A day of roll calls, queuing, walking, standing and a bit more queuing and I’m pleased to announce that I have, finally, attended my first-ever Last Night of the Proms.
I did tut and moan about the lady in the second row who coughed seemingly uncontrollably during the Beethoven piano-thing, initially refused to bob up and down because I thought I’d look like a twat and did get ridiculously excited when the Ulster Orchestra appeared on the screens inside the Royal Albert Hall. Believe me, it was one very special evening.
Roger Norrington’s speech was brief but the poem he read was unexpectedly touching.
The journey home provided a bit of a wake-up call, however. Seeing some people on the tube train home with Proms in the Park tickets hanging around their necks, I ventured to ask how it was in Hyde Park. “Fantastic!” replied one of the girls I was speaking to.
“Did you see the Hall from where you were?”
“Yeah,” she replied, “there was a live feed on the screen in the park. But we weren’t really interested in the toffs in the hall.”