Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Disappointment, here we come?

I haven't written in a while, mainly because this is the time of the year for stress, stress, stress! Aside from coursework, exam results and a boyfriend trying to decide which university to go to, the main focus of my last month has been the Eisteddfod.

If you're not Welsh and don't know what that is, it's basically a talent contest we have in schools in our houses and mine is called Hywel (you've seen/read Harry Potter? Those kind of houses). In my school, the Eisteddfod is a big thing, I mean REALLY big. And the year 12's (that's my year) run the show. So the last month has been full of 6th formers scurrying around and begging apathetic teenagers to participate in a little piece of their Welsh heritage.We have lots of group onstage competitions, which have been the main source of stress. There are Welsh, French and English choral recitations, along with bands, dance groups and choirs. But getting children/preteens/teenagers to attend anything regular has proven itself to be near impossible.

The house I'm in has lost almost every year for at least the last 10 years, and we've come third only recently, which was a massive achievement for us. Our team this year have been really enthusiastic and determined (or you could say desperate) to win the Eisteddfod, meaning breaktimes, lunchtimes and after school have all been sacrificed to help the kids learn their lines, and sing louder, and act bigger, and generally be as enthused as us- not an easy task.

So due to our many failings this month, this week leading up to the Eisteddfod is a nightmare. We have folk dancing practices (yeah, we have to do that too); choral practices; children singing Frere Jacques with cardboard bells as big as them; a three person, last minute band; and last but not least, a *very* small choir singing a song that's too high for them and boring to boot.

Today was music prelims, meaning for me a day in the music room, keeping a tally of how many entrants we had, and getting to listen to the musical delights that our school has to offer. It wasn't as bad as I thought, with lots of the kids singing well and surprisingly in tune, but there were a few...ahem...*special* moments in there... including what can only be described as a well intentioned rendition of Somewhere Over The Rainbow, an unexpected operatic song and a lovely playing off chopsticks complete with moshing (thankyou Sam). The only entrants for the woodwind solo were me, the head of my house, and the deputy head of my house, all playing on the recorder, and we get to do it again on stage! Lucky us!

But having said all that, our house did better today than the other houses, which is going to be necessary given the current points tally. Which brings me to my title. All this determination can only end in tears. If we come less than 2nd, the 6th formers in my house will probably actually cry, and given the effort I've put into it, I'll probably be quite upset as well. So I hope we win. Not really for the kudos, or the joy of winning, but because I know I'll have to deal with the sobbing, angry and often slightly scary aftermath. (naming no names *cough*Eloise*cough*)

So wish me luck!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Something NOT to put on my CV...

You know those dreams you have about you making some awful mistake, like going to the wrong train station and missing your holiday; or forgetting your costume and going on stage in your underwear...? Or is that just me?

Well anyway, I made a dream-style mistake a few nights ago, with a fairly high level of stupidity on my part.
Me and a friend (Katie) were going to see Sarah Pickett in her school's production of Fiddler On The Roof. We've been going to see these shows for a few years now, and Sarah normally reserves the tickets for us and we pick them up at the pavilion on the night. But this year, Sarah bought the tickets and gave them to me two weeks before the show. I left them in my bag, fairly confident that I would remember them, if only because I normally take that bag with me everywhere.

I'm sure you can see where this is going... yup, I forgot the tickets. I was in a hurry to leave and didn't bother to take a bag with me. You may be thinking, so what? How long does it take to remember a thing like that?

Well... longer than you might think...
Even after driving all the way to the pavilion (a good fifteen minute drive) and asking the woman at the box office if she had our tickets, and watching her search with quickly depleting chance of her finding them, I was still adamant that I hadn't been given the tickets. Only when Katie lifted her phone to her ear to call Sarah did I remember.
So with fifteen minutes to go til curtain up, we had to ask Katie's dad to come back for us and drive us back to my house, and then back to the pavilion. And preferably very quickly.
Which he did, and very nicely too, tolerating my profuse apologies along the way.

We arrived back at the pavilion at what should have been fifteen minutes in, but the last few years the shows have started quite late, so we weren't too worried. Of course, this would be the one year they start on time...
We were shown in by a man who told us we were "somewhere near the front", and after finding our row and spying what we thought was a gap of two seats, we watched the end of the scene before attempting to get to them. When the scene ended, we edged past people very very quickly, in the few seconds of darkness we had before the next scene started.

After standing on people/their feet/their bags/their coats e.t.c. we reached the gap we had seen...which was the aisle down the middle of the room... just as the lights came on. Like rabbits in the headlights, we frantically looked around for somewhere to sit, spotting some a bit further back but in the middle, and sank into them gratefully.

We assumed that the few minutes we missed weren't very crucial, until the show finished and we realised we had no idea what the point of the fiddler on the roof was... Phil (Sarah's brother) helpfully told us as if it was obvious, "life in anatevka is as shaky as a fiddler on the roof" replying to our blank stares with an "ohhh yeah, you missed that".

For all that, a good show though, as it always is from Porthcawl Comp :)

And on another note, yay England! :D