Saturday, 22 November 2014

Singing and parking

Rose on trellis with grey skies behind
Peckover House, August 2014
I am saying 'yes' to too many things.

I like doing all the things I do at work and in the evenings and weekends.

My house is not as I want it to be.

I am clinging on by my fingertips, as always.

But do not worry, I am calm. It will be OK.

There has been a lot of activity, days and evenings, evidenced by lack of blog updating. Three lots of badminton, a finance meeting one evening and a choir practice this week. I wrote the rest of this blog post a week ago, and rather than hang on to it any longer, I might as well press 'Publish'. Mr A and I are about to head off on a trip south, so no time in the rest of the weekend either - perhaps there will be time for a report next week.

The choir is just one more thing. I like to sing, and around this time of year there are some great opportunities to belt out some top tunes. In the Trust newsletter there was a call for volunteers to form a scratch choir for the festive season including a couple of concerts, and all finished by mid-December. I've been thinking for a few years about singing in a carol service, so a couple of weeks ago I found myself in a draughty room with a few other similar minded people and an old keyboard.

The person who came up with the idea and who's leading the group (and who owns the keyboard) is a member of a different choir, but not its leader. All credit to her for giving it a go, but there are little frustrations that are utterly unimportant, but niggling. She described an arpeggio as a scale. She counts us in at a different tempo to that of the music. She has chosen some carols and managed to print the music for us, but they are set much too high so that anyone who isn't a proper soprano can't sing them.

She is encouraging us to sing the harmony parts (especially if we can't reach the high notes) but she doesn't read music particularly well so is having trouble picking out the parts on the keyboard (I haven't let on that I can play the piano). The rehearsals are alternating weekly between two locations, both almost impossible to find. But I like her, and I like her enterprise and enthusiasm and positivity and tenacity, and I am happy to give my support and encouragement. I am happy to participate in an enterprise where the quality will be pretty poor (my prediction after three out of five rehearsals) but it will be fun. And you never know, it might turn out much better than I expect. Things often do.

At work, the great news is that at last my parking campaign has succeeded, and the top management has arranged exactly what I would have wished, so that course participants can pay for parking for the four specific days of the course at £3.20 a day. I am getting better at delivering the patient education courses too, but clinics (where I see patients one-to-one) are very variable. Sometimes I get a run of people doing well who are happy and grateful; sometimes clinics are filled with people who find it all too difficult and aren't doing so well. Just recently, it's been more of the latter.

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