Brisbane, Australia

A few of us are sunburned. Not ideal, and rather silly, but there you go. Whenever an Englishman is confronted with sun during our winter, we turn a bit nutty and rush outside to worship it. And so, in Perth, our first day heralded an outdoor lunch meeting, before we’d had the chance to purchase sunscreen. Hence, sunburn.

What’s even more odd is that our loved ones back home are experiencing The Great Snow, an event that hasn’t happened in my children’s lifetime thus far, meaning that they’re rolling about in the white stuff giggling uncontrollably – at least, until their hands get cold. Yesterday’s FaceTime chat involved comparing sunburn and snowburn in equal measure.

As for the music, well, it’s great to be back here in the Antipodes. As usual, we’re bringing a few local songs and this year, on the 100th anniversary of the end of The Great War, we’re singing “The band played Waltzing Matilda” which looks back poignantly to the contribution of ANZAC forces during the 20th Century conflicts. I find myself becoming quite emotional (more and more so) as we offer up songs such as this to our audiences (singing “Home” in Singapore was similarly tough!) which is a clear sign that I’m going soft in my old age and should retire.

Today we meet up once again with the enthusiastic and motivated singers of our friend Alison Rogers’ group, Vocal Manoeuvres, who have twice travelled to the UK to our Summer Schools. They are a prime example of what can be achieved through will power alone, and I can’t wait to hear them again!


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