Archive for November, 2007

Award Winning Choir

November 17, 2007

I may have mentioned that for this term, I am not singing with the Southampton Phil, prefering instead to get home before 11pm on a Monday evening. Hannah restarted the Medina High Community Choir back in September. This is her choir which she started over a year ago to augment the school choir at their Christmas and other concerts. With Hannah not being at school at the moment there isn’t a school choir, so the Community Choir is the choral face of Medina High for now (which is a bit rubbish for an arts specialist school).

Several years ago, Hannah used to enter the school choir in the Ventnor Music for Fun Festival. This fest fell by the wayside for a couple of years, but returned this year. Hannah entered the Community Choir, and trained us up on O Holy Night and Rythmn of Life (which you would recognise from one of the Guiness adverts). It’s a challenge for Hannah because none of the choir are professional singers, indeed few have sung for a long time. I think only a handful can read music, so a lot of people are remembering the notes. Hannah keeps it simple, in terms of telling the choir what to do and reducing the instructions down. The music isn’t necessarily simple or easy, but Hannah eases the choir into it.

So with that in mind, it was a little surprising for Hannah when there was some push-back from the organisers of the festival when she entered. They’d heard rumours that we weren’t a mixed choir, but a school choir who had brought in a couple of adults in order to enter the mixed choir category, or that we were a choir of professional singers. Hannah persisted that all such things were nonsense, but in the end another choir decided to pull out because we were taking part. All very odd.

There were only two choirs in our category, and to be honest, I didn’t think we would win. The other choir is a well established one, and I think there were one or two in ours who hadn’t even performed publicily before. How could we compete? I guess I’ve given away the result in the title for we did indeed win. The adjudicator was impressed with our verve and commitment. He had words of criticism for both choirs, saying the other lot were over-ambitious. By winning our section, it meant we had to return for the winners concert the following Saturday (last Saturday), and this was hastily arranged. There were a few changed faces for Saturday, but we put in another good sing. We were also surprised that from the heats the adjudicator had selected us to win the ‘most entertaining performance’ prize too.

So Hannah’s success in this competition continued this year, having won it several times with the school choir, and she can start to call he Community Choir prize winning entertainers!

If you like on the Island and want to take part, then come along to Medina High on a Thursday night.


Hannah’s Eyes

November 17, 2007

After some good recovery from the operation after Ella’s birth, and the general degredation of her eyes during pregnancy, Hannah had to have more surgery on Tuesday. This time it was both eyes, and also a steroid injection into her right eye, the purpose of which is to help reduce the swelling. This time it appears to be more painful post-op, but Hannah thinks her eyesight in improving quicker. Last time it took several weeks before she was okay to drive again, hopefully it will be quicker this time, as Hannah becomes very reliant on Barbara to give lifts during the day to appointments and things.

Brief Highlights

November 17, 2007

It’s been a while since the last post. Partly this is because not a great deal has changed, partly because I’m studying for my Project Management Professional (PMP) exams, and partly because I spend too much time blowing up planets playing Galactic Civilisations 2 (according to Hannah). On the first point, Hannah thought that really a lot had changed, lots of small things. Ella does change day-by-day, maybe a new sound she makes, or a bit more movement, or increased intensity in her studying of the world around her. As a father, you miss those gradual changes, and every-so-often when I pick her up I think ‘streuth, she’s grown a lot!’.

Grown she has – she is now 12 lbs 10 oz, and has put on half a pound in each of the last two weeks. We have moved her off baby rice (it tastes disgusting). Hannah took a very funny set of pictures of Ella trying out of puree of sweet potato, parnsip and carrot. I’m afraid that mix didn’t do well. She has liked apple and pear, and the one she finished off today was pear, pea and broccoli. Our health visitor was kean that Ella get introduced to various flavours quickly. I think there is some recent research that indicates that babies are more likely to take on veggies if they are introduced quite quickly. Mind you, current government advice is to not wean until 6 months, so it is the usual story of conflicting advice.

Her sleeping habits haven’t improved much. It seems a long time ago since she slept through the night. I really thought we were sorted then, but she has taught us a lesson there. It’s not as though she is trouble at night, when she wakes she feeds, and goes straight back to sleep. There have been a couple of leaky nappy moments at night, but those are exceptions rather than regular occurances. Currently she is waking once a night, usually when we go to bed, so it’s not distrupting our sleep much.

She can now roll from front to back and back to front. She doesn’t do it a great deal, but does roll onto her side while in her baby gym thing. She’s not sitting yet, not without support, but is happy in a sitting position. She does like to be held standing.

We haven’t really had a laugh yet. Miriam is coming down next week (playing for the Southampton Phil at their concert that I’m not singing at), and she keeps saying on the phone that she doesn’t want Ella to laugh before she comes down. Before then my Mum, Clare, will be visiting, during the time of my PMP exam. So there are some busy times ahead. She does makes lots of sounds though, and is a fantastic smiler. There is nothing better to start one’s day than a big beaming smile from one’s daughter. It’s wonderful to be recognised too.

I think that’s the Ella related highlights for now. She is having an afternoon nap at the moment, trapped inside by the miserable weather.