Blogging the tour, I

I am writing this from the free WiFi on the ferry to Holland!

We set off today from Harwich by ferry to Holland. Already the hats, and strains of Goodnight, sweetheart and other barbershop classics are drawing gazes. I hope to scribble some notes about the tour as we go if we bump into any internet cafés in foreign lands, and am excited by the chance to jot at such an early stage even though there is nothing much yet to describe.

One of the most memorable parts of a tour is the privilege of being able to look back over the last year and pick out some of the funniest moments. As part of the tour and report on the year, it would be nice to pick out a good story for each choir member if possible. Luckily, we have plenty for Peter Edwards. Matthew was reminding us on the deck today of the occasion last term when we were singing a piece from the Partbooks, which was printed, as the original, with each part of separate sheets. Peter, during the service, realised about a bar into the piece that he had accidentally picked up a soprano sheet, so played the part of a dutiful chorister. Without registering the least surprise, or looking at someone else’s part, or making the slightest undignified scrabble on his seat for the correct sheet, he mimed perfectly the whole way through, nodding at the cadences, glancing periodically up at Matthew as if following along, and marking his place with his finger. Anyone watching intermittently would have just assumed that he had a lot of rests. To Matthew, the crowning glory of the performance was the discreet smile and appreciate nod at the end as he sat down not having sung a single note.

Some of us are at the on-board cinema, some sleeping, and one enjoying Julian Hardyman from the Departure weekend.