‘I’ll put a girdle round about the earth in forty minutes.’ William Shakespeare
So promised Puck and nearly 400 years later Tim Berners-Lee finally achieved it, though 40 minutes would seem agonisingly slow these days.
I was prompted to think along these lines firstly when a friend moved into a rehab unit appropriately called Midway. The name rang a bell and within about 3 seconds I had all the information I needed about the World War II battle of the same name. The date and location are now safely stored ready for retrieval when they come up as a quiz question, assuming I can find them in my tangled brain!
And then this morning my bridesmaid emailed me photos and a video of her great great nephew. How amazing is that, yet how we take it all for granted.
The social media are often portrayed as purveyors of false news, conspiracy theories, and trivia but so were the gossips round the village pump and in the long queues at shops in the 1940’s. Gossip is dangerous and sometimes can be fatal, but at least we now have the ability and resources to check the facts.
To quote Sir Tim: ‘ ‘Anyone who has lost track of time when using a computer knows the propensity to dream, the urge to make dreams come true and the tendency to miss lunch.’
On March 14th last year, the choir was due to stage a second performance of our 10th Anniversary concert. Sadly we had to cancel at the last minute following concerns about large gatherings. On March 23rd, the first lockdown was imposed and since then we have only been able to meet as a group and sing once, at Christmas, but thanks to technology we’ve all kept in touch. The ‘rules’ have been changed as time went by, sometimes allowing us to meet in small groups and we’re now in the severest lockdown yet.
The main means of communication for us has been via regular email updates, our Facebook page, our website, and our weekly virtual rehearsals by Zoom.
It’s been a steep learning curve and we have progressed to the point where we are able to chat with each other and rehearse, mutely, led by Rufus, our MD and take part in tongue-twister warm-ups, led by our accompanist, Judi. Before half term Rufus gave us a fascinating lecture on the music of the Chapel Royal and at the end of this month he will be entertaining us with a programme of organ music requested by members. He has asked to be challenged, so that should be fun!
So thank you Sir Tim, thank you Rufus and Judi for the music and thanks to Caroline, our chair, for the organisation and keeping us all in the loop. Thanks to all our members for staying with us in what has been a difficult year.
We will be back. We don’t know when, but we do know where. Our rehearsals will take place as soon as possible at Grovehill Church of the Resurrection, known as ‘the church behind the chippy’ in Henry Wells square.
There will be concerts. There will be a tour. There will be outings and we will sing again in care homes and clubs and for the community. Thank you to all our friends for your support.
For more information see www.dacorummunitychoir.org, our Facebook page (Dacorum Community Choir) or call 07890288859.