Wednesday, December 14, 2005

En Route to Birmingham

So here I am sitting on the coach to Birmingham and, for the first time this week, have time to compose a post. This week has largely revolved around work and choir. We’ve been home to sleep, but that’s about it. I’m starting work at 8:30am this week and it looks like I won’t get home before 11pm for at least the first three days – probably more like 1am tonight!

Monday I was rather wary of at work, as there was potential for there being a personnel issue I’d have to deal with, but in the end it turned into a non-incident and I was able to relax again. There was the regular Monday night rehearsal, with the added twist that we were rehearsing with the band for the first time and it was the ‘dress rehearsal.’ I was expecting us to be inspected on our costumers, as is the usually case, but we weren’t, so I hope that the non-standard stuff that people were wearing doesn’t show up in the dressing rooms tonight when it’s too late for them to be changed!

The rehearsal itself went fairly well, although ‘Freedom’ is still a mess. I know the words, I just can’t remember them fast enough on stage (it’s a very fast-paced number.) I think I need to run through them a few more times so they are more instinctive and I can sing them without thinking. I was also a bit worried that some of the choreography that I’d been fine with at earlier rehearsals suddenly seemed to be escaping me. Eek!

On the good side, the next morning Charlie, our Musical Director, sent round an email telling us that one of the more wordy folk carols was being dropped. Partly for ‘balance’ reasons (i.e. the first half had too many miserable songs in it and not enough Christmas cheer) and partly for words (i.e. a fair number of people didn’t know the third and fourth verses!) Still, no loss as far as I’m concerned.

Tuesday was quite a short day at work as we had our team’s Christmas lunch. We left the office at 12:30 and didn’t get back until gone 4pm. We had a lovely meal (the tenderest venison I think I’ve ever tasted!) at the Institute of Civil Engineers restaurant on Great Geroge Street in Westminster. Afterwards we went onto a pub were Sid bought us all a drink and relaxed for a further hour before heading back to the office. It turned out that nothing much had happened while we’d been gone, so we shuffled papers around our desks and generally didn’t work too hard until it was time to go home. Or in my case go to another rehearsal…

I was feeling a bit ropey as a result of the heavy meal and wine, so having a defective train on the line between me and the rehearsal venue didn’t improve my mood. Still I got there in plenty of time and managed to scoff a bagel and a pastry before we started work. Tonight we didn’t have the band (or the costume) but we did have Rula, who seems to be enjoying working with us more and more as the rehearsals go on. It was another full run of the show tonight, although we were only topping and tailing numbers and spending more time on the links, choreography and words where they needed addressing.

Unfortunately the slight sore throat I’ve been nursing for a couple of days matured into the beginnings of a real cold and, having gone in feeling ‘a bit ropey’ I came out feeling like death warmed-up. I even had to step out of one of the more energetic numbers as I feared I may collapse.

A good night’s sleep cleared my head, but still left me feeling pretty worn. In the end I decided going into work for the sake of half a day was a bad idea and simply slept. (After having chivvied Brett into doing housework and going out to buy stuff to give my parents tonight! The man is a hero!)

At about 11:30 I got up and started heading into town to join a hundred of my closest friends who were taking the coach up to Birmingham. More train problems meant that the 30-minute journey became nearer an hour, so I had little time to eat before we were due to depart. In the end it didn’t matter though, as the coach was half-an-hour late…

So here I sit squeezed into one of those seats designed for an average person from the 1950’s (which is when I believe was the last time they updated the ‘average person’ dimensions used by people who build planes, trains and automobiles!)

Am fairly relaxed and feeling reasonably with it. I should be up to giving a creditable performance tonight, even if it flattens me for the rest of the week.

Maybe more later.

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