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Waiting, waiting, and waiting more

I had another gig at Bay Jazz Club in Enfield playing outdoors (having played at the club two weeks before with my band), this time with Tony Pitt’s All Stars. The weather was kind this time and the sun shone.

Bay Jazz Club

I spent a day recording for Dom Pipkin ( with a trumpeter and sax player at his place in Loughton. Recording the horn parts for an album of originals he is putting together with his spare time.

I should have been heading to Spain for my brother’s wedding at the beginning of September. He lives in Barcelona and was going to be marrying his Italian wife but they decided to postpone the event some months ago and do it next year in June. The way things are going he is a bit concerned that even next June there might be difficulties.

Newton Ferrers, Devon

Instead me and my wife took a trip down to Devon, renting a wooden ‘lodge’ in Newton Ferrers, a small village on an estuary near to Plymouth. We shared this with three other friends and had a lovely time exploring the area – cycling along a disused railway, exploring a wood on off-road “Segways”, walking, paddling, cooking and relaxing. We left the troubles of the world behind us for a week.

I came back to a gig on Sunday, playing for an event raising money for a Jewish cancer care centre, with Stewart Curtis' "Brass Bottomed Quartet" (I took on the role of the 'brass bottom' by playing the sousaphone). It was lovely to see and play with the other musicians but it was a reminder of how weird times were – we said farewell afterwards, not expecting to see each other again possibly until sometime next year.

Cases of the virus have been increasing in the UK and around Europe, and the government are imposing stricter restrictions to try to control it. After months of the virus though, everybody is bored and fatigued by the endless restrictions and it seems many have given up caring. There are also a number of people who seem to believe it’s all a hoax / conspiracy. It makes me despair of civilisation when seemingly educated and intelligent people are able to believe this. Of course they despair of civilisation when they see the rest of us drawn into this ‘hoax’ - there’s no arguing with them.

The combination of post-holiday blues and Covid gloom really made me feel low yesterday. Getting back to practising my instruments, catching up with a backlog of admin, seeing my mum, a game of ping pong in the park, a dose of telling myself to get real, all helped with a warm sunny day has eased me out of this trough somewhat. My wife has been brilliant at propping me up when I’ve needed it. I feel for the musicians living alone and trying to cope.

Those that teach at schools are starting work again – some going in to teach face-to-face and some on-line. I have wondered if I need to get back in to teaching but I didn’t feel I was a good teacher when I used to teach – not really able to inspire youngsters that needed inspiration. Too often they lost interest and gave up. So I think I'll need to stick with my plan of composing, recording and practising... and waiting, waiting, waiting for things to change.

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