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Published: June 27th 2015
Wednesday 24 June 2015
This is the day we make our much anticipated quick trip to London to attend a concert at The Wigmore Hall, where our daughter Joanne Is to sing. As proud parents we are delighted to have this rare opportunity to hear our opera singer perform at this highly regarded concert venue.
Our day started early with a short drive to Menningen Airport where the budget airlines make dreams come true. So early did we arrive that we managed breakfast and were still first in the line at the counter to show our NZ passports and get the seal of approval to proceed through security. One of our party received the full body pat down after many beeps and worried looks from the staff. Perhaps the odd metal screw in one foot caused the problem, but in the end shoes were returned and through we went.
Our flight was boarded and left ahead of schedule. After a smooth ride we arrived at London Stansted Airport with the heaviest landing we have ever experienced! Let's hope the plane suffered no damage as tomorrow we fly back to Menningen again. A warm welcome to the UK came in the form of "Kia ora" from the Immigration official and soon we were on the Stansted Express train to Liverpool Street Station, where fast moving crowds of people reminded us we're not in Alexandra now! We had plenty of time to make our way to The Wigmore Hall but a bite of lunch was required first. In London we have found that people generally make a point of minding their own business and not interacting with strangers, especially where public transport is concerned. In a cafe at the station a woman seated next to us suddenly asked if we would keep her seat as she needed to go and find her mother. This began a chain of good humoured interaction with others joining in too. Mother was found and we went on our way down to the Underground to catch the tube to Bond Street, then a shortish walk to The Wigmore Hall.
This concert venue is a most beautiful place with acoustics said to be the best in London for musical performance. Today's concert involved artists who are partially sighted or blind. These talented and hard working musicians have all been assisted in different ways by a Memorial Fund administered by the UK's RNIB. It was a great privilege to be there and realise what is possible when barriers are removed. And what a feeling to be in the audience to see and hear our daughter perform with such artistry on stage, in that beautiful setting. We really must do this more often!
After the concert some socialising and an early dinner together then farewells and time to retrace our journey as far as a hotel close to Stansted Airport, where a few hours sleep would prepare us for an early flight back to Germany next morning.
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