News ink and getting the Humperdinck...
IHAD planned a week of two halves. The serious stuff at the beginning of the week, followed by a weekend of entertainment, from drag queens to opera. Actually come to think of it, there is quite a bit of overlap there.
First, business, and at a meeting of the Advisory board for Hayes Children’s Centres I was impressed, as ever, by the enthusiasm of staff to help families with young children, covering a huge range of issues, from health matters to education and employment.
Earlier in the week, I did a talk to members of the West Drayton Historical Society about my years at The Gazette. Yes, I am officially history, folks! It was a great evening, with many particularly fascinated by my copies of old black and white broadsheet Gazettes.
They enjoyed anecdotes about stories they remembered well; also a potted history of the paper. The latter was compiled by former editor Anthony Longden, and is my favourite bit of any talk, as I can just read it out in my best teacher voice.
So – to the weekend. You will remember that I confessed in this column – to the delight of some and horror of others – that I love Eurovision, so I had to watch BBC 4 when they set about choosing this year’s entry. I do wish I hadn’t.
The eventual winner was a bland number sung by two (unsuccessful) candidates from The Voice. Oh right. Lovely. Nul points then, even without the political posturing from some countries when it comes to marking us down.
Englebert Humperdinck two years ago was a big mistake, but the weak shortlist of six was no better. There’s got to be a better offering from the many talented singers and songwriters in this country, surely? Where is our Conchita?
I managed to recover from this to enjoy an early Mother’s day celebration. FJ* treated me to flowers and lunch, then we went to a production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. No one could leave the theatre having seen those glorious divas without a smile on their faces.
All of which cushioned me to face the misery and beauty of Puccini’s Tosca the next day in Birmingham, except we never got there (long story) and I had to be content with a meal out, and Mr F speaking to me in Italian. Not singing, thank goodness…
*FJ – Fisher Junior
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