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Of singing and blogging

Of all her various endeavors, Becky lately has been concentrating on singing a bit more. She lacks a strong voice, but she definitely has a musical ear and she loves to sing.

It helps the matters that at her school, every Year 7 student has to participate in the choir. Last week the school gave a concert, highlighted by its highly selective Chamber Choir, but with participation of other ensembles, such as the Jazz Band, the (Very) Big Band, the Senior Choir and the Year 7’s.

Becky and her classmates had an unorthodox repertoire of a south-african song and a Hindu hymn, the latter sung with no words. Becky even had the honor of being a soloist on the hymn, which I hear was performed very well. Next year, when the choir will no longer be mandatory, I fear she will be crestfallen if unable to get into one of the selective ensembles.

Meanwhile, she has also been preparing for a classroom presentation. The task is simple: Pick a song, any song, sing it solo, get graded. Becky narrowed down her choices to six pieces: The Star-Spangled Banner, Kiss the Girl (from The Little Mermaid), Ev’rybody Wants To Be a Cat (from The Aristocats), A Dream Is a Wish (from Cinderella), Tomorrow (from Annie) and I Just Can’t Wait To Be King (from The Lion King). She then had Natasha and me to give her marks for performing each one of those, with the notion of combined highest mark identifying her final choice. The esteemed judges attended to the task at hand with all due diligence, and our diva settled on A Dream Is a Wish (with a combined score of 17 on the 10-point scale).

The performance is coming up any day now.

On a totally different note, I’ve been having a small blogging confidence crisis. Even though right from the very beginning, I expected my site to only be of use to my family and best friends (not counting an occasional stray fellow expatriate), I recently fell into the trap of regularly checking visitor statistics and such. It is hardly remarkable, from a handful to a couple of dozen visitors on different days, and seeing that every day, compared with public stats of some other blogs, does become joyless.

I checked a few of the blogs of other American Londoners. Actually, I read one blog, My London Crib, regularly, even since Geo emailed me one day with a question. She similarly got in touch with several other bloggers, and I looked at her friends’ work through the links on her page. What I saw were largely merry and carefree accounts of goings and doings of young American ladies (and their significant others) who immensely enjoy being in the center of the universe that is London. Their writings appear effortless and airy. Geo herself went on a “picture plan”, whereas she almost daily posts a seemingly random picture and writes something about it; it surprisingly provides an excellent composite insight into her everyday life. Another blogger, Heather, works off a full-blown photo-blog approach – she posts many pictures and builds her narration around the images.

Me? I am trying to keep my posts witty (I’d like to label them whimsical), but carefree and effortless they are not. I cannot steer away from serious topics (I actually have a long list of expatriate subjects that I want to address one by one). I don’t even try to project an all-encompassing sunny attitude – yes, we enjoy our life here, but keep no pretense that it is anything like a long vacation. Finally, I am clearly not a young beautiful woman (although my gorgeous muse and spouse should certainly play a more prominent starring role in my narratives).

And what do you know? Realizing all of that gave me a boost of confidence. Maybe I found my niche! Maybe there is an audience somewhere that is interested in musings of a youngish, not young, and intermittently funny American grump, whose limited vocabulary of superlatives demands occasional negativity…

On the other hand, if not, I probably still will be content with the knowledge that a dozen or so people who are truly dear to me get these indirect letters from me once every few days.

In any case, I feel inspiration overtaking me… Unfortunately for my literary career, at the moment, the muse is demanding that I get off the stupid computer and spend some quality time with her and the children…

Posted in Blogging, Chronicles


  1. Kisintin

    Cinderella the band, or Ciderella the cartoon? There seems to be a lot of Disney themed songs.

  2. mama (visitor)

    Son, I do not want to tell that i am the most devoted fan of your writing (just from the modesty), but really i am. I read all your blogs not one time, and every time I found your style perfect, your thems (as tema), very interesting, very diversified.
    The thing is that i am not so good with english (which i mentioned before) and sometimes because of this or the lack of time i do not respond. But I am reading, enjoy, and brag (is this synonim for (“xvastatsya”)about your website, your talant, your creativeness. I recommend all my close and not so close friends, acquintence (“znakomych”), and everybody who asks me how is your life in England to read your blogs and to see the picture with our beautiful girls.
    I am going to print out all your blogs and dream to publish them may be sometimes with your permitions. Write more, please.
    I do not have here some tools(in my system) to correct the spelling, so sorry for mistakes.
    About you argue with your new friend, which you so collorfully described: ask this guy – why they all move to another country, fled their’s so democratic country? It happened in all the centuries and ages: all these so named “patriots” and “Russia lovers” preferred to live in London, or Italy, or France and from there tell us the tails and stories about wonderfull life and democracy and real liberty in our former country. As one famous tell: kazhdyi mnit sebya strategom vidya boy isdaleka”. Been, seen, know.
    Y moego lubimovo Shaova v odnoy is pochti novych pesenok est fraza: “Pritormosite s legonzha: London ne rezinovyi, vse ne pomestaytsya”.
    Ny, vse, nado zakryglyatsya.
    My wish for you, son: be as you are, do as you done, and all of us will continue to be proud of you. With my love to all of you. Mama.

  3. Ilya

    The argument was primarily about whether America is good or bad – Russia was used as a foil at first, although became more prominent in the conversation as we progressed through the motions.
    But I did ask at some point, why he does not live there. He responded that he wants to raise his daughter in England, but then eventually will move back to Russia. I have to give it to him – he sounded sincere.

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