Guest blog by Molly Alexander
Very early on Sunday we woke to a crisp and sunny morning, and trundled down to the Cathedral to rehearse for Eucharist. Disaster struck when Tom and I found out that ‘Funk Coffee’ was shut, but Jenny was quick to the rescue with a pot of the finest church coffee, and English breakfast for all. Rehearsal began around the office table (a new down under rehearsal style that Fieri has adopted), where we quickly realised there was quite a lot of music to get done without the aid of a music director – an unconducted Psalm, Byrd 5 (Guy Cutting soaring on top tenor at 9am…), Gibbons O Clap Your Hands, and a fiddly start to the introit – Rogier’s Cantantibus Organis viagra generic online. 10.30am arrived rather quickly, and we hurried to get into order (Guy and Tom doing a slick, martial-arts-style-crossing half way down the nave during the procession). A lovely service proceeded, with a cheery congregation belting the hymns that echoed around the (full) cathedral, followed by lunch and speeches. Nancy and I were treated to tales from one organist emeritus of York Minster during the war, where services continued even during bombings. After a brief stroll around the city, card games in the winter sun, and Hannah’s determination to spot a pelican by the river, we were back into rehearsal for Evensong – this time venturing into the 20th and 21st century. Holst’s Nunc Dimittis was a highlight for all, and the Pärt Magnificat a feat of breath control with only 8 voices! Tom canted with both style and panache, seated next to a freezing Nancy wrapped up in her beloved puffer coat (courtesy of supermom Penny). Afterwards we were whisked off for a final supper with all of our hosts – Don holding the table, ready and waiting with the Sauvignon Blanc, whilst Penny challenged both Tom and Ben to a fearsome game of pool.
Sad goodbyes were said at the airport on Monday morning – we will no doubt miss Adelaide and all of the friends that we have made. We have all felt so welcome and encouraged. May the friendship last for years to come! Battling ferocious weather conditions at Sydney airport (one Quantas flight was refused landing, we were lucky to make it) we all jumped into the MAXICAB and drove to David’s aunt’s house in Paddington. Opening the door we walked into the most beautiful old Victorian house where we will be staying for the next 3 days. We were thrilled to have such a haven all to ourselves, and quickly felt very settled and relaxed. In a traditional boys vs. girls afternoon, the feisty ladies battled off into the eye of the storm whilst chef extraordinaire Tom whipped up a gourmet feast for the growing lads, our first bit of cooking during the trip. Soaked to the bone Nancy, Hannah, Rose and I were blown around the streets of Darlinghurst, Surry Hills, and King’s Cross trying to find Nancy some winter boots to prevent imminent trench foot. After seemingly endless rows of red light district style boutiques, we eventually stumbled into Westfield – this felt a little bizarre coming from a born and bred Shepherd’s bush girl, but the warmth (and Ferrero Rocher) was a welcome shelter.
On returning home we found the boys had washed up and put a load of washing on (unheard of, surely?!) and finally had a chance to listen to the live recording of Friday night’s concert of Marian music in Adelaide. Much giggling ensued at various operatic top tenor entries during pieces by Byrd, Josquin and Clemens, but we were all left with an overriding feeling of pride and achievement and look forward to repeating the programme in Brisbane next week. We all then set off (umbrellas in hand) for supper, where we grossly over-ordered on the most delicious Thai food. We stumbled home with full bellies and laughter ringing through the quiet streets of Paddington, and fell into our comfortable beds for a good night’s rest in prep for the early morning rehearsal of Milhaud, Poulenc and Duruflé (…!).