Today was a very special day. My line of work has been badly affected by Covid19. I am a professional musician, I play the bassoon, teach wind instruments and piano from home, and I run two choirs! The social distancing presently required for orchestras would mean we would probably require a field to be sufficiently spaced to perform safely, and it is obviously impossible to play a bassoon wearing a face-mask. I run an adult and youth choir for my church and we are not allowed to sing. Even allowing for my luddite lack of technological know-how, my choir would not appreciate an ‘online’ version of rehearsing and performing. We have produced some fantastic performances over the years but most of my choir members would not want to sing individually into a ‘zoom’ meeting. We need to be together, ‘in the flesh’. A large part of the success of St Mary’s adult and youth choirs is the social interaction. Everybody enjoys singing and they have been very tolerant of being taught some difficult works…it is not easy learning Mozart or Faure’s requiem, if you don’t read music! But I have come to the conclusion that the main reason people turn up faithfully every week, whatever their age, is that they like each other. We have now not rehearsed since the start of lockdown. We missed our Good Friday performance of Mozart’s requiem, we missed Anzac Day and the Youth Choir and All Age Band missed their summer concert. But today, quite a few members of the adult choir got together in two groups to come for two socially distanced visits of the garden and it was lovely! Most of them haven’t seen me for ages because I’ve only been out (usually to look at bricks) about 6 times in 4 months because I’ve tried to shield due to caring for dad and Jean. It was literally like a family reunion and everyone was so pleased to see each other. During the morning before they came, I iced a cake (made with Pecky’s eggs) and pottered around the garden tidying away hoses and dead heading. I asked Patrick to mow a path through the wild flower meadow which then completed captivated Tiggy and me. It was so brilliant to have the path and walk amongst the wild flowers, I should have let Patrick do it ages ago. Tig rushed through the path in great excitement and threw herself into the cat mint at the other end in ecstasy! I think this is now my new favourite part of the garden. On the second visit of the afternoon something truly amazing happened, our little group was just emerging from the polytunnel when an enormous heron swooped overhead and slowly descended into the garden. It then proceeded to inspect the fountain pool and stroll at a leisurely pace down the path, past the mount. We all watched in amazement and one of our group sneaked forward to try and catch some pictures.
The heron continued to amble around the paths in a most unconcerned fashion for about 10 minutes until it slowly took off and flapped away! It was evening before I waved off our final visitors and hearing screaming from the garden I rushed back to see what was wrong.
All three girls were in a tight huddle with a crying Aideen. Aideen had received an email from Guildhall as we walked around on our final tour. She knew what it was and she was too scared to open it so she waited until our visitors left. It was her final results for her degree, for everything including all performances, recitals and written work, and she had been awarded a first class honours! I cannot think of a better end to a lovely day!