May Day, May Day

May 3, 2020 — 43 Comments

Preparing for rain,
Felt safe under the brolly.
Did not predict wind!
C. Hoather & G. Todica

As April was ending and Summer approaches, I find that under the current lock-down one day starts to merge with the next. For us, having our Friday Balcony Concerts for our friends and neighbours has helped to give George and me a definite end to each week and something to work towards, which has been so important for us both to remain focused.

Last Friday just before our concert, at around 17:20 we began our set-up.  We sellotaped our back-up camera to the plant pot frame because the live stream failed in week four and placed a stand ready to hold my iPhone to live-stream the 6th Balcony Concert, when the weather took an unexpected turn. I was in the kitchen at the time, cleaning dishes calmly, when George shouted from the other room “OH NO, RAIN!” We dashed out without a moment to spare, to protect the camera and keyboard at all costs! Within minutes we started to prepare for the worst and we dug out all of the brollies in our home. We experimented with different contraptions built from what we had in our flat, settling for the unlikely marriage of clothes hanger stands, graduation scroll holder (thanks RCS) and umbrellas (oh, the things you can create last minute when you apply a little improvisation and plenty of duct tape).

As the clocks struck 18:00, all seemed well. So, we began and managed to keep performing despite the weather’s mood swings. If you haven’t time to watch the full concert and you’d like a giggle, jump to my Mary Poppins wannabe moment around 13 minutes in!

Repertoire this week:

Let it Go (Disney – Frozen) a personal favourite of George’s young nephew Marcu

Nella Fantasia (Ennio Morricone)

Muttertändelei (R. Strauss)

Schlagende Herzen (R. Strauss)

Mein Herr Marquis – (J. Strauss – Die Fledermaus)

This was the first time I’d ever sung ‘Let It Go’ and ‘Mein Herr Marquis’ which I’ve been working on for a couple of weeks, so I hope that you enjoy them.

Just before the lock-down George’s friend helped us out by building a couple of IKEA flat-pack cupboards to help store all of our music books, sheet music and scores in.  However, the third cupboard which was due to be delivered just as we found ourselves entering lock-down, was put on hold.  This week it finally arrived and so we decided to try and put it up ourselves.  I discovered how to use a drill and the importance of following instructions (or not LOL).  Finally, the last cupboard is now up and attached safely to the wall even though I did have to unwind the screw and put in a raw plug – who even knew such a thing existed, thanks Dad, I even put in an automatic light and push to open thingymabobs and I am feeling very proud of my achievement (with a little help from George of course)!

43 responses to May Day, May Day

  1. 

    I enjoyed them, Charlotte, as always. You could sing the telephone book and I’d enjoy it.

    • 

      What a lovely compliment thank you Don 😊. How are your family in the entertainment sector holding up? I hope everything is ok and there is support available for them. We’re a bit in la la land at the moment.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      • 

        Thank you, Charlotte. My family is doing well. A lot of restoring work done at their homes. Stay Safe and keep singing.

  2. 

    Drills and duct tape… proving you are more than a splendidly talented lady!

    • 

      Thank goodness it didn’t pour down hehe! George was concerned he’d electrocute himself with an electric keyboard outside. I’d have probably sung outside with him just inside the door lol.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  3. 

    If ever Disney make an animation about the trials and tribulations of DIY then I’d expect to see your song as the star attraction 🙂

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 5, 2020 at 7:28 pm

      Well if Disney needs any ideas for the script I’m their girl; I’ve been hoping my parents can get down to refit the carpet strip between the bathroom, several electrical items in the house have stopped working and we had no hot water that day so I washed my hair in the sink with water from the kettle.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      • 

        Oh Charlotte, I am in a similar boat. I moved into a home in February and the lockdown means I have a wrecked kitchen, illegally unsafe stairs and an electricity safety board that was apparently out of date before I was born. Your hair looked lovely as always, whereas I’m beginning to look like Chewbacca. It needed cutting in February and I didn’t go then as I was already social distancing. I always was a fan of Cousin It in the Addams Family!

