It is cold and frosty in The Enchanted Village. This morning, ribbons of mist lie in the valleys like trails of whipped-up egg white. And tonight, the nymph statue that welcomes visitors to the village ought to be wearing a hat, scarf and gloves.
Up at the community room, Mr Putter is reprimanded for a tuneful burst of Where have all the young men gone. Caruso makes a knife motion across his throat and shouts: 'Cut!'
It is choir practice night and Mr Putter is feeling confident. Mr Grigg, who has only been to one singing session and is still to be convinced he has a decent voice, is away. Night Nurse is scolded again for losing her place, while I forget a dotted note and someone else is blamed for the clashing of voices. Sometimes it is good to be teacher's pet.
'I remember performing at The Albert Hall,' Caruso says, 'I was singing Haydn's Creation. The old dear next to me was singing Handel's Messiah.'
He raps his harmonica and calls for order. We need to be in fine voice for a performance just before Christmas when our Enchanted Village voices will join Ding Dong Daddy and his friends for a special concert. It is incredible how ideas casually tossed around the pub turn into full-blown events. It's how we work.
Meanwhile, we have a special appearance at the old folk's home to worry about. As if we are in detention, the top team of six stay behind to practise The Coventry Carol. It is so beautifully moving it makes my cheekbones ache.
After my cold last week, I struggle to reach the top notes and to sustain the melody right to the end. And when I get home, alone, the necklace Camilla gave me a year ago because I kept saying how much I liked it threatens to engulf me, like the poisoned dress in Medea.
Where is Mr Grigg when I need him?
That's about it.
Love Maddie x
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