Thursday, 6 December 2012

You've got to try these things. I think!

One thing that I've learned in my ** years is that there are still plenty new things to experience. This can be a good thing and a not so good thing! Last weekend was certainly an example of this.

On Friday night Woapa, the singing group I'm part of, were asked to perform at the turning on of the lights in Witney. We were to sing after David Cameron, the Prime Minister, turned on the lights. We were lined up waiting to go on as he passed with his entourage. Unfortunately things did not go as planned. Apparently Mr Cameron was boo'ed as he spoke and there was a woman who tried to climb the barrier waving a banner in protest. From my vantage point I saw her being pinned to the ground by a couple of policemen, but not before she punched an unsuspecting bystander in the face! Now I'm all for free speech but I don't think that an occasion like this is either the right time or place! Families had turned up for a lovely, festive celebration. There were children present so any sympathy the protester had hoped to gain was not forthcoming.

There was also a little incident as when Mr Cameron pressed the plunger to switch on the lights, nothing happened! Fortunately, one of the choir members was standing beside the correct switch and with quick thinking, pressed the button and voilá, the lights went on. Then it was the turn of the choir. We were all really nervous, yet excited. The adults made their way into the space in front of the stage as the children were to be on the stage, since they would be dancing, while the adults sang. The crowd was immense! The main street had been closed to traffic and there was a sea of bodies pressed up against the security barriers in front of the choir, stretching to the shops on the other side of the road. The atmosphere was electric. We proceeded to sing 4 christmas songs from the charity cd we had made, with the crowd joining in and rewarding us with rapturous applause when we were finished. It was an amazing experience and one that I won't forget in a hurry.

Then came Sunday! My hubby and I had bought tickets to go to an Ice Music concert to be held in the barn at Cogges. A young percussionist was promising to entertain us with 'ethereal sounds and serious music' with instruments made from blocks of ice brought from the Jostedalbreen glacier in Norway. Earlier that afternoon I had gone along to Cogges to feed the cats as usual and one of the other volunteers had introduced me to one of the group as the 'cat lady'.

After an early dinner we made our way to Cogges dressed up like Nanook of the North as we had been warned that it would be cold. They couldn't heat the barn as the instruments would melt. We were very curious but quite looking forward to this unique experience. Well; what can I say? What followed was in my and my hubby's opinion one of the worst experiences of our lives. To begin with, the musician, (I use the term loosely), tapped a block of ice with 2 drum sticks made of ice, occasionally speaking into the ice in a language similar to the one Harry Potter used when speaking to snakes. After a few minutes his female companion started singing a kind of 'do do do' in a high pitched voice. Thus the evening went on, with him producing blocks of ice with which to make noises that didn't sound very musical to me! The 'piece de resistance' however was when he produced the 'horn like' instrument in the picture above and proceeded to make sounds which I can only describe as resembling a whale breaking wind.

By this time I was apoplectic with laughter! My shoulders were heaving as I desperately tried to contain my mirth.When the interval arrived, my hubby and I looked at each other and agreed to make a quick exit. Unfortunately on the way out the lady that I'd been introduced to earlier greeted me saying " Ah cat lady, what did you think?". " It was certainly different!" I replied as we hastily headed for the exit.

When asked the next day by a friend to describe it, I replied that it was like being in a dentist's chair for 40 minutes in the depths of Winter with no heating! I later found out that it was apparently deemed to be a great success and that everyone else had thought that it was wonderful! I can only surmise that ,either they were all tone deaf or, like the Emperor's New Clothes, no one wanted to be the first to tell the truth and appear to be unsophisticated or something- lol! Perhaps I'm just a Philistine. but one thing's for sure, I won't be travelling to Geilo in Norway to watch the Ice Music Festival that happens there each year!

So who knew what a contrasting weekend that it would be! Fortunately I had Strictly Come Dancing to enjoy on Saturday night to help me chill out and relax. Trying out new experiences is all a part of what makes life so special. Some you enjoy, others; not so much. But not to at least 'give it a go' would be such a waste.

This coming weekend Cogges is having its Christmas Market. Santa will be there. There is going to be a production of Peter Pan in the barn and Woapa are singing Christmas songs again. I know that I'll enjoy this. We all have our preferences and that is one of the things that makes us, as a species, so interesting. So whatever your doing this weekend, I hope you'll be having fun. I know I will!

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