A dear friend who works in theatre was coming from out of town. Discussing this much-anticipated visit over email, she commented that spending one of our few precious evenings at the theatre might be “a bit of a busman’s holiday”.
Intrigued, I had to know where this expression came from. It seems that back in the days of horse-driven omnibuses, drivers often grew very attached to their particular team of horses. During their days off, many would disguise themselves as regular passengers in order to keep a critical eye on the relief drivers.
Musical “busman’s holidays” seem to be the norm for many musical folk – either because they are performing at festivals or have signed up for master classes and workshops, or because they seek out festivals where they can hear music instead of rehearsing and performing it. Here’s another version: at least a couple of string players I know listen only to hard-core metal or classic rock tunes while they car-pool from summer gig to summer gig.