I was extremely lucky last month to attend a one-off concert by Elton John at The Royal Opera House. This was the second of two concerts he played to raise money for a new organ for The Royal Academy of Music, where Elton studied as a young man.
Like many others, I have always been aware of Elton John and his hits, (spanning 4 decades!), but I didn't realise how prolific and legendary he actually is. Seeing him in this context was a real treat - just the man and his music. He was on stage with his piano, with no song lists or lyric sheets. Elton was joined half way through by his long-time collaborator, percussionist Ray Cooper. The first 6 or so rows of the audience were made up of his die-hard fans, and what was lovely was that he spoke directly to them several times during the show.
My favourite song of the night was 'Rocket Man' which was sung with such pathos, it made me cry! The lyrics 'I'm not the an they think I am at home' made me so sad. There must be millions of people around the world pretending to be something or someone they are not.
Earlier in the day, I had been to visit the Sir John Soan Museum in Lincoln's Inn Fields. It is the former home of the architect whose most famous works include the exterior of The Bank of England, the Holy Trinity Church in Marylebone and the Royal Hospital in Chelsea.
His house, no. 12 Lincoln's Inn Fields is now a museum which he donated to the nation. He stated in his will that everything in the house should remain the same as when he died and that it should be free for the public to view.
There is a one-in-one-out policy due to the limited space inside and the huge number of historic treasures contained within the rooms. Photography is also not permitted, which is why I could not share more pictures here.
This tiny museum is well worth a visit, if you are in the area and have an hour to spare. The best time to visit is in the morning, (when there are no queues) and Holborn is the nearest tube.
Back inside the Opera House - these photos were taken before the show began and the non-celebrities had taken their seats!
Amongst the famous people I spotted was Lulu, who seemed to be having a grand time singing along and Joely Richardson who stood next to me in the loos! The most famous person I saw was designer Valentino who had the centre most seat in the place.
Thankfully there were many many music fans in the audience too, otherwise it could have been a bit of a dry affair!
As I always say when I watch live music, it was a privilege to watch a complete virtuoso at work, doing what he loves and does best.