Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Last evening was Middle Gel’s fall choral concert. Because she’s a senior, because we’re not likely going to get many more chances to hear her perform, and because she had a small solo part; in a high, wide, and handsome moment a couple weeks ago Ol’ Robbo said of course we would come down to see it. This despite the fact that owing to Mrs. R’s and my work schedules, we wouldn’t be able to get away until latish in the afternoon, and we couldn’t stay over but had to get back to Port Swiller Manor after the concert was over.

The happy idiot in me stuck that little logistical issue into a back pocket of my braim, only to pull it out yesterday morning, whereupon I spent the shank of the day fretting.

I need not have worried.

We had planned to meet dear friends of ours for dinner prior to the concert. I calculated for a three hour drive down, which calculation promptly flew out the window when we had to crawl around three different accident scenes in NoVA, leaving me muttering to myself. However, once south of Fredericksburg, I managed to make up the time so that I hit the ETA bang on the nose and our friends and we literally met at the door of the restaurant. (A nice place in the City Center where we managed to bag outdoor seating over a firepit.)

We got to the concert in due time, there to be joined by the Gel’s Young Man and a couple of other friends who had turned out for it. (This is not the same Young Man who she brought home last Easter but a different one and, I’m happy to say from what I’ve seen and heard, a considerable upgrade.)

The concert itself was just fine, despite the choir director’s insistence on starting off with a little screed about the ongoing covid nonsense better suited to the Black Death. As for the musick, some of it was forgettable, but the main piece was an early Bach Cantata, BWV 131, “Aus der Tiefen rufe, ich, Herr, su dir.” The second chorus contains some small soprano solos and the Gel took one of these, singing quite divinely despite the fact that she had to wear a face diaper.

All in all, it was very much worth the effort to go see.

But of course, there’s always something.

Happy and relieved that things had worked out so well, I started the three hour drive back in complacent mood. However, we hadn’t been on the highway long before I began to fancy something was wrong: my headlights didn’t seem to be projecting very far in front of the car. At first I thought maybe my night-vision, already pretty poor, had got worse since the last time I drove after dark. Then I asked Mrs. R if she noticed it, too, which she did. Her first thought was that I hadn’t set the control knob correctly, but I went through the paces of flipping it to all positions and got no better results. I tried the high-beams, which worked just fine, but of course I could only use them when suitably spaced apart from other traffic.

Fortunately, it was a dry and relatively clear night. So by a combination of hanging close to other cars in order to see what they saw, and using the high-beams where possible, I got us home. It was only after we pulled into the Port Swiller Manor garage and I got out to have a dekko that I realized the truth: the headlights on Mrs. R’s Honda Juggernaut were both out. We’d run all the way up on her fog lamps. D’Oh!

We didn’t make it home until a bit past midnight, and then due to the unusual disruption in my normally clock-like evening routine I wasn’t able to sleep at all. Today is definitely going to be kawfee-intensive.

But as I say, well worth it.

UPDATE: Well, somehow Ol’ Robbo managed to keep his eyelids open today. Middle Gel called to express her gratitude that we had made the effort, and also to find out what I thought of her Young Man. (I told her my impressions, though preliminary, were certainly favorable.)

In the meanwhile, Mrs. R took the Juggernaut into the Honda dealership where, by a magic she has always possessed, she managed to get them to switch out the dead headlights at no charge. So now I don’t have to worry about her blundering around in the dark, driving by Braille.

All in all, a satisfactory day. Now, I’m going to bed…..