Wednesday, 13 April 2016

DAY 6: Choir Blog

We got up this morning with a collective feeling of 'this is the last day, lets make the most of it'. We trotted down to the usual delicious breakfast of, yes, you guessed it, Kippers (for Dominic Roberts), Full English or Eggs Benedict. This delicious breakfast was followed by a practice which was held at Saint Thomas's Church which included an interval where we could visit Pickwick's and stock up on sweets! After our practice we were permitted an hours free time where we could either choose to go into Douglas town centre, go to the beach or simply relax in the hotel. A delicious lunch was next - fish and chips followed by ice cream. Yum! After lunch all the boys were whisked off to Peel beach. Once onto the beach, the boys fought an advancing tide, ate ice cream and played a football match which ended 2-1. Sandy, sweaty and a little tired we set out to Saint Matthew's for another hours practice which, when we left, left us feeling confident about the service in the evening. Upon our return we quickly showered and smartened up into church clothes and arrived downstairs for dinner - Starter: Chicken Skewers, stuffed tomatoes or soup, Main: Whiting and mint sauce or chicken and mushroom pie, Pudding: Apple pie and cream or ice cream. Tummies full we left the Hydro and headed for Saint Mathew's. The service in the high Anglo-Catholic Church was brilliant even though the incense caused some of us to have hoarse voices. In this service we witnessed excellent readings from Lachlan W and Harry J, and moving prayers read by Thomas W. We also heard James B sing his first solo which was perfect - well done James! On our return to the hotel we had a quick supper and were then told to pack our bags ready for our journey home tomorrow. We are all looking forward to seeing our parents after an amazing week. 
Thank you to the staff and boys for making this week so fantastic. 
Thanks for keeping up and reading our blog. 
Maximilian Cross and Dominic Tapper
Head Choristers

DAY 5: Choristers' Blog

Yet another successful day! We began the day by breaking a record - for the first time in forty-three years all twenty two boys got a four. What an achievement...well done lads! This is probably down to the brilliant leadership of the fantastic team leaders who have made both ours and the staffs jobs so much easier - thank you very much messieurs Hurley, Thornley, Whalley (Happy Birthday by the way) and Ainsworth for your amazing contribution so far this week. Anyway, we're waffling on and instead all you want to hear about is our day isn't it? Well, of course, our day began with our "light" breakfast. Five stone heavier we departed for All Saints and began our first and only practice of the day. What a treat! Well, to say the practice was quick, efficient and effective is an understatement. Even if it did mean we missed our free time we were all proud of what we achieved. We arrived back at the hotel just in time for lunch which today consisted of southern fried chicken burgers and chips, followed by a trio of Manx ice cream, delicious! After lunch the senior boys were whisked off to the venture centre where they spent the afternoon shooting, pretending to be Robin Hood in archery and completing an obstacle course. We all came out completely caked in mud, or in Ben H's case, soaked in muddy water! For some reason Mrs Stockdale didn't want to join us...we wonder why? Meanwhile the juniors all went to Mooragh Park and went boating on the lake, which has been reported as brilliant. Fortunately, nobody fell in! When we arrived back at the Hydro we ate a meal of wedges and BBQ sauce or broccoli soup for starter, roast pork and stuffing or fish cakes for main and either lemon tart or ice cream for dessert. We left the Hydro to get to All Saints, however, when JC attempted to start his car it refused to go. Point five off we wonder! Anyway, eventually arriving at All Saints we sang a moving service which contained gorgeous solos from Daniel Hr and Finlay W and exceptional readings from James Jones and Jacob E, well done boys. Finally after an enjoyable day we arrived back at the hotel where we sang a quick happy birthday to Thomas W, pillaged his cake and then went to bed with our heads held high after our brilliant day (yet again)! Thank you for reading and please come back for an update tomorrow. 
Maximilian Cross and Dominic Tapper
Head Choristers

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

DAY 4: Choristers' Blog

Day four has almost definitely met our expectations!
It began with, of course, a breakfast of either Kippers (much to the delight of Harry S), a Full English or Eggs Benedict...'Feed me till I want no more' (hymn 368)! 
We then set out for Saint Thomas' where we set to work on our music for the day. We finished, proud of our musical ability but with our energy sapped. There was only one cure, sweets! After visiting Pickwick's we set off to either the hotel, beach or simply stayed in town. Many of us enjoyed a pleasant period of free time writing our postcards under the jurisdiction of Mrs. Cross. Lunch followed which today was Chilli Con Carne with Rice followed by Ice Cream for dessert. After lunch, the senior boys set out for the Old House of Keys and the junior boys journeyed South to Port Erin. The senior boys very much enjoyed making decisions that would benefit the future of the Isle of Man, and the junior boys played football and dug potholes upon the sandy shore line. With the excitement of the afternoon over we settled down to eat our evening meal. 
Starter: Vegetable Cream Soup or Meatballs with a Bolognese Sauce. 
Main: Herbed Chicken or Cod with Parsley Sauce. 
Dessert: Homemade Trifle or Trio of Manx Ice Cream. 
However, the day was not over yet as much was still to be done. Our service at Ballasalla was another success with beautiful solos from Ben H and Jack A. We were also very proud of the clear and precise readings from Ben H and Adam T and very moving prayers read by Thomas W. The sermon was brilliant too as we were given Smarties! Well done Rev.Rie, 2-2 for that one!! The congregation were very grateful for our leading of the service and even provided post service drinks, Fr. Shaun I hope you're taking note of this! After another eventful and exciting day we are all eager for tomorrow ... not least Thomas W, who turns 13 tomorrow. Please send your best wishes to Thomas on his special day through Mr. Sam. Thank you for reading and please come back for an update tomorrow. 
Maximilian Cross & Dominic Tapper 
Head Choristers

