I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

It's called a contretemps

My first cold since I started learning to sing. I stood at V's front door explaining why she should mark me absent, as much for her as me. Can’t have her getting the sniffles. Trouble is my colds often get chesty and that lasts two months.
Went home and deleted two vocal recordings I'd just posted on Tone Deaf (Abschied, Tom Bowling). Being mildly bereft I reckoned both to be sub-standard.
The morning was thus blank. I felt like a skier who'd traversed a narrow, bare-boned, forest gallery and emerged on to a sunny boulevard piste, a hundred meters wide, well compacted and at a gentle angle. Only to be told to walk down, carrying my skis! Worse than bereft.
I reflect on lessons. The mood is now one of conviction; it’s something I need to do. Like breathing.
V's compliments are terser, her solutions self-revelatory. I’m presumed to be score competent which is hard but flattering. These days V leads me sneakily by the back door to the answers. Then stands with her palms turned outwards: meaning, you knew you could do it, you old silly. Alarmed I realise I’m no longer a novice.
But light-years from my destination; if I get there it’ll be by merit. If merit's lacking I'll become a non-singer. And non-singers outnumber singers a thousand to one. Non-singers belong to a club with no subscriptions, no rules, no kudos and no benefits. Where one judges one’s self for membership. I'll know, oh yes, I'll know.

Priritin to stop dribbling; Night Nurse for the sledge-hammer at bedtime. Then Day Nurse. No music there.
NOTE: The pic is a chicken biriani by VR. It looked like a crusted jewel and it was the best she’s ever done. Might it be a symbol, an augury...?


  1. Bonne santé, en vitesse! Even if it's a croak, maybe you can sing your way out of the cold. Old folk remedy: clove of garlic mashed up with honey, taken with tea or any warm drink.

  2. Nathalie: Ever since I started taking lessons, I ceased singing for pleasure, per se. These days the pleasure comes from improved performance. A cold puts a brake on performance; not only that, but singing with a cold rapidly becomes painful. I must find diversions elsewhere - giving to the poor, comforting the elderly (ie, people younger than me), reading difficult books, reflecting on how I went wrong and why so often.

    As to your nostrum my problem lies with the cold virus, not attacks by vampires.

  3. They say chicken soup is Jewish penicillin, chicken biriani may be some kind of Kentish amoxyllin equivalent. Sounds like an excellent prescription to me.

  4. Wait, you TOOK DOWN the recordings? I was just coming here to finally listen. Drat! But get better soon, OK? Gargle with salt water, hot as you can stand. That's the New England remedy. Though my voice teacher swore by her neti-pot.

  5. I have found that I only get colds very infrequently since I stopped (even part-time) work and ceased to mix with the great pool of humanity - especially school teachers/employees, who were my main source of bread and butter (and germs). But there is no "cure" and only slight alleviation with evening possets of hot milk into which is dissolved honey and whiskey.

    Your body will get over it in its own time, I guess, RR. But meanwhile you have my sympathy - especially as it precludes the singing which has been such a source of enjoyment for you.

  6. Do not take down recordings! Isn't that forbidden?

    My friend who often sings with the Glimmerglass Opera swears by fenugreek tea--good for sore throats and upper respiratory problems, very popular with people who have strained their voices.

  7. Lucy: Chicken soup (especially the Jewish sort) would take at least twelve hours to prepare. All that suffering first. Instead I took pills from the medicine cabinet above the loo in the downstairs toilet, being careful as always to close the loo lid first.

    Beth: Seems I've committed a musical solecism. But heck, if you saw an error in the text of a post you'd correct it, wouldn't you? In fact the recording I deleted had been replaced three or four times already with what I fondly imagined to be improvements but, alas, time after time I was to discover the huge difference between the song you hear as you sing and the discouraging playback from the computer. Listening to the playback while suffering from a cold put me into an even more critical mood and I reached for the Delete key.

    Avus: Colds are horrible but transient. With me, what they leave behind is an agitated state of bronchiectasis in my lungs, causing coughing that can last for a couple of months. It remains to be seen whether this state can co-exist with singing lessons.

    Marly: You too! (See Beth, above). My problem is not so much the cold but the after-effects (See my re-comment to Avus). The bronchiectasis diagnosis emerged following a quite lengthy series of tests at the hospital. Knowing my problem seemed to be beneficial and this was my first cold since the tests, a couple of years ago. Ironically it has coincided with the singing lessons (and associated elation) as if some vindictive deity was punishing me for hubris. And for avoiding myths.

  8. Get well soon--we want recordings!

  9. Nothing to do with vampires. Garlic has respectable, proven, credentials for its anti-bacterial, anti-biotic etc. benefits. Don't take my word for it, see this, among many other links: