In reverse order, then: yesterday the Cambridge Concert Orchestra played at the Histon Feast, a kind of village Grand Day Out (appropriate, then, that our programme included the Wallace & Gromit theme tune). Most of our programme is quite big on the oompah-oompah, so it's ironic that the skies opened during one of our quietest numbers (a selection from Gigi); but we soldiered on regardless as the audience filled out with people in search of shelter. Not a bad concert, all told. Also, we had a chance to look round the fête's other attractions in the interval; I spent the time profitably by getting photographed with a four-metre long python around my neck.
30 metres per hour is my rough calculation for the speed of the queue for Folk Festival tickets (using addedentry's estimate of about 300 metres). We got up early more by luck than by judgement, as I'd unwittingly (or perhaps that should be 'witlessly') managed to set the alarm clock back an hour while setting the alarm the night before; it turned out to be fortuitous, as we joined the queue around 10am. I'd assumed that we'd queue for a couple of hours, go for lunch in town, and then get home in time for some quality pottering before choir. By 2pm (when we'd eaten all the pastries and done all the sudoku) I'd realised this wasn't going to happen, and dashed home to change for choir. Just before 4pm I left addedentry valiantly queueing with only Lawrence Durrell for company, and went to rehearse for Evensong at Peterhouse; after Evensong, at about 7:15pm, I rejoined him -- by this time within sight of the box office door.
I feel dreadful for having told people (particularly arnhem) that the Folk Festival doesn't usually sell out that quickly. But it doesn't, usually. Possible factors in this year's booking rush include the absence of a Glastonbury Festival this year, and the Folk Festival's stated desire to phase out postal bookings. Goodness only knows what happened to the people who did try to book by post this year. I can only say I'm sorry to the people I unintentionally misled.
The reason for the visit to the former abode of the Swiss Consul is that my grandparents have bought it (for various complicated reasons, none of which involve either of them being the new Swiss Consul), and are now living there instead of in a chalet-style house on the side of Rudyard Lake. I wish I lived like this. :-) I loved the old house, but the new one is even more splendid, and far better situated ("only 5 minutes' drive from John Lewis and M&S"). I would have taken photos, but I was too busy enjoying the novelty of walking around with my arms outstretched just because I could without knocking over piles of CDs and badgers. My grandad's been quite ill recently, but was looking healthier than I'd been led to expect, and was well enough to tell us about the time he met Noel Coward (despite my grandma interrupting him every few words to berate him for offering their guests anecdotes instead of drinks). The weather was good enough to sit outside for a while, but when it got chilly we came in, and had lunch (salmon, asparagus, new potatoes) in a dining-room the size of Wales, and talked about websites and knitting.
I wished I could have stayed longer. I feel like I'm running out of time to hear all the things they have to say, and I hate letting that feeling get in the way of the here and now.