Getting out of the House

As I’d predicted, things have been getting more interesting as time goes on. On Friday night I went to try out at the local church choir and they took me on as an alto – I was very surprised to hear them say that I could have been taken as a soprano, except that they restrict the soprano line to the junior trebles and I’m too old to join them. But it’s nice to be told that my range is larger than I had realised!

The choir seem great, very friendly and tackling some nice music. Some of the juniors have amazing voices, particularly one of the older girls who will be a fantastic contralto when she’s older. They’re all girls, which I think is unusual for choristers, and they work really hard: five rehearsals a week, plus individual lessons for choral awards, and the two Sunday services, and any extra services that are on. I think I’m glad I joined the adult section! We only have three rehearsals, two of which are immediately before the Sunday services.

On Saturday my mum’s mum and stepdad arrived to stay for the weekend, and we spent the afternoon at home with them. Sunday morning I went off to choir (very exciting! It’s been years since I last wore a surplice) and my grandparents came to the service. Then the big Sunday lunch and a trip to a garden – the women in my mum’s family are all mad on gardening; at least it wasn’t a garden centre I suppose. And I found a cat asleep in a box so it wasn’t all dull.

On Monday we went to Attingham Park, which is the nicest National Trust property I’ve ever visited. They’ve obviously made an effort to be family-friendly because in the gardens there were little watering cans for kids to water the flowers with, and a shed where you could plant a pea to take home with you, or pick up a packet of seeds. I was very tempted to plant a pea myself but then I pictured carrying it around the house on the afternoon tour and thought again. Pity.

The tour was interesting too, mostly focusing on the conservation and restoration project they’re running (do you know the difference? I didn’t conservation is stopping things getting any worse, restoration is making them look new again by creating replicas) and the techniques they use. I’d love to have had more time to look round by myself, I could easily have spent all day wandering round the rooms and not seen everything. Mum and I are thinking of going back, although heaven knows when we will.

Today the grandparents went home and mum went off to work, but I decided not to go in because I have a huge list of little jobs to catch up on. I’ve rung Student Finance, which was less painful than usual (but the hold music has got even worse), filled out a form for a recruitment agency, updated my CV, gone into town to change my library books, picked up the picture I sent to be framed, moved some money around my bank accounts and ordered a new debit card (my previous one has disappeared somewhere since I got back from Paris and I’ve given up hope of ever finding it again), and discovered that the recruitment agency has closed its branch in town and I’ll have to go to Wales for the interview. Hmm. Not very impressed but at least it wasn’t a wasted trip into town! I go so rarely that I have to get everything done when I do.

Tomorrow I’ll go into the hospital, I suppose. I’m not feeling as keen as I was last week, partly because I’m getting frustrated at not being paid, and partly because I feel awkward in the department – I don’t quite have the same niche as someone who actually works there, because I’m just volunteering, so I don’t have set work to do and I spend a lot of time hanging round waiting for my supervisor to get off the phone and tell me what to do next. I hope a job opens up somewhere in the hospital, or maybe I find something at the recruitment agency, because apart from anything else I’m getting worried about money!

Anyway, that’s enough whining about jobs, something will turn up. In the meantime it’s nice to have some freedom to take a day off to do jobs, whilst still having something to do on the other days.

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