It’s Panto time…oh yes it is!

Every year, around the 3rd week in January our entire family embarks on the tradition that is the seasonal pantomime. We go to ground from Monday to Saturday evening, thinking only of the performance.

My husband is a musical director, so our household starts hearing tunes from about October. He puts a lot of work into arranging and sorting music so it fits the script. There are creative team meetings, where the decisions about script, music, costumes, setting and scenery are discussed and ironed out. If you have never been part of a production then you will have no idea how much is done even before the script is sent out to learn!

One of those backstage jobs is the one I’m doing this year. I am the Children’s licensing officer. That means that every young person involved in the show on stage has to have a performance licence. Once that paperwork is out if the way, I sort out the chaperone rota. Last year I was a principal and had to learn lines, music and moves as well as doing all the other backstage stuff. This year I’m focussing on one job!

Sunday is the ‘Tech’, actors do everything on stage but have to wait for light and sound cues to be set. It can be a long day. But from page to stage it’s an amazing process. Monday will be the dress rehearsal. This will involve the whole company, running through the entire show. Everyone steps up a gear and this is when we start to spot the magic.

I have always enjoyed the pantos. I think my husband has been involved for the last 5 or 6 years. My daughters for at least 4 years. I follow behind!

Now, the biggest thing for me is the amount of juggling I have to sort with school work this week. I will spend all Sat and Sun arranging all my resources so I can simply email them to reprographics and collect when I need them. My students will do Green pen self and peer assessments to keep up to speed on their marking and I will juggle everything else. I am just blessed with a husband who likes to cook and can keep the laundry under control! Well, we are doing Aladdin! Oh yes we are!

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That bit between Christmas and New year…

It’s that bit in the middle, Christmas week. Which seems like a few Sundays and a few Saturdays all mixed together. No one ever knows what the day is, it’s the only time of the year where we know the date first…people have been at the sales, sporting venues and at work in shops all day!

We have said goodbye to the relatives and all the family are in bed, it’s 8pm.
I did something new today; I marshalled for our local parkrun event in Wolverhampton. Parkrun is a weekly 5k timed run that take place in different venues up and down the country. For many it’s the first place they go to run with others. Kind of a coming out fit thing. I have now done 4 parkruns. I have a lot to go to get my 50th run TShirt. I am making an effort. But today I put on a hi vis jacket and stood and applauded people as they ran round the route. It was fun; I enjoyed it. But it was cold. About 2 degrees, if the car is to be believed.

Why did I volunteer? Because without volunteers, the event can’t take place. I’m not so good that I can run all by myself properly yet, but I appreciate that if there weren’t people willing to do this, then I wouldn’t even have a chance to participate. I see young men smash their times, old men chase their dreams, families with expectations and aspirations and the plodders, who, like me, just want to see if they can.

Without volunteers. Imagine our lives and those of the needy without volunteers. Thankfully I know many friends who have volunteered over Christmas, and I thank them for making this effort, much greater than my hour this morning. Thank you for volunteering.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for following my blog, giving me an audience and encouraging me to keep jotting my thoughts down. Happy New Year to you all.

I am enjoying my break, I need the sleep. I have marking to do and a few family and friends to catch up with, but for now there is peace and there is calm and there is Mulled wine. 🙂