Today’s guest picture comes from fellow choir member Neil who took this shot of us in the warm up room in the Northern College of Music just before we went on to sing in the Manchester Amateur Choir Competition.
It was a long day, starting by leaving the house at 8.15 am in dry but dull conditions and arriving home at 10.30 pm in a snowstorm. That last was rather unexpected but otherwise the day went very much to plan.
I remembered to pick up another choir member from Canonbie on my way to Carlisle which was a great triumph.
The coach down was comfortable, the weather improved and the scenery was agreeable…
…and everything was well organised when we got there. There was enough time between our preliminary practice and the final warm up to let me go for a walk into the centre of Manchester in the light rain which had developed during our drive down the motorway. As there was no wind and I had had the foresight to bring a small umbrella, the walk was grey but enjoyable.
There is a lot of building work going on and some of the old buildings are being demolished or overshadowed. This tower does not look too bad…
…until you see what it is really up against.
Some fine old university buildings have survived….
…and mysteriously I noticed other smaller buildings which had escaped the developers sledgehammer and they were all…
…as it turned out…
…those popular buildings…
There are some elegant modern buildings. Like this station entrance
I walked along a section of canal which is really embedded into the heart of the city, crossing under several roads…
…though with a nice rural touch here…
…and with lots of locks tucked in amongst the roads and buildings.
You can’t get much more tucked in than this lock.
I like the nifty gearing which allows the boat owners to open the heavy sluices on the lock gates.
I was amused to see Archimedes sheltering from the rain under a railway bridge.
Ironically, he was probably the only person who wasn’t getting wet in Manchester today.
I was walking through a university area when I spotted Archimedes and this rather knowledgeable decorative fence panel.
I got back from my walk in good time to join the choir for our performance and it went as well as we could hope for. I thoroughly enjoyed the singing which is a tribute to our new conductor Ellen. The choice of music and the lack of any need to clap and sing at the same time (nightmare) as well as her cheerful manner and encouragement made the whole thing very stress free.
All the same, we didn’t win the competition. This was no surprise as we were up against 22 other choirs from all over the country, some of them very well trained indeed.
The journey home started with heavy rain in Manchester and ended with snow lying in the streets of Carlisle while more was come down with a vengeance. I was slightly worried about the trip home as we started off in a blizzard of sleety snow which made visibility in the town difficult to say the least. The temperature was below freezing, the snow was lying in the streets and I was expecting things to get worse as we went north and climbed a couple of hundred feet.
To my great relief, the temperature went up a degree or two and the snow eased off to rain and the drive home turned out to be no great problem in the end.
I was welcomed home by Mrs Tootlepedal who had decided not to go to Manchester this year. She had had a very quiet day at home instead.
The flying bird of the day is floating.