The concert on Sunday went okay. I ended up late to rehearsal somehow - I was convinced it was at 10.30am, and I think it was actually at 10.00, because when I'd arrived (after finally struggling to get to the damn stage door - stupid market) everyone had already started. But yeah. Also, my voice held up much better in the rehearsal than the actual concert.
The second half went better than the first, mostly because we were so out of practice. We started with a really complicated version of "Silent Night", which was also a capella, which didn't sound as good as it could have done, and also we ended up going completely flat with one of the traditional carols, as the first verse was unaccompanied - it sounded awful when the organ came in. Meh.
The girl standing next to me kept randomly blacking out and had to keep sitting down, which was a tad worrying... There was also an entire section of one of the carols where half of the sopranos came in a bar too early, mostly because (I'm convinced, anyway) Adrian made a "come in now" gesture that wasn't, as it turned out.
But the silly audience-participation song went down well and was fun to sing, and I also love "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" so that was nice - the descant in that is one of my favourites...
There was quite a surreal moment in the rehearsal, though, as we were singing "Once In Royal David's City" along with the organ and brass, when I was hit with a wave of nostalgia, of being a small child in the school carol service. I was standing there having to fight off tears, for some reason. At the very least, it reminded me that I do love Christmas, I just hate all the associated stress and having to work full-time and fit the shopping around it, and that I would happily spoil everyone rotten if I only had the money.
Which leads me on nicely to my latest decision: I'm going to get a credit card, and I'm only going to use it at Christmas, and for very expensive food shops (like, the "over £40" variety). That way I can pay it off over the rest of the year and not have to worry unnecessarily in December about where my money's coming from. As it stands this year, the savings account has taken a thorough beating.
Thank God we get paid a week early in December...
I only have a little bit more shopping to do (it wasn't as finished as I thought) but I'm hoping The Works will throw up some more gems in that regard.
I braved the post office yesterday to get everything sent out that needed sending - people should have cards winging their way towards them shortly. I left work at 3.30 with the hope of beating the crowds, but it was still horrendously busy. First I had to queue to buy jiffy bags, then had to queue again to get more (they also don't appear to sell a size between "too small" and "not small enough", which is a pain), then had to find a space on the shelves to fill in the addresses and get everything packed (and half of the stupid gift tags have fallen off as well) and then had to queue to get them sent. Everything cost a grand total of £15.00 to send out, which included seven First Class stamps, three UK-bound packages, one US-bound package, and two US-bound cards. (And those customs forms really take all the fun out of sending people gifts when you have to bloody well declare what's in the package. Bah. I would just put "gift", but I can imagine some stupid US customs person declaring it a bomb threat.)
Other than that, the rest of this week currently stands something like this:
Tuesday - Thursday: work, and last-minute shopping, and last-minute wrapping.
Friday: Christmas food shop at Asda. We must be insane.
Saturday afternoon: visiting grandmother and uncle avec presents.
Sunday evening: family coming over (7.00ish) for present-swapping.
Christmas Eve: drinks at Briar with Lloyd and Derek et al.
Christmas Day: the end.
It's bloody freezing in here again.