Managed to persuade Rosemary to go out for a musical occasion. We were going to see a performance of some of the works of the band Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Both Keith Emerson and Greg Lake are dead. Carl Palmer the sole surviving band member was the drummer, and with two other guitarists was touring Europe performing the works of ELP. Yes, they played the complete album side of Tarkus.
The concert was at The Stables in Milton Keynes, I had never been there, whereas Rosemary had, on a school trip with Selina when Selina was at middle school.
We started off by visiting Ikea and had supper there. I know how to treat a lady on a dinner date! Then it was on to The Stables for the concert. There was a support band, 4th Labyrinth, loud and not my taste, although the keyboardist had a good line in banter. R felt the female bassist would have a headache at the end due to all the dreadlock hair tossing she did. Carl Palmer then came on, his huge drum kit taking pride of place. The two supporting artists Paul Bielatowicz and bassist Simon Fitzpatrick played the guitars. Simon Fitzpatrick played the Chapman Stick for most of the concert. The music was recognisable as ELP, but very different. Well, of course, there was no keyboard. Despite the different instruments and interpretation, the music was excellent, even R agreed.
Carl Palmer intimated he was putting together an ELP 50th anniversary tour with some ‘A’ list musicians. Shall keep a look out for that.
We drove over to Leicester to stay for the weekend with Norman and Valerie. Richard and Andrea also stayed over. They had been visiting Leicester to see a preacher being installed into his new church in Leicester. Saturday we visited the Cradock Arms for a beer, and then walked back home. We saw the new garden shed, Valerie’s pride and joy.
Evening arrived, with Richard and Andrea duly arriving for supper after the church service.
Sunday after breakfast, the men plus Andrea, went for a walk around the University of Leicester Botanic Garden. Afterwards, we all visited the Lansdowne for a traditional English Sunday Roast. Well at least the men stayed with tradition, the women failed to follow tradition and ate off the standard menu.
Visited our local nature reserve in the hope of seeing some exciting birds. A new hide had recently been opened overlooking some scrapes. This hide is several hundred meters from the existing two hides. The walk is along the edge of the field on a raised bank. The final part is fenced off to hide the birders from the birds. The new hide is open at the back, and once you open the viewing windows the cold wind starts to drive through. Not a conducive place to sit in the winter. Maybe the summer will be better, but wait it will be closed because those little feathered creatures will be raising their broods! Anyway, there was not much to be seen, maybe a blue tit in the hedgerow.
Back now to the old hides, where there are some feeders. Here at least were some garden birds, a robin, coal tit, blue tit and a reed bunting. Out on the island in the pond, a single wagtail appeared. Not a good day birding.
Today was a lovely bright and not overly cold day, so off we set to RSPB Otmoor to check out the Starlings. Would we recognise our local Starlings as they came in to roost in the reed bed! We arrived at around 2.45, the car park was already full, bar one space for us. We headed out slowly looking for birds. To be honest, there were not many around, the scrapes were empty. The walk to the reed bed is around 1500-2000 meters. There are several viewing points, we chose one a little bit further on, where there should be a few fewer people.
Shortly after sunset the Starlings started to arrive and did their murmuration bit. Interesting how small groups of birds had to join in with the big group before going in to roost. Once roosted there were large waves of starlings flying over the tops of the reeds as they moved around to other locations.
As we were leaving we saw a green flash in the sky, fairly low down and travelling North. The trail was very short, and it seemed to travel slower than a meteor, and faster than a sattelite. The short trail was also quite wide. It was visible for a couple of seconds. No idea what it was.