Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Singing in Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey is a most beautiful building with very friendly accoustics, and it was a real delight to go down there with our choir, Royston Priory Singers, to do evensong on Saturday and mattins and evensong on Sunday.

I set out a bit hacked off because I'd found it near-impossible to book a room for just Saturday night. I had to take two nights, which always smacks of profiteering to me. So we went down on Friday afternoon, but it still took 3.5 hours and then another 30 mins after we'd taken a wrong turning in the city itself. Yes, though we love maps, city navigation is not a great strength of ours! Bath also has an appalling traffic problem, so allow an extra 30 minutes anyway.

Once checked into a delightful attic room in the Brooks Guesthouse, we strolled into town to eat. There are loads of eateries and we wandered more or less at random, unsure exactly what we wanted, though veering away from pizza and more towards gourmet. Then we found Fishworks in Green Street.

Fishworks is a small chain with 3 restaurants in London and this one in Bath. It was excellent, and I thoroughly recommend it. It wasn't cheap, but nothing was in Bath. For example, I spent nearly £28 on parking fees for the weekend. That is simply outrageous!

The dover sole was die for! It's worth putting that in a paragraph on its own.

The singing went well and we got lots of compliments, though I personally sang badly in mattins, mostly because I had a bit of a hangover, but made worse by having the presiding clergy sitting no more than a metre to my left and easily within earshot, so she could hear all my mistakes. Grim, I tell you!

The hangover was because one of our choristers had arranged a choir meal for the Saturday night. This was in the King William pub and was also good, though again, expensive. There were 18 of us there and we all had a good time, some of us more so than others.

Nobody actually said "Rob your singing was crap in mattins!" but I knew! Anyway, I acquitted myself OK in the two evensongs, so came away satisfied with my own performance.

A small amusing diversion occurred on Saturday after evensong. (You'll have spotted that this post is not in chronological order!) We emerged at about five to find the shops still open, of course, and immediately found ourselves next to a shoe shop with a mega-sale on. Naturally, Jenny wanted to go in, so we did. Sadly, she found nothing she liked, but I did! I'd described some shoes I wanted to Jenny a few weeks ago, and behold, a pair sufficiently similar to meet my requirements were 50% off!

Coming home there wasn't a single holdup, so we were home in less than three hours, which was not bad, and as a bonus, Jane, who couldn't be with us this time, had cooked us a completely delicious roast chicken. Result! Jane had been singing with a different choir, Women of Note, in Cambridge, and had also had a good time.

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