Friday, 2 July 2010
I finished my journey today, arriving in the south by about 7.30pm. The last 50 miles are across the familiar downs country in the vicinity of West Sussex where I lived for over 30 years.
As I passed through one of the rather pretty, and amazingly expensive places to live, saturated with rose entwined cottages and thatched roofs, I drove deliberately slowly by the railway station. The time on my clock was 7.55pm, and the station door was disgorging a hundred worn out, heavily sweating youngish business men who were just arriving home. They looked haggard, lack lustre, frazzled and altogether heart weary with the endless life of the London commuter.
I thanked God a dozen times that the station, so familiar to me from 18 years of travel, was no longer part of my life.
It serves as such a salutory, and maybe needed at times lesson, and gentle reminder why I stopped all of that. My heart went out to them. The pay may be great but the quality of life is minimal.
I get to my hotel tomorrow, and start working at 9am on Sunday morning, so tonight I am able to stay with family, and see the grandchildren for a few hours. We sang some songs, listened to some cello playing - which was marvelous, and clearly in line for the next Jacqueline du Pre Award - small exaggeration here (but not much!!). Had dinner at a nearby Harvester, where they wolfed a half rack of ribs and trimmings, then back home to wash off that huge amount of BBQ sauce carefully and evenly distributed over trousers, shirts and cheeks before story and bed!
It is so good to have a day without serious singing, without having to think in a judgemental way, and relax. My 6 days of adjudicating will be enjoyable and arduous. Exhausting and hopefully exhilerating, and quite definitely the last for 2010 !