Thursday, 10 September 2020


 It's been a funny old week. 

I've been back sailing for a while now of course, and loving it. We're cruising with Calstar and even started racing dinghies properly again back on the lake on Sundays. And informally, on Wednesday evenings, although the evenings are drawing in now. And not just in the Laser; I'm back in the Albacore sailing with Amanda at last. 

But that's only one of the various pillars of my life back in place.

By way of an aside, I also have two posts currently sitting incomplete and in seemingly perpetual draft detailing August's couple of trips away with Calstar; pictures of sun and sea and dolphins all included in the price. I feel a little abashed that I've not had the time to finish them yet, and more so, annoyed that, incomplete, they essentially act as a block to me posting much of anything else up here until they're done. Although I'm clearly working around that.

This coming Saturday we have our first gig lined up since our last one way back on Friday 13th March. It's in a village pub garden, and has been confirmed since they first eased back the lock-down in July. It was also the only gig we have confirmed for the rest of the year, so the diary is looking quite barren.

It's been that long since we last had a gig that in anticipation of this coming Saturday we actually got together for a rehearsal to run through the set. The last time we did that was around or about 2004.

Then, out of the blue, I had a phone call yesterday from one of my favourite Bristol venues. They want to restart their live music, all in keeping with government guidelines and social distancing and all the rest. Basically, it's in a big skittle alley out the back of the pub, tickets in advance, table seating only, 30 people max. 

They asked if we'd be interested (of course!) and if so, if we had any dates free (take your pick!)

I reckon when we normally play there we fill the pub with a crowd of a couple of hundred on a good night. So it's going to be quite the different vibe from the usual. 

I don't care. For the next couple of weekends at least, my Saturday nights are once more booked up with gigs.

With regards to another pillar of my previous life, a series of messages went back and forth a couple of weeks ago. There was hope the leisure centres would open up in September. That would hopefully mean I could go back to karate at last; I normally train in a school sports hall about five minutes from my house.

Then as August drew to a close, the local hall confirmed, for various reasons, they wouldn't be ready to accept us back until October at the earliest. I was a little bit crushed to be honest, but in the greater scheme of things, there are much bigger concerns abroad in the world at the moment. I'm doing fine.

This morning I received a message from Sensai to say there was a single Thursday evening space available over at the Cinderford club, and would I be interested? So as of tonight, another pillar will be restored. It involves a forty minute drive each way and I'm pretty sure we're not allowed contact, so no kumite, just kata and kihon. But I still find I'm quietly elated at the prospect.

And fully expect to hurt like hell tomorrow morning.

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