Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Been there, done that

Coventry Cathedrals, old and new
I don't know why, but there are some things in life that you do, and enjoy, but decide that you really don't want do again.

In some cases, once was enough. I've been to a football match and Wimbledon, for example, and that was fine. But I have no intention of going to either again. In my early 20s I had a couple of years going to a fair number of the Proms, queuing all day to get near the rail in the arena. Loved it. But you'd have to pay me to do it now. A lot.

The latest activity that seems to have run its course is singing in cathedrals. Over the years I have joined visiting choirs in a fair number of cathedrals and enjoyed a unique environment to sing the most beautiful music there is. In this time I've sung at Blackburn, Chester, Manchester, Lichfield, Bristol, Portsmouth, Winchester, Salisbury, St Albans, Lincoln, Ely, Peterborough, Rochester, Canterbury, Oxford and Westminster Abbey, not to mention three years in a Cambridge chapel choir.

This weekend I was at Coventry. And I think it is going to be the last. It's not because Coventry is to the great medieval cathedrals what a B and Q Superstore is to Hampton Court. Architecturally, I mean. I think it's brilliant the way the bombed out old cathedral acts as a forecourt, and I can see what they were trying to do with the style of the new building, but it just doesn't work for me. There's something about sixties architecture that doesn't age well. But the experience was as good as ever. And the people I was singing with were lovely. I've just done the singing in cathedrals thing enough.

Worryingly, I think theme parks might be next...


  1. Wow! I'd not seen Coventry Cathedral. It's certainly dramatic...

    Are you being serious about the theme parks? It would certainly make a change, I should think.

  2. You're just getting old, mate. I agree with you about theme parks, though.

  3. I'd recommend a visit, Clare. Although the interior architectural style of the new cathedral is not to my taste, the way the old and the new come together outside is very impressive - and the way it is used as a kind of World War II memorial.

    Not sure what you mean about theme parks. I've always loved them, especially roller coasters, but I haven't been to one for about 4 or 5 years, and I'm not sure I'll bother again.

    I partly agree, Henry, although it hasn't all be recent. I gave up the Proms when I was about 23, for instance.