Thursday, May 19, 2011

Madrigals Reunited

Years and years ago (forty in fact), in 1971, I went with a group of very special friends to Yugoslavia and other countries in Europe. The tour was also for a special purpose. We were all members of a Madrigal group, and we sang these beautifully harmonised medieval and baroque songs in the most marvellous places along the way: Luxembourg, Salzburg and Dubrovnik to name but a very few.

This year, there will be a reunion of the group, and somehow, I will make sure I am there. We will sing together again (although I can imagine our voices will have lost that youthful quality now), laugh together again (that never fails) and catch up with all those lost years.

The organiser of the reunion, affectionately known as The Drain because his name was Adrian, has started a blog, and I've had my heart stopped by the memories several times. It's been wonderful to find out what these old friends have been up to. I guess there was always something adventurous about all of us, because most of us seem to have either lived overseas or spent some years overseas, or still (like me) live away from the UK. There is one I've been looking for for several years, and had I known it, I could have visited easily....all the time I lived in South Africa, she was in Botswana - just across the border. In fact, she still lives there, so maybe that's a good excuse for a holiday trip?

The photo above (published courtesy of Andi Broom as was) is of just a few of our group. I remember each and every one of them with deep affection, and in fact the boy with the red hair was even, briefly, a romantic attachment at one time. I can't remember whether it was before or after this trip, though. Can anyone spot me in the group?


  1. you arew wearing the pink turtle neck, I just know it.

    My trip to spain was to reunite with two college chums and to meet their offspring. Selfishly, I miss our equal days of freedom.

    Will be wonderful for you to sing again. What a cool group to be a part of. You have me thinking of bright events to do with Dubrovnik (what can I say?).

    Very tired today. One week ago I was about to board the plane.

    ahh. the werld! xo

  2. Yes, that must be you in the pink turtle neck! I agree with Gina.

    What a wonderful reunion. Singing your way across Europe must have been quite the adventure!

    I, too, have had my memory jogged, as my dear school friend, Bridget, has posted some high school grad pics - that I had no idea even existed! That's how good my memory is...

    I miss you.


  3. Pink turtle neck times three.

    Love the idea of your reunion. Do you need a manager to navigate your European dates and keep the fans at bay?


  4. Gina, Dale, Anne Marie, the pink turtle neck it is. You are right, and it gives me a few crumbs of comfort to know that I am still slightly recognisable :)

    It was a wonderful trip, and we even sang to President Tito, although I don't actually remember doing so..haha. My most vivid memory was of walking through Dubrovnik and being struck by its medieval beauty (I've always loved history). The other memory was singing at the Bishop's Palace in Salzburg. The acoustics were amazing and I thought we'd never sounded so good.

    Gina, it's great to hear you have also just met up with old friends. Tiring it might be, but it's good for the soul xx

    Dale, I've missed you too. Isn't it a funny feeling when people post pics of you that you didn't know about? I have found it quite an emotional experience! xox

    Anne Marie, if the occasion arises, you'll be the first to get the call :) It would be great to have you along xx

  5. If Anne-Marie is manager, I want to be a roadie! It is lovely to be back in touch with old friends, plenty to catch up on. Mind you if they have read your books, they will be way ahead on your story than you on theirs! Have a good weekend x

  6. I'm so happy you've made contact with this group again. You've often told us the stories of your tour with them and I'm sure it will be a very special experience to be able to see them all again and catch up. It always amazes me how very little effect time can have a lasting friendship, even if years pass before you see each other again.


  7. I was thinking the pink turtleneck aswell.
    What fun you all had. And will have at your renunion!!


  8. yeah! of course you are recognizable! lovely, lovely you.

  9. Fran, join the crew. Sounds great! I have now made contact with my friend in Botswana, so the news is spreading. It's fantastic to think we might see each other again.

    Dojo, you're right. In many cases it's as if time has stood still.

    Grace, you're right, and I remember that pink turtle neck well, also the maroon levi cords I was wearing. I was so proud of having real levis.



Apologies for switching on comment moderation, but this is to make sure everyone can comment without jumping through captcha hoops! However, anonymous comments will not be published, so please would you sign your name.