Tuesday, 14 September 2021

They also serve...

 Well, I wasn't standing and waiting......

(and I suspect that snippet of half-remembered verse refers to waiting in the '"being available to serve" sense , like what a waiter does, or the children crowned all in white in the carol [who don't "wait around" on street corners comparing ASBOs, but wait ready to serve The Man]. )

...Yesterday, though, was a bit of a waste.

I had to pick up some new meds – a special 70th birthday treat; and these meds were of a sort that can't be dispensed by any old High Street pharmacy. So I went to London (a four-hour round trip}  I spent a useful half hour or so talking with a doctor and Nurse Specialist, and filling in a Consent form. After that  I just had to "go down to the Pharmacy and pick up the meds". This was what I'd come for. But that's when the wheels fell off 

The man at the counter warned me that the order would take more than an hour to fill, so I took a seat in the waiting area, watching the VDU (well, that's what we called them when I was a lad) and seeing my number progress from In progress to... erm... a black hole. It just disappeared from the screen – an un-number

But it did its disappearing trick in its own good time. And, having been warned to expect a delay, I didn't chase it for a good 90 minutes. Asked why my order had disappeared from the screen, the man said they'd had to order the meds and could I pick them up tomorrow? IN A PIG'S ORIFICE, I could.  And I still don't see how they could put the stuff on order, take the order number off the screen, and not think to tell the poor putz who had wasted a day and over £20 in travel costs. 

Well, £20 is a bit of an exaggeration, because my train back to Reading was about half an hour late, with two results:

  • I could catch it at all, as it left Paddington 10 mins late before starting its relentless crawl to arrive at Reading 26 mins behind schedule
  • I could claim a mess of potage (that is, the price of my mid-morning latte).

Win/win. A small victory (not without a little naughtiness) that brought my blood pressure back down.

And now, to cleanse the palate after that vitriolic memory, here's a curriculum cantoris that was going to live in Words & Music ...

        `<prerequisite software="ebooks reader" />

...if I'd ever got round to it:

<palate_cleanser type="readily skippable">
From the mid-'60s to the mid/late-'70s my  musical endeavours were chiefly solo or in small groups (mostly what were called at the time "folk groups". ) I've mentioned these days in a not-too-distant post, here
That old post only told the late '60s story. The '70s were my heyday,  chiefly as a soloist. I played and sang in folk clubs and with the CU Footlights at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1975 and with the Oxford Theatre Group both in their revue and in an on-stage band in something less frivolous. 
In the mid-late '70s I made a (part-time) "living", and continued to feed  the attention-craving beast (after going straight and getting a proper job)  in  OUP  staff shows. 
I sang in SATB choirs a few times at Cambridge, and in the late-'70s I stood in as surrogate father with a friend whose young brother‘s school had a parents' choir – his actual parents being out of the country and his big sister being in loco matris.
In the early '80s my musical efforts were productive of books rather than sounds. I worked as an editor with various musicians – Julian Bream, William Pleeth, Barry Tuckwell... I also worked on James Galway‘s Flute, though not with the man himself (as he was well protected by his agent). But my interests weren't fixed at one end of the musical spectrum; one of my regrets of that time was not being able to resurrect a John Renbourne book – long under contract, but my instructions from on high (although "on high" and Robert Maxwell are improbable bed-fellows) were to cut him loose...

In the mid-'80s I started snging again, with a three-year spell at Wokingham Choral Society (which coincided with Paul Daniel's brief tenure as MD: I passed the audition only because that term's piece was Beethoven's Mass in C, which I had sung at Cambridge in my first SATB choir [MagSoc]). 
MagSoc ran an unauditioned choir based at Queens' College. My son also sang at Queens', but in the proper (auditioned) choir, as a visiting tenor.
From the late-'80s to the mid-'90s I sang with Reading Haydn Choir, and then after a brief stay at the University of Reading's Town and Gown choir, and occasional concerts with various RU music students, I returned to WCS. 
After a Zoomful 18 months from March 2010 to September 2021 (during which we produced this), we are now back to rehearsing live (jabbed, tested, spaced out, etc.), preparing Handel's Messiah for a concert in the University of Reading's Great Hall on 13 November 2021. 

But the picnic bench, a shadow of its former self, needs attention. I am going out, and I may be some time.


Update: 2021.09.16.12:50 – Added <inline_ps/ />


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