The first school run of the second half of this term went remarkably smoothly. I woke up feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead after an uninterrupted night's sleep and Addy was very eager to be back in the classroom with her friends.
It has been a half term holiday dominated by pantomime. Oh no it hasn't - I hear you say. I can definitely reply - Oh yes it has!
My 16 year old daughter Charis has been involved with the local Amateur Dramatics group for quite a few years. It has been an absolute privilege to watch her on stage in the many productions that she has played a part in and to see her blossom as a performer. Her part in the latest production - the annual panto - was as a member of the chorus. She only had one line to say but the chorus had a significant singing and dancing role for the majority of the show.
I am not really a fan of pantomime as a form of entertainment, but it was probably one of the best I've ever seen. It was without a doubt the best amateur panto I've ever seen. This had a lot to do with an inspired performance by a new member of the group cast as the evil fairy. She was amazing. My favourite scene involved the evil fairy concocting an equally evil spell with my Charis and another chorus member playing the part of her minions. Charis was fantastically creepy as she danced with lithesome grace around the cauldron.
Charis is not a natural dancer. She does not have dance lessons. It was through sheer determination and tireless practise that she not only mastered the steps but made them look effortless and professional. I was impressed beyond words. As a result of her accomplishments, she was approached to take on the role of musical director in future productions. Unfortunately, that is an opportunity she is unlikely to be able to explore. This was probably the last production with this particular group that she will be involved with.
The dedication to dancing has also seen her lose inches off her waistline. She was never overweight but she now has a enviably toned, slender body. She looks incredible.
The panto impacted on my week in different ways. For a start, we have had to live with Charis dancing around the house almost non-stop! Rehearsals have been taking up more and more time to the extreme that the technical rehearsal did not finish until after midnight. My husband was always on standby to pick her up and I could never properly go to sleep until she was home.
There were five performances in all including the matinee and Charis was overflowing with enthusiasm for each and every one. I took my mum along to see Thursday night's show. Spending time with my mum was a special treat and I love how she always jumps at the chance to see her grand daughter in action. She agreed with me that Charis was phenomenal with what she had achieved with her dancing. To top it all off - I won the raffle!
As a thank you for the opportunities and support that Charis has been given, I was very happy to make cakes for her to take to the after show party. I am really enjoying baking at the moment and had good results with coffee and walnut, lemon drizzle and chocolate marble cakes. My kitchen was a busy place. I cut all the cakes into slightly bigger than bite-sized, manageable party nibbles and tried not to feel that my sister in law and her children who were staying with us for the weekend were given the thin edge of the hospitality wedge by serving them inelegant piles of off cuts!
The after show party went on well into the early hours. One very jubilant Charis eventually texted one very tired stepdad for a lift home. At this point I was a little worse for wear having consumed unhealthy amounts of wine (and off cuts!) with the afore mentioned bad influence of a sister-in-law.
Charis is not quite sure what to do with herself now that the hectic schedule of rehearsal and performance has come to an end but the friendships she has forged, the confidence it has given her and the many happy memories will no doubt endure.