I want to be a prima donna…

Well no – I don’t, but the caterwauling which has been emanating from the day lounge where rehearsals are in full swing for the “Talent Contest” being held on Bank Holiday Monday, leads me to believe that there are several folk who consider themselves contenders for this title.

What possessed Gordon to think that holding a Talent Contest here would be a good idea?  Ah yes, the word “think” is in there – and he obviously didn’t give it any thought at all.  Ever since his posters were attached to all upright surfaces within a mile, there has been a surge of folk coming to put their names and a brief description of their talent/skills on the entry forms.  The list of performers on Gordon’s office desk is now enormous. 

Unfortunately it has meant that there has been a considerable amount of noise causing disruption to every resident. I’m sure that you think I’m a silly old woman who just likes being miserable but nothing could be further from the truth.  I thoroughly enjoy listening to music.   I realise that we shouldn’t expect a professional standard of singer, but a modicum of musicality should be an essential requirement, well, certainly if they purport to be singers or musicians. 

I’m really sorry my dear for sounding so grumpy this morning.  I don’t think it is helped by the day lounge being virtually out of bounds for all residents.  Although we can go in there, we have less than half of the usual space available for us, as a temporary stage is being built for the performance.  The piano has been hammered into submission by enthusiastic, although not entirely accomplished pianists.  I believe that a baby grand piano has been hired and will be delivered on Monday morning.

The other bugbear for Mrs. M and I is when we go to the coffee shop or the library, the chatter all around is purely about the Talent Contest.  We can’t get away from it.  Please don’t think it is sour grapes on my part.  I really do congratulate Gordon on the idea – and confess that I’m extremely surprised by the amount of interest it has generated both in the complex and further afield in the village.

There is a problem, which I haven’t mentioned up to now.  Has it crossed your mind that there are far too many entrants in this competition for them all to be heard in a single performance? 

If each act is allowed five minutes to perform, by the time they have been introduced and spoken a couple of words at the end to the compere – I assume Gordon will be the host at this shindig – it will probably take ten minutes for each performer.  There will need to be an interlude after about an hour or a little more.  Don’t forget that some of us older folk like to go to the bathroom fairly regularly.

We need to assume that the interlude will take about half-an-hour as there is the raffle plus tea and biscuits.  The performance is due to start at 7 pm, so let’s assume that they manage to fit eight acts into the first part of the evening, then the interlude, so the second part won’t kick off till about 8.45 pm or slightly later.  It must finish at 10 pm as otherwise it is far too late for the children who are taking part.  Shall we assume that they can squeeze a maximum of 15 acts into the evening?  What happens to the overflow?  There are 32 groups or individuals which have completed their entry forms!  Oops – there will be problems, to say the least.  Do you think I should have a word with Gordon and see if I can help him to sort out this mess?  I really dislike the guy, but I certainly don’t want him to look foolish in front of so many people.  I would value your opinion my dear.

I do need to say that I am still suspicious about this man.  He hasn’t been around much during the past couple of weeks, which is strange as you would expect him to be micro-managing the concert.  I am certain that he hasn’t done any organising himself – although, as he hasn’t been seen in the building very often, he could be waving a magic wand.  Incidentally, there are a couple of magicians who are supposed to be performing on Monday.  How good or bad they are, I really can’t say.  Mrs. M has already commented to me that one chap who has signed up, isn’t known at all for dabbling in conjuring tricks.  His wife told G that this was the first she had heard about him wanting to be the next Paul Daniels!  I’m not sure whether we’ll like him – well, not a lot!!  By the way, I do apologise to anyone who has stumbled across this inane wittering of mine and doesn’t understand my reference to Paul Daniels.  Paul, who died in 2016, was an extremely accomplished magician who regularly commented “You’ll like this – not a lot”.

