Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Valentines in the Eye of a Storm

It was another Landmark Valentines weekend this time spent in a small village just outside Cardigan. Landmark properties, whilst slightly more expensive, are worth it for their eccentric character, olde world charm and location.

We were wrapped up warm like two bugs in a rug as for 48 hours Storm Denis played out overhead. Gale force winds and lashings of rain. When we first arrived we slightly overshot the turn off and did a Uie by this bus stop. By the following day it was three feet under water and the main road to Cardigan was closed.

 On this pic the river should be beyond the trees, centre picture, in the distance.

By chance on the Sunday it eased off a bit so we went to walk Poppit Sands. An easily accessible beach via the lifeboat station if your ever oput that way pop into the beach cafe - good snacks served by friendly owners. Within half an hour the wind dropped, the rain stopped, the clouds parted and the sun came out. Bizarre. 

Nearby is the small hamlet of St Dogmaels with its large monastic ruins. A 12th century abbey nestling next to the Teifi estuary outside Cardigan.

We then went up to Mwnt Head, a picturesque N.T. holding with a remote C12 Holy Cross church. Rugged and wild. The wind picked up again and you could lean into it without falling over. 

Soon it was time to retreat back to our cosy bolt hole.

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Weekend of Entertainment.

Friday saw us at Kings Theatre Gloucester, a cosy little local theatre run entirely by volunteers. A seasonal interpretation of a work by Thomas hardy was performed by the talented HammerPuzzle group, out of the Everyman Cheltenham, a four hander with Anthony Pinnick, Katy Withers, Charlie Ryan and Tamsin Kennard.

Seriously well received by audience and reviewers.

Saturday we were at a great music venue in the Gloucestershire village of Winstone c/o Moira and her partner.

The main set was performed by Gathering Tides who have a completely original approach to traditional and contemporary music. Weaving together folk, jazz, rock and more, this young and innovative band transcend genre labels. With a line-up of fiddle, electric guitar, bass and cajon they slip effortlessly from heavy riffs to fiery fiddle tunes, or from smooth improvisation to klezmer.

“Seth Bye (fiddle and a prodigious musical talent) has been performing foot-stomping fiddle tunes on the folk music scene for many years. Sam Baldwin's powerful, driving electric guitar playing has roots in progressive rock. Dan Cippico (bass) brings jazz and feel-good vibes to the mix, and Alexander Henshaw on cajon has a passion for funk, folk and samba”.

Friday, 3 January 2020

Last Christmas of the Decade

A true northern Christmas spent with Sis in Carlisle 🎅 

Christmas Day itself was bright and crisp. After the celebrations we spent a lovely afternoon in an unusually peaceful Keswick.

So good we visited it twice but New Years Day was much busier.

A special treat was a trip to the Glasgow Royal for a Glenn Miller concert conducted by Ray McVay.

The concert hall also housed this wonderful public space piano.

M and I also included a day on the Solway Coast walking the length of the beach at Allonby then back up the coast to Silloth.

Wishing you all a Pleasant and Peaceful New Year.

Monday, 16 December 2019

69 - a great position to be in :)

Escaped politics for a long birthday weekend in Breezy Brighton.

Celebrations started with a champagne breckie travelling up the amazin Brighton i360

view west beyond the pier to Seven Sisters
view east beyond Hove

view inland across Brighton
Refreshments on the Pier

Meandering The Lanes

Then rocked the night away to Jools Holland, his amazing Orchestra and Singers,Ruby Turner, Louise Marshall, Gilson Lavis on drums and The Selecter.

Merry Christmas Everyone

Sunday, 1 December 2019

A Tribute to John

In a crowded Deyin Tai Chi Institute in Telford relatives and friends gathered to celebrate the life of John – a talented musician, arranger, instrument maker, Tai Chi teacher and latterly gardener.

John, Sue and I met in the early 70’s at the student union building Gosta Green, Aston Birmingham, and for a while John and I shared a room in Rotton Park, Birmingham, many campaigns together on behalf of Oxfam Third World First and memorable nights at the Campus folk club where John and Sue met. Over the years our paths crossed occasionally and I was devastated to hear of his early death in China on a Tai Chi training trip earlier this year.

With cameo pictures of his life scrolling on screen the air was filled with the atmospheric music from the ‘lady in white’ on her Chinese Zither.

There were many spoken tributes to John and refreshingly honest tributes from his sister and eldest son that resonated with many of us.

John’s abiding passion was Tai Chi and members of his group gave some moving performances of the art.

movement set to James Taylor - one of John's favourites.

Members of the local group joined Sue in a demonstration of the ancient art.

Thanks to all, and especially Sue,who made this a most memorable gathering and a fitting tribute to John.

Postscript: If there is reincarnation I don’t want to come back as a rabbit – don’t think I’d have the energy (you had to be there :)

So long John it was good to know you.

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Winter Wonderland '19

Just got back from a pre christmas trip to London with Sis.

Met up in Euston Station where the public piano is in regular use

Saw a new production of

at the Dominion. Cracking performances from Brenda Edwards and Phil Davis.

The next day was taken up with a walking tour of Central London, taking in the sites, including a number of Christmas Markets:

Followed by a trip to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. Our third visit over the years but never ceases to impress.

n spotted this little fella among the leaves