The last two concerts of the year! We set off from Edinburgh on Friday morning and stayed the night in Scarborough (yes…..again!), since the first concert was only about 40 or so miles away from there. Its always less stressful if we can to get near the venues the night before when there’s a long drive involved. Then we don’t have to worry about traffic delays.
After a pot of coffee, we went for a walk along the seafront. Five miles in total. We were then ready for a hearty meal. An omelette with courgette, red pepper, spinach, mushrooms & cheese, and baked beans. Yum! Yum!
It was a very clear night. You could see the Plough & Cassiopeia. Mars was very visible with a distinct red colour even with the naked eye, although there was a very bright moon.
Next morning at 8am, I went for a five mile run from the North Bay to Coney Island Amusements in the South Bay and back again. It was cold, but a stunningly beautiful morning. As I ran around the headland underneath the castle, the bright orange sun was shining right towards me. Absolutely fantastic!
I really enjoyed my run, although by the time I reached Freddie Gilroy’s statue on the way back there was a very strong smell of delicious bacon rolls coming from the Oasis Cafe. My stomach rumbled for the last mile! It’s always open in the mornings. I think it opens at 6am – even in the winter.
I have devised a way to make toast in our Tour Bus using a dry frying pan (no oil) on a high heat. You have to stand over it so it doesn’t burn, but it works very well! After a delicious breakfast of poached egg on toast, we both went for a walk along the seafront (yes – another 5 mile walk!). It was warm by now – especially for December, and the sun was fully up.
We headed off to our first gig of the trip. It was in Little Weighton, a village in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England, about halfway between Beverley and Hull. I thought it was pronounced “weight on”, and was going to make a joke about how I may have put a little weight on myself in the last couple of months…..but the locals pronounce it “weeton”. So luckily you’re spared from my bad jokes…..oops, too late!
Since it is dark by the time we arrive at venues at this time of year, we had a look earlier on whilst it was still daylight. We were a bit confused at first when following signs for the car park. It was situated at roof height above the hall (the hall being on a steep slope). But we drove around the block and found the front entrance to the hall.
We headed off to do some food shopping and then had our dinner. A hearty Corned Beef & Veg Hot Pot.
Although small, it is a beautiful hall inside and has recently had half a million pounds worth of renovation and improvements. The audience were very appreciative indeed and very welcoming. They said some very nice things to us after the concert. An encore was duly supplied.
It rained heavily during the night and the strong winds rocked our Tour Bus. But in the morning all was calm, sunny and warmish, as we awoke to the sound of wood pigeons. We took a walk around the village.
We made scrambled eggs & toast for breakfast, then we headed on to our next gig in North Scarle just outside Lincoln.
Near Lincoln, we came across this road sign:
Again, since it was only 50 miles away or so, we sussed out the venue in daylight. Just as well since it was up a narrow lane. We had a look around the village and took some photos.
We came across an old red telephone kiosk that had been turned into a Book Exchange. I presume you can take a book home to read if you leave behind one that you’ve already read. “A novel idea” as Dom pointed out!
After a hearty dinner of Vegetable Stew consisting of: spinach, carrots, peas, potatoes, courgette, red onion, mushrooms, yellow pepper and a tin of tomatoes and a tin of cannellini beans, we arrived at the venue later on to set up. It was an old hall, but the acoustics were really good. It makes it so much more enjoyable when the acoustics are good.
We awoke the next morning to a really glorious day. Blue skies and barely a cloud in the sky for the whole 270 mile journey home.
Well, that’s the end of our UK Tour 2019. We’ve met some really, really nice people and had some fantastic concert experiences. We’re already looking forward to next year: The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, lots of “Jazz in the Village” concerts, a concert in Settle Victoria Hall, a handful of concerts in churches around the UK, and a concert in May in Derby Cathedral! Wow!
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Words & photos by Ian Millar © 2019