30-Apr-2010 Sort of a lull but still busy

Monthly digest, overview, summary… call it what you will…

It’s been a funny month – sort of a lull, but somehow busy too… not many singers nights this month, a few gigs, friends from the USA staying over, car trouble and some website firefighting. Other than that, not much to report… we:

  • Played in two care homes – one we’d visited previously and one new to us
  • Performed in a shared concert at the Lamplight Arts Centre with Chris Milner and Michelle Holding
  • Performed in a Christian Aid concert in Morpeth where we also provided sound for the other acts too
  • Performed at singers nights in:
    • Cramlington Folk Club
    • Low Row Sessions
    • Monkey Folk Club, Whitley Bay
  • Saw Allan Taylor twice in Scotland – Nitten Folk Club (we did a floor spot) and Kelso Music Club
  • Saw Michelle Holding at Croxdale (we did a floor spot)
  • Saw Steve & Krist Nebel at the Bridge Folk Club and Croxdale Folk Club (we did floor spots at both)

We’ve been planning our June/July north west expedition – a sort of busman’s holiday in Liverpool and the surrounding area. New gigs are continuing to come in for later in the year and early 2011… we were especially pleased to be asked to play at this year’s Ingleton Folk Week-end Festival as we’d had to bow out of the February fundraiser due to illness.

There have also been changes at home – slight re-arrangement of the blue room, some painting in the bedroom (Old English off-white and Pearlescent Purple), and new desks in the office/study… everything seems more spacious now.

We enjoyed having Steve & Kristi stay with us – chilling out with our friends from Tacoma was a great antidote to the peripheral strains and stresses that we encountered… we managed an emergency workaround on a website where the web hosting company totally messed things up, and we’re in the process of getting the site moved elsewhere for a better service (and at a better price too!)… and we’ve had our fair share of car woes this month.

After an expensive service earlier in the year it seems that  an innocent ‘not safety-critical’ steering column ‘clunk’ sound has morphed into something too dangerous for our trusty and ultra-reliable 2003 Honda Jazz to pass its MOT test! Ah well, the dealers gave us a brand new top-spec 2010 Jazz (new model) as a courtesy car while ours was in for repair. We thought this would be ideal – a chance to try out the newer model in readiness for when we do decide to change our car sometime in the next year or two… sad to say the new and improved model isn’t up to the task:

  • The boot is too small to take our guitars
  • The dashboard/console layout has changed and we keep knocking our fingers on bits that aren’t where they used to be in our 2003 model
  • The tailgate inside handle is oriented in the opposite direction to ours and results in our shoulders getting in the way as we attempt to close the tailgate
  • The tonneau/cover on our car has changed into a more substantial rear shelf which is awkward to remove if transporting guitars and sound system with the back seats down

Sure, we enjoyed the computer wizardry with all sorts of information at our fingertips (fuel consumption, driving time, distance to next fill up, etc etc) but, sad to say our next car will not be a Jazz (unless they undo many of the ‘improvements’ that have been made). Any suggestions for make and models we might shortlist in our search?

We’ll have Steve & Kristi back again in May on the final leg of their UK tour, and we’ll have Clennell Hall Festival and jiva in concert at Seaton Delaval Arts Centre to report on.

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