It's a beautiful drive from Bridlington to Ripon, through Sledmere, Fridaythorpe, then the sudden view of the Plain of York from the top of Garrowby Hill, and down into Stamford Bridge. After the dry run a few weeks ago I'd persuaded Kathleen, the Irish lady in my Tom-Tom who takes me home again, to avoid the A1M, so went parallel to the motorway for a bit before crossing the main road and entering the City of Ripon.
Arrived at Ripon Spa Hotelat 9.50 to be told my room not ready until 2, and they'd stopped serving breakfast. Mike and wife Rose already here - they arrived last night. We must be in place at 2.45 for the rehearsal at 3, so the schedule is a bit tight.
Had coffee in the Fountains Lounge and blogged, then walked round Ripon taking photographs of the Market Place,
Visited the TI opposite the Cathedral to buy souvenirs (fridge magnets and a bookmark), where I told the manager who we were. He asked if we were singing evensong, so he might be there. Took photos of the hotel. The view from the croquet lawns is most impressive!
Then to the bar and ordered a J20 and beef sandwiches, which came on an oblong piece of slate in lieu of a plate, but were very tasty.
Other choir members now arrived, and rooms available just after 1, so was able to shower and change. Strange smell in room, a bit like boiled fish, and a bit like something that has passed away, but not recently. Opened window and left for Cathedral.
Rehearsal in Song School - very small and cosy, with an awkwardly placed pillar in the middle - then in the choir stalls. Evensong was to be sung in the Chancel with the congregation between us and the altar, because the Scottish Symphony Orchestra were set up in the nave for tonight's concert. We caught part of their rehearsal - Dvorak's Cello Concerto. Pity we'll miss it as we've paid for the evening meal at the hotel.
After the service, called at the One Eyed Rat, (see above) as recommended by Karen. One pint of Black Sheep later I headed back to the hotel for the evening meal. Chicken (which was to feature prominently during the weekend) in beurre blanc sauce.
Then a lively sing-song, led by Kevin, ably assisted by several pints of Theakston's. And so to bed.