Normally when I raise my voice it's to 'encourage' the children to do the thing I've asked them to do 23 times before. SuperNanny states that you should never make a request more than twice - but I'm not having that and neither are the children. It has become a sport in our house to see how many times I have to ask before anything gets done.
Pre-children it may have been to get attention when 5 deep at the bar in a nightclub, trying vainly to order a bottle of Becks by waving a ten pound note and shouting "Excuse me!"
The one place where I don't raise my voice though, is to sing in public.
So it was with much trepidation that I agreed to participate in a Karaoke evening. Of course these have been going for donkey's years and I am no stranger to singing to my heart's content at a gig or in the car but on this occasion there were lots of people there who regularly perform on stage and know how to carry a tune or two. That and the fact the music was provided by a pianist made me rather nervous, but I had promised myself that I would sing and sing I did.
In perusing the list of songs which included show tunes, pop, classic duets and a bit of rock thrown in for good measure, I didn't think about where my vocal range might best be suited and instead plumped for a song that I like and know most of the words to: I Predict a Riot by the Kaiser Chiefs.
In the car, I sound amazing. Through speakers, with just a piano for accompaniment, in a small pub, is quite a different matter. The pianist was game though, nodding encouragement and helping out on the la-la-la-la la-laaas that come before the chorus. At the end he said that I had acted in 'the true spirit of Karaoke' by which I think he meant: 'it was a bit shit but you it gave your best'.
Afterwards my friend was very kind, offering congratulations as another singer gave a frankly jaw dropping rendition of Born to be Wild. My pride was somewhat saved by a drunk couple who each sang a song dedicated to the other. She looked lovingly at him and sang Eternal Flame. By way of response he sang angrily at her that "Your Sex is on Fire" - romantic or what?
That evening my heart had pounded so hard it felt like it would burst out of my chest and all I had done was sing a song aloud in public, at an event specifically designed for that purpose. And because it made me feel that way, so nervous and excited, I think I'm going to do it again, but next time I'll pick a safer song.