An Evening of Surprises

Unsure of what to photograph I dropped into Durham this evening, expecting to see the usual sights in the fading evening light, and in that respect, I wasn’t disappointed.  What’s more the river was so still it produced glassy reflections that demanded to be shot.

Nothing remarkable there then, but then the less usual sights began to manifest themselves.  The narrow streets were full of men in dinner suits and girls in cocktail dresses.  A little formal for normal sunday evening attire, but if I’d been thinking I would have realised that this is end of term, and therefore the various colleges of Durham University will be in full swing with Summer Balls and other post examination celebrations.  The third shot tells a great story of boy patiently giving his girlfriend support as, now that the venue is in sight, she changes into her party shoes at the last available moment.

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Just below the bridge they were on was my second surprise.  A handful of fly fisherman were casting about in search of trout presumably, a very different approach to the anglers who have regularly featured on this blog when I lived by the coast.  This is a more active pastime, the line constantly flicked out and then drawn back in, as opposed to the cast and wait approach of their maritime brethren.

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Up on Palace Green there was more evidence of party season, but more surprisingly the doors to the great cathedral were firmly shut.  APW_3963_4_5

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This seemed wrong for a Sunday Evening.  Where were the sounds of evensong or the thronging of worshippers leaving to return home?  A glance at the notice board alongside revealed that evensong took place at 3.30.  Seems a strange way to define “even”.

There were other minor suprises to enjoy – a stack of restaurant furniture ostracised upon a bridge was one,APW_3996-Edit

a strangely ominous cloud formation including the number 3 another,APW_4108

but there was a more unusual encounter to come.

Descending to the Market Square I did hear the sort of singing I expected at the Cathedral.  The tune seemed familiar…  How Great Thou Art is a well-known hymn set to the tune of a Swedish Folk Song.  But which version was being performed?  I can’t be certain for the performance came from a solitary Asian man who, unused lyrics in hand, was projecting his voice across the deserted space,  presumably in his native tongue.  It was certainly a courageous performance.

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