Given that this was the first time in about 6 years that I'd played in an orchestra -- good heavens, is it really that long? -- I think I acquitted myself reasonably well from my position skulking at the back of the 2nd violins. Lots of very tentative playing but no glaring blunders, and without wanting to blow my own trumpet (not being a brass-player) I made a better go of sight-reading Aaron Copland's "Hoe-Down" (from "Rodeo") than most of the rest of the section. Nice to see that I've already played some of the music that we're doing this term, too ("Danse Macabre"; a selection from "Guys and Dolls"; the theme from "Exodus") and a lot of the rest of it is well-known stuff, so I don't feel too much at sea. I think I gauged my ability about right, though; while I'd have definitely been able to hold my own in the 1st violins 7 years ago (at the time, I was leader of the Leicestershire Schools Concert Orchestra...) I equally definitely couldn't do it now. Still, they're fairly flexible about moving sections, and hopefully I'll be able to pull my standard back up to where it was.
The other good thing about the orchestra is that they rehearse at the Community College on Gilbert Road, i.e. about 1 minute's cycle ride from the Carlton Arms. Wandered down there for a pint of Black Beauty Porter and met up with some of the usual crowd who were there for the quiz.
In other news: my soul is worth £10318. 77% of people have a purer soul than me. (How much is your soul worth?) Obviously I know it's only a game, but I find it somewhat disheartening that selling my soul would only just pay off all my debts. Of course, they don't say who you're selling your soul to -- that would be ungrammatical. Nor, and yes I know how irritating I'm being, do they say to whom you're selling your soul. I suspect I could get a better deal if I shopped around, or (yawn) sold it on eBay (I'd certainly hope to do better than this poor chap, anyway).
. . .
The last bit of waiting is always the longest part. At least the end of waiting is in sight now (currently somewhere around Cumbria). Concentrating on work is a bit of a lost cause, but if I turn the music up loud enough and stare intently at the screen I can at least do a passable impression. Roll on the long weekend.