GRAHAM NORTON AGONY UNCLE
The author, comedian and presenter advises readers. Send your cris de coeur to firstname.lastname@example.org
turn off the engine and leave the vehicle. Start saving money and when ready, employ a professional driving instructor. The end.
It doesn’t matter how many discussions you and your girlfriend have about this process before you both get in the car, the lessons will still continue to be frustrating bouts of repressed fury and exasperation.
Having your girlfriend as your driving instructor may be practical when it comes to your finances but in every other way it is madness. Are you actually learning anything? How long will it be before you feel ready for the test? What will your relationship look like after you fail and you blame her and she realises she is dating an idiot?
If you want to draw conclusions about your relationship from how you interact with each other in a car, feel free to do so. Maybe you fear losing control, perhaps she doesn’t respect your intellectual abilities. But if stepping out of the vehicle solves your problems surely it is more sensible to do that rather that to continue looking for trouble?
Trust me, your girlfriend will not be hurt if you decide to abandon these lessons. She will be thrilled – because I guarantee she dreads them just as much as you do. Most relationships have their limits and it appears that your laughing and cuddling can’t survive checking your mirrors.
Let this be the lesson you take away from this experience. In the meantime, park the whole idea and buy a bike. giblets. There’s something for you to both look forward to.
The moment that you decide to leave your own house, things will never be exactly the way you want them to be. Such is life. Your daughter wants to be your hostess this year, so sit back and enjoy her version of the festive season. Is meat really so important that you would turn your back on your own flesh and blood?
I sing in my office choir every week, and it’s a very positive part of my working life.
My only problem – and I am sure you have worse to deal with every week – is that I am a bass, and when we do arrangements of pop songs my part is really dull, just “dum-di-dum”, holding the line.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as if
I’m desperately hungry for glory, but I like to be stretched a bit more as I am when we do more traditional choral material.
The trouble is the others complain about the latter being boring and/or difficult. Have you any suggestions as to how I might persuade them to rethink? Or indeed any musical recommendations?RICHARD,
I don’t know where you stand in your work hierarchy, but whether or not you’re a boss as well as a bass, I infer from your letter that you are a little older than your fellow singers. I feel your problem has more to do with differing musical tastes to your fellow choristers than professional status.
You enjoy singing traditional choral works and you have let this be known. The others don’t – and either don’t know or don’t care – that their Glee-style selections are a little wanting in the lower parts.
I suggest you must decide to either change your tune, or change your choir. Unless you develop a taste for the sort of music your current group favours, I can’t see a time when you will feel satisfied.
Surely it makes far more sense to go looking beyond the office, and search for a choral group that does the kind of music that you enjoy performing? Apart from enhanced musical enjoyment, you’ll also find yourself a bit of freedom from the self-consciousness that must inevitably be a part of singing along with one’s colleagues.
But be warned: if you are top dog at work, and you start singing outside the walls of the office, people may be more forthcoming about why you don’t get any solos… Just a thought.