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View Article  Working on the stamina.

The weekend was great as I had no plans. I went to Foyles bookshop and was amazed. How did I not know about this place? I bought quite a few books and bits and bobs. Then to a favourite Turkish restaurant of ours, off  Oxford Street. I was so busy. It seems that people are not put off shopping - even in this economic down turn.

Sunday was a lazy day. The weather was dreadful.

On Monday I got the train up to Thornton. Both trains were packed.

Today it was so cold that we had some flurries of snow. I did a lot of  practicing this morning. I'm in the middle of  learning  Da Tempeste. It's a killer. My body really felt it. I was singing really well as a result. I love that aria. I'm also getting much more on top of Tornami a vagheggiar. It's coming so much easier now. I have to really work on my stamina now though. My body knows what to do but it really lets me know when it can take no more. That's a bit frustrating when I am so on top of my technique. I am tremendously pleased with how it's all going. All credit to my teacher.

View Article  Untitled

Another illness this week. On Monday, on the train back to London, I got a really sore throat. I felt dreadful. I even know which child I got it from. Grrrr! Thank goodness on Monday night I got a phone call from school saying that I didn't have to go in the next day. Good timing. So I stayed under the quilt throughout the day.

On Wednesday, ELMA started up again. This time at St. Philips' on Earls Court Road. It's a beautiful church with two new studios which they rent out. It was good to see the babies again. How they'd grown! The afternoon was spent teaching at Imperial College. I had a new student today.

Thursday - teaching in Sloane Square. Then a rehearsal at RCM with my friend (a pianist). We are doing the Thelma King Award. We were deciding upon rep. We have given the Faure the heeve-ho and are keeping Thiman. We just need one more for the recording. Then we met up with another friend (a singer). Collectively, the three of us are now known as Continental. The thinking behind it is because we are all from different continents. We were scouring the library for rep. In the evening, teaching at home.




View Article  Hot pot...mmmm.
Today I was up very early to catch the train up north. It was very cold. The train was delayed as usual which meant that I missed my connection. After having a hearty hot pot out of a plastic tray (only available north of Crewe), I went to see Grandma and Grandad. After a quick catch up on the gossip of the Fylde Coast, I spent the afternoon teaching.My new music stand had arrived which I ordered off the internet. It's fab.Does the job spiffingly!
View Article  A psychic encounter

Tuesday was a bad day. I had a really grotty day at School. One thing after another went wrong and I was took the brunt of other peoples frayed nerves. Then the children at the Belsize group were really naughty. More than usual. The day ended nicely though with dinner in Wagamamas with a friend in Leicester Square. A very large ice cream sundae was had in an ice cream parlour and then we moved on for coffee. Bumped into one of my bosses and a colleague.

Wednesday was also hectic. A full day of teaching in Ladbroke Grove then Imperial College. It was pouring down and my sole came off my shoe. Great.

Today I went to the gym in the morning. Whilst in the changing rooms, I had a very bizarre experience. A random girl came up to me asked if I was a singing teacher. I asked her how she knew and she said she was psychic. Seriously. Very weird. She said that she also was a singing teacher. We got chatting but I didn't know what to make of her really. I thought I was being stalked or something.

Anyway, the afternoon brought teaching in Sloane Square. Then a new pupil in Kensington. However, when I got there, she didn't have a piano or a keyboard! I said I couldn't possibly teach without one. So I postponed it and left. Another new pupil after that. She came to my home.

View Article  The weekend

On Saturday, I coughed my way around Portobello Market. The weather was beautiful. I found an original copy of 'Hello Young Lovers' in Oxfam for 99p which was exciting. I'm easily pleased. The streets were so busy. I get really grumpy when I'm in crowds. So we gave up and went for a lovely lunch. In the evening I avidly watched Strictly Come Dancing. Don't you just love John Sergent? I had a great day.

After a slow start on Sunday, I went swimming. I went in the sauna in an attempt to clear my chest. I can't help having a sensation of panic in those things. Then food shopping and manic cleaning. I don't know what came over me but I started weeding the drive on my hands and knees. Then I went hoovering crazy - even doing the stairs. People that know me will be very worried.

