‘Twas a fun-filled (for the most part) couple of days this weekend. I’m realizing that my schedule remains too full and some things are going to have to drop, but I may feel differently after Z goes back to work next week.
On Saturday, one of my choirs had a gig singing at a wedding. It was at a downtown church, my first time in that beautiful space. The wedding was lovely, small, orthodox, with a wonderful homily and terrific organist. Sadly, for reasons unknown to me, we had a very poor turnout in the soprano section of the choir. One showed up, on time, an hour before the wedding was scheduled to start, but she is not a strong singer and wasn’t able to carry the section. Our warm-up run-through of the music were not great, and this was exacerbated by a leader who gets, to put it kindly, anxious under pressure. The other soprano showed up 10 minutes AFTER the wedding started, which was one hour and twenty minutes after call time. No excuses. Well, traffic, or something. The anxiety at the top left me and some of my fellow singers jumping between annoyance and amusement. At age 50 (it still seems weird to say that), I have no patience for this kind of lealdership, particularly in a volunteer activity where our work is to the glory of God.
We ended up not singing before the wedding, which we had been contracted to do. The rest of the mass went smoothly, particularly since someone stepped up to cantor at the last minute, and we had a chance to run through the Psalm before it started. But it was an experience that left me with a very sour taste in my mouth.
On a happier note, my Mom arrived from Ottawa for a visit. Z picked her up at the train station after dropping Michael off at his Jazz.FM band practice. We had a nice visit Saturday evening, with a quickly whipped together meal based on a delicious Beretta Farms BBQ chicken picked up at my local Loblaw Great Food, and I introduced my mom to Republic of Doyle, one of our fave shows from CBC that’s returning this season.
Sunday dawned cool and bright, with a full day ahead. It was our parish choir’s first Sunday back in the new year and we had a great turn-out! Easing in to things, our director pulled out some familiar work. We Mendelssohn’s Grant Us Thy Peace during the offertory and Sing My Soul by Ned Rorem, a gorgeous a cappella piece with sophisticated harmonies. Our space is so beautiful for singing; we’re in a loft at the back of a large neo-gothic church and the sound just rings. It’s my third year at this parish and I’m still stunned by the difference in sound between our rehearsal space and the church itself.
Right after mass, Z drove Michael and I to the subway where we headed downtown. I accompanied him to his first Hannaford Youth Band rehearsal and I spent the next couple of hours at the big book love-in at Queen’s Park, Word on the Street. I picked up a copy of Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto by Shawn Micallef and tracked him down to have it autographed, ’cause I missed his time in the signing tent. I’ve been following his tweets (@shawnmicallef and @strollcity) and have the mag he edits (Spacing) in my feedreader, but I’d also wanted to subscribe to the hard copy and got in on the WOTS deal this year. It was a great festival once again, and I enjoyed being there on my own, able to wander around and look at things that interested me without worried about whether my companion(s) were getting bored!
Michael was done at 4 and we headed home on the subway with his new-to-him Eb tuba. I whipped in to party mode and at 5 pm, welcomed my brother and his family, and my two aunts (and mom) over to celebrate the birthdays of my niece Emily (1) and nephew (and godson) Will (3). Most of the food had been prepped and Z had done a lot of work laying things out. We had maple-orange glazed salmon, lemon-celery rice, a green salad, plus cold appetizers and cheese, fruit, and cake. It was lovely to see everyone, but I was pretty wiped from being on my feet for a good part of the day!
This morning, my mom headed north to visit a friend for the day, and I’m making a batch of applesauce with some of the apples my brother gifted me with from an apple picking excursion he went on with his family. He gave us Spartans (great for applesauce), Cortlands (baking, eating), and McGowan’s (eating) so I see some pies and crisps in my future (although given my diet, I won’t be eating them!)
A busy week ahead. More to come.