Tuesday, 28 April 2009

To The Manor Born.

Night 11. Sunday 26th April. The Octagon, Yeovil.

London Marathon day today. Here's a picture of my Brother Chris who raised a bit of money for charity. It was his first marathon, and he completed it in less then four and a half hours.

Played at this lovely theatre just three months ago with Phil on the Fairport tour (Third Night Nerves. Sunday 1st February, night 4). I seem to recall a rather excellent all you can eat Chinese buffet, on a very cold day. Tonight's attendance is pretty good again, an almost full theatre with a capacity of more than 600.

Today's hotel: The Manor. I was first given a room right at the end of a corridor in a building that is annexed to the main body of the hotel; I thought, great, less noise potential here. I'd been there barely five minutes when a woman of indeterminable European nationality began to speak very loudly in the one room adjacent to mine. There was just a locked door between the two rooms, so from a soundproofing point of view this was not looking good. She continued; I couldn't understand a single word, and yet I was left in no doubt whatsoever that she was less than happy, in fact - a lot less.

Then there was a reply; a male voice; he sounded calm and reasoning. There was a pause, then she either moved on to a new set of complaints, or perhaps decided to reiterate the previous ones. Next on the scene; children; they didn't sound so happy either. I reached for the phone, and dialled '0'. Would it be possible to move to another room?, I asked, there's a rather noisy family next door'. I was told to rendezvous with the receptionist outside room 3 in about five minutes.

Brilliant! From a twin to a double, can't be bad! And it wasn't bad - until 6:30 the following morning; I was awake - as usual, but not wanting to be - as usual. As I lay there thinking there might be the slimmest hope of grabbing an extra few minutes, there was a very loud bang; the room shook and I almost jumped out of my skin. It wasn't a deafening sound, but it had a kind of violent and deep resonance to it. There was a door, obviously, directly beneath my bed, well, with a floor in-between the two of course. People, workers maybe, they were repeatedly going through this door, letting it swing closed with whatever force it's over tensioned spring mechanism propelled it. This continued with unpredictable regularity for, I'd say - three hours. I found out later that it was indeed the kitchen I had been, in effect, lying on.

There comes a point when one realises that you can't spend your life expecting others to think the way you want them to - a time when the pragmatist within acts, and a downgrading of expectation takes place. This is for nothing other than practical purposes - a decision taken purely and simply on the basis of choosing a less troubled life.
I did complain though.

Night 12. Monday 27th April. The Queens Theatre, Barnstable.
Had quite a lot of time on my hands this afternoon, arriving at the Royal & Fortescue hotel at 12:30 p.m. The theatre is just a short walk from the hotel, so with the sound check at it's usual time of 5 p.m. there was a good four hours to kill after our check-in.

Sometimes I think that life is a series of tests within one big one. Recently there has been somewhat of a 'slamming door' theme to my writing. First it was the Travelodge in Worthing (Thursday 23rd April), and then just yesterday it was Yeovil.

Coincidence maybe? Or could it be that there's some kind of karmic scenario taking place? And now, here in Barnstable I have a room, room number 415, with a corridor door directly outside; and it's loud. Today however, I'm approaching this test in a creative, considered and business-like way; I have placed a crunched up plastic carrier bag in-between the door and the frame. It works.

OK, there's a danger that the bag will be moved away, or kicked from it's strategically placed position, to one side or the other of the door; then there's the possibility that it will be picked up by someone who thinks it's been dropped in error. But maybe, just maybe it might suggest to those journeying through the corridors of Barnstable, that peacefulness and quietness is, for some of us, the preferred option.

Took one or two pictures, and some video of the theatre's interior
I must say something about the amplifier I'm using. It's the amp with no name; made, and adapted for me by friend Steve Carter. For the last few years I've used a Messa Boogie Nomad combo amplifier, which has some good features, and has been very reliable. Steve's amp is based to some extent on reproducing a warm vintage tube / valve sound, along the lines of the Vox AC30. I love it. The guitar sounds much fuller.
An early night tonight, and then it's off to Redditch tomorrow morning

The amp with no name

1 comment:

  1. ... a word to your slammimg-door-life-test: If THIS is the BIG one, you are lucky :) . In a former diary you drew the conclusion that there are two kinds of hotels: Those with quietly shutting doors and the slamming door ones.
    If you want to get rid of that theme, write a song about it, p.e. "The salmmimg door blues" or "Slam - ex".