Tag Archives: music

Accidental folkie

As many wibloggers are folkies I thought it would be interesting to share reflections from a very folkie month. Those who know me would know that I’m not really a folkie, and a reluctant one at that but in April the folkies have been out to get me.

Since Easter (give or take a day), I’ve managed to see:

Chris Wood
with the Mrs
Karine Polwart
with the Mrs and housemate, D from Up North and Mr Folkie
Kirsty McGee
with D from up north… Ramblin’ Folkie was a bit jealous apparently
with Ramblin’ and Mr Folkie

and I’m going to see Billy Bragg and Chris Wood (and friends) this weekend. What has happened? I also went to see The Imagined Village which I blogged about here. I have to say that The Imagined Village was still by far the best of those gigs. I’m still not convinced I’m really a folkie despite the membership of the folk club and all, but there are worse things to do with an evening than spend it in a seedy looking pub with an extremely eccentric woman announcing people who play music not entirely to my taste. Or for that matter spend an evening with a good friend in a fascinating venue which isn’t sure whether it’s a cafe, bar, deli or garden centre.

It’s been really lovely to have the excuse to have friends to stay, and to go and see others – the current pace of life suits me much better than madly travelling round the country. I will also confess that I’m particularly looking forward to the next gig, being a Billy Bragg fan (and having seen him several times before). I’m also intrigued as to what it’s going to be like to see the act from behind – I’ve managed a ticket in the choir stalls. Always up for something different, I think it might just be that.

On the work front, things are going well. We’ve found our first community member in addition to me and so I’m sorting that out. Also I’m enjoying the opportunity to spend time in prayer three times most days, and finding silence particularly good. I’m back with the holy again this week as I’m preaching on Sunday and hope that it goes smoothly. I’m quite impressed – it’s Monday and I’ve known what kind of things I want to talk about since last week – normally I work it out the weekend of the preaching. Now I just need to write it. So with that instruction in mind, I shall go off and do just that.

Well, it’s less than 9 months!

After only 3 months I reappear, this time. Life’s been a little busy again lately – as the last post hinted.

Since last writing I’ve left my job and moved out of my flat – both of which are exciting but a little time consuming. Almost 4 years ago I started this blog to talk a little about what it was like to live in community (of the nun variety), then I moved on and eventually started working within another, very different community of people right across the country and the wider world. I met the most amazing people and had a great time but I’ll write in more detail about that on another occasion. This is now going to be another turning point for both me and this blog, so between now and the next major step we’ll have short intermission (during which time I hope to write more frequently).

So forgive me for talking little over the last year and indulge me in a short witter about the last few weeks since leaving SCM.

The first weekend the other half and I went to a wedding in the Far East (well, further east than we’d been before… East Anglia ish), and however nice that was it immediately proceeded some more exciting (for me) activities. In the week before I finished work a friend had phoned me up to ask my plans and on hearing I had a couple of days said “Can you help us move our boat?”. This led to interesting mental pictures of picking up said boat and carrying it but fortunately that wasn’t what was planned. So we arrived, late on the Sunday night, to a 62 foot long narrowboat and crew that appeared to have been in the wars and the friend then left us with his wife for the three of us to move the boat. I’ve never been on a narrowboat before but I certainly think it’s an experience worth repeating! We cruised slowly down river and worked our way through the locks and got to know each other better. The minor confusion was that both my other half and my friend’s wife have the same name… I’m sure there’s a conspiracy where such people are taking over the world as I know far too many of them! Eventually, I got the opportunity to drive. 😀 In typically NC-styley, I managed to crash into the overhanging trees twice but steered very well under the narrow and low bridge, and round 2 very, very tight corners (the kind that would have been challenging in a car). We saw the most amazing scenary and wildlife – there were so many herons and kingfishers, and we even saw a water vole! The other half is all set to become a canal pirate now!
On the second day we stopped at a town and went ashore for lunch. During this time we realised we’d got suitably used to being on the boat that we still thought things were gently swaying. At the end of the travels we decided to nip by and visit a friend of ours who’s currently imprisoned in a well known university. We kidnapped him, drove him out of the city limits and even out of the county. After such an achievement, we fed him top notch pub grub, then unfortunately had to return him once again. Having never been that far east before, I think we’ve both decided we’re up for another visit (and getting to go on the narrowboat again is only a small incentive, honest).

After such a nice relaxing few days, gaining very good arm muscles, I then packed my flat up and moved out to become (for the short term) a probationary co-hab (bonus marks for getting the reference) but am looking for a new set of accommodation as I need somewhere to go until March then things change again.

But cutting a long time short, we get to this week which has been particularly nice. Starting with the Mrs’ birthday, we went out with her friends for a nice night out but it marks us all getting old. After the meal, we went to the pub… for a cup of tea and we were all back home by 11! What’s happened to us? We’re all aging! This followed me getting my hair cut a lot shorter and now I can see many more grey hairs. Oh dear. 😉 On Tuesday I took a brief tour of the country to go to a job interview south of here, and to a gig north of us. The gig was amazing – we went to see The Imagined Village. If you haven’t heard about the project, you really should follow the link and look them up. A collaborative venture involving people like Martin and Eliza Carthy, Billy Bragg, Benjamin Zephaniah and Simon Emmerson it’s bringing a new expression of folk that even appeals to a determined non-folky like me! It was really a top evening and it was great to catch up with some friends while abroad. Hearing England Half English to John Barleycorn was great, as was Scarborough Fair on the sitar and seeing Eliza Carthy bouncing around the stage. Billy Bragg was teased lots for his pearly king outfit, and Simon Emmerson for his dog film. For me the highlight over all that was Benjamin Zephaniah’s reworking of Tam Lin. All in all it was a really excellent evening!

So yesterday concluded the nice week as C, the Mrs and I went all met up for lunch and then after the day we went out for a meal and a good evening was had by all. This was nicely concluded by a surprise phone call from Tractor Girl who had met up with Orthodoxy so I got to speak to them both! It was great!

With that, I’ll had to bed and I’ll try and write again soon. I owe my successor a leaving speech!