Saturday, 25 September 2010

NAME, Tiddles and the Alzheimer's Society Walk

Hi Debs, Well, I feel another letter to you coming on.
Last Thursday saw Diane and me taking to the M62 and M6, Junction 15 and quite a prolonged map versus satnav "discussion" as we took the Stone turn-off to go to the NAME [National Association of Music educators] conference.
Diane was still on about the dual carriageway that we didn't take, to the east of the M6. I was pointing out that we were here, while conceding that the roads to the west had been small and bendy. We agreed to go on scoring small points till one of us got bored.

Which was sometime Friday afternoon.

Friday lunchtime we gave a short powerpoint on differentiation and inclusion in Music lessons. This seemed to go down okay. So we could go back to discussing the dual carriageway on the east of the motorway. And get back to networking, getting Diane to work out how to get my laptop onto the internet, a couple of pints of lager, and working out how to get back in time to play for the Alzheimer's Society Walk in Roundhay Park Leeds.

We originally agreed to play this gig some months ago, and I was going to come back Saturday. Then another steelband got booked, so I went back to staying at conference till Sunday. Then the other group dropped out, and we got dropped back in. And now I'm in the Midlands with no way home. And I'm still texting Foxwood, Doves and Steel Rising to see who wants to play in a bandstand in Roundhay Park to a couple of ducks, and briefly to 200 of the members of the Alzheimer's Society as they set off on their walk round the park. Or, another fine mess, as Charlotte likes to call these ad hoc ones.

Saturday morning and Morgan texted me to say that he fallen downstairs at the bar where he worked landing on the 14 wine glasses that he had just dropped. Just another Friday night at A and E, then. Saturday afternoon and I get another text to say Tiddles has been run over and they're holding the funeral now. So when Christine is going back north at 6pm I jump in her car. The map and the satnav discuss discuss the relative merits of the road to Uttoxeter and beyond. Curiously they were as one mind.

On Sunday morning it was wet and windy. We put the Events tent into the van in case, but no need. The bandstand did what it said on the tin. Kept us dry, as long as we huddled towards the leeward side; we had to do warm ourselves. In the picture you will see we were mostly wearing hoodies over hoodies. And you will also see the audience that was left after the walkers walked off. Actually I think Shaun from the Park and Mike from Oblong were still there, but sheltering on the other side.

In the end players were from Foxwood: me, Georgia, Bex, Stewart, Charlotte, from Doves: Danielle and Joe M, from Steel Rising: Vicky, Alli and Karen. Holly foolishly fetched up with Charlotte and strummed some mean chords on Charlotte's soprano pan. [These C sopranos are just excellent for high chords]. Foolishly for her, not for us.

My friend Barbara passed on this quote from her friend:
“Steelband was fantastic - kept on playing and the sound was marvellous!”
Well, let me tell you, the sound in that little bandstand half-way up the side of the Little Lake Roundhay park, Leeds, was to die for. If we did keep on playing it was for the sound we were creating, that joint shared music-making experience. And when those moments come along you don't want to let go.

So that was the weekend of the 18/19 September. I'm worn out all again just writing it all down.

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