  4. 
    Timothy Price May 3, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    You are an adorable handywoman. If you keep up the handiwork, you will learn about all kinds of interesting gadgetry. Wonderful concert, as always. You two were clever with hangers, tape, and stands to make the show go on. The weather was a little bit ornery trying to blow things around. I finished and posted my latest parody “Mascherina”.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 5, 2020 at 7:29 pm

      We didn’t have one sheet of plastic in the flat which was our first thought, we thought we had one from the decorating we did when we first moved in but it was covered in dry paint. British weather is always a bit ornery you do get used to having to leave the house in a tank top but taking a raincoat and brolly. I’ll take a look at Mascherina 😊 keep up the good work.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  5. 

    You and George put on a great concert as always, but your facial expressions with the cupboard lilt gave me my chuckle of the day!! Way to go young lady – you are truly an entertainer!!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 5, 2020 at 7:29 pm

      My Nana was feeling a bit low on Friday, she’s been locked in now for over seven weeks and she’s normally flitting around all over the place, so we recorded it to give her a laugh as she’d face-timed me earlier when we were trying to figure out how to put the light in the cupboard, Mum said I should share it because it gave them all a chuckle.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      • 

        The poor dear. We see older people all the time on the news trying to smile as they wave to their children and grandchildren, but they are the most at-risk and we have to protect them! Throw your Nana a kiss for me next time !!

  6. 

    Wonderful performance, Charlotte. Nice catch on the umbrella too. I liked the cupboard song. I agree with GP. It was so much fun.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 5, 2020 at 7:30 pm

      Thank you, John, so pleased you enjoyed the performance. I was really happy I caught it hehe. My Mum laughed when I face-timed her asking for advice about which drill bit to use as I was wearing my goggles but she said thinking about what a clutz I am it was probably for the best.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  7. 

    hihihih, super la chanson de l’étagère !!! Et Super le concert. Très bien les plantes et le parapuie accroché à la rambarde, comme un décor, bravo ! C’est très bien de resté actif et de relier le travail (musique, chant) avec le quotidien, vous êtes de vrais artistes ! Une spécialité et pleins de périphériques 🙂 ! C’est très creativ-boost !(you can try singing the recipe when you cook ….) Et efficace puisque vous trouver très vite solutions dans l’urgence!!!! Bravo mes amis !!!
    Wish you the best !!!!!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 5, 2020 at 7:31 pm

      Merci beaucoup Pascal, “Très bien les plantes” George is very pleased you noticed, he spotted the plant bargains at the local supermarket £5 down to £1.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  8. 

    Thank you so much, Charlotte! Always something to look forward to and glad you fixed your performing stage in a professional way.
    Stay safe and healthy!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 5, 2020 at 7:32 pm

      Thank you Herman I hope you and your family are doing well. Loving the Jimi camouflage in your last pic 😊.

      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  9. 

    I look forward to your concerts each week, they are wonderful!👏👏👏

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 5, 2020 at 7:32 pm

      Thank you Gill, hope you and Terry and all the family are keeping safe and well. I’m hoping to do a couple of your favourites this week if I can remember them hehe.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  10. 

    You guys rock! I’m now looking forward to the discipline if the ritual of experiencing thes performances. This week, I especially love the fitful comfortability with the not-knowing of, Here Comes The Rain, and playing out the scene to stay to course with duct tape and guts and grace. I am thoroughly enjoying this adventure.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 5, 2020 at 7:33 pm

      The weekly concerts are a good discipline you’re right. We practice every day for several hours individually and duo work but it does help me to focus on relearning old material and trying to learn some new songs to compliment a set and it allows me to sing out at full voice. I need a microphone really for the musical theatre because it’s more spoken low range text than opera and lieder but I’ve been finding imaginative ways of trying to bounce the sound around hehe.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  11. 

    I enjoyed your balcony concert, Charlotte and George! Thank you for putting these on every week. You are inspiring! <3

    Learning to use hand tools and power tools is fun, and can be quite challenging. I enjoyed your clip! 🙂

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 5, 2020 at 7:33 pm

      Thank you, Lavinia, we’re glad you’re still enjoying them. My Dad gave us the drill a while ago when he bought a new one but he kept all his drill bits so we had to order some online. It was a revelation when he told me I could counter-turn the drill bit.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  12. 
    Amritpal Singh May 4, 2020 at 5:44 am

    Good morning my dear Hoather have a nice day

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 5, 2020 at 7:34 pm

      Good morning my dear Amritpal your greetings are wished back for you too 😊

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  13. 

