On Friday I did a gig with my favouritest harp friend for her birthday. The venue was smack bang in the middle of Soho, so getting three harps there was a major logistical adventure. They just about fitted in the car.
Parking was a nightmare, and we moved 3 harps plus a variety of stools, stands, bags, mics and the 2 of us down a flight of very narrow stairs. We were there early for a soundcheck and the whole thing was exhausting before we’d even started!
Tuning was done in between the first act and the start of our set – but it was a nightmare with a full house and music playing over the PA. We did our best but it was relaxed to say the least!
The set was a mix of harp solos, duets and collaborations with others. It was Susannah’s birthday and she had decided to finally showcase her harp playing to her closest friends – it was a real privilege to be a part of and we had a blast. The venue was very small and it was a little bit tricky swapping leads and stands all the time, but given it was our first set performed in this way, it was a great success and we had some brilliant feedback from the audience.
Yesterday I drove home from Zanna’s, had a very quick turnaround and headed back down the A12 to my friend Caroline’s wedding.
I hadn’t seen her and some of our other friends in a couple of years, and it was a very emotional experience being part of her big day – and this was the first wedding I had been to as a guest without my harp for a long time so I was able to relax and really enjoy myself.
It was a very stylish but very informal day – she had said from the start she just wanted to see everyone and have them together for a big party. There were photos of all her friends and family all around, including a beautiful one of her dad on one of his race bikes. Her dad had died very suddenly just a few weeks ago, so to say it was a tough time for her and her family would be an understatement.
I caught up with old friends and promised not to leave it so long next time. I enjoyed swapping stories with new friends as to how we all knew Caroline and it was great fun piecing together who everyone was and how they fitted into her life. The band that played in the evening were brilliant and everyone on the dancefloor was completely outclassed by Caroline’s 5 year old niece who is clearly a very talented dancer in the making – seriously, her sense of rhythm was incredible.
So. 2 days spent with close friends, and I’m now sat here alone, enjoying a very lazy Sunday morning before I head off to my harp lesson in a bit. After that I MUST crack on with the decorating to get the house straight. I’m thinking about moving my whole life a long way north in a few months and how this will mean leaving friends behind, and what it will be like making new ones, and how difficult (but exciting!) this will be.
I think there will be tears today – taking a couple of steps back from the normal routine always gives space to ponder, and there is a lot of pondering to be done. It’s gradually sinking in but I’ve had so much to do, there’s not really been time to take it all in. I love how there’s always some music for how you’re feeling, and this has just popped into my head. *shuffles off to buy some Moloko*