Wednesday, 15 June 2011
My Bill Bryson week ended up struggling back by train in a heatwave. This I do not recommend, particularly with one hot dog and a very heavy case (how had it got so heavy overnight, pray?) and having to change trains three times. I was extremely hot and bothered by the time we reached Falmouth and desperate to get home.
Unusually for Cornwall, it was even hot in the evenings: living by the sea tends to mean cool breezes after about 6pm, but when I finally got home it was warm enough to sit outside my local in shorts and a t shirt.
The following evening was our gig in Flushing, part of Flushing Arts Week. We sang for an hour in their church, which has the most incredible acoustics, as well as stained glass windows, and then trotted down the road to the Standard pub. The service here left a lot to be desired, but we finally managed to get drinks and sat outside (how often can you do that in this country?) with the river on our right, the boats bobbing up and down, and a family of swans parading up the slipway.
As Mum’s foot was playing up again and she was stuck in Devon, I said I’d ring her so she could hear us singing down the phone. I mentioned this to Claire, our musical director, who said straight away, “What would she like to hear?”
“Something cheerful,” I replied.
So we settled on “Freedom Train” and I rang Mum, got her ready, sitting the other end of the phone on her sofa.
Claire made sure she’d got the audience’s attention and announced, “This number is for Sue’s Mum!” and we began to sing.
There really is something very special about singing outside, by water. I was hoping that some of that would come across, albeit down the phone, but you never know, so I held my breath when the number had finished.
Mum was a bit quiet, but finally said, “I was so touched and moved. It made my day!”
Which made a magical night even better.