A Rainy Windswept Evening:
in Poole is much the same as it is in the dozens of other Northern Hemisphere seaside towns; bleak, miserable and lifeless, with coloured bunting still there from the summer now chattering wildly on the strong autumn breeze making a sound like a swarm of plastic mosquitos. The rain had been relentless for several days, the pressure low and perhaps echoing my post-tour and fanzine mail out downtrodded spirit, the night was one for sitting in a comfy chair and reading a good book.
Not usually one for trend and fashion, Amazon have been battering me around the head every time I log-on with the Stieg Larsson trilogy of books. So I investigated him on Wikipedia, weighed up the strange story of his life and death along with the praise a great many famous crime authors have been showering upon him; and bought 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' for about a fiver to decide for myself.
So I'm sitting there reading in the warm, and the wind is still buffeting the bungalow, and in the south-west facing front it's lashing the rain against the windows like the bullets of water they truly are; and the tiles are rattling occasionally as if the devil himself is shuffling them like playing cards.
And then I remember.
When I make a promise, I keep a promise, and my auntie's youngest daughter's husband had made contact asking if I would like to go along to watch the band he plays guitar with; and meet up?
Families are funny things, and often we lose contact. Aunty Phil, Uncle John and offspring Jennifer, Barry, Joy and Jill lived but a mile or so away when we were kids, and having no car we visited them frequently as it was just a short walk or 2 or 3 bus stops away. But once families had a car, like us, they tended to visit family further away, and forgot about the local people; so contact was lost.
Auntie Phil has a distinctive voice which charmingly reflects our colourful local dialect, and in Asda one day I heard her unmistakeable intonations, and went to find her. This led to a family meeting a few months later regarding the family tree, which brother Robert is investigating; to exchange some knowledge and settle a few points using Aunty Phil's extensive knowledge.
From this, Nigel, the (Gretch) guitarist with Ogre and the Cafe Racer's, a 'Head-Cat'-Buddy Holly-Little Richard et-al style rock 'n' roll band; had invited me to one of their gigs; and on Saturday evening, rain, wind and cold notwithstanding; they were playing The Lord Nelson pub on Poole Quay.
So a promise is a promise, and never keen on breaking one, the warmth and cosiness of the chair and the ongoing book were forsaken, as ever, for rock 'n' roll.
And it was well worth it, they are a great bunch of chaps, being drums, bass, keyboards, (whose names I will learn, eventually), and Nigel on guitar. The Nelson is a great pub and famous here-abouts for live music and also the fine local, national and worldwide beer; and despite my having to imbibe nothing more than lemonade with ice these days; the elements were well worth battling to see the band.