Sorry it has taken so long to get round to writing about this. So much has been happening but while we wait to go down to watch the Parwich Hill Race I have a few blissful spare minutes which I shall enjoy putting to good use.
The concert in St Paul’s was a wonderful occasion. John and I had taken an earlyish train down last Wednesday to give us plenty of time before the reception in the crypt at 6.15. The sun was shining and St Paul’s looked wonderful; as soon as we went in we discovered there was a Sung Eucharist at 5 so we decided to get ourselves in the mood, and managed to place ourselves literally beside the choir (complete with young cousin Harry!). The music was superb and an impressive number of people were attending, including a lot of young – maybe that is normal on a Wednesday evening when it’s St Pauls?
We then crept down to the crypt, which had been totally transformed into a party venue. By this time we had been joined by Ruthie and Nick, and Tom Sykes, a family friend and were served generously with wine and canapes before making our way up for the big event, the concert. The Duchess of Gloucester arrived, looking very elegant in a lime green outfit… But still what anticipation…!
Lots of lovely music, mostly but by no means all of the 1st World War era with several Benjamin Britten pieces plus a 7th Century plainsong and ‘How Beautiful are the Feet’ from Handel’s Messiah. And then we had the anthem we had all been waiting for, the first performance of Ben Parry’s especially commissioned ‘Went the Day Well’. It was hauntingly beautiful and there were many family hearts swelling with pride when Harry sang the solo parts, accompanied by his brother Tom on the French horn.
Meanwhile, no peacful Peak District for the two boys, who will be now be on their nine-day cycle ride, hoping to average I think it was 120 miles a day for nine days. Rather them then me. You can follow them on their blog which makes terrific reading especially from the comfort of an office chair!
They have already raised over £12,000 for Help for Heroes which is pretty amazing for two 17-year olds, still at school. Help the Heroes has agreed that all of the money raised will go towards the new Just Giving site for any kind soul who is minded to help them in their quest.