SRCY Dinner weekend

This was held in Norwich on the weekend of 19th/20th September.  We were not involved in any peals, and had only a half-hearted intention to go to the general ringing in the afternoon so we decided to leave around 10 am.  Lee and Emma had picked up Suki the day before and taken her to Devon for the weekend - they were signing the papers for their house swap to Dartmouth, so we were able to just get up and go in a leisurely fashion.  We made good time until we were held up by an accident on the A1 - on the other carriageway but it seemed as if the queues on our side were caused by people slowing down to look!  We decided to stop just short of Norwich for some lunch - picked an excellent cafe/garden centre/farm shop (posh) at Elvedon.  It was very busy and we had to sit outside, rather than in the restaurant, but service was very quick and we had excellent soup and a cup of tea.  We arrived in Norwich at the time the general ringing was finishing, so we went straight to the hotel (Travelodge).  After booking in we walked up to the Cathedral for Choral Evensong which was a lovely service with beautiful music.  There was a very strange sculpture on display which was behind the pews opposite me - I found it quite distracting.  Particularly as the sculptured people seemed to be modelled on the mace bearer who was the spitting image of the sculptures.

Afterwards we walked round the Edith Cavel memorial exhibition - Mike didn't even know who she was!

The dinner was in the Theatre Rooms which was an impressive venue.  I was somewhat daunted by the 6 for 7.30 meet time (far too long to stand around talking to people and drinking cava) but eventually we sat down and had a very good meal.  The arrangements for wine were a bit hit and miss but eventually it was all sorted to everyone's satisfaction.  We were placed on a table next to the top table with an eclectic mix of people I did and didn't know, but Mike chatted happily to them all and apparently the people next to me were well known proficient peal ringers!  The speeches were very good especially the Bishop of Lynn- who finished by doing the Misalignment song from Flanders and Swan!  I gritted my teeth and stayed for an hour or so afterwards so that Mike could chat to people - and in fact I had an interesting chat with Liz Hibbert, and we obviously chatted to Heather Kippin about something (see below).  Finally got to bed around midnight.  

The next morning we had breakfast in the Hotel - a buffet affair but quite nice - and then went to the Communion service at Norwich Cathedral - which was up in the choir stalls as there was a Battle of Britain service later in the morning.  It was another nice service with good music - it's so nice to go to a service where things are done "properly" although I still had to suffer the "Peace".  There wasn't much in the way of ringing organised so we (rightly as it turned out) decided not to go to Mancroft as presumably there would be a huge number of ringers there.  After the service we saw the local ATC corps march up the drive with their drums - brought back memories of my youth!  There seem to be more girls in it these days.

Then we went home.  It was strange being at home without Suki - I kept getting holiday pics of her enjoying herself on the beach with her mates from Emma.  She was obviously having a great time!

We got home in time to go to Conversational Evensong with Jane Hawking - the ex-wife of Stephen Hawking.  She was accompanied by two of her children and Jonathan her husband of 15 years.  It was very interesting to see the real people depicted in the film "The Theory of Everything" and to hear what she had to say.  Her daughter lives in Barnes. I bought a copy of her book which she signed.  As she passed Mike in the aisle she patted him on the shoulder - by rights she should have patted me!!

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