China 2018: Day 16 Saturday 4th August

A bucket load of contrition later and we have ‘our’ Mr Swinson back!

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We set about a two-pronged attack: the carrot and the stick. First, the stick – we unleashed Mrs Martin. It was her birthday today and she said being given the opportunity to tell Mr Swinson a few home truths was the best present ever. She was (as we knew she would be) merciless, and even brought up stuff from the past, which was both surprising and shocking. It was tough to watch but, as they say, sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.

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Second, a small group of the youngest choirboys gave him a bit of a pep talk. They pointed out that two weeks away from home is a long time and they hadn’t been entirely surprised by his uncharacteristic behaviour. However, it was still unacceptable, and that it was important to be kind to each other and to respect each other’s feelings. They said they expected him to engineer a rapprochement with Mr Brookman (but we think they had to explain to him what that meant). The carrot was that the matter would then be closed and never mentioned again.

From our perspective the matter is now closed. The staff seem much happier and have even started the process of rebuilding relationships. At the railway station this morning we were touched to witness a slightly tearful Mr Swinson buying coffees for Mrs Martin and Ms Federici. We were disappointed, though, that he ignored Mr Brookman, but we accept it’s one step at a time.

Anyway, readers, we expect you are tired of this saga now. You follow this blog as supporters of the choir and we are sorry to have brought this rather unseemly matter to your attention. We expect you also know that our alter ego is that of a fairy and sometimes we inhabit the world of make believe.

We are now fully focussed on finishing the tour on a high. Today was our ninth and penultimate concert and we are thoroughly enjoying bringing our programme to new audiences. We have moved from Nanjing to Tianjin and we had yet another brilliant, attractive venue in the Tianjin Grand Theatre.

There was a bit of a blip this afternoon as the hotel wasn’t ready for our arrival so we had to delay our rehearsal while the rooms were being prepared. We were quite relaxed as we only needed a quick sound check but we also had to rehearse our encores with the local children’s choir, who were great!

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It proved to be a evening of blips as well. The concert was great, the audience were the best, and we loved the Chinese children’s choir. BUT.

We lost one of our senior soloists for the first half. This time he anticipated and planned his vomit. We also lost another 1st treble because he had lost a shoe! Mr Brookman sprinted heroically to the hotel to get the missing shoe only to find it not. And then we lost another soloist for the second half. At least this time all the solos could be re-arranged properly and successfully.

One more concert to go and Team Trinity is still going strong!

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