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So, as promised, we have now officially moved back to the UK and I am frantically getting my self together as I embark on the long and exciting self employed road. I know it will be a challenge, but I cannot wait to get the ball rolling with the new business.

We got back last Thursday, and after picking up our luggage, the cat, and being bombarded at the airport by our wonderful banner-laden family we got home. And what a glorious day it was. Within a few hours I had already agreed to come along and take some pictures of my mum and dads’ concert band at a gig in Ruskin Park over the weekend, and what a day it turned out to be.

I have always maintained that a summer day in Britain is just the best. People are so relieved happy to see a bit of sunshine.  The usual ‘I’m a L0ndoner, don’t approach me or I will break your face’ look melts to a much happier, gentle and exuberant manner.  The sun comes out, and so do the smiles.  So imagine how happy I was when we arrived at Ruskin Park near Brixton, to find this, tremendous site.

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I love London.  I love the fact you can be surrounded by trees, a blue sky and sunbathing Brits, all with Westminster and the postal tower in the background…and when the sun is shining like it was last week, it just makes it all the more magical.

And then the band started playing, and I felt the grin on my face just grow even bigger.

Turns out the Norwood Wind Ensemble are pretty good. 😉

 

As readers of this blog will already know, music has always played  a big part in my life.  My parents are brass-mad, and the one distraction that old Pops has enjoyed since time immemorial is busting out his Tuba.  Or his trombone,  or euphonium, or pocket trumpet, or French horn.  (Basically if it is shiny and has valves, the old boy will give it a blow, all with the biggest smile on his face)  Mum has also accepted this brass fanatacism having chose the French horn as her weapon of choice.

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The band played a great programme, and about half way through had amassed quite a crowd.  All ages, all demographics took the time to pitch a seat and enjoy some awesome music in the awesome weather.

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It truly was a wonderful welcome home.

 

Thanks for reading guys, and great to be back! 😉

The other night, Sian and I were sat enjoying our dinner in our usual place.  We were in our usual restaurant, sitting at our usual table, drinking our usual wine, discussing the usual challenges and ideas work has been throwing up.  I looked at Sian, usually, and was about to say something utterly – well – usual.  But then we heard something.

We heard music.

 

This, in itself, is not unusual – we are treated to live music most nights.  But the music we could hear was very, very different to the usual Sokha and Calypso the Bajans bless us with.  This music consisted of trumpets and trombones and saxaphones and drums and singing and all manor of awesomeness that can only be made sense of in one, glorious form.  Big Band.

We gobbled down our dinner at double speed and ran into the main bar area, to be treated to this magnificent site:

The Sherborne School Swing Band were here, and they were playing the Almond Casuarina for their last night.   Apparently they had been here in Barbados for a week, having played in various hotels and concert halls throughout the island – culminating in a final show in the hotel they have called home for the last week.

They. Were. Fantastic.

Now, as readers of this blog will no doubt know, I have a strong affinity to music.  As I explained in my blog during our brief Easter break, we grew up being force fed this stuff.  My brothers and parents are prolific brass players, my sister is amazing at pretty much everything, and I was pretty handy with my saxaphone, before the lure of drum and bass lured me to the stage…but that’s another blog, for another time.

Hearing bands like the Sherborne School Swing Band, takes me back to my childhood…being 9 during summer holidays playing in a school hall with a bunch of kids I never would see again, and going to the never ending program of concerts that my amazingly talented siblings were playing in…not to say that any of us were in bands this good, but it is amazing how music has that ability to place you a million miles from where you are.

Sian and I were expecting another usual mid-week meal.  But the Sherborne School Swing Band were able to give us both so much more.  For the 45 minutes that we caught them, I was a whipper snapper back in good old Croydon, far from the stressed and homesick old fart that I am now.

And, I am pleased to say – I don’t think I was the only one!

 

Thanks for reading guys – and hope you have had a great week 🙂

 

Incidentally – for those of you still reading, I have been incredibly flattered to have been nominated for an award for my blog from the wonderful Becky Says Things.  I will be doing  a proper post about this momentous event over the coming days – but wanted to say a huge thank you to her, and urge you all to check her page out.

It is very, very funny 🙂