Monday, 24 May 2010

A weekend in the country

This weekend I toddled off to the Chilterns for a weekend of patter songs and drunkenness. The venue is not too far from High Wycombe and, as I knew I'd probably be late and was taking the train, I was reluctant to call for a lift. So Reg came along too.

The weather has been glorious and when I left High Wycombe station it was balmy and beautiful (if one looked away from the passed out drunk guy who'd thrown up on himself). The station is on an incredibly nasty hill so I was anxious not to go the wrong way and exhaust myself. I, of course, then went the wrong way. Once I'd walked Reg back up the hill we embarked on the right course and headed into the country.

I had my bright reflective seatbelt on and had my lights just in case because it's all tiny country lanes (with remarkably smooth tarmac) and cars come haring round the bends. It was mainly uphill but the inclines weren't too steep.

Around 20 minutes of wonderful cycling later I hit THE HILL. The venue for the weekend is up an enormous hill. It's near vertical in places and no one even walks up it. Well I did. I decided it attempting to cycle it wasn't worth the pain and, with my lights on in case of cars coming up, I set off.

A few cars passed me (I moved over for all of them as I had my ears on high alert). What I thought was very sweet was that a cab driver, having dropped off his charges and turned round, pulled over with his window down saying 'Keep going, you're nearly at the top and you're doing really well!' before giving me a cheery wave and disappearing down the hill.

I arrived late for the first rehearsal and ran in in lycra. Moomin had collected my music and attempted to hide her worry and assumption that I'd had a disaster. Reg was duly propped against some fencing for his first experience of being outdoors overnight and Gilbert and Sullivan's Ruddigore was wrestled into submission.

I had a fab weekend seeing people, singing and admiring beautiful small children and, in a flash, my time there was over. Moomin drove a lot of my stuff home to keep down the weight and I headed off into the early afternoon with the sun bright above me and so much suncream on I glistened.

It was mainly downhill to the station and it was gorgeous. One rude station staff member and a missed train later (I couldn't see the bike carriage) I was speeding towards London with a fellow singer who I haven't seen for years.

As we approached Wembley I suddenly realised it would probably be easier to cycle from there than to train to Marylebone, cycle to Paddington and take another train. I whipped out the incredibly useful mapping system on my phone to get my bearings and was soon on the road to Hanwell.

When I arrived I drank a pint of water and had a very cold shower. Blissful.

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