You know how when you were about 10 years old and your grandma bought you a groovy pink and purple flower-covered diary with an adorable itty-bitty padlock and matching tiny key? And how at first you swore to yourself you'd write in it every single day? And how you did, at first?
But then how you slowly slacked off until you realized that eight months had passed and you hadn't written a word? And how it seemed hopeless to start up again because you'd missed so many vital events and catching the diary up would have been too gargantuan a task to contemplate?
But I have to say that I find myself in a similar situation here. My beloved (by me, anyway!) blog has sat here unattended as I hosted hoardes (nice hoardes!!) of houseguests, played tour guide, and did some fairly blog-worthy stuff.
And now I have to get it up to date.
Where to begin?
On Friday (June 11th!), as the Auxillary Twins neared the end of their stay with us, three fabulous new guests had to be picked up at the train station. MLW was arriving from NYC, via Paris, with her 18 year old niece and two year old daughter in tow.
(I haven't asked if they want to be pictured on my blog. So all you get today is a back view of Possibly The World's Cutest Toddler.)
Then on Saturday, the parents of the Auxillary Twins arrived. They'd pushed up their trip by one day so as not to miss the concert that Valentine and Sev's band were to play in that night. I thought it was so lovely that they were interested and made the effort! And SO encouraging for Tya, who was quite, quite nervous by then.
Just as these new guest pulled up, JP was off to pick up Tya's godmother and her husband in Geneva. (They are real city-folk and neither one drives) So, the support crowd of fans for The Boxmen was growing by the minute.
I whipped up a little dinner for 15 people (ha!) and then we headed off to the concert, packed into two cars. We would have made the Shriner Clowns proud- we had seats for 12, but 13 people needed to go, so we just piled in and made the 10km drive up the valley, hoping not to see the police along the way.
The concert was primarily for the younger students of the "School of Rock" of our little mountain valley and was held in a small community hall. When we walked into the crowded, tiny building , we easily found the 13 seats at the front that the band had reserved for us at the very front.
As I sat down, Sev came over to me and informed me that he would be SINGING with another band that night.
"Just one song" he said with a feigned casual air. "They asked if anybody knew "Smells Like Teen Spirit", so I tried it with them and it worked. Gotta go now." And he stuck his iPod earphones back in and wandered off.
Talk about surprises!
First the younger groups played (5th and -6th graders). There were a few of my English students from last year. SO cute!
Then the older groups went on. Most of them were pretty decent, music-wise. The only problem was the singing.
Not good. At all.
One young woman's version of "Knocking on Heaven's Door" sounded more like what they must play just outside the gates of Hell.
A certain amount of smirking and groaning went on in the crowd, which I thought was dreadful. Yes, much of the singing was American Idol crazy reject bad, but these were just nervous kids. I smiled from my front-row seat and tried to send mental waves of encouragement and kindness.
And I hoped someone would do the same if my kids or their friends messed up...
The next band consisted of three adults. They played a couple of songs and then Sev came on stage with them, looking hugely tall and gawky in that way only 14 year old boys growing too fast can manage.
But as for stage presence? Chatting with the crowd? Getting a laugh? Sev was all over that. Then he launched into a parody of the famous Nirvana song!
It was so funny- it's really a shame that most of the people there didn't speak English!
"Now I'm mumbling, and I'm screaming and I don't know what I'm singing!"
I'm not saying that he sang it completely in tune. But then, does melody really count in a Kurt Cobain song?
I was just amazed that he was so at ease. And the crowd seemed to love it, despite the language thing. (Most of the groups were singing in English anyway, so everyone was pretty used to not getting the lyrics....)
After a couple more decent groups, The Boxmen came on. And that's when my normally somewhat shy Valentine showed us all that she was born to front a rock band.
I was completely astounded!They sounded GOOD! Really good! Like about 1000 times better than anyone else there. Their music was great, Tya's singing was impressive and they seemed to have FUN! You could really tell that they all like each other and enjoy being together.
"The crowd went wild", as they say. Everyone really seemed to appreciate them and the compliments afterwards were...vastly gratifying!
The best compliments came from their teacher... he was, obviously, SO, pleased with them. He pointed out to me that The Boxmen members are not the youngest kids in the association and are by far the least experienced. Max and Sev (guitar and bass) had never touched an instrument before September! And the drummer only had one year of experience.
On top of that, all of the other groups had been playing together for at least a year or more. But somehow The Boxmen blew them all out of the water. Their teacher is expecting great things next year!
Yes, I did film it.
No, I cannot show it to you.
The recording seems to be lost.
Can't find it on my camera!!!!!
But here's the thing- their great performance earned them a spot at the village music festival! And that's today! And for the event, I've borrowed a decent camera from a friend. So, maybe I'll be able to show you something soon...
It's lucky they're able to go perform today...On Tuesday, their drummer made a wild leap off a picnic table at school, trying to grab cherries off a tree (a common pastime for bored high school students at their lycée (high school), or so Valentine has informed me). He hit the ground, dislocating and breaking his right shoulder.
He's ok now- has to have his arm in a sling for a month and a half...and may need surgery. But at least he didn't break his neck....Could have been worse, as we like to say back in Nebraska.
The Boxmen have recruited their teacher to play the drums, just for this last gig.
And hopefully their drummer will be fully recovered by September...