I am busy this week. Very busy.
My next gig with The Fugitives is this coming Friday. It's a wedding reception at Clandon Park, near Guildford, and that's all I know about it just now. But that's okay, I'll be told in the fullness of time exactly where I have to go and at what time. In the meantime, the Fabulous Beverley popped over yesterday afternoon for us to have a run through of the sax parts. She plays tenor and baritone, and I play a lowly alto. This will be my second gig with The Fugitives and we only had an hour or so to practice together before the first gig, so we're determined to sort out our harmonies, and solos, and so forth. We only managed about 90 minutes before her phone rang with another request for a taxi - she drives a taxi for a living at the moment while trying to find a job more closely aligned to the music industry. But what we managed to sort out sounded good. I mean - really good.
My confidence is getting better each day. We're trying to get at least one more session in before Friday and, this time, I'm going over to her place, which I can't wait to do as she's just moved into a houseboat on the Basingstoke Canal as a housesitter for a year while the owners go travelling! I'm so jealous!
So there's that. And then my brother asked me to make him some cufflinks to go with the suit he's wearing to a family wedding (on his wife's side) this coming weekend. This has taken a stupid number of days to accomplish - he wants purple ones. Purple dichroic glass is a fickle beast. I made two pairs of cabochons - one more blue-purple, the other more pinky-purple. I couldn't capture the colour differences enough in a photograph (this is common with dichroic glass) so I decided to just post the two pairs to him so he could compare them to the purple dress his wife is wearing as head bridesmaid (or whatever they're called - Maid of Honour? I dunno). I posted them Friday, just before he told me he needed them by Wednesday evening at the very latest, so fingernails were bitten to the quick while waiting (and hoping) that Royal Mail could get them back to me in time.
They arrived this morning so I was able to glue them to the cufflink backs and, hopefully, they'll be properly set by Wednesday.
And not only do I have a gig this coming Friday, but I have Churt Village Fete on the Saturday and Chiddingfold Festival on the Sunday to do. This will be the third year at Churt but something like the sixth at Chiddingfold. Admittedly I've not sold very much jewellery this year but I still feel like I've got to make some new stuff just in case the villagers go beserk and buy everything I have. Not likely I know, but you never know. So I've been making some new stuff - if you're interested, it's on my VenerableBead website.
As well as this, the annual inspection date for the allotments has been announced as 28 June and I've been trying to get down there as often as possible, practically every day, each time for at least a couple of hours. It's exhausting, but I need to weed and cut the grass and get all my seedlings in and, at least, make it look like it's being cultivated so they don't throw me off. It's bloody hard work but the benefit is being able to eat your own vegetables, which we did last night - harvested and cooked my own broad beans and they were damn yummy.
So I was down at the allotment this afternoon and I remembered to take my iPod with me in order to listen to some music I downloaded a few days ago. The first album was 'Just Another Diamond Day' by Vashti Bunyan, a folk singer from the sixties who has recently had a resurgence in popularity. And it almost instantly reduced me to tears. Her voice is so unbelievably pure, and the songs are full of innocent yearning to return to the land, she sings about travelling on the road in a gypsy caravan and rescuing animals on the way. And I sobbed and sobbed. It was completely unexpected and took me utterly by surprise.
I'm not a crier. Never have been. I can vividly remember having a word with myself when I was about 12 years old and deciding, there and then, that no-one would ever see me cry. It's a sign of weakness that I won't allow myself. And mostly I've stuck to that over the years, except when confronted with severe emotional pain (death, divorce, infertility) or when blindsided by hormones.
I remember when undergoing my various rounds of IVF, in each cycle there was at least one day when I found myself uncontrollably sobbing my heart out for no good reason at all. It transpired that this was always during the phase when the injections were putting me into artificial menopause.
And, of course, these days there's nothing artificial about my menopausal symptoms, so all I can assume is that this caused my sudden fit of inexplicable sadness and the clear sweetness of Vashti Bunyan's songs just pushed me over the edge. Such as this one, 'Jog Along Bess' - have your hankies ready: