Reading My Way Around the World

Thursday 2 August 2018

Festival week

Soul music on the outdoor stage
At the end of a wonderful week of music and celebrating far flung friendships, we are all gathering our wits and energy again.

clouds gathering over the square
and the newly redecorated church
We only went to a few concerts - Ralph McTell on Saturday night was just superb and what a lovely man.   I really only knew a few of his songs and when the entire hall sang The Streets of London, the heightened emotions in the room was palpable.  Our own Sands Family finished things off in great style and a few of the younger performers were delightful earlier in the week, including Catherine McGrath whom I wrote about here.

We counted 11 different nationalities at the singaround Tom and I hosted on Sunday and our own concert on Saturday went off well in spite of the dreadful downpour that arrived just in time for us to pack our gear into the car and send mice scuttling into the house for cover (we still don't know if there's one lurking in here somewhere).  The first rain in 7 weeks in these parts, it was a mixed blessing, but the gardens breathed a huge sigh of relief.  It can stop now, ok! (still pouring as I write).
making the most of your circumstances
Billy, above, was the steward of the local sports hall for many years and he hasn't been too well for a while - it was great to see him out and about in his own personalised car - that's the way to do it:)

Today is the start of Autumn in the old calendar - Lammas - and in another couple of weeks the leaves will start to turn, although a lot are already well wilted with lack of water. 

My mother's buddleia was covered in butterflies when we visited last week

And even though I don't work in schools our work is very term-time dictated, so I love this time of year when there's only performance related work to do - recording, researching, updating.   And while I love my students and my singing groups I'm so happy that there is still another delicious month of untimetabled time to come - more visitors to welcome, some work to do on the recording of a friend's album and a holiday to look forward to.   Happy Days.

How's your summer or your winter shaping up?  Are you getting some time to rest?  Is there enough water and if you live in England I do hope that you're not affected by the floods that are bound to follow.


  1. Hi Fil - lovely round up ... and am so glad the rain has come and managed to not quite dampen your festival. Yes August has many advantages ... and it is usually quieter. The buddleia is an amazing plant ... and I always love seeing it along the train and tube lines ... I know and in gardens! Cheers Hilary

    1. I agree Hilary - wild buddleia is gorgeous - it seems to grow everywhere - except in my garden lol I just can't make it grow!

  2. Lovely to hear all your news from the last few weeks & glad you've had rain. I always think of UK & Ireland as being quite wet & green, but alas, you had your fair share of hot, dry weather this year. Been cold here, some rain & pretty dull most days. We are off to Qld this month & will be passing through areas of extreme drought. On the news last night, we are being warned of soaring meat prices due to deteriorating stock numbers in those areas. I think we have to realise, that weather is very fickle. Have a lovely August & take care.

    1. Oh no Susan, it's not alas - we've been crying out for heat for years - we don't get the same as England - even though it's been dry it's not been that hot for weeks now - averaging around 18-20 degrees most days.


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