I was in bed soon after 11 on Tuesday evening and got off to sleep fairly promptly despite late arrivals from the pub in the early hours. I did wake a couple of times and found the annual snoring competition in full swing! There was a dawn chorus of seagulls at about 5.30 and, as I no longer felt tired, I got up before 6 and was probably first at the 3Ss.
I got to the quire in plenty of time, one of the first, much earlier than Claire, our leaderine. The little lady who came to stand and sing next to me again told me that she hadn’t left the pub until about 1.30 in the morning. I used to do that 10 years ago when I was her age, but at The Cock from where I sometimes returned at about 4am!
I think the congregation outnumbered the choir about 3:2. The singing went well and the musicians (who had been at the pub) did a good job. Michael Gleeson brought us the Communion wafers.
We left and headed for the breakfast queue. I had porage and yoghourt again, with a spoon of my fellow chorister’s rape honey. Once upon a time there was eggs, bacon etc for breakfast but those days are gone with the new management regime.
The first lecture of the day was Robert Paxton on Social Organisation of the Bee Colony (the dark side of the hive). He took it at the gallop for an hour and a quarter showing lots of ‘family tree’ diagrams of relationships between various castes of bees and other people. It all seemed fairly familiar and logical and I didn’t learn a lot, almost nodding off at times.
There was time for a quick cup of coffee and a glimse of the honey show before heading for the next lecture: ‘Analysis of Honey – How and Why?’ by Conan MacDonnell.
On my way there, an idea entered my head: what about taking a colony and feeding it on sugar flavoured with, maybe, coffee, cinammon or spices? It would probably be illegal to label it as ‘Honey’, but ‘Cut Comb’ could be legal, accurate and interesting. I might give it a try somewhen.
Conan’s talk was really excellent (apart from the spelling mistakes on the slides) and my notes extended to two full pages instead of the usual half. I just hope I can read my writing!