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All mapped out

Ok, you’ll never guess what I saw on TV last night. Wait for it … a documentary on the 2004 World Whistling Convention. Seriously! It was as if the gods were smiling down from above, these big cheesy smirks, saying ‘You want to see what you’re in for? Well, take a peek, sucker’. It was the most engrossing thing to watch. And it’s certainly stoked the embers for my protege’s journey to North Carolina in a few months time. Contestants came from all over the world to take part in the championships. One guy whistled as though he was playing guitar through a wah wah pedal. Another added a second layer to the notes, so he was practically whistling in harmony with himself. And then there was the eventual winner – a Dutch guy who did the Star Bangled Banner as his final piece, at which point everyone in the room stood up and put their hand across their heart. Ah, yes, there’s nothing like a spontaneous show of patriotism. I was wiping a small tear from my eye as he hit that last triumphant note. There’s much work to be done between now and the 2007 Championships. But I have faith that the whistler will blow them all away. Literally! [paintings by Stephan Doutschinoff]