Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Telephone Singing


My Bill Bryson week ended up struggling back by train in a heatwave. This I do not recommend, particularly with one hot dog and a very heavy case (how had it got so heavy overnight, pray?) and having to change trains three times. I was extremely hot and bothered by the time we reached Falmouth and desperate to get home.

Unusually for Cornwall, it was even hot in the evenings: living by the sea tends to mean cool breezes after about 6pm, but when I finally got home it was warm enough to sit outside my local in shorts and a t shirt.

The following evening was our gig in Flushing, part of Flushing Arts Week. We sang for an hour in their church, which has the most incredible acoustics, as well as stained glass windows, and then trotted down the road to the Standard pub. The service here left a lot to be desired, but we finally managed to get drinks and sat outside (how often can you do that in this country?) with the river on our right, the boats bobbing up and down, and a family of swans parading up the slipway.

As Mum’s foot was playing up again and she was stuck in Devon, I said I’d ring her so she could hear us singing down the phone. I mentioned this to Claire, our musical director, who said straight away, “What would she like to hear?”

“Something cheerful,” I replied.

So we settled on “Freedom Train” and I rang Mum, got her ready, sitting the other end of the phone on her sofa.

Claire made sure she’d got the audience’s attention and announced, “This number is for Sue’s Mum!” and we began to sing.

There really is something very special about singing outside, by water. I was hoping that some of that would come across, albeit down the phone, but you never know, so I held my breath when the number had finished.

Mum was a bit quiet, but finally said, “I was so touched and moved. It made my day!”

Which made a magical night even better.

14 comments:

Leigh said...

I like to think that, even if these moments came more often (and how I wish they would), we would still appreciate them just as much. It sounds like a lovely time!

Flowerpot said...

These moments are so precious aren't they? It was a great time for all of us!

Chris Stovell said...

Oh, brilliant, Sue - what a lovely thought. Ma would cry if I sang down the phone to her, but that's because I can't sing.

Flowerpot said...

Chris - this did make me laugh. Just as well we cry for different reasons!!

Talli Roland said...

Singing outside by the water must be wonderful. And how cool that your mum got to hear you!

Akelamalu said...

Oh what a lovely thing to do for your Mum! It would have brought tears to my eyes I can tell you.

I am so wishing for some hot weather where we can sit outside until late in the evening. I know it doesn't happen very often but I so enjoy it when it does. Saying that we were able to do it in Abersoch a couple of times while we were there. :)

Flowerpot said...

Ak - those summer evenings are the best aren't they? We have another big gig next Tues and hoping the weather will be OK for that...

Flowerpot said...

Talli - it was so cool!

Debs Carr said...

What a thoughtful thing for you to do for her.

I've been on a train in a heatwave, but never with a dog, it must have been dreadful.

Flowerpot said...

Debs - it was pretty horrendous - we didnt have a seat either!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

What a lovely thing to do for your mum, I imagine it made her day. I'm a big lover of stained glass windows, too.

CJ xx

Flowerpot said...

CJ - stained glass can be really lovely can't it?

galant said...

For those of you who, like me, also loves stained glass, might I recommend Rachel Hore's nove, The Glass Painter's Daughter, a lovely read. And yes, a brilliant idea to sing to your Mum on the phone. And I've also been in a heatwave on a train - it's horrible. It was on my (now late) mother's birthday, her last one, the year she died, and we took the train from Newton Abbot to Penzance, for a birthday treat. I think it must've been the hottest day of the year, the train was packed with a lot of people standing, and it took more than three hours, with windows we could not open. It was vile. Some bithday treat!
Margaret P
PS But it improved when we reached Penzance as we took Mum to the art gallery to see works by the Newlyn school of painters.
Margaret P

Flowerpot said...

Margaret - yes I have read that book and enjoyed it. Hot train journeys are dire!