Sunday, 10 April 2016

DAY 3: Choristers' Blog

After a successful day yesterday we were eager to begin our morning and experience all that was in store today.
Despite being rather tired from the excitement of yesterday we all rose at 7:45am and went downstairs for the usual small breakfast of Kippers, full english or eggs benedict. After stocking up from our bankers we set out in the glorious sunshine to Saint Thomas' Church to sing Eucharist where we had a brilliant service which consisted of an amazing solo by
Jack A and two young men read the readings excellently (guess which two handsome gents read!). Once we finished the service, we returned to the hotel for a delicious lunch. Today this was duck pâté, followed by a roast dinner and finished off with chocolate mousse. With our belly's full we spent our afternoon relaxing in the hotel playing cards, talking and watching the football. Meanwhile, Harry ventured to Ramsey early to begin his organ work. At around three o'clock we all set off to Ramsey and prepared for the masses of food that we were about to be presented with. Let's just say, we were not disappointed! The word generous cannot even begin to describe how much food we were greeted with. There were mountains of sandwiches, lakes of juice and country's of cakes. Now with our tummies full we staggered into the service. After two great readings by Finlay W and Patrick H we experienced two brilliant solos by Jack A and Thomas W which rounded off yet another busy but successful day and our backdrop was a gorgeous sunset seen from the mountain road.
Thank you for reading and please come back for an update tomorrow.
Maximilian Cross & Dominic Tapper 
   Head Choristers

Saturday, 9 April 2016

DAY 2: Choristers' Blog

Day two has been another success!
We began our day with an early get up of 7:45 -  some boys were convinced that this time does not exist! After a light breakfast of cereal, juice, eggs benedict, full english and kippers we set out to Saint Thomas' where we had a two hour practice with a fifteen minute interval. During this time we had the first of our traditional trips to Pickwicks where we topped up on all kinds of things which were stealthily transported back to the practice room away from Mrs. Stockdale's watchful eye!
The hours free time that followed gave boys time to venture in to the town or play on the quite nippy Douglas beach. With our spirits high and our stomachs empty we began a lunch of pea soup followed by chicken curry and chips completed by ice cream, all of which seemed to be consumed in a matter of seconds. Next was another practice in Saint Thomas' where the boys could inspect the building and all its fabulous tapestry's, whilst Harry could tinkle away on the, as he described it, brilliant organ. The practice was a complete success and we all felt very prepared for the service which was to happen at 8:00pm. However, due to our excellence, we finished the practice at 3:00pm ... what on earth were we going to do with the rest of the day? Well, in order to fix this crisis, we just had to go to the Isle of Man National Sports Centre, where all the boys enjoyed an afternoon swimming which involved splashing the organ scholar, head choristers and team leaders. On our arrival back at the hotel we quickly showered and speedily changed into our smart church clothes and got ourselves into the dining room in time for dinner (when we say, in time, we mean everyone except for the boys of room 500: James J, Jacob E, Daniel H and James C!). This meal was yet again three courses! For starter, spicy chicken wings and BBQ sauce (and judging by the sweat on Mr. Sam's face they were spicy), then for main course either shepherds pie, fish cakes or cannelloni and garlic bread and for desert, black forest gateau! Yum! We could not, however, merely sit back and relax, much was still to be done. The service was a complete success and, as we were told later by the congregation, our singing was deeply moving. On our arrival back at the Hydro we had a quick glass of juice and some biscuits and are now drifting off to bed. Tired, but excited at what tomorrow holds, we shall all sleep sound tonight and are eager to witness what the rest of this amazing week will hold. Thank you for reading, please come back to read more about our course tomorrow.
Maximilian Cross & Dominic Tapper 
Head Choristers

DAY 1: Choristers' Blog

After a swift boarding on the Mannanan, much to Mrs. Stockdale's delight, we had a calm crossing across the notorious Irish Sea. We arrived in Douglas in high spirits not allowing the rain to dampen them. All the boys unpacked as swiftly as possible, in order to catch the mini-buses to Douglas Head. Under windy conditions, with a bit of drizzle, the younger choristers still found time to throw pebbles in the surprisingly clear blue sea. Meanwhile, the older boys (Team Leaders and Head Choristers) ventured to Ramsey to Mr. Catterall's flat in order to pick up Mrs. Stockdale's beloved Gloria. For those of you who don't know, Gloria is Mr. Catterall's blue Citroén. We arrived back just in time for a delicious dinner. The lavish three course meal consisted of either prawn cocktail, brie wedgies and cranberry sauce or vegetable soup for starter. For main, curry and rice, fish and tartar sauce or roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, many of the boys referred to these as baked puddings! We washed all of this down with a nice healthy portion of either ice cream or cremé brûlée. Our evening wasn't over yet though as still much was to be done. Through the pouring rain we battled our way in mini busses to Saint Thomas Wren ... sorry Saint Thomas' Church, where we perfected our processing and left our robes and books in place for tomorrow. On our arrival back at the Hydro we were greeted by a fabulous array of biscuits and juice provided by the wonderful Mrs. Cross (that should get me some grandson points!). 
It has been a long yet successful day and we are all suffering from fatigue. It's time for bed and we're all glad to comply. We are all looking forward to our first service in Saint Thomas Whalley's ... sorry Saint Thomas' Church tomorrow and there is an excited buzz about the prospect of visiting the baths. 
Thank you for reading and please come back tomorrow to read more of our doings.
Maximilian Cross & Dominic Tapper 
Head Choristers