T'eyla Minh (teylaminh) wrote,
T'eyla Minh
teylaminh

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Tewkesbury.

Well.  That was interesting.

I apologise in advance for any spelling errors - my hand aches from holding my music folder...

The journey to Tewkesbury was actually fairly straightforward, except for some confusion on my part when I got Cheltenham and Leamington confused.  They both end in 'Spa' and it was 9.30 on a Saturday morning - that's my excuse.  Anyway, thetrainline.com is pretty much useless, apparently, as it said there was a train to Cheltenham Spa at 9.40 when in fact there was one at 9.30... which was subsequently delayed by 10 minutes anyway.

We got there okay, at least, and then got to Ashchurch and managed to get on a bus to Tewkesbury from the station,which was nice.  It turned out that the bus also went to Cheltenham, and since the last bus back would result in us missing the last train (oh, for God's sake) we decided we'd get the bus to Cheltenham instead, as the last train from there was much later...

Tewkesbury is a very nice little place.  It has the largest collection of black-and-white Tudor buildings I've ever seen, with lots of tiny little alleyways and the buildings all crooked.  The Abbey is beautiful.  I took a few photos on my phone which I'll email and put up when I have some credit (so, after I've been paid).

We got there just after 11.00, and I wasn't due at the Abbey until 1.30, so we wandered around a few pubs and tried to find some breakfast/lunch.  The first pub wasn't serving any food until 12.00 and was a bit of a dive anyway, the second one was stupidly expensive, but very smart, and we eventually found a little cafe on a side street which was fairly reasonably priced. I wouldn't mind staying in Tewkesbury for a weekend or something, as it seems a nice place to explore.

At 1.15 I left Paul alone for about 3 and a half hours to explore whilst I went off to rehearsal.  The choir seats were very uncomfortable but definitely worth it for the amazing acoustics.  A loud high note would echo for 30 seconds - brilliant.  Our first piece, Christus Factus Est, especially, sounded gorgeous in the Abbey, with lots of intentional pauses to let the chords finish resonating.

We managed to iron out the glitches with the organ and then at 4.30 or thereabouts I met up with Paul again and we went to buy sellotape, because I'd forgotten on Friday night to make my music 'book-like' so the pages weren't stapled in the top corner.  We found a pub for a bit and then wandered around the Abbey grounds taking photographs.

The concert itself seemed to go very well.  Adrian gave us a silent "Bravo" at the end of Hymn to St. Cecilia and apparently we managed to keep it in tune, which was a problem plaguing us in rehearsals with sopranos going unintentionally flat.  The rest of the unaccompanied pieces sounded good, too, and despite one small glitch in Rejoice in the Lamb (Adrian glared at the culprit who came in too early) that seemed to go well, too.

It ended at approximately 8.20 and by the time I'd got changed and we'd made it back down to the bus stop (although apparently it DID stop outside the cathdral, so we learned earlier) the next bus wasn't until 9.15.  So we had a quick drink in another nearby pub.  And this is when the fun started.

We realised, whilst waiting for the bus, that it didn't specify stopping by the station.  So we asked the driver, who said it was about a 200m walk to the station from the final stop.  Whilst on the bus, though, not knowing Cheltenham road names in the slightest, we spotted a road sign pointing towards the station and got off the bus to follow it.

This turned out to be a stupid plan, as the road was the LONGEST ROAD EVER and the station was right at the end of it.  After about 20 minutes or so of walking, we got to the station, and managed to catch the last train back to Birmingham (the 9.57) with about 2 minutes to spare.  I think if we'd missed that I would've burst into tears right there...

Got back to Brum, and got a taxi to a chippy in Kings Heath to buy dinner, then walked the rest of the way home.

Today, unsurprisingly, I am knackered...
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