It was a lovely warm summers day. Saturday afternoon in June, perfect.
Antony and I were walking into town on one of our regular visits. Suddenly his mobile phone rang and it was his good friend Vivien, who is a fellow member of the choir where they both attend on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, her car had broken down and it would mean missing the Bromsgrove Singing Festival in the Park, which was to take place the following day.
She had kindly arranged to take Antony to the afternoon performance, but this was sadly no longer going to be possible.
It was obvious from the phone call that they were both very disappointed, as everyone had practiced extremely hard for just such an occasion. Antony and his friend are wonderfully generous people, so it was without hesitation that I offered to pick them up and take them to Bromsgrove, to stay for the concert and return them home afterward. When asked how much it would cost them for my services, I replied “two cheese and tomato sandwiches and a bowl of strawberries and cream”.
We set off at 12.30p.m. on the Sunday with a sense of childlike excitement and anticipation of the performance, laughing and joking all the way to Bromsgrove.
We arrived at the park at which point we promptly set up a picnic, which Vivien had generously prepared and as I do not eat meat or fish, the food was all vegetarian. Antony has been trying unsuccessfully, as he puts it, “to convert me back to eating meat”, so I was grateful for the thoughtfulness and thoroughly enjoyed the look that Antony flashed to me when she informed us of her choice of picnic food. We ate vegetarian sandwiches, vegetarian sausages, followed by vegetarian strawberries and cream. We were happy to settle for two out of three very satisfied diners. Sorry, Antony!
The singing was wonderful and the highlight of the concert was their rendition of the James Bond theme tune ‘Skyfall’, originally performed by Adele. At the end of a very enjoyable set, the choir returned to where their families were camped out and I sat with Antony, laughing and joking as we normally do, while Vivien performed her best impersonation of a social butterfly catching up with friends and fellow members of the choir.
The predicted rainfall arrived late in the afternoon and we hurried to the car carrying with our chairs, rugs and picnic hampers. We returned to Worcester, a little wetter than we had set off, but in high spirits from such a wonderful outing.
Thank you to Antony and wonderful Vivien for accepting my offer to help, it was a truly lovely experience and one that I am very grateful that I could share with you both.