    Someone above said you could sing the telephone book and he would love it – I agree!
    The two of you are magically talented and so wonderful to share your gifts with all your neighbors. Do you work your voice everyday?
    Hang in there – this too shall pass, just not fast enough!
    Hugs from the other side of the pond!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 5, 2020 at 7:34 pm

      Thank you, Noelle. Yes, I try to sing every day, I rested my voice this last Sunday because I’d been tackling some difficult coloratura arias for a few days and felt vocally tired but now I know when I need to take time out and work on other things.

      I was hoping we’d be back to social mixing by June for our wedding but I’ve had to postpone it, I’m fearful now I’ve been optimistic with the end of October, fingers crossed we do want to get married this year. Job after job has been cancelled it can be dispiriting but I’m not the sort of person that copes will if I concentrate on the negatives I have to believe things are going to bounce back eventually.

      Hugs to you too,
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  14. 

    That was more than exciting, Charlotte, and apart from the beautiful singing in the teeth of the wind, the all round athleticism was stunning. Lovely Strauss (R & J) with lots of humour – beautiful laughter. I see the balcony plants are expanding too!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 5, 2020 at 7:35 pm

      I’ve been wanting to sing some lieder for a while but I do like to cheer everyone up so it had to be my favourite Strauss.

      George is so happy you noticed his plants, he’s been bargain hunting at the local supermarket £5 plants down to £1! I said he was like Jack in ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ sent out to buy eggs, beans and sausages and comes back with herbs and plants!

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  15. 

    Just beautiful, Charlotte, and “Let it go” is a favorite. I like what your other friend wrote, “You could sing a telephone book” and you’d sound wonderful! Cute pic of you with the drill, adding to your skills and talents. 🙂 Love the balcony scene and your entertaining in trying times as these. Stay well, Lauren

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 5, 2020 at 7:36 pm

      I am grateful for my neighbours encouraging me to sing on the balcony week after week, it is just great to be able to sing out full volume as I’m trying to keep it down indoors, not easy when I’m practising opera, George has made some sound boxes to soak up some of the noise. I hope you and all the family are safe and well.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  16. 

    Dear Ms. Hoather, due to the special circumstances, your application to play quidditch in the courtyard has been approved!

    Flying umbrellas indeed!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 5, 2020 at 7:36 pm

      It would be amazing if we could play quidditch, I played Mary Poppins once and I started singing in a side balcony and reappeared on stage as though I flew I always thought it would be great to be in a show where I could fly on the cables they use.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  17. 

    Do You Wanna Build a Cupboard cracked me up. You guys are too cute! 🙂

  18. 

    I feel stupid – what was “Do you want to build a cupboard” a take off of? I should know… At first I was thinking Sondheim (perhaps thinking George = Sunday in the park with….), but then thought it was a little more Disney. Anyway, it was great! I love the more serious balcony concert, of course. Glad you were able to protect all of equipment and was able to perform without to many hitches (great catch!)

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 12, 2020 at 6:23 pm

      It’s from Disney’s Frozen ‘Do You Want to Build a Snowman’ ⛄️ lol 😂 . I was really proud of our new cupboard with glass doors and hinges, self-closing hidden door closers and a light! It took us far too long George was still practising piano at 10pm with his earphones on to catch up. It’s full of books so I had to fix it to the wall too.

      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

      • 

        I should have known, what with Let it Go and all.. Is aw Frozen once, and was only half paying attention, though of course Let it Go is hear all over. Great job with the cupboard.

  19. 

    Loved Nella Fantasia. I can listen to that all day.

    “Do you want to build a cupboard” was fun. I’ve always thought girls should learn a few things around the house, like using power tools, how to wire an electrical outlet or switch, change a flat tire.

    Hope your wedding isn’t delayed too much longer, but it’s better to be safe. Yes, we know about date after date being cancelled or postponed. In the case of my daughters, the cancellations are with horse show competitions (showjumping). It appears some are ready to begin, starting next week into June. With so many riders sidelined, no access to their horses, it may create a competitive disadvantage with those who have been able to continue riding and practice during the lockdown. My daughters have been able to keep riding and practicing.

    We add our applause.

  20. 

    That was a FANTASTIC balcony set !
    I had a fab laugh with the drill song. Very creative and well done!
    ❦🎼❦

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