In which earrings are lost and songs are said...

Thursday, the 23rd of December, 2004 - 19 to 11pm

Current Song ~ "Glasgarten" by Goethes Erben.

Happy Winter Solstice for Tuesday!
...and just in case I don't return to the Diary before the 25th has been and gone, I had better start this by wishing everyone a merry Christmas, a joyous Saturnalia, and/or much fun celebrating the births of Mithras, Dionysus, Annie Lennox, and Quentin Crisp.
Boy, it's all go on that date, isn't it?

We hit the beginning of the main Christmas celebrations at church last Sunday, and alas, hit it with a spectacular lack of success.
(I am starting to suspect, being as I am ludicrously prone to superstition, that the day of the church carol service is cursed, and am making plans to spend it cowering under the duvet next year.)

That's not to say that there weren't good things, for there were.
The Sunday School provided yet another successful Nativity Play, featuring a whole host of angels (small girls with fairy costumes cannot be denied their moment of glory, though only one of them got to hold the Star-onna-Stick) and Shaun the Sheep (Wallace & Gromit was a godsend to those who previously had a hell of a time finding toy sheep for Nativity).

On the less positive side, we have now discovered the hard way that while the Advent Ring Song is not exactly the most inspiring work ever, and especially not after being performed for four weeks running, it is very, very much worse in the form of spoken word.
I couldn't honestly say that I know why there was no music. There was unexpected bizarrely funereal musical accompaniment during the Lighting of the Advent Ring, but after that... silence.
We all sat looking expectant for what must have been a good five minutes or more, but the music, it did not come.
The clergy member running the show eventually gave up and suggested that we all said the Advent Ring Song, so say it we did - complete with all five choruses.
Suspicions that the only redeeming feature of the Advent Ring Song is that it's set to the tune of The Holly and the Ivy were confirmed...

The rest of the service went reasonably to plan, but alas, Fate was out to get me, and when I got home I realised that at some point between leaving home and coming back to it, I had lost one of my earrings.
Now, these would not be valuable earrings. They were, however, a birthday present from my parents, and the earrings that I'd taken to wearing every day because they were comfortable and compliment-attracting. Add to that my tendency to get terribly attached to things, and you can well imagine how put out I was.

However, as I am even in the depths of despair an optimistic soul, and armed with my keen eyesight and happy knowledge that my obsessive-compulsive routine-following makes my path easy to retrace, I headed out churchwards.

The first day, despite my covering the church grounds, the choir vestry and the choir stalls with great thoroughness (while cursing losing something silver at a time when the church floor is always awash with silver tinsel), yielded no results.
That day I was also obliged to opt out of the Carol Service, for the top of my range is still pretty shot, and a third of the only piece other than the high descants that I was really there for was (unbeknownst to me) given to a newbie chorister as a solo, which made my presence rather redundant. Few choirs really benefit from the addition of a rather snitty soprano forced to temporarily explore her mezzo side.
Rather annoying, but these things will happen.

'Come Monday night, the Angst was starting to set in, but the inclination to give up was still being kept at bay.
So, early on Tuesday afternoon I set out for the church again, keeping a close eye on the pavement as I went, and carefully paced every single square foot that I knew that I had been in.
I am not overly keen on being in the church alone. It's a modern church and not big on the elaborately creepy architecture - no crime series with an actual budget would use it for churchy murders - but there are any number of things (plumbing, heating, et cetera) that are inclined to suddenly spring to life, as well as the usual orchestra of dripping taps and creaking boards that can play merry hell with the mind of the overly imaginative.
It didn't help that, once I'd established that the earring was not there, I went back to the vestry door and couldn't get the key to work from the inside. If I hadn't borrowed keys to another door, I hate to think how long I'd have been there, for I hadn't brought any means to contact the outside world...

My natural optimism having taken a good kicking, I trailed back home, still making sure to keep my eyes peeled and focused on the ground.
Half way home, a rather dejected looking little heap of metal chainwork caught my eye, and lo! It did indeed prove to be my missing earring!
It had spent fifty hours exposed to the elements (and goodness knows what else), and it had gone rather rusty, but it was found, and duly carried home in triumph.
What are the chances, eh? It just shows what a little insane determination can do!

That is, I fear, one of the most exciting events to occur in the last week. Not for me the neverending round of thrilling social gatherings to mark the season; oh no, clearly stalking up and down a surburban street looking like an extremely low-budget Sherlock Holmes (or alternatively, one with a deep fascination for pavement) is where it's at.

There was, however (before you all despair of the Diary completely), a Carols by Candlelight service at a local church that I'd only been to once before (and then in a choral capacity) last night, which I attended despite it being a rather longer walk than anticipated.
It turned out to be a spiffy carol service, with readings both sacred and secular (including an Adrian Mole excerpt and a couple of very amusing poems), hand-held candles for all in attendance, some choir items that I didn't know and that I'm going to have to look up, and no less than three fine male soloists, one of whom performed O Holy Night superbly well.
That choir, unless they were cheating with drafted-in people as we are inclined to do, has a fantastic tenor and bass section. I'd love to know how they managed it. Thoughts of trying to form some kind of choral alliance crossed my mind...

Post-service, I snagged a warm mince pie (mm!), declined the mulled wine, and headed into off into the night to return to my ever-thrilling current routine of playing the same tiny number of mp3s many dozens of times.
In the New Year, I plan to expand my collection of music by VNV Nation and Wolfsheim. Preferably before I'm driven mad(der) by playing Serial Killer and Kein Zuruck over and over again...

That brings us pretty much up-to-date. Congratulations, all ye who made it this far (I had no idea the earring hunt would go on for quite that many paragraphs!), and hopefully I shall find the time to update again before the festive season is well and truly over.

Until then, enjoy your festival of choice, and au revoir!


P.S. Hmm. It would seem that I have been playing Kein Zuruck solidly for at least a good couple of hours, now. Off to find a decent price on the Casting Shadows album I go, then...

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