20 April 2007

Hurdygurdyman


This weekend sees our beloved city hosting the UK's first Hurdy Gurdy festival. That should clear the decks a bit!

I have mixed feelings about the hurdy gurdy because although one of my all time favourite records** is by gilles chabenat (the best gurdy player ever), playing alongside frederick paris (one of the best clarinet players ever), and is a record I have fond memories of rocking ben off to sleep with when he was a babe in arms. That's right, I did say rocking a baby off to sleep to a hurdy gurdy record! Unbelievable no? It IS that good.

On the other hand, and after a while, (gilles excepting), listening to a gurdy can be like having someone slowly saw your neck off with a dado rail. The thought of a (insert preferred collective noun for a bunch of amateur gurdyists), churning away all weekend in my favourite pub may see me having to hack of some limbs and crawl to the door in order to escape.

Anyway, my job this weekend is to finish the wallpapering and put up the dado rail, not saw my neck off with one.

Unlike SWMBO, who is teaching some french dance workshops, I do not have any duties at this festival so I could probably ignore it but for the fact that we are putting up an unknown number of gurdyists in our house. I may be forced to take the air bed up to the allotment shed and hide!


One of them, however, will be the delightful Cliff Stapleton and it will be nice to see him again. Last time he stayed,we spent an entertaining and fairly surreal evening discussing the idiotsyncracies of a bunch of Steiner theatrical types with whom he toured for a while. If I remember rightly, there was much hilarity and drinking of red wine and I swear blind he said he was jacking it all in after that to go and become a spud farmer in New Zealand. Perhaps that's what everyone sais after spending time with Steiner type people.

Talking of allotments, which I wasn't, the ground is so dry now it looks like it does in July/August after a long heatwave; all cracked and parched. I can't remember when we last had a drop of rain here and it will be refreshing when if finally arrives. I've drained all the barrels dry already and we're having to make four or five trips up to water every week.

Maybe I could take all the hudygurdyists up to the allotment pretending it's a workshop venue and there surreptitiously turn all their instruments into serial water pumps which will not only water the garden but entertain the plants as well as driving off any Steinerists lurking locally *sighs* See how green one can be with a little imagination?

*picture of cliff stapleton eating a banana after eating a hurdygurdy which caused flatulence. ~They do that.

**Duo CHABENAT PARIS
De l'Eau et des Amandes (1995)

3 comments:

Matron said...

Gosh! at last I've found a Hurdygurdyman who has an allotment! I think I'm in love! I am a big fan of The Copper family songs, and Richard Thompson. How very English! A belated St Georges day to you.

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