Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Advent Day 7

And behind the first square window is ...



Orchestra Party!

Er ...

Now, that really did surprise me. I had no idea what would be behind that door when I started doing this advent calendar thing, though I suspected it might be a bit of tinsel or a badly-drawn bauble. I am now dreading what might be behind some of the other doors, because once you've started opening a 30+-year-old advent calendar and blogging about it every day it's something of a hostage to fortune. What will be revealed about my childhood next? "Doctor's appointment re: bedwetting"? "Trip to zoo - cancelled due to lack of friends"? "Psychologist's appointment re: crossdressing"?

OK, the orchestra party. In my defence, that's my sister's handwriting, but if I wasn't in the orchestra that year then I was in later years, and would have taken part in the annual debauchery that is the orchestra party, with its heady mix of crisps and rosin. Strange to think that just a few years later I would have killed to be at a party where slightly posh girls outnumbered boys by about 20 to one, but at that younger age playing the violin was pretty much the uncoolest of many uncool things about me. I gave it up as soon as I could, swearing I would never pick up a violin again. But in a strange coincidence, I found out only last week that I briefly bowed and plucked next one of these guys:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPCeAU00UIc

How was I to know that if I kept practising that playing the violin would become cool? (I am also slightly ashamed to report my schadenfreude on seeing that I still have loads more hair than he does. Who is cooler now, eh? You with your international music career, or me blogging about a 30+-year-old advent calendar?)

I eventually broke my pact about not picking up a violin again when I picked up a violin to pretend to play one for some cutaways in a documentary about stage fright. I only got the job because I knew both the director and how to hold a violin. Unfortunately, my hands had grown in the intervening years, and the violin had proper strings instead of rubber ones they usually put on for actors, so the poor camera crew had to listen to take after take of some truly awful noises as I couldn't work out where to put my fingers (apart from in my ears). But maybe that goes to show that learning to play the violin (and go to the associated orchestra parties) was actually a good thing, as I looked quite cool in the slow-mo black-and-white, and no one wrote to Points of View to complain that I wasn't holding the bow properly.

That was all quite cathartic, but I'm pretty sure that what's behind tomorrow's door will be simpler and much more pleasant.