The curtains open. I’m ready to sing and dance my heart out. I feel rough but I couldn’t miss this even if I was dying. I’m standing next to the lovely Marie who’s wearing a beautiful bright yellow dress and gorgeous colourful earrings. It’s her first ever One Sound, I can’t stop thinking about my first One Sound and how excited I was and I’m so happy I can see her excitement too, I can only imagine how she must feel. I see Mike on the side of the stage, smile to him and I get into position.
I catch a glimpse of Dan, standing in the middle, ready to guide and keep us in tune and in time, reminding us to smile sometimes just by smiling himself. I can’t believe this is the last time I will perform at this amazing show, last time I’ll look for Dan’s smiling face every time I unsuccessfully try to remember the next line.
I can’t believe how something so simple like joining a workplace choir would lead to singing at the Mayflower, shopping centres, fairs, Christmas events to flashmobs at West Quay and Graduation, to sold out choir collaboration shows and making friends for life.
An ordinary Tuesday, November 2013
My colleague Lilian invited me to join her on the new ‘Lunchtime Glee’ sessions, an initiative to improve staff wellbeing. I thought why not. I wasn’t feeling my best at the time. I was in an unhappy relationship, I hated myself and work started to become a not so pleasant place to be. I desperately needed even just a little ray of sunshine in my dark, depressing life.
I walk in, I see Dan’s smiling face for the first time ever and after an hour of singing Mama Mia and having a laugh with colleagues, for the first time in years I felt happy, pure happiness. I completely forgot about anything else.
That was the best decision I ever made.
About a year and a half later we had our first performance, at the Hanger Farm Art Centre. I still remember the nerves, the excitement, we were buzzing for days after that. It’s hard to understand how from singing to a small audience we now perform on a huge stage with hundreds of other singers in front of a sold out Guildhall.
Since I joined Lunchtime Glee, my confidence slowly improved and I met my best friend, one of my soulmates, Sheba who was there for me since then, through all the changes, the dramas and together we made some of the most amazing memories I’ll never forget.
Because of Lunchtime Glee and Dan, I met Jack, Claire, Helena, Pat, Ray, Julie, Jo, Amy, Ann, Lucy, Christina, Sandi, Lesley, Rachel and so many others who for two years let me be part of the most loving, caring, singing family, Sing Now choir. That was exactly what I needed in my life at that point and I wouldn’t be where I am today without their love, support and encouragement.
Though I left Sing Now almost two years ago, every time I see these wonderful humans is like nothing changed. They always welcome me with a warm hug.
I’d recommend to every single one of you to join a choir. Don’t worry if you can’t sing, that’s not what is all about. Singing and having a laugh with other lovely humans, forgetting about your troubles for an hour or two and just enjoying yourself and feeling happy, that’s the best remedy for most of life’s problems.
I’ve written about it many times before… these are just some of the highlights:
so I won’t go into all the amazing days I had with my choir families in more detail, I just want to thank Dan and Jack for their love, creativity and passion for what they do, their kindness and professionalism and genuine care about their choir members’ wellbeing. I’d recommend Singforce,Sing Now or any projects these two wonderful humans are involved with to anyone, with no hesitation.
A big thank you to all my wonderful choir friends for all the incredible memories I’ll cherish for ever. I love you all and I will miss you dearly. I will always think of you every Tuesday lunchtime and every time I see a choir.
One of the best decisions I ever made, at an unknowingly *pivotal moment in my life was to join the Lunchtime Glee club, a group of colleagues coming together once a week for an hour of laughter and singing, the best remedy to uplift us, especially after a long, busy day at work.
Five year later and since then Lunchtime Glee has grown and became Singforce, and our SSU choir is part of a huge staff choir network all around Hampshire, I’ve made wonderful friends and though we are only doing this for fun we got to perform not only at events across the University including the Staff Awards and the Graduation flashmob but also at events all over Southampton, at the Mayflower Gala, the Annual One Sound choir collab shows (Turner Sims was probably my favourite) and John Lewis to name a few.
Our last 2018 performance was today, at the VC Christmas reception at the Spark. We couldn’t hear the music well so it wasn’t our best, but it was the perfect end to a wonderful year for our SSU staff choir. Thank you to my lovely Helen for the snap.
