20th March 2022
By Sueperb and Natalie
After two years of Covid restrictions, rehearsals and parties via Zoom, the committee organised a reboot camp. An opportunity to work on and improve what we do well, to polish up some rusty areas and probably learn something new.
So on a bright and sunny Sunday afternoon we met at Barlow Village Club, laden with grub for our post workout feast, (we are the Abbey Belles after all) and feeling positive! Green polo shirts dusted off, we were all smiling, optimistic and ready for whatever was planned for us.
Our first retreat day together was a resounding success!
There were so many elements to the day, it’s hard to remember them all!
We worked hard on our posture and breathing to make the best of our sound. Trot and Helen put together a tight schedule… It was named Reboot Camp for that reason after all!
We learned some interesting new warm-ups from Carol, Janet, Natalie and Sylvia.
There was lots of gorgeous harmony singing of course and each section was taken out in turn for Catrina our MD to listen to individual voices.
Helen made us work in sections focusing on dynamics.
By popular demand, Janet demonstrated an Indian dance called Jai-Ho that we always enjoy doing (with various degrees of expertise from some of us).
Our next focus is on how and what we need to do to be “better” and how to tackle that. It was a very interesting discussion and lots of points to develop for certain. So Helen began a 5'W's spider chart to identify what “better” really means. We began with 'What' and will revisit the other areas another time.
As the final session of the afternoon came to its conclusion, Sylvia went through a cooling down exercise of gentle stretching from head to toe. We were all still grinning and enjoying ourselves enormously.
We love to sing together, but also enjoyed amazing food and some fun games after to complete the day.
Onto the other thing that unites us as a group, FOOD! Loads of it. Some beautiful dishes and laden plates all round. Thanks to the kitchen fairies (Sylvia and Victoria) who did all the washing up and tidying during the pandemonium of the party games.
Present swap is cruel, you never quite end up with the gift you think you’ve chosen!
Pass the parcel was a bit of daftness but everyone joined in performing the charades in interesting ways. We were highly expectant of some physically impossible positions from Janet when she lay down and asked for assistance…
The finale was the chocolate game and was an absolute riot! No cutlery involved this time and a tub of Cadbury’s roses rather than a slab of chocolate.
Scalps were hoiked from heads in an effort to get the hat on, mittens were muddled and chopsticks went flying! Mary’s technique was unusual but highly effective and totally hilarious, and Ann somehow ended up wearing the tub. Who needs alcohol to enjoy a party!
We laughed all day long, and the WhatsApp messages pinged into the night. I should say to everyone involved in the organisation of the camp, it was a huge success and well worth the effort - Thank you! Our bond as Belles is as strong as ever, long may we continue!