Well Campers, we are back on the road again for two dates up in mid England - Kettering and High Wycombe - Kettering is a return visit and I'm not sure if we've ever played High Wycombe before, I'll let you know when we get there.
So, in deference to my wife (who likes to drive safely) I climbed into the Brooke Turner 'B' car - an eighteen year old Smart and put my foot down and kept my fingers crossed that it wouldn't break down. Our local mechanic says Smarts are pretty good cars, untill 80,000 miles when things start to drop off and go wrong. The counter on the dial currently says 79,000miles...........
After a bone juddering, four hour non stop drive, up through the flatlands of Cambridgeshire and into Northamptonshire, I arrived safely in Kettering - well done me! - and particular congrats to my bladder, I'd had two large cups of coffee, prior to leaving.
I arrived to find a lonely Benjamin in the dressing room, scrolling and swiping through his phone - isn't that the story of all our lives these days? I'm sure the good burghers and citizens of Kettering won't mind me saying, that while the theatre is not of the same caliber as some of the grander joints we've played:- the auditorium has the weirdest colours (swimming pool blue with red seats?) - the backstage staff are all terrific and the audiences are great (we blew the roof off last time we played here)
The colours! The colours!
After soundcheck, we all went for fish and chips or whatever we could find the the environs and then got into our gear as we were going to do a meet and greet with a school group of kids: the Unique Ukuleles, who came down from St Thomas School in Blackburn, Lancashire to see the show.
This turned out to be good fun: I screwed up (as usual) by going round and introducing myself: - shaking all the kids hands and asking their names, mishearing everyone (I'm pretty deaf) and repeating what I thought they said, before being corrected.
I overheard a fellow Uke saying: "he's the son of diplomats you know'
The class played us their version of Stand by Me which was great and we all had a Q&A with the kids and their teachers.
Waiting to go on before the show
It was a great show and sold out as well, while it was baking hot on stage, the audience were really up for it and we sold a lot of merch this evening
And we got another chance to hang with our new friends from St Thomas School and have a few photos - thanks to their lovely teachers for bringing them all the way down from Blackburn to the show.
And so it was back to the Holiday inn at Kettering, where much had changed since out last stay in April 2016 - here's the view from my window then.
And here's the view two years later. Let me tell you one thing: a man can sleep easy at night knowing that the CFW (Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors) have moved in next door......