Thursday evening was straight out of work and then down the motorway to The Grange Hotel in Winterbourne on the north side of Bristol for the wedding of Ian and Nell. Ian is a long time friend of the band's and met Nell at one of our Bristol gigs. I love playing weddings anyway, but that made this one especially special.
Friday night was just down the road from the office, at Cirencester Park Polo Club which was hosting a running event, the Cotswold 24 Hour Race. We were the third act of the night, sound-man and PA provided, so a relative treat for us being able to just turn up, plug in and play.
When we played this event last year, it was on the Saturday night. I remember loitering in the crowd, watching the band that was on before us, when one of the stewards spotted me, and said, "You must be the next band? Because you're obviously not runners . . . . "
We played a 90 minute set, finishing at 2300. It was a lovely evening, and nice to be playing outdoors for a change with all this warm, dry weather. I managed to cut my hand about half way through; a minor scratch at the heel of my thumb, the area of my right hand I use to damp the strings. I didn't really notice it until afterwards, but I managed to lightly speckle the set-list at my feet.
There was a time back in my miscreant youth when I couldn't get through a gig without ripping my fingers on the strings and spraying blood everywhere. Not a terribly efficient way to play and makes a mess of your fingernails, not to mention the guitar. I'm a little better coordinated these days, but clearly my enthusiasm still sometimes gets the better of me.
I would've overslept Saturday morning, but as I'm away all next week was determined to get up in time to train for an hour. Dragged myself out of bed, shower, dressed, just enough time to wake myself up with a mug of tea then headed down to the local leisure centre.
Only to discover the hall all shut up and dark, and clearly karate cancelled. I know our sensai has been away with his family on holiday the last week or so. Thought he was back and it all started again this Saturday, but was obviously wrong and could've stayed in bed.
Saturday night we were back at the Pilot, a lovely canal side pub a whole five minutes down the road from my Dad's house and where I keep the band's trailer safe in his garage. It was a hot, sticky night with many friends in a good, appreciative crowd that got bigger and more and more lively as the evening played on.
I loved every second of it.
Apparently, according to Google, before moving into more common usage, "hat trick" was a term that originated in cricket, where it referred to three wickets taken by a bowler in three consecutive balls, and was traditionally rewarded with the presentation of a hat.
Although I've long been familiar with the term, it seems I now also know something about cricket!