Maison Oberman has resembled the X Factor HQ these past two weeks. I kid you not. Mr O works in the music industry and is not quiet about vocalising his opinions. On the occasions that X Factor has graced our screens, he can be heard passing damning judgement on the delusionals who take part. Mr O has always picked out the winner on any talent show we have ever watched together from the first round of auditions. And that goes for my daughter's recent cheder competition of Davener of the Week.
I have always liked a singalong. I think it was ingrained in me from my BBYO days when around a camp fire at a national convention eighty or so of my contemporaries would holler out, in five part harmony, All The Leaves Are Brown by the Mamas and Papas - and a very tricky rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody.
Over the years, I have always enjoyed warbling my favourite tunes at top volume in the shower, bath or doing the housework. Mr O can frequently be heard shouting: "Please stop that racket, I'm trying to watch the football."
Knowing what a harsh critic he is, I was nervous to tell him of my latest venture. I can't tell you as I've signed a confidentiality clause. But suffice to say it involves singing and will end up on prime time TV. It makes my toes curl just thinking about it.
I've managed to have a few 'rehearsals' without my own mini-Simon Cowell noticing. But things took a distinct turn for the worse this week when a guitar was delivered with the note: "We forgot to mention but you've got to learn to play this too".
Mr O, expert guitar player and producer of urban 'cool' tunes, has been subjected to my hollering and twangling day and night. Do you remember the face drops of Cowell and Morgan when Susan Boyle opened her moustachioed mouth and sang like an angel? Do you remember their smirks turning to smiles as the sound of a million cash registers reverberated in their ears? I am like an anti-Susan Boyle.
Every time I stand up on our makeshift stage (the foot stool in the lounge) and open my mouth to sing, my husbands face turns from hopeful smiling to nervousness. As I paw incomprehensibly at the guitar with what he informs me is a 'pick', his feedback has become ever more withering: "You sound like a crow".
How I long for Louis Walsh or Amanda Holden. Someone with a kindly face and and a bon mot. "You definitely deserve to be here tonight Tracy-Ann. You've got a long career ahead of you" (two weeks until The Apprentice is back on).
I fully expected my four year old daughter to offer me some comfort in a Cheryl Cole "I may not be able to sing either but I've done alright" kind of way.
But she was even harsher than her father: "That sounded horrible, Mummy. Stop it!"
Simon, if you're looking for a replacement judge, your search is over.