Why I need help with my singing

IF there's one thing I really enjoy it's a bit of a sing song. Ever since I was knee high to a grasshopper I have warbled away to my heart's content. Back in my childhood I was a hairbrush - or anything else that resembled a microphone - diva.

IF there's one thing I really enjoy it's a bit of a sing song. Ever since I was knee high to a grasshopper I have warbled away to my heart's content. Back in my childhood I was a hairbrush - or anything else that resembled a microphone - diva. Cilla Black, Dusty Springfield, Kathy Kirby, Susan Maughan and Marianne Faithfull were just a few of the female stars I tried to emulate.

But it wasn't only popular music that grabbed me. I happily joined in the hymn singing at my local church and even school concerts gave me a thrill.

Oh, the joy of taking part in a mass chorus of 'The Spring Cantata' at Westbourne High School, with lots of other primary school children back in the 60s.

And then there was the annual song competition held at Northgate School for Girls. Although it clearly never matched Eurovision Song Contest standards - the voting was less partisan for a start - it certainly had high prestige in our own little circle. Many is the time we gobbled our food at break and lunchtimes so we could fit in some extra sessions to practise our harmonies - well, that's what we liked to call them.

Yes, it wasn't just the hills that were alive with the sound of music in those days. Everywhere I went reverberated with my renditions of assorted tunes.

But since then alas things have gone horribly wrong. Whereas once I may have given Katherine Jenkins a run for her money, I'm afraid I now sound more like a husky Hilda Ogden.

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Don't ask me what's happened I haven't a clue, although our choir mistress did tell us once that girls' voices can 'break' too. Unfortunately, mine never saw fit to put itself back together again. That's why I say thank heavens for karaoke machines, at least with the thumping beat and the backing singers, no one can hear what I really sound like and I can still trill away to my heart's content in the privacy of my own home. And therein lies the problem.

You see, with eldest daughter's wedding coming up I'm desperately trying to think of a way that I can sing all those lovely hymns without drawing attention to myself, but I know it's going to be difficult. It's bad enough trying to keep in the right key without having to worry about reaching the high notes, especially in view of the fact that my voice is apparently rather loud and penetrating.

Now what I could really do with is some vocal coaching and hubby agrees. What I wouldn't give for a few sessions with David Grant from Fame Academy. He seems to be able to work wonders with the most out of tune voices, but I fear it might be expecting too much to hope to reach Katherine's standards before June.

So it looks as if I'm just going to have to try and control myself and tone my singing down a bit, unless of course I can sneak my karaoke mike in with me.

I hate to say it, but they just don't make things like they used to. Once upon a time the words “there's a good blow” meant I rushed to hang my washing out. Nowadays though it has entirely the opposite effect and I straight away dash to get them in.

It's my rotary clothes line you see. If there's anything more than a puff of wind then the pole starts to bend and crumple.

The other week I came home to find it completely blown over and all my freshly washed linen spreadeagled on our lawn. If that wasn't bad enough the replacement we bought then promptly started to go the same way.

Luckily hubby came up with an ingenious method to strengthen it and it now has a broom handle stuck securely down its middle which appears to have done the trick for the time being at least. It does seem a bit Heath Robinson though, especially in these days of so called high technology.

Whatever happened to the ones of yesteryear that could hold bedding, clothes and towels all at the same time and still manage to stay upright?

Oh, there are some lines you can buy that are stronger, but you have to be about eight feet tall to be able to actually hang any washing on them. So if anyone knows where I can lay my hands on a rotary clothes line that can cope with more than a light breeze, and which can be reached by an average sized female like me, then I would really love to hear about it.

Here's some great news for those of you who, like me, fancy a bit of a nap in the afternoon. Scientists are today claiming that snoozing significantly reduces the risk of heart disease.

Yes, tests on thousands of volunteers have revealed that dozing for any amount of time during the day has a decidedly beneficial effect.

Hooray! No longer do we have to feel embarrassed or guilty if our heads start to nod after lunch, nor do we have to put up with being dragged off the settee by more energetic family members intent on keeping us awake.

I'm not quite sure what this means for people who feel like getting their heads down at work, though. Maybe your boss could be encouraged to take a few zzzz too. Well, while you contemplate the idea I'm off for a quick siesta.

Is anyone else bemused by the ever increasing size of the Underworld factory in Coronation Street? As if by magic it has recently acquired a brand new office suite, an upstairs section complete with staircase, and even a fully fitted state of the art staff room. What's more, no-one, not even the usually highly observant Hayley, seems to have even noticed. I can't wait to find out what's going to appear this week.