Monthly Archives: June 2009

If music be the food of love…

….do take that cheese out of your ears. I’m sure I’ve mentioned the Miffy attempts at making not-so-sweet music before now. I’ve been having singing lessons for around five years now; beginning with a group class with the local college. Then when that folded for lack of numbers, a select group of us decided to continue with our tutor on our own. And great fun it was. We were so keen that we used to practise our warm-up exercises in the car on the way to the lesson. Fellow motorists who happened to glance across and caught a glimpse of four ladies of indeterminate age apparently mouthing goodness knows what, must have wondered what on earth we were up to! A couple of years ago our tutor moved out of the area, we decided to go our separate ways. Since then I’ve been taking individual classes with the music director from Oldchurch. It’s only 30 minutes once a week, and the quality of the Miffy voice is..how shall we say…well, ‘variable’ might be the kindest way of describing it. As any wibsiters who’ve been unlucky enough to be next to me in church at Wightmeets will certify.

Be that as it may, I’ve found that half hour really important in all kinds of ways, not the least in the confidence stakes. And even more as something which I do just ‘because,’ and not because I ‘should.’ More especially back last year when I was going through a bit of a bumpy patch. Singing on your own of course, means having to focus (no sitting back and letting the others do the hard work). I quite often come out with if not always a spring in my step, at least a smile on my face and whistling away not so much like a nightingale as a slightly demented sparrow. I’m currently ‘murdering’ that beautiful Purcell aria ‘Music for a While.’ There’s a certain amount of ‘willing suspension of disbelief’ needed for this of course, as I’m a quavery alto and it’s usually sung by a counter-tenor. It’s got a wonderful, ethereal quality about it; versions here by the late Alfred Deller and Philippe Jaroussky. Wonderful!

Vital statistics of a cyclical nature

Thanks, Tractorgirl for your comment on my regrettable lack of technical knowhow! Whilst I’m on site, a quick check of our wonderful stats package has revealed that, despite my conspicuous lack of bloggery lately, there have in fact been not a few visitors. What brings them here, you wonder? Well, if the stats on search terms are to be believed, coverage of the beloved’s cycling antics are the open sesame to wibsome brownie points and expanding waistline. ‘Etape Caledonia’ has been especially popular. We hope, not just because of the media coverage of the sabotage attempts early on in the race.

Still, now I’ve cracked the secret of successful blogging, Musings might well take on a distinctly velocapedic (?) nature, as my cyclical tourings round the world of Miffydom proceed via wanderings through The Wessex, musings round the Marmotte and tanglings with the Etape.

The consequences of not updating one’s address book

Worried sounding text to beloved son: “R u OK? Haven’t heard from you for ages! nunX”

Even more worried response: “Who you?”

‘Nun’ replies: ” Your mother, of course!”

Rapidly panicking ‘nun’ ferrets around in address book. Ooops!

When somebody changes phones it is advisable to change their details in your address book straight away not take the lazy way out and rely on doing all future texts on the back of their change of number message.

Catching up and watching the birdie

Woken at 6.30 a.m. by Miffdog giving out the sort of pathetic whistles and bleeps that either mean “Help, help – I’m about to burst!”, “Help, Help, I’m starving,” or “There is an intruder on our territory; vengeance is mine!” This last is usually one of the local moggies. They always escape and I’m sure our neighbours are highly entertained by the sight of Topcat doing an assault course over our 6 ft plus fencing to the accompaniment of the canine equivalent of the intro to Rossini’s William Tell Overture…not. Hence I didn’t dare let him out onto the lawn. However, when by 9 a.m. we’d heard more Bleeps than an archive episode of Blue Peter’s ‘Bleep and Booster,’ (remember them, anybody?), I gave in, and a hairy fury shot out into the Miffy estate and practically hoovered the lawn with his nose. There was no sign of Topcat but some tell-tale flurries of feathers on the path, so when, ten minutes later I heard a crash and triumphant scufflings from Miffdog, I rushed back outside, but, as I suspected, it was too late; I’m afraid he’d finished off what M le Moggie had started. Ewww! To be honest, it was probably a merciful release. Our neighbourhood pidgeons often seem to have even more lives than the one of Dick Dastardly fame but sometimes their luck runs out. Though come to think of it, Miffdog does bear a fleeting resemblance to Muttley. Anyoldhow, I didn’t fancy my breakfast one bit after that.*

On a more pleasant note, over on his cycle blog Mr Miff has been doing some catching up on our doings, including our late May bank holiday stay in Sherborne for the Tour of Wessex Cyclosportive.. Do pop over to our other blogs and read all about it. We had a great weekend; Mr Miff reaching gold standard in the three day marathon. Meantime, I had an equally good time – if more relaxing time pottering round Sherborne, including visits to the Abbey – celebrating the 1300th anniversary of its founding Saint, Aldhelm – from all accounts the party animal of ancient Wessex, (well, you have to allow me my little exaggeration!) and just generally chilling.

You’ll also be rejoiced to learn that I resisted the lure of the charity shops, and did not come back home with a large, wooden statue of St Francis and a birdbath. Note, ‘and,’ not ‘in!’

p.s. Mr M has steam cleaned the path since. My hero!