I have a soft spot for choirs and brass bands at Christmas | Zella Compton

What I love about this time of year is the choirs which pop up everywhere. Never mind the endless looped music in stores, or the tinsel hanging from the rafters of shops trying to sell us more junk that no one ever wanted in the first place.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 8:51 am
Updated Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 5:38 pm
The Spinnaker Chorus performing at Cosham Christmas Light. Picture: Malcolm Wells (271119-0301)
The Spinnaker Chorus performing at Cosham Christmas Light. Picture: Malcolm Wells (271119-0301)

Inevitably it will spend an hour under a tree, a second being unwrapped, and then a lifetime in landfill.

Nope, the best bit about Christmas is the ethereal bits which are one-offs. At the moment that’s the choirs and bands which are generally out raising money for charity. Isn’t it fabulous to have them?

Take for instance the excellent Spinnaker Chorus which just happened to be at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, as I was passing.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Spinnaker Chorus is, in my humble opinion, really rather fine. But I think they suffered from not having enough chairs for people to sit down and properly appreciate the terrific harmonies filling the air. QA was all rather festive with stalls and whatnot, though I’m not sure about the couple of alpacas on site. They’re suspicious-looking if you ask me, all a bit beady, and if any creature was ever poised to take over the world and make us all knit, it’s alpacas.

Then there’s the little brass bands, like the Salvation Army, whipping out a few tunes here and there. Who wouldn’t want to stop and drink in the music which reminds you of every Christmas ever?

Quite a lot of people it seems as they strode past in Stubbington on the weekend, as it was rather chilly.

What a pity so many of us feel the need to keep on moving past, whether it’s buskers or bands. Sometimes there is nothing so joyful as to take a minute or 10 out of your day and listen to people making live music.

Which is why I spent a good part of my afternoon at Alverstoke’s St Mary’s Church Christmas tree festival simply listening to the choirs and musical treats on offer – and occasionally quietly squeaking into my scarf as I emulated singing.

I can’t join a choir being as I am tone deaf, but I can appreciate one.

Know this all you yuletide music makers, you are more than appreciated.

Isn’t it curious banks only act quickly when it’s their money

Apparently a man gave an incorrect bank account sort code to his solicitor who then paid his £193,000 inheritance into the wrong account.

It took thousands and thousands of pounds for the man to reclaim his money, using the courts to access it.

This was even though he informed Barclays within a few hours, and they failed to match the name to the account.

As ever, big banks are willing to help themselves to our money and yet when it comes to helping the smaller people in the world, they fail until the media gets involved.

It feels crazy that even in this day and age we have to resort to name and shame to get any help or justice in David and Goliath situations.

Think carefully before you place your cross in the box

Just remember as you go to the polling booth tomorrow that the Conservatives have been in power for nine years.

They ripped this country apart with the referendum, they brought austerity and they elected a man to lead our country who’s been fired more than once for lying.

Who among us wouldn’t gladly give a few pounds more a month to keep our NHS alive for a few more years?

Tactical voting sites are offering guidance on where to place your cross, and there are sites online to help you decide which policies you prefer once you’ve stripped away all the name-calling and associated buffoonery.

It’s really interesting spending the time to think before you make your mark.