Saturday, July 16, 2011

Chip Off the Auld Block

Strange as it may be to say, we didn't really worry about Fenya whilst she was an ocean away.

Sure, she was missed, especially at mealtimes, but she was in such good hands, that we never needed to worry. Instead, we would wonder about how the weather was in Liverpool that day, or what she would be seeing the following day.

She returned today, and as we'd hoped, she was far too busy having fun to get homesick for us as well. Incredibly fatigued, a little scaly about the head due to a lack of hot water in the hostels they stayed in, but remarkably upbeat. It sounds as though her first international tour with Cantilon Chamber Choir was a tremendous experience.

She saw lots of interesting sights and did lots of interesting things, but what I found most interesting was how her reactions to certain situations paralleled Audrey's and my own.

* In a group of 40+ choristers, she was one of only three who ordered a curry for dinner when offered one.

* When they visited Stonehenge, she was one of the few who took advantage of the audio tour, and then regaled her traveling companions with what she had learned ("Oh! And if you stand here during the equinox...").

* "Look, we can get a pepperoni pizza back home, but we can only get a 'Full English Breakfast pizza' in England, right? Right? Guys?"

* Touring Windsor Castle, she served as unofficial tour guide for her companions (all of whom are older than her), and even got to to work in the fact that the castle is a brilliant example of Perpendicular Gothic Architecture (thanks Wikipedia!).

* She bought four different teddy bears for her sister, and only a cardigan, plaque and book for herself. The book? One of the 'Horrible Histories' series, entitled 'Cut-Throat Celts'. My old boss Mark started her off with 'Rotten Romans', and they are quite good.

* She was one of a number of choristers who hijacked a computer in Llangollen used for revealing competition results to send a quick e-mail home ("I'm in Wales!").

* "So we couldn't perform at Windsor Chapel? Because William Shatner was doing Shakespeare there for the BBC! And so we went to the movies instead, and I asked if I could go to see William Shatner instead, but I was the only one who wanted to, so they said no. So we went to see Harry Potter, on opening night, in London!"

We barbecued burgers with mushrooms tonight, and Fenya was very appreciative. "We had burgers in England, and they tasted like beef jerky."

"We have some of the best beef in the world in Alberta, and sometimes we forget how lucky we are," I told her.

Fenya nodded, "Yeah, really lucky. In lots of ways."

No kidding? Me too.

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