Spring is here. There is a definite headiness in the damp green air, and unexpected small carpets of flowers keep bursting out around me as I cycle through the city - here bright blue speedwell, there small, intensely yellow crocuses - wonderful! However, as with all seasonal changes, it is a perilous time for singers. Half the theatre seems to have been ill with one thing or another over the last couple of weeks. Occasionally this leads to glorious opportunities - I simply couldn't resist sneaking into the back of the auditorium for the beginning of a performance last week, half made-up and unnoticed, to catch our tiny but ferociously competent assistant director playing a police officer, instead of the normal six-foot-something bass (she then slipped into a sexy secretary's dress to execute pretty damn complicated dance steps because the mezzo singing that part was also ill); however most of the time it simply means frustrating lacunae in rehearsals and stress due to unfamiliarity in performances.
I reckon I've got away with it lightly so far (she said, fingers crossed). I have had a cold for the last few days (I *knew* there had to be an explanation for feeling so other-worldly and forgetful last week!), but am grateful that my last performance and the one coming up tonight are in my capacity as an actress rather than a singer - you can get away with a heck of a lot, vocally, if you're just speaking. Especially if you're miked up and can ask the nice sound guys to pump up the volume a bit as you've unaccountably lost the entire top half of your voice...
And when you're even the slightest bit ill, of course, there's the question of comfort food. My first choice would always be Heinz Tomato Soup with thickly-buttered white bread... and I just can't get those over here; the alternatives are not quite right (and who would have thought that you can't get Heinz soup in Germany??). One small sad niggling downside to the ongoing adventure of being an expat.
Still, fortified with my witch's brew of a cold-killing soup (involves more garlic than you'd think possible, chicken bones, ginger and chili), and half-drowned in herbal teas and freshly-squeezed blood-orange juice, onwards and upwards!