Thank you Dan for all you do for us, I love our choir family.
*(Pivotal moment in my life: Lunchtime Glee through Dan led me to Sing Now, a community choir I was part for almost two years, which brought my bestie, Sheba in my life and many many other amazing friends and memories and helped me realise and get out of a dead end relationship, that’s the short story version)
Ooh ooh, ooh You are not alone Ooh ooh For the last time I am sure…
Graduation week at Solent. My favourite working week of the year, by-a-mile. A celebration of our students’ achievements, a special moment in their life, one they share with their loved ones, one they will always remember when they get old and wrinkly and I get to be part of it, helping out, ushering them, cheering them on just before they nervously walk on stage to get their certificate. Steve, a colleague told me a month later when I bumped into him how nice it was to see a friendly face down the stairs, smiling and chatting to the students before their big moment. See that’s why I love volunteering. The joy you get from it doesn’t compare to anything else.
This year was even more special, one I will remember. Why you ask.
Wednesday, 11th of July
I woke up in horrible pain. It’s not those days of the month yet, not just yet but all the anxiety took its toll. I sometimes worry the effect of stress on my body may have permanently damaged it…
I slowly got ready and went in the office early to scan and send some paperwork to the letting agent and put my gown on before I head to Guildhall for graduation.
I found out yesterday that if my references go through on time, I’ll have a place to move to on Monday. What else can go wrong you say…
Emails went through to a contact I had at the agency I rent my current flat from and my manager last night. But neither reference forms have been filled in yet.
The heat, the thick gown and the anxiety levels fast rising caused me to break into nervous sweat. I could feel it dripping down my back. I won’t have much time to check my phone as soon as the first ceremony starts until lunchtime…What if? What if?
Just before I finish my morning coffee I give Dan, my current landlord referee a call but there’s no answer…
I go back in, I can’t let this distract me from what I’m here to do. A year later I’m once again behind the bar at the Guildhall and some of my favourite colleagues are there. We have a chat and prepare for the morning ceremony. One of my favourite moments, the calmness and quiet before the first guests walk through the door. God I love everything about Graduation.
I check my phone every now and then, no news, neither reference has gone through yet.
At lunchtime I call the Radian main office and ask for Dan but I found out Dan had left the company so they give me another number to call. Nadine who is now managing our property was out and she was off for the rest of the week. I send an urgent email to a generic address and pray for the best.
The morning ceremony was just beautiful. There was an in house student band this year and they were in-cre-di-ble. Pete Wilson, the Popular Music and Performance course leader who organised the whole thing, did an amazing job once again.
I still remember their cover of Swim by Fickle Friends. By the end of the week we all have danced to it. Another little moment I saved in my memories box, watching everyone swinging along sometimes without realising.
Ooh ooh, ooh You are not alone Ooh ooh For the last time I am sure…
After lunch I get an email from the agent, my landlord reference has gone through but not the one by my manager.
I go back in the office after we wrapped up for the day. It seems Suzanne never got that second email. Seriously? Sometimes I wonder how unlucky I can be.
I call Homelet, (the referencing company that the lettings agency is using, £75 references cost by the way, £75 for me to do all the hard work and for them to just send a reference form through email and they can’t even get that right) but they closed early that day. Come on!
I still need to book a removal company but I can’t really until I know for sure I’m moving on Monday.
It will all be VERY last minute…
Thursday 12th of July
I go straight to the Guildhall today. I want all the flat related problems to be over with so I can enjoy Graduation to the full. And soon they are.
I call Homelet first thing in the morning, apparently there was a glitch on the system but they re-send the email to Suzanne there and then, she fills in my reference soon after and then the lettings agency emails me to say that everything is OK and to go on Monday at 12pm to sign the contract, pay my deposit and get the keys. AMEN!
I can finally relax. I still have to arrange the actual move and do most of the packing before Saturday, since I’ll spend it in London but that’s something completely under my control, so I don’t have to worry about that.
The rest of the day was brilliant. I loved chatting to all my lovely colleagues, especially Gillian. What a woman. So caring, motherly and offered to help with anything. I hope she knows how lovely she is.
I loved ushering the students on stage especially Paul Maple, a talented colleague I remember since I met him when I first started working at Solent, 7 years ago, and I finally managed to sit on the big deck chair and have an ice-cream with Dext, enjoying the sunshine.
