NYCGB Alumni concert in London (18 January 2014)

Next weekend I’m going to be singing in a concert in London. (I’m so excited!) It will be the first official meeting of the new National Youth Choirs of Great Britain alumni choir.

The idea is to re-engage with past members of the choir (of which there are well over 1,000), to catch up with one another, make music, and also hopefully raise some money to help existing choir members.

I’ll be tweeting throughout the weekend on @exncygb.

Where: Christ Church, Spitalfields, London
When: Saturday 18 January 2014 at 5.00 pm.

If you’re going to be in London or know someone who would enjoy this informal concert the please email them this flyer: Sing Joyfully—NYCGB Alumni flyer (PDF, 1.02 MB)

Or check out more information, including details of music being sung on the NYCGB concerts and events page.

Sing Joyfully—concert of National Youth Choir of Great Britain alumni, London, 18 January 2014
Sing Joyfully—concert of National Youth Choir of Great Britain alumni, London, 18 January 2014

From London to Inverness

View from my hotel window of the City of London
The view from my hotel window in London last week.

Last week, from Sunday to Friday, I was in London on a course: PHP Programming and MySQL for Web Development with StayAhead Training.

The course was a good introduction to PHP and MySQL, and I was the only person on the course (which you’ll know already if you follow my Twitter feed). I’ll reflect more on the course in the next couple of days once I process my thoughts.

It had been my intention to blog while I was away — I even took my webcam — but the hotel didn’t offer free WiFi, which was annoying, and as it turned out I wasn’t around long enough in the evening to make the £2.00 per hour charge worthwhile, as I was catching up with some lovely friends. Many thanks to Steve and Lisa Lawson, Richard Grocock, Mike Jeremiah, Lindsey Dear and Graham Fairbairn for their company, friendship and laughter-making. I love you all!

Today, though, I’m heading off again. This time north, to the other end of the island, to Inverness to catch up with a couple of friends … before they and we have twins in the next few months.

But I’ll leave you with a photo of my favourite street sign from that London visit:

Little Britain EC1

I sent a text to a couple of friends and family to tell them that I was standing on a street called “Little Britain”. My brother ‘won’ as he was the first to reply with the simple text: “Yeah, I know!” Good man!

Yesterday

Yesterday morning I accompanied Steve and Lisa to the London Social Media Café Musicians meet-up at the St George Hotel between the BBC and All Souls on Langham Place in central London.

The café on the top floor of the (an) hotel has a splendid view of the London cityscape.  Tony Hawks (comedian, not Tony Hawk, skater) was also there, but not to participate in the SMCM meet.

It was an interesting get-together with a few folks (suffering from sleep deprevation) posting stuff on Seesmic.  I didn’t really get involved deeply in many of the conversations as I didn’t really understand either the London scene or the musicians scene in London.  But it was nice to potter on my laptop and get chatting with a couple of folks about singing.

Lunch

Around noon Lisa and I headed off to Covent Garden to meet with Mike Arthur for lunch, before wandering back via Charring Cross Road, Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street to meet up with Steve.  Who then led us down Regent Street, Carnaby Street back onto Regent Street to Piccadilly Circus, Coventry Street and Leicester Square … and back to Covent Garden!

Evening

In the evening we geeked out in the kitchen, I cracked on with some CSS editing and watched The IT Crowd on 4OD before turning in for the night.

Today

Today I decamp from Steve and Lisa’s in Herne Hill to East Putney to visit our good friends Dave and Bev Meldrum.

The oval office

Had a lovely day in London village.

Walked from Herne Hill to Kennington Oval (in 55 minutes), met up with Mike Jeremiah on the occasion of his 40th birthday.

Had lunch: chicken and mushroom pie and chips.

General geekery, followed by drink and dinner (curry) with lovely Rachel Foulds then walked back to Herne Hill in 40 minutes.

We had dinner at a restaurant at Kennington called Gandhi … it may or may not have had a definite article. Mike kept singing a song from Not The Nine O’Clock News off the telly. From about twenty years ago.

What a lovely, lovely day.

Street cuddle

On the way back to Herne Hill, at Brixton town I got stopped by a black guy asking for 70p for the bus. Seventy pence became two pounds became … well, he kept his palm open as I shovelled money into it.

“How much is a single fare?” he asked.

“I don’t know.”

“Is it a bank holiday on Monday?” he asked again.

What is this Twenty Questions?!

I explained that I was from Scotland and wasn’t certain about the answers to these London-centric questions.

He then gave me a hug and his afro hairstyle brushed my face. It was really soft, and smelled quite nice.

He was going to Clapham Junction, he claimed. And then lifted his shirt to show me his belt. “Am I too thin?” he asked me.

I wasn’t sure that was an issue in the Clapham region.

Sadly I didn’t meet anyone else on the rest of my walk home.