According to Cassandra, SLOVENIA is a suburb of one of the mining towns in Liverpool, but the canary dress belonging to its singer was remarkably clean nonetheless. The song, however, reminded me of one of the more serious tunes that Great Uncle Baskerville plays so on his harpsichord and I became quite restless before its conclusion.
At this point, our father entered. It is said that fate can make some cruel choices, as his arrival coincided with a most blatant display of stomach contortion from the barely dressed lead singer of the minstrels from TURKEY. I cannot claim to speak Turkish, but I am in no doubt as to the nature of the lyrics. Dear, sweet Papa must have sensed our embarrassment, as with just one glance at the screen he announced that he was away to seek solitude in the bathroom for half an hour. It pains me to think of the guilt that must have played across the mind as he locked the door behind him.
Cassandra urged me to carry on enjoying the festival, and I meekly agreed. The NORWEGIAN act was a boon in lifting my cloud of shame. Their singer appeared Caribbean in origin (I can only assume that this is near France) and he had devised breathtaking choreography to accompany his song. Cassandra and I agreed that this dance was far too complex to attempt ourselves; walking from one end of a stage to the other and back again, whilst singing, is a feat that only those with twenty years experience in the music halls of the Old East End can accomplish.
I am sure that I saw Cassandra licking her lips whilst watching the young, unshaven gentleman from DENMARK accompany himself on the lute. It was, however, touching to hear him reassure his infant that he was being truthful, if just for this one occasion. However, Cassandra made some exceedingly spiteful remarks concerning the young lady who sang with him. I can only assume that this Dane was committing a festival faux pas as Cassandra would not possibly have considered a man who does not shave regularly a potential suitor.
We huddled close to each other as the frightening lady of FRANCE, which I am told is near Canada, appeared on stage. I so wished for my father to return from his self-imposed exile so that he could reassure us. I was quite sure at one point that this woman had been eaten whole by a large crow, but had resolved to sing from its beak regardless. Her accompanying singers were afraid of her also, as they soon increased in volume when she strode over to them and shouted "Alright!" (an obvious cue) at them. How grateful we were that our simple maid from the Northern Regions entered at this point to bring us a further gallon of apple punch. I was not so feardul when she noted that the French chanteuse had a substance called 'lippy' on her teeth following her painful final note.
One can only assume that the young girl known simply as 'Marlayne' from THE NETHERLANDS was attacked by peasants on her way to the hall as she had clearly had her fine footwear substituted for gardener's workboots. She was to be applauded for not allowing this to affect her performance of a most pleasant tune with fine melody and lyric. One can further assume that her backing singers were keen to re-create the dance steps of the Norwegian singer but by a most curious coincidence, all three had had their left foot adhered to the floor and could only move their right. I then began to worry about my father. What if he too had caught his foot somewhere during his bathroom vigil? Perhaps in the plumbing, and hopefully not the stopcock.
So worried was I, I completely ignored the POLISH song, and it was only after the bearded gentleman had concluded his rather tiresome ballad that I noticed how Cassandra had fallen asleep in her chair, tiny rivulets of apple punch dripping most comically from her mouth. I woke her, and we shared in the amusement of the moment.
Return The Good Reader to Miss Austen's opening page.
Return The Good Reader to Parte the Firste.
Proceed, Good Reader, to Parte the Thirde.
Proceed, Good Reader, to Parte the Forthe.