It is a year since our new gazebo took off half way through Bob Marley in the same park. Then the weather was cold, windy with a hint of rain. And a hint of an audience. Today it's much grander, with zumba, birds of prey, majorettes, samosas, various other stalls and a raffle. A proper event.
This is our first gig since Judy decided to call it a day. And I would like to pause to say thanks. Most people join a nightclass or a band to do something for themselves, which is as it should be. [I have for example just signed up for Advanced Russian, in the hope I can reprieve my once near-competence in this fine language. The tutor asked why, I said, I meet Russians and other Eastern Europeans in my schools, but actually I just want to speak it again. I want to roll those wonderful consonant clusters around and make the music that is speaking another language. And really make good all those eight years I spent studying it from O level to uni.]
Anyway, Judy didn't just join East Steel. She brought Bella, Rameice and bro; she bought the guitar pan that would provide the much needed lower chords; she invited us to play in her garden, and fed us all cakes. She gave Adele lifts. She wrote down all the rhythms and she said nice things; she led the dancing at gigs. So we will miss her. However, even more respect that, when it wasn't doing it anymore for her, Judy called it a day. Enough of the eulogy.
Back to the gig: We were Wendy, Jeanette, Adele, Tricia, Alli, Karen, Ruth, Vicky, Peter, Cheryl, plus me and Bex of course. In attendance also James and Michael. A passing man of the cloth joined, singing in with our first tune, Where Have All the Flowers Gone? With rather a fine voice. The lake, a perfect back-drop for the pictures, not so perfect with two Smalls on the loose.
And lastly, at the end, with everything packed away, here's the last of us to leave the lakeside.