Sunday, 3 March 2013

Just one handshake away

Yesterday was spent singing; being shown how to sing; listening to conductors talking about singing and talking to other singers. A choral-fest which lasted about 6 hours left me with about 3 thoughts that will stay with me for many years. It will probably come as a disappointment to the organisers of the ABCD day if they ever happen to read what the three thoughts are.

First memory - to get a proper note that does not get distorted by mouth shape, I have to open my mouth like a muppet (i.e.up and down not from side to side). Secondly, as a tenor, I was thanked just for turning up. Thirdly,the memory  that I shook hands with a man who was only 4 handshakes away from Beethoven and only 1 handshake away from Bill Clinton. (The historic link with Beethoven did include a bit of speculation on John Rutter's part, but the Clinton link seemed very plausible).
Anyway, it was worth shaking hands with the writer of a new piece for the last Royal Wedding Wedding and hearing about the background to his work. In answer to the traditional question, "Which comes first - the words or the tune?" apparently the real answer is "Actually it's a phone call". Therein lies the motivation to respond to a specific request for a specific occasion.

Earlier in the week I had spent a rather shorter period of time on a "Driver rehabilitation course". This was another rather intense course to which I had been invited as a result of an error in judgement on my part involving my car's speed and the local speed restrictions. Three thoughts stayed with me from that course as well. It may be that my mental facilities are in decline given that after a week I can only really remember 3 thoughts.
By coincidence I was thanked for taking part in the speed awareness course, which came as a pleasant surprise, having gone with the expectation of being chided about my driving errors. A little rhyme "Only a fool breaks the 2 second rule' ( a reference to distance between cars and stopping quickly)) has stuck, muppet like in my subconscious. And, I now have a better appreciation of repeater signs and how to recognise a speed limit in an area devoid of signs.

I suppose, if pushed I could remember a bit more from each course given enough incentive or perhaps being in a relevant situation. Next time I shake hands with someone new I can imagine my mind starting to speculate.." wonder if this person is in any way linked to the designer of speed cameras?"

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