When we started our first season of Musical Bites several years ago I never thought we'd have an event entirely devoted to Hippopotami! Yes, we've sung 'Mud Mud Glorious Mud' at the Sing-along-a-lorra-songs Musical Bites, but that was one song amongst many, this time the hippo was the main feature.
Gerald gave a fascinating two-part talk about his time in Uganda in the late 1960s working in conservation work and helping to control hippo numbers, which were getting wildly out of control and were having a serious impact on other wildlife and the local environment.
In the interlude between his two talks, David (tuba) and Shirley (piano) led us in a sing-along of 'Mud Mud Glorious Mud'.
The second half of Gerald's talk was about his (and Heather's) return to Uganda 41 years later, this time for a holiday.
As David said afterwards "Very interesting film and stories from Gerald. What a fabulous opportunity for Gerald to be sent to Africa to study hippos, have the use of land rovers, have an airstrip next door and get to fly over the land doing counts. What a way to go: Mud, mud glorious mud, to get stuck in it, not be able to free oneself and then get eaten by hyenas – I’m talking about hippos!"
As is usual for our Musical Bite coffee mornings we had plenty of cake, tea and coffee on offer which more than 40 people enjoyed. We raised £115.40 for the organ fund.
I'd like to thank everyone (very belatedly, I know, this is a week after the event) for all their help in making this event so memorable, with a special thanks to Gerald for his talk, Heather for controlling the slides and David and Shirley for the musical interlude.
Words and photos by Anna Page