My dear, now I’ve wandered off topic again.  I really don’t know how it happens so easily.  However, it does and I’m not sure I can do much about it.  In fact, now I come to think about it I can’t actually remember what I was going to talk about today.  It certainly seems to be the case that age is catching up with me – even though I really don’t want to concede the point.  I suppose I’ll just have to continue in the only way I know, and hope that you don’t get too annoyed by my occasional (!) lapses of concentration. 

As the weather has been much improved these past couple of days, it means that almost everyone has had their windows open.  This has allowed the sounds from the day lounge to travel much more easily.  The other thought that has crossed my mind is that as we’ve heard all the rehearsals for the past couple of weeks, will anyone turn up for the actual concert.  Oh yes, I’ve just remembered that Gordon has offered raffle tickets to everyone in the audience.  That will ensure a good turnout.  Everyone likes the idea of getting something for nothing. 

Well, my dear, I really had better think about sorting my lunch.  As it’s Sunday, I think I will have a little lamb chop with some veg.  I don’t eat very much meat, but I do enjoy a lamb cutlet.  They are quite small so I don’t get overwhelmed by having too much food on my plate.  In fact, I’ve started using a side plate for my meal as it looks better.  When I previously used a dinner plate, I found it extremely heavy to lift, and the food looked somewhat lost in the middle of it. 

Incidentally, I’m sure it can’t just be me who thinks the portion sizes served up in all pubs is enormous.  When Mrs. M and I do eat out we just ask for a starter and dessert.  A main course defeats both of us, and I can’t eat more just for the sake of it.

I’m really sorry but I must go now my dear.  You’re probably all too pleased that I’ve come to the end of this semi-rant and ramble down various rabbit holes.  I do promise that I’ll be in a better humour in a couple of days.  As Always –

With Love – Jan xx

Published by Jan

I'm retired, disabled and after sudden death of wonderful husband, have moved closer to my son, daughter-in-law and baby, Charlie. I live in sheltered housing at the bottom end of the scale called Independent Living. I had been in an online Knit and Natter group for a couple of years before Ian died and the members of the group were and still are a wonderful support to me. Since moving here I have now got my own little Facebook group where the members are now my friends and extended family. It was suggested that I write a blog - so here we are!!

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  1. My husband (in his role as chair of the PTA) used to organise a talent competition at the kids’ secondary school and it was limited to 20 acts – two halves of 10 each, plus a novelty act by some teachers whilst the votes were counted. They usually had far too many volunteers – he and the head of music did rounds of auditions after school during the week before so at least the entries seen by the paying public were the best ones. They had to sit through some real humdingers!


    1. Hazel, I completely agree that the sensible way to deal with this would have been to arrange auditions. However, I don’t think Gordon has had any experience with anything like this, so has just ignored potential issues. I dread to think what will happen. xx


  2. Hubby arranged an ‘open mic’ session last year at our cycling group weekend. In the end it was songs, readings and a show of quilting. Only lasted about an hour luckily.
    Your observation of large portions when eating out is true but we wasted many a meal in the US. Only once did we have a starter. They offer boxes for you take home anything you have left over but as we were in hotels, motels and a b&b we didn’t always have the opportunity to reheat food. Although a couple had fridges and one had a microwave in the room. We did have a take away pizza one evening at the log cabin and the leftovers were lunch the next day.


    1. It’s lovely to hear from you Chris. Your husband was very brave in organising an “open mic” session. You don’t know the standard of the “volunteers” and whether they are taking part through bravado rather than anything else. Yes, I’m sure that portions have gradually increased over the last few years. I don’t know the reason for this – it really doesn’t make any sense. Incidentally it sounds as though you had a lovely holiday. xx


      1. Thank you we did. Saw lots of planned things plus a couple that we hadn’t expected. We found the Pennsylvanian people very friendly and helpful. Some going out of their way to help.
        Going on the Amish was an experience.


      2. Chris – most folk are pleasant. If people talk in a friendly manner, nearly everyone will respond in a similar vein. I’m so pleased you found this to be true. xx


  3. I wonder if something is going to happen at the event, seems like a lot of people are going to be out of their homes for quite a few hours!


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