When we played at the Oval just over a week ago we got a warm enough response from the diminished audience; it seems that some of the regulars had absconded across the channel in support of Graeme and Sam Kelly’s little jaunt. In fact the absence of Graeme meant that Gigi and I got away quicker than usual. In fact we didn’t even take the train as we got a lift back with out dep bassman, Brian Diprose, who lives not too far away from us.
On the following Saturday I managed to back the Derby winner which gave me some cause to celebrate. Unfortunately I may have celebrated too much because by Monday I found that I had been barred from the Skiddaw, my nearest Maida Hill pub. Apparently one of our party had annoyed the deputy manageress. I wasn’t actually there at the particular time of the incident, having popped home with Gigs. When I returned I helped to finish off a bottle of wine and as it was one minute to midnight, ordered a round of shorts. The bar however was closed early, a particular feature when this particular manageress is in situ. In fact I was at the bar at about four minutes to and she deliberately walked away. Perhaps she didn’t like my new haircut.
The following Tuesday I was invited to the ballet at the Albert Hall. It was the dress rehearsal of Swan Lake and my first visit to ballet. I wasn’t sure about how I would enjoy it and was really surprised by how much I did. The visual spectacle was enhanced by the classical music and the dancing of the cast. I was much taken. So was wine.
I got called on the phone Monday to take a Westminster Meals on Wheels van to Whitechapel for repair on the following day. I agreed and promptly forgot about it until Gigi asked me what time I was leaving next morning. I shot off without breakfast, no mean feat as I’m definitely a breakfast man. I picked up the van in Marylebone and crawled through the worst pollution in the country. Eventually I got to Whitechapel where they refused to take the van as it hadn’t been booked in the day before. On return to Marylebone, I was told that during my return journey, they’d organised another garage to deal with the repairs. Unfortunately this was in Hackney, which meant another traipse through the pollution.
I arrived eventually at the garage in Hackney, where, I’m pleased to say, I was not turned away, and waited while the van was repaired. Another crawl along the Marylebone Road making it the fourth time that day. To think I used to like driving. I got home too late to back three horses I’d fancied at Ascot which all won which just about made my day. I consoled myself with Brunch at four o’clock. Not much consolation. To make matters worse, today I backed three losers. Maybe I’m becoming one myself.
The gig at the Inn on the Green on Sunday 20th should go ahead unless I find myself turned away from there too. The line-up will be Chris Youlden, Jim Mercer, Dino Coccia, Alan Vincent and myself. As a matter of interest, Dino is launching a couple of Cd’s on the Note label next month at the 606 Club in Chelsea. Gigi and I turned up there two months ago, having got the date wrong (my fault as it happens). I was turned away from there too. I hadn’t changed my hairstyle then, though, so perhaps it wasn’t that. Ah well, I’d better continue the search for another boozer where I can drown my sorrows. I’ve tried three already, but none of them turned me away. It can’t all be bad.