A sombre anniversary
A year after the first lockdown began. There are calls to mark the day annually with 'Covid Memorial Day' and have a monument on Whitehall. As bad as this has been, it still doesn't feel remotely on a par with a world war in which the physical casualties on the battle field were just one part of the catastrophe involved.
Now that I’ve got some work to do, working for a vaccination centre and for the National Census, I have a feeling of purpose and I’m making money. As a result I’m feeling so much more positive. At my low points I felt I had time and opportunities but I didn't seem able to use them. Of course, now I'm busy and feeling positive I have lots of things I could do but don't have time to do them. Hay ho!
At the vaccination centre I enjoyed meeting people as they arrived, and making a connection with them. I went partly into my performer mode, which is much more extrovert than my day to day mode - a bit of chit chat, asking them how they were, asking the essential questions I was there to ask and sending them on their way to the next stage hopefully feeling good. It's one of the joys of performing, making people's days better and lifting their spirits.
I've also started doing my work for the Census. I spent some hours doing on-line training and working out what I was actually going to be doing. I knew I had been contracted for 25 hours a week, but given the Census date was last Sunday I wasn't sure what I was needed for. It turns out I am to be going from door to door of addresses who haven't filled in their Census trying to encourage them to do it. It’s not what I pictured myself doing after 20 years as a successful professional musician, but I’m quite looking forward to seeing what it’s like to earn a living a different way for a short while.
I've continued working on a couple of tunes for a friend's album using the bass lines / drum rhythms we conjured up a while back. Composing, recording, modifying, recomposing... I think one could turn into a good number. I'm not sure about the other. Knocking together quick multi-tracked recordings of myself playing them has been very useful - something that a year ago I wouldn't have been able to do - I'm grateful for the time that the pandemic has given me to learn.
I had my booster Covid jab – a privilege of working in a vaccination centre. Other people my age will have to wait for at least another month even for their first jab. I then cycled down to ‘Buskin in Ruskin’, to play trombone with Brass Roots on the band stand in Ruskin Park in Denmark Hill. The weather was nice, and I caught up with a few musicians, one I hadn’t seen for many years. People stood and listened, and were very generous with their donations, and it felt really good to play.
I’ve also had two or three enquiries for bands for weddings in Summer and even Autumn next year (2022)! I really don’t want to be filling up my weekends next summer - it's this summer I'm worried about. Somehow I’d like to feel that 2022 might be a bit different after all this, and maybe I won’t be chasing around the country playing for far flung weddings.