Last night I played a concert with the Biggin Hill Concert Band, we played an interesting a varied program, and played it quite well. For me the major challenge came from survival as there was a lot for me in all the pieces and I was the only tuba, indeed as we would say it was " a bit of a smack in the face" Having said that there was one arrangement where the tuba part was so badly written that I knew I could get nowhere near playing what was written and so had to just play what I felt fitted, I think I got away with it. This band has only been going for two years and has got off to a very strong start, they have a new conductor taking over in September and it will be interesting to see if she can take them on to the next level. There is certainly lots of potential, they just need to recruit a couple of players in key sections (like the tuba!)
I enjoyed the concert, and the drinks with friends afterwards, everyone has been totally accepting, indeed there is one couple who play in this band who I have known for years, I have to say that it is greatly to their credit, that on all occasions they have got my name and pronouns right, and been more than happy to sit and chat and buy me vast quantities of beer! Now the novelty of being out performing as Paula is wearing away I find that I am quite comfortable and am just enjoying the opportunity to be authentic in an area of my life that is so important to me.
Looking in my diary I now find myself in the very odd position of not having any performances scheduled until September, I shan't know what to do with myself. Indeed I find myself now sitting and writing this while watching the home nations being knocked out of the Rugby Sevens at the Commonwealth Games and wondering what I am going to do with myself afterwards.
I have got so used to having commitments and obligations that to have a whole Sunday to myself, followed by a week with no commitments other than a single rehearsal on Monday is actually rather confusing. I think I may have to go out later, if only to have the opportunity to show off this dress. I tend to think of this as my Marilyn dress as it reminds me of that famous scene from "The Seven Year Itch" I know I could never look that good, but this dress does help me feel it!
It's just not fair to have this much fabulousness and to not share it.