On Saturday 14 Jan, I ventured forth to Kardomah 94 to take part in the inaugural meeting of the Rainbow Choir; as you might suspect from its name, it is designed for LGBT singers , but all were welcome, so I thought I’d go and lend a helping voice. I did have to confess to being a CIS female, though 🙂
The session went very well, and I look forward to the next one. Kardomah is a lovely café bar, with a big meeting room at the back hired out for all sorts of stuff, including music and City of Culture volunteer training. It’s also about 1.5 miles from home, so I thought I’d walk down. Bad move. My faithful FitFlop boots had got Very Wet Indeed a few months ago, and that was the first time I’d worn them since; they rubbed my right heel unmercifully, and by the time I’d limped home again, my foot was bleeding. Ho hum.
Last night, 25 Jan 2017, I went to my first Heartsong session. I’ve been trying to do this for ages, but Stuff has always conspired against me. So glad I made it, as I really enjoyed it. I cycled there and back, 6.4 miles round trip. Go me.
In Volunteering, I did an afternoon at Ferens Gallery on Friday 20 Jan, and enjoyed it muchly. Saw the exhibition of Bacon’s Screaming Popes, which didn’t do much for me, although I do generally like Bacon (and bacon). And then on Sunday, I did 5.5 hours helping out with interviews for the next wave of City of Culture volunteers.
And we’re off. The year started with In With a Bang, a massive firework display, timed to start at 20:17 (geddit) on 1st January 2017. I’m not especially fond of fireworks, and I’m even less fond of crowds, so I didn’t bother trying for tickets, nor for volunteering opportunities. But it was a huge success, and we thank the BBC for broadcasting it live, both on the BBC News Channel and Radio Humberside.
After that, it was Made in Hull, a breathtaking set of projections onto various buildings in Hull: City Hall, Maritime Museum, Ferens Art Gallery, Scale Lane Staith, C4Di, and The Deep, along with various installations in Zebedee Square and Whitefriargate. This ran from 1.1 to 7.1, and we pottered down on the Thursday, thinking that the worst of the crowds would be over. Oh. No. The city was heaving, although we managed to get a) a coffee, and b) a meal in the Lion and Key. The highlight for me was “Arrivals and Departures”, projected onto The Deep, a building that really could have been made for this purpose (although, of course, it is a very fine aquarium as well). This was the piece that I was involved in, chorally speaking, before Christmas. Very emotional.
Apparently these two events brought 342,ooo visitors to Hull in seven days, with 103,000 on the last day – absolutely amazing.
And then … and then … The Blade.
Rumours had abounded for a few days about something “huge” arriving for the next exhibit. Excitement abounded. The A63 was to be closed early on Sunday morning for a Very Wide Load. People thought it might be Amy Johnson’s plane, Jason – unlikely, as it is on the third floor of the Science Museum in London, and too fragile to be moved. It might, though, be a replica of Jason, although it was uncertain where such an item might be obtained. My money was on something to do with Siemens, who have poured money into an offshore wind turbine factory down on the docks, and I was right, but I didn’t realise just what was going on.
It was a wind turbine blade, a slip of a thing at 75m long. That’s 75 metres long. It left the factory at about 2:30 a.m. on a huge vehicle, and trundled at about 1 mph from the docks, down Lowgate and into the city centre – I applaud the driver, as there must have been very little room for manoeuvre through those tight corners. We popped down at lunchtime to see how they were getting on, and it’s just majestic – so looking forward to seeing it properly on Tuesday, when I’m next in town. It is one of the first batch of blades to come off the production line, and it is absolutely and utterly in keeping with the first quarter’s theme of Made in Hull – the city’s history moving forward. They have donated it, so I hope the council will find it a permanent home, because it can’t stay in Victoria Square past March 18th.
Not done too much of this lately – a couple of stints on the Pod before Christmas, which were great fun, though c o l d. And then a brief stint at the Lines of Thought exhibition up at the University. This was quite uneventful, really, and I didn’t even get to see the drawings, but I shall go up there before it finishes and take a look as a civilian. I will just say that I cycled there, and indeed back – 8 mile round trip, and my speeds are getting better. Go me.
Tomorrow, I’m off to Scunthorpe on the BBC Radio Humberside bus. May the lord, etc.
Last Wednesday (7 Dec) I attended an “awareness” course on The Terror Threat. This was given on behalf of the National Counter Terrorism Security Office, and was held at Hull University’s Wilberforce Building. Now, this place is the other side of town from me, and involves quite a hairy route for a nervous cyclist, so I thought – no problem, I’ll catch a bus; only £3.10 for an all day ticket.
A slight hitch is that we have two bus companies in Hull: East Yorkshire Motor Services, and Stagecoach. Pete informed me that I wanted Stagecoach from town to Cottingham Road, so I boarded one of their buses here in East Hull, which conveyed me safely to Hull Paragon Interchange. Where I discovered that all the buses out towards the Uni were EMYS. I hurtled over to the station cash machine, thinking my only hope was to buy another day ticket, and on my way back to the bus bays, discovered one Stagecoach bus saying it went to the University. Sadly, it went near the University, but I legged it the ¼ mile, and was only five minutes late. And was offered a lift home by kind Brian.
The course was … odd. It’s the one they give to security guards, etc., and to be honest we are volunteers. I think we all felt that this sort of thing was rather above our pay grade, to be honest, but no matter – the whole point of this particular course was to get feedback, so hopefully they took it all on board.
Yesterday (Sun 11), I took myself off to St Charles Borromeo RC Church in Hull; someone at Holy Trinity a couple of weeks ago had said they needed some singers, so I thought “why not”. I haven’t set foot in a Catholic church in decades – a convent boarding school education will do that to you – but the sights, sounds and most distinctly smells don’t really leave you. It was a service for refugees, and quite nicely done, but a bit more Goddish than I generally feel comfortable with.
Oh, and I got my bike’s back brake cable fixed by Jobes on Saturday – a fiver! Really can’t grumble at that.