Made With Love

two cakes – one made perfectly,
tastes beautiful, looks beautiful but made by an unknown person.
second cake doesn’t look perfect
but tastes really good.
The second cake does not stand up straight
but it is made with love.
This ingredient makes the cake extra special.
A person has spent the whole day on it
making it for her mother’s birthday.
If it was me, I would choose the second cake.
I was the person who made the cake for my mother.

Darker Night at the Hairdresser

As the day gets darker
I go to the hairdresser.
Thinking of colour
I open the door and enter.
Maybe emerald or azure.
I want a bright colour.
I discuss this with Catherine as I am not sure.
She sits listening quietly to what I desire
and goes and get the colour.

‘My dear blue is not what you require.
It will make your hair brittle I am sure.
Your hair has settled into a lovely colour.
I suggest you opt for a lovely rose couture.
It is quite on trend and it will be much better
for conditioning your hair.

I will trust my hairdresser.
Literally in her hands I place my hair.
Catherine gets her paints as I wait on my chair.
Car lights zoom past faster and faster.
They are still looking for a good hairdresser.

Things I did not expect

The unforgiving heat of Rome.

Water threatening to disappear in bottle.

Vatican stuffed to brim with art.

Unexpected tears listening to Andre Boccelli.

The hushed beauty of the Sopra Minerva.

Tingles singing Ave Maria at St Peter’s Basilica.

The colour of Italian language.

History lessons waiting just around the corner to be discovered.

David poised ready to battle Goliath.

Duomo spires tracing speech bubbles in the sky.

Dodging traffic on Italian walkways.

The generosity of friends just met (thanks everybody).

Understanding the smile on the face of an English fellow singer.

Crossing Abbey Road like a Beetle (intentional spelling error).

Intricacies and speed of British underground.

The best of all things being singing in front row seats at Royal Albert Hall in London.

Getting through customs and security checks at Heathrow and Tullamarine.

Realizing, and appreciating, how much was done for us by Matthew, Jonathon and the tour guides.

Wondering why Melbourne looks so small.

Wishing I could repeat experience but good rest first

The Carnival is Coming

Only one day and the festival is here again.
So much to look forward to this weekend.
A show about choir drama will unfold
and one person will be left out in the cold.

Saturday Tobias and the Angel opera.
Patrick takes the reins of the choir
and I became a tree or a river.
(along with 399 other singers).

Sunday a Sydney director will bring a secret.
Don’t know yet the specifics of this.
Will know soon so more details then.

Monday brings Best of British
so I will enjoy some English tunes.
Jerusalem and a coronation song.
I will dance the Cachuca
with my friend next to me.

It is going to be a thrill ride from
beginning to end.
I am happy to be a little singer
this weekend.
But you will not even see me.
I will sing with all other people on stage.
Hand in hand and one voice.
We are family.

And then the carnival will be over.
Until next year.

Peeoop

The event running sheet lists the songs we need to take for the singer’s weekend. I remove the songs we are not singing. Removing the unlisted songs does not much much of a difference in weight but  it all makes a difference. The guest conductor is going to teach some surprise songs. It will be good to learn a song from the beginning again.
I have been told all pencil markings have to be removed from Tobias and the Peeooping Birds(Tobias and the Angel) by the end of the performance. (I must remember to take an eraser). My pencil has kindly recorded all the advice provided by the conductor on my long journey with Tobias. It is very cautious and is always warning me what to do well ahead of time. Things to remember – spit consonants out, whisper with purpose and menace, sing ‘chooce’ not ‘jews’ and lots and lots of Singlish.
I am definitely watching out for tram tracks in my music. These tram tracks (look like this –  || ) are musical Stop Signs which warn me of the moments not to sing. If I sing here I am in no man’s land with no safe way of returning. I will be singing solo if I venture further so I always have my eyes ready for these tram tracks.
My friend with the pencil markings all over it will be with me for the show. My conductor is fun. He has a wicked sense of humour and a ready smile. Always patient, always kind. He brightens up the day every time he teaches.
Now I have my instructions in my music I am ready to sing in a show.  My annotations are the foundation of my song and supports me just like my breath supports my voice. All too soon the song is going to be sung and then I will have to say goodbye to Tobias and the Peeooping Birds.
This story is unknown and strange. I grew up in a religious family and have never heard of the book of Tobit. I have learnt more than singing in a menacing whisper.

To and for Angela

I wrote a poem for our tour guide, Angela, and read it to her before we left her in Milan.

TO AND FOR ANGELA

Tired and thirsty in Rome
and wanting to get to bed
you met us at the airport
waving that flag above your head.
Many memories since then
as through the streets you led
us towards amazing sights
your dazzling smile beckoned.

Allora, allora.
I don’t know what that means.
That really doesn’t matter,
I will hear it in my dreams.
You have told us many things.
We have certainly learnt a lot
as we travelled from place to place
and on the map from spot to spot.

We are your first Australians
you’ve worked with overseas
and although we’ve had problems
you’ve resolved them with ease.
Now we are leaving
you will not be forgot.
On to England, you know us,
we are not ones to remain in one spot

Things I did not expect

The following is a list of things I did not expect

the unforgiving heat of Rome
water threatening to disappear in bottle
Vatican stuffed to brim with art
unexpected tears listening to Andre Boccelli
hushed beauty of Sopra Minerva
tingles singing Ave Maria at St Peter’s Basilica
colour of Italian language
history lessons waiting just around the corner to be discovered
David poised ready for battle
Duomo spires tracing speech bubbles in the sky
dodging traffic on Italian walkways
generosity of friends just met (thanks everybody)
understanding the smile on the face of an English fellow singer
crossing Abbey Road like a Beetle (intentional spelling error)
intricacies and speed of British underground
the best of all things being singing in front row seats at Royal Albert Hall in London
getting through customs and security checks at Heathrow and Tullamarine and realizing and appreciating how much was done for us by Matthew, Jonathon and the tour guides
wondering why Melbourne looks so small
wishing I could repeat experience but good rest first