…..”Girls About Town”.  Shirley was “running the desk” for the first hour again this week whilst Jo is away, and today we had three members of the Lyneham Military Wives Choir as our guests, and my “obligatory selfie” shows, from left to right, Nina, Val and Mandy, and behind them are “Yours Truly”, Shirley and Clare.

Along with many others, those of us in the UK and probably even further afield, have watched Gareth Malone bring together some amazing women when this all started back in 2012.  It is a known fact that singing in a choir helps to alleviate stress and helps with those who feel isolated, anxious and depressed and it was obvious, listening to these three ladies that the choir helps them in so many ways, AND there is tea, coffee and cake when they meet, so what’s not to like?

Now, there are over 2,000 women with military connections in 74 choirs based across the UK and in British Military bases abroad, including Belgium, Cyprus, Germany and the Netherlands.  We were told that anyone with a military connection could join a choir - so Clare told us she was a “military brat”, her words, not mine, I hasten to add - Shirley said her father and grandfather both fought for their country and my father and mother were both in the Army during the Second World War, so who knows, we may join, as we are all eligible - well, we would need to sample the tea, coffee and cake before we make a firm commitment!

Nina told us that having moved to Lyneham about 9 months ago, she joined the choir mainly to get to know people and it has helped her enormously.  You can imagine that for women whose husbands have a new posting, as exciting as it is for the men, it can be daunting for their wives so to know there is somewhere they can go where they will be accepted and understood is a huge bonus.

Mandy told us that the new film, "Military Wives", which is based on the real-life choir started by Gareth Malone, is due for release on 6th March.  Members of local Military Choirs have been invited to sing in the foyer at a local cinema, before going to watch the film - I think lots of tissues will be needed, as they were this morning, when two of the songs they had recently sung, were played.  Of course, I just happened to have quite a lot of hearts in my purse, so I gave all our guests and Clare and Shirley one each - and they were much appreciated.

When they left, the second hour was ably presented by Nichola, who was rather upset because her dog, Cindy, had died at the weekend, and Clare’s dog is poorly, but Clare and I were able to keep her spirits up and I hope that talking about her dog helped in some small way.  

“Singing in a choir is 
     cheaper than therapy,
          healthier than drinking
and more fun
     than working out!”

Anon - but probably endorsed by most people who sing in a choir!

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