Thursday, 26 January 2012

Blackheath was nice

Dear Debs

On the 14th of this month, I took my packed lunch and my flask of tea, tried deperately to limit myself to one suitcase for computer, clothes and books, and set off for the 9.05 to London. With. One suitcase, a folded up trolley and soft pancase, the suitcase, handbag, rucksack, and little shopping bag.

I was on my way to see the Wailing Trees of Blackheath, calling briefly at the Anti-Academies AGM, then up to Clapton for Cockburn's single second, and then dragging this flippin pan across London via the bus from Lea Bridge, the next to Canning Town, DLR to Lewisham [I know, I should have changed at Stratford!] and finally the bus to St Margaret's Church.
I arrived at Eric and Mindy's house, parked the single second up, ate butternut squash curry [yummy], and set off for the local pub. En route spotted and snapped . fox having pooh in local garden. [In the picture you can see the street and the fox's eyes]. We had a couple of pints, and put the world to rights. Eric and Minday have been in the States for a decade and more, so there was a lot to put right.

Came back to house, put more world to right, went to bed with a couple of paracetomols - just in case.

Woke early, took the two paracetomol.
Tea, porridge, go for a walk. My dad used to live in Blackheath in an end terrace house, over a shop, overlooking some grass. We set off to find it. En route, found Pagoda House. Nice.
Took two more paracetomol.
On the Heath we snapped ourselves in front of probable terrace. It was a bit more blasted than I remembered, but then it is January, which here, back in Blighty, Debs means winter. It was time for the bus, the DLR, the tube and the train back to Leeds.

And yes, it was a drag, dragging the pan on little wheels all over the transport systems of the South, but it was great to get it into its Leeds high school a couple of days later.

And it's hard not to love the Docklands Light Railway, so I didn't try.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Walking in Armley and Playing in Armouries

So Debs

You finally made it to Abu Dabi, and we, you and I managed a final final drink, this time a cuppa in the station and a blue bex in the Scarborough. You had some fancy cider.

Me and some of my ever-extending gang took a walk on a wet and muddy New Year's Day down by the canal at Armley and back past the golf course. Four-year old Lola set the pace; we struggled to keep up. We were Eric, Mindy, Mig, Daisy, Joe, Ben, myself and indomitable leader. Here's some pics of the canal and of the leader.

After that it was Wednesday, and Leeds Silver Doves at the North of England Education Conference at the Royal Armouries.

When Amy, Varshika and I went for a reccy pre-visit risk assessment type thingy, it was shortly after Jimmy Savile had died. Native of Leeds, Jimmy Savile raised thousands, if not millions for charity, and was very popular here. We noticed that there were huge pictures of him all over the rooms we were to play in. I was impressed and thought they had responded really quickly to the sad event. Amy and Varshika opined it was probably because we were in the Savile Rooms! Hmmm!

Trying to play a gig in Leeds centre usually goes from You can't park here to You can't play there. Loading in was at a bit of a distance, but we had some student ambassador helpers who were pretty useful. And when I found the space that we had agreed on had disappeared, I was absolutely astonished to hear those words, "We will accommodate you". Accommodate us! What ever happened to "You can't set up there' you'll be too loud!"

Obviously as we were in Reception playing as delegates signed into the conference, we did have to play more quietly than usual. . We did as many of our classical numbers as possible, but it was Einaudi's Le Onde that got us asked to play more quietly. Best comic moment was when Amy knocked the tall table that she was sitting under, and coffee slowly dripped like a curtain down from above. Sadly my first instinct was to get paper towels. It was a classic photo-opportunity missed. Instead here's a pic of Gig and Mig in sibling harmony, and Nina in a case.