It was the best ice cream I ever had. Not because of the taste. It was a common vanilla ice cream. But that moment. The sun shining in my face, blessed I had a great day and finally a stress-free relaxing moment, after all the drama of the last four days.
When I got home, I booked the removal company through AnyVan, the website I used six months ago when I moved again, I had no time to do any research and call for quote. It seems a local company accepted my quote but they didn’t send me any details straight away. Maybe I should start thinking of Plan B in case I end up with no-one to help me move? My contract ends on Monday so I HAVE to leave my old place by then…
Friday, 13th of July
If you love somebody, let them know whilst they are here ’cause they just might run away from you…
On Top of the World was playing on speakers and Lou, Sarah, Helen and I smiled at each other and hummed along…
I looked forward to this day for months. The last day of Graduation week 2018 and I would be part of the surprise Sarah, SingForce, the Solent choir and I were planning since Sarah came up with the idea months ago.
The morning ceremony went unexpectedly fast (in the meantime I got an email with my Removal company details, finally all ready for Monday) and with it a great surprise.
Whilst ushering students on stage, a familiar face… Steve Carter!!! Steve worked at Solent for years as the Head of Finance but I only got to know him better the last couple of years. He worked at Greece in the past so he knew Greek. Every now and then I’ll hear ‘Καλημέρα’ (Good morning) when wandering at work and it’ll make me smile, I knew it was Steve. A sweet, caring manager and incredibly awesome at what he does.
As soon as I saw him I couldn’t help but smile. He gave me a hug and whispered in my ear how much he loved my blog. I teared up watching him go up on stage. What an honour to usher Steve on stage to get his Masters.
After a quick break for lunch, it was time for the last ceremony of 2018. Dan has just arrived, looking handsome in his black suit and Jack came along to film.
All the volunteers, exhausted but happy that we got to the end of this year’s Graduation ceremonies danced along to Swim whilst the procession came over from the Spark for the last time. Familiar faces were in the Procession who wouldn’t be under normal circumstances. Suzanne asked me if I knew why but I pretended I didn’t.
When everyone went in, just before I were to go in with Sarah and Donald to get in place for ushering, two trolleys full with gowns arrived from the Spark for the 80 special guests we were about to sneak into the Guildhall.
After ushering I didn’t get out as I normally do. I stood at the side and waited. The plan was for Dan to go on stage, start singing the first verse of On Top of the World and after that we join him, the Solent choir (some of were in the Procession) and Singforce members who came along to help us make this flashmob bigger. And we made it! What a beautiful end to an amazing week.
After wrapping up for the last time, we went out for a well-deserved drink. Sarah has done an incredible job again. Superwoman I call her. She really is. Thank you for trusting me again with such a great responsibility.
I’ll always remember Graduation week 2018. The drama and stress of moving but more so for the laughs, the chats, ushering our graduates on stage, watching Paul and Steve getting their degrees and of course the Flashmob.
I came back from Cyprus on a sunny Friday afternoon. An eventful return, delay after delay, twelve hours on the go with a heavy heart and my mind buzzing, thinking of what I can do to get out of the routine I was about to get back into, already missing the sun and exploring my home island, already missing the sea, the love and the people.
I didn’t get into my little ‘under construction’ home until late at night and Saturday went too fast. But I had something to look forward to on Sunday.
The next Touch event. I’m so lucky to volunteer for such a great charity. Every time I leave inspired, motivated, touched.
This one was even more special. A collaboration between the amazing Love Soul Choir run by Dan, one of my favourite humans and Touch, songs and stories at probably my favourite venue in Southampton, Harbour Lights.
Music, soul’s medicine and real life, every day, inspiring stories. I knew before I got there it would be a great one.
After a short glorious walk on a sunny, unexpectedly warm afternoon I arrived there a bit early to help out. I loved being down at the reception directing guests upstairs. I was more than once mistaken for Harbour Lights staff and I loved directing people to the till, to the screens, to the bar. The little every day surprises I find amusing.
Many familiar faces in the crowd, Bev, Lucy, Svetlana.
2pm and we are about to start. After a short intro Love Soul is up, warming up the audience with their incredible vocals and then Vie, the first speaker, takes the mic.
