I was in bed with LuLu cat on my shoulder and a hot cup of tea, when it occurred to me that you could not pay me enough money to work alongside my husband.
I’m sure he would say the same.
There are many other things we love to do; cooking, movies, reading, and the children. “You forgot footy,” he said.
Then there’s the singing. Yes, we sing. No, it’s not a euphemism.
We’ve sung in choirs since we first met.
First the Berry Bazaar Body Beats with Colin Offord and his Environmental Orchestra in a tiny coastal place called Berry and at the Enmore Theatre, Sydney.
We sang in a small, original happy, hippy community performance called High Rise Tree (with the birds for company …)
I still have the tiddly, size two, pink and purple, tree and echidna t-shirt my daughter wore in her role.
We sang 25 years ago, in the choir at the Church of the Apostles, with glorious Mary O’Byrne accompanying on the church organ.
Even after we stopped choir, we continued to attend Mass, where the only bit I really, truly enjoyed was the hymn singing and Christmas carols at midnight Mass.
Three years ago I decided I would find a choir and get singing.
I loved singing communally and knew it could clear my head of work and be an identifiable, kosher, ‘leisure activity’.
Singing had other advantages: In social settings, when people asked what I did in my spare time, I could claim I sang alongside Vika and Linda. “You may not have noticed, but I was also a member of the women’s army of singers who performed with the great Leonard Cohen, or, John Mellencamp when each last toured Australia”, I might say. But I’d be lying.
Instead, I was in the cheap seats singing my heart out to Small Town or Dance Me To The End of Love.
It was a booze-inspired singalong three weeks ago that finally got me to a choir.
“I’ve started going to a choir,” Gael said, “come with me next Monday”.
The rest will go down in music history … or not.
The irony is not lost on me that it took three years to finally find a leisure activity via choir, and said activity was right NEXT door to my workplace.
What a choir and what a welcoming, decent group of people!
My husband a bass, was sent to the front with a handful of blokes. I’m an alto. The majority of women were sopranos.
More music and my mind darted across scores, identifying old friends ...
Alto is tricky because you sort of have to be the flat, back bit between the sopranos and the bass.
It’s great brain work, reading music and compartmentalising exterior sounds to keep on track with the alto moments.
The sheet music for our first piece was shared and within moments I was transported to a quiet Scottish valley.
More music and my mind darted across scores, identifying old friends from my grand, ‘60s, public school education, where I first learned to write and read music.
It was the reading of music I truly enjoyed last Monday, but not quite as much as when we came together to sing, and somehow the whole of us sounded spectacular, especially to me, a nervous first-timer.
Apparently the choir has been together for close to 20 years, under choir mistress Elaine - its members at all ages and stages of life and, importantly, in tune.
My brain was so addled by the time we were driving home, I got us lost. I was totally exhausted. But I reckon I’ll be back.