By Candy Hood
We are the Cuckoo Choir, an over-60s mixed choir, run by our delightful choir mistress Jane Haughton, with the administrative side run by Sarah Cheesemur. We meet every Friday afternoon in term time at the Holy Trinity Church Hall in Cuckfield.
We repair to the Talbot pub after singing, to quench our thirst and it was at one of those sessions more than a year ago that Peter Cheesemur asked Marta Lindop (one of our singers who is Hungarian and who arranges small choirs and musicians to sing and play in her native Budapest): “When are you going to take the Cuckoo Choir to Budapest?”
And Marta said: “Whenever you’re up for it!”
So, at the beginning of December 2017, around 30 of us, including our 91-year-old piano accompanist, Fiona Fawcett, packed our thermals and boarded a plane to Budapest for a long weekend.
We sang in the Roman Catholic Church of Fot, with their choir, singing carols in Hungarian and English.
We visited the wonderful Christmas Market and the Thermal Baths at the famous Gellart Hotel, where some of us brave souls swam in the outdoor thermal pool, watching the sun go down and the sparkly Christmas lights come up.
Marta arranged sightseeing trips, including one to an amazing marzipan exhibition that had many extraordinary models and statues all made from almond paste.
The last night included a typical Hungarian meal in a beautifully decorated dining room with local musicians entertaining us, and us them, with our singing.
A really fun time which we hope to repeat and to invite the Fot choir to a return visit and hospitality with us in Cuckfield.