Today for the first time I...
- voted in an English election. I've always voted by post in Northern Irish ones before. It concerned me slightly that I didn't need ID - just verbally give a name & address that's on their register, and off you go... is that not slightly open to (/ inviting with a big banner strung from an aeroplane and a loudhailer in the streets below) fraud?
- sat in a hall with almost 2261 retirees. Who else can attend weekday matinée concerts, but retirees and people who work in Christian jobs where they work strange hours and can take a few off in the middle of the day for a concert? (The lady beside me - the only other non-retiree I could see - turned out to be a vicar. Yup.) This was CBSO to a packed Symphony Hall. Elgar violin concerto, with Daniel Hope, Brahms Symphony No.2 and Wagner Tannhäuser Overture. The Elgar was strong, engagingly and brilliantly played without being over the top - with a gorgeous tone. The Brahms is a great piece and rather fun - don't think I've particularly 'noticed' it before. And from where I was a got a clear view of Sakari Oramo, the CBSO's conductor (took over from Sir Simon Rattle in '98): I'd rather like to play in an orchestra under his baton!
- paid £4 for a seat worth £30 in aforementioned concert. Not only did I get to enjoy the concert from a fantastic postition, but got to enjoy the knowledge that I had paid only £4 for doing so. You've got to love standby tickets for under-26s.
- appreciated just what a difference a coffee can make. Sadly and very frustratingly I was battling drooping eyelids throughout the wonderful Elgar performance. I rushed for a coffee in the interval, and was perfectly alert to enjoy the Brahms. I've never experienced it quite so dramatically.
- decided that to clap at the wrong point is ignorance; but to get up and hurry out at the drop of the baton on the last piece, more keen to get to your car than to applaud the orchestra, is disgracefully rude.