She is wearing a black coat the other way around, and lets her hair down, covering her face. That’s who she was for the first thirty years of her life. She was told since the tender age of six that she was ‘fat and ugly’ by her own family. She was bullied to believe she would never become anything special. How sad to be made to feel like that by your loved ones.
But after she discovered burlesque dancing her life completely changed. She became a qualified trainer, a motivational speaker, a bright example dressed in pretty 50s vintage clothes with flowers on her gorgeous hair, for young people to follow.
After Vie, Love Soul entertained us with a few more songs before the break and then Andy, our second speaker got up. What a life he and his wife already had despite their young age. Seizures, miscarriage, a devastating brain tumour diagnosis and radiotherapy for his wife… But they never lost hope, they kept going and through their faith and support from their family and friends they made it through and they are both and their two lovely boys well and happy.
Andy writes beautiful poems and he read a couple to us. He even brought copies of his book Uplifted and gave them out for free. This one is the last he read, which sums up his life attitude:
There it is, suddenly
Something so much bigger than me
Feeling that significance is my life’s
Revelation is my remedy
It’s not who I am
It’s who has my destiny
Got no strength; I am weak
Yet the great I AM is the conqueror
Where all I see defeat
No broken promises
All things to good, I believe
My only hope
Love Soul was up next singing two more songs and then it was time for our final speaker Abby.
Another in-cre-di-ble story, another amazing human. Abby was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder when she was 25, after years of minimal sleep, pain, lows and highs. Solent Mind supported her throughout her journey and after becoming a motivational speaker and a mental health advocate she is now running her own project, Heads Up, delivering workshops to young people of all ages in schools, colleges, anywhere there are young people, raising awareness for mental health so she can help others from as early as possible.
What an astonishingly immaculate difference it will make to a person’s life to get diagnosed and get help as soon as they can feel that something is wrong, to know that it is OK not to be OK and not suffer in silence for years.
After Abby’s speech Love Soul closed the event with a final song. What a beautiful ending to an already marvellous afternoon.
I can’t wait for our next event. Still, after five months of volunteering for Touch it surprises me how everyone has a story to tell, how I can relate to all in some way, how many amazing humans are out there and how inspired I get from each one of them. I truly hope that one day we live in a world that accommodates openness and honesty, where feeling vulnerable is not a weakness and everyone feels comfortable to share their story and learn from each other .
In the afternoon the Staff Choir sang at the Vice Chancellor’s Staff Christmas reception. It was the first time we performed without Dan and we were worried we might mess up, forget the lyrics, sing the wrong parts, we feared for the worst.
But I’m so proud of us, I think Dan would have been proud for us too. We did really well, especially at Superheroes by the Script, the song we were most anxious about, we nailed it!
After catching up with lovely colleagues at the reception (LOVED the Gingerbread ice-cream) and some work in the afternoon, just before I was about to leave for home, I had a glass of Pauline’s infamous homemade Baileys, without a doubt the most delicious Baileys I’ve ever tasted.
For some reason I feel surprisingly optimistic today. Maybe it’s because I’m finally making changes I want to and today again I felt the love of the people around me.
I sometimes get caught up in this vicious circle of self-defeating thoughts and forget to acknowledge and appreciate the lovely humans who love me for who I am. It’s making my decision whether to leave or not next year harder. I guess I’ll wait and see. Who knows what might happen. All that matters to me is to be happy doing something I love, if that’s in Southampton, that’s not the end of the world. It feels like home after all these years.
Thank you to my choir friends and colleagues for today, it’s been a great day.
I can’t believe it will be Christmas in a week’s time!
Other than a light headache, aching feet and tiredness my body felt OK yesterday.
But my mind. Oh dear. Emotional hangovers are real (scientifically proven for the sceptics out there) and much worse than physical ones. It wasn’t just me, it seems some of my favourites struggled too.
I’d rather have a headache, I’d rather be sick. I felt sad, confused, emotional. I wasn’t sure if I’d make it to Singing in the Square, all I wanted was cuddles with my loved ones but since that’s not possible until Thursday, the best alternative I could think was to go to sleep to stop the invading, upsetting thoughts.
