SHORTS, SNOW AND A GIANT QUESTION MARK

When I first started this particular blog I wasn’t quite sure how it would develop, it now appears to be turning out to be a record of observations on my daily life. It is now just over a week since my last post; so what have I been up to?

Last week we were basking in record March temperatures of around 23oC and I was enjoying working in the garden in sunscreen, shorts and sleeveless tops. I salvaged another trailer load of timber odds and ends from my friend’s old house and Colleen came over a couple of times to help complete the stage prop that we were making as a surprise for Where’s George’s CD/single launch night. The Sunday before the gig she had asked me if I could make a giant ‘question mark’ with tiny holes in it. It didn’t take me long to turn a previously salvaged panel from her old wardrobe into a six foot tall item before drilling one hundred holes and painting it white. By the time Colleen had waved her ‘magic wand’ over it, we had a wonderfully decorative stage prop decorated with fairy lights, sunflowers, coloured mesh, butterflies, coloured flower patterns and glitter. As we had sat on the grass in the sunshine completing this I remarked on how odd it was to be enjoying such sunny weather whilst the trees were still bare.

On the Friday afternoon we got to the venue ahead of the band and were able to set up the question mark along with some coloured spots and the drum plinth that I had made. The girls appeared to be thrilled. In the evening the gig got under way fairly promptly with a solo acoustic set by Paul Sinclair from local band The Warehouse Announcement. The Where’s George? set was excellent (a more detailed review can be found on my Tumblr page http://dstrachan.tumblr.com/post/20221707084/wheres-george-single-cd-launch-night-once ); the one thing that slightly took the edge off was one group of youngsters in the audience who hadn’t quite worked out how to behave when under the influence of their drink. Whilst not appearing to be deliberately out to cause a serious disturbance they certainly exhibited territory claiming behaviour, pushing their chairs out from the table, making loud noises and flicking beer mats about. As I attempted to film and photograph I did find myself being distracted, regularly glancing across to check that they weren’t seriously interfering with anybody else’s enjoyment of the performance. As many in the hall were ex-students, I suppose that I still felt quite protective of them!

Winnie had set up a jewellery display in the house and invited people to drop in over the weekend; apart from a quick trip to shops on Saturday morning we didn’t stray far on Saturday and Sunday, but only a few people actually did call by.

Monday saw us travelling to Stirling for visits with relatives. After a lovely lunch and a few cups of coffee we were heading back to the Borders, trying to get back home before the threatened deteriorating weather. Getting up on Tuesday morning it was cold and damp but still no sign of the forecast snow. Breakfast news was, however, bringing stories of substantial snow falls further north. Before long snow was falling, a short while later the snow was blowing almost horizontally while the wind whistle noise sounded like the soundtrack from an emergency drama set in the Arctic. With a few inches of snow on the ground and temperatures hovering around 0oC it was hard to believe that we had been experiencing temperatures around 22oC higher less than a week previously.

I have been engaged as a judge again for the next running of Cuillin FM’s ‘Highland Uproar’ music competition, the closing date for that has just passed. Since then I have now listened to around forty entries twice and hope to be able to post my final decisions by the weekend after a third listen. I have also been able to make use of Skype to record an interview with somebody in the USA. Oh and we’ve booked flights and seen initial details of the accommodation that we will be staying in when we go to Lake Garda in July. I’ve also broadcast the first of a series of four recordings that I made with a local Chiropractor, completed the garage clearance for my friend, written a review of the new Tiger lilly album that I had been eagerly anticipating; and am working with a neighbour to try to make arrangements for a fund-raising band evening later in the summer. As I remarked this morning when I met an old friend who asked if I had stopped working, “I’ve just stopped getting paid for working, I seem to be as busy as I ever was when teaching!”

It’s Good Friday today but, one week on, I wouldn’t dream of sitting out on the grass to enjoy putting the finishing touches to any stage props today!

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