Oh dear. After an amazing weekend I've been finding it hard to get warm all day. It's not that cold (about 3 degrees outside) so I thought it was just because the house was cold after being empty for four days. I've been adding layers since I got home this evening and still feel cold, even though the heat is on, too (I actually left it on while I was out for the afternoon). I remembered a while ago that I hadn't taken my temperature this morning as the thermometer was still in my bag. I started taking my temp every morning last year and found it so interesting that I've kept it up. One day I'll plug it all in to a spreadsheet and do nice charts and things but for now I just make a note of it in my diary.
I've been consistent about taking it in the morning first thing as I read a bit on the internet when looking up what 'normal' is about how something like drinking or eating something can vary the temperature in your mouth quite a bit, which is obviously something to watch out for if that's where you're shoving your thermometer (and the mouth is indeed my orifice of choice for this daily morning task). But every once in a while I have also taken it during the day or in the evening, just to get a feel for it. There's never a huge variation. From taking my temp regularly I have discovered that I generally have a lowish body temperature first thing in the morning - when I got a new thermometer I also noticed that it tended to measure a degree or so lower than my older one (I used both for a couple of days to check), so I realise that great though digital thermometers are, there can be variations. Still, from what I read, the really important thing is not the actual temperature, it's the variations. Normal temperature swings apparently happen throughout the day and up to point five degrees is nothing to worry about. Feeling as cold as I do at the moment and knowing that my temperature is normally between 35.9 and 36.2 (rising to about 36.6 or 36.8 during ovulation and can I just say how much I love that I now know that!), I'm not too happy to have just taken a reading of 37.1. And if I didn't take my temperature regularly I'd look at 37.1 and think nothing of it. But I'm a bit concerned that I might be developing a proper fever. On top of the cough I've had all day and attributed to too much singing over the last few days, it's a bit worrying. I'm heading to bed now though and hopefully a good night's sleep is all that I need.
But just a quick word on my weekend, which was so fantastic I can barely find words for it. It was nearly perfect in its blend of singing, chatting, laughing, catching up with old friends and getting to know them better, meeting new friends and just general all-round fun!!! I'm nearly glad that the hotel's ironing station was not at all set up to be used by left-handers as such a perfect weekend would have made me nervous it could never be repeated and a small flaw or two can make all the difference.
We rehearsed on Thursday evening, followed by various choirs from around the world singing a song or two at the memorial statue of Handel in the town centre. It was oh so cold but I had already met some people I knew from two years ago and from my trip to Bad Reichenhall in November and the evening was off to a great start. Standing in the gently falling snow for half an hour when I was well wrapped-up and in such good company didn't seem like such a bad place to be. And I was reminded that one of the things that I do sometimes miss about Ireland is the repartee - fast as lightning and sometimes called the less kinder 'slagging', I felt like I was walking on air to be trading insults with someone I first met in college. And I normally try to think of myself as a nice girl! I walked to the hotel to check-in after that and then had an early night and a great night's sleep.
The following day the fun started at the breakfast table. I went down armed, as usual, with my book to have a quiet one alone but as soon as I walked in the door someone called me over to their table and it was over an hour before the group finally broke up, with some of us heading to a room to continue chatting. Then rehearsal in the afternoon followed by a quick lie-down and heading out for dinner at a lovely Vietmanese place, which four lovely gentlemen from Bray treated me to, a treat as unexpected as it was lovely. Then attending a concert put on by the visiting choirs followed by a get-together in the Diebels brewery pub, but not until I got waylaid by the same four gentlemen and dragged into a cocktail bar for a drink first. These four guys have known each other for years and I don't think I stopped laughing for more than a few minutes at the stories and jokes. When things started to get a bit philosophical, we moved on to the crowd at Diebels. After a short while we got a singsong going and were all belting out the tunes with people moving around and groups forming and reforming in endless patterns. I have to admit to drinking rather too much wine and getting really not enough sleep that night and that is something I am really not in the habit of doing the night before a performance. Easily led, I am.
I did manage to make it to breakfast the next day, after a short detour that involved me going down the wrong stairs and ending up in an emergency exit stairs that didn't let me back into the hotel and led only to locked gates. That was a fun twenty minutes waiting for someone to pass by to get them to go into the hotel and get help! Even more embarrassing that to go into the hotel from where I was involved walking through a load of storerooms and then into the restaurant where everyone was having breakfast. No escape from that! Luckily I did manage to make it through our rehearsal with orchestra and the few hours of singing, followed by a lovely rest in the afternoon left me fit enough to perform what was a really fun concert in front of a nearly full house (over thirteen hundred people listening to a choir of about four hundred). The atmosphere was electric. And then back to Diebels for the afterparty, stopping off for dinner along the way (treated again by one of the Bray lads - I'm so glad they adopted me for the weekend). And a short night, as they call it in Germany, was had by all. I stuck to drinking just one or two beers though so the couple of hours sleep I did manage to get were enough to get by and then I had to head off to get the train home in time for rehearsal here at 5:30 and an a-capella concert at 8. I can't remember the last time I sang so much, with so much gusto (pub sing-songs are great for that - I take a "dance like nobody's watching" approach and forget about making any attempt at finesse. It's kind of like screaming therapy but with good lyrics and slightly more tuneful). And the rest of the weekend was just like a dream - I didn't have one awkward feeling social moment and was at ease the whole time, something I don't always manage in a crowd of people. I've already sent off an email to register for next year. Can't wait. Everyone else says it gets better every year and while I can't really imagine that, well, everyone always says you need goals in life. Happy Birthday Handel 2014 is firmly on my list!