After a long self-debate I ventured outside. Crispy cold fresh air always helps. I was incredibly late and missed the first half but I joined my old SingNow pals at Mettricks for a quick cuppa before their second performance. It was so nice to see everyone. Thank you for reading my posts every day Pat, I hope the new Star Wars did not disappoint!
I spent today resting, (my calf hurts so badly it took me 20 minutes to pop to the shop) as it’s the last full day I have to myself in 2017. I’m flying home on Thursday and I’m not back until the 2nd of January, 2018. That’s exactly what I need. A break out of the Southampton life bubble to clear my mind up whilst enjoying my Cyprus giant hug for 10 days, with friends, family, food, Christmas movies, snacks, laughter and cuddles.
Now it’s time to pack my bag, check in my flight and try to forget about everything else.
One of the things I’ll be doing this weekend, since I have shockingly little pocket money to spend in August (but I did get my Christmas ticket home, so I’d rather starve, totally worth it), is educating myself on Lynda.com
I first heard of Lynda.com a couple of years ago through work as the University subscribed to it and all staff could use it for free. (if your employer/university does not offer free access to Lynda, you can have a free month trial and then pay a monthly or annual fee).
Lynda.com is an American online education company owned by LinkedIn and it’s been running since 1995.
I have to say I wasn’t that impressed back then as there was not much on what I was interested in. From what I can remember there were some courses on Photoshop, Photography, some generic managerial skills tutorials etc and basic Excel training type of courses.
I was recently browsing on Groupon’s training/online courses section but since I ran out of money I thought I’d give Lynda.com another go.
I was blown away by the sheer quantity and range of courses on offer from music writing, drawing, WordPress, advertising, singing, to more technical ones such as civil engineering and programming.
Courses can be filtered by authors, software used, subject, companies, duration, type but most importantly skill level. So is perfect for total beginners who want to learn a new skill or professionals who want to improve their existing knowledge or skills.
The course duration varies but most are between 3-5 hours. Each course consists of chapters and each chapter is broken down to video lessons that are about 2-10 minutes long.
All courses are run by industry experts and include demonstrations, exercise files and plenty of examples.
Every video lesson comes with a full transcript and there is a notes section where you can add your notes at any point of the lesson and is saved along the relevant part of the video so you can go back and re-watch it if you wish.
You also have the option to watch the lessons offline if you are on the go.
There was so much choice I didn’t know what to do first but I decided to start the series of vocal training run by the late Jeannie Deva, a famous LA celebrity vocal coach.
I have no aspirations to become a professional singer but I love singing along with my guitar and I always wanted to improve my voice but face to face singing lessons are painfully expensive for me so I was very excited when I found out that Lynda.com now offered vocal coaching courses!
I’ve completed the first series of lessons on Warm Ups and Cool Downs and I’m now on the second series learning how to sing songs better.
I absolutely love this lady from the way she talks, the techniques she invented, her intelligence and intuition to her sense of humour.
In her first couple of lessons she demonstrates how to massage your neck and face to relax your singing/talking muscles-very useful-,she goes through a number of exercises on the piano with you and she often brings singers in to demonstrate the right way of performing each exercise.
I’ve learnt A LOT from her already, even basic physiology.
Did you know that the largest part of our lungs is actually on our back and not the front??? So if you want to fully fill your lungs with air when breathing pay attention to the movement of your ribs not your tummy/diaphragm.
And of course the infamous lip trills/lip bubbles came up.
Throughout the lessons she encourages you to send her videos with your progress which I was excited to do but unfortunately she died about 2 years ago. I would have loved to meet her…
But her legacy lives on through her incredible work and some of her lessons are also available on Youtube if you are interested.
After I complete the vocal training courses, I’m starting a series of lessons on music theory, guitar playing (of course I can’t afford guitar lessons either!!) and also storytelling, that may be a great way to put my unlimited imagination to good use.
I’m well impressed with Lynda.com and I’m very happy I was given the opportunity to learn new skills for free through it.
LinkedIn you did well!
I’m super excited about my next post as it will all be about the 31 day Yoga Revolution programme I’m doing and the Yoga teacher running it, the incredibly funny and witty Adrienne.
I woke up today feeling incredibly emotional after last night’s show. It was a special one.
