Friday, 7 December 2012

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning in Walsall

Dear Debs, I have agreed to do a steelpan workshop in Walsall for the Midlands Suzuki violinists on Sunday November 25 when I know that actually I can't commit to driving a long journey, on account of the unresolved panic attack while driving a van and also a car on a motorway situation.  Fortunately there is Daisy.

And so on Saturday 24 me and Daisy hit the road, the motorway and Walsall Strange Town Centre at 8.15 in the dark and very pouring rain. Are we mad or is Diz doing rehearsals for her new show? Maybe both.  In the capacious back, now denuded of seats, of my lovely little Skoda I have stashed away our luggage inside nine single steel pans. And two sets of chime bars.

I have booked a hotel which turns out has live music on a Saturday night. What a lovely atmosphere. We check into our rooms, change one pair of black leggings for another pair of black leggings - this is my attempt to "dress up" - Daisy's instructions.  And hit the bottle, the shared bottle of rose, and when the public bar closes, why not enter the disco from where I had earlier on mistaken the Abba tribute band for the karaoke. Oops.

Sadly for us, on arrival in the conservatory disco, Daisy immediately finds a fiver. One of says Let's have another drink which the other reads as Let's buy another bottle. Here's some pictures of us dancing. On a now nearly deserted dance floor. Got to bed at 2! Hmmm!

Next day, after the best mushrooms and tomatoes in the Midlands we find the wonderfully refurbished Forest Arts Centre, and put four groups of Suzuki violinists through their steel pan paces. The centre has its own steel pans and Louise has got them to agree to let us use them. Very generous; very grateful.

For the grand last joint number we played Louise's arrangement of Pirates of the Caribbean. Sadly for me, Daisy and the three parent "volunteers", we played it at a totally different tempo from the 80-odd violinists. Happily, someone said Encore and then we nearly got it right.

We hit the road north with tangerines and flapjacks. I drive about 15 miles and Daisy 100.

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