Something New

Sometimes it’s time to start something new.

I love to sing. I always have. I sing along to the radio, in the car, wherever I can. On the other hand lots of people have told me that I can’t sing. So I avoid singing where anyone can hear me – but it doesn’t stop me.

A while ago I came to a realisation though. Simply put I’ve never been taught how to sing. Nobody would give a child a recorder and expect them to make a nice noise with it (and I’m not going into my views on the recorder as a musical instrument here). No, if you give a child a musical instrument you generally also ensure they’re taught to play it.

So, maybe, I could learn to sing. I’ve sat on this thought for far too many years now but, inspired by Stephen Hawking at the Paralympics I decided it was finally time to do something about it. Helped too I’ll admit by the fact that I knew my daughter’s piano teacher also teaches singing and I was impressed with her work with Louisa.

So here I am, having taken the plunge and finally learning to sing. I’ll let you know how I get on.

Our Moment To Shine

Photo by James

Photo by James

Despite the fact that the opening ceremony is today, last night the paralympic games really started in Aylesbury.

Not a mile from our house the four national flames were joined together while we watched it relayed to a screen in the Market Square. I’ve lived here for ten years now but last night was the first time I felt truly proud of that fact as we were reminded again and again that the paralympic spirit started here on a field just behind Stoke Mandeville hospital.
The torch then started its relay to London coming first to the Market Square (an hour late over a journey of two miles!) where it was greeted with enthusiasm and we were then delighted with a son et lumiere of epic proportions. There was fire, projection onto the Court House (if you saw what they did with Buckingham Palace for the Jubilee you’ll have some idea of what happened), music and fireworks.

It was an awesome night and also a moving reminder of why I think I prefer the Paralympics to the Olympics. Don’t get me wrong, the Olympics were an amazing spectacle and made us all proud to be British, but one often comes away with the feeling that the Olympians are mostly public school kids with pushy parents and if you’re not an Olympian by seventeen then it’s all over.

In contrast the Paralympians seem much more normal. Many of them became Paralympians as adults, only after life had thrown them a challenge which they not only rose to, they triumphed at. They seem at once more human and more incredible. They make me feel that everyone can be amazing, at any age.

Today the games will officially open and I certainly wish Paralympic GB every success. But for the rest of us, today, everyday, it’s also our moment to shine.