Friday, it’s all over but no fat lady!

The plan was to visit the Music Museum, but after such a late night that got shelved and a more leisurely start to the day occurred.

 

It had been a great evening and we did get a fast taxi ride back to the hotel. Must do the river trip in daylight sometime. So, away to the square where the famous clock was being repaired and Mozart’s piano, which should have been in the museum, (report back from those who went) was away in London, so a lose, lose situation all round, whichever way we had gone!

 

At least with the poster outside the church of St.Nicholas, we knew we had the right venue! And once more the interior was magnificent.

 

Terrible gag, sorry couldn’t resist it. Another almost full house. An excellent and again well received, hour long performance, and then back outside in the thunderstorm for a quick refreshing coffee. Then off again in a taxi but this time in real Friday rush hour traffic back to St.Vitus Cathedral.

 

Here the choir just excelled themselves beyond measure or description. Not only did they sing for the six o’clock service but also then gave a short concert afterwards. Truly a magnificent effort by all concerned and particularly the organ playing of Stuart McSweeney.

 

A short walk down the hill to a pre booked restaurant, for a meal with an accordian player accompanied by a man and a stick, with a cymbal on top, (vozembouch!) which Mary had a go at!

 

So, that’s it, very brief! Standby for Switzerland and Zach’s 8th Birthday!

See you all! Thanks for reading M & M 🎵🎶🎵🙏🍾

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday! The first concert!

A look round the old town after breakfast and especially Charles Bridge, a famous tourist spot.

 

Even the old town is not safe from the graffiti artists! But most of the city is very clean and there are many things on the bridge to amuse the tourists.

 

We even caught a glimpse of the boat we are going on tonight.

 

So, lunch by the river then to the church! Rehearsals first, while Malcolm watched the time go by.

 

 

A very successful first concert to an absolutely packed church and very well received.

 

And so back to the hotel for a short rest and off to the jazz boat. A perfect end to the day.

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Thank you for reading. M & M 🎵🎶🙏

 

 

 

 

 

If it’s Wednesday it must be Prague.

Dear God, the alarm went off at 3-15a.m. Flight just under two hours, all on time; Thankyou B.A. And hello Prague airport, sunshine and 19 degrees: and lunch at the Penta Hotel.

Then away to the Prague Castle via the underground and admiring the trams and to the inside of the St.Vitus Cathedral, where the Cecilia Singers (Mary’s choir, not hers personally you understand!) will sing on Friday. These will probably be the shortest blogs you have read from me, (loud cheer, wasn’t it?) due to the crap wi-fi connection.

A very interesting guide called Jitka, who will be with us for the duration, gave us facts and information but read that first line above again and you’ll begin to realise why not a lot got retained in my exhausted brain.

Strange how things begin to haunt you because on the outside there were more grotesques, similar to Exeter. Anyway, the stained glass on the inside was spectacular.

I shall take more of these on Friday but my knee was playing up something rotten, even despite an old knee support, donated to me many years ago by a generator driver called Ken; BUY the Autobiography! So I ducked out a little early and took a taxi back to the hotel with two ladies and Karen (whose choir it is!) and then spent far too long trying to write this blog and download my pictures. Serious drinking time in the bar is being wasted; now you understand!

So, for the moment, while Mary is rehearsing within the hotel confines, I shall call a halt to this blog right here. And tomorrow brings the choirs first concert at St. Martin-in-the-Wall, and an evening on a Jazz Boat, till 23-00hrs (!) so tomorrow’s blog may arrive on Friday morning.

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Quite a place, I think you’ll agree?

Thank you for reading, M & M 🎵🎶🙏😇🍽🚃

 

Farewell, Exeter!

As I suggested, I stayed put today (Sunday) and went to hear Mary sing at 10-00a.m. Lovely service and a chance to look at a few more bits of architecture.

 

And once again that destroyed hotel! Lovely meal in the hotel last night. Lots of Americans on tour, there would be wouldn’t there? The morning service included a christening, which was rather lovely. But those gargoyles and grotesques are all over the place.

 

And inside, well, sublime I thought. A warm (Cathedral?) place and all the helpers were so friendly. Afternoon was a great service too.

 

So, journey back just over two and a half hours. Three attempts to get out of the hotel car park……technology problems! But lovely memories. The afternoon service was just great. How that choir come together from all over the country, with ten minutes rehearsal (well a bit more!) and deliver as they do; I have no idea!

 

See you soon, everyone, next week Prague on Wednesday. Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading M & M 🙄🙏🍾🎁🎶🎵

Good Morning, it’s raining but Happy Birthday Mary! 🎂🎉🍾

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So, if it had a hole in it for a water spout it would be called a gargoyle but as it hasn’t it’s called a grotesque. There you go, educational as well as entertaining! After breakfast we went off to find the quickest route to the cathedral. The dude who was on the wall in the hotel, was outside for real.

