Sadly I clocked up another birthday on Monday and have, however, to thank everyone for their good wishes. Cakes and presents abounded and I was a grateful man. By way of a celebratory outing we trekked across the North Yorkshire Moors before adjourning to Pickering for refreshment.
However, the week was mainly given up to music. After having followed the Americana Music Show podcast assiduously for some time and heard some fabulous music then the host, Calvin Powers, invited me to write up a few reviews of new releases - click the above for one of my efforts. The show, playing out of North Carolina, plays that undefinable genre called ‘Americana' that includes Country, Folk, Singer Songwriter, Rock n’ Roll, Roots (what is that?), Soul, Blues, Gospel.... well you’re getting the picture now! Receiving free music and being allowed to write about it was fine by me! Calvin now publishes these reviews (and others) plus plays music from the albums in questions in a 15 to 20 minute slot – check it out and subscribe for free.
Next was a sojourn to London to spend two nights at the O2 Arena listening to the cream of American Country Music at the Country2Country music festival. Anna came along on the Friday and the Favourite Youngest came along for both nights (and bought a ticket for me on one of the nights). This time I ticked off seeing Reba McEntire, Jennifer Nettles and Chris Young as well as seeing other favourites again.
Accommodation was provided by the Favourite Eldest. However this was not without scares for Anna. On the Saturday when Sophie (Favourite Youngest) and myself got back from the show we crept in late with the house asleep. Sophie was bunked up with Anna whilst I was on the floor in the living room (five in the house and the eldest ends up on the floor). Anna commented the next morning that in her late night drowsy state she awoke to the worrying sound of heavy breathing very close to her and it wasn’t Sophie. She was correct! I was blowing up an airbed in the room next door!
Taxis? Don’t like them. The only time I take them is on holiday and one of the last rides involved being ripped off getting from Las Vegas Airport to our hotel by our driver taking an inflationary detour that wasn’t necessary. So over the weekend my profligate children insisted on avoiding taking a bus and I discovered Uber. Yes, I know it really is not new but after downloading the wonderfully informative App and receiving prompt service at knock down prices I cannot see how it can fail. Viva la revolution.
Lastly this image will tell you a story. On the train back from London to York (and then onto Glasgow) a man in a kilt with a set of bagpipes gave an impromptu concert to the carriage he was in. Such a lovely surprise and much cheering and photo taking ensued.