Saturday, December 04, 2010

Teddy bear concert

Another granny and I took our teddies to a concert today. It was rather sad really, because I had invited two grandchildren and their parents to come with me, as it was a special children's concert. But then they realised that my granddaughter's school concert was the same day, and as she had a part to play, she needed her family there to support her, obviously. So I set about trying to find some other children to take, but no luck, so a friend and I decided we would go anyway - AND take our teddies!

These Teddy concerts are given once a year where I live by the Kings Chamber Orchestra. They do a winter tour, and at each stop they give a children's concert in the afternoon, and an adults concert in the evening. I had only been to the evening concerts before and was keen to see what the Teddy Concert was like.

Well, we trod a roughish path to get there: severe weather made us wonder during the week if roads would be passable anyway, but by this morning a thaw was well under way, so driving was OK. We decided to have lunch first at the cafe next to the chapel where the concert was being held, but had been misinformed, and found it closed. Off in the car again to a nearby pub, The Red Cow, only to find a notice: SORRY, OUR KITCHEN IS CLOSED TODAY! Off again to a small shopping complex where we found fish and chips which we ate in the car, followed by takeaway coffees from the Tesco Express across the road. We took our coffees back with us to the chapel, and were in comfortable time to get good seats for the concert, where we surreptitiously sipped our drinks while waiting for the concert to begin, pretending that they were just shopping in plastic bags.

The chapel was soon full of children with their parents and their teddies, and the excitement in their faces was a joy. MY teddy by the way is called Ton-Ton Georges. Ton-ton is French baby-talk for Uncle, and Georges stands for Georges Brassens, the great and unique French singer songwriter. I bought my Georges at a concert given by an English group who give concerts of his songs, and was told that the mother of one of the performers knitted the teddies to raise funds for the group. He has a real take-off jumper and trousers, although his beret is fixed. I gave him his Christmas bell to wear.

Well, the performance was not so much a concert as a musical party. Every piece of music played involved the children and their teddies in some way: actions both strenuous and gentle, singing, shouting, and throwing our teddies in the air. Oh yes, Granny Rosemary and Granny Judith were going it with the best of them, though our gestures were somewhat more muted than those of the children.The orchestra even tried to lull us all to sleep at one point, and gave prizes for those who came nearest to it.

One highlight of the event was when the orchestra leader announced that he was going to show us how to make a cheap musical instrument at home - although mummies and daddies would have to do it of course, as it involved using a knife and a drill. Here is the recipe:

  • Take one large carrot and trim off the ends with a sharp knife.
  • Using a power drill, drill carefully into each end of the carrot, ensuring that the two drillings meet in the middle of the carrot.
  • Then drill eight holes in the sides of the carrot for seven fingers and a thumb.
  • Finally, take a bassoon reed, previously soaked in water, and insert it into one end of the carrot, which is now ready to play.

I kid you not: this talented cellist proceeded to play for us a "Concerto for carrot and orchestra" by Broccolini......! (I know, I was suspicious of that name when I saw it on the programme, although I didn't know then that it was a vegetable.) Now I couldn't swear to whether this was really happening. Maybe he was singing into the darned thing, but it certainly sounded like he got a tune out of it.

The story of the pictures, by the way, is of a little bag made in Ecuador which I bought from a stall on the way out, and of how much Georges liked it, so much so that he eventually insisted on being carried home in it. Maybe I shan't give it away as a Christmas present after all.


annie said...

Thanks for taking us along to the Teddy concert for kids. I enjoyed every moment, Judith.


Avus said...

That sounds like it was a great day out, Judith; and quite different. Where else could you learn to play a carrot and take your Teddy bear home in an Ecuadorian bag!

herhimnbryn said...

Good for you J! Sounds like you had a ball.

Anonymous said...

Hola Judith! Feliz Anio 2011! It is great that you have put the Charter on your blog, so don't worry about Newcastle Univ. I'm sure they will love the promotion. Thank you!

Sue said...

Oh dear Judith!
Once again my system had stopped here.
How do I find your newer blogs?
I have made a new start on mine today - 13/2/11 if you care to look?

Sue said...

Dear Judith,
Well, first it is so good that you are still NOT DEAD YET and I really appreciate the fact that you sent a new message to my last blog. I've set up a new one tonight and I do believe it's a bit cheerier!
I was curious about your reply to me and can only assume that you have been voted 'blog guru' to the Old Gits! So sorry I cant rem that lovely ladies group! So even more sorry, that I am unable to join due to financial restrictions! Your descriptions of meets, people, activities have me drooling to be a part of such of a wonderful and supportive set up. However, every word you wrote during the past few years let me see the multiple £££££ signs in order to join you all.
OTOH - are you aware of a fairly new -err what? organisation? No, initiative? - prob yes. It is called Campaign to end Loneliness. Or some such.
It was showcased on Woman's Hour Radio 5 or so some weeks ago.
It is? supported by Help the Aged, Age Concern, WRVS and some other org.
It appears to be designed just as I want as a universal UK set up for those of us with so little funds to pay to join groups such as your ladies, but it does recognise that aging lonliness needs to be taken a lot more seriously.
So I am trying to pursue but none of the orgs listed above seem to know anything about it!
My Doc - ditto.
Maybe you will be able to send me all the links that I am at present unable to find?
I found the Newcastle Uni site you recommended and have signed up, but it seems a similar hollow place.
YES!! we have an aged population wiv branes! Woo hoo
Shall we include dem in our life? OHH YEH
err how?
Duh? dunno - do dey soil deir pants?
and so on...!
Judith - I don't look to you for all the answers, but ffs darl, you do know all the questions!!
I so look forward to hearing from you cos WRVS asked if I wanted to become a vol!!
I do so hope you are able to follow my disjointed post here and can send me the links I seek?

pnr status said...

I enjoyed every moment...

Avus said...

Long time no blog, Judith. I hope all is well with you?