 

And the lovely hotel Mary had stayed in on previous occasions, The Royal Clarence Hotel, which had the dreadful fire, was in the slow process of restoration. The photograph on the left shows it in its former glory but the sad view of it now is on the right.

 

Inside the cathedral, windows and grotesques abound.

 

I left Mary to her rehearsals and services various and I headed off for the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, which nestles somewhere on the Exeter University campus. It wasn’t exactly clearly signposted and I kinda got the feeling I had to throw a six before I could find it. I saw a footpath signpost but where to park? Everywhere was ticket or pass, but where were the tickets machines? I found a space a long way from where I wanted to be and asked a lady who was also parking what the form was. “I’ve no idea,” she replied, very pleasantly, “the website says it’s free at the weekend, so I’m relying on that.” Oh, well I thought, that’ll do for me. “I don’t suppose you know where the restaurant is?” she enquired. “Sorry, haven’t a clue. I’m looking for the Cinema Museum.” She came back, “Oh, sorry I can’t help you there; looks like we are both not much help to either of us.” Pause, “Oh well, good luck!” And off she wandered and I headed for a big building unaware of the surreal experience that was about to engulf me.

I enquired of three young students if they knew the direction to take for the museum and they pointed me towards the old library. Down a hill, across a forecourt and eureka I found the entrance. No one about at all, but some directions to go through some glass swinging doors and down some steps. There was absolutely no one about. ‘If you need more light to see the exhibits,’ said a notice, ‘please turn the larger lights on here but do turn them off when you leave.’ Malcolm turns lights on.

A slow wander round looking at interesting artefacts, in absolute silence. Malcolm turns lights off. I headed for the lift and pushed what I thought was the right floor, to exit. Doors open, Malcolm steps out, doors close as realisation dawns this is not where I came in and I’ve gone up too high. Ah well back to the lift, but it was not to be. To re enter the lift you needed to put a code into a key pad on the wall! I know, I know, this is beginning to get freaky; think how I felt? OK, no panic stairs to go down; ah door at the bottom to re enter the entrance I recognise. “This door is an emergency exit only and is alarmed.” Correct it does not open; oh bugger, now what the hell do I do? If I had to throw a six to get in, my stomach is telling me I may have to throw a double six to get out because I am now well and truly scuppered.

Gotesques are haunting my over active brain and the rooks constantly cawing in a nearby tree just aren’t helping me relax. I run, yes run back up the stairs. There are no stairs going further up, so I wander down a corridor and come out in an open sort of area, with a balcony, and once more tantalising below me is the entrance I recognise. “Throw myself over?” instant reply, “Don’t be bloody stupid! Pull yourself together Treen, keep hunting.” Another corridor another meeting room, I even pass room 101; laugh, unfortunately a complete sense of humour failure prevents this!

I continue along the corridor, past many, many empty sort of small briefing rooms and come to a dead end. A u turn and back past the coded lift, and try the other way. More rooms and at last some stairs that I haven’t seen before; down two flights and suddenly relief, ‘push button to exit.’ I push expecting an alarm to go off but to my delight the door opens and I step out into the fresh air. I realise I haven’t seen a living soul for over forty minutes. I make it back to the big building where I first met the students and buy a sandwich in a cafe, thankful to be back in civilisation. I take the sandwich back to the hotel and settle down to watch the F1 qualifying.

I certainly have no intention of going out again and we have booked a table in the hotel restaurant to celebrate Mary’s birthday tonight. What is beginning to worry me is how to fill the time up tomorrow between 0900 and 1600, when I shall go back to the Cathedral and hear the choir singing. I figure, if the weather permits, I shall stay in the open and enjoy a bit more of the architecture of this beautiful city because I think my internal building exploring instincts have been well and truly crushed for a while!

Thanks for reading! M & M 😱🙏👻🙄🙄🙄

Exeter, here we come with no snow!

Oh! What a much more easier journey than three weekends ago. Same old A303, with more traffic I must admit but less stressful; after all it is the Easter holidays. Lovely hotel the Mercure, and with a swimming pool that was the first place the Treen’s visited. Mary starts rehearsals at noon tomorrow, and Malcolm will; well, Malcolm hasn’t quite made up his mind yet.

 

Interesting interior of the hotel; renound for it’s seagulls, Exeter, outside and in!

 

Attractive chandelier with ‘grotesque’s’ round the interior shade. A swift G & T and away to the “Fat Pig” for dinner with Neil Dennis, musical director for the weekend, and Tom, Isobel and Brian members of Priory Voices. And yet another interesting interior.

 

So want to play with my new app, (they can’t touch you for it!) for tweaking pictures but it’s getting late, the bells are ringing eleven o’clock.  There is a book of card tricks on that shelf that I bought, result!

 

Look how the person sat at the table vanishes! Better than a card trick. And so to bed and breakfast in this room tomorrow morning.

 

Thank you for reading. And happy birthday Mary, for tomorrow! xxxxx 🎉🍷🎂

More tomorrow M & M 🏊‍♂️👌😇