First up Vicky calls round and we try to discover from inside the Little Blue where my soprano and her second pan is. then Bart rolls up in his car packed to the rafters with djembes and stuff . We squeeze ourselves and our gear into the charabang, tell Yi Bai to meet us by the viaduct, and head off to be in time for our ladies on the outward run.
Three years ago we were officially on the traffic island [always a preferred performance area!]. Where we played on and on from 9.30 till midday; today we are just popping up. Yi Bai finally spots us, and we become a quartet.
Well, Debs, the best laid schemes, as Rabbie once said, go aft agley, and when we open the pan bag, it is not my soprano (aka tenor) that greets us, but half a double tenor. Or Billy Two Chords, as he might better be known. So, with Vicky and I swapping round we play the first two lines of Chariots of Fire until Walt rescues us by correctly identifying Gig's pan (C soprano, no notes written on) on the pan rack at home.
Theory is that the runners are passing all the time, so only the family across the road knows we are on repeat.
Well, we planned to play for Sophie and Bex and then go, but how do we do that!. All the runners are, well, some of them, applauding us, one even pauses to play a note (let him off with that in a good cause]. Eventually we decide everyone has seen/ heard us at least on either outward lap or homeward one, so we tear ourselves away just as we have found Road is Mine and other minimal chord tunes. Yi Bai and Bart keep up tambourine and djembe relentlessly covering one of the best fine messes of the year, decade even. Next!