Friday, June 23, 2006

Mild panic on a Friday evening

Well. You know when you've had a bright idea and committed yourself to carrying it out, and then you hit snags and wish to goodness that you'd kept your mouth shut?

That's me.

The picture above, by the way, is Edinburgh again. It's a bit of a funny angle, but shows Arthur's Seat, which is a big hill, eccentrically in the middle - or at least slightly to the side of the middle - of Edinburgh. It's surrounded by parkland - just grass with a couple of man-made lochs (big ponds, really) - and I LOVE it.

Back to my brilliant plan. I thought it would be nice to have my parents' five grandchildren - who're all musical - singing something at the Diamond Wedding dinner that's happening in the New Club in Princes Street a week tomorrow. You may have spotted the flaw in the idea, or at least the execution of the idea: it's quite soon. Especially as the choosing of the songs is not entirely complete (understatement) and the grandchildren are currently situated in 1) Arran 2) Sheffield 3) Austria 4) Cambridge 5) Epsom, which is near London. They won't all be together till the day of the Do. Also my niece and my brother will have to accompany said songs on our rather rudimentary electronic keyboard: four octaves and no sustain pedal; there is no piano available.

I've rewritten a Gilbert and Sullivan song - well, the Gilbert bit - to be appropriate to my parents' lives (It's the "And now I am the ruler of the Queen's Navy" one, if anyone knows this) - that was the easy bit, and the grandchildren are going to sing it unison, with perhaps some bits girls and some bits boys or whatever. But then I thought it would be nice if Daughter 2's boyfriend, who, you may remember, has been studying musical theatre in New York for 2 years, could sing a solo, and then maybe he and Son could sing a duet.

I shall not detail the complications, but basically D's B had views about what he could appropriately sing and what he couldn't, my brother had views about the rubbishness of our keyboard and the unsuitability of the sheet music accompaniment for playing on this keyboard and also for playing at all with virtually no time to practise - all of these feelings being quite reasonable, I would have to admit, but not convenient - and there have been many phone calls, and I'm feeling that maybe I should just have kept my ideas to myself. Unfortunately I mentioned them to my mum, who was delighted at the idea. So it's got to happen. And I'm sure it will. Son, in Austria, knows nothing about the fact that he's going to sing Flanders and Swann's Hippopotamus Song with D2's B as a duet, some verses solo and some together. But he'll do it. He has a lovely voice and is an obliging lad. And D2's B is going to come up with something to sing which somebody's going to accompany, with hardly any practice, on the keyboard which, my brother says darkly, is going to "sound like a xylophone".

And of course I've agreed to make a speech - no, not a clue as to what I'm going to say, but I'll think of something. I made one at the Golden Wedding and have little memory what I said, so with luck neither will anyone else. Quite a lot of the 100 people who were at that are no longer with us, alas.

And now I must go and find lots of photos for the computer slide show that I've also promised to provide, and that my dear, good husband is going to scan in and organise. Deep breathing. In, out, in, out...


  1. Hi Isabelle,
    You are such a busy and energetic lady! Lots of interesting stuff going on in your life. The photos of Edinburgh are very interesting, as all I know of the place is the Tattoo, and you only see the Castle at night, nothing of the surrounding area.
    Thanks for your comment about my life story on Patracat's Memories. Yes, I have dabbled in journalism over the years - very much an amateur, and just lucky to get publishing now and then. I wrote a column for a magazine for a couple of years until it ceased publication.

  2. Sorry - 'publishing' should read "published" grammar is not that bad, but my typing is - lol!