In the lamplight

25th November 2009 | Concerts, Daily Life, Florestan Trio, Musings | 0 comments

dusk was falling as we arrived

dusk was falling as we arrived

We went to Cambridge to play a concert in Peterhouse, the oldest and smallest of Cambridge University’s colleges. Our travel plans had gone awry, and we arrived an hour late and a bit agitated. Dusk was falling, and by the time we finished our rehearsal it was dark. We went out for a bite to eat before the concert.

As we made our way to the street through a succession of small, dimly-lit stone courtyards, the fellows of the college were emerging from various staircases and heading towards dinner in their mediaeval hall. It was a windy night, and as these shadowy figures appeared from one archway and disappeared silently into another, their long black academic gowns rose up and swirled about them in the lamplight, making them look like a Mervyn Peake drawing come to life. Lights glowed gently in study windows. It was easy to imagine that the scene had scarcely changed for the past few hundred years.

Sometimes a sight like this makes me impatient because it seems unreal and anachronistic, detached from the hurly-burly of ‘life outside’. On this occasion, however, I stood at the gate looking back at them with a feeling of envy.


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