Two weeks ago I didn’t even think I could do this year’s One Sound show.
I haven’t been to SingNow for months and I missed many rehearsals of the workplace choir, because last time I went, although I love the people and singing, I couldn’t wait for the session to be over. There were explosions happening in my head, laughter and chat sounds were 10 times louder than usual, I could feel my heart beat faster and faster, I think I might have had my first panic attack, so after that I decided to skip it until I felt better.
A couple of weeks ago, after a stressful morning at work I thought I’d give it another go. A year ago I couldn’t wait for 12pm on a Tuesday so I can have fun singing with my colleagues, but a year later, I walked in the room, terrified. I was scared I might go through panic mode like last time. But I know I need to try more, otherwise it will only get worse.
And this time it was alright. I could manage my scary thoughts and I actually enjoyed it.
So I thought OK, if I can do this, I might be able to do One Sound.
After my panic attack, returning to SingNow felt scarier and scarier, so at least for One Sound I was only going to sing with Singforce. A year ago I was super excited to be in both choirs, but a year later I became this scared little person who didn’t know if she could even be at the show. I honestly cannot comprehend how I let myself become this person.
The big rehearsal at Romsey was one of my highlights of the whole show. I felt emotional throughout. I could not stop thinking of the rehearsal a year ago. When I was in both choirs, and a SingNow friend and I laughed and had our little dance routines and lyric jokes we referred to whilst rehearsing, and those lovely people sitting opposite me now were my dear friends who I used to see and have a laugh with every week and have so many amazing memories rehearsing, performing, partying.
And now, a year later, I wasn’t sure even on the day of the rehearsal if I could do it.
But when I arrived there, I felt the love and the warmth of my old Singnow pals. They came over for a chat and a hug, I was disappointed with myself because for the last 8 months I allowed my anxiety and fears to take control of my life. And because of that I lost my Singnow family. Which now, a year later, I sat in front of, with a lump in my throat the whole time, watching them rehearse and singing along.
I know that some of my Singnow friends haven’t had the best 12 months and I kept thinking of how we changed and struggled over the last year but how we were all there a year later, trying our best.
The show was the following day, Saturday, 29th of April, yesterday.
Apart from a couple of hours before the show when I thought I couldn’t do it and it might be better to stay at home and a moment in the green room, backstage when I was about to go into panic mode, when I couldn’t hear anything else other than a loud noise in my head, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I didn’t hide in the back as I originally thought it was a good idea. There was lots of laughter and excitement throughout the evening. And I was emotional from start to finish. I could not stop comparing it with last year. How different it felt.
My highlights of One Sound 2017, the show night:
3. The Adele song, ‘When we were young’. It will always have a special place in my heart. We started learning it about this time last year, close to my 30th birthday and it means a lot to me. I fought hard to keep my tears when singing that.
2. Rhythm of the night. When the audience stood up, dancing with us, especially this lovely elderly couple sitting in the front. The smile on their faces was priceless.
1. Fix you. Every single time we sang that, at the rehearsal, at soundcheck and at the end of the show, I teared up. And I spotted people in the audience tearing up. And when we finished singing it at the show, we got a standing ovation! It was so overwhelmingly beautiful to watch the audience getting up and applauding us.
Here is a video of the end of the show were all choirs got together for Fix you and Jump https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8Ho3HgJQ5Q&sns=fb&app=desktop
One Sound 2016 would always be one of the favourite moments of my life but One Sound 2017 was beautifully brilliant and I’m glad I was a part of it.
Thank you to all my Solent friends, especially Helen and a big big thank you to Dan and Jack for all their hard work.
Last week has been amazing! I haven’t felt THAT happy for months. I can’t share everything that happened but these are some of the highlights!
I will start with something I’ve been meaning to share for a while… after a selection evening and interviewing, I have now been offered a place on intense training to become a Samaritans listening volunteer and I can’t even describe how happy I am!
I always wanted to volunteer and I could have tried anything, but there is something about the Samaritans and the work they do that always captivated me… being there for someone who needs you at that very moment, just listen to what they have to say, take some of the weight off their shoulders… I hope the training goes well and be able to help others.
