After some scorching days in Glasgow, I’ve found some more reassuringly Scottish weather.
Martyn Clark organised and recorded a collaborative album of improvised music with me and 10 other artistes in his living room in (roughly) 48 hours.
Megan and Stephen Appleton drove around the south-eastern coast of Angus for an evening, including an excitable encounter with flying puffins.
Two very different experiences with my hosts so far, one of them planned (only a little) ahead, the other a spontaneous end to a wet day in the summer holidays. But this is the reason I’m out on the road – to help people do the things they want to do but somehow haven’t quite done yet. To give people an excuse to do something a little out of the ordinary, or a *lot* out of the ordinary – it’s up to them. It’s up to you. Let me know if you’ve got something that my presence would let you do or even if you suspect there maybe something waiting to be drawn out.
Note though that this was not part of the deal when Martyn and Megan invited me to stay – in both cases it emerged out of knowing that I was coming. An invitation seems to be enough to start the creative process…
(Photo: me at dusk at the Clark kitchen table by Martyn Clark)
It all felt very normal, ordinary people that I spend time with in London anyway. Just for some reason not going home at the end of the evening, because i don’t have one of those any more. Or rather that this was now my home, the wherever I lay my hat kind.
In the morning I went into the Centre for a little while to leave my stuff for the morning while I went out to buy a ukulele case and to spend some time with someone precious. Naturally, in the few moments that I was at the Centre I managed to be asked to perform briefly, by a lady who’d just bought a uke herself. It’s a hard life being me.
The very quick personal packing I’d done when not thinking about where big items were going to be stored left me with a stuffed suitcase, a big green plastic bag of odds and ends and a case-less ukulele. I was ashamed to be carrying Samantha (that’s my concert uke) naked through the streets since we left West Kensington, but she doesn’t fit in the little gig bag I have for Daren (the black, Gibson-shaped uke that I took to the US) and the hard case that she does fit into is occupied by my ukulele-banjo (who doesn’t have a name). So I headed for Hobgoblin in Rathbone Place and we had a mooch through various gig bags and cases. The problem is her hips. Samantha’s quite a curvy girl (it’s one of the reasons I like to keep her under my arm of course!) and she finds it difficult to squeeze into the tiny spaces that sopranos put up with. Eventually we found a hard case that fit her hourglass figure perfectly. Kerchinnng!
After a delightful secret rendezvous in Marylebone I headed back to the Centre to rationalise my bag and suitcase usage, say my goodbyes and trundle off to Kings Cross for the 15:00 to Glasgow Central.