Ooops! Nearly forgot.

It wasn't until I was sorting some photographs on the laptop that I was reminded about an uncharacteristic stroke of good luck, which occurred on new year's eve.

I'll get to that in a minute or so. Meanwhile, you must, by now, be aware that my latest interest, or hobby, or whatever you'd like to call it, is my melodeon. It has taken over all my leisure time, either thinking about it, playing it, making running repairs to it, or initial planning of starting to make playable another one which I also have. While not being actually encouraging about this new obsession, Freda hasn't been all that negative about it, either. Sounds encouraging in itself, don't you think?

I am aware that I might be neglecting the things which would normally occupy my imagination like figuring out a way to paint the stairs at "Our Luxor" without making a huge mess and falling off the steps/ladders every day! No matter, this is currently more pressing.

When I bought the first melodeon, I joined an online forum thingy dedicated to the instrument. It was very daunting, at first, but I quickly realised that I was completely and utterly out of my depth with many of the discussiins going on. I therefore don't read the threads about music (the "dots" or "ABC notation") and concentrate more on the instrument-based topices, like buying and selling, or makes and models, even design and construction. Whilst most of it is still "above my pay grade" most of the time, I am able to contribute occasionally and I do learn a lot from the other members.

There are many really patient and helpful people on there, some who are obviously hugely respected in the various paths they have chosen. Some write instruction books, many play for Morris dance teams (known as "sides" for some reason) and others are famous for their contributions to the world of folk music etc. One such is a youngish bloke called John Spiers, who is a mainstay of an outlandish folk music group called Bellowhead. They're fabulous, even if they aren't really your cup of tea, Eleven of them, all highy skilled and VERY loud.

Now then, back to the forgotten bit; Number Two daughter has taken a job in a specialist sort of shop, in Gateshead, which she just loves! It came about, on new year's eve, that she got into conversation with a customer while serving him, and he happened to mention that he was performing with his band at the "Sage, Gateshead" that evening. One thing led to another, and before you could say "Jack Robinson" he'd been outside conferring with someone else and returned with the offer of 3 complimentary tickets for the show! This was the show that I'd fancied going to, but at £45 a ticket, had just forgotten about! "Who was the band?" I hear you ask. Why, bless my soul if it wasn't Bellowhead!

Here's my ticket:

As Darling Daughter didn't fancy it, I was accompanied by Sister Sue and her husband. Next to us, there was a youngish lady with a little girl, who hardly sat during the whole performance; they were dancing (along with a good number of others) in the space in front of our seats. It wasn't until later that I learned that this lady was the wife of the drummer, who'd got us the free tickets. Small world?

Waiting for the performance to begin, I was astonished to see an old friend, whom I hadn't seen for about 15 years, making his way to the row behind us, with a much younger female(!). We chatted during the interval, which was when I realised that the young female had a striking resemblance to the chap's (long dead) mother. You've guessed, of course Dear Reader; it was his daughter. This gentleman is about 70, and although I knew that he had been very musical in his youth, I couldn't imagine him being a fan of Bellowhead; where melodeons take up my spare brain capacity, his is still full of Aston Martin super cars, he's owned stacks of them over the years. 

Anyway, after the performace, everyone made there way to the ground floor, where a new year ceilidh was to be held after counting down to the change of date. Now then, I'm not one to seek out famous folk, nor am I a name-dropper, but when I saw Friend Spiers standing there, I had to introduce myself!

Yes, I know! He's almost as good looking as I am! The mortifying part came when the squiffy daughter of my friend asked him if he was wearing a wig!!! I could have died with shame!

Never mind, he took it all in good heart. 

So there you are Dear Reader, at least I finished off 2015 with a nice surprise, makes a change, eh? TTFN.

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