Saturday, 31 December 2005

Catching Up - Part 2

Catching Up - Part 1

On 21 December, I, together with 10 other "Queers A Singing" made my appearance in QX magazine as part of their 12 day of Christmas feature. We had got together in Trafalgar Square a couple of weeks ago for a quick photo session.

After all the exersions at Selfridges, my voice was starting to feel a bit ropy and tired. That did not stop me however to attend two civil partnership celebration, as previously announced. It was interesting to see how the style of the ceremonies reflected the personnalities of the people involved. One was quite pragmatic and straight to the point while the other involved poetry reading and music. You can read what my usual sidekick has to say about it here. The lesson of this day where just under 1000 couples got united is that, contrary to what we were told, society is still standing and the sky hasn't collapsed.

I didn't have the time to attend the parties after the ceremonies however as I had to rush to prepare for the first of our two Barbican gigs.

Barbican Hall - 18 December 2004

It is always quite something to perform in big venues in London. This is most definitely our home crowd and the simple fact of us getting on stage usually gets them into a frenzy. The house was filled to about 80% of it's capacity on both nights but it was interesting to see that when they were asked during the audience participation bit, that few people had actually seen us last year. I am pleased to be able to say that this can not have anything to do with the quality of the performance as people, even if they can sometimes be intimidated by the slightly unfashionable image (read boring and naff) of choral singing in the first place, are usually quite enthusiastic when they see us. I agree with Slightly, that it probably has to do with the way the show was promoted. The name of the show was the same, the pictures used were those of last year's gig and people can be forgiven to think that they were presented with the same fare as last year. While some elements were similar, there was a lot of new material and as ever a few surprises. Both gigs went quite well and were probably some of our strongest performances ever. what the "other chorine" had to say about those two gigs, from Dallas where he is visiting his partner's family. Comments from an unknown member of our audience.

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A recording of our Christmas material (and our other CDs) are available from the Chorus' online shop.

It was nice to see that, Rula Lenska, our hostess, although she perhaps protested a bit much of her "straightness" in her speeches on stage, was very enthusiastic throughout the whole process. To her credit, she not only hosted the show but also danced and sang in two numbers. She must have been very bored when not on stage in Birmingham and created a sort of card in the shape of a big dayglow mouth with little stars stuck aphazadly on it; telling us how wonderful she thought the Chorus was. She also wrote us a poem once the shows were finished, again emphasising how much fun she had working with us.

On both nights, I walked home for the Barbican enjoying the solitude of the crisp winter night and trying to burn out the high of adrenaline you usually get after a gig.

Another event which, like Selfridges, seems on the verge of becoming a Christmas tradition for the Chorus, is our carolling session under the Norwegian Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square in support of the RNIB. this took place this year on 23 December for us and it was a very nice and (mostly) relaxed way to wound down our season. After the gig (which raised over £750), we adjourned to a nearby gay pub for a drink and to exchange Christmas wishes before a short break.

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As I have mentioned before, there is guy in Chorus whom I rather like even if I can't get near him for some reason. I have decided that I would try my best and ignore him; stop staring at him and that sort of thing. While things haven't change between the two of us (ie NOTHING is happening), I have been getting some confusing and contradictory signals from him during this round of performances. I sometimes catch him looking at me, but not that often and he doesn't seem to do it when it would seem the most natural.

There was an interesting episod in Birmingham. We were sharing the same dressing room (I never cease from wondering at the importance of toilets, locker rooms and other such public spaces in the lives of gay men's). As I was topless, I am pretty sure I saw him checking me out, just like I had just checked him out. Nothing else happened; I finished getting dressed and went to sit outside to eat my sandwich where I was joined by another chorine. A few minutes later it was his turn to come out of the dressing room and after a visible short hesitation, he came to sit next to me to have his own sandwich and chit-chat with us.

On the coach back to Brighton, he was seated a few rows in front of me on the other side and he did look at me a few times.

I am all too aware, from past experience, that it is all too easy to twist and blow things out of proportion when you really want to read something into circumstances so I will keep on trying not to think about him or check him out too much; be nice if he talks to me but not seek contact with him as the evidence point to the fact that he is most probably not interested. In the past week I have met someone, who, while I don't think either of us are expecting anything very deep for our association, is helping me taking my head off the reluctant chorine.

With the end of the siging season, and after this very intensive last few days, withdrawal started to kick in. A feel not alleviated in any way but my having to go back to work on the 28th. Christmas had been quite. On the 25th, last most years it seems, I made my way (I walked the 5 odd miles return this year, when I cycled them last year) to a French friend's place (we actually come from the same area in France and new each other before he moved to this country about 10 years ago) where we had a typically French Christmas lunch in the company of my friend's new boyfriend; as sweet guy from Mauritius. I must confess to a little pang of jealousy at see them exchanges gestures of tenderness.

This is the last post of the year for me, so let me wish you all a very happy, safe and prosperous new year. Thanks to all those who take the time to read my ramblings.

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