Richmond, UK

Hi everyone. It’s a pretty grey, but warm and slightly humid day here in London. Yesterday, we got back from a trip which saw us perform in Aldborough (Yorkshire) and then Belfast, (Northern Ireland). It was my first time to Belfast, despite having a grandmother who was from a town not far from there. Jules was actually born there while his father was working as Director of Music at St. Anne’s Cathedral, where we performed on Saturday evening. It was a really special concert; the acoustics were lovely to sing in, the audience largely hadn’t seen the group since their last visit in 1981, so it felt like some sort of homecoming. Particularly poignant was singing Danny Boy. This is an old favourite wherever we go in the world, but as a Northern Irish song it had extra sparkle singing it to a full Belfast Cathedral.

When I got back from Belfast yesterday morning, Ellie and I had some friends of ours over for lunch and a walk, which helped me stay awake in spite of the 5.30am start.. We also watched a fantastic film called ‘The boat that rocked’. It’s been recommended to me loads of times so it was great to finally watch it — and I totally think it deserves the hype!

I realised with some mild shock on Saturday that it’s 10 weeks until I will be a married man. Wedding planning has been going terrifyingly smoothly thus far, and we’re down to the really tiny logistical details now. It’s weird but so wonderful to think that when I start the next term of touring I’ll have a ring on my finger, and poor Ellie will be legally bound to me and my clumsiness.*

Tomorrow, the group is heading to Germany and Austria, for a pair of concerts in Furth and Graz, after which we’ll be back briefly in the UK for concert in north London, before returning to Germany, and then returning to London again for an appearance on BBC Radio 3. A bit of to-ing and fro-ing, but it’ll be lovely as always.

*On reading this, Ellie just reminded me that last week I came back from seeing my friend Guy for lunch, and somehow had scrambled egg in my eyebrow.


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