A long day

Venetia lion

Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent, Venetia and suggests that her recent holiday may have taken her well away from home.

Venetia lion

We went well away from home today (though not so far as Venetia) and had to get up very early for us at quarter past five to be ready to catch the bus with the rest of the choir from Carlisle to Manchester at 7a.m.  Although all the organisation went very smoothly, the length of the bus trips down and back (five hours between them) and the number of choirs competing made for a good deal of sitting and standing around.  We got home at 10 o’clock.

The event took place in the Royal Northern College of Music.

Northern college of music

It has an unassuming front door but the concert hall inside where we sang was very modern and had good acoustics.

The singing went as well as we could expect and I enjoyed it much more than I expected.  A picture of four of the tenor section shows that we were in good heart before the competition.

four tenors
Gill, the lady in the picture, has a very fine tenor voice and is an excellent singer.

After we had sung our pieces, there was time either to listen to other choirs or to stretch the legs and see a bit of Manchester.  I much prefer singing in choirs to listening to them so as the sun was shining, I chose the walking option.

I didn’t have a lot of time but there was plenty to see.

Grosvenor Picture Palace
A fine old cinema with a tiled exterior.
Manchester pub
And an equally fine pub with a tiled frontage.

The middle of Manchester is split by motorways, railways and canals and these leave some gloomy looking areas.

A big viaduct carries the railway through the town.

A sign suggested a route to a canal basin which I thought would be interesting but when I reached the canal, I turned the wrong way and walked away from the basin.  The canal looked little used but the dirty water provided some beautiful reflections.

Manchester canal

Sometimes with geese….

Manchester canal

…and sometimes without.

Manchester canal

There were moments when it looked as though the canal might come to an end but a series of gloomy  low bridges and short reaches among high buildings…

Manchester canal

…brought me out to a more fashionable stretch, guarded by another goose

Manchester canal

I left the canal and another ill judged choice of direction took me past some interesting sculptures…

vimto and coil

…and a decorative university doorway neatly spilt down the middle by the afternoon sun…

Manchester doorway

There were fine buildings both old and new to be seen as I wound my way back through the streets…


…and finally  got back to the music college in time to hear three choirs, two fellow competitors and last year’s winners, who gave a guest performance while the judges deliberated.

The judges declared that the general standard of the competing choirs was the best that they had ever had in the competition over the years and this was very encouraging although it didn’t entirely make up for the fact that we didn’t figure in the prize list.

Apart from a nervous moment on the way home when the bus driver stopped the vehicle on the motorway and got out and examined unspecified things,  the journey home went well and the part of the choir that was in our bus was in good enough spirits to sing for the entire journey home.

We have another competition coming up later in the year but it is only half as far away which will be good as both Mrs Tootlepedal and I have reached the age when spending 17 hours travelling, sitting and standing about for 15 minutes of singing may seem like quite a high price to pay for having fun.

I managed to find a flying bird whihc was a pleasant surprise.  I think that it must be one of those hefty Manchester chaffinches which they have down there.

flying goose

I am ready for bed.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

36 thoughts on “A long day

  1. Such a long and tiring day and I’m sorry you didn’t win a prize (though it is the taking part which is the best bit I am sure!). I enjoyed your whistle-stop tour of Manchester.

    1. I am one of those who thinks that winning makes taking part even more fun. I read a very sour piece about how run down Manchester is in my paper today.

  2. We have a Manchester too but you’ll never see sights like these there, even though it is our largest city.
    I like the reflections, especially the first one. It’s great to have an easy to carry camera which will still take good photos.
    Too bad you didn’t win a prize but I’m sure its more about the fun and the people than the prize.

  3. A “picture palace” – it sounds so much better than a “movie theatre”. You did well to do a post after such a very long day. I’m imagining Mrs. T busy with some form of needlework while you were out touring?

  4. Bless you for taking the time to post those astounding pictures of the canal, and the city too. I enjoyed seeing them ever so much. You are just amazing.

  5. I’m with you – singing is great fun, listening to choirs: not so much. Manchester is not high on our list of favourite places at the moment (after this mornings Capital One Cup game) but you made it look okay 🙂

  6. Love the Manchester you discovered especially the reflections in the canal and flying bird! A long day for you both enjoy the bonus hours of Leap Year’s Day to catch up.

  7. I thoroughly enjoyed the quick tour of Manchester, the older tiled buildings were great to see. I’m with the others, I’m impressed that you took the time to do a blog post after such a long day! It’s too bad that your efforts didn’t lead to a prize, but I’m sure that a good time was had by all never the less.

  8. Your reflection shots were truly beautiful and the sculptures very interesting. I enjoyed the quick tour. I’m sorry you didn’t come away with a prize but I’m sure your group was of very high standard. The flying bird over the reflections was a lovely bonus.

  9. Stunning picture atop the blog.
    Glad you survived your very long day and came in for congratulatory comments from the judges even if you were not prizewinners.
    Lovely picure of reflections in the canal.

  10. I just spent a good long time visiting your Somerset correspondent, and I thank you for the introduction. Wonderful photos of Tanzania.

    You came away from the choir competition with quite a few prizes, it seems to me. Trust you to find extraordinary beauty in an ordinary industrial canal. Once upon a time I visited Manchester very briefly. Wish I’d seen that pub.

    Tenors in red ties! You look like you’re having a very fine time indeed.

  11. I’m off to Manchester later this year for Commando’s first 2016 marathon. I’m pretty sure I wandered along that same stretch of canal last time but you did far better with photos. I loved the reflections in the water.

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