Gigging again

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Monkey Dust: (l – r) Dave drums, Alan bass, Mel lights, Ian (Wormy) vocals, Tom guitar (Picture: Diane Wordsworth)

This weekend just gone saw the return of Monkey Dust to the gig circuit after, pretty much, the summer off, apart from the Wheel of Light festival, which was a one-off. Here’s a picture I took of the lads at that festival. I think it’s one of very few with them all together.

Friday night we stayed in and watched the telly. On Saturday we drove over to Edale to attempt to climb Kinder Scout … but, oh, what a test of my current fitness (or not). We walked for about an hour and the hill was killing me – I really, really hate big hills.

It was raining on the mountain, which meant we were wearing waterproofs on an otherwise warm day. And that made it quite warm and sweaty going. We sheltered for something to eat, but the rain had brought out every single fly or ant on the planet. Even the dog was getting agitated by them, snapping at them, trying to catch them. And when I couldn’t face another climb up for as far as the eye could see, we turned around and went back down.

While I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t do it, I wasn’t surprised. But I do need to increase my fitness. So we hope to try it again and again, and see how much further we get each time.

On our way there, my dad called to let me know my Yesterday Remembered story is in the August issue of Best of British. He’s a subscriber, so I think he got his a few days earlier than it appears on the shelves. He was dead chuffed because they chose to use a 1970s picture of him, Mom and my brother on a beach.

On the way back we toyed with going fishing again, but the fishing tackle shop was in the wrong direction and, to be honest, I just wanted to chill on the settee after attempting Kinder Scout. So we watched 3 films back-to-back.

Sunday was that first gig back, and as we had to be out by 1:30pm, that didn’t give us much chance to do anything else. I nipped to the shop, with the dog, to buy the makings of a picnic while the poet Hoovered the house from top to bottom. The gig started at 4pm, so we were home by 7:30pm, and tucking into a salmon tea by 8pm.

We’re fairly busy from now on, gig-wise. There are two gigs next weekend, then we have the following weekend off; there’s one gig the weekend after that, then we have the bank holiday weekend and the first weekend in September off; and then there’s only one weekend off between then and Christmas.

The diet is going well so far. I’ve lost 3¾lb this time already (on top of another 2lb I’d already got off before changing our diet to low GI), and a few inches from various parts of the body. The poet said last night he didn’t even feel as though we were on a diet. (He lost over half a stone – 7lb – before we went on honeymoon, and has kept that off, and lost a couple more pounds too.)

On Friday evening, after an aborted trip to the hairdresser (I went for a drive, parked up in the sunshine – on the M1 – cancelled the appointment, turned around and came back), an unsolicited email arrived asking if I’d like a big proofreading job. I checked their details as soon as I got home, and replied almost straight away – yes please! So that means I now have in one job from lovely-already-boss, two more for lovely-new-boss, and this one for lovely-potential-boss. If I can keep those three contracts going, I’ll never need to trawl for editing or proofreading work again.

It does mean another busy week ahead, but I’ve set my word count challenge for August at 18,000 words. That equates to 18 working days in August, but may turn into 19 days (and 19,000 words) if we don’t end up going camping for the bank holiday weekend. We’d like to take in some of the Evesham fishing festival again this year and, if we camp, we can visit other places too, including my parents, and we can take the dog.

What are you up to this week?

Festival weekend

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Two faces of the poet – Wormy (Picture: Diane Wordsworth)

I know I say this a lot, but we really did have a very busy weekend – and there’s another one on its way this coming weekend too.

On Thursday evening we nipped over to see the poet’s dad as it was his 80th birthday. He’d said he didn’t want anything, so we bought him a fuchsia for the garden. He’d not had it 5 minutes before he was deciding where to put it, so we think we made a good choice.

On Friday evening, at teatime, we had a mad dash over to Harrogate for the 2015 Crime Writing Festival. We were attending an event called “Yorkshire Pride” and thought a panel would be discussing crime novels in and about Yorkshire or by Yorkshire folk.

We didn’t expect to meet Peter Robinson (creator of DCI Banks) or Lee Child (creator of Jack Reacher). We thought they’d just be discussing their work. But they were there and afterwards I was able to have a book signed by Peter Robinson and the poet accosted Lee Child outside and got him to sign another. (Mr Child was supposed to be signing books the following day as he had another event he needed to be at.)

After the event we had a wander around town and decided to have tea in an American-style steakhouse. That was very nice.

Saturday morning we were back in Harrogate and struggling to park, but arrived just in time for the annual “New Blood”, chaired, as ever, by Val McDermid, who signed another book for us. (We’re turning into Val McDermid groupies!)

Because we’d left the dog on his own while we were in Harrogate, we had to hurry back. So we grabbed a sandwich and headed off. The poet wanted to go fishing that evening, but when we got home he discovered that the annual Fish-o-Mania was live on telly and he was having trouble tearing himself away. So we decided to watch that – or he watched it and I caught up on some reading.

Sunday morning we were up-and-at-’em again because the poet’s band, Monkey Dust, were playing at the Wheel of Light charity festival. This was supposed to be at another venue, but less than 2 weeks before the event, the venue pulled out, which was a bit of a disaster. However, while the organiser was on the phone cancelling the bands, Castleford Panthers ARLFC sent a text to say they’d hold it.

Unfortunately the organisers didn’t get as much time as they’d like to promote it (although Diane’s Gig List did their bit to help!), and it wasn’t as attended as it could be. They were also a bit disappointed, to say the least, when they discovered the original venue that pulled out had staged another event instead – on the same day. But the bands had a good time, lots of fun was had, and more friendships forged. Pictures (by Ian and Diane Wordsworth) can be found here on Facebook.

Castleford Panthers have offered to hold the event again next year, so the organisers are going to make more of a day of it and have already started to ask bands.

So that was our weekend. Oh yes, and Rufus came with us yesterday too …

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Two faces of the poet – Ian (Picture: Diane Wordsworth)

Today sees the start of quite a busy period for me. Do you remember that Cosmic ordering I did the other week? Well, don’t anyone try to tell me it doesn’t work.

Last week I did a small job for a new client and already she is offering me repeat work. I also won a regular gig off another new client. And an existing client sent me 4 new jobs on Friday – and paid for the first one in advance. This on top of the work I already have in. I won’t be trawling for new work again any time soon.

I also have writing work to do, as ever, but not so much admin work this week. I have Thursday off, though. The poet is working in Tipton that day so I’m visiting the parents. We couldn’t see them this coming weekend as we have another 3-day festival to go to in Sheffield.

How was your weekend?