Congratulations to the Parkerilla whose Monday post on the boat in Kingston beat this morning's Metro by a full four days. If you are a Metro reader it's on page 12.
Now, if anything in this post comes across as being even vaguely snobbish then I implore you to immediately banish that thought from your mind and just accept that I'm a normal person with simple tastes, and if you don't believe me then you can ask my butler.
Followers of my Twitter feed will have noticed that I took Brinkster Junior to the Royal Albert Hall last Saturday for a thing called the "Classical Spectacular", produced by the dubiously named Raymond Gubbay, which promised a show with all kinds of popular classical pieces accompanied by a lightshow, lasers, pyrotechnics and gunfire.... our kind of thing in other words. In my youth about the only classical music I would listen to was the theme from Star Wars and my father's attempts to bring some more general classical enlightenment fell on deaf ears.... more often than not genuinely deaf in the post-loud-gig ringing sense. Roll forward a few years and now I'm a bit of a classical/opera fan and it's now my turn to torture my own children with classical music.
Miss Brinkster has accompanied me on some of my operatic trips to ones I thought she might enjoy as she can be impeccably behaved when necessary but I thought that would be a hurdle to high for the eight year-old Brinkster Junior to leap so I thought that I'd take him to something where his fidgetings and murmurings might be covered up by the sound of gunfire i.e. a bit more relaxed than your average opera.
Booking tickets was a surprise as I first tried and failed to get tickets last for last November's show (Classical gigs selling out? Who'd have thought it?) so plumped for March but what I hadn't grasped until we got there was that the raison d'etre of the whole thing was basically The Proms for the over-60s complete with end-of-the-pier banter from the conductor.
It wasn't lacking in quality though with the London Philarmonic Orchestra, band of the Welsh Guards and Royal Choral Society all playing their part but sometimes the fact that they were playing through a massive PA made me feel like I was listening to a CD and they might all be miming. The high points were many with the noisy 1812 Overture and extracts from Barber of Seville being amongst my personal favourites but inevitably Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Brittania prompted massed Union-Jack waving (free with the programme) and heralded the descent of hundreds of red, white and blue balloons into the audience. It was a bit of a romp through the classical catalogue rather than a calming stroll but was fun and I can recommend it if you like that sort of thing, and particularly if you're old enough to remember when Britain had an Empire.
As for Brinkster Junior? He thought the music from Fantasia was best with the 1812 close behind and wants to go again next time. Result!
Royal Albert Hall