Sunday, 21 September 2008

Pomp and circumstance

No, dear reader, no - this is not another tirade of abuse directed at the Welsh windbag, Bryan Tryffd. I like to think that, with your help and encouragement, I have 'moved on' since the events of last weekend. Your messages of support, your words of wisdom (why, even in one case your poetic musings) have given me heart. I am at peace with myself, I have been in good voice this week (far better than Drane, whose verse week it has been, and who has made a pigs ear of some Purcell) and have enjoyed some lovely late summer sunshine with my paramour. No. The title of my post this week concerns events at the cathedral earlier today. For, once every year, the massed ranks of the RAF descend on the place with their squeaky boots and their brilliantined hair and conspire to look shifty during the chaplain's sermon. They dutifully remove their caps the instant they set foot inside the church; they say 'amen' together in a loud voice and in all the proper places, and they stand abruptly to attention on the first chord of the hymns. What they don't do, dear reader, is then sing the bloody things!
What normally happens on such occasions is that the dear boy, our assistant organist (he of the multiple and sometimes simultaneous female conquests - really, I don't know where the fellow gets his energy!) pulls out 'all the stops' so that the few brave airmen growling out the air two octaves lower than they should are spared all feelings of self-consciousness. As a consequence, those exercising their vocal chords in such a manner are encouraged to sing even louder, at which point the box is closed abruptly and the organist stops playing. It provides the choir with a moment of amusement, and these are few and far between. But the assistant was absent for this morning's annual Battle of Britain service, and his deputy (the newly appointed organ-scholar) seemed unfamiliar with this minor act of musical mischief-making. We were therefore treated to such hymnody as befits Bleanwyrn and Cwm Rhonda (oh no, it's him again!) as if we alone were singing. Which in point of fact we were. And as if that wasn't enough, we had the obsequious anedoinal preachings of their bloody padre to endure for half an hour. Half an hour! Even the sub Dean (he of the dramatic pauses) doesn't go on that long. So all in all, a somewhat disappointing Sunday. And to make matters worse, Felicia happened to remark (whilst glancing disapprovingly at my hush puppies) how smart the young men looked in their blue uniforms. I feel a visit to the shoe shop may be necessary.

13 comments:

Kevin Musgrove said...

Ladies love a man in uniform. You should exploit this with gusto.

Isn't there a Choral Vicar uniform? Something stirring in clerical grey with voluminous silk-lined pockets officially for scores but really for items confiscated from the choir (and perhaps also the Sub-Dean).

Or else moleskin gilettes with hymnal pouches?

Mrs. Pouncer will advise. I think she's in that sort of mood.

Kate Lord Brown said...

Goodness - I had no idea there was so much excitement in the cloisters.

Doshea3 said...

I intend to move as soon as such a position becomes vacant to a Church of Ireland church. I am deprived of all this pomp and ceremony, particularly the robe-wearing!

We sang Blaenwern in the Presby church this morning. The minister unbeknownst (of course) had chosen three hymns in the same metre (8787D), and so a little bit of tune-switching was necessary. Our congregation are used to me swapping Blaenwern and Hyfrydol according to my own mood, but today the third hymn left me in consternation. We eventually sang it to the most dismal tune I have ever heard, simply because the congregation knew it, and plus it was in our minister's personal bible—the "new" hymn book (no, not even "The Message" bible)! I would rather have had two Hyfrydols than that sort of arse. Church of Ireland here I come.

Gadjo Dilo said...

It's "a visit to the shoe shop" today, a trip to the barbers tomorrow, a tan & wax clinic the day after... I know she's worth it, but where will it all end??

Eddie 2-Sox said...

The reason the young men look bored CB1 is that they ARE bored.

From my own experoence of such matters, being nobbled to take part in a weekend parade is a pain of the highest order. Not only is your Sunday ruined, and not only do you have to go to church, but there are weeks and weeks of rehearsals before hand.

I'm just glad that the boys had the bonus of hearing you bustin' some choons.

Eddie 2-Sox said...

Gadgee D, the thought of CB1 partaking of a "back, sack and crack" makes the mind boggle and the eyes water....

scarlet-blue said...

As I've said before to those who need to be roused out of the doldrums: chin up, tits out, onwards and upwards!
I'm sorry you had a disappointing Sunday, I hope next week is better.
Sx

Kitty said...

I'm sure there's an Army & Navy store near you - they might 'do' RAF stuff too? I'm sure you and Felicia could have a fab time.

x

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Your postings are in severe danger of dragging me into church to see all the shenanigans for myself CB1 (I wouldn't mind only I was raised an athiest and don't know any of the words). Though my nearest church is a happy clappy affair of the worst order where neither words or music matter.

Good luck with the shoe-hunting.

musicjules said...

I was interested to find you using the "variant" (which in my book means "wrong but in such common usage that it will soon be right") spelling of vocal cords. Wikipedia puts it thus: Vocal cords, a term commonly used to refer to the vocal folds, is also spelled 'vocal chords', possibly due to the musical connotations or to confusion with the geometrical definition of the word "chord". While both spellings are historically correct, standard American spelling is 'vocal cords'. [7] According to the Oxford English corpus, contemporary writers opt for vocal chords instead of vocal cords 49% of the time. The 'vocal chords' variant has long been accepted in the United Kingdom (along with other anatomical uses like 'spinal chord'). Even in the United States, both variants can be found from early on, and it was only later on that American writers settled on 'vocal cords' as the standard version.

Eddie 2-Sox said...

Vocal "cords"?

Bloody Americans, just spell it properly.

And while you're at it, get a grip with colour and aluminium, and stop pronouncing bloody herbs as erbs.

Bloody idiots.

Lavinia said...

We ladies always notice a gentleman's shoes.

blogthatmama said...

I hope your visit to my blog didn't upset you too much, nobody suggested you're neurotic - after all you're a man. I've been reading through your difficult times though, what with the handsome RAF men stealing your thunder and the Welsh windbag dominating your thoughts, I could almost hear your jealous heart bursting with envy. What an enjoyable Friday morning read, I'll be back but don't worry, I won't stalk you like that shadowy romancer, Working Mum!