BBC Proms 2012: Launch Day

Me and The Chap never have arguments. Never. We only ever have ‘heated discussions’. If I start gesticulating wildly, then the label is change to ‘animated’. But it never goes any higher than that.

Last night, a minor disagreement over the washing escalated quickly into a heated discussion, momentarily brushing the ‘animated’ bracket.

I wanted to do a mid-week wash. This was a surprising development. I hardly ever put the washing on. The Chap (who is at home more than I am) has a schedule where domestic chores are concerned. Thus, me proposing putting on a mid-week bundle of washing on played havoc with a schedule which is by now second-nature for him.

Preparing for a big #bbcproms day ahead

Not only that, I was putting a wash on at 10.30pm. The cycle took 2 hours. What was I thinking? The clothes would remain damp in the washing machine until the morning. That surely wouldn’t be good.

The discussion went on for possibly ten minutes as we tossed various points around about theere being no need to do the washing, how it could wait until the weekend, how the shirts would be absolutely fine until the morning and how it wasn’t necessary for either of us to sit staring at the washing machine as it went through its cycle.

The real reason for wanting to do a mid-week wash didn’t as it happens come to me until earlier this morning when, bleary eyed, I retrieved my clean shirt from the washing machine and stared in horror for a while wondering why the previously white checks were now dark blue.

Why was it important to have a smart shirt on today? I really wasn’t sure. And, more importantly, had a colour wash seeped into my maroon and white check ‘interview’ shirt? Or would a swift iron dry out the fabric and restore the colours to what my memory thought they should be.

It was only when I was mid-iron, sighing with relief that the white checks had returned that I realised why it was important to be smart today.

Today is a special day. To not dress smartly would be weirdly disrespectful. It is the launch day for the BBC Proms. Members of the press convene to hear about the forthcoming season from Captain Proms himself, Roger Wright.

It's pink and it's gorgeous and smells like a dream.

Years of planning, months of organising, days of proof-reading and hours upon hours of talking into microphones result in today. Ahead of the season and necessarily before the day tickets go on sale, the BBC Proms has another lesser-known milestone. The equivalent of a dignitary smashing a bottle of champagne against the hull of a newly constructed ship. Today is a special day in the calendar.

Of course, even blogging about this does pose a bit of a thorny problem. At the end of last year’s season I said I would be taking a year off from it. At the beginning of this year I even went so far as to say that one of my hopes was to get to the end of 2012 having not tweeted about the #bbcproms. I’m going back on both points.

I am doing the unthinkable (or maybe it wasn’t unthinkable). I’m doing a U-turn.

There is a simple reason for this. A justification, if you like. In my day to day work at the BBC I do still come into contact with a lots of Promsy-related people. It’s not that I flirt with them, you understand. I don’t go seeking them out. I absolutely haven’t and wouldn’t. It just that what I’ve noticed over the past six months is that (don’t tell the more senior ones this) it’s very difficult to avoid them. I come into contact with them a lot. And all of them are very smiley, with fantastic hair and equally fantastic teeth.

And what I definitely overlooked about the Proms (something that maybe only becomes obvious when you start consciously trying to keep your distance) is how infectiously enthusiastic anyone who works on the season is and how difficult it is not to get swept along by that enthusiasm.

I’m a cynic, I subscribe to most conspiracy theories (although I do think man did land on the moon) and I’m often paranoid. Consequently I reckon I can spot insincerity from a mile off. I am a trusted guide, you see. I will always be honest. You can trust me.

That’s why I can confidently say that when faced with that enthusiasm for a season launch – the same kind of enthusiasm I tried to capture and share about the Proms a few years back in video – it’s almost impossible not to perform a U-turn. And it’s definitely impossible to ignore it. So I won’t. I’d be an idiot not to.

And it’s because of that I wanted to do the unthinkable and wash my work clothes mid-week. It’s an even rarer thing I’ll iron a shirt in the morning (such tasks are normally only done in the morning if I’m attending a job interview).That’s the kind of effort I’ll go to on launch day.

So. Bring on The BBC Proms.

More blogs to follow.

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