has spent most of the week playing with computers (as he is wont to do) and a new wireless aerial arrived this morning, enabling him to use my existing one for the laptop...Only the new one has a shorter flex, and, as my study is a former garage (don't I know it on wintery days?-concrete floors remain chill even with double layer of carpetting) it's crucial that the aerial is in the right place or thick walls prevent any signal at all.So today we've moved furniture and computers round and round the room, only to end up where we started. In the process, some of the piles of paper spread across the floor have been glared at, one or two dealt with properly and some declared that's all good, though not exciting.
I've never quite got this study right, possibly because I was so particularly fond of the ex-hayloft I used at our old house, but it is definitely better when it's tidy and there are fresh flowers on the dresser.
So I'm feeling a bit better, and ready to play "thanks for the memory" courtesy of Songbird's "Friday Five"

Whether it was on Broadway or at your neighborhood elementary school, name five experiences of the performing arts that have touched or tickled you.

1. This is a composite memory...each Good Friday, from the age of 6, my father took me to hear the local choral society perform Messiah. I adored going out with my father,- felt deliciously grown up and special,- but was never quite sure whether this was a concert or an act of worship. Good Friday in those days was definitely different from other days of the year; it felt wrong to play outside, we would certainly only eat fish, and the whole area felt deeply quiet somehow. Yet, against this was the glorious excitement of Going Out in the evening to our local theatre...the glamour of performers in evening dress...that focussed silence as the conductor raised his baton. It felt more intensely devotional than anything that happened at that time in our rather fussy and traditional Anglo Catholic church. I was utterly enthralled, - and so excited when we reached the Hallelujah chorus, the audience rose and my father produced a score from his pocket so I could sing too. Wonderful.

2. Let's fast forward...hard to choose just one of so many wonderful moments during my student career...There was the open air "Salad Days", a May Week production in our last year at Cambridge, its frothy unreality summing up our own experience
"And if I start looking behind me
And begin retracing my tracks
I'll remind you to remind me
We said we'd never look back"

3. Or the thrill of singing Monteverdi Vespers in Kings Chapel at the end of my first term...realising the level of excellence that I was invited to be part of.

4. Or the moonlit magic of the Minack Theatre in Cornwall, where I spent 3 summers rehearsing and performing Gilbert and Sullivan operetta.

5. But that means this has to be my last choice...On my 40th birthday, for the first time in 20 years,I found myself playing the cello again, in the back desk of the orchestra that was accompanying an amazing production of Britten's Noye's Fludde in beautiful Burford Church. All 3 of my children were on stage, DarlingDaughter singing Mrs Sem quite beautifully (allowing for considerable maternal bias, the Oxford Times rated her too!) and as we reached the final chorus, for performers and audience, and joined in Tallis' Canon, I realised that actually 40 was deeply OK. Indeed, I could have (though I fear this will sound melodramatic) have died then and there and been perfectly happy.

I could have written about so many more...but these were special and I loved them..


Sally said...

Wonderful thanks for sharing...

John H said...

Has TeenWonder discovered the delights of building reflectors from tinfoil yet? You can buy such things ( but it's more fun to go a bit Blue Peter and make your own ;)