In other news, on Saturday I got to perform in front of about 400 people as part of One Sound, which was a collaborative performance with choirs across Southampton, Fareham and Bournemouth ran by the awesome Dan and Jack and it was absolutely amazing! I feel so happy and proud to have been part of this. I’d never imagined last December when I watched LoveSoul choir perform for the first time that in a couple of months I’d get to sing with them!
An evening of singing with a professional choir and some of my favourite people, what a way to spend a Saturday night! I love my choir family! 🙂
Most of you have already seen many videos and photos from the evening but here is one of the last songs we all got to perform together (thank you to the lovely lady who recorded it and posted it on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrMl1sFSgtA).
I’d also like to share a short essay my 11 year old nephew written about my aunt, his grandma last week. I’ve done a quick translation as well for non-Greek speakers…
It’s touching and amazing and beautiful how an 11 year old, smart and brilliant child summarised his grandma with ‘she always put everyone else above herself, even at the end’. It’s extraordinary that her selflessness even until the end reached her 11 year old grandson’s soul and was felt by everyone…. I truly believe she lives in us. I hope when I die I’d have touched even 1% of the souls she touched with her love, kindness and selflessness…
One of the reasons I’ve started this blog is to share what I learned and it’s comforting to know that whenever is my time to go, I’ll leave something behind for others…
A while ago I posted about what was the last message you sent (post). Well, after reading my nephew’s essay, I just want to say to everyone who reads this, whatever my last message to you was, that I hope you are well and happy and enjoy life. And do what you love!
After a long long time, probably years, I am back to being myself, a dreamer, living on my own pretty planet and I love it, even if it gets me into trouble sometimes! I don’t really know what life has in store for me and I don’t make any long term plans but I know what I want now..
What I want is to experience this feeling, not sure if there is a name to it, a mixture of excitement, happiness and a little nervousness… electrical, almost magical… as often as possible…
And it can be anything!
That feeling when you walk into the door of a place you’ve never been before…when you walk onto the stage about to sing in front of 400 people…and you enjoy every second, when you try something new for the first time… when a song you love comes up on the radio/shop/anywhere and you just wanna sing along and dance..when you help a friend or a stranger and you can see the gratitude in their eyes…when you are about to kiss someone special and you softly touch their cheek (I’m a hopeless romantic, will need a whole new post for that!)… when you board a plane waiting to fly into the sky… when you arrive and can’t wait to get out and explore…when you wander in a city with no worries in the world, exploring its beauties and discovering secret gems… when you buy something pretty and unique and you are about to open that box…when you finally nail that song you’ve been learning on the guitar or finish a drawing and can’t wait to share it with your friends, when something nice you’d never expected happens-I do love surprises and life is full of them…(these are just some of the things that make my heart go crazy, you know what makes yours 🙂 )
…that feeling your heart beats so fast you can feel it or even hear it…
that feeling when you don’t think of anything else but that moment you experience, when the lights around you switch off, the surroundings fade and you can only see and think of what is there in front of you at that very moment and nothing else, that moment you feel truly alive…
I want to feel this every day if possible… the best feeling in the world!
I’ll close the post with what an old friend used to tell me “You are the boss of you. You can do whatever you want” and it’s true, life’s too short, do what makes you happy and don’t forget to smile!
Love you all! x
PS. Thank you to Rob, Helena and Lesley for the photos! xx
I love singing, with my family and friends. I sing at work, in the bathroom. I can’t imagine my life without music. But I hadn’t sang in a choir since high school!
A couple of years ago I joined our workplace choir, after a lovely colleague and friend, Lilian, went to a taster session and came back excited, she couldn’t stop talking about it!
Since then, I spend an hour a week of fun and laughter, forgetting about all work and personal worries and just sing and have fun. None of us is a professional singer but we spend an hour of week together, having a blast. And I absolutely love it, probably the best time of the (work) week!
So, a year ago I decided to join a community choir. I knew nothing about it. I didn’t know what to expect. I was worried that most of the members take singing very seriously and I’d probably not fit in.
But I decided to go to a taster session and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
I truly believe singing in a choir is therapeutic!
I spend two hours a week with the loveliest bunch of people, singing and having a laugh. I made amazing friends (that’s how Shebz and I became best friends!) who care and support each other. I absolutely adore my choir family!
If you are thinking of taking up a new hobby, join a choir, you won’t regret it!