Friday, 10 August 2012

Prom 37

Dig has procured a weekend Arena pass for the Proms.

That is not remarkable. What is noteworthy is that he bought a pass for each of us. I am unsure about his motives. Whether it is a sudden urge to introduce his offspring to the musical preferences of the upper middle classes, a (doomed) attempt to drag his wife from her musical gutters, or because he pressed the wrong number button in the online order page.

The upshot is, we are together, en famille, for the entire weekend. Promming.

I have not complete confidence in this enterprise. I expect at some point it will conclude in a brawl. Somewhere inappropriate, just outside the Radio 3 broadcast van, or in front of the ticket checkers to the Royal Albert Hall. The entire family (Dig excluded, because he discreetly puts himself some yards away), will suddenly become embroiled in an explosive confrontation. We will undignify proceedings like a mindless mob of medieval peasants disgorging from the fields looking for some aggro. The gritlets will turn on each other in a grudge match to settle once and for all the unicorn-in-the-hedge incident of 2004, and I will be like Wat Tyler with a Stalin moustache, attempting to impose order on the peasant army by shouting and elbowing them apart while threatening all manner of repercussions like floggings and hangings and no dinners for 200 years.

Nevertheless, I am a determined Woman of the Shires. I remain undaunted. I say to Dig that it is a thoroughly good idea to take three 12-year olds for an intensive weekend promming. Especially one including gruelling nineteenth century religious works of a choral nature. Yes! It is a good idea! Triplets who have never particularly expressed delight at classical music, who don't sing in choirs, don't play instruments, can't stand up for more than ten minutes without whining, and who still bear that grudge over the unicorn-in-the-hedge (2004), well there is no reason why they cannot suddenly be plunged head first into the world of a live Radio 3 broadcast from the Royal Albert Hall.

But I refuse to be intimidated by any circumstance. I merely show adversity my determined jaw and defiantly pursue my goal of introducing the little grits to every part of the world that is within my power, imagination, and the reach of Dig's wallet.

Tonight then, in a spirit of brave enterprise and with a blind belief in achieving the impossible, I introduce the little grits to Prom 37. Elgar and The Apostles.

Right up front, I will say it wasn't us. The cause of the kerfuffle at the start of that prom. The one involving the person with the electronic beepy noisy thingy. The moment which Radio 3 faithfully recorded, which caused that agonising wait for your live listening pleasure, delayed the entire Hallé orchestra, upset a not inconsiderable number of music aficionados, caused great frothing and hissing from nearby psyched-up Arena standers, and prompted conductor Mark Elder to turn round and fix the culprit with his serious disapproving eyes. Thank God it wasn't us. No, I am not intimidated by most of the world but I might be withered by one stare from the extreme face of Our Lord Elder.

But I have to report that my other fears were unfounded. True. No brawling, no shoving, no growling, no vomiting, no throwing food, no grudge match. The triplets were beautifully behaved. This could have been due to the fact that Squirrel took herself out of the equation, so effectively reducing us to twins (piss easy).

Squirrel, we picked up straight from her horse arse week at the stables en route to the Proms. She was completely exhausted, what with all the glitter experimentation and hoof picking, so she simply lay down on the floor of the Arena in her jodhpurs and fell asleep. Shark was given the programme and asked to think about whether you have to believe in God if you are going to listen to two hours of The Apostles sing We are servants of the Lord, and Tiger was set on the challenge of counting the choir.

All in all, a successful start. Dig let the proceedings down a little by saying he would like to slap Jesus for his moral face, and I never attempted once to provoke the person standing next to me by declaring loudly Yes Tiger, this is the one you can sing along to.


sharon said...

Well I'm jealous. It's more years than I care to remember since I actually attended a Prom although I watched them assiduously on TV post-parenthood and pre-emigration. Now I occasionally catch a much belated broadcast of maybe the Last Night. My younger son had a great fondness for the classics in his early years, especially the noisy variety as in the 1812 and sundry pieces by Beethoven, Mahler and Rachmanikoff. Sadly this did not survive his teens and didn't include any enthusiasm for learning to play the piano despite having the perfect long-fingered hands. My tiny stubby-fingered hands were not conducive to playing the pieces I wanted to master even after years of assiduous practise, so I gave up when I left school. But my love of music of many types has stayed with me and provided great joy ever since.

PS. The musical gene was inherited from my Dad who was born and brought up in somewhat deprived circumstances in Wapping during the 1920s, left school at 14 and could never be classed as anything other than 'working class' so it doesn't follow that such music is only for the supposed upper echelons of society!

Grit said...

i am trying, sharon, i am very trying indeed. i subject the little grits to all manners of music in the hope that they will find the styles and pieces that help form the soundtracks to their lives as they grow and change. this isn't the first proms they've attended, but these are the first grown up ones. previous odd ones have boasted cornet players dressed up as mice waving banners. but day in day out proms, it's like a rite of passage.

Deb said...

I do not understand what a Prom is. Here it's a dance teenagers go to in high school, where you spend a million dollars on an ugly dress you won't wear again, and a handsy guy gropes you in the back of a limo.

But I'm guessing the British version is different.