Today I made a few phone calls and replied to a few emails. Teaching this afternoon. Still coughing.


View Article  You can't please everyone.

Yesterday I was still barking like a dog. However, it didn't seem to affect my voice. Just my breathing slightly. I went to sing for a conductor in Sheen near Richmond. He was very pleasant and liked what he heard. He asked me to sing some Bach, so I did. Then he complained that I didn't know any 20thC oratorio. He didn't asked me to bring any. Frustrating. Then I did some Messiah. It went well. I don't think it did me much good though. We will just have to see if any work materializes.

Today a bit of teaching at RCM and discussions on the Thelma King Award recording.

View Article  The respiratory system of an 80 year old.

Saturday was Fleetwood Festival. I was so pleased with how it went. Everyone of my singers did fantastically well. I had one first-timer in there who was only nine, and she sang so beautifully. Definitely a natural singer with bags of musicality. The rose bowl was won by one of my young singers. I couldn't have asked for more. It was a very tiring day though and I was completely exhausted by the end.

The next day I had my singing lesson which went a treat. It gives you such a lift when you're being reassured that all is going well and at such a rapid rate. Caught up on some teaching in the afternoon and then I went down hill from there. I got the most stinking cold and was in bed by 9pm.

The next day I awoke to the most awful ear ache. I felt terrible. There was no way I could get the train back that morning. So I left after lunch feeling slightly more human. Cancelled my teaching that evening.

On Tuesday I had to go to school having taken a day off two weeks previously. I got through it but had to can cell my class in Hampstead. I just wouldn't have had the energy for that. Met up with a friend in Victoria for a catch up before heading home.

Today I woke up wheezing like an old fella. It's obviously moved onto my chest and left me with the most eye wateringly rancid cough. Attractive. Teaching all afternoon in Kensington until 7.30pm. Lets hope I last that long.

View Article  Purchase sweats

Today I was up early and having breakfast outside a cafe on Kings Road before 9am. At 9.30am I was teaching someone on Sloane Square. Then, as a reward, to Oxford Circus. I bought some Bobby Brown products, an investment skirt at Coast and some investment boots at Clarks. The word 'investment' gets rid of any lingering guilt. Possibly the most money I ever spent in one day. Hey ho. I must say that I have never sweat as much in one shop as I did in Clarks. Lets hope it's worth it.

Then lunch in Holburn with the lovely Abel Tao. Covent Garden and Fulham, then home. Packing for Thornton tonight.

View Article  The aftermath

Sunday - A visit from my cousin and an afternoon of teaching. I was so tired. The weekend had caught up with me. I just about made it to 10pm.

Monday - In a bad mood. Again, very tired. Up early to catch the train and got there by lunch time. The London train seems to get busier and busier. Nearly every journey I go on now, people are standing up all the way. It's very irritating to see 4 empty 1st class coaches. I even attempted to up-grade to first class. It's £15 to up-grade at the weekend but about £100 on a weekday. So I didn't bother. An afternoon and evening of teaching. Didn't make it to 10pm that night.

Tuesday - I hate Tuesdays. The weather was awful. Constant rain. Up at the crack of dawn again to get to Flora Gardens. It was Ede(sp?) so 75% of pupils were not there. No choir again then. I had been given my own room though for the first time. No more singing in the corridor but I have to put up with a keyboard instead of the piano. It's nice not to be disturbed like before. Then I went to Hampstead for the music group. Only 3 children that day. That made life easier.

Today, I feel a bit more bright and breezy. I was contemplating going to the gym but I have nothing to wear. So I have been learning new rep in my PJ's. 'My Heart is Like a Singing Bird' by Parry. Very me. Also on the cards: Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal by Quilter, Widmung by Schumann, Tornami a Vagheggiar by Handel and Da tempeste, also Handel. Bit of a challenge there. This afternoon, teaching in White City then Imperial College. Finally dinner in Fulham.