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Spent a delightful full Spode Music Week, my mother, and 

and 

and Benedict and John and the children and lots of other people were there.  There was a large orchestra and a large choir and we had a string orchestra and also there was a ukelele workshop, which I didn’t do and a guitar workshop which Benedict had a try at (using Sam’s guitar; I knew it would be useful for something).  I also skived all the lectures to spend time with the children (and help supervise other children in the playroom).  We had Mass a lot of times (and how different it is from our own dumbed down hymn sandwich here in Lees) and made it to some of the recitals and other evening bashes, and I did the late night recorder session, which was fun. 

John spent a great deal of time with the children and helping in the playroom.  On the last day, I persuaded him to join in with the cricket friendly, which he enjoyed, but hurt his leg.  He enjoyed the Scratch of Showboat, we got some answers right in the pub quiz, the last night concert was very amusing.  John also thought that the orchestra was better than Oldham Symphony Orchestra of 2–3 years ago and he thought that singing the Davy Salve Regina at the end of the compline was nice; it was really atmospheric.

Since I hadn’t played violin in an orchestra for 2 and more years and hadn’t sung in a choir for 4 years – the last time we went to Spode – it was hard work; I don’t often think of singing and violin playing as physcial things, but they are.  Also with two long flights of stairs to our room, and a lot of carrying Hannah up them, I feel a great deal fitter, especially about the rib cage.  Also, some people were pleased to see me (which I haven’t been a lot recently, so it was gratifying) and nobody said ‘don’t your two look alike’.  This is partly because of the existance of several clans, so I suppose people probably expect children to look alike (and it helps learn whose they are).  Sam didn’t join in the children’s choir or orchestra, but next year we hope that he will.  Yes, indeed, we are going next year.

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