Do you want to know just how stupidly mentally busy this last week and a half have been? You do, you know you do. This is more than usual levels of Completely Insane and Stressful. This requires superpowers, I swear. And superpowers? I does not haz dem. Yup, this week has made me retreat into being a Lolcat. That’s serious stress.
Not to spoil the ending, or anything, but let’s just jump straight in with a simple list of stuff that this last week entailed. Firstly, my grandmother’s funeral at the weekend. So I was neither in Uni-Town nor, really, able to do any work. Three concerts, one of which is yet to happen. A church service in which I was singing and audition (of sorts) for the choir in question. A memorial service, in which I was also singing. An exam. A lab report deadline. And, finally, builders, in swarms.
What this in fact means is that I got back to Uni-Town late on Saturday and didn’t want to do much more than sit at home and drink beer and watch films and cheer myself up. On Sunday I tried to crack on with this lab report, completely neglecting to revise for the exam simply because I wanted to finish the lab report first. I then had to go to Evensong in order to meet Father P who runs the choir and organise getting into the choir. Monday was OK-to-good because it involved orchestra and discovering that I’m close neighbours with someone who drives down – and with whom I can get a lift. Which is beyond wonderful.
On Tuesday I woke up with a full-blown, raging cold. The conductor of the uni chamber choir rang me to see if I had any of the music we would need for the Memorial Service the next day (this is a service for the family and friends of those who give their bodies for the Medical Teaching Unit for us to dissect and study) – I was astonished that we didn’t actually have any of it, or access to it (don’t get me started on that particular rant) but too ill and too busy to help sort it out. I caved and got an extension on the lab report deadline so that I would actually have some time to revise for the exam; I also went and croaked my way feverishly through my first church choir rehearsal, and fell into bed several hours later and more tired than planned.
On Wednesday I just about dragged myself out of bed in time for the worst day of the lot. A full day of rehearsals: firstly for the Memorial Service, just before the service itself. Without a break, straight on to the rehearsal for Tuesday’s concert, where we as a choir were totally shown up because (cue another disorganisation-of-people-who-should-know-better rant) we were basically sightreading, having hardly rehearsed any of the piece in question (for those in the know, Haydn’s Nelson Mass). What’s worse, the bloke conducting us in this particular concert (i.e. not the normal choir conductor) is a member of the Music Faculty who is retiring and is giving this concert as a leaving bash, I gather. He was so nice about the whole thing, which made it feel even worse. From there, straight on (yeah, you can forget lunch, or by this point, even dinner) to a normal choir rehearsal, for our concerts on Thursday and Friday, in which I had no voice. The rehearsal over-ran by fully an hour with no notice ahead of T saying so at the beginning of the rehearsal. I have a solo in one of the pieces but my voice has been so bad over the last few days that it sounded terrible. We were still note-bashing most of the pieces, which is so frustrating words cannot describe. I left practically in tears because…
…yes, you’ve guessed it, I had this exam, at 9am the following morning, which as yet I had not had the time to revise for, at all. I have a terrible memory. However much background reading I’ve done, it seems that if I haven’t read it about two days before I need to know it, I just won’t recall it in an exam situation. So I spent far too much of that night cramming, panickedly.
Straight up and into my exam the following morning. Still desperately cramming on the bus. Straight from the exam into the rehearsal for thursday’s concert, a lunchtime bash, in which my solo went no better than it had previously, but is thankfully only one phrase so I had to tell myself it wasn’t like it mattered. And, finally, a break. Time to catch up on that lab report. Time to ring my landlady and mention a couple of problems we’d had with the house – and straight away she said she’d come round first thing Friday morning with ‘her’ builders to have a look at things and sort them out. And come round they did… so I spent a lot of Friday explaining all of these problems (boiler, shower, damp, ceilings leaking from outside (chimney being removed and brickwork repointed), rot in my floor (dry rot, woodworm, my room was riddled with it); and then I found myself removing all my possessions from my room and making round upon round of tea for the builders. And then Friday’s late evening concert, a few drinks, involving chalk, and then Saturday. Technically there was a rehearsal that morning for the Nelson Mass but I was so tired and so ill that I simply couldn’t get out of bed in time. I feel bad for that, but honestly if there was anything else I could have done, I would have been there. But later, A came round, and we had cake with H, and watched Wallace and Gromit films, and it was all lovely.
Sunday was Remembrance, of course, which was quite a big service at St Matthew’s, and I got to wear the whole cassock-and-surplice get-up, and the priest even said at the beginning of his notices when he was welcoming the congregation and so on, ‘an especially warm welcome to Jenny, who joins us in the choir today’. And then Monty Python and pasta and cookies and then I went home to work on my lab report and knit and watch telly and finally things are getting back to normal. The builders finished my floor today. They’re coming back in a few days with a new window, and at some point I’m going to get a new carpet, and there is a lot of building work to be done on the roof, but at the moment at least I can move back into my room and, having a new floor, it will hopefully be warmer than it was in there.
So. Confused? You and me both.