Until last Saturday, my only recollection of Gloucester had been of an incident at least 30 years previous. I had arrived, with others, by narrowboat in the docks, and, for reasons I can no longer remember, was wandering around in the area on my own. I was approached by a copper, who asked me to account for my whereabouts for the last 30 minutes or so. I did so, and he seemed content at my explanation. When I asked why he wanted to know, he told me that someone of my description had been seen leaving a local shop with stolen goods. (I was wearing blue jeans and a navy blue sweater, even more of a uniform those days than now.)
Anyway, this Saturday I went nowhere near the historic docks, though would have done so had I had the time. I was in the city to join in an early music singing workshop in the Parliament Rooms of Gloucester Cathedral. (All I have been able to discover about these rooms is that one of them was used by Richard II for a Parliament in 1378.) I couldn’t really take photographs of the workshop itself, but was pleased to have time during the lunch break to wander around in the immediate vicinity.
I must return to Gloucester to explore the docks once more, hoping to escape the beady eye of the law this time.
Less than a month after the last time, I was in London again two days ago. The purpose this time was to join (mainly professional) singers and instrumentalists to sing and play – over and over again – the European Union anthem, the Ode to Joy by Beethoven, outside Parliament, to protest the need for musicians to have freedom of movement within the EU. On my way to a meet up point in Smith Square, I went past the media village that has been camped there for weeks. This is only part of it, and it has recently been fenced off to the public, which now means that protesters can not easily be seen behind presenters. We were going to do our best and loudest.
Difficult to estimate our numbers, but I reckon we were some 200 or so. Here’s a part of us.
Apparently we were covered in German TV news bulletins, Reuters also took a story, and we could be seen on Sky News. I watched the BBC 1 o’clock news on catch up when I got home, and certainly we could be seen and heard, very faintly, if you knew to look and listen for us. (The banner ‘Musicians depend on freedom of movement’ was far too far away to be read though.)
But I didn’t go straight home. There were several hours before my coach back to Somerset was due to leave. So I walked along the Embankment, and up Savoy Street to Covent Garden, and the London Transport Museum. This is housed in the old Covent Garden flower market. It would be more accurately, but cumbersomely, named the Transport in London Museum, not least because it starts in 1800.
I tried very hard not to take photos, especially as I didn’t have my camera with me, and my tablet, on which I had taken the earlier photos, was in the Museum’s cloakroom. But I didn’t succeed. I had my tiny phone on me and took lots of pictures. Fortunately the quality of the results was such that my selection here was easy to make!
There was a temporary exhibition of works by women poster artists. Women were welcome to put forward their art from the outset. I could have spent a very long time indeed in this part of the Museum, so was delighted to find that there was one copy left of the accompanying book when I asked at the end.
A final look at the lovely ironwork, before meeting Mary in the café for a cuppa, family catch-up, and lots and lots of political talk, (as by now the Commons Brexit Withdrawal Vote had been withdrawn.)
I would hope to return to this museum in the future. I could easily have spent the double the time I did there.