Well, I’ve left you all on that cliffhanger for quite a while! It’s been a busy few weeks. The G&S Ball was great fun, the amount of detail that must have gone into planning it was incredible – everyone had tiny little golden pencils and cute little dance cards with a gold cord to fasten it to your wrist, the food was amazing, the dancing was very cleverly organised (old-world dance names like cotillion and galop, but simple ceilidh dances with a caller) and the orchestra was brilliant, playing magnificently-arranged G&S medleys. My feet were in a total state by the time I got home, I couldn’t walk comfortably for two days (don’t dance in heels, girls) but it was worth it.

After that, the choir tour got going. We had a whole string of 13-hour days with concerts in Kent, London, Lichfield, Cambridgeshire etc. One of the London concerts was an NSPCC Benefit in Southwark Cathedral where I met Floella Benjamin! She was so friendly and lovely, and chatted to me and my friend Emma for ages – we only stopped because we were dragged away to get the coach home. I loved the Hullaballoo videos as a kid which is why I was so desperate to meet her, but she has done all kinds of incredible things as well. It’s been a good year for meeting my heros.

Some other highlights from the choir tour: carol singing in the freezing cold marketplace to raise money for the America tour, lots of giggling with New Kristie, Disney sing-a-long on the coach, hilarity/panic when four people got themselves stuck at Letchworth Garden City, “electrifying” singing in Lichfield Cathedral, amazingly delicious food in Kent… the list could go on for hours.

By last Sunday I was exhausted and had a stinking cold, complete with hacking cough for extra fun. I cleared my washing up cupboard for the first time all term (noteworthy event) and packed probably way too many clothes for seventeen days.

Monday – Friday I was in Manchester, which was bitterly cold and full of excellent people. On Thursday we went to a boatyard and helped steam two planks onto a canal boat, which probably doesn’t sound like much fun to most people but was fantastic. I’ve met a whole bunch of cool people this week.

Now I’m at my dad’s house for a few days, which always means lots of lounging around and watching films and wearing pyjamas. Last night we went to see the new Sherlock Holmes film. I think I remember the old one being rather better, but it was exactly what we were hoping for – totally devoid of plot, full of ridiculously overblown fights and snappy one-liners, and gorgeous costumes. We were at the Rex cinema in Elland, which is one of a handful of cinemas left that still has an Intermission in the middle of the film, and on Tuesday evenings has an organist who plays during silent films. It’s a great place and I was quite sad to see that there were maybe a dozen people there. But it’s still going against all the odds, and its ticket prices are the lowest in the area.

Today I’m off into town to do some last-minute Christmas shopping, and maybe drop in on my foster family on the way back. It’s very odd being back in the town I did most of my growing up in. I feel this way whenever I come back; I never do see anyone from school, and if I did I doubt we’d recognise each other anyway, but I still feel a bit uncomfortable. On the other hand it’s familiar and I already know I’ll end up back here when I’m older. Yorkshire is in my blood, I think.


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