The glorious weather and the first signs of spring have cheered me up somewhat. Early flowering blossom, banks of daffodils, snowdrops and crocuses in abundance.
Meanwhile the government have announced their plan to ease us out of lockdown and back to normality. A series of phases, each one a few weeks long, and only moving in to the next phase when certain tests have been met relating to the spread of the virus. They have bravely given us ideal dates for the beginning of each phase, and these dates have been taken to heart as gospel by many. Ultimately we’ve been told that by 21st June we’ll be ‘back to normal’, and this date is being seen as the Covid VE day. Given we haven’t reached March though, it’s looking like another 4 months at least. Some outdoor events might be allowed by the middle of May, but I reckon it’ll be 6 months before I have anything like the income from music that I’d normally be expecting for the time of the year. Of course, things may well be very different – people might be so desperate for live music that there will be more work than ever, or on the other hand so many venues and clubs will have folded that it may take a long time for the business to crank back into action.
I’ve filmed two line-ups of local musicians playing on doorsteps, with the hope of picking up short local outdoor gigs – birthday surprises and such. A friend is setting up a website to promote these sort of gigs. They are slightly scrappy quick videos recorded on a phone but the best we could do in the circumstances. It was fun to play together and we had a smattering of applause from passers by, neighbours and builders on a nearby building site.
I’ve also been collaborating with a local drummer, Roy Pfeffer, coming up with ideas for potential songs for his album that he hopes to have created by July. He’s planning on recording a version of one of my songs that I play with my Brass Volcanoes band, and is hoping that together we’ll come up with one or two more originals that he can use.
Now that I have some work lined up for later in March and April for the national census, and with potential work for the vaccination scheme soon I’m looking back on the year I’ve had and wondering what I’ve done with it. I wanted to use it as an opportunity to gain skills and catch up with jobs that needed doing. My fear is that I’ll wonder what I did with the time and kick myself for wasting it.
We’re far from out of the woods yet though, so I should look forwards rather than backwards.