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 🙂
It has been a mental few weeks (months?!) in Barbados, and I am glad to say that we have finally come home for a few days to enjoy some much needed R & R. Since arriving home on Friday, we have been to-ing and fro-ing between London, Chichester and Croydon, and as I write this we are preparing for a jaunt up North to see our good friends Josh and Lyds who live in Manchester, then on to see Jenny and Tom in Sheffield, then up to Wetherby with even more marvellous chums for the wedding of the very fabulous Jo and Jonny…phew!
It has – and will be crazy hectic, but we are loving being back.
A few days before coming home, I rang my big brother Ed and asked if he would mind hosting a wee get together for Easter in his beautiful house in Chichester. A wee get together quickly snowballed into thirteen, and true to form, Ed and his fiance Mel put on a wonderful spread and did a spectacular job of looking after us. It was wonderful to be with the whole family again – everyone laughing, joking, shouting over each other, and all that good stuff that an old fashioned family reunion commands.
After dinner, my big sister Felicity (who I have written about before) asked Ed if he would mind her playing the piano, and for the next twenty minutes I was taken back to my childhood.
When I was growing up, I was spoiled rotten for music. My mum and dad are massively into brass, and from a very young age the slightest whiff of interest in anything relating to a treble or bass cleff lead to a trip to the music shop and instruments being hired. We were so lucky. So as I grew up and ran around our then massive house, the rooms echoed with Chopin and Rachmaninoff and Mozart and Strauss…and all really quite well. It turns out that my brother and sister were quite gifted when it came to the piano, or flute, or trombone, or whatever they turned their hands to, but the piano was the soundtrack of our house.
That, along with the raucous laughter and ever present squeals of agony as we fought with one another…but that’s for another blog.
And I genuinely lament when Flick moved out…the house fell a little quieter as our piano duo halved. Ed stoically carried the baton for a few more years, but the day that he packed his little Fiesta to move to Reading was the day the music died. Thad (my little brother) is an immense musician, but alas never took to the piano – and my biggest regret in life is giving up on the lessons that my mum and dad had organised for me all those years ago.
So, imagine my joy when Flick asked that question. Judging by the looks on my mum and dad’s faces, I think they couldn’t have asked for anything better this year for Easter.
As always, thanks for reading guys, and happy Easter 🙂