Monday, August 18, 2014

Boris's bikes, 'ammersmith & a poignant "A Shropshire Lad"

Sunday is a day of rest so we followed suit! The late nights after the double concerts at the RAH had left us both a trifle weary and we both enjoyd a quiet start. On discovering that it was the 4th Birthday of Boris' Bicycles with "free access" for short trips we worked out how to log in and claimed two from the rack in our street. The whole system is remarkably efficient and well run! We took an exploratory ride in the local street and then in Kensington Park nearby so that Elaine could find her sea legs after half a century off the bike. There was one little tumble (not Elaine's fault!!) but not even a scratch! We then took another ride through Hyde Park to Speaker's Corner where we just managed to log the bikes in and get into the tunnel before the heavens opened! Not realising that heavy rain like that meant sunshine inevitably followed an hour later we gave up on the riding and caught a 27 bus to the Hammersmith Bus & Train Terminal - doesn't everyone want to go there at least once in their lives?? We very much enjoyed the tourist seats (upstairs at the front) and even though we caught the 27 in the wrong direction at first on the return journey ... this simply led us to the "Hampshire Hog" a fancy pub where we had the nicest meal of our trip so far (and a few beers!). Home on the 27 for a little grocery shopping and a snooze before the evening Prom.

100 years since the beginning of WW1 is part of the theme for this year's Proms and today we had (via our friends from Friday the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with a different conductor ..Andrew Manze .. this time) music and songs mainly from composers killed in the war. The standout was six songs by Butterworth of "A Shropshire Lad" (this is a series of peoms written in the 1890s by A.E. Houseman which "celebrated" the joys of not living past one's youth and living life to the full whilst you are young). They becames very popular once the immense losses of the war became apparent to Britishers (and the rest of us). Theses were sung by Roderick Williams a wonderful baritone with a Scottish allegiance. To be so close to him and to be able to hear every syllable of such poignant stuff was truly wonderful!  Vaughan Williams "Pastoral Symphony" completed the program.

We bid "au revoir" to our Promming friends since for Tuesday evening we are "snobbing it" in real seats up higher - we'll see if the experience is better up there or not!!!

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