Follow one crying eye on

Bach to building – and vice versa

The dust fairy continues to sprinkle her brick- and wood-based charms liberally around Jillings Towers, reaching parts heretofore pristine (well, that’s a lie if ever I wrote one – there’s never been a great deal of ‘pristine’ about this place – but please forgive such nervous hyperbole in a tired and dust-ridden bloggist) and gradually lowering our already unimpressive hygiene standards. Added to this expected construction grime, the builders’ ‘team cold’ has ensured that any idea at all of maintaining a hygienic household has been firmly ejected from the yet-to-be-completed fenestration, with more sniffing, sneezing, hawking and (not to put too fine a point on it) gobbing than you could shake a plague-doctor’s stick at.

I’m now confused at my own mangling of the English language and apologise for same – along with the unpleasant imagery (hopefully, or the words were pointless as well as mangled – sigh) it evokes. As I say, I’m a bit tired…

However, I will try to be more positive in my project update. Here goes:

  • We are about to take delivery of the kitchen units. Astonishingly, on precisely the date estimated at the beginning of this project.
  • The old understairs cupboard is shaping up nicely as a cloakroom after much entertaining measuring up using pretend toilets and sinks (in fact, I’ve never forgotten our previous builder demonstrating exactly where the toilet roll holder should be fixed in one of our bathrooms – there are some things that are seared on one’s memory for life, I fear). Sanitary wear also expected to arrive this week
  • The carpentry required for the understairs area means that the sweariest and sing-iest of the building trio is ensconced at the very centre of our home for hours on end – out of sight perhaps, but very much NOT out of earshot. Perhaps we are slowly becoming immune to his profanity and bursts of Elvis/Sinatra. (Hmm. Are we f***!)
  • Sorry. Moving on
  • We quite quickly choose some nice tiles for the cloakroom floor. I think some of our best design decisions over the years have been where Mr J sees something he likes and I don’t hate it/think it’s ridiculous/believe it’s a completely different colour from what he claims it to be. These tiles are a small example and I eagerly rubber-stamp the choice.
  • Naturally, the store turns out to have just the one tile remaining and, even for our smallest room, one tile will not suffice. The tile has no label on it but, if you set me a challenge like that, I do not rest until I hunt that thing down. Two days later, we travel to Sutton to Collect what I’ve Clicked and celebrate on the way home with a rather nice (and surprisingly inexpensive) lunch in Cheam, another good idea from Mr J (annoying, huh?)
  • Daughter J and cat have, sensibly, relocated themselves to somewhere altogether quieter, much-much-much closer to work and infinitely less dusty than our guest room. The cat, ungratefully in my view, has taken an immediate shine to his new home. Despite our collective fears that the move would stress him and that he would be lonely without his “grandparents” (ugh!) whilst his mistress is out putting in the long shifts to keep him in swanky litter and Dreamies, he has made himself completely at home and shows no signs of recognition let alone fondness when I turn up for an inspection of the new abode. Traitor.
  • The heating at JT, which was reconnected for a few weeks, has been switched off again temporarily to allow the newly poured concrete floor to set evenly. This floor is important, as it contains – excitement of excitements – underfloor heating, which of course means that in future I will be able to lie down on the kitchen floor whilst waiting for supper to cook itself in my new hi-tech ovens. Perhaps more likely (?) it will provide a soothing surface on which to lie when I’ve exhausted myself trying to learn how to use all this new hi-techery, and am waiting for the take-away to arrive
  • Shame there’s still no back wall on the house, but the lighter evenings are giving us greater positivity, and we slip easily back into our layers.

In amongst all the dust and mess and ‘language’ of the building work has been a small St John Passion oasis, in which I have been endeavouring to master the tenor line of this magnificent piece over the past two and a half months. The concert was last night and seems to have been carried off pretty well. Certainly no obvious disasters and I acquitted myself as well as I could have hoped.

Human nature being what it is, the key take-aways from the concert are – in no particular order

  • The tenor soloist (Evangelist – Jeremy Budd) had the most wonderful voice – completely beautiful, even from behind but especially lovely when he sang towards the choir in rehearsals
  • I took the train to and from the afternoon rehearsal and the performance itself. All worked perfectly. More miraculous than getting most of the notes right, to be honest
  • A friend came to watch/listen and it was great to catch up in the interval and on the walk to the station afterwards
  • Another choir member told me I have a lovely voice. I had never spoken to her before, nor do I remember ever sitting near her, so I have no idea how she might have formed this view – but it briefly made me happy all the same
  • I switched my phone off and turned my fitness tracker watch to ‘Cinema’ mode – but part-way through singing the first energetic number my wrist was being wildly vibrated beneath my smart black shirt-cuff. This happened several more times during the performance. In Cinema mode the watch is silent and does not light up so I was the only one to be aware. I later checked the app on my phone, and saw that the messages this vibration had been trying to impart included an offer to call the Emergency Services! This is on the basis that I did not appear to be active but my heart rate was above 120 bpm. Clearly I need to find an activity to programme into the watch which involves no steps but allows other exertion, or I risk inadvertently summoning an ambulance whenever I let rip a lusty chorus.
  • A brief exchange with the leader of my voice-group as we dismounted the stage: Me “I think that went off quite well, don’t you?”  Him “Yes, but I was really worried just before the end because you hadn’t turned to the final number.”  Oh, that’s how to burst a bubble! How had he seen from two rows behind me? It clearly hadn’t mattered, as I was completely ready – and obediently watching the conductor – when we started singing. I don’t even remember being late turning the page, or being any different from those either side of me. Did he mean another time? But I was fully prepared throughout – I even had judiciously placed paper clips for non-choral sections and had done my homework thoroughly, still feeling new and inexperienced. Why did this matter? Isn’t this his problem rather than mine……??

I’ll give you one guess as to which of the above has stayed with me the most.

How stupid. Hahahahahaha.


Follow one crying eye on