The location of our retreat is in a very large log cabin about an hour outside Edmonton, and a good half-hour from any major centre with a hospital (this becomes important later in the story).
From Friday night to Sunday morning, we have scheduled in about eleven hours of rehearsals, our promotional choir photos, which include new head shots for myself, our accompanist and my assistant, plus a variety of social activities which will include board games, ping-pong, foosball, cards, good friends and good wine.
For the most part everything went very smoothly, we made incredible progress on our repertoire, including big steps in the memorization process of our spiritual set (something that our choir is not used to doing - memorizing that is). One valuable tip I can give for a choir retreat is that if you have the space, rehearsing in a circle, in mixed formation, does wonders! I found we had fewer moments of fatigue - especially when everyone is so exposed and feels they have to work and concentrate that much harder. We also had a head start on some of our tricky March repertoire, which we are planning on recording, and in our spare time, we sang through every Messiah chorus, including the one that Novello has put in the appendix - just for fun - and also because we are going to be a part of the ESO Messiah this year.
Saturday night, after our last rehearsal, we brought out the wine and games and played until late in the evening. Having still one more rehearsal to do in the morning, I thought that an early sleep would be welcome, and I head to bed around 10:30...
The room that my wife and I were staying in was on the second floor, carved into the side of the house where the roof is most sloped. Thereby creating a room with a very high roof on one side, quickly going to a crawl space on the other side. The only place you can stand fully upright is either by the door, or near the window, which is cut into the slope of the roof. The problem is - the roof is white, and the walls are also white, making it difficult to tell where one starts and the other stops, especially around the aforementioned window - where I found myself standing. Looking forward to sleep, I made a very quick motion to my side of the bed (on the slopey side of the room) whereby, at full speed, my head made full contact with the corner of the roof and the wall under the window cutout. Rather surprised at this, I fell to the floor in great pain and grabbed my head. When I moved my hands to show my wife the damage, the great flow of blood started.
We do have one retired nurse in the choir, who suggested we seek medical help with this one, just to be sure I didn't leave my mark all over the room, like a CSI crime scene.
Long story short ....
2 and half hours later, I was back at the lodge, with three stitches in my head, and one tetanus shot in my arm.
I'm glad to be home in my own bed - where the angles of my walls and ceilings are all 90 degrees.