Our Route around Europe

Our Route around Europe

Wednesday, September 10

Home Sweat Home

Just a quick post to say safely back at home in Northampton, raring to go for choir tomorrow. Unpacked all three suitcases, and done a big old spring clean of the Living and Dining Rooms. Still have sea legs so everything feels a bit wobbly, but this will pass.

Monday, September 8

Tossed and Turning

Currently sitting north of the Azores, but Parallel with Brussels so truly miles from anywhere. We re now picking up BBC1 and ITV via Northern Ireland, so it feels as though we're nearly home. We had gale force winds last night but you couldn't feel a thing due to their direction; the night before, however, we had a significant change in swell which was sickening, despite not being technically "rough", and left DofM with little sleep. We have covered 2214 nautical miles, with 1018 to go until Southampton.

Mrs DofM is safely back home, having had a Doctor escort back on the flight back from Toronto; she was glad of the Doctor escort as her Oxygen Saturation levels dropped up at altitude.
To reiterate my last missive in July, Choir begins on Thursday for Boys (4:30-6:00pm) and Girls (6:15-8:00pm), and then on Friday again for Boys (4:30-6:00pm), Choral Scholars (6:15-8:30pm) and Men (7:00-8:30pm). There is an additional obligatory rehearsal for the Choral Scholars on Saturday (1:00-4:00pm), and then Sunday is as usual with Boys & Men in the morning and Girls & Men in the evening.

Saturday, September 6

Full Day at Sea (1)

24 hours at sea so far, and we've just passed away from the coast of Newfoundland and are at 41deg 57.38' N, 051deg 31.00' W. Feeling quite tired as clocks have gone forward one hour each night so far ... 1035 nautical miles covered, 2180 to go, so we're roughly 1/3 of the way home. After a day off yesterday I'm hard at it today on the computer doing grids for next term, letters and trying to get back up to speed ready for next week. We also passed the ship pictured, Aurelia, I think, on its way to North Carolina (a bad time to be arriving!). Mrs DofM flies out from Toronto tonight and I'll give her a wave as she flies overhead.

Toronto to New York and Sail Away

So, 12 hours down into the voyage back to the UK; so far very good weather and calm seas. Dinner was a shared table with a couple from just outside Toronto, a single Lady from Hampshire, and two couples from the Wirral. Most enjoyable company, and not a word in conversation about music or Church matters, so I now feel like I'm on holiday! We're also blessed on this trip with three members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra who will surely raise the level of performance from that of our last crossing. Photo 1 is of the Niagara Rapids from the Train down from Toronto to New York.

Just before leaving I happened to chance upon a CD in the discount bin at the Julliard School shop of French music for upper voices and organ which includes the Cinq Motets by Langlais that were recorded on "En Priere", but the rest of the repertoire (Busser, Calmel, Godard, Lévy and Pierné) is unknown to me, and some of it is rather good. I'll try and track down scores when back in the UK to add to the new French repertoire that we hope, one day, will become a second French disc for upper voices.

Mrs DofM will leave Toronto on Saturday with her UK Doctor, and will be back in Northampton at some point on Sunday. She sounded much better on the 'phone yesterday, and we plan to keep in touch via scheduled internet chats (the 'phone on board is $4.95 per minute).

Wednesday, September 3

Shuffle off to Buffalo, and Rochester, and Albany, and, ... eventually, ... New York Penn Station

A brief post from DofM who made it on the 14 hour (!) train journey from Toronto to New York yesterday. He went Business Class which cost only CAD$14 in upgrade but gave him 36" of legroom, leather very reclinable seats, and free refreshments in the snack bar next door. The food was ghastly and for future reference bring packed food. 14 hours on the same train is quite something; in the next seats were a couple who live 150 miles north of Toronto and were going for the same QM2 crossing - DofM hopes to catch up with them on-board. Photos will be added once I'm on QM2 and have downloaded the images to the PC (thank goodness we bought a Choir Laptop and brought our own personal one, as this has enabled us both to have easy internet whilst DofM is in NY and Mrs DofM is in Toronto).

A day wandering in New York has been very useful, and he met with Fr. John Andrew, Rector Emeritus of St Thomas Fifth Avenue, at their Noon Mass.

Mrs DofM is still in Toronto - she will be flown under medical escort (!) back to the UK, door-to-door, and on a BA flight, on Saturday night, arriving in Northampton at some point on Sunday. The Insurance company have now agreed to cover the costs, and will pay from henceforth directly. The job will be to extract from them money which we've already paid out - medications, hotel bills, and the like. Still, we're delighted that they have resolved the issue.

Monday, September 1

Next Term - 100s of Tunes!

Whilst it is on the mind of DofM, here's the music for next term! As always, plenty of music, little time, but I hope there is something for everyone (including the new recruits - it is recruitment time (Boys in years 4/5/6 and Girls in years 5/6/7, only a very small number of spaces available this year) and older once again!) to look forward to.

Masses : Archer Missa omnes Sancti, Byrd Mass for Four Voices, Chilcott A Little Jazz Mass (SSA with the Martin Pickett Trio, 28 September, 10:30am), Darke in A minor, Dvorak Mass in D, Fauré Requiem (2 November, 6:30pm), Haydn Little Organ Mass, Howells Collegium Regale, Jackson in G, Langlais Missa in simplicitate, Perrin Missa Brevis, Plainsong Dominator Deus, Rutter Requiem (9 November, 6:30pm), Schubert in G, Shephard Mass of the Nativity, Stanford in C, F & G, Vaughan Williams in D minor and Vierne Messe solenelle.

Canticles : Bairstow in Eb (B), Brewer in D, Byrd Second Service, Dunleavy Lambert Service (G, 1st performance), Dunleavy St Peter's Service, Dyson in C minor(B), Gibbons Short Service, Howells Collegium Regale, Ireland Te Deum & Benedictus in F, Kelly in C, Moore First Service (G), Moore Second Service (M), Morley Fauxbourdons, Noon Second Service (G), D. Purcell in E minor, Rawsthorne Liverpool Service (B), Stanford in Bb, Stanford in G, Thiman in G (B), Walmisley in D minor and Watson in Eb (G).

Anthems : Ashfield The fair chivalry, Attwood Turn thy face from my sins, Bach Wachet auf! (30 November, 6:30pm), Bainton And I saw a new heaven, Biebl Ave Maria (M), Britten Corpus Christi Carol, Britten Rejoice in the Lamb, Bruckner Locus iste, Burnam An endless Alleluia, Byrd Teach me, O Lord, Colson O living Bread, Dunleavy Round me falls the night, Dupré O salutaris hostia, Elgar Ave verum Corpus, Fauré Ave Maria, Ferguson A Prayer of Judith Rose (1st performance, 9 November, 10:00am), Franck Panis angelicus, Gibbons This is the record of John, Goss I heard a voice from Heaven, Greene Thou visitest the earth, Handel Messiah (extracts "in an hour" with trumpets and drums, 14 December, 6:30pm), Harris Holy is the true light, Hough O, soft, self-wounding Pelican, Howells O pray for the peace of Jerusalem, Hurford Litany to the Holy Spirit, Ireland Ex ore innocentium, Lang Let all the world, Le Fleming The Lamb, Martin Dominus illuminatio Meo, Moore All wisdom cometh from the Lord, Moore Through the day, Palestrina Sicut cervus, Parry I was glad, Philips Cantantibus in organis, Purcell Hear my prayer, O Lord, Purcell O sing unto the Lord, Purcell Thou knowest, Lord, Rutter For the beauty of the earth, Shephard In darkness held, Stainer God so loved the world (in advance of our first Crucifixion in recent years next Holy Week), Stanford Iustorum animae, Tallis If ye love me, Tallis O nata lux, Tallis Verily, verily I say unto you, Tavener God is with us, Vaughan Williams Five Mystical Songs (complete, RVW Festival Service, 12 October, 6:30pm), Vaughan Williams I vow to thee, my country, Vaughan Williams O taste and see, Walker I will lift up mine eyes, Wood Oculi omnium, Wood O thou, the central orb, and Wood The Best of Rooms.

Plus ... all the Hymns, Psalms and Responses, readings to learn, candles to light and snuff, and Carols and Anthems for Christmas, including those to be performed at our second concert with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on Thursday 4 December at the Royal & Derngate, and the live performance of Rufus Wainwright's "Bloom" with the Stephen Petronio [Dance] Company, also at the Royal & Derngate (8 November).

Still here ...

Well, the weekend has come and gone, and the Insurance Company still don't have all the details they need from Mrs DofM's GP and Specialist Consultant to decide whether they'll insure or not. It would appear that the problems lie in a letter that was sent to the Insurance Co. suggesting Mrs DofM had multiple Hospital admissions in 2008, which was not the case, but it was sent without checking medical records. AAAAARGGH!!! Costs continue to frighten, with a bill of CAD$770 for medications collected today at the Drug Store just down from the Hotel (see view to right, here).

They've not been able to send out a Doctor to fly back with her, so she's stuck here for now. DofM has to leave in the morning for his train ride down to NY ready to pick up the boat on Thursday morning. Mrs DofM is not well enough to take either the train ride or the boat so there is no option but to part in the morning. DofM's Aunty Joyce, a native of UK, but for many years a resident of PA, is planning to drive up (6 hours) to spend some time with Mrs DofM over the next 36 hours so that some of the time is covered.

Fingers crossed it all works out, and we're not sure who'll have the mobile 'phone or the laptop, but one of us hopes to keep you all posted. Thanks to everyone who has chipped in looking after the house and the cats - esp. the Mills brigade who've prepped the house for two failed Hannah arrivals - sorry for inconvenience. We're both looking forward to blighty and getting back to work! Photo at top taken care of T.T., Girl Chorister, pictured with S.J., Boy Chorister, in full Sister Act regalia ready to page-turn in Rochester.
It's worth checking out some of the earlier blogs, as we've been able to update generic photos with more specific ones from the Tour.