The month started with a Kieran’s gig at the Weyfest Music Festival in Surrey. Michael and I really enjoyed this festival—most of the attendees where our age! Kieran and the band were on top form that day, they really blew everyone away. Kieran would say the best part was that there were Star War characters walking around-it was his first close encounter with any.
The highlight for me, and I know also for Hazel, was that I managed to get tickets for the two of us to see James Galway. A year or so after Hazel started playing the flute Michael suggested we get her one of his CD’s. I didn’t think that would be a welcomed gift by an 8 or 9 year old—but Hazel loved it. She’s a massive fan and has even read his autobiography.
It was in Dorchester Abbey and I broke the bank account so we could get seats near the front. It worked out really well as we were in the 5th pew and she had an unblocked view. During the intermission I asked if she wanted to go over and say hello, which Hazel was a bit reluctant to do-it is so not her style just to walk up to someone. But it can be my style in this situation! We walked (I marched her over!) to the area where they went during intermission and asked the person guarding the entrance if it was possible for Hazel to say hello. He immediately said ‘No’, but was overruled in one second by the conductor. He said Sir Galway and his wife Jeanne would be thrilled to say hello to her and another boy who came to ask. They were amazing with her! They chatted for almost 20 minutes, she held his flute & they were impressed by her knowledge and skill level. They both graciously posed for photos as well. I hope it’s a treat Hazel will always remember.
On the first day that everyone went back to school, we went to Avebury for a wander. Nothing beats a glorious day at Avebury—we had sunshine, a gentle breeze & a great laugh at my expense. I should know better than to climb up a low but slippy stone—I was terrified & slightly awkward about getting down.
We had a trip to Selsey beach, a very windy trip. It was a lovely hot and sunny day but the traffic trying to get to the nice clam side was torturous-so we gave up. Micahel decided to drive down half a million little lanes and found us a beach with parking and only a few other people. Not the sunniest and warmest of visits-but we had a relaxing afternoon and enjoyed our picnic lunch.
This was the first year we made it to the huge Newbury Festival. When the kids were young I stayed away from these events as I’m not a fan of crowds with small ones. Then as they got older it was usually a very wet weekend or we were away. This year we made it—and we needed sunblock, so well worth the wait. We all enjoyed the show-the horse and carriages were a big hit, the kids participated in the bird of prey display, they got a huge kick out of the dog competitions, they all had a stroll around the livestock pens- stayed as far away as I could. And the best part was I finally found the perfect table cloth to replace my old one. The things that please me!
The month ended as it began-the band had plans for our weekend. They had a gig in Portsmouth, right on the coast. As the sun was shining and it was a gorgeous day, when the band was done we all had a walk along the beach & then the families splintered off. We went and walked around the small Soutsea Castle then wandered back down the other side of the beach and had some chips before heading home.
The next day the temperature dropped and it was very windy, just in time for the band to film their second video, outside in the cold, yet again.