Dense people

Dear all,


It’s been a big old Urban Folk Quartet tour and we’ve had a great time with a colourful mix of rural village halls and some more city-based outings. So to report:

My own solo tour finished off with two London folk clubs, both of which were highly enjoyable as well as a rare duo outing with my mandolin playing chum Nic Zuppardi in his hometown of Norwich. This was also jolly good prior to a day of feeling nothing short of horrific as the lurgy struck. Driving home from Norwich to Stafford with the most intense headache I’ve ever known, a shivering fever and phenomenal amounts of snot was not so fun. Really.

As for the UFQ tour, it also began in style with a cracking gig in Yorkshire in Brantingham. A great crowd and a great promoter meant a packed house and much fun was had. Hitchin Folk Club was next with a larger packed house so we had an absolute ball and many thanks to the Pages for their typically vocal support. Newbury was next with a very vocal and dancey crowd before one of the very finest village hall gigs EVER. I bloody live village halls. The audience are so often full of enthusiasm and we are so welcomed and fed and watered. It was a brilliant night, a real highlight so thanks to Oxenhall.

Some folks travelled far and wide to get to our gig in Farnham at the Maltings which was greatly appreciated but then it was back to rural touring with no fewer than four village halls in four nights in Kirk Langley, Taddington, Denstone and Fillongley all of which were a real pleasure and no mistake.

Then just to bring you up to date I taught three different skype pupils in three different countries! Good work! Coming up the UFQ tour continues on Friday in Worcester at Huntingdon Hall while I look forward to sharing the bill with Meaghan Blanchard through November. All gig dates are as ever…on the gig page. Funny that.

So to the title. I recently received my only ever speeding ticket as I believed I may have ranted about in a recent blog. I attended one of these speed awareness courses which in fairness do serve a purpose. To be honest though, I have always been jolly careful about speeding because…well I didn’t want to get done speeding nor cause an accident. The only thing I didn’t know was those variable speed limits on the motorway are in fact mandatory and not advisory. Funnily enough, I found that out when I got done for speeding so to be honest the course didn’t tell me a lot. But what really cheesed me off was how ruddy dense some of the other people on the course are. One chap in particular failed to stop talking. Throughout. THROUGHOUT. Things reached the point of wanting to drop the tea machine on him when the lady running the course explained the different speed limits and how we know them. For instance she said the speed limit on the motorway is 70 unless stated otherwise. At which point this chap pipes up with ‘ah but what about the M1 when it’s 50 for quite a while’. Yes that’s what she’s just finished telling you – the reason it’s 50 on that bit of the M1 is because it states otherwise. Do you see? Then when someone else asked if one is allowed to drive over the circle on a mini-roundabout the tutor replied ‘no unless you are in a vehicle that can’t get round without doing so’. This plank’s response – ah but what about that one in Bloxwich you have to go hard on your left to go right. My response – well do that then. Everyone else saw the funny side. He didn’t.