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A week of song - the Chatanooga Choo Choo!

A week of song - the Chatanooga Choo Choo!

Hi All,

I thought I'd attempt to conquer the way this grey, chilly weather here is making me feel just now by focusing on the frantic week I've got coming instead. It's busy because we are trying to finish an existing art project - more to come one day - and apply for 2 jobs and on top of all this I've got my annual mad week of concerts.

First I've got the last week of the St. Magnus Festival Chorus week ahead of me. We sing a Child of Our Time by Michael Tippet - an amazing piece of music about the holocaust - but with lovely spirituals thrown in to redeem the discordant, very difficult bits. So that's going round in my head on and off.

On Friday the small choir I'm in has been asked to sing at the festival launch and we are doing 4 numbers that the Andrews sisters sang back in the 40s. The latest is Chatanooga Choo Choo which starts with "pardon me boy.. is that the Chatanooga Choo Choo? Track 29? And can you give me a shine?" and it's well lodged in my brain so I go to sleep singing it and wake in the morning humming it. I even go to sleep trying to memorise the words because it sounds and looks so much better if we ignore the sheet music as it's fast and close harmony. We are also singing Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy from Company B and Take the A Train and We'll Meet Again - for which thankfully my first altos have the tune which makes things easier. We aren't dressing up as Andrew's Sisters people as initially suggested but just wearing leisure black but my hair has gone into a sort of mad beehive all by itself lately - I'm using extra conditioner to counteract the MTX making my hair go thinner and wispier.

Then a week after our big performance with the festival chorus - which we sing with one of the UK's top orchestras (RSNO) and a well known conductor and professional soloists - my small choir hosts a big choir of 40 Americans and we join forces in the Cathedral here with local musicians to sing lots of renaissance madrigals. I admit I've hardly given a thought to this last concert but we had a rehearsal with the small, local chamber orchestra on Thursday and I made a mental note that it's no longer okay to sight read this stuff so will have to focus on it as soon as the other stuff's out of the way.

I'm not hosting anyone for the festival or from the 40 Americans because we are full house currently - like a youth center with son's girlfriend always somewhere in a corner with her laptop and the oldest trying to keep her happy (she's very shy - and doesn't seem to like cooking or washing up much?!) between his many shifts doing barwork. Then there's middle son who has his last few weeks of school and is now in 6th year (they go into the year ahead once exams are over here in Scotland) and has a washing up job at a local pub starting next weekend. He's also in a blues/ rock band and they are getting tons of gigs this summer so that keeps him busy and us too - carting him about with cymbals and his huge bass amp - plus other band members.

Finally there's the youngest (15) who has got in with a new crowd, mostly a year older than him, and they seem a lovely bunch who like to walk the dogs for miles in the evenings and attend local events such as the gala in the small town half way across the mainland last night where the middle son was playing with his band. So all boys out last night and all drifted home in the early hours.

We watched the film about Margaret Thatcher, The Iron Lady - in which Meryl Streep was amazing. Then watched Girl with the Dragon Tattoo which was also brilliant although I'm a real wimp about violence and hid under a cushion for quite a few bits until OH said it was over!

That's it from me folks...hardly a mention of RA but sometimes we need to take our minds of the aches and pains and this is my grand attempt!

7 Replies

What a pleasurable read tilda,you are going to be a busy girl aren't you. I don't envy your schedule one bit,but you will manage it you always do. Just make sure you have plenty of pit stops to recharge your batteries won't you. I will be looking forward to hearing how it all went. You are one artistic lady tilda,i wish i could paint.

You have written a grand blog and i love your photo of you.



Thanks Sylvi - that's me doing the Chatanooga Choo Choo in a forest in Wales! TTx


Hi Tilda,

Can I move in with you too please? I love the sound of your life. (minus the RA of course)


Oh that's nice Creaky - only we haven't any room! My life is great until it's not if you know what I mean? I don't earn a bean currently and we are living off my husband's salary as a contracted night care worker in an old folk's home so there is a side that's quite dispiriting. I'm applying for another paid job this coming week - it's part time so if by some miracle I get it I'll have time to continue being lead artist for our collaborative, but we do badly need some more income.

So there are down sides - not to mention being abandoned for a while by the rheumy and not having my RA monitored at all for disease activity because of remote location - but I can't have it all of course!

Now got to take a breather after morning exercises (ouch!) and then focus on hoovering my smelly house. Four young ones plus dog don't half take their toll! TTx


Your hair will be fine mrs Chattanooga I bear witness! And what a comment on you and Chris to have all your boys and friends hanging out. My Dylan has just got an acoustic guitar and is starting lessons over the summer. I'm toying with the idea of getting mine out but don't know if my hands will cooperate. I wonder if anyone on this forum plays guitar! Xx


Getting my haircut tomorrow so maybe not re beehive Cathie!

I think the comment is "suckers!" - re free board and lodging chez nous but it must have it's appeal I suppose - wish I was a guest rather than a host though! I know I'll get very grumpy by the time the youth season is coming to an end (August I'm hoping). The middle one has started his 6th year which consists of him lying in his bedroom (in the shed) until about 11am each day and only surfacing about an hour before a lesson to open the fridge and snort with disgust at all the vegetables and healthy food. Then I get a text from the school saying that he has not registered this morning. It's already doing my head in! Still he's got a job washing up at one of the pubs so I can't complain too much.

Guitars and rheumy fingers don't go very well together do they? Give it a go and be the coolest granny in Edinburgh?! TTxx


Hey Tilda

Boys eh? Mine are the same. I sometimes think I must have "mug" tattooed across my forehead! Mind you, give me the boys any day. My stepdaughter has just turned 15 and wow is she hard work! Last weekend, she was staying with us and wanted to go out with my youngest C who's 16, to a party. We agreed but only if she was picked up at 12 (C was staying a bit longer). I fell asleep (as usual) and when I woke at half past midnight, I panicked as R hadn't gone to get her. He said C had text him and said they were walking home in a group and would be in by 1. Well, to cut a long story short, they appeared at 1.45am!!! I went mad at C who looked shocked and said that she'd told him we'd said it was ok. She had taken his phone and text her father pretending to be C.

On top of all that, she posted loads of photos on her facebook page and her mum saw so you can imagine!. She wants to come and live with us but I don't think I could cope!

The boys on the other hand never give me any trouble. I've been really lucky. Well, there has been the odd police car outside my house but nothing serious - honest!!


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