Tag Archives: choir

radiators and drains

It’s only six days into 2020 but you know what? It’ s already better than the whole of 2019 was. I think this year is going to be a good one.

Last weekend I got two really lovely compliments, totally unexpected and one was a bit of a sideways one but I’ll take it. You take your compliments where you can when you get to my age.

Let me tell you the story of last weekend.

On Saturday Lashes and I attended a choir workshop. We were singing songs from Les Miserables, one of our favourite shows, we can almost perform the whole show between us as we know it so well. It was advertised months ago and we have been counting down the days and practically wishing Christmas to be cancelled, we were looking forward to it so much. Anyway, Christmas came and went and the big day was upon us.

A couple of hundred people from all over the south west came to sing, it was very emotional and we had a thoroughly good time. Well, I did. Lashes defected from altos for the day to join the sopranos so we could sit together. That was a whole new singing experience for her. She’s used to singing the tune not embellishing the edges with stardust haha.

During the course of the day there was much chatting, giggling, new friendships were made, old ones renewed and everyone was united in their love of singing. The atmosphere was lovely. While I was chatting to one woman we know she asked about our plans for the future. “Well, if we ever sell Boofuls Towers Boofuls will retire but I’ll be looking for a job.”

“WHAT? A job? Work for me. I want you! I’ll wait. Choose your own hours.”

“I’ve never worked with kids before. Not disabled kids anyway. I am a qualified teacher though so I suppose I could muddle through.”

WHAAAAT?!? YOU’RE A TEACHER? Why didn’t I know this? I need you. Please, please come and work for me. You don’t need experience, you just need a big heart and yours is,” spreading her arms wide, “this big.”

Wow. It’s nice to be wanted. What a lovely compliment. I was quite emotional, especially since this woman is one I admire very much. Praise from her is praise indeed. She doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

The journey home from the workshop was a half hour or so drive. Lashes and I chatted, and listened to the recordings of the day that she’d made on her phone. Then conversation turned to a woman we know.

I commented to Lashes that I always felt drained after I’d been in her company. I found her very negative and needy and I tended to avoid her.

Lashes said, “That’s because she’s a drain. People are either radiators and make you feel warm and cosy or drains. She’s a drain. That’s why you feel drained around her, it’s because she drains you.”

Hhhmmm. I pondered this for a while. After such a rubbish year last year I wondered if I had become a drain.

“Am I a drain?”

“Drain? You? Are you kidding? You’re the biggest, stupidest, overfilled, fizzing out all over the place, bloody irritating radiator ever.”

Hahaaaa. I’ll take that. Thanks.

Eric Whitacre Virtual Choir

Some months ago my friend told me about Eric Whitacre’s virtual choir. I remembered seeing it a couple of years earlier and being fascinated by the concept of totally unconnected people all over the world joining together to sing.

Obviously, I had to go and have a look online and I was blown away by what I saw and heard. Of all the various virtual choir performances I watched I enjoyed Lux Aurumque the best. It is hauntingly beautiful and I was totally immersed in the music and by the faces of the singers from all over the world. Treat yourself and go and have a listen.

My friend, I’ll call her Susan because that’s her name, told me that she was going to upload a video of herself singing.  She has an amazing voice and I can well understand how she would want to be part of it.

Then she encouraged me to do the same. “No. I can’t do that. People will hear me screeching. It’ll be awful.”  Then she kindly pointed out that no one would hear my actual voice as it was a blend of all the voices together that created the unique sound.

Imagine. A choir of over 8000 people. Ok, actually I can imagine that as I cast my mind back to the proms in the park and 11,000 choir members from all over the country singing together. But this was different. This wasn’t a crowd belting out a song with gusto,  dancing, laughing and generally partying. This was grown up, serious singing.

Anyway, after much dithering I decided to go and have a look at the website, read the instructions and then *cringe* film myself singing the words…notes. There aren’t any words, it’s  just notes. Anyway, after redoing it many times, until the dog’s ears were bleeding from listening to me, in fact, I uploaded it to the virtual choir website and then forgot about it until this week.

And here it is, the finished product. The images in it are stunning. The music is ethereal and beautiful and if you listen really carefully you can hear me screeching in the background. Enjoy.


Sing it loud, sing it long!

We had a few of the choir round for a ‘practice’ last night.

You know me well enough now that when I say practice you know I mean drunken singing.

The plan, as we had a quitetish weekend at Boofuls Towers Lodging Emporium was to have a bbq with a few choir friends. Of course the weather didn’t play ball so we ended up inside. Quite fortuitous really as rather than have the bbq we planned we managed to use up the box of Indian buffet items that have been logging up the freezer for months. Everyone brought a few snacks and we quite the international buffet going on with bhajis, pakoras, nachos, sausages, pizza and various other items.

It’s amazing really, guests never, ever come into the bar during the day. Ever.

Yesterday of course was different.  The German couple who had just arrived decided to come down for a mid afternoon drink. They walked into the bar and instantly worked out that there was a private party going on. Their faces were a picture but it was too late to back out, they were there. We tried to make them feel welcome but it was a bit difficult as they spoke very little English. Try explaining the English delicacy of mushy peas to a person who hardly speaks English. They practically necked their drinks in one and cleared off.  I did feel sorry for them but I was glad when they left.

Equilibrium, banter and hilarity were restored until, bugger me, the guests from room 1 decided to come into the bar! WHAT?  How do these people know we are having some down time? They must have a bloody alert implanted in them, you know, the one that goes off when we are about to eat our evening meal, go out, go to the loo or have some time with friends. The one that makes guests instantly become demanding and needy of our company? You couldn’t make it up, it works like magic. Every. Single. Time.

At least the second lot spoke the language and even decided to have a go on the karaoke, they were good fun but they too cleared off after one drink.

Anyway, the afternoon turned into evening and then late into the night. The singing became more raucous as the day wore on. What a hoot.

Some of our hotelier friends are envious of the fact that we have friends who aren’t hoteliers. Personally, I think that is vital. Can you imagine what it would be like if all we ever had to talk about was occupancy rates compared to last year, gossip about other hoteliers or the merits of various laundries? My eyes are glazing over at the thought of it.

As I’m typing this it has reminded me that recently someone has commented to me that I tend to compartmentalise various sections of my life. I keep personal, hotelier, choir and other sections of my life as separate as possible and really don’t like them to cross over if I can avoid it.

It’s not a new thing, I have always kept various sections of my life separate. Difficult to do when you work from home and harder still ow we own a B&B but I try my best. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? What are your thoughts on the subject?

Doorstop bereavin’

It’s no secret that we love living in south Devon. Now its autumn and we have a bit more time on our hands we’ve been getting out a bit more.  One thing I’ve noticed on our travels is that so many of the business names are so similar.

Salt Rock, Rock Salt, Rock Fish, Salt Water, Wierd Fish, On the Rocks, all names that have been carefully picked to conjure up images of the coast, the seaside, fresh fish, fantastic food, holidays, sailing and generally how good life is on the coast.

Trouble is they are all so similar that they all run together in my mind.

Can I recommend a good restaurant? Yeah. Try Rock Water er….I mean Salty Fish Water.  Eh? Oh no.  I mean Weird Cod Rocks. Or do I mean Rock Fish Balls or maybe Water Salt?

Come on guys. Come up with something a bit more memorable!


Did I mention that Lashes and I have joined a choir? No? Wow! You must be the only people in the world who don’t know.

We are LOVING it.

One of the songs we are learning at the moment is ‘Don’t Stop Believin’.  Every week about fifty of us traipse up to the local village hall to warble away like little (and not so little ) rocking songbirds.

One of the choir members is a really lovely Chines lady who just beams all the way through the evening. She’s a delight to be around. Or so I thought. She sits in the alto section where Lashes sits. I sit in the soprano section so I’m never really near her when she’s singing.

Last week as we left the choir lashes glowered at me and announced that she wouldn’t be sitting near the Chinese woman again.

“She puts me right off.”
“Why’s that then? I thought she was lovely.”
“She is but her accent is so strong and her voice so loud I can’t tune her out.”

It turns out that this lovely lady booms out her own version of the lyrics:

‘Doorstop bereavin…hode on to a fee-ee-eeri-i-i-n’
street rife peepoh…ohhhhh-ohhh-OOHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!…

Strangers waitin’ up a’ dow’ a’ bourevar..shadows searching i’ a’ niiiiiiigh’

Bless her, I liked her even more when I discovered this.  I’m not going to be sitting near her anytine soon though.

Just as a Saturday treat, here is the original  version:

Virtual Choir

I found this while I was blog surfing and waiting for my one o’clock appointment to show up (1,30 now – still no show).
Composer/conductor Eric Whitacre has created a virtual choir. He videotaped himself conducting, then asked singers to record themselves singing and  then send it on to him. He then merged their voices and videos electronically. The end result is the amazing recording above – 185 singers making exquisitely beautiful music together.

You can be part of Whitacre’s next virtual choir performance – no auditions are necessary, according to info on his facebook page, where he states he wants to compose an original piece and assemble a choir of hundreds, even thousands.  Watch for the announcement, either on his facebook or youtube pages, then make and send in your recording.

Source:  The Blog that Ate Manhattan

See what you think. It made go all gosebumpy.