It's never a difficult journey when there's something fabulous at the end of it. The fabulous thing this time was to be the 80 voices of the Mousehole Male Voice Choir at their top notch best. They had won some prizes (!), done an important concert tour, and caught the eye of ITV Britain, all since I was here last. Add to that the fact that Tony had written the lyrics to two of their new songs, and you have a significant Cornish choir ready to hit the top. Fabulous!
My driver was choir member Eric, who maneuvered us along minuscule country roads hemmed in by the most enchanting hedgerows. One can never see enough hedgerows. The dusky skies made the drive feel spooky (you never know what might come at you from around a corner), but we climbed up the roads to the Church at Paul and arrived there, thankfully, in one piece. We made our way past ancient gravestones and in through the arched doorway of the church.
The Mousehole Choir has become used to 'the American Lady' appearing at rehearsals at odd times during the year, and were welcoming. Some of them asked after my brother, who, upon hearing the first line of their first song, had shed tears of joy. They had liked that.
The next two hours were filled with solid music and hard work. There is nothing like a four-part-harmony from 80 Cornishmen who stand up and sing like they mean it.
As we drove back down through darkened streets, the waters of Penzance Bay gleaming with the lights of the town, the subject of Prince Charles came up. "I've met him, you know," said Eric.
"You have?" I gasped, suitably impressed. "When?"
"Oh, it was after Lord Mountbatten was killed in Ireland; 1979..."
Eric was quiet for a moment or two, remembering the sad thing that had happened. People everywhere remember that sad time, but Eric especially did, because it brought him into contact with Prince Charles.
"Yes, Charles was coming to Ireland for a memorial for his Lordship - Mountbatten was his uncle, you know - (and I did), but a thick fog prevented him from flying in."
Eric had been a lifelong boat pilot, bringing large vessels in and out of harbors before turning them over to their Captains. I had an inking...
"...and so they had me pilot him and his whole group in, and pretty soon the Prince and I got to talking."
I was all ears! Any touch of royalty receives my undivided attention."What did you say? And what did he say?"
To my dismay, Eric dropped me off in mid conversation so I didn't hear any more about the Prince of Wales. But I have to say I would like to hear more. I thought about how interesting life can be, when one moment you are being driven to a choir rehearsal, and the next, you find that you are sitting next to the man who piloted the future King of England into Ireland. You just never know.
See you along the way!