After dinner was the first of the lecturers’ exams. The candidate was Patrick Lundy and his chosen subject was a very brief history of beekeeping. I sat right at the back of the hall so I could sneak out to choir practice at 7pm without causing a disturbance.
I picked up a leaflet about South Devon BKA’s Convention to be held on 17th October at Totnes. It looks very good and I’d like to go, however, on consulting my diary, I noticed that my son, Charlie, is getting married in Scotland adjacent Loch Lomond then and I can’t be in two places at once.
The lecture went well and I’m sure Patrick will have passed his exam but I left before his second, impromptu, lecture and the questions and answers. I noted that I should read Aristotle (if I can find a copy in English) and Tom Seeley’s Honeybee Democracy, which I have but have never got around to reading.
Choir practice was fun! We had difficulty in getting into the Chapel as the front door was locked; also some people were late but eventually there were about 30 of us. The usual organist/organiser, Sean Barrett, is on the sick list, having had a stroke and his place was taken by a lady, Mary Barry if I heard her name aright.
The organ was too loud! It was drowning us! Claire Kehoe was choir mistress and did a wonderful job, enthusiastically waving her arms and mouthing at us. I find it easier to keep time if I can read her lips while singing. The practice went well beyond the alloted span and it was about 8.30 by the time we left.
I had been sharing music with a small blonde lady, Caroline, and after practice we, together with a father and daughter from Donegal, walked down the road to The Huntsman. Thankfully, the rain had more or less stopped by then. I had a bottle of Guinness off the warm shelf and Caroline a cool draught pint.
We talked bees all evening, as you’d expect, being joined by a pair of Irish ladies doing the course for the first time when the first couple we were with left. When it was Caroline’s round, she came back with a free sample of ‘black velvet’: Guinness with blackcurrant juice. It was horrible! We left it.
We left at about 11 and walked back in the dark, taking care of traffic and flashing our torches. One car stopped and the lady driving it handed out a ‘high vis’ vest to wear, even though one of us was already wearing one. I was in bed by midnight and slept much better than the previous night.