Edinburgh 8-10th November 2019

November was the month that saw the Ladies travelling north of the border for
the first time, all the way up to Edinburgh. Because of the distance involved
some of us travelled up a day early and had a wonderful time exploring the
charity shops and all the other splendours that Edinburgh had to offer. Others
travelled up by rail in style and partook of all the goodies that the First Class
ticket entitled them to! We all converged at Liz and Andrew’s house on Friday
for tea followed by sectional rehearsals – always a useful time to sort out those
tricky little bits.
Saturday we left early to go down to St. Vincent’s church which was our venue
for the concert that night. As always it was lovely to be able to set up and
practise in the venue itself, even if it was a trifle chilly! We had plenty of space
despite the positioning of the font and even Janet had plenty of room for all
her kit and Fiona, a lovely friend of Liz’s, brought us soup and sandwiches for
our lunches.
The evening was amazing. There was a queue constantly coming through the door
and we ended up with 113 in the audience – that must be a record! The Scottish
certainly love their accordions. Wine, soft drinks and cake were served during
the interval and we were getting a lot of positive feedback from the audience.
Also we were delighted to welcome Alexander McCall Smith, author of the
famous No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency books, who had come to the concert
especially, despite having only recently flown back into the country and
suffering from jetlag. He presented us with 2 copies of his latest book and said
that Mma Ramotswe thoroughly approved of the orchestra and would love to
join it – if only she could play the accordion! At the end we had people dancing in
the aisle and a standing ovation – a fabulous and enthusiastic audience! And a
lovely debut for Janet, our new percussionist. Some of the ladies even had
enough energy to go to the local pub afterwards and play there too.

Sunday morning we transferred to another hall for rehearsal of new repertoire.
This hall was even chillier than the church and we looked a motley crew in our
hats, gloves and shawls, some of us even had blankets and coats draped over us!
But we were all thoroughly enjoying the new pieces. We split up in the
afternoon, some had to go home because of the long journey, some went up to
Arthur’s seat, others to the museum, some to the Castle and Royal Mile and
some to Rhoslyn Chapel – all had a lovely time and decided that Edinburgh is
indeed a beautiful city.
Back to Liz’s for another lovely meal and then out to Henderson’s wine shop for
a musical wine tasting! Much fun was had by all. Debi got all the answers about
the different wines right, Jane was serenading us on the accordion, David, who
ran the wine bar and who had so kindly set all this up for us, played both the
piano and the accordion, there was even dancing! One group went on to another
pub where they joined a session with Sandy Brechin, whilst the lightweights
went back to Liz’s and attacked the cheese board and chatted.
Big thanks to Liz, Andrew, Bevis and all the other helpers who worked tirelessly
in the background, cooking, clearing up, transporting people and accordions and
just being so kind! It all made it truly a weekend to remember.
Our next weekend will be in late November where we have 2 concerts. The first is in
the Malvern Cube, Malvern on Saturday 30 th November at 7.30pm, and the
second one is in the Memorial Hall in Upton-on-Severn On Sunday 1 st December
at 2pm. It will be lovely to catch up with many of our Worcestershire friends
over the weekend.