Friday, December 21, 2012

The Purple Coat

Yesterday was a long day, which is why I'm not getting around to blogging until 8 a.m.! It was the last day of school before winter break, and after finding a few substitutes in the morning for teachers who had the bad taste to have a crisis on the last day of school, I had to visit school myself to run some job-related errands. I had to have the "bat phone" (the sub request phone) repaired, and had to pass it off to my boss so someone could cover the night before the first day of school in January, because Dave and I will still be returning from Florida at that point.

(Oh yeah -- I haven't mentioned that. British Airways oversold our return flight on Jan. 3, so they're sending us home on Jan. 6 in business class! Alas, I'll be back in London too late to be on call that first night before school starts.)

Anyway, I then had to kill a couple of hours, so I went for a long walk, even though it was raining and generally miserable. My photography teacher, back in January, emphasized that we should be open to taking pictures in all sorts of weather. So I tried.

I walked through Regent's Park, wondering what on earth I would find to photograph in such a bleak, empty landscape. Fortunately a woman showed up wearing a brilliant purple coat, so I shadowed her, walking up ahead, setting up a shot and waiting for her to wander through.

It won't win any prizes, but it's something.

After enduring rain-spattered pant legs and shrouding my camera in a scarf for a few hours, I arranged to meet Dave at the home of his coworker Lorraine, who was hosting the music department's holiday party. We hung out with his coworkers for a few hours, and then went off with Gordon to meet his wife and attend "A Ceremony of Carols" at the Priory Church of St. Bartholomew the Great, in the Smithfield area of central London. It included a performance by a small choir (maybe eight people?) and a harpist. Terrific! We sang a few familiar carols, including "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear," though the latter threw Dave and me because it's sung with an entirely different melody here in England.

Afterwards, of course, the pub.

By the time we got home I was so happy to put down all my camera gear and relax.


Lynne said...

You are indeed brave to photograph in the rain! How good of your unknown person to oblige you by wearing a purple coat. I journeyed out yesterday too in the GRAY but at least it wasn't raining.

Will you still continue to blog while in Florida? I hope so! 3 extra days of vacation + business class sounds good to me!

Singing carols sounds wonderful! How festive! One of my favorites is Good King Wenceslas--did you sing that one?

Steve Reed said...

Lynne: Yes, I intend to blog from Florida. We'll see how that goes! We didn't sing "Good King Wenceslas" at the church, but we DID sing it at the office party -- someone mentioned the line about the snow being deep and crisp and even, and that led to a bout of singing!

Ms. Moon said...

I forget- where in Florida are you going to be? Funny that we'll be in the same state.
Prepare for culture shock, dear.

utahDOG! said...

Lookit you! Stalking the Grape Ape!

Sharon said...

I especially like the second photo. I've never been to Regent's Park. I'll have to put that on my list for next visit.

The Bug said...

Ooh I love the purple coat! I'm fond of my red one, but that purple...

We leave for NC tomorrow. We're going to see the Nutcracker at the Dayton (OH) ballet tonight. And I haven't packed. I think I should send my dad an email that we might be kind of late getting in tomorrow night :)