Those of you who have persevered and come back here from time to time will have noticed an absence of fresh p0sts. For that I apologise. To be honest I was busy; very busy; very, very busy. Now I am well into the summer holidays and all that busyness is behind me.
Such busyness was mostly generated by the end of the school year and all that entails both for the runners and the dancer and for me, both as a parent and a member of staff. This year was particularly poignant and the happy sad of the title because the runners have come to the end of their time as choristers at Durham Cathedral and are moving on to senior school.
They are thirteen, the time has come to move on and they are keen to do so. They have outgrown prep school and are ready to start on the next stage of their journey. I was not sad that they were leaving Choristers the school, but I was so very sad that those two precious years as choristers have finally come to an end. It has been an interesting time, with a very steep learning curve, and I came to it as a parent with more background knowledge than most. I’ve learned a whole new language (or is it code?); I’ve discovered just how much work goes into that beautiful sound you hear coursing around the Cathedral; I’ve seen just how wonderfully silly children and grown men can be when they finally get to let off steam; I’ve discovered new music and composers and have tried to look knowledgeable when 12 year olds discuss the merits of one Dyson over another (and they are not discussing vacuum cleaners) and whether the music at the most recent Cathedral wedding was better than the most recent Royal wedding (I’m with them on this one, it most certainly was).
The final Evensong on Sunday incorporates the very formal Dismissal of all choristers, both children and men, who are leaving the choir and it is both a beautiful and emotional moment. I managed to hold it together during Eucharist, the farewell speeches and lunch with
only a few discrete tears. I even managed most of Evensong, but the wheels started to come off during the final anthem; Blest Pair of Sirens will now forever bring a tear to my eye and by the final hymn (who thought Lead Kindly Light would be a good farewell?!) I was welded to my hankie and trying not to drown my neighbours.
Looking back is only good when it can be done with a smile and an eye to the path ahead. So I am no longer sad and am looking forward to all the possibilities that the future might bring. And on the happy front I am off to see the runners in Marriage of Figaro tonight. Tra laa.