Punch drunk

Post length: 1,247 words, about 5 and a half minutes.

It’s an unnerving experience when you are buried in your work, take a quick break, look out of the window and find yourself looking either at the ground or up into the air.  Still I’m not going to complain – it’s a good thing because it means the train is managing to reach it’s top speed.  On the way up north we were stuck in ‘non-tilt mode’, apparently.  This time we clearly are not.  I think I could make that say something about how the south views the north, but I’m sure it’s nothing to do with that.

Anyway, a reasonable ‘weekend’ all in all.  Despite the early morning and late night on Thursday (in fact I ‘slept’ in the radio station on Thursday night because of where Kimball’s house is and the lack of buses to it).  The counter-sabb event went quite well, the station hailed it as a success, though I’m not quite as triumphant feeling about it.  Yeah it was a good OB pulled together at the last minute, but it just didn’t feel right.  There wasn’t as much pressure, there wasn’t a need to do things to a schedule dictated by other people, and there weren’t things to sort out as the night rolled on.  Maybe it’s the people who made it back in my day.  Not that the people there now aren’t great, but I don’t know them as well. I haven’t spent years with them in the close confines of the office, I don’t know the in-jokes, and they don’t know me.  As grumpy as A is, we got on well.  Nights like Elections were stressful (for him more than me), but we pulled together and it worked.  And he must have enjoyed it too — he’s now a BBC broadcast engineer.  So why did I do elections this year?  I don’t know.  I made the site, but I wasn’t going to go down I kind of had my arm twisted into it by Kimball.  This all said, I do love doing it.  I spent 4 hours in the station today updating the computerized playout system.  Why do I enjoy that?  I can’t tell you.  It’s moving files around on a computer, adding titles, sometimes adding intro length.  It’s not ‘fun’, but I enjoy it.  I guess there are things people do but can’t explain why they enjoy them.  The next challenge is to find someone who will pay me to do it, other people I know have managed, how hard can it be?

Friday wasn’t much of note but Saturday, to my surprise, was quite entertaining.  Kimball and his new girlfriend (more about her later…) are in the university choir, and they had a concert on Saturday night.  This was kind of jumped on me (though I’m sure Kimball would swear blind that he told me all about it in advance), but wasn’t half as bad as I feared.  It was very short.  I’d not been in the chaplaincy of the University in all my time there, and it’s a nice little place for concerts.  The concert was in the free chapel.  First half started with a choral version of ‘Downtown’, the Pop song first made famous by Petula Clark in 1964.  It then moved on to a piece called ‘Never Weather Beaten Sail’, unfortunately it wasn’t memorable enough for me to be able to say much more about it.  Onwards to ‘Mangwani M’pulele’ and a piece taken from Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘The Gondoliers’.  Admittedly I don’t know much about Gilbert and Sullivan’s musicals – I’m much more fond of modern musicals – but I’ve heard far more memorable pieces of theirs.  Heading onward via ‘All in the April Evening’ a ‘tender and reverent setting of a wonderful 19th century poem by Katharine Tynan’, we come to what you might call the highlight of the evening, a medley of songs from Les Miserables.  I know how hard Les Mis is to sing.  My brother was involved with a professional concert version of the musical not so many years ago.  However, even with this in mind, I was a little disappointed.  Really the main criticism I had of the whole evening’s singing was how flat it was (orchestrally, not musically).  The choir are low on men, but even given that I thought the conductor didn’t balance what she had very well at all.  I found out later she’d told the tenors to sing a little more quietly.  Les Mis has some wonderful harmony but you couldn’t pick it out.  I don’t think it helped that they started out with ‘At the End of the Day’, a song which sounds great with a strong ensemble, but can easily sound poorly mixed.  This version unfortunately did just that.  The choir clearly has some very good singers.  Once girl’s voice cut through the rest of the choir throughout most of the concert, and there were some great solos during the Les Mis medley.  The (rather large) girl who sang the female lead in ‘On My Own’ had a very nice, if a little under powerful, voice.  It’s a shame that she spent the rest of the concert with her head buried in her music hardly moving her mouth.  The first half ran to about 30 minutes.  We then had a 20 minute interval.  Upon reconvening in the free chapel we were sung at for roughly another 15 minutes.  I’m not going to go into much detail about the second half; for one thing there’s not much to say, for another I don’t want to be too negative.  On the up side, it was only short.

Following the concert I was invited to the choir’s social.  This took place in Bowland SCR.  I wasn’t much looking forward to this either.  Given that I didn’t know anyone in the choir other than Kimball and his girlfriend, I was a little concerned it would end up being another event at which I just sat in the corner not talking to anyone.  I was right for a while.  I sat with a group to begin with, but people started to drift away as they mingled with other people they knew.  In fact they seemed to gravitate to another group.  Now, the choir have an (apparently) legendary punch.  I was told I had to try it.  I don’t normally drink (not through any objection, but because I don’t like it very much), but I tried some.  It wasn’t very nice, so I got a ‘glass’ of orange and lemonade after.  I’m not sure how it happened, but following that I ended up with another glass of the punch.  The punch is quite strong and I’m a lightweight.  You can see where this is going.  I’ve found in the past that when I’ve had a bit to drink I become a lot more sociable, I talk to people who I don’t know, this isn’t usual.  There was a giant jenga game by the other group, and I was invited to play.  I turned the offer down: “I’ll watch and pick up some tactics”.  Soon enough, with the help of a little punch, I was giving advice (good advice, none of my block ideas made people lose!), firstly to one guy who I was standing next to, and in the second or third game to both him and a nice girl called Jess (the choir’s accompanymentalist).  She took my advice and didn’t lose.  He decided to choose his own block at one point and did lose.

Posted on Monday 10th March, 2008 at 3:10 pm in Obiter dicta, People.
It was tagged with , , , , .

Leave a comment