Monday, 18 April 2011

The train arriving on platforms 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 is coming in sideways.

I am back on the train to Winchester again, this time going via London, and I thought I would use my GPS enabled phone to track the route this time. Being a phone, and not a specialised GPS receiver, it is probably not best suited for use on a high-speed train (anyone who has been on a train in the rest of Europe may think I am being ironic refering to our trains as "high-speed" but for us the Manchester-London line is fast) and GPS is only accurate to few meters at the best of times so it doesn't surprise me that the position appears to veer off the railway line from time to time but I found it amusing that it seemed to think I was still travelling at 1 mph while stopped at Stockport. Not only that, but we appeared to move across a few platforms. (As I write this, I see that it has lost it's GPS position completely, so this track is not really going to be too accuarate)

The reason I am taking the route via London is that I was singing in a concert at the Bridgewater Hall that was billed as "Music for a Royal Wedding", and thus was likely to miss the last direct train (don't talk to me about the vagaries of pre-booked rail ticket restrictions). It was originally billed as a "St George's Day Concert" but the organisers, never one to miss a trick, changed it to cash in on the Royal Wedding in a couple of weeks time. However, I think they missed a trick here as the hall was about half full (or half empty?) even with a last minute "two for the price of one" offer. I put this down to the fact that the wedding isn't for another couple of weeks with Easter in between to act as a huge mental block in most people's minds, not to mention that many of the people who would have loved to go to a concert to celebrate St George's day wouldn't really have felt the same way under the new billing. The programme was pretty much unchanged from the same concert last year (which, incidentally, has a lot of the same repetoir as most other concerts by this particular concert organiser, be it the "Last Night of the Autumn Proms", "Sping Gala" or "Classics for Christmas") with a few changes such as the omision of "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" (what message would that have sent to the happy couple?) and the inclusion of an excerpt from Wagner's Lohengrin (ie, the Wedding March).

I was going to make a comment about the presenter but I think something an alto from the choir posted on Facebook tops anything I could say:

The narrator at our concert this afternoon was Ian Lavender of "Private Pike in Dad's Army" fame. Half way through the concert he tried to make a joke about the FA Cup score, saying that, "It didn't matter which side won the match because ultimately Manchester still won it" ... There was a moment of stunned silence in the audience before someone shouted out loudly, "Stupid Boy!"

Now I have arrived in Winchester having left Manchester on the 18:35 to London Euston, then going from London Euston I went to London Waterloo on the underground, then London Waterloo to Basingstoke and finally picking up the direct train that had left Manchester at 18:27 for the last stop. Oh well.

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