February 2019

First Sunday in March (musings of an elderly septuagenarian)

I wrote this blog a fortnight ago but life has been so hectic since that it didn’t get finished or posted. Not one to waste material …I am sending it off today at the beginning of March before heading off to Stoke to play for the second service of the day.

Next week is taken up with rehearsals at the New Vic and a performance in Manchester with Ages & Stages Theatre Company along with members of the Bentilee Drama Group. The final LGBT Older People’s Ceramic Workshop is on Wednesday afternoon…which also happens to be Ash Wednesday marking the start of Lent with a sung mass at Holy Trinity Burslem. As if that lot wasn’t enough, I’ve received an email requesting a TV interview on the changes brought by advances in HIV medication since the 1980s. It will be interesting to see how I manage to make it to the end of the week….assuming that I will be fit enough to make any observations at all.

Last month at Angkor Wat Cambodia

Original Post

We are halfway through February…and this is my first post. How shameful! However, in my defence I have to say that since arriving back from my latest adventure, I have not stopped.

Take this week. Monday I put in a couple of hours organ practice at King Street Church before grabbing a quick lunch and heading off to Stoke Station to catch a train to Liverpool. Buying tickets for the return journey turned out to be more challenging than expected…but the three members of the Ages & Stages Theatre Company and me arrived on time at Lyme Street to join up with the rest of the team for our performance at the Everyman Theatre.

Of course, I would have preferred to have been completely off script…but short rehearsal time with script changes being made right up until the last minute ruled this out. Losing my script after the final run through didn’t help. Nonetheless, our piece which preceded the Fantastic for Families Awards 2019, was well received.

Monday 11th February – Members of Ages & Stages at Liverpool Lime Street before performing at the Everyman Theatre

Tuesday was taken over by the Worcester-Bosch engineer who came to repair the boiler. Would you believe it? This is the third breakdown in twelve months. I thought it highly likely the 14 year old system would have to be replaced. It turned out that the problem was a blocked pump, which was replaced with a new one. I have, consequently, decided to hang on until the next breakdown before buying a replacement.

Wednesday, I enjoyed working alongside other members of the LGBT Older People’s Group at our second creative ceramic workshop with Alice Thatcher who is great fun and a truly inspirational teacher. We will have to wait to see if our castings turn out alright…the slip seemed to take a lot longer to dry out than the last time we used the old Spode moulds. By contrast, the sgraffito technique we learned was successfully applied to a range of creations. The workshop is part of the OLGBT Wellbeing Project funded by the People’s Health Trust with money from the Health Lottery.

Wednesday 27 February – Kitted out in People’s Health Trust t-shirts….members of LGBT Older People’s group showing off mugs decorated ourselves and some from the funders

Thursday’s main event was a funeral at Holy Trinity Burslem…the deceased was 64 and was a much loved family man with many friends. More people turned up than expected. Fr Brian and Sharon had to open the screens to the hall to accommodate the large number of mourners. Although there was only one hymn for me to accompany…with such a big attendance, it was necessary to perform a short organ recital to cover the arrival of the cortege. It was gratifying to notice the noisy chattering hush to silence as people were drawn into the music I was playing.

Friday…time to do a bit of blogging before heading up ‘Anley to the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery for a dance session with Rachel and the older people’s Moving Stories Dance Company. Hopefully this will help with the healing process of my strained Achilles tendon. (It did)

Saturday I was hoping to see the matinee performance of Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake…sold out. So it will give me a chance to do the weekly shop. (But I did get to see the terrific production of Much Ado About Nothing at the New Vic Theatre)

Sunday, 10.30 mass as usual. Fr Brian has kindly sorted out music for the remainder of the month, so I can plan what needs to be practiced. Next week there is a confirmation in the afternoon …there will be a pontifical mass at 3.30. Hopefully, the singers will remember their parts for the anthem. Most were too poorly to attend the last rehearsal. (Pleased to note the performance of L.J. White’s 4-part setting of A Prayer of St Richard of Chichester went well)

Happy memories of Kangaroo Island last month – Great company, fantastic wildlife and majestic scenery

 

About Maurice Greenham

Musician, actor, writer, student, art lover, global traveller. Gay man living with HIV for over 35 years...and enjoying life in his 70s. Speaks Spanish, French and German as well as English. Although German was the language he studied most recently, it is the one with which he has most difficulty. Competent pianist and becoming more competent as an organist. Normally sing tenor in a choir, but can also manage bass parts. Had a successful career in professional theatre which he loved... until it ended with enforced retirement because of an AIDS diagnosis in 1994 when Maurice was given 6 months to live. Before that worked in education as a teacher/lecturer in music and drama.
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