Last year was, without a doubt, the year of remote working. I now spend most of my days and evenings sitting at my desk. During November I began to realise just how painfully uncomfortable my chair had become.
After much research, I’ve bought myself a new Secretlab TITAN XL series gaming chair and even though I’ve only had it for a week, I love it.
Last month, while clearing out Mum’s flat I came across this tatty old thing, the kitchen sink (model 1.024) from my younger sister’s old Caroline’s Home doll’s house.
You know the saying “everything but the kitchen sink”, that means “nearly everything one can reasonably imagine; many different things, often to the point of excess or redundancy”? Lots of people used to say that about my late Mum’s handbag. She kept a lot of things in it.
“Blimey! Rosalie, you have everything in there except the kitchen sink,” they’d laugh.
And my mum would rummage at the bottom of her handback and proudly produce this old thing.
“Actually,” she would counter, “I do have the kitchen sink in here.”
But it served a purpose other than just a comic retort. Behind the tiny cupboard doors, which over time broke and were repeatedly taped together with masking tape, Mum kept three ten pence pieces—the right amount of money to get her into most public toilets in an emergency.
That’s the kind of practicality that I admired about my mum.
This has been the year for lockdown choirs and following the success of the National Youth Choir alumni’s Shenandoah project in June, we geared up in the autumn to produce something in time for Christmas.
Arranged by Louise Clare Marshall (whom many will have watched bringing in the new year last night on Jools Holland’s Annual Hootenanny), we held sectional rehearsals on Zoom in early November and videos were submitted during the final week of November, leaving about one month for our team of technicians to edit and mix the audio and video.
The video launched on Christmas Eve and, remarkably, we were featured at the end of the BBC News broadcasts that evening!
I’m so proud of what we have achieved. It’s not the same as standing in the same space and making music together but I’ll take it over nothing.
Thank you to all who were involved. To Louise, the section leaders, everyone who got involved, our wonderful team of audio and video engineers, and the rest of the NYCGB Alumni Champions Committee—some of my dearest friends in all the world.