I am just back from choir and writing this while the boys are  fixing a baby gate to the bottom of the stairs. The pattering tiny feet are those of Raffles, however, who tries to find any opportunity to zip upstairs and take a running jump onto my bed. That dog is like some sort of portly ginger flea in his jumping ability.

Generally dogs are not even allowed upstairs in our house let alone ON THE BED. And Raffles’s speciality is to do this when he’s just returned from a muddy walk. I try and hose him down but the residual mud does not make for a happy combination with my White Company bedlinen. Which is white. Or was.

The dogs have been containable in the sitting room and kitchen but next week the builders will be inside taking down the ceilings of the old kitchen and sitting room and making a temporary doorway between the hall, the front room and the utility room, which is our temporary kitchen. Then they’ll seal off the back of the house to work on it and we’ll be living in the front. It’s going to be quite difficult to contain the poor dogs but I really don’t want them upstairs all the time, hence the baby gate. What’s the betting that someone will leave the gate open on the rainiest day of the spring?


When I think about how passionate I was about politics when younger, I chastise myself now. Yes, it’s important to vote but I hate tribal politics. Which is why I am despairing at pre-election Twitter-in-a-frenzy at the moment. #Milifandom and the resultant #Cameronettes generate eyerolls that come all the way back to the front. How ridiculously puerile it all is. Let’s all vilify Clegg, as we idolize/quake in our boots (depending on where one lives) at the prospect of Sturgeon. No-one I know can take Farage seriously. I’m seriously disappointed in the Greens. But it’s all so nasty and unnecessarily vulgar and dumbed down.

I know I should take much more of an interest and I am trying hard but all of the above is demoralising and just makes me want to put my X against None of the Above. If we stopped the hyperbole, the scaremongering and the high pitched slanging matches, I wonder if people would actually start saying things that made me want to listen to them. It’s so utterly depressing that I can understand why lots of people have turned off and decided not to bother.


Tonight was the first choir practice of the new term and we practised opera choruses for our next concert, which is traditionally a light one to mark the end of the year. We rehearsed items from Aida and Carmen and Nabucco. This coincides, as you will know, with my trying to find a more operatic voice in my solo singing, but I keep having to remind myself that being in the chorus is not the same as being the diva soloist.

Long-term followers of the blog and, especially, me on Twitter will smile at this one. Look what Maestro Sundermann produced for us to sing:


Well, the English translation is OK but it’s not as good as singing in Italian. Few things are as good as singing in Italian, in my view. But none of that is as good as singing “Slap him in the face,” to this stonking tune, in traffic with MsDD, taking out her frustration and mine.

I should have gone to the pub after choir tonight. It’s fun as long as the right people are there and I don’t end up stuck with the most boring man in the world. And, no matter how earnest my conversation is, why do I always tune in to the far more interesting debate at the other side of the table, longing to be part of that? Anyway, I did not go because I am fasting and tired and grumpy. This is a busy week for me and it’s good to be at home for one evening, at least.