I mentioned in a previous blog how much I enjoy being part of our local community and, wouldn’t you know it, another opportunity to get involved came up last night in the guise of a choir rehearsal. To be more precise, it was the first rehearsal of the group of local volunteers who will sing Dougie Maclean’s ‘The Things We Love’ in our nearby wee town when the Olympic Torch passes through on its ‘Around the Country in 70 Days’ trip.
As the chances of Yours Truly ever being involved in an Olympic sporting endeavour were never high in the first place and are rapidly decreasing with every passing year, I decided that I should at least exercise my vocal muscles in the Olympic spirit. So it was that DaughterNo2 (freshly back from Uni) and I pitched up at the local High School last night, full of musical vim and vigour. There we were greeted by our enthusiastic singing teacher, E, who didn’t look much older than DaughterNo2 and was almost certainly young enough to be the grandchild of the oldest lady in our group who had the distinguished aura of a church choir veteran.
There were just 10 of us in total – rather a poor turnout considering this is almost certainly a once-in-a-lifetime chance for GB citizens to take part in such an event. Nothing daunted, we warmed up by singing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”, and whilst our elder statesman choir member confessed to never having even heard of the song before, she was soon Wimoweying away wildly with the rest of us. Next we moved on to the actual Dougie Maclean song that we will be singing on the day, and as the great man himself apparently doesn’t read or write music (which came as a huge surprise to this lifelong fan!), we had to learn the melody by the good old-fashioned method whereby we listened to our teacher singing each line and then we sang it back to her (generally without too many warbling deviations!).
Song duly sorted, the next stop for DNo2 and Yours Truly was the hockey AstroTurf and, as if eager to sustain the Scottish music theme of our evening, the local pipe band were practising their marching on the adjacent rugby pitch. Have to say that it felt pretty darned cool to be playing hockey in the glorious evening sunshine, all the while being serenaded by a succession of traditional Scottish marches and reels.
And, unbelievably, the sunshine returned this morning (I scarcely dared open my curtains, convinced the weather worm was bound to have turned). Better than that: it beamed brightly all day. So, since we have no hosepipe bans in this normally soggy part of the universe, I actually watered the polytunnel tonight. The irony is that if you had told me during the storms and flooding last week that just seven days later I would have to water our poor thirsty plants, I’d have probably retorted something unprintable from under my souwester.
Equally if you had told me that while watering the polytunnel I would spot a tiny black (and obviously very new) lamb in our sheep paddock, I would have been fairly incredulous. Sooty is incredibly tiny (he’s a first lamb for one of our young ewes and, given the delay, we’d assumed she hadn’t taken the tup last autumn), but he is certainly twice as feisty as his delicate framework would suggest. Indeed his disobedient little legs were still all over the place, yet he was determinedly trying to “pronk” (animal speak for ‘leap into the air with all four feet off the ground at once’). If the sun shines again tomorrow, I may even do a bit of “pronking” myself!