Monday, 14 November 2016

Our Wedding Anniversary.

Sunday 13th November.
Yet another sunny morning. We were up early as we had decided to attend the regular Sunday morning live broadcast from the Tabernacle featuring the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The broadcast  starts at 9:30 and lasts for half an hour. It has been going every single Sunday without a break for 88 years! It is free and you are requested to arrive by 9:00, at which time, the choir is already rehearsing. We were given a programme and went upstairs to the balcony, where the view and the sound are both excellent. The Tabernacle, which was built in 1929, has a curved roof and the acoustics are fantastic.
To our surprise and delight, the programme listed Tenebrae as the visiting guest choir - and we could see them sitting in the centre between the ladies and gentlemen of the Tabernacle Choir.
The performance is broadcast live all over the world by Radio, TV and the Internet, so the audience, which by now was a full house, was asked to be as quiet as possible and reserve any applause for after the end of the broadcast.
The programme consisted of a reading and six fairly short pieces, two of which were sung accapella by Tenebrae. To M's delight, one of the pieces sung by the Tabernacle Choir was "Morning Has Broken", a hymn that she loves. The standard of Orchestra, Choir and Tenebrae was superb - what a treat. As the broadcast finished, the whole audience rose to give them all a standing ovation. The Orchestra, Choir, Tenebrae and the Conductor each took a bow to the audience applause, but what was really touching was that as the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra were packing up and beginning to leave, they all stopped to applause Tenebrae as they left their seats.
We stayed for a little while because the Tabernacle Choir came back to continue rehearsing for their Christmas concert. They really are an outstanding choir. During Tenebrae's solos, the Choir stood absolutely still, without moving a muscle. Incredible discipline - and all the Choir and the Orchestra are volunteers, some travelling 100 miles each way at least twice a week for rehearsals and performances. M counted over 350 in the Choir and about 80 in the Orchestra, not counting all the technical staff and dozens of volunteers to look after the audience.
While they had all been in their "uniforms" for the performance, the rehearsal was much more relaxed.
Afterwards, an anniversary breakfast was called for, so we returned to Eva's Bakery, where we encountered a delightful waiter named Yasha, who turned out to be an ardent Arsenal supporter! M has been surprised by the level of support and enthusiasm for English football over here. 
Fortified by an excellent breakfast and another extremely good cappuccino, we returned to David's to find a message from him asking us to pick up Riley on the way to the airport. So we quickly set off to collect Riley, who decided that he wanted to drive too.
We carried on to the airport to collect David and Elizabeth. Riley was ecstatic to see them and even managed to cope with the "travelator" on the way back to the car park.
Back at the house, we had a quiet afternoon. Elizabeth was understandably very tired after a demanding weekend, that apparently went very well, and went off for some sleep before she went back on night shift at 5:30.
We had been invited out to dinner with some of David's friends who live in a very upmarket area of the City called the "Avenues" that sits on a hill overlooking the City and its lights way below.
Wow! What a house. We were treated to a lavish dinner of home cooked dishes - all very informal and the company was excellent. David took R down to see the new car just acquired by Mo, one of the owners of the house; it was a BMW i8, an incredibly beautiful hybrid car.
Later in the evening, the group went downstairs into the house's cinema (Matt would have loved it!) to watch the latest episode of the "Zombie" TV series. Given M's sensitivity to such violent and gory programs, we left for home, having thanked our hosts for a wonderful evening.

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