We’ve just returned from a couple of days away with Mark’s choir, who were singing concerts in Exeter and Bodmin over the weekend. We met up with friends in Exeter on Friday morning and enjoyed seeing a little of the city because, although I’ve been there for meetings and seminars, I’ve never actually seen beyond a conference centre.
We met by the cathedral, my curiosity taking me inside St Martins, the small church above, where I found some glorious memorials.
By no small coincidence, our friends were waiting next door
We enjoyed a terrific lunch before returning to the hotel and meeting up with the choir, most of whom had travelled by coach. No sooner had we left the restaurant however, than a text message was received: the accompanist had been taken ill and the concert planned for Friday evening was in jeopardy.
Such concerts are carefully planned though, people had bought tickets and wanted to support a great cause. It’s not easy to cancel at a couple of hours notice. The show must go on!
Well, the show did go on, but not without a few hiccups and upset in spite of everyone doing their very best. Even so, the atmosphere was bleak as a result of the anxiety – it wasn’t easy to watch the carefully rehearsed numbers go steadily adrift; to see fifty or so grown men and women react like rabbits caught in the headlights of an oncoming juggernaut; worst of all, to observe the panic effects on those who were unable to blend into the melee as easily as others: the conductor, a couple of stand in pianists, soloists and so on.
There was also the worry about the sick accompanist, not to mention another concert on Saturday!
In spite of all the difficulties, a great deal of money was raised so everyone took solace in knowing that their discomfort had not been in vain and after a
post mortem few drinks in the bar the spirit of determination to do better was raised.
Saturday dawned bright and clear and fresh air was needed, so we drove to Topsham. Great little town with lovely shops to potter in.
We found “slipper heaven” and sat for a while trying on all kinds of colourful footwear, admiring the lovely cushions whilst we did.
By which time we were feeling peckish! Time for lunch…
We followed on from the previous day and had another appointment with Michael, this time splashing out a little and enjoying the most sumptuous lunch in a glorious setting. My dessert, above, was typical of the exquisite presentation and I can confirm that every bite tasted as good as it looked.
As we left, our friends pointed out the last visitors in the guest book. I guess that at least one of them doesn’t eat as heartily as we did!
On then, to Bodmin and the second performance which most were quietly fearing. As often happens in the face of adversity however, not to mention learning a little from the previous evening, everyone pulled out the stops and put on a very respectable programme.