Oh to be in England…

Anybody for ice skating? Never mind that it might be accidental and may come to a rather untimely end on a certain part of the anatomy!

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It  was easier to slide down the other side of the Vauxhall Bridge than to walk up even this small slope! Yes England is well and truly snowed in. Rail and road have all been affected, with delays and general chaos.

The Trinity Guildhall conference I am here to attend has now been altered to take place in London for those of us who have flown in. The others will again have a separate conference later in the year!RIMG0111

So I arrived back in London again this afternoon. Staying almost opposite the Tate Gallery, I took advantage of that to go over and look at the Turner exhibition that is on there. A hard skate and fall reminded me – if I needed it – that the pavements were treacherous and I will probably not go out again after dark, as the water freezes over again in sub-zero temperatures.

Still we are pretty much locked in after now so I shan’t get much chance until the end of the conference in any case.

Here are some of the photos taken around Waresley in the last couple of days. Yes, one of them is a rose – still with flowers and leaves on it – UNDER the layer of snow! Aren’t they amazingly resilient!

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Here is a photo of David, for those of you that know him….with his “sports” car! and also Jessie (Golden Retriever) on a walk in the “avenue” opposite David’s place.

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RIMG0106These were taken after the snowfall – not a huge amount but look at the Waresley cricket field – the place where I broke my finger a few years ago, playing touch rugby on Christmas Day  – just about the right hand side at the middle of the way down this photo! The blob in the middle of this photo was a snowflake that decided to land on my lens – now cleaned off. but it did spoil several photos that day!

 

RIMG0035Not that life here has been totally full of snow. Here is a picture of one of my favourite pubs at Greenwich! Note the not-fake English look about the pub. the slightly tattered look is not put on. That is what they are like!!

And below is a photo of a vegetarian restaurant that I found last time I was in London. On Marylebone Street, it was good enough that I bypassed the mysteries of McDonalds and “Pret à RIMG0041Manger” among other notorious eating places on Oxford Street to walk all the way up there from Oxford Street, brandishing my brand new clarinet after finishing a second marathon session at Howarths – on my almost annual pilgrimage there!. No gloves! It was freezing, but the restaurant is worth it! Everything is vegetarian – even Vegan….it is superb stuff!! worth the 20 minute walk…

Still England has not been all full of food and snow. I have enjoyed the wonderful hospitality and gentility of my English friends. Several wonderful dinners with Jonathan Tilbrook and also the joy of being able to see Emily and Jonathan (son and daughter).

One night on the Thames I saw these two churches – the close one is Southwark Cathedral – the further away one is St Peters – taken from miles away as a silhouette in the night sky!

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I can’t finish my “UK tales” without the following photos. The first is taken at a very good dinner at  a Turkish restaurant RIMG0047

The others are taken at the Lalbagh restaurant, Bourn, Cambridge. http://www.lalbaghrestaurant.com/ . Waresley Wines ( http://www.waresleywine.co.uk/ ) supplies the fine wine there and  the restaurateur (pictured) was kind enough to provide us with a mixture of starters when we arrived with the delivery. Very nicely presented food in the slightly milder Bangladeshi/Indian style and as you can see it has a most elegant sense of style. Lalbagh is a very fine restaurant near Cambridge, UK! The blue light almost comes out properly in these photos.

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So while the weather has been inclement since my arrival in the UK, the welcome has been unfailingly warm. I thank everybody involved for this. I am sorry that I am unable to make it up to Manchester because of the weather, but I have enjoyed seeing many of my English friends!! Indeed it is nice to be in England – even when the snow is here!

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About David Adlam

I am a conductor, composer, clarinettist and examiner for Trinity Guildhall working in Auckland, New Zealand and overseas
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