A Tuesday evening not long before Christmas. A steady stream of customers pass through Waterstone’sDeansgate, Manchester. They have extended opening hours. It’s good to see people buying books as gifts and for themselves. A group of people gather on the first floor near the escalator. They’re dressed all in black and each wear a smart purple orchid. Some have a purple Christmas hats as well.
Yes, that’s right. It’s Tuesday, so it’s Ordsall Acappella Singers’ night. Except this week we’re at Waterstone’s instead of our normal rehearsal venue. We perform all of our Christmas songs and some of our normal repertoire. Two songs about bells. Two lullabies. Why can I remember the German words to Still, Still, Still more easily than the English ones? Did I learn it once before in German? And two holly jolly ones. Amongst others. And in addition Kiss the Girl, I Got Rhythm, Joshua (including scary eyes) and Deep River. Amongst others.
Waterstone’s is housed in a good old Manchester building with the type of high ceiling we love. We hope we are singing in “merry measure” like the song says. We enjoy ourselves, anyway. It’s always good, singing together.
We have a small but appreciative audience and some people we’ve not met before take photographs. Others, normal book browsers, don’t seem to object. We’re there from 6.00 until just after 7.30. Then many of us go out for a meal together. What a lovely evening!