I returned home to Kentucky last night (Thursday), the last of our entourage to make it back home.
I had a thoroughly enjoyable week in south east England! Since my last entry, I had a delightful visit with Liz, Alan, and Tom King in Eastbourne. On Tuesday I had a beautiful drive along the coast to the picturesque village of Arundel, where Stella and Alan Goren still keep a home on Tarrant Street. In Arundel is a wonderful castle, a monumental parish church, and a Roman Catholic Cathedral.
After enjoying my time there I headed 11 miles down the road to Chichester, where I checked into a quaint hotel just off the High Street, and made my way to the historic Cathedral, then sat in on a rehearsal of a visiting choir rehearsing for an Assumption Day Mass. This mixed choir was from an abbey (the name of which escapes me), and they were simply fabulous. I didn't stay for the Mass, however, opting instead to worship the Holy Fish And Chips at the pub across the street. Wednesday morning I departed for Guildford to see their "new" Cathedral, about an hour's drive from Chichester. I took a back road all the way to Guildford, a simply stunning drive through several mountains and farming communities. The new cathedral in Guildford is an imposing edifice on the edge of the city, where I found many friendly people and, of course, picked up a few recordings of their choir.
Wednesday afternoon I made it back to Beckenham, and met up with my friend Derek Bryan, who has the daunting task of cleaning out Philip Baker's house following his death several weeks ago. It was a bit eerie to be back in that house where I spent so much time with Phil, but I found it to be a therapeutic experience, a way of saying farewell to my friend of 8 years. After leaving Derek at Phil's house, I went to St George's on High Street to have a wander through the churchyard and reminisce memories of that great church, had a pint at The George down the street, then proceeded back to Ray & Glynne's house where a traditional meal of bangers & mash was prepared. I tell you, this plate was ENORMOUS!! But I dutifully consumed everything placed before me, and required several tablets of Tums and a walk after dinner! That evening we enjoyed each other's company at the Jolly Woodman, sharing memories of Philip, solving the world's problems, and lamenting that we don't get to spend more time together.
Thursday morning I drove to Gatwick, deposited my beloved Peugeot, boarded Delta 11 towards home, and fell fast asleep. The trip home was, Deo Gratias, without incident, and I'm now recovering from jet lag whilst typing this in the Red Room at home. A truly memorable trip in so many ways. The choir's singing over our two weeks in Lichfield and Durham was inspiring, and my visits with friends in the days that followed was rejuvenating. I am glad to be home, but a part of me always stays in England!
14 August 2006 - Eastbourne
Greetings to all. On Saturday a bunch of tired singers boarded the coach in Durham at 6:00am for the trek to Manchester airport. The successful conclusion to our residency! To my knowledge everyone arrived safely at home (at least I haven't heard anything to the contrary!). More photos and sound to come on this site when I return to KY this weekend.
I said my good-byes to them, retrieved a smart little Peugeot from the car hire (the registration of which begins KY206!! -- coincidence???), and headed towards Rochester to join the group from St Mark's, Geneva on the final day of their residency. Rochester is a lovely cathedral to sing in...intimate quire and nice acoustics. The Mander organ is not matched by any other, and was thrilling to sing with.
Following evensong yesterday I made my way to Beckenham (a SE borough of London, in Kent) to visit friends Ray & Glynn Bravery, close friends of my late friend Philip Baker. We solved the problems of the world over a few pints at the Jolly Woodman, and this morning I meadered in my little Peugeot towards the channel-side resort city of Eastbourne, where this evening I'll meet up with some of Stella Goren's family. Tomorrow I'll continue west towards Arundel and Chichester, perhaps finding some interesting sites along the way. Wednesday I'll again make my way to Beckenham, which will be my perch until an early departure Thursday morning.
Having a fun low-stress week here in SE England!
11 August 2006 - Durham
Greetings to all, with apologies that we haven't updated this site since being in Durham! We indeed arrived safely on Monday and have been singing and site seeing ever since. We have had VERY limited Internet access (even more limited than in Lichfield), hence our delay in updating this site. Please enjoy some of our recent pictures below. The week has been going just splendidly and the people of Durham have been most gracious. We've enjoyed having Tony Blyth join us for the week (a lay clerk from Ely Cathedral); he's just jumped into the group with both feet in terms of singing, site seeing with us, and being an integral member of the group.
The choir is aware of the recent news about flights from the UK to the US, which of course has us all a bit worried. Rest assured, the choir will be flying more safely than ever before. Indeed the airlines wouldn't let us fly if they felt it to be unsafe. We'll keep you posted. Aaron departed yesterday, and to our knowledge he was on a plan from Manchester, but haven't heard from him since. Don departed this morning, and the rest of the choir departs tomorrow. I'll be hanging around England for the next week meandering aimlessly through the countryside, and will continue to update this site as I have opportunity.
It has been a marvellous trip for all! We can't wait to share all the stories when we return! Enjoy our recent photos below. JKL
The Choir in the court yard cloister of Durham Cathedral
The choir holds up Herlad-Leader papers in Lichfield!
A windy day at Lichfield Cathedral
Aaron Weaver welcomes visitors to Lichfield Cathedral
Lee Jenkins welcomes visitors to Lichfield Cathedral
The north transept of Lichfield Cathedral
Lichfield Cathedral west front
We done it! We have pictures below of the past couple days.... Enjoy! JKL
The Choir posing for a photo in the Cloister after evensong in Lichfield Cathedral
Choristers enjoying tea before evensong
Two amigos--Joe Jones and John Linker
Zach feverishly working out registrations prior to evensong in Lichfield Cathedral
John Linker at the console in Lichfield Cathedral
Two more amigos--Joe Jones and Lee Jenkins
The Choir as posed for a photo for the Lichfield Mercury
John Linker and cantor for evensong The Rev'd Steven Jones from Stoke-on-Trent
Enjoying drinks in the Archdeacon's garden after evensong in Lichfield
Archdeacon Chris Lily quizzing Andrew on church history
An orderly procession from tea to the Cathedral for evensong!
Singers patiently waiting for me to unlock the chapel door after evensong
1 August 2006 - Lichfield, 10.00pm
Day Two!! Sorry for the delay in our launch of the England side of our web log, but finally got all the pieces together to make this happen. First service was last night, which went very well. We sang this evening, which went even better! Below are pictures from yesterday...photos from today are yet to come. The choir is unwinding by devouring several pints before me as I type...back to business.... Recording of today turned out excellent...providing technology, recordings to come! JKL
28 July 2006 - 9:00pm
The eve of our departure, I'm frantically packing clothing, extra copies of music, my vestments, and wondering how it will all fit and if I'll be able to carry it all! Suspect others on this trip are having similar packing issues... Another of my projects this evening is to get Weaver his passport & vestment....or else he's traveling very light!
I'm very excited about this trip, and greatly looking forward to tomorrow's departure. It is my hope that many members of our group over the next two weeks can share thoughts pertaining to their journey on this web log, making full use of modern technology for our friends & families back home. Please save this page and check back often for news, photos, and hopefully some sound clips of our singing in Lichfield and Durham Cathedrals!