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A day in my life
Music - music - music
Beeching House does not believe in idle people! We have activities every day - twice. Lots going on in - the mornings - from ‘keep fit’ to a ‘knit-n-natter’ that produces the most amazing things most beautifully made, and in the afternoons there are days for painting, tai-chi, yoga, films, poetry, books - and my favourite - Music.
Last week the Music afternoon got off to a bad start with an ‘occasional’ talk by a local dignitary that went on a wee bit too long, so my usual mix of ’easy-to-listen-to’ classics and a following assortment of Strauss waltzes and Matt Munro had to be shortened and consequently altered. In my wisdom (ahem) I thought that I would fill in the shortened time with a whole symphony , which would be 45 to 50 minutes. I thought the beautiful ‘Pastorale’ would be perfect. I’ve never done this before, and I don’t think I will again.
The first movement - once the delicate ears and hearing-aids were sorted out - was listened to un-eventfully.
The second movement and most of the third had only a few interruptions (someone going to the loo - on sticks and needing help) that were not too noisy. Then------
“Someone has put their fleecy jacket on my walker - its not mine. Is it yours George darling?” Loudly
And cross. ‘George darling’ (97) is Pearl’s fiancée - so she says. She says he’s the love of her life after Jesus. He simply nods with a seraphic smile. Pearl is (91). We are all delighted that they are now ‘love’s young dream’ apart from the antics of Pearl to make sure we are aware of it. It can get embarrassing, and noisy with it!
George said it wasn’t his fleece and tried to get it on on top of his sports jacket to prove it. He got stuck with it half on and half off. Its removal took a noisy ten minutes of wriggling and squirming. Lots of those liking the music s-shushed - but of little avail. Then------
“I don’t like this music - I want Vera Lynn”
“ We’ll have Vera Lynn on another day, Patricia.”
“Why not now.”
“Because we are having something else.” Patricia scowls. One of the Carers comes in to remove the remaining tea-cups. That makes a certain tea-cup clatter.
Lily comes in from the garden and can ‘t find a seat - not one she wants anyway.
“I can ‘t sit there - its someone else’s seat.|”
“Is anyone sitting in it?”
“No - but they may want to.”
“Just sit down, Lily.”
Lily goes around the room asking those next to a vacant seat if it is really empty - then asks -
“Why is everyone sitting down?”
“We are listening to music.”
“Because it’s the special afternoon for listening to music.”
“But if we don ‘t keep moving we’ll stiffen up and not be able to move at all. My son said so.”
“Yes Lily , but not every ten minutes. Sit and listen to the music.”
Ten minutes later she’s up again and walking into the garden.
Bridget is sitting near the door which suddenly burst open and Bridget shrieks in delight.
“Hello Mum - a surprise - what!” booms a cheerful man in the doorway. Soon followed by the rest of his family.
“O-oh! Ooh! Are you all listening to music? Ssch! (to the children) -sorry .” They lower their voices - but not for long. They giggle a lot and they all make a lovely fuss of Bridget.
Lily comes in again and once more doesn’t know where to sit..
Dorothy wakes up as Beethoven’s thunderstorm thunders out of the player. She shrieks “What was that?”
I tell her it was just music.
“Its too loud” she says. “I don’t like it”
Beethoven is gasping his last as Lily wanders around deciding which empty chair she should sit in ‘in case someone else wants it.’ She finds one and sits down.
Margot gets up and wants to go to her room. She is on a walker and can’t get it past the wheel-chairs. It takes a bit of manoeuvring. Bridget’s lovely family are all over the place. Pearl still wants to know who owns the fleece on her walker. George, who can’t hear a thing because he’s lost his hearing aids, just sits and sweetly smiles.
From the back of the room comes a little voice “Wasn’t that music beautiful - so relaxing.”
The remaining three of us raise our eyes to heaven - hysterical laughter vying with the need of either a strong cup of tea - or a gin and tonic. Beethoven is silent.
Its Gershwin and Haydn next week; with a little Liszt, and the Welsh male-voice choir for stability. If all goes well we might finish